Isao Takahata’s “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” Screening at the Barbican on June 03rd

The Barbican are running an exhibition about Japanese homes and domestic architecture called The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945. It began on March 23rd and lasts until June 25th. As part of the exhibition there will be films screened. The third film in this exhibition is The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

Here are the details:

The Tale of Princess Kaguya  The Story of Princess Kaguya Film Poster

かぐや 姫 の 物語 「Kaguya Hime no Monogatari

Running Time: 137 mins.

Release Date: November 23rd, 2013

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi (Screenplay)

Starring: Aki Asakura (Kaguya), Kengo Kora (Sutemaru), Nobuko Miyamoto (The Bamboo Cutter’s Wife), Takeo Chii (The Bamboo Cutter),

Website   IMDB

This is a beautiful film helmed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata, writer and director of Only Yesterday, Pom Poko Grave of the Fireflies and Little Norse Prince Valiant. It is an adaptation of a famous ancient Japanese folktale originally called Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) which is about a princess named Kaguya who is discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a growing plant by a bamboo cutter and adopted. While I wouldn’t rate it as my favourite Ghibli anime, it is visually stunning and this Barbican presentation comes with the Japanese voice track.

Synopsis: When a bamboo cutter discovers a miniature girl living inside of a shining stalk of bamboo, he names her Princess and raises her as his daughter. Growing into a beautiful young woman, the Princess is torn when she struggles with the responsibility of her nobility and her desire for a simple life.

Anime at Nippon Connection Film Festival 2017

Nippon Connection Logo

The Nippon Connection Film Festival takes place from May 23 to 28, 2017 and it will be held in Frankfurt am Main. The organisers released details of the 100+ short and feature length films which will be screened and there are many top titles that will allow audiences to get a perfect snapshot of the myriad of stories and talents that the Japanese film industry is producing. 

In terms of anime we have two of the most critically acclaimed movies in recent times in the shape of A Silent Voice and In This Corner of the World. There are also some CG and stop motion movies that might not normally get seen outside of festival spaces as well. Nippon Connection also continues its trend of highlighting new voices by working with the film academic Catherine Munroe Hotes and using her special programming skills to bring the latest in indie anime

What is on the programme, then?  You can view trailers and more details for each on the films by clicking on the links:

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Japanese Films at the 2017 Annecy International Film Festival

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival has been running since it was established in 1960. It is the world’s oldest and largest animation film festival and it has become one of the best places to glimpse early footage of upcoming anime. This year, it runs from the June 12th to the 17th and the programme line-up has already been announced and there are many Japanese titles both in and out of competition.

Here’s what’s on offer:

In This Corner of the World Film Image

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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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