On June 14, 2022, an official website opened for the anime adaptation of the psychological, thriller short story 5-Oku-Nen Button from Sota Sugahara’s Minna no Tonio-chan manga series. The anime will be titled 5-Oku-Nen Button ~Sugahara Sota no Short Short~ (which translates to 500 Million Year Button – Sota Sugahara’s Short Shorts) and will premiere in Japan on the Tokyo MX channel and other stations at 12:30 A.M. JST (effectively, July 15, 2022) on July 14, 2022.
The anime centers on a magical (cursed?) button that grants a million yen (approximately $7,415 USD) to whoever pushes it. However, this boon comes with a steep price and that is spending 500 million years alone in an empty space. At the end of the 500 million years, the person loses their memory of their time alone and returns to the point in time when they first pushed the button.
Would you choose to solve your problems with the push of a button?
The story begins when the person wielding the button appears before a group of three siblings: 5-year-old Tonio, 14-year-old Jaibi, and 17-year-old Suneko. The siblings’ father is in the hospital and they don’t have the money for his medical treatments.
Suddenly, the opportunity arises to get all of the money they need to save their father’s life at the mere push of a button. But if they accept this devilish deal and spent 500 million years alone in empty space will their sanity remain intact? Is this something their father would really want? Is it the right thing to do, to simply solve your problems at the push of a button?
A trailer for the anime shows scenes of the siblings trapped in an empty space and beginning to hallucinate strange creatures persecuting them. You can watch the trailer here:
5-Oku-Nen Button’s anime cast includes:
- Masako Nozawa – Tonio
- Suzuko Mimori – Jaibi
- Naomi Ozora – Suneko
- Marika Kono – Inoue-hakase
- Shiori Mikami – Unko-chan
- Hina Yomiya – Hana-chan
- Volcano Ota – Dragon
- Banjou – Narrator
Popular VTubers Kobo and Kim will perform the OP and ED songs
Sugahara, an original creator, is directing, writing, designing the characters, and acting as one of the only staff members on the project. The opening theme song titled “TIME” will be performed by virtual YouTuber Kobo. The ending theme song titled “Tick-Tock Boy” will be performed by virtual YouTuber Rim.
In 1999, Sugahara’s manga series Minna no Tonio-chan debuted. In 2004, the series inspired an animated special. Ever since Sugahara’s story launched the “thought experiment” revolving around the 500 Million Year Button has been a philosophical topic in Japan.
The original anime special can be watched here: