Doraemon TV episode and Giovanni's Island Movie set for U.S. Premiere at Anime De Summer Festival
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 19, 2014) – The promotion of Japanese culture organization, Japan Plus Inc., (NPO) announced today that the first episode of the beloved and iconic children's anime TV series Doraemon and the critically acclaimed 2014 animated theatrical Giovanni's Island will both make their U.S. premiere screenings at the 880-seat Aratani /Japan America Theatre in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown L.A. The free screenings are a featured part of the events and activities slated for the all-day Anime De Summer Festival taking place on the plaza grounds of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) on Saturday, July 5th.
“Doraemon has long been such a pop cultural phenomenon in Asia and we're grateful to be able to debut the first episode during the Anime De Summer Festival, well before its U.S. digital cable broadcast,” said Tetsu Shiota, owner of Anime Jungle and festival sponsor. “Doraemon's charm is that it can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of whether one is an anime fan or not.”
“Giovanni's Island is an unforgettably, moving film that's drawn early, rave reviews and just won an award at the Annecy Animation Film Festival in France,” remarked Japan Plus Inc. director and veteran animation industry producer Ken Duer. “We're looking forward to sharing this exceptional movie with our summer festival attendees.”
The July 5th U.S. premiere screening of Doraemon: Gadget Cat from the Future (English language dub) is scheduled for 11 am-11:30 am and 3 pm-3:30 pm, while Giovanni's Island (also making its English dub debut) is scheduled from 11:45 am-1:30 pm and 3:45 pm-5:30 pm. After the first Doraemon screening, Doraemon himself will be appearing in person to meet and take photos with festival attendees from 11:45 am-12:15 pm.
In addition to the screenings, Anime De Summer Festival will feature a dynamic live stage presentation starring Japanese action hero FUJIYAMA ICHIBAN from 11:30 am-11:45 am and 2:30 pm-2:45 pm. Scheduled next are the eye-catching dance performances of RIZE, an award-winning Los Angeles-based, all-girl hip hop dance team that takes the stage from 3:30 pm-3:45 pm.
Highlighting the family-friendly festivities will be the centerpiece attraction: the traditionally popular and highly crowd-pleasing Bon-Odori (Bon Dance) event, led by Bon Dance Specialist/Instructor Christine Inouye. Originally based on the Buddhist practice of commemorating the spirits of past ancestors with a dance of joy and appreciation during an Obon Festival, the Bon-Odori is a centuries-long, traditional folk dance that has evolved into a very unique art form of dance that is still graceful, inviting and easy enough to pick up on and participate in, regardless of age.
With that in mind, the summer festival's Bon Dance Instructor Ms. Inouye and Taiko player Ms. Nana encourages all cosplayers, visitors adorned in summer-time yukata and kimono, and general attendees to participate in their free, step-by-step Bon Dance lessons from 5 pm-5:30 pm. Thereafter, the actual Bon-Odori Fest takes place from 7 pm-9 pm, which will include the Bon Dance around Yagura Tower in Little Tokyo.
“This festival's Bon Dance will be aurally addictive with the music we have lined up and visually amazing, especially when cosplayers join in the celebration,” said Instructor Inouye. “It's fitting, since we'll be doing a new Doraemon-style Bon Dance accompanied with a Doraemon theme song. But ultimately, Bon dances are dances of joy, so age or looks or experience should not inhibit anyone. What matters most is that everyone has a great time.”
During all of these activities, families and visitors alike will be able to experience the delicious taste of traditional summertime festival cuisine through the various matsuri-themed food, confection and vendor booths, as well as the nontraditional, with an actual Maid Café operating from 1 pm-6:30 pm on the plaza grounds of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC).