Free Online Japanese Film Programme Includes HELLO WORLD (Updated)
posted on by Andrew Osmond
The website for the annual Japan Touring Film Programme has posted details of its 2021 event, which will be a free online festival. The screening dates of the individual films will vary, but the films will be shown between February 19 and March 10, with more details TBC. According to the Japan Foundation's Twitter feed, screening details will be announced next week.
The festival will include one anime film, HELLO WORLD. The festival website describes it as follows:
"Set against the backdrop of 2027 Kyoto which shows the effects of massive technological advancement, the story follows a bookish high-schooler, Naomi (voiced by Takumi Kitamura), who adores his classmate Ruri (voiced by Minami Hamabe) from afar, too shy to approach her. One day, Naomi meets a mysterious man who claims to be his future self. The visitor also delivers a world-shattering revelation – the teenage Naomi's reality is nothing more than a virtual simulation of the past and he has come to alter it. Specifically, he wants to prevent a tragedy that is inevitably to befall Ruri, the future love of his life. The two team up and, under the visitor's tutelage, Naomi slowly gains Ruri's affection. But the adult Naomi hides a secret agenda..
"Director Tomohiko Ito delivers an ambitious teen love story by combining it with the engaging and detailed aspects of the sci-fi time travelling genre. An animated adventure which will capture the hearts of both children and adults alike."
HELLO WORLD is an original anime film by director Tomohiko Ito (Sword Art Online franchise, ERASED) and Graphinica (Expelled from Paradise). The "sci-fi love story" features famous landmarks such as Fushimi Inari Taisha and Kamo Shrine. Mado Nozaki (Bablyon novel series, KADO - The Right Answer) wrote the screenplay, and Yukiko Horiguchi (K-On!, Lucky Star, Tamako Love Story) designed the characters.
The festival will also include live-action manga adaptations:
"In a fantastical spin on real life, the bemoaned struggle of periods is personified in literal monthly visitations of the obtrusive Little Miss Period – an obnoxiously large, heart-shaped plush presence blissfully unaware of the nuisance it is. Here, it follows several women as they navigate the ups and downs of their daily life with their companion in tow. Whether it be a high-flying editor of a fashion magazine, a social recluse resigned to singledom, or a young girl frustrated by the trials of puberty, Little Miss Period is always on hand to provide funny commentary, instructive life lessons, and physical discomfort in equal measure... Director SHINADA Shunsuke combines episodic shorts of the original award-winning manga into a feature film which sheds a whimsical light on a taboo topic too often swept under the rug.
Ken Koyama originally serialized the manga under the title Tsukiichi! Seiri-chan on the Omocoro website, and Kadokawa published a compiled volume under the title Seiri-chan in June 2018. Koyama launched the manga as a serialization in Monthly Comic Beam last November. Yen Press published the first volume on June 18. The manga ranked on Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2019 list of top manga for female readers, and it also won the Short Work Prize in the 23rd Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize awards earlier this year.
Miyamoto (pictured left) is described as follows:
"A quirky tale of high-octane love is told through the eyes of a hot-blooded stationary salesman, Miyamoto (Sosuke Ikematsu), as he falls hard for Yasuko (Yū Aoi) upon their introduction. At first using Miyamoto to get rid of an unwanted boyfriend, Yasuko ends up growing attached to the overzealous admirer and the two enter a relationship. Soon however, their love is put to the test when he fails to protect her from a violent assault and their volatile relationship devolves with increasing pace until it reaches an explosive and melodramatic finale.
"Tetsuya Mariko continues his offbeat adaptation of the eponymous award-winning manga, imbuing the fast-paced narrative with his signature style recognised from earlier works such as the acclaimed Destruction Babies, presenting the extraordinary journey of one man."
The film is based on Hideki Arai's Miyamoto kara Kimi e (From Miyamoto to You) manga. The film opens in Japan this fall. Sōsuke Ikematsu and Yū Aoi reprise their roles as protagonist Hiro Miyamoto and Yasuko Nakano, respectively, from the live-action series adaptation of the manga in 2018.
The story follows a newbie salaryman named Miyamoto, who works at a stationary company and pushes forward despite his frustration with his own insignificance. The manga ran in Kodansha's Morning magazine from 1990 to 1994, and it won the seinen general category of the 38th Shogakukan Awards in 1992. Ohta Publishing released a four-volume "authentic" version of the manga in 2009.
Haruka's Pottery (Haruka no Sue) is described as follows:
"A wholesome tale of a twenty-year old finding her true calling in the most unexpected of places. Stagnating in an unfulfilling office job and unsure of what direction to take in life, Haruka (Nao) finds her passion suddenly ignited when she happens to come across an exhibition of traditional Bizen pottery. Mesmerised by its beauty, Haruka makes a spontaneous decision to quit her current life (along with her job and apartment in Tokyo) and move to Okayama Prefecture in order to become a Bizen pottery apprentice. There she encounters the master artist, Osamu (Hiroyuki Hirayama), a morose recluse affected by his past. Will she succeed in getting through to him and learning the secrets of the craft?"
The film is based on a manga of the same title, written by Disk Fly and illustrated by Taisei Nishizaki. The cast includes nao (voice-actor in Sono Toki, Kanojo wa., not to be confused with the singer-songwriter nao), Jun Murakami (Shinsuke in Michiko & Hatchin), and Takashi Sasano (Dōmo Goes to Hollywood!).
The overall title for the festival is "This is My Place: Carving out a sense of existence and belonging in Japanese Cinema."
Information on Haruka's Pottery added.
Via Anime UK News.
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