Scotland Loves Anime announced their line-up of titles and it includes some of the newest anime films to premiere in Japanese cinemas this year. The festival is split up between two locations over two weeks. Glasgow goes first from 12th – 14th October and that is followed up by Edinburgh from the 19th to the 21st October. The films include major titles like The Wolf Children Rain and Snow, Nerawareta Gakuen, Gyo, and the live-action Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. There is also talk of a mystery film which will be shown which sounds intriguing. There are also lectures and other cultural events but the main draw will definitely be the films.
Anyway… the line-ups for both locations look the same and I will detail the films below but here is a quick guide:
Glasgow 12th – 14th October
Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney
Edinburgh 19th to the 21st October
Here is some information on the films:
Running Time: 100 mins.
Director: Hitoshi Takekiyo
Writer: Yōichi Komori
Starring: Hiromasa Taguchi (Goth), Haruka Tomatsu (Mako), Kouichi Yamadera (Kunstlijk), Sakiko Uran (Miko), Minako Kotobuki (Mutsuko), Chafurin (Bach), Hiroshi Yanaka (Mozart), Dai Matsumoto (Beethoven), Hozumi Goda (Schubert)
The CGI film After School Midnighters is directed by Hitoshi Takekiyo who was behind the 2007 short which inspired this. It has been submitted for an Oscar in the best animated feature category. It stars the following seiyuu: Hiromasa Taguchi (Father in Kaasan), Haruka Tomatsu (Yunyun in CANAAN, Asuna in Sword Art Online), Minako Kotobuki (Yūko in A-Channel, Hamaji in Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story) and Kouichi Yamadera (Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop).
When midnight arrives a human anatomical model maed Kunstlijk (Yamadera) comes to life in a school science classroom and goes on to have fun with a skeleton named Goth (Taguchi).
Running Time: 120 mins.
Directors: Kazuhide Tomonaga (Buta), Toshihisa Kaiya (Wasurenagumo), Hiroshi Kawamata (Puka Puka Juju), Shinpei Miyashita (Shiranpuri)
Anime Mirai (Future of animation) is a training programme where studios are selected by The Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) to be recipients of a share of 214.5 million yen given by the Japanese government’s Agency of Cultural affairs in order to find and foster talent in the Japanese animation industry. These young animators who were selected received 38 million yen to create 30 minute projects that showcase some of the best and brightest ideas out there. These are the shorts from 2011. Everworld over at annoyingdragon has reviewed Shiranpuri, Puka Puka Juju, Wasurenagumo and Buta.
Pretending Not to See (Shiranpuri) (by Shinpei Miyashita) a 6th grader learns that bullying other kids is as bad as letting it happen.
Wasurenagumo (Li’l Spider Girl) (by Toshihisa Kaiya) an antiquarian meets with a scared, eight-legged spider girl…and she’s the sweetest thing in the world… or not?
Buta (by Kazuhide Tomonaga) a broke swordsman-for-hire accepts a job to pay the tavern’s bill, only to find himself involved with a pirate ship, a young kid with a map and a mad scientist.
Running Time: 80 mins.
Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka
Writer: Kentarō Miura (original manga)
Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd)
Running Time: 100 mins.
Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka
Writer: Kentarō Miura (original manga)
Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd), Takahiro Fujiwara (Pippin)
The Berserk films are from a trilogy of movies that have adapted The Golden Age Arc of Kentarō Miura’s original manga. They are animated by Studio 4°C and directed by Toshiyuki Kubooka who has worked as animation director on notable titles like Gankutsuou, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. Electronic artist Hirasawa Susumu (Paprika, Paranoia Agent) who created the distinctive music for the original TV anime adaptation created the main theme “Aria” for the movie while Shiro Sagisu is handling the rest of the soundtrack. Reviews of the film highlight what a good job has been done capturing the story so far and just watching that trailer got my blood pumping!
The first of the Berserk films follows a strong mercenary named Guts who has a huge sword and little direction in life. All of that changes after he meets Griffith, leader of a group of mercenaries named Band of the Hawk who are working for the Kingdom of Midland. Guts decides to throw his lot in with them and finds himself developing a deep relationship with Griffith but also finds that Casca, a commander in the Band of the Hawk, is jealous that Griffith returns his feelings. The two find themselves swept along in Griffith’s rise to power.
