The BFI Southbank in London is running another “Anime Weekender” event in May with three days featuring some of the most recent anime releases. The tickets for the Weekender are on sale so just scroll down to see what is on offer. Dates and times have been put in as well as links to each film which will allow you to book tickets so just click on the titles.
Here’s what’s on offer:
We start off with the biggest anime title from 2016/17…
君の名は。 「Kimi no Na wa.」
Running Time: 106 mins.
Director: Makoto Shinkai
Writer: Makoto Shinkai (Screenplay/Original Story)
Starring: Ryunosuke Kamiki (Taki Tachibana), Mone Kamishiraishi (Mitsuha Miyamizu), Kana Hanazawa (Yukari Yukino), Masami Nagasawa (Miki Okudera), Kanon Tani (Yotsuha Miyamizu)
Makoto Shinkai is an anime auteur that everyone bills as the next Miyazaki despite the two men having different styles and Shinkai’s films all focussing on the pain of loneliness and relationships. This one is part body-swap comedy, part sci-fi epic with touches of romance. I still haven’t watched it despite working for a festival which screened it…
Synopsis: Two teenagers’ lives are changed forever when the first visible comet for a thousand years approaches Japan. Mitsuha lives in a rural area and longs to leave, whilst Taki waits tables in Tokyo when he’s not studying. Despite never having met, they both begin to dream about each other, imagining that somehow they have exchanged bodies and are existing in parallel lives. As this phenomenon continues, they start communicating with each other via messages left on smartphones and resolve to meet to make sense of what is happening to them. Despite the fun body-swap vibe that our heroes initially experience, a dark journey lies ahead.
コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュⅠ 興道 「 Code Geass – Hangyaku no Lelouch – Kodō」
Running Time: 133 mins.
Director: Goro Taniguchi
Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (Screenplay),
Starring: Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch Lamperouge), Takahiro Sakurai (Suzaku Kururugi), Yukana (C.C.), Akeno Watanabe (Viletta Nu), Ami Koshimizu (Kallen Stadtfeld),
Animation Production: Sunrise
This is the first in a trilogy recounting the events of the TV anime. Yes, it’s one of those compilation films that get released in Japanese cinemas.
Synopsis: Following the conquest of Japan, The Empire of Britannia has near domination of the world . It has renamed Japan Area 11 and rules the country with a ruthlessness that doesn’t duck away from killing innocents. One Britannian named Lelouch vows to free the country after getting caught up with terrorists and meeting a young girl who gives him the power of Geass, which makes anyone obey any order…
The Eureka Seven franchise returns with a prequel movie that depicts a defining event only hinted at in the TV anime…
交響詩篇エウレカセブン ハイエボリューション 「Kokyo shihen Eureka sebun Hai eboryu-shon 1」
Running Time: 109 mins.
Chief Director: Tomoki Kyoda
Director: Hisatoshi Shimizu
Writer: Dai Sato (Screenplay),
Starring: Kaori Nazuka (Eureka), yuko Sanpei (Renton Beams/Renton Thurston), Aya Hisakawa (Ray Beams), Juurouta Kosugi (Charles Beams), Tohru Furuya (Adrock Thurston), Michiko Neya (Talho Yuuki),
Animation Production: BONES
Synopsis: It has been ten years since the “First Summer of Love” rocked the world and Renton, who lost his father during the event, now attends the army school of the United Federation of Predgio Towers located in the town of Bellforest. Because his late father is still praised as a hero, Renton feels unable to live up to the man’s reputation and his days are boring. Then one day, things change dramatically when a ship called Nirvash, the world’s oldest LFO, appears in front of him and the pilot, a girl named Eureka, emerges from the cockpit. This was the beginning of the future of humans and Scub Coral, another intelligent life-form.
The next one is an original title from one of the most important voices in anime…
Running Time: 115 mins.
Director: Mari Okada
Writer: Mari Okada (Screenplay),
Starring: Manaka Iwami (Maquia), Miyu Irino (Ariel), Misaki Kuno (Medmel), Tomokazu Sugita (Izol), Hiroaki Hirata (Barlow), Yoko Hikasa (Dita), Rina Satou (Mido),
Animation Production: P.A. Works
The film is the directorial debut of anime screenwriter Mari Okada (Anthem of the Heart, The Dark Maidens) and it was animated at P.A. Works. It appeared at the recent Glasgow Film Festival and will get a home format release in the UK courtesy of Anime Limited.
