Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko

In Features by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

There’s a secret that fans of anime have known for a long time: it’s not just for kids.

While anime is a medium that often celebrates the weird and fantastical, it’s long been a champion of the sort of human stories that remind us how much job there is to be found in the everyday.

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is patchwork quilt of the everyday and ordinary which, when viewed as a whole, becomes something rather special.

Sometimes funny, sometimes bitter-sweet, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is testament to the earnest lives of ordinary people, from Japanese comedy legend Sanma Akashiya and award-winning director Ayumu Watanabe (Children Of The Sea).

Everyone knows about Nikuko, the larger-than-life woman who works at the local grill house and lives in a cosy houseboat moored at the docks of a small town. She’s a woman who is big and loud, with questionable taste in men but, whatever her failings, Nikuko has a big heart takes a childlike joy in the everyday. Her daughter, Kikuo, is a girl on the cusp of adolescence, who wants nothing more than to fit in … until a secret emerges that threatens to tear their cozy lives apart.

This colourful and heartfelt story was brought to life after the film’s creative producer, the popular Japanese comedian Sanma Akashiya, found himself moved by the love between parent and child found in Kanako Nishi’s original novel—with Nikuko’s cheerfulness reminding him of women he knew growing up in Kansai.

Fortune Favours Lady Nikuko joins Cine Matsuri’s season of upcoming anime films, which will be shown exclusively in selected cinemas this Autumn. And if Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko is anything to go by, the season should prove to the uninitiated just what a diverse and exciting art form anime truly is.

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko will be shown in selected cinemas from 10th August 2022 in Japanese with English subtitles.

For more information and to book tickets, please visit