KotatsuNews

1 September 2017

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival returns to Cardiff and Aberystwyth this September and October

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The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival returns to Wales (ChapterSeptember 29th – October 1st, 2017Aberystwyth Arts Centre – October 28th, 2017) for another edition in 2017 with audiences able to enjoy a whole host of Welsh premieres, a Japanese marketplace, and a Q&A and special film screening hosted by an important figure from the Japanese animation industry. Follow this link for the press release.The festival begins in Cardiff at Chapter Arts on the evening of Friday, September 29th with a screening of Masaaki Yuasa’s film The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017), a charming romantic romp featuring a love-sick student chasing a girl through the streets of Kyoto, encountering magic and weird situations as he does so. Festival head, Eiko Ishii Meredith will be on hand to host the opening ceremony and a party to celebrate the start of the festival which will last until October 1st and include a diverse array of films from near-future tales Napping Princess (2017) to the internationally famous mega-hit Your Name (2016). The Cardiff portion of the festival ends with a screening of another Yuasa film, the much-requested Mind Game (2004), a film definitely sure to please fans of surreal and adventurous animation. This is the perfect chance for people to see it on the big-screen since it is rarely screened. A selection of these films will then be screened at the Aberystywth Arts Centre on October 28th as Kotatsu helps to widen access to Japanese animated films to audiences in different locations.

We are also very excited to welcome a very special guest to Wales, Professor Yuichi Ito. He is an award-winning animator who works in television and film as well as teaching at Tokyo National University of Arts. He will be travelling from Japan to Europe where he will present films and a Q&A to the public. He has graciously chosen Kotatsu (September 30th) as one of his two UK dates the other will be at the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol on September 22nd.

Running alongside the film screenings and the animation workshop will be a series of Japanese-themed events and a Japanese market place which sells things such as food, model kits, video games and manga and other goods from Japan. Returning for another year is the very popular children’s workshop run by the artist Asuka Bochenska Tanaka who has kindly returned from London to help teach the art of drawing manga. This will allow kids the chance to create their own comic books and get an insight into some of the styles and techniques that go into making the films and television shows they watch.

Just before the final film screening the results of the ever-popular raffle will be announced with prizes on offer.

Kotatsu will provide audiences in Wales the best chance to enjoy a programme made up of the latest and very best in anime, both mainstream and independent, as well as a plethora of cultural activities related to Japan and the creation of anime. This year’s line-up of films will continue to inspire, entertain, and educate audiences about anime since it is full of award-winners that prove once again that Japan is the home to some of the best animation and artists in the world.

Cardiff, Chapter Arts, 29th September – 1st October

 OPENING FILM:

FRIDAY, 20:00

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl  夜は短し歩けよ乙女(2017)  

Running Time: 93 mins.

Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Writer: Masaaki Yuasa, Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay) Tomihiko Morimi (Original Novel),

Animation Production: Science SARU

Starring: Kana Hanazawa (Kurokami no Otome), Gen Hoshino (Senpai), Kazuya Nakai (Seitarou Higuchi), Yuuko Kaida (Ryouko Hanuki), Nobuyuki Hiyama (Johnny), Aoi Yuuki (Princess Daruma), Junichi Suwabe (Nise Jougasaki),

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl is based on a best-selling novel by Tomihiko Morimi, author of other books adapted into anime such as The Eccentric Family and The Tatami Galaxy. The staff who created The Tatami Galaxy reunited for this film which was released in Japan in April.

Synopsis: A black haired girl is walking around the streets of Kyoto as she goes bar-hopping, searches for a book from her childhood, and makes friends and enemies. She is being followed by a guy from her class, her senpai, who tries to arrange “coincidental meetings” in order to declare his love but as the night drags on, the city presents weird sights for the two from Tengu to a scooter-riding monkey…

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th, 2017

Napping Princess 「ひるね姫 ~知らないワタシの物語~ (2017)   PG

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Kenji Kamiya

Writer: Kenji Kamiya (Screenplay),

Animation Production: Signal.MD

Starring: Mitsuki Takahata (Kokone Morikawa), Arata Furuta (Watanabe), Hideki Takahashi (Isshin Shijima), Shinnosuke Mitsushima (Morio),

Production I.G has been the creative home to director Kenji Kamiyama and he directed the TV anime Eden of the East, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex,  and Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit. Napping Princess is an original anime from Kamiya and it was produced by Signal.MD. a subsidiary studio of Production I.G. The film was screened at the New York Children’s Film Festival and Yubari Fantastic Film Festival.

