The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival is a small event that takes place over the course of a day at Chapter Arts, a small but trendy (read, hipsterish) art house cinema and theatre space tucked away in a borough of Cardiff, South Wales.The festival may be small but thanks to the passion of its founder it is bright and rapidly expanding with an increasingly ambitious line-up of feature-length and short anime films across a number of genres and for a number of ages. A sign of the changes comes in the change of date, instead of the wintry atmosphere of November, this year’s festival takes place in the heat of Spring and in two locations with the sea-side town Aberystwyth joining the action.
I attended last year’s festival where I made the mistake of not pre-booking a ticket and missed the chance to see Makoto Shinkai’s Children Who Chase Lost Voices which was sold out. Instead I had to spend three hours at the cafe bar nursing a couple of coffees before I watched the rather good Berserk Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King. I have been following this festival with great interest because the line-up of films programmed picks some of the best of the titles released in Japan and touring the UK.
The festival is less than a fortnight away and the details have been released. Here are the dates and the films on offer.
Cardiff: Chapter Arts, Saturday 7th June 2014
Aberystwyth: Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Saturday 21st June 2014