Synopsis: Maquia, comes from the elfin lolf race. They stop ageing in their mid teens. She isn’t as brave as Leilia, the most beautiful girl in her clan and the person she idolises. Although her days are peaceful she feels lonely, maybe because she has no parents and Leila has attracted the attention of Clear, the boy Maquia has secret feelings for. When an army of dragon-riding bandits invades seeking the legendary women who stop ageing, Maquia is able to escape, but she loses her friends and her home. Wandering alone in the forests of the outside world, a place she was warned to avoid, she finds Erial, a baby boy who has lost his parents. Unable to leave him behind, she adopts him, initially untroubled by the fact he will age like a human while she won’t…
Again, we have another barn-storming title from an important voice in the anime world!
夜明け告げるルーのうた 「Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta」
Running Time: 112 mins.
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Writer: Masaaki Yuasa, Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay)
Animation Production: Science SARU
Starring: Kanon Tani (Lu), Shota Shimoda (Kai), Akira Emoto (Grandfather), Minako Kotobuki (Yuuho), Shinichi Shinohara (Lu’s father), Souma Saitou (Kunio),
Lu Over the Wall was released in Japan on May 19th and it has picked up awards since then including at Annecy, where it took the “Cristal for a Feature Film” award. It is directed by Masaaki Yuasa with a script written by Reiko Yoshida, a woman who has written many different anime such as A Silent Voice, Yowamushi Pedal, and Shirobako. It was produced by Yuasa’s protege (and a highly talented animator) Eun young Choi, and animated by Science SARU and these folks are the geniuses behind The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Mind Game, Ping Pong: The Animation, and The Tatami Galaxy amongst other great titles mixing art and heart and originality.
Synopsis: Middle school student Kai finds himself forced to move from Tokyo to the declining fishing town of Hinashi to live with his father and grandfather following his parents’ divorce. For a kid from the big metropolis, there’s little for him to do besides composing music and sharing it on the Internet. One day his classmates Kunio and Yuuho invite him to join their band, and when he reluctantly accompanies them to practice on Mermaid Island, the three of them meet a mermaid named Lu. Through meeting her and playing music, Kai is slowly able to open up about his emotions but calamity soon strikes the town and he must find a way to avert it with his new-found friends and community!
This next one was one of the most impressive titles to have come out of Japan in recent years….
Running Time: 110 mins.
Director: Sunao Katabuchi
Writer: Sunao Katabuchi (Screenplay), Fumiyo Kono (Original Creator)
Animation Production: MAPPA
Starring: Rena Nounen (Suzu Urano), Daisuke Ono (Akira), Mayumi Shintani (San), Shigeru Ushiyama (Entaro), Megumi Han (Sumi), Minori Omi (Michiko), Natsuki Inaba (Harumi), Yoshimasa Hosoya (Shuusaku),
Probably the biggest anime not named Your Name, this film took the Animation of the Year award at the 40th annual Japan Academy and I am not surprised since it is a beautiful and stately film about an absent-minded artistic young woman trying to survive the hardship of war. It has also won the Hiroshima Peace Film Award at the Hiroshima International Film Festival in November last year and the film magazine Kinema Jump named it the best Japanese movie of 2016 and it awarded Katabuchi the Best Director Award.
The film was orchestrated by Sunao Katabuchi who directed the awesome Mai Mai Miracle and the TV anime Black Lagoon. It was animated by the studio MAPPA (Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, Terror in Resonance).
Synopsis: Suzu Urano is a Hiroshima girl from a close-knit family but when she marries a naval officer, she has to move from Hiroshima City to Kure, the city which launched the battleship Yamato and the site of one of Japan’s largest naval bases. As a new housewife, she encounters uncertainty in her new family, her new city, and her new world but she perseveres and finds happiness even as the war grinds on and comes closer to home.
The final film to be screened over the weekend is the recently revitalised Cardcaptor movie from 2000…
劇場版 カードキャプターさくら 封印されたカード 「Gekijouban Cardcaptor Sakura: Fuuin Sareta Card」
Running Time: 82 mins.
Director: Morio Asaka
Writer: Nanase Ohkawa (Screenplay), CLAMP (Original Creator)
Starring: Sakura Tange (Sakura Kinomoto), Motoko Kumai (Shaoran Li), Maaya Sakamoto (Nothing Card), Aya Hisakawa (Kerberos), Yukana Nogami (Meilin Li),
Animation Production: MADHOUSE
Cardcaptor Sakura is a property from the 90s which is getting a revival next year. This is one of two films made nearly a decade ago but it’s getting a theatrical release in preparation for a new TV anime airing in January.
Synopsis from ANN: All of the Clow Cards have been captured, and Sakura Kinomoto, the new Master of the Cards, is preparing to play the lead in the play for the town festival. However, a new evil force is causing mysterious events all over Tomoeda, including the disappearance of Sakura’s cards. With Syaoran’s help, Sakura must figure out the cause of these events, and save her town.