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For me, Anime is consumed at home.
Regardless of how much I watch, the medium seems to only really exist in the far away
land of Japan.
And i've always been fascinated by the culture.
I remember vividly finding JRPGs in game shops or Eastern historical books and being instantly
intrigued by how different they were to our equivalents.
I remember playing Final Fantasy as a youngster, not understanding any of it but being entranced
by how unique it was.
I rarely get to taste the delights of Japanese culture over here.
So, whenever the opportunity to experience something more authentic and rare comes up,
I have to jump at it.
One of those opportunities is Scotland Loves Anime, a yearly film festival in its 7th year
and i've been a regular attendee as long as i've been interested in the medium.
These sort of events are criminally rare over here and a festival like this is sometimes
the only chance to see certain movies.
So I thought this year, i'd create a short documentary of my festival experience to give
some much deserved promotion to the event and to create something a bit different from
the usual content.
This year had a fantastic line-up in my city, Edinburgh.
With 15 films showing across 7 days.
I would of quite happily bought tickets to every film if my schedule allowed me to.
There was a really great mixture of the medium's latest heavy weights like the ever popular
Your Name and A Silent Voice, and also some timeless classics like Kon's Tokyo Godfathers
and Venus Wars.So, I headed into town for day 1
My first selection was the festival opener: Your Name.
Now i'd already seen the film a few times and even made a video on it, but i was eager
to see it on the big screen.
My favourite aspects of the film from my initial viewings were always visual, so seeing it
at a cinema with full surround sound was something I couldn't miss.
The screening seemed like it was sold out, which is really impressive considering the
movies been for over a year now.
But that was nice to see.
And I have to say, Your Name is a completely different experience at the cinema, almost
like a completely different movie.
Shinkai's visual work takes on a whole new weight with the extended detail and accompanying
Certain moments hit harder, the musical sequences were far more effective and feeling the mood
of the room throughout the film was a unique experience.
I'd recommend anyone who hasn't seen Your Name at the cinema to do so at the next opportunity.
Being apart of an audience is something very rare in anime.
And Your Name is the perfect movie to do this.
There were moments were laughter filled the room and moments were i heard audible gasps
at narrative twists.
The laughter is always a tough one, sometimes Japanese humour doesn't translate very, wether
that be because of literal translations or cultural disconnects.
But the crowd seemed to follow along perfectly.
My second day started off with Eureka Seven - Hi Evolution, for those that aren't familiar,
Hi Evolution proposed to retell the story of the original Eureka Seven tv series, one
of my absolute favourites and a series very close to my heart.
I was surprised at the turn-out for this film considering the series came out over a decade
ago and had since already had multiple additional versions.
Either way, I sat down to watch the film, that turned out to be one of the most bizarre
films i've ever seen.
It began with some original animated content, showing an event that becomes a prequel for
the series.
The production, as to be expected by studio Bones, was fantastic here.
Taking the visual style of the original and bringing it to life once again with a more
contemporary aesthetic.
Some of the shots were breathtaking and I felt the story provided a lot of useful information
to the Eureka Seven storyline.
But that lasted about 10 minutes and then the series began with the retelling of the
original story.
It took me a while to understand what was happening, it became a re-edited version of
the series using clips from an odd choice of episodes to tell a story that bears very
little resemblance to the original.
It's also told out of order with clips from episodes late in the series coming alongside
some of the opening episodes and audio from episodes going over visuals from different
It becomes a weird mix-match of narratives and pacing that feels more like a film student's
arthouse project.
It even projects text on the screen throughout the film that described random objects in
the world.
The more the film progresses, the more bizarre it becomes with scenes repeating themselves
and time seemingly resetting a lot.
There were audible laughs of confusion as the credits popped up on the screen rather
arbitrarily and an ironic round of applause as the trailer for the 2nd film after the
credits looked even more ridiculous.
I can see why almost any fans of the original would dislike this film, and why any newcomers
would be utterly confused by the whole thing.
But personally, I've become really fascinated with Hi-Evolution.
It's not a lazy retelling or a cheap remake, genuine effort has gone into making this bizarre
And after a lot of consideration, I'd say there is artistic merit here.
I was captivated by the odd editing and the surreal use of the original series, i'm
genuinely interested in seeing the 2nd film that comes out next year, and hopefully will
be played at Scotland Loves Anime 2018.
It's a bizarre piece of work, and if anyone gets the chance to see it, please share your
thoughts in the comments.
After this, I got the chance to see Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers, a film I hadn't
seen in years so I was really looking forward to it.
The screening was sold out and I think it's a film that really benefits from an active
Kon times his jokes and sad moments in a really interesting way, a scene can have the whole
crowd laughing one minute only to be silenced by a moment of melancholy a few minutes later.
Kon plays with the audiences emotions like a conductor in this sense and it was amazing
to see it work on a large audience.