The second film focusses on a pivotal point in the war between Midland and Chuder as the Band of the Hawk launch an epic battle to seize Doldrey Castle, a place thought impregnable and home to an elite band of knights in the service of the Chuder Empire.
Running Time: 106 mins.
Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani
Writer: Jun’ichi Fujisaku, Nanase Ohkawa
Starring:Nana Mizuki (Saya Kisaragi), Kenji Nojima (Fumito Nanahara), Jun Fukuyama (Dog), Masumi Asano (Yūka Amino)
Production I.G. and CLAMP combined to take the Blood franchise in a bold new direction. The resulting TV anime, Blood-C, was a disappointment in my opinion but apparently the movie redeems all involved. Earlier this year it premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal where it won the L’Écran Fantastique Jury Prize for its “horrifying Lovecraftian bestiary, as well as attention to textures and lighting.” Lovecraftian bestiary? Saya back to her blood-soaked sword swingng ways? Awesome!
Fumito Nanahara is an influential politician who rules Tokyo with an iron fist. He has introduced the Youth Ordinance Bill which enforces curfews for the young and regulates the internet. Despite this a group of young people have formed a group named SIRRUT and pan on attacking Fumito. In the course of their research they discover “Tower”, a secret organisation that is backing Fumito and conducts human experimentation. When Sirrut attempt to expose “Tower” in the Tokyo subway mysterious creatures appear. So too does Saya, a young girl who survived the horrific incident in Ukishima Province with a sword that can defeat the Old Ones.
Running Time: 71 mins.
Director: Takayuki Hirao
Writer: Takayuki Hirao (script), Junji Ito (Original Manga)
Starring: Mirai Kataoka (Kaori), Hideki Abe (Shirakawa), Ami Taniguchi (Erika), Masami Saeki (Aki), Takuma Negishi (Tadashi)
I recently reviewed this anime and I was pretty enthusiastic about it. How enthusiastic? 4.5 out of 5. The anime managed to capture the weird fiction that Junji Ito is famous for and convert it into a slick, fun apocalypse picture full of body-horror.
Kaori is visiting Okinawa with her friends Aki and Erika for a grad trip. They are staying at a beach house owned by Kaori’s fiancé Tadashi’s uncle and are enjoying Okinawa’s beautiful beaches when she finds herself caught in the middle of a land invasion by bizarre fish which scuttle on land with sharp metal legs and spread a “Death Stench”. These fish turn aggressive and soon spread across the island and spread further afield to Tokyo where Tadashi resides. Kaori decides to return to Tokyo and find Tadashi. She hooks up with a freelance cameraman named Shirakawa but things are about to get a whole lot weirder than she could have imagined.
Running Time: 110 mins.
Director: Naoko Yaada
Writer: Reiko Yoshida
Starring: Aki Toyosaki (Yui Hirasawa), Yōko Hikasa (Mio Akiyama), Ayana Taketatsu (Azusa Nakano), Satoi Satou (Ritsu Tainaka)
The K-ON! Movie was a massive hit when it was released last year. This is an original story and it is produced by Kyoto Animation (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Full Metal Panic! Air and K-ON!) with Naoko Yamada (Clannad, Lucky Star OVA) taking the director’s chair and Reiko Yoshida (Aria the Natural, Bakuman. K-ON! TV) penning the script.
Yui, Tsumugi, Ritsu, and Mio are members of the Light Music Club at Sakuragaoka High School. They are celebrating graduating and passing their university entrance exams. Unfortunately this means that their girl band Ho-Kago Tea Time will have to split up and they are also leaving behind fifth band-member Azusa who still has one more year of school left. In order to celebrate and do something for Azusa the girls manage to travel to London. Now all they have to worry about is whether they will get the opportunity to perform.
Running Time: TBA
Director: Ryosuke Nakamura
Writer: Taku Mayumura (Original Novel)
Anime production studio Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop) tackle Taku Mayumura’s popular 1973 sci-fi novel Nerawareta Gakuen (School in the Crosshairs)with Ryosuke Nakamura (Occult Academy, Mōryō no Hako!!!) directing.
