Japan Foundation Free Talk – Anisong The Musical World of Anime on January 18th

Following on from last month’s Japanese avant-garde music talk with Koichi Makigami, The Japan Foundation in London has lined up another great free talk involving music and Japan only this time it’s the World of Anisong, which is probably something easier to get into but no less interesting. It’s a free event and it takes place at Foyles Bookshop on January 18th at 6:45pm. There will be an actual singer/seiyuu at the event, a certain Aya Ikeda (My Anime List profile) who I’ve never heard of since she’s involved with the girl’s anime Precure!

Here’s a video of Aya Ikeda in action:

This event is free! So if you have the time and you like Japanese culture, this is a must-attend, as far as I am concerned.

Here’s more information from the organisers:

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Genkina hito’s Christmas in Japan

Hello dear readers.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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I have been very slack writing posts for the blog because I have been working on various project and exploring Tokyo. I finally made it to Japan. Some days I become blasé about certain things but then I remember that I am on the other side of the planet and in a country I have always been interested in. It’s amazing. I have gotten used to commuting in and around Tokyo and following train etiquette, I use chopsticks without having to think about things, and I am picking up Japanese words at a fair clip.

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Japanese Films at the London International Animation Festival 2016

The London International Animation Festival is due to launch at the end of the week and it lasts ten days (December 02nd to December 11th). There are over 200 films getting screened and many of them are Japanese. The titles are spread across competitions and special screenings and there is a wide variety of Here’s a preview based on a press release and information from the festival site:

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KOTATSU JAPANESE ANIMATION FESTIVAL 2016

I write PR for a film festival that takes place in Wales. The festival has grown over the last few years and this edition has a large slate of some of the latest films. I’ll be in Japan when it takes place but I want to promote it here because I think there will be a lot for people to enjoy:

KOTATSU JAPANESE ANIMATION FESTIVAL 2016

Anthem of the Heart Image 1

Chapter

24th & 25th September 2016

Box Office: +44 (0)29 2030 4400 email: enquiry@chapter.org

 

Aberystwyth Arts Centre

15th October 2016

Box Office: 01970 62 32 32 email: artstaff@aber.ac.uk

 

The Largest Festival of Japanese Animation in Wales Announces Dates, Locations and Select Confirmed Films for 6th Annual Instalment

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival returns to Wales for its sixth year. Events kick off in Cardiff at Chapter Arts on September 24th before moving to Aberystwyth. Audiences at each venue will be able to enjoy a programme made up of the latest and very best in anime both mainstream and independent as well as a plethora of cultural activities related to Japan. This year’s line-up of films proves once again that Japan is the home to some of the best animation in the world and Japanese artists continue to make daring and experimental works that go beyond 3D CGI Hollywood movies.

With two venues holding the event there are different programmes available. This one covers Chapter Arts which takes place over two days and features workshops, musical performances and a marketplace.

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The Great Passage TV Anime PV

The award-winning novel/live-action film The Great Passage (2013) is getting an anime adaptation which is due to air in October this year as part of Fuji TV’s Noitamina. It is being animated by Zexcs (Aku no Hana) and directed by Toshimasa Kuroyanagi (director on Say “I love you.”) and the series scripts are being overseen/written by Takuya Sato (writer/director on NieA_7 and Strawberry Marshmallow and storyboard artist on And Yet the Town Moves and Kino’s Journey). The big name for a lot of anime fans isn’t necessarily the writer/director but the character designer/manga author Haruko Kumota who won fans for her series Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.

My review was super positive on how good the movie is and that went on to clean up at the Japan Academy Awards 2014. The anime looks classy and mature so I’m hoping to enjoy it as my re-entry into the world of anime after three months off.

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Miss Hokusai 百日紅 ~Miss HOKUSAI~ (2015) Dir: Keiichi Hara

I recently landed a role as contributor to V-Cinema and I have reviewed a number of films for the website. I have been something of a fan and enjoyed listening to their podcasts when they have covered Japanese cinema so I’m pretty excited to be a part of the team and helping to highlight Japanese cinema. Writing reviews is something I enjoy doing and I hope people enjoy reading my reviews!

Here’s a snippet of my review of the film Miss Hokusai (2015), the latest from Keiichi Hara Colorful (2010). It tells the story of one of Katsushika Hokusai’s daughters, O-Ei, who was an artist in her own right. It is a historical tale played with some comedy and a touch of fantasy and rich in period detail.

