The BFI is hosting a weekend of contemporary anime films at the BFI Southbank in June. This is a regular event which collects a diverse array of anime movies and a lot on offer in this year’s programme are some of the best and flashiest to be released in recent years.
Harmony + Q&A Friday, June 03rd 2016 18:00
Release Date: November 13th, 2015
Running Time: 120 mins.
Director: Michael Arias, Takashi Nakamura
Writer: Koji Yamamoto (Screenplay), Project Itoh (Original Novel),
Starring: Miyuki Sawashiro (Tuan Kirie), Akio Ohtsuka (Asaf), Reina Ueda (Miach Mihie), Shinichiro Miki (Elliya Vashirof),
Harmony is the third film from the Project Itoh trilogy, a a concerted effort to adapt the three novels by late author Project Itoh (real name Satoshi Itō) who died in 2009. It is directed by Takashi Nakamura (Fantastic Children) and Michael Arias (Tekkonkinkreet), at Studio 4°C (Berserk). The director Michael Arias (Animatrix, Tekkonkinkreet) will take part in a Q&A.
Synopsis from My Anime List: In the future, Utopia has finally been achieved thanks to medical nanotechnology and a powerful ethic of social welfare and mutual consideration. This perfect world isn’t that perfect though, and three young girls stand up to totalitarian kindness and super-medicine by attempting suicide via starvation. It doesn’t work, but one of the girls—Tuan Kirie—grows up to be a member of the World Health Organization. As a crisis threatens the harmony of the new world, Tuan rediscovers another member of her suicide pact, and together they must help save the planet…from itself.
Empire of the Corpses Friday, June 03rd 2016 20:50
屍者の帝国 「Shisha no Teikoku」
Release Date: October 02nd, 2015
Running Time: 120 mins.
Director: Ryoutarou Makihara
Writer: Project Itoh (Original Novel),
Starring: Yoshimasa Hosoya (John H. Watson), Akio Ohtsuka (M), Kana Hanazawa (Hadary Lilith), Taiten Kusunoki (Frederick Barnaby), Ayumu Murase (Friday/Noble_Savage_007),
Empire of Corpses is the first of three films from Project Itoh. The novels are being turned into films by different directors and studios. The Empire of Corpses comes to us courtesy of WIT Studio (Attack on Titan, Hoozuki no Reitetsu) and is directed by Ryuotarou Makihara (Hal).
Synopsis: In 19th Century London, “corpse reanimation technology” has been developed, rendering the dead useful for basic physical labour.
Brilliant medical student John Watson is invited to join the UK government’s secret society, the Walsingham Institution. There he is given a clandestine mission: search for the legendary writings of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, left behind a century ago. These private papers allegedly detail the technology behind a more sophisticated reanimated corpse – the original – that could speak and even had free will.
The first clue leads Watson deep into Afghanistan. Alexei Karamazov, a military chaplain and genius corpse engineer for the Russian Empire, was seen leading an army of an unknown type of armed corpse there. He used them to instigate a rebellion before going underground, leading Watson to suspect he may know the whereabouts of Victor’s private papers.
Accompanied by Friday, a corpse that records all his activities, Watson begins the journey of a lifetime in search of Victor’s private papers.
Ghost in the Shell Saturday, June 04th 2016 18:15
攻殻機動隊 「Koukaku Kidoutai」
Release Date: November 18th, 1995
Running Time: 83 mins.
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Writer: Kazunori Ito (Screenplay), Shirow Masamune (Original Creator)
Starring: Atsuko Tanaka (Motoko Kusanagi), Akio Ohtsuka (Bateau), Tamio Ohki (Daisuke Aramaki), Kouchi Yamadera (Togusa),
The 1995 classic Ghost in the Shell is brought back to the big screen to celebrate the 25th birthday of Manga Entertainment. Ghost in the Shell is a bonafide classic which mixes science fiction, great action, and existential philosophy. It is arguably Mamoru Oshii’s greatest film and a lot better than the manga it is based on.
Synopsis: Set in a futuristic Japan in the year 2029, the world has come through a brutal world war and science has advanced by leaps and bounds giving humanity the choice to prolong life and reduce suffering with the use of sophisticated cybernetics. With all of humanity linked into one system of minds and personalities known as ghosts, the biggest threat to civilization is the cyber terrorists capable of hijacking people’s bodies and memories. Public Security Section 9 of Niihama City (a fictional setting inspired by Hong Kong) helps police people with modifications and they are a diverse team of AI, cyborgs and unmodified humans who must investigate cases of corruption and terrorism. Their leader on the field is Major Motoko Kusanagi. She has full-body prosthetics, owing to a childhood accident. In this film, her loyal squadmates Batou and information specialist Ishikawa have been assigned an important task: to investigate a hacker known only as “The Puppetmaster.” But as Motoko and her team discover, things are never so simple.
Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie Saturday, June 04th 2016 20:45
攻殻機動隊 新劇場版 「Koukaku Kidoutai Shin Gekijouban」
Release Date: June 20th, 2015
Running Time: 100 mins.