Synopsis: Days before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Kokone, a high school girl who spends more time sleeping than studying, has the same strange dream filled with futuristic warring machines which seem to be connected to her family in some secret way. She will soon uncover the truth after her mechanic father is arrested and she travels to Tokyo and between dreams and reality to rescue him.

Yuichi Ito Screening and Workshop 100 mins PG

Yuichi Ito is an award-winning animator and a professor in the department of animation at Tokyo National University of Arts Graduate School. His work spans TV animation, commercials, and music videos and he has won many fans around the world and as a result, he is touring Europe and giving talks and presentations. We at Kotatsu are proud to say that our festival is one of two UK dates he will be present for (the other will be at the Encounters Film Festival in Bristol on September 22nd) and audiences will get the chance to learn from this highly experienced animator.

He will present his film Harbor Tale, a stop-motion adventure following the travels of a red brick at Yokohama harbour which has been infected by the human desire to explore the world.

Also screening is work from his students at Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate Schools Film and New Media, Department of Animation.

Following a presentation of his work, he will conduct a masterclass and will explain more about his creative process and different animation techniques from VFX to puppet animation.

Your Name  「君の名は。」 (2016)   12A

Running Time: 106 mins.

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Writer: Makoto Shinkai (Screenplay/Original Story)

Animation Production: CoMix Wave Films

Starring:  Ryunosuke Kamiki (Taki Tachibana), Mone Kamishiraishi (Mitsuha Miyamizu), Kana Hanazawa (Yukari Yukino), Masami Nagasawa (Miki Okudera), Kanon Tani (Yotsuha Miyamizu)

Makoto Shinkai is an anime auteur that has been around since at least the early 2000s. He has steadily worked on films which contain themes of loneliness, long-distance relationships, and fate, but this is his first breakout hit.

Synopsis: Mitsuha Miyamizu lives in a rural area and longs to live in Tokyo while Taki Tachibana lives a busy life in Tokyo, balancing a part-time job and studying architecture. Their lives intersect when the first visible comet for a thousand years approaches Japan and they begin to switch bodies.  Despite the initial fun and confusion of body-swapping, a dark journey lies ahead.

Genocidal Organ  虐殺器官(2016)   15

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Shukou Murase

Writer: Shukou Murase (Screenplay), Project Itoh (Original Story)

Animation Production: Manglobe / Geno Studio

Starring: Kaito Ishikawa (Leland), Yuuichi Nakamura (Clavis Shepherd), Yuki Kaji (Alex), Satoshi Mikami (Williams), Sanae Kobayashi (Lucia Skroup), Takahiro Sakurai (John Paul),

The Project Itoh Trilogy comes to a close with Genocidal Organ, a film long in the making. It should have been released last year after Harmony and Empire of Corpses but when Manglobe (Ergo Proxy), the studio animating the film, filed for bankruptcy, it was passed on to Geno Studio who completed the animation process. It has since been screened in Japanese cinemas and the Kotatsu screening follows very closely to its UK premiere.

Synopsis: Following the detonation of a home-made nuclear device in Sarajevo, the World’s leading democracies changed their tactics in the war on terror and transformed themselves into total surveillance states whilst the developing world is drowned in a wave of genocides. The mysterious American John Paul seems to be behind the collapse of the world system, and it’s up to intelligence agent Clavis Shepherd to track John Paul across the wreckage of civilizations and to find the true heart of darkness—a genocidal organ.

Belladonna of Sadness 「哀しみのベラドンナ」  (1973)   18

Running Time: 89 mins.

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto,

Writer: Jules Michelet (Original Novel) Eiichi Yamamoto, Yoshiyuki Fukuda (Script)

Animation Production: Mushi Production

Starring: Aiko Nagayama, Katsutaka Ito, Tatsuya Nakadai, Chinatsu Nakayama,

This is an animation dating back from 1973 and it has returned to the world having undergone a 4K restoration based on the original negatives. It is an erotic anime, the third and last of the adult-oriented Animerama trilogy produced by the “Godfather of Manga” Osamu Tezuka and directed by his long-time collaborator Eiichi Yamamoto (Astro Boy). It is based on the book Satanism and Witchcraft by French writer Jules Michelet which suggests that witchcraft is a rebellion against the patriarchal rule of church and state. The film features a psychedelic folk rock soundtrack and surreal sexual imagery.

Synopsis: Young and innocent peasant woman Jeanne is ravaged by the local lord and in her distress she makes a pact with the Devil himself. The Devil grants her the powers of witchcraft but this leads to misfortune as the community find their taste for violence and libidos awakened and Jeanne is the focal point of their sexual frenzy…

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 01st, 2017 

Pigtails 「みつあみの神様 」  (2015)   15

Running Time: 28 mins.

