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It’s March 2020, and I’m headed to the offices of film distributor Shochiku to speak with Kyohei Ishiguro about his new animated film, “Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop.” I’ve been asked to wear a mask while conducting the interview, a first for me. Arriving a few minutes early, I take a walk through Tsukiji fish market, which is eerily quiet — a month earlier, I would’ve been pushing through throngs of tourists. At this point, the film’s release date of May 15, 2020, is still on, with the hope that this whole COVID-19 situation will blow over by then.

Of course, things did not work out that way.

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