Abeno 6th Middle School is one of the best in the country but high expectations have lead to a stressful atmosphere which has lead to a deterioration of discipline among the pupils. In steps a mysterious and beautiful girl named Michiru Takamizawa who becomes chairperson of the student council. At first she seems normal but it soon becomes evident that she controls the school through brainwashing. Concerned students Kōji Seki and Kazumi Kusumoto decide to stop her but it is soon revealed that an even more powerful person is shaping events.
Running Time: 94 mins.
Director: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Writer: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Starring: Kouichi Yamadera (Jubei Kibagami), Emi Shinohara (Kagerou), Daisuke Gouri (Genma Himuro), Takeshi Aono (Dakuan)
Yoshiaki Kawajiri has some pretty awesome anime titles to his name like Monster City but the one that really stands out is Ninja Scroll. I watched this during the 90’s when it was screened on the Sci-Fi channel and it was awesome stuff. How awesome? I can quote characters and remember scenes!
Jubei is a wandering sword for hire with a dark past. When he rescues a young female ninja named Kagerou from rape he finds himself the target of a group of humans with supernatural powers. On top of this a government spy named Dakuan forces Jubei to join him in his investigation of a village that has been mysteriously wiped out by a plague. As their investigation evolves Emi gets tied up to them, Jubei’s inhuman enemies close in on him and a figure from his past emerges. Prepare for action!
Release Date: 11th February 2012
Running Time: 135 min.
Director: Takashi Miike
Writer: Yukiko Ohguchi, Takeharu Sakurai
Starring: Hiroki Narimiya, Mirei Kiritani, Takumi Saito, Akiyoshi Nakao, Shunske Daito, Ryo Ishibashi
Takashi Miike (Audition) takes on the glorious Nintendo DS game series Phoenix Wright and brings it to the big screen. I spent a lot of time covering this in previews and trailers and it premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival where it got some great reviews. The chance to see it here in the UK is almost too much to resist.
In the near future, serious crime is on the rise and in response the justice system has changed the rules of court-room trials:
Cases last a maximum of three days and sentences are usually imposed immediately.
This change has led to exciting face-offs between public prosecutors and defenders who have to score points with the judge rapidly in order to win the case. Enter Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney (Narimiya)! In his first case he has to defend Maya Fey (Kiritani) from prosecution which is lead by his childhood friend Miles Edgeworth (Saito).
Running Time: 117 mins.
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Writer: Mamoru Hosoda, Satoko Okudera
Starring: Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa, Yukito Nishii, Haru Kuroki, Amon Kabe, Momoka Oona, Shota Sometani, Kumiko Aso, Mitsuki Tanimura,
This will be the biggest draw of the festival! Anime fans in the UK will be more than familiar with Mamoru Hosoda who is the director of The Girl who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars. The Wolf Children Rain and Snow is his latest as it was only released a few weeks ago and is performing brilliantly in the charts. Hosoda is aided with scripting duties by Satoko Okudera who has worked on major anime movies like Summer Wars, Miyori’s Forest, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and The Princess and the Pilot. Legendary character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, FLCL, Evangelion) is the character designer. The voice actors are familiar from the world of live action movies. Hana is voiced by the actress Aoi Miyazaki who starred in Shinji Aoyama’s 2000 film Eureka, Ōkami is voiced by Takao Osawa (All About Lily Chou-Chou), Yuki is voiced by Haru Kuroki, and Ame is voiced by Yukito Nishii (Confessions). Other notable names include Momoka Oona (Mitsuko Delivers) who plays an even younger version of Yuki, Amon Kabe(Tada’s Do-it-All House) who plays an even younger version of Ame, Shota Sometani (Himizu, Sadako 3D, Isn’t Anyone live?), Mitsuki Tanimura (13 Assassins), and Kumiko Aso (Pulse).
A story of love between parents and children that takes place over thirteen starts when a university student named Hana falls in love with Ōkami who is a “wolf man”. The two marry and have children named after the weather on the day they were born – Yuki (snow) the older sister and Ame (rain) the younger brother. The four live quietly in a city concealing the true existence of their relationship until Ōkami dies and Hana decides to move to the country.
The line-up is pretty awesome and features some of the best titles to come out of Japan in recent times. For more information, check the website. You might also want to check out Alua’s post over at Otherwhere since she adds some great information.