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An Interview with Belle Virtual World Designer Eric Wong

Date: 2022 June 29 19:52 | Posted By:

Category > Interviews

The amazing anime film Belle is out on home video this week (from Monday 27th June 2022). To celebrate it's release we got in touch with Eric Wong, the designer of Belle's virtual world of "U". Wong, a full time architect, was asked by Oscar-nominated, visionary director Mamoru Hosada to create the virtual world "U" that provides the backdrop for the film BELLE. Wong sketched out his dazzling "U" world during his daily commute, creating a labyrinthine wonder for this timely re-imagining of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, the story of Suzu, a country girl who becomes a music sensation in the virtual world of "U" with the mesmerising avatar Belle.

Thanks to the good folks at Anime Limited we were able to ask Eric some questions behind what it takes to create a virtual world while existing in the real one.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

Hyper Japan Festival London 2022 Details

Date: 2022 June 14 20:21 | Posted By:

Category > Events

The good folks from Hyper Japan have sent us details of their festival for this year. Set to run from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th July 2022, the UK's biggest festival of Japanese culture, returns to London at Evolution Battersea Park.

The long running Japanese culture festival has been popular with fans of Japanese food from street food to fine dining, along with fans of pop culture where you'll get a great chance to see many performers. Pretty much every aspect of Japanese culture is represented, including of course anime and manga.

To get an idea of what to expect why not take a look at all their exhibitors Be warned as Otafuku Sauce will be there (we have a strong addiction to their okonomi sauce)! Also don't forget to check out their list of performers.

We're looking forward to the fun that will be had at the 2022 festival! It's always fun to go Hyper Japan.

Read More... | Souce: Hyper Japan 2022

Early Japanese Animation at London's Barbican this June 2022

Date: 2022 May 17 19:30 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > Film

The good folks from the Barbican in London have just sent us details of a very special cinema screening of Early Japanese Animation with live and electronic accompaniment by the Guildhall' School with Benshi narration. The screening and performance is will run on Sunday 5th June 2022 at 15:00 at Barbican Cinema 1.

It's not everyday you get a selection of rarely screened early Japanese animation, showing some of the very first anime films, accompanied by electro-acoustic music with Benshi narration! Tomoko Komura will be performing the benshi narration. The films span from 1925 to 1935.

Read More... | Souce: Barbican

AKIRA - The Architecture of Neo Tokyo Exhibition in Berlin

Date: 2022 May 15 15:21 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Fans of anime, Akira and architecture in Berlin are in for a treat with the AKIRA - The Architecture of Neo Tokyo at the Tchoban Foundation. Museum for Architectural Drawing. Setup by Riekeles Gallery in co-operation with Tchoban Foundation the exhibition is schedule to run from Saturday 4th June until Sunday 4th September 2022.

It features 59 original production backgrounds, layout drawings, concept designs and imageboards which had been used to create Neo Tokyo in the landmark anime film Akira. Some artworks that have never been presented in an exhibition before and only very few of them have ever been published.

The Riekeles Gallery was founded by Stefan Riekeles, who has curated anime architecture exhibitions in London and elsewhere, published books on anime architecture and more.

Read More... | Souce: Riekeles Gallery

My Neighbour Totoro The Stage Play

Date: 2022 April 27 20:37 | Posted By:

Category > Production > Studio Ghibli

The good folks from the Royal Shakespeare Company have just revealed they will be performing a live production of My Neighbour Totoro.

The production will come to London's Barbican stage this autumn 2022. Based on the iconic and highly influential animated feature film by Hayao Miyazaki, the performance is being brought to the by Joe Hisaishi who composed the original music for Totoro and is a long term Studio Ghibli collaborator. The RSC adaption is written by playwright Tom Morton-Smith. The show will also feature various puppetry. It's not clear yet how the furry forest king Totoro will be portrayed, or how they'll handle the catbus!

My Neighbour Totoro will play a strictly limited 15-week season from 8th October 2022 - 21nd January 2023.

Ticket prices range from £20 to £85, with up to two half-price tickets with every full price paying adult. Valid for all performances excluding Saturday evenings. Various discounts are also offered for class bookings, UK schools, colleges and Universities, groups of 10+. There are also special TikTok £10 tickets for 14-25 year olds.

Tickets are available from the 9th May 2022 for top tier RSC Patrons, with tickets being available to the various RSC patron tiers until they're released to the general public on Thursday 19 May 2022. Tickets bookable online from 10am.

We have only seen the preview material, but we have every reason to believe this will be a very special production.

This is not the first time the works of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki have hit the stage in the UK. In 2016 the Southwark Playhouse created a version of Kiki's Delivery Service, based on the original book. It was so successful it returned for a second run in 2017. While in 2013 the Whole Hog Theatre Company created a stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke.

