Kimi no Na wa / Your Name

Kimi no Na Wa or Your name is taking the Japanese box office by storm. The movie has recently surpassed Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo anime film, as well as James Cameron’s Avatar film. The only anime films to earn more are Ghibli and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess MononokeIt premiered at the Anime Expo 2016 convention in Los Angeles, California on July 3, 2016 and later in Japan on August 26, 2016. It has a growing box office of $158.1 million and includes  fantastic reviews and a few wins from BFI London Film Festival, Bucheon International Animation Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival and Newtype Anime Awards. Expect this movie to get a lot of attention in the next couple of months.
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Kimi no Na wa or Your name has been licensed by Funimation. Since it ran at the Laemmle Music Hall for one week, Dec 2nd to the 9th, it qualifies for the 2016 Oscars for Best Animation. A film must run for a week in LA county in order to qualify for a selection. A wider theatrical release is planned for the first quarter of 2017. After 52 days at the box office, it sold a total of 11 million tickets. This movie not only has a simple yet highly interesting plot it is capturing a lot of attention with a twist throughout the film and to fans loyal to the science fiction realm.

Your name is an animated youth science fiction fantasy film directed by Makota Shinkai. Makota Shinkai is a famous director of anime that has worked on previous gorgeous films of a voices of a distant star, 5 centimeters per second and the garden of words. The animation is by Comix Wave Films and distributed by Toho that have also worked on Makota Shinkais previous films. Without giving anything away the film is inspired by the novel, Your name written by Makota Shinkai. It was published in Japan by Kadokawa on June 18, 2016. The story is about a a high school girl named Mistuha Miyamizu living in the town of Itomori. She  is fed up with her life in the countryside and wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy in her next life. Later, Taki Tachibana, a high school boy living in Tokyo, wakes up in a daze and realizes that he is Mitsuha, who herself has somehow ended up in Taki’s body. The story progresses with adventure, humor, science fiction and quite possibly some romance? I’m beyond excited for this film and I expect this movie to get a lot of praise during the Academy Award season. I do not expect this movie to win best animation overall but I do like to hope it gets the top 5 list of the category. Keeping my fingers crossed for an early release date in the United States.
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Miss Hokusai Review

Miss Hokusai is a 2015 anime film about the life and works of Japanese artist Ukiyo-e and painter Katsushika Hokusai. The movie is as seen from the eyes of his daughter, Katushika O-Ei. The origin of this anime is based off of a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura.  The manga is a collection of short stories that are not connected. The original run of the mange was from 1983 to 1987. The anime movie was released on May 9, 2015 with critical acclaimed reviews. It won the Jury Award the 39th Annecy International Animated Film Festival.  It received its North American premier at the Fantasia International Film Festival between July 12 and August 5, 2015.Which it won the Gold Audience Award for best animated feature film. It also won Best Animated Film Award at the Mainichi Film Awards.
G KIDS expanded the movie in over 85 theaters  over weekend in the month of October . The movie runs around 90 minutes and was directed by Keiichi Hara. Keiichi Hara is known for his work on Crayon Shin-Chan, Doraemon and 21 emon. The story was written by Miho Maruo and produced by Production I.G. The movie is rated Pg 13 for some sexual tension.
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I probably would have enjoyed this movie a lot more if I invested some time in reading the manga. After seeing this movie I already am trying to get a copy of the manga series. Going into this movie I expected a long story about the artist and his life. What I did not expect was a collection of short stories from these artist and what they experienced. The story is linear but there are many stories intertwined to get a feel of the characters and their backgrounds. I absolutely loved the traditional art and with studying art history in the past I enjoyed the many  mediums they used. I also enjoyed the references of Hokusaias, Great Wave off Kanagawa  and a few other prints he did.  I would have liked to see more story background about the father, Hokusai. I thought the ending was a little abrupt but I enjoyed the short stories and illustration of the movie. The illustration was certainly not a disappointed and it kept the story interesting. I do expect this movie to make the top 10 finalist for best animation at the Academy Awards but I don’t think I expect to see this movie make the top five at the Academy Awards for best animation. Overall I give this movies story a 3 out of 5 woodblock prints.

