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Lonely Castle in the Mirror Is 1st Anime Selected for Rotterdam Fest

posted on by Alex Mateo
Film screened on February 2 with director Keiichi Hara in attendance

The International Film Festival Rotterdam selected the anime film of Mizuki Tsujimura's Lonely Castle in the Mirror (Kagami no Kojō) novel as the first anime for this year's event. The film screened on February 2 with director Keiichi Hara in attendance.

The film was part of the "Limelight" selection, which honors "audience favorites and international award-winners." The Oscar-nominated Japanese live-action Drive My Car film by director Ryusuke Hamaguchi and producer Teruhisa Yamamoto was screened for the category in 2022.

The festival took place from January 25-February 5 at Rotterdam in the Netherlands. This year marks the 52nd awards.

The film opened in Japan on December 23.

Hara (Colorful, Miss Hokusai, The Wonderland) directed the film at A-1 Pictures. Miho Maruo, who wrote the script for Hara's Miss Hokusai and The Wonderland films, penned the script. Keigo Sasaki (Blue Exorcist, ERASED, The Seven Deadly Sins) designed the characters, and was also the chief animation director. Russian artist Ilya Kuvshinov, who drew the character designs for The Wonderland, was credited for visual concept and castle design. Harumi Fuuki, who has composed the music for Hara's prior films, returned for this new film. Shochiku is distributing the film.

The Japan Academy Film Prize Association for excellence in film nominated the film for Animation of the Year in the 46th annual awards.

Doubleday released the novel in English in April 2021, and it describes the story:

In a tranquil neighbourhood of Tokyo, seven teenagers wake to find their bedroom mirrors are shining.

At a single touch, they are pulled from their lonely lives to a wondrous castle filled with winding stairways, watchful portraits and twinkling chandeliers. In this new sanctuary, they are confronted with a set of clues leading to a hidden room where one of them will be granted a wish. But there's a catch: if they don't leave the castle by five o'clock, they will be punished.

As time passes, a devastating truth emerges: only those brave enough to share their stories will be saved.

Tsujimura (Anime Supremacy! novel, writer for Naoshi Arakawa's A School Frozen in Time manga) released the original novel in Japan in 2017. It won the 2018 Japan Booksellers' Award, topped Da Vinci magazine's Book of the Year list in 2017, and won the grand prize in the King's Brunch Book Prize 2017. Erewhon released a hardcover English edition of the novel on October 18.

Source: Anime! Anime!

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