Anime celebration returns with Hosoda Mamoru and Netflix focus
Scotland Loves Anime is back for its ninth successive year, granting anime enthusiasts a rare opportunity to see anime films on the big screen. This year’s lineup features a wide variety of films, ranging from the summer blockbusters of 2018 to cult classics that have been loved for decades. But with such a large selection, which movies are you going to watch? For those who are still unsure regarding what to watch, fear not: here are a few notable highlights, and whether it’s for you.
Featured this year are the works of critically acclaimed film director Mamoru Hosoda, considered by many to be the next Hayao Miyazaki. Hot on the heels of its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, his newest work Mirai makes its Scottish debut on Sunday the 14th of October. The film follows 4 year-old Kun in his journey to get past his jealousy and accept his newborn sister Mirai through a series of fantastical time travelling experiences. Much like Hosoda’s previous works such as Summer Wars, Wolf Children and The Boy and the Beast (all of which will air during the festival), the work is permeated with the theme of the importance of family. Hosoda has been coined the next Hayao Miyazaki thanks to his excellent yet highly accessible works. Viewers of all ages and manners are sure to enjoy his films. If you only know about Miyazaki and the world anime seems kind of daunting, this is probably the entry point you have been looking for.
Mamoru Hosoda’s works aren’t the only films to watch out for. Studio Colordio’s theatrical anime debut Penguin Highway makes its EU premiere on Saturday the 13th of October here in Glasgow, and lo is it a sight to behold. Based on the award-winning novel of the same title by Tomihiko Morimi (The Tatami Galaxy, The Eccentric Family), Penguin Highway follows 4th grader Aoyama in his attempt to reveal the cause behind a sudden outbreak of penguins in his neighborhood. The mystery deepens further when he witnesses his neighborhood dental assistant creating a penguin out of a coke can. Yes, a coke can. What follows is a journey of childhood curiosity and wonder, an experience that will enthrall children and leave adults deep in thought. Recommended for viewers of all ages, Penguin Highway is a film worth watching.
Another highly anticipated release is I Want to Eat Your Pancreas. Originally a novel published online, it was adapted into a live action film before finally receiving an anime adaptation this September. Making its UK premiere on Sunday the 14th of October, the film depicts a high school romance between two students, but with one catch: the heroine Sakura Yamauchi is dying of terminal pancreatic disease. The discovery of this secret by protagonist Haruki Shiga leads to the two of them growing closer in Sakura’s final year to live. A tragic yet romantic tale, this film is sure to satisfy anyone looking for a good cry or a great romance movie.
Film adaptations of popular anime series are also on the setlist for this year’s Scotland Loves Anime, notably My Hero Academia: The Two Heroes and Fate/Stay Night- Heaven’s Feel Movie 1: Pressage Flower, making their UK debut on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th respectively. My Hero Academia: The Two Heroes is the highly anticipated movie installment of the megahit action series and love letter to American superhero culture My Hero Academia. The film follows the cast as they are caught in a hostage situation as they visit an expo during summer vacation. Fate/Stay Night- Heaven’s Feel Movie 1: Pressage Flower is the first of a 3-part movie series in the widely popular Fate series. The film centers on protagonist Shirou Emiya as he is dragged into the Holy Grail war, an epic battle royale between 7 mages who summon heroic spirits from the past in a battle for the Holy Grail. While both are spectacular films, they both require prior knowledge of their original series to fully enjoy. However, these films are nonetheless very well worth your time if you are looking for a fast-paced action-packed experience with brilliant visuals.
Netflix and Anime
The festival also features guest appearances by renowned members of the anime industry, and this year is no different. The guests this year have been selected with an emphasis on Netflix and its impact on the anime industry. Kazuto Nakazawa, renowned director and character designer who has worked on various works such as the anime section of Kill Bill and Linkin Park’s “Breaking the Habit” music video, has been invited to talk about his career and his work on the Netflix Original series B: The Beginning along with a special screening. B: The Beginning follows a wide array of characters in a thrilling suspense drama as they attempt to chase down a mysterious serial killer known as Killer B. Polygon Pictures producer Jack Liang will also make a guest appearance to talk about his work in 3DCG along with an airing of BLAME!, yet another Netflix Original offering. BLAME! is set far in the future, where protagonist Killy wanders around a megastructure that seeks to kill all humans in search for a human possessing the Net Terminal Gene, a genetic marker that can save humanity from its seemingly inevitable destruction. Both talks and screenings are a must attend for those who are interested in the anime industry and its future, or those who simply want to enjoy a mature suspense drama or sci fi experience.
In addition to the aforementioned films, many more will be aired over the course of the festival. In the words of festival organiser Andrew Partridge, “2018 has allowed us to assemble one of our most diverse and exciting line-ups yet, from European premieres through to returning cult classics via theatrical outings for some of anime’s biggest franchises. Even with the growth of theatrical anime screenings around the UK we still aim to make Glasgow a premiere destination for Japanese animation. We do this by providing great films in an informative environment where both newcomers and existing fans can learn about the movies they see, and exploring the evolution of the medium in an era when Netflix and online services are having a notable impact upon the production of anime.”
Whether you’re an avid anime watcher or not, this year’s selection is sure to satisfy anybody who is up for a good cinematic experience. So come on down and enjoy the best of what Japanese animation has to offer!
Scotland Loves Anime 2018 will be held 12-14 October at GFT in Glasgow & 15-21 October at The Filmhouse in Edinburgh.
For more information regarding events and screenings, visit www.lovesanimation.com.