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Manga Fan Prime Minister Asō Opens Tokyo Film Fest

posted on 2008-10-21 09:27 EDT

Newly installed Japanese Prime Minister Tarō Asō was among the guests who opened the 21st Tokyo International Film Festival on Saturday. He told the crowd, only half-jokingly, that he is apparently more well known in Japan for being a manga geek than prime minister. In particular, he highlighted the works of the late manga and anime pioneer Osamu Tezuka, who has a seven-part retrospective at the festival. The Mainichi Daily News reports that Asō currently has a 36-percent approval rating just one month into his job; The Washington Post adds that he will give a speech at Tokyo's Akihabara otaku shopping district next Saturday. Other guests at the opening included John Woo, Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Jon Voight.

The festival features the premieres of Mamoru Oshii's live-action Kill anthology, Fujirō Mitsuishi's manga-based Osaka Hamlet film, and Yoshiki Yamakawa's much anticipated anime adaptation of Sin-Ichi Hiromoto's Hells Angels manga. Besides the Tezuka retrospective, there was also a retrospective for Shoji Kawamori of Macross and Escaflowne fame on Saturday and a showing of Keiichi Hara's Summer Days with Coo film.

Sources: The Japan Times, Variety


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