Miss Hokusai Image

The film is based on a manga from an award-winning creator Hanako Sugiura who is an interesting person. She was the daughter of a kimono merchant and

Hinako Sugiura
From the website Prominent People of Minato City

made her manga debut in 1980 in the experimental magazine Garo, the place where artists Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Oji Suzuki, and Usamaru Furuya all came to fame. The website Prominent People of Minato City states that Sugiura defined her work with intricately researched historical stories about Japan’s Edo period with a focus on customs and manners and her unique storytelling won the Japan Cartoonists’ Association Award in 1984 and the Bunshun Manga Award in 1988. She retired from being a manga artist in 1995 and became a regular participant on NHK’s television program Comedy: Oedo de gozaru (Comedy; This is Edo) and was popular as the expert guide who gave interesting easy-to-understand commentaries about Edo culture. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 46.

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Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent ベルセルク黄金時代篇III:降臨  (2013)

Berserk: Golden Age Arc III: Advent        Berserk III Movie Poster               

ベルセルク 黄金時代篇III:降臨  Beruseruku Ogon Jidai-Hen III: Kourin

Release Date: February 01st 2013 (Japan)

Running Time: 112 mins

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (script)Kentaro Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd), Takahiro Fujiwara (Pippin)

Studio: Studio 4°C

Website   ANN   MAL

There are three entries in the Berserk Golden Age Arc and this review follows on from one I wrote in 2012 after watching Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King at a cinema. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD alongside the second film, Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey, and third film, Berserk Golden Age Arc III: Advent.

This trilogy of films adapts Kentaro Miura’s on-going manga which has reached 38 volumes at the time of this review. It has already been adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98 and a new series is going to air in the summer. With this film…

Berserk (2)

The Golden Age arc is coming to an end.

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Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey ベルセルク黄金時代篇 IIドルドレイ攻略 (2012)

Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey   Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey Movie Poster

ベルセルク 黄金時代篇 II ドルドレイ攻略  Beruseruku Ogon Jidai-Hen II: Doldrey Koryaku

Release Date: June 23rd, 2012

Running Time: 93 mins.

Director: Toshiyuki Kubooka

Writer: Ichiro Okouchi (script)Kentaro Miura (original manga)

Starring: Hiroaki Iwanaga (Guts), Takahiro Sakurai (Griffith), Toa Yukinaru (Casca), Aki Toyosaki (Charlotte), Kenta Miyake (Nosferatu Zodd), Takahiro Fujiwara (Pippin)

Studio: Studio 4°C

Website   ANN   MAL

There are three entries in the Berserk Golden Age Arc and this review follows on from one I wrote in 2012 after watching Berserk: Golden Age Arc I: The Egg of the King at a cinema.

This trilogy of films adapts Kentaro Miura’s on-going manga which has reached 38 volumes at the time of this review. It has already been adapted into a twenty-five episode TV anime in 1997/98 and a new series is going to air in the summer. The three films adapt around twelve volumes of the manga and cover the same ground as the TV anime. A quick flashback at the beginning of the second film sets the scene but it’s best to watch the opener so you can figure out what is going on and who each character is. Essentially…

Berserk Anime Movie Guts Talking

Continue reading “Berserk Golden Age Arc II: The Battle for Doldrey ベルセルク黄金時代篇 IIドルドレイ攻略 (2012)”

Japanese Films at the 2016 Annecy International Film Festival

This year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival takes place from June 13th to the 18th and the event sees a global collection of artists and animators attend the prestigious event to showcase their works, give talks and take part in other industry events. You can’t talk animation without including Japan and this year there is a varied list of titles.

Here’s what’s on:
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Japanese Films at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival

Cannes FIlm Festival 2016 Poster
Cannes FIlm Festival 2016 Poster

This year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 11th to the 22nd and it’s the 69th edition of the event. The festival’s main programme (every title in competition and Un Certain Regard) has been announced. This year’s line-up looks like its lumbering under the weight of major American films like Steven Spielberg’s The BFG and two Jim Jarmusch films. There are films from European stalwarts such as the Dardenne brothers, Andrea Arnold and Nicolas Winding Refn and there are two familiar Japanese names in the mix but both are in Un Certain Regard… Plus there are two Japanese films in Cannes Classics. It’s a good line-up and continues an upward trend following on from a similarly packed 2015. The only person missing from the party is Takashi Miike!

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