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Children of the Sea Film to Compete at Ottawa Int'l Animation Fest

posted on by Alex Mateo
Ottawa Festival takes place from September 25-29

Studio 4°C's anime film of Daisuke Igarashi's Children of the Sea (Kaijū no Kodomo) manga will screen in competition for The Ottawa International Animation Festival's (OIAF) Grand Prize for Features award. The OIAF will take place from September 25 to 29 in Ottawa.

The OIAF previously revealed that ON-GAKU: Our Sound, the anime film adaptation of Hiroyuki Ohashi's "ON-GAKU" manga, will also screen in competition for the festival's Grand Prize for Features award.

In addition, Maya Yonesho's Linz Delight, Koji Yamamura's WildAid 'Hankograph,' and Sawako Kabuki's Takoyaki Story short films will screen for short film competition awards. Hiroyuki Mizoguchi's Fuwa Fuwa Hour 'PuiPui & MuuMuu Itsumo Issyo' (Fluffy Hour 'PuiPui & MuuMuu Always Together') short animation film will screen for the Young Audiences Competition: Preschool award.

Masaaki Yuasa's The Night is Short Walk On, Girl film won the festival's Grand Prize for Features award in 2017. The festival also screened Yuasa's Kick-Heart short in competition in 2013.

Children of the Sea opened in Japan on June 7 and ranked at #5 in its opening weekend. The film earned a cumulative total of 316,860,800 yen (about US$2.95 million) as of June 23. GKIDS will screen the film theatrically in North America in Japanese and English in 2019. The film screened at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June in the festival's new Contrechamp category.

The anime is based on Daisuke Igarashi's manga of the same name. Viz Media published the manga in English, and it describes the story:

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.

Ruka's dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans' fish.

Joe Hisaishi of Studio Ghibli fame composed the music for the film. Ayumu Watanabe (Space Brothers, After the Rain) directed the film, and Kenichi Konishi (Tokyo Godfathers, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) was the animation director and character designer.

Igarashi launched the manga in Shogakukan's IKKI magazine in 2007, and ended it in 2011. Shogakukan published five compiled book volumes for the manga, and Viz Media published all five volumes in English. The manga earned nominations and awards of excellence from the 38th Japan Cartoonist Awards, the American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association, the School Library Journal, and the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards.

Sources: OIAF's website and Twitter account, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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