2016: Phantom of the kill. Zero Kara No Hangyaku

Game producer Jun Imaizumi announced six new projects related to the smartphone game “Phantom of the Kill” celebrating the game’s one-year anniversary . One of the new projects is a 15-minute anime concept film. Naoyoshi Shiotani (Psycho-Pass, Blood-C: The Last Dark) will direct the concept film at Production I.G Fuji & Gumi Games’ strategy drama RPG follows mysterious girls who carry the names of legendary weapons (such as “Masamune”) as they search for their lost memories. The game allows players to collect characters and weapons, and enter dungeons to engage in turn-based tactical battles. The film made it’s debut online in Nico Nico livestream on May 26, 2016.

2016: Kagerou Daze, In a Day’s

Shintarou Kisaragi—a NEET who shut himself inside his room for 2 years—has been living his life normally until he met a cyber girl named Ene, who appeared in his computer screen when someone anonymously sent him a mysterious e-mail one year ago. One day, Ene had been messing with Shintaro’s PC, which causes him have to go to the outside world for first time in two years. Ultracreep Inc and Aniplex claim will be the first “short movie” in Japan to be produced with MX4D. Sidu who is a 23 year old illustrator of the Kagerou Daze novels will make her anime debit. The film is expected to open in winter of 2016 at TOHO cinemas.
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With the 4DX and MX4D systems the theaters have motion seats that move in sync with certain action sequences onscreen. Effects such as scents and wind will operate as well to create a dramatic feel to the watcher. The Kagerou project began as a vocaloid song series in 2011. You won’t be seeing any Miku Hatsune though. The light novel series came out in 2012 and manga adaptation was released in June. The series inspired a 12 episode television adaptation titled Mekakucity Actors in 2014.

2016: KanColle Movie

The staff at the “Dai-Ni-Kai ‘KanColle’ Kankanshiki” event in Yokohama in August 2015 announced that the Kantai Collection video game  franchise will get an anime film in 2016. The event screened footage that features the Kan-musume characters Fubuki, Mutsuki, Yuudachi, Akagi and Kaga, Hiryuu Kaini and Souryuu Kaini, the four Kongou sisters. The film is producted by Diomedea, directed by Keizo Kusakawa and written by Jukki Hanada. The movie is scheduled to be released in Japan by Kadokawa Pictures on November 26, 2016.

2016: Zegapain Adaptation

Zegapain is a Japanese anime series created by Sunrise. The series premiered in Japan on April 6, 2006. In 2007 Bandai Entertainment released the first region 1 volume with the last volume released in 2008. As part of the 10th anniversary of the series, a new theatrical film was released on October 15, 2016. The movie will also include new scenes not present in the the TV anime. The film was directed by Masami Shimoda and music was produced by Ayao Otsuka. The cast includes Kaminagi Ryouko, Sogoru Kyou and Misaki Shizuno who are present in the TV adaptation.
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Kyo Sogoru, a high school boy living in a city called Maihama, leads a normal life of school, romance, and the swim club. Kyo’s life changes when he sees a beautiful girl, Shizuno Misaki, at the pool one day and discovers he is initially the only person who can see her. In order to keep his high school’s swimming club open by recruiting more members, Kyo hopes to enlist Shizuno to appear in a promo video shot by Kyo’s close friend, Ryoko. Shizuno agrees, but on the condition that he does something for her in exchange – pilot a mecha for an organization known as Celebrum.

2016: Kaze no You ni

Sanpei is a boy beekeeper and the sole survivor of an accident that killed his entire family. Sanpei meets Chiyo, a girl who gets stung by a bee, and starts a new life in her village. Eventually, Sanpei cultivates the land that the villagers had abandoned, and then disappears. In the land now filled with flowers, Chiyo waits, believing Sanpei will return.
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The story is from Ekura Animal Studios and originally from a manga. The movie is a slice of life mixed with drama with a duration of 40 minutes. The rating is PG and can be seen by children. The movie was directed by Toshiyuki Honda.  It began it’s show time in Japan at the Tollywood theater on July 9, 2016. It features the voices of Masako Nozawa (Goku in Dragonball) as Sanpei and Minami Tsuda ( Yui Funami in Yuru Yuri) as Chiyo. The movie was crowdfunded and accumulated an estimate of $32,000 dollars in the process.