Summer Wars, Life-Size Gundam Statue Win Awards
posted on by Egan Loo
Mamoru Hosoda's Summer Wars anime feature has won the highest award within the Anima't section at this year's Sitges film festival, which critics consider to be the most prestigious festival in the world for fantasy cinema. It has been three years since a Japanese work won the Spanish festival's highest animation award; not coincidentally, Hosoda also won the Gertie for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in 2006. "Le Petit Dragon" by French director Bruno Collet won this year's Gertie in the animated short category, while "Panique au village" by fellow French directors Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar won the children's animation category.
The festival also screened the world premiere of Kazuyoshi Katayama's anime film adaptation of Yuji Iwahara's King of Thorn manga. Mizuho Nishikubo's Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai and Takashi Miike's live-action Yatterman film competed in the Sitges Film Festival's Official Fantastic Film Competition. Along with Summer Wars, the Official Fantastic Panorama Section featured Miike's live-action Crows Zero II film. Yukihiko Tsutsumi's second and third live-action 20th Century Boys films joined Kazuaki Kiriya's live-action Goemon in the Orient Express-Casa Asia program.
My Neighbor Totoro, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, and Yona Yona Penguin were part of the Anima't Nens section. Besides the King of Thorn film, the festival's Anima't program screened Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Ha), First Squad - The Moment Of Truth, and Genius Party Beyond. The live-action films Tetsuo: The Bulletman, Samurai Princess, Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl, and Yamagata Scream completed the lineup of films from Japan.
In a separate development, Green Tokyo Gundam Project's 18-meter-tall (59-feet-tall), "life-size" Gundam statue won one of this year's Best 15 Good Design Awards in Tokyo on October 1. The robot statue stood at Tokyo Bay's artificial Odaiba island this past summer. The judges from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization praised the project for bringing an element from the virtual world of anime into reality and noted that it "moved the hearts of 4.15 million people." Most of the winners are on display at the Good Design Exhibition 2009 in Tokyo — although a 1/30 scale mockup substituted for the already disassembled Gundam statue.
This year's other Good Design Award winners include the Panasonic EP-MS40 massage chair, the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius hybrid cars, Toto's Restroom Item 01 public toilet, and two flat-screen televisions from Samsung and Sony.
Summer Wars and the life-size Gundam statue also won awards this year's Digital Content Awards.