Director: Yoshimi Itazu

Writer: Miho Maruo (Screenplay) Machiko Kyo (Original Manga),

Animation Production: Production I.G

Starring: N/A

This animation was created to be part of a mixed-media stage production that combined line readings, animation, music, and sand art to present a story about the March 11th disaster to audiences in Tokyo. Production I.G was a co-producer of the stage play, and has international rights for the whole play, but focussed on the animation part only. It is based on a manga by Machiko Kyo who explores personal feelings toward the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, although it is never explicitly stated in the story, out of consideration for those affected by the disaster. It was directed by Yoshimi Itazu and it is his directorial debut after a career working for Madhouse and Production I.G.

Synopsis: A pigtail braided girl who lives alone in a house by the sea survives an

unspecified disaster. The earth shook. The sea roared. And then… The girl continues to

live there alone since that day and she carries out her usual routines unaware that

everyday objects around her have a life of their own.

A Silent Voice  声の形」 (2016) 12A

Running Time: 129 mins.

Director: Naoko Yamada

Writer: Reiko Yoshida (Screenplay), Yoshitoki Ooima (Original Manga)

Animation Production: Kyoto Animation
Starring:  Miyu Irino (Shouya Ishida/Mayu Matsuoka), Saori Hayami (Shouko Nishimiya), Aoi Yuuki (Yuzuru Nishimiya),

The film comes from Kyoto Animation, the studio behind super-hits such as the swimming anime Free! and the mystery series Hyouka. It was directed by Naoko Yamada, a veteran of the studio and one of the most promising directors in the anime world.

Synopsis: When Shoko, a young deaf student, transfers to a new elementary school she is bullied by Shoya for her hearing impairment. The class soon turns on Shoya for his lack of compassion and he finds himself ostracised. This experience leaves a mark on Shoya who is tormented by his past behaviour long after school and so he decides he must see Shoko once more to atone for his sins.

CLOSING FILM

Mind Game  マインド・ゲーム  (2004)  15

Running Time: 104 mins.

Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Writer: Masaaki Yuasa (Screenplay), Robin Nishi (Original Manga),

Animation Production: Studio 4°C

Starring: Sayaka Maeda (Myon), Koji Imada (Nishi), Seiko Takuma (Yan), Jouji Shimaki (Yakuza Boss), Takahashi Fujii (Ji-san),

Masaaki Yuasa took a manga by Robin Nishi and filtered it through a number of experimental styles to create a surreal tale of love that has gone down as a cult-classic. It recently had a successful Kickstarter that will see it released worldwide on Blu-Ray. Kotatsu will provide audiences the big screen version!

Synopsis: Nishi is a twenty-something with a simple dream: to become a manga artist and marry his childhood sweetheart Myon. Reality is much more complicated. She’s already been proposed to and she thinks Nishi is too much of a wimp. This changes when he visits her family’s diner and encounters a couple Yakuza. This leads to an epic adventure that involves meeting God and being trapped in the belly of a whale.

 Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth Arts Centre 28th October

Kotatsu will move to Aberystwyth on October 28th. While the programme is slightly smaller, it features a diverse slate of titles with Napping Princess, Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale, and Genocidal Organ plus a raffle with fantastic prizes.

OPENING FILM 

Napping Princess 「ひるね姫 ~知らないワタシの物語~ (2017)   PG

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Kenji Kamiya

Writer: Kenji Kamiya (Screenplay),

Animation Production: Signal.MD

Starring: Mitsuki Takahata (Kokone Morikawa), Arata Furuta (Watanabe), Hideki Takahashi (Isshin Shijima), Shinnosuke Mitsushima (Morio),

Production I.G has been the creative home to director Kenji Kamiyama and he directed the TV anime Eden of the East, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex,  and Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit. Napping Princess is an original anime from Kamiya and it was produced by Signal.MD. a subsidiary studio of Production I.G. The film was screened at the New York Children’s Film Festival and Yubari Fantastic Film Festival.

Synopsis: Days before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Kokone, a high school girl who spends more time sleeping than studying, has the same strange dream filled with futuristic warring machines which seem to be connected to her family in some secret way. She will soon uncover the truth after her mechanic father is arrested and she travels to Tokyo and between dreams and reality to rescue him.

 Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale  「劇場版 ソードアート・オンライン オーディナル・スケール  (2017)  12A

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Tomohiko Ito

Writer: Reki Kawahara. Tomohiko Ito (Screenplay) Reki Kawahara (Original Creator),
Animation Production: A-1 Pictures
Starring: Yoshitsugu Matuoka (Kazuto Kirigaya/Kirito), Haruka Tomatsu (Asuna Yuuki), Ayahi Takagaki (Rika Shinozaki/Lizbeth), Ayana Taketatsu (Suguha Kirigaya/Leafa),

 Synopsis: The Sword Art Online series continues with the movie “Ordinal Scale,” a new tale about a hit game utilizing augmented reality technology which brings the virtual world to the real one. Things start off innocently enough but when the border between fantasy and reality is blurred, people get hurt. Can Kirito and Asuna and their party of friends save the day or will it be game over for them?

Genocidal Organ  虐殺器官(2016)   15

Running Time: 112 mins.

Director: Shukou Murase

Writer: Shukou Murase (Screenplay), Project Itoh (Original Story)

Animation Production: Manglobe / Geno Studio

Starring: Kaito Ishikawa (Leland), Yuuichi Nakamura (Clavis Shepherd), Yuki Kaji (Alex), Satoshi Mikami (Williams), Sanae Kobayashi (Lucia Skroup), Takahiro Sakurai (John Paul),

The Project Itoh Trilogy comes to a close with Genocidal Organ, a film long in the making. It should have been released last year after Harmony and Empire of Corpses but when Manglobe (Ergo Proxy), the studio animating the film, filed for bankruptcy, it was passed on to Geno Studio who completed the animation process. It has since been screened in Japanese cinemas and the Kotatsu screening follows very closely to its UK premiere.

 Synopsis: Following the detonation of a home-made nuclear device in Sarajevo, the World’s leading democracies changed their tactics in the war on terror and transformed themselves into total surveillance states whilst the developing world is drowned in a wave of genocides. The mysterious American John Paul seems to be behind the collapse of the world system, and it’s up to intelligence agent Clavis Shepherd to track John Paul across the wreckage of civilizations and to find the true heart of darkness—a genocidal organ.

CLOSING FILM

Mind Game  マインド・ゲーム  (2004)  15

Running Time: 104 mins.

Director: Masaaki Yuasa

Writer: Masaaki Yuasa (Screenplay), Robin Nishi (Original Manga),

Animation Production: Studio 4°C

Starring: Sayaka Maeda (Myon), Koji Imada (Nishi), Seiko Takuma (Yan), Jouji Shimaki (Yakuza Boss), Takahashi Fujii (Ji-san),

Masaaki Yuasa took a manga by Robin Nishi and filtered it through a number of experimental styles to create a surreal tale of love that has gone down as a cult-classic. It recently had a successful Kickstarter that will see it released worldwide on Blu-Ray. Kotatsu will provide audiences the big screen version!

Synopsis: Nishi is a twenty-something with a simple dream: to become a manga artist and marry his childhood sweetheart Myon. Reality is much more complicated. She’s already been proposed to and she thinks Nishi is too much of a wimp. This changes when he visits her family’s diner and encounters a couple Yakuza. This leads to an epic adventure that involves meeting God and being trapped in the belly of a whale.

About Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival has been running since November 2010 at the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, where it has brought Japanese anime and culture to a growing audience. In 2014 we expanded the festival’s reach to include the Aberystwyth Arts Centre where audiences could watch some of the same great films that were seen in Cardiff. 2017 sees the festival include more for visitors such as animation workshop with one of Japan’s leading animators as well as our continuing manga workshops and Japanese marketplace.

For further information contact:
info@kotatsufestival.com

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 Venues:

Chapter – September 29th – October 1st, 2017

Chapter, Market Road, Canton Cardiff, Wales UK CF5 1QE

Box Office: +44 (0)29 2030 4400 email: enquiry@chapter.org

About Chapter Arts

Chapter is regarded as one of the first arts centres in the UK that brought together different art forms under one roof. For over 40 years Chapter has been the heartbeat of creativity in Cardiff and through its unique venue it presents, produces and promotes international art, live performance and film alongside a dynamic social space with over 800,000 visitors welcomed every year.

www.chapter.org/

Aberystwyth Arts Centre – October 28th, 2017

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3DE

Box Office: 01970 62 32 32 email: artstaff@aber.ac.uk

About Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Aberystwyth Arts Centre is an award winning organisation that has a wide-ranging artistic programme which includes drama, dance, music, visual arts, applied arts, film, new media, and community arts. Aberystwyth Arts Centre is a department of Aberystwyth University and sits at the heart of the university’s campus, with stunning views over the town of Aberystwyth and along the coastline of Cardigan Bay.

http://www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk/

 

 

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