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.
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.

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: 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.
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.


2016: Fantoche International Animation Film Festival

Fantoche sits next to the annual festival in Baden for animation in all manifestations one. Throughout the year, Fantoche organized in cooperation with theaters, cultural institutions and festivals at home and abroad different programs to animation and enthusiasts.The festival is from September 6 to September 11, 2016. Located in  Baden, Switzerland.

Last years films included, World of Tomorrow which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animation. Festival sponsors include Sterk Cine Ag, Baranday, FedEx Express, Schwabe, Merker areal and RVBW. 14 feature films as premiere include “Ma vie de courgette” opened the Baden Animation Film Festival and “Kubo and the two strings.” There are twelve films from France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Canada and the USA. 


Two New Seasons of FLCL

Adult Swim has recently announced two new six episode seasons for the highly popular anime, FLCL. The new episodes will be produced by Japanese Studio Production I.G, which acquired the rights to the series from Gainax last fall. Production IG is known for 009 RE: Cyborg, Blood C The Series, Oblivion Islanad and A Letter to Momo, to name just a few. To those that don’t remember FLCL on Adult Swim back in the day i heavily advise in watching this masterpiece of an anime. The original FLCL told the story of twelve-year-old Naota Nandaba, whose life is turned upside down after he gets run over by a strange Vespa riding girl, Haruko Haruhara. The new series picks up many years after the end of the original series, according to Adult Swim. There is also a manga that follows the anime as well but the newest series will not be following it’s guidelines. I have high expectations for this goofy anime and I hope this anime will not be a let down.

Little Witch Academia 2 Debut Trailer

Little Witch Academia is a 2013 animated short produced by Trigger for Anime Mirai 2013. The short was created and directed by Yoh Yoshinari. The short film runs approximately 26 minutes and was released in 14 Japanese theaters on March 2, 2013. A Youtube version was released that received over 850,000 views in 4 months. The first short film entails the journey of a girl named Akko Kagari who enrolls at Luna Magical Academy. The Academy is a school for young witches that face many challenges and obstacles from paying attention in class, exploring dungeons and believing in your own abilities. The story can be compared to the traditional magical girl story line mixed with a little bit of pop music flair and Hogwarts.

With a great reception from the first short film, Little Witch Academia 2 also titled as, The Enchanted Parade was fully funded by a kickstarter receiving over $625,000 with over 7,938 backers. Without giving away any spoilers to the first film, the sequel consists of old and new characters facing certain dilemmas of magic and a little mix of after school festivities. A crossover short featuring characters from both Little Witch Academia and inferno cop was shown at Anime Expo 2015 on July 2, 2015.  The anime film runs 53 minutes and has an expected release date in October 2015.

Annecy Film Festival Nominees (2015)

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 and takes place at the beginning of June in the town of Annecy, France. Initially occurring every two years, the festival became an annual event in 1998. It is one of the four international animated film festivals sponsored by the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (or ASIFA, the International Animated Film Association). The festival is a competition between cartoon films of various techniques (animated drawings, cut-out papers, modelling clay, etc.) The competition is classified in various categories; feature Films, short films, films produced for television and advertising, student films and films made for the internet. The features, many of which are co-productions, originate from 14 different countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and the United States. The festival will make history in 2015 with an all women jury.

1. Adama by Simon Rouby (France)

2. April and the Twisted World (Avril et le monde truqué) by Franck Ekinci, Christian Desmares (France)

3. Long Way North by Rémi Chayé (Denmark, France)

4. Miss Hokusai by Keiichi Hara (Japan)

5. Mune by Alexandre Heboyan, Benoît Philippon (France)

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