Photo/IllutrationKazufumi Yoshimura, left, president of Tokai University Yamagata Senior High School, talks to reporters about a new anime course. Telecom Animation Film President Yu Kiyozono, second from left, and Kimie Aihara, producer in charge of public relations at Shirogumi, also joined the news conference at the school on Oct. 24. (Emi Aoyama)

YAMAGATA--Instead of anime after homework, it's going to be anime for homework at a high school here, at least for some students.

Tokai University Yamagata Senior High School in the Narisawanishi district will add anime production to its optional subjects starting from April 2020, officials announced.

Two leading anime houses, Telecom Animation Film Co. and Shirogumi Inc., will work with the school by sending out instructors and helping teachers build a curriculum for students to learn how to produce anime.

The former company, whose past staff members include Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, produces “Lupin the Third” and many other popular titles, while the latter has taken part in production of “Stand By Me Doraemon” and "Gamba: Gamba to Nakama-tachi" (aka “Air Bound”).

The new subject will be added as an elective for second-year students in the general education course, which includes “information” and “social welfare” as course categories.

Students will learn anime production for four hours per week. They will be taught techniques to create animations from hand-drawn illustrations and make a video clip by putting together stop-motion images of a doll, the officials said.

The subject will be offered to students who enter the school in fiscal 2019.

“We want to offer an opportunity (for students) in an outlying region to take a shot at getting into the booming anime industry,” the school’s president, Kazufumi Yoshimura, said at a news conference on Oct. 24.

Telecom Animation Film President Yu Kiyozono added: “Even if it is just an animated sequence in which a ball falls and bounces, you have to think about countless things, like how the ball moves and how gravity affects it. Students can nurture their inquiring minds and sensibilities.”

Anime production staff from the two companies will serve as instructors. Students will spend two years learning production techniques and make anime works in their third year to show what they have learned, the officials said.