Chief Director: Kazuchika Kise, Director: Kazuya Nomura
Writer: Tow Ubukata (Screenplay), Shirow Masamune (Original Creator)
Starring: Maaya Sakamoto (Motoko Kusanagi), Kenichirou Matsuda (Batou), Ikkyuu Juku (Daisuke Aramaki), Tarusuke Shingaki (Togusa),
Production I.G are making plenty of entries in the Ghost in the Shell franchise and the latest directors entrusted with the anime are Kazuchika Kise and Kazuya Nomura. Kise is the guy behind the Arise reboot plus a Production I.G vet with work on all of the Ghost in the Shell movies and other titles like City Hunter, Goku II: Midnight Eye Giovanni’s Island and Patlabor. The director is another interesting chap. Kazuya Nomura has directed episodes of incredible anime like Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Dennou Coil and was involved in Ghost Hound and Mind Game. The script comes from Tow Ubukata who has written good cyberpunk titles like Mardock Scramble.
Synopsis: In the latest film a ghost-infecting virus known as Fire-Starter begins spreading through the system resulting in the assassination of the Japanese Prime Minister, Major Motoko Kusanagi and her elite team of special operatives are called in to track down its source. As they delve deeper and deeper into their investigation, they uncover traces of government corruption and a shadowy broker that bears an all-too-familiar face.
The Boy and the Beast Saturday, June 04th 2016 15:30
バケモノの子 「Bakemono no Ko」
Running Time: 128 mins.
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Starring: Koji Yakusho (Kumatetsu), Shota Sometani (Kyuuta – Teen), Aoi Miyazaki (Kyuuta – Young), Haru Kuroki (Ichirohiko – Young), Yo Oizumi (Tatara), Lily Franky (Monk Momoaki), Mamoru Miyano (Ichirohiko – Old),
Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film is a continuation of his mix of fantasy and reality and if you are a fan of Hosoda’s previous works like The Wolf Children, Summer Wars, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time I think it would be safe to say that this one is worth watching what with the excellent animation, voice actors, and more.
Synopsis: A lonely boy named Kyuta is on the run from his family in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward following the death of his moter. He finds that there is another world, the bakemono realm, Jutenkai. Typically, the human world and Jutenkai do not meet and humans aren’t welcome in the world of the monsters but the boy gets lost in the bakemono world and becomes the disciple of a lonely bakemono named Kumatetsu (Koji Yakusho) who takes the boy under his wing and renames him Kyuuta (Aoi Miyazaki / Shota Sometani).
Garm Wars: The Last Druid Sunday, June 05th 2016 17:20
ガルム・ウォーズ 「Garumu Wo-zu」
Release Date: May 20th, 2016
Running Time: 92 mins.
Director: Mamoru Oshii
Writer: Mamoru Oshii, Geoffrey Gunn, Gen Urobuchi (Screenplay),
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Kevin Durand, Melanie St-Pierre, Dawn Ford, Summer H. Howell, Andrew Gillies, Garm wars the Last Druid
Mamoru Oshii has created a film in a similar vein to his 2002 film Avalon – a mix of CG and live-action. While some of the shots in the trailer look stunning it is the music that captures the imagination! Music from regular Oshii collaborator Kenji Kawai. Reviews are mixed on this one but audiences get to see it on the big screen before it is released in Japan.
Synopsis: A clone war has overtaken the world with three tribes battling for air, land and technology. When one clone finds herself lost and on the run, she falls in with an unlikely group.
Psycho-Pass: The Movie Sunday, June 05th 2016 20:00
Japanese: 劇場版 サイコパス
Romaji: Gekijouban Saiko Pasu
Release Date: January 09th, 2015 (Japan)
Running Time: 110 mins.
Chief Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Director: Naoyoshi Shiotani
Writer: Gen Urobuchi, Makoto Fukami (Screenplay),
Starring: Kana Hanazawa (Akane Tsunemori), Ayane Sakura (Mika Shimotsuki), Tomokazu Seki (Shinya Kougami), Shizuka Itou (Yayoi Kunizuka), Kenji Nojima (Nobuchika Ginoza), Kazuhiro Yamaji (Jouji Saiga),
The Psycho-Pass movie has garnered lots and lots of positive reviews. It is a continuation of the first season and a stand-alone story so people can watch the film without any knowledge of the world. Production I.G threw all of its resources at it and so to see it on a big screen is really exciting.
Synopsis: Year 2116—The Japanese government begins to export the Sibyl System unmanned drone robots to troubled countries, and the system spreads throughout the world. A state in the midst of a civil war, SEAUn (the South East Asia Union), brings in the Sibyl System as an experiment. Under the new system, the coastal town of Shambala Float achieves temporary peace and safety. But then SEAUn sends terrorists to Japan. They slip through the Sibyl System and then attack from within. The shadow of a certain man falls on this incident. In charge of the police, Tsunemori travels to Shambala Float to investigate. The truth of justice on this new ground will become clear.
Tickets go on sale on May 10th.