Like I said, I hadn't seen it in years and it was so much better than I remembered, an
absolutely fantastic character study and I look forward to seeing it again soon.
We were also extremely lucky to have Masao Maruyama join the crowd after the screening
for a Q&A.
Maruyama is a producer responsible for getting a lot of Kon's films into production, he
co-founded studio Madhouse and recently co-founded studio Mappa, he's a legend in the industry
and it was awesome to get a chance to hear him speak.
He started off by discussing how Tokyo Godfathers came into existence.
Kon had previously made Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress, a horror film and an artistic film,
Maruyama told him to now come up with a film that was purely entertainment, a more traditional
He also discussed how there exists videos of Kon acting out the characters to give to
animators as references, videos that I really hope make it onto the internet one day.
On a sadder note, he discussed Kon unfinished movie: dream machine.
He basically confirmed that it's never going to get finished, it's just not possible
without Satoshi Kon.
Which got me thinking about the film, whatever was made, exist somewhere, I wonder if we'll
ever see any of it.
It would be a shame for it to remain in storage forever, but how would they present it?
Maybe that's one for the comment section.
Either way, Maruyama was a delightful man who has my upmost respect.
And I know these Q&As take a lot of time and money to organise so i'm very grateful to
get the chance to see them.
Like I was saying, it's incredibly rare to get to see and hear from a real industry
veteran like Maruyama, but I think these kind of interaction will help bridge the gap between
anime and western audiences in the future.
The next showing was Night is Short, Walk on Girl, one of Masaaki Yuasa's new projects.
I actually got the chance to see this a few weeks prior as well in Glasgow and I have
to talk about it.
It's an adaptation of a novel from the same author as the fantastic Tatami Galaxy, Yuasa
has described Night is Short as Tatami's sister project, and that's very true.
Going into it, I was expecting something like an extended Tatami Galaxy episode, but it
was so much more.
The movie is a whirlwind of shenanigans as the characters stumble through a night out
in Japan, encountering a seemingly never ending amount of extravagant and unique characters
and happenings.
This is Yuasa to the max, he creates this beautiful sense of chaos that you can't help
but become entranced by.
I was laughing throughout the whole film never wanted it to end.
I think it perfectly captures the joys of adventures like these.
Like I said, it is chaos, both visually and in its narrative.
And if you haven't seen the Tatami Galaxy it might take a minute to acclimatize to it.
And certainly, you won't catch everything in your first viewing, or your second, i'm
sure i'll be noticing new jokes and details as long as I rewatch this film.
But it's a barrage of visual beauty and comedic silliness.
I genuinely can't recommend this enough, it's easily one of Yuasa's finest works
to date.
Day 3 was a showing of Yuasa's other new project: Lu Over the Wall.
This is Yuasa's approach to a more universal demographic.
Him and his team produced this to be enjoyed by literally everyone, kids and adults.
And because of this I wasn't expecting to be as impressed as I was with Night is Short,
but oh how naive I was.
Lu Over the Wall blew me away once again.
This is probably Yuasa's most conservative work in terms of how traditional the narrative
But it doesn't waver from the craziness and charm of his other anime.
It's a delightful story about acceptance and coming of age, the characters are extremely
relatable and they make the movie a really touching one.
What's really impressive was how easily the movie seemed to slide around its diverse
amount of styles.
One moments could be a silly comedy gag and the next could be a really powerful dramatic
moment, and these all move around the narrative seamlessly.
I can not only be enjoyed by any demographic, but anyone can find a deep connection with
Lu Over the Wall.
I also think it's one of the most important technical achievements in anime in recent
The movie was made completely in flash at Science SARU, who are a relatively small team.
But Yuasa achieved a Ghibli-esque sense of scale with the production.
Creating mind-bending moments of animation that just had me in awe.
Similarly with Night is Short i'd recommend everyone to go see it, and these two projects
really prove that Yuasa and his team are some of the brightest minds working in the industry
at the moment.
And that was the end to my Scotland Loves Anime experience for this year.
It has to be one of my favourite events in recent history and I really think it deserves
a lot more attention.
So please, if you live in the UK, try and come along this year, or if you don't find
you nearest alternative and try and support them.
You'll find that events like these are run by fans like yourself that are in need of
your support, so please make the effort.
But for this year, that's it for me.
I want to try and cover more events like this in the future.
Making this video was different from my usual stuff and i'd love to do more.
So hopefully i'll have some more opportunities in 2018.
Let me know in the comments if you'd like that too.
But thanks to all you viewers for watching my videos recently, i've been enjoying the
process immensely and there's a lot more videos around the corner.
Be sure to also follow me on social media like twitter and share the video around if
you can.
Thanks for watching.
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Exploring an Anime Film Festival

120 Folder Collection
二百五 published on September 11, 2019
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