LA's Japan Film Fest to Run Appleseed Sequel, One Piece
posted on by Egan Loo
April 11-20's Japan Film Festival 2008 in Southern California will be screening three anime feature films, three anime shorts, and several films with manga and anime ties. Those anime features will be Shinji Aramaki's computer-graphics Appleseed Saga: Ex Machina sequel (pictured at right), Takahiro Imamura's One Piece: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventure in Alabasta film based on the adventure television anime, and Mizuho Nishikubo's surreal Atagoal: Cat's Magical Forest fantasy. Anime Innovation Tokyo will be providing three shorts — Kenji Otoso's "Coluboccoro," Drago Uno's "Taropicana," and Hiromasa Horie's "Love Rollercoaster" — in one screening for the Independent Film Collection showcase.
As for live-action adaptation of manga, the festival will show Takashi Yamazaki's Always: Sunset on Third Street, the first film based on Ryohei Saigan's nostalgic manga about post-war Japan. Kiyoshi Sasabe's Yunagi City, Sakura Country (pictured at left) recounts the lives of Hiroshima survivors from Fumiyo Kōno's award-winning Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms manga.
Viz Pictures, the sister company of Viz Media, will be presenting three live-action films at the festival. Sang Il Lee's Hula Girls tells the story of a Japanese town that revives itself by becoming a Hawaiian tourist attraction. The company is also screening Masanori Murakami's Train Man (pictured at right), the unlikely — but supposedly true — love story of a geek who gets advice from Japan's 2ch Internet message boards on falling in love. CMX Manga, Del Rey, and Viz Media have all released related manga. The final Viz Pictures showing is Nobuo Mizuta's Maiko Haaaan!!!, a slapstick comedy about an office worker who decides to dump his girlfriend to find his dream woman: an apprentice Geisha.
Funimation is providing SHINOBI (pictured at left), Ten Shimoyama's live-action adaptation of Futaroh Yamada's ninja novel. The same novel about two star-crossed lovers in a ninja clan feud inspired the Basilisk manga and anime series. Nobody Knows' Hirokazu Kore-eda presents the samurai drama Hana, while Ringu and L change the WorLd's Hideo Nakata offers his Kaidan supernatural romance. Finally, the film festival is screening two classics from acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa: Sanjūrō and The Hidden Fortress.