While more recently a stage adaption of Spirited Away is proving to be a huge it in Japan.

Read More... | Souce: The Royal Shakespeare Company

Bonhams Auctions Classic Anime Cels

Date: 2022 January 30 20:53 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

The good folks from international auctioneers and valuers Bonhams have sent us details of their latest online sale The World Of Anime is set to run from 24th January until 2nd February 2022. The auction features various anime classics included Sailor Moon, Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, Cardcaptor Sakura, Cardcaptor Sakura, One Piece, Evangelion and many more. The sale is being headlines by Studio Ghibli cels including some key scenes from Kiki's Delivery Service and Totoro.

Anime cel auctions are uncommon with traditional auctioneers, but unlike other online avenues you know that they've taken the time to verify the items on sale are authentic.

Highlighting the auction is a Kiki's Delivery service production cel featuring Kiki flying with Jiji. Bonhams estimates this cel will sell for anything between $15,000 - $25,000 (USD). In the same price bracket they've got a cel of Totoro asleep!

We'll be very interested to see what happens with all the cels up for auction. Some have already got some bids in place between the asking prices, while others have yet to gain any attention. As with any auction it's always the last 60 seconds where things get really interesting!

Read More... | Souce: Bonhams

Kotatsu Festival Online Events for January 2022

Date: 2022 January 06 20:35 | Posted By:

Category > Events

The good folks at Kotatsu Festival have sent us some details of two upcoming events. The two online workshops aimed at beginners cover Japanese Calligraphy and a Japanese Manga Introductory Workshop.

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival are hosting these workshops for free via Microsoft Teams. Although it is free prior registration is essential. So book early to avoid disappointment.

Japanese Calligraphy - Introductory Workshop for Beginners is run by Yukiko Ayres. It's set for Saturday 29th January 2022 from 11:00 to 12:00 GMT.

Japanese Manga Introductory Workshop for Beginners is run by Shangomola Edunjobi It's set for Sunday 30th January 2022 from 12:00 to 13:00 GMT.

Read More... | Souce: Kotatsu Festival

The Dragon Ball Symphonic Adventure in London 2022

Date: 2021 December 07 21:17 | Posted By:

Category > Events

UK based fans of Dragon Ball Z are in for a treat! The Dragon Ball Symphonic Adventure is coming to The SSE Arena, Wembley in London on Sunday 7th August 2022.

This one-of-a-kind concert experience combines scenes and sounds of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z together with live vocals and a live orchestra to create an immersive multimedia event for fans. With special guests the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets are due to go on sale on at 10am on Friday 10th December 2021 on www.gigsandtours.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

Read More... | Souce: S.J.M Concerts / GigsAndTours.com

An Anime Steeped in History: Princess Mononoke

Date: 2021 November 27 13:40 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

In a change to our regular scheduled news, we bring you an academic article titled Steeped in History: Princess Mononoke. It delves into historical context of the much loved Studio Ghibli film focusing on how social class, race and religion are depicted. It also looks into the archaeological record, and written sources to understand how the film conveys these aspects while maintaining its fantasy element and pro-environmental message.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

We Love Anime Touring Festival 2021

Date: 2021 November 18 20:54 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Anime fans across the UK are in for a cinematic treat with the We Love Anime 2021 Touring Festival.

Set to run at the Showroom Cinema, Sheffield between Friday 19th November - Sunday 21st November 2021, then We Love Anime will be at selected Picturehouse and Showcase Cinemas between Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th December 2021.

The spin of from the celebrated Scotland Loves Anime festival, has many great titles for all different tastes. You're bound to find something you like!

For fans in Sheffield Showroom Cinema has joined together with other local independents to host free Japanese-themed events to run alongside the film programme. On Saturday 20th November 2021, Treehouse Board Game Café will be joining the venue to host an afternoon of Japan-themed games from 12pm until 3pm. On Sunday 21 November, internationally renowned graffiti artist Trik 09 will teach the fundamentals of drawing anime characters between 11am to 12pm.

Read More... | Souce: We Love Anime

Anime Limited Announce Future Boy Conan UK Release on Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray

Date: 2021 September 28 21:02 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Anime distributors Anime Limited have just announced that they have the UK rights to Future Boy Conan. The hugely significant and influential show has not had an official English language until now. GKIDS have the US distribution rights and will release it sometime late this year. While Anime Limited intend to release the series early 2022.

The series is significant as it marks Hayao Miyazaki's directorial debut, the legendary director went to co-found Studio Ghibli and make ground breaking titles such as My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away.

Anime Limited also mention Keep Your Hands Off, Eizouken's tribute to the show, with characters watching it and it inspiring their love of anime.

Anime Limited will release the title together on Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray, split across two collectors edition releases. They'll include a 132-page book written by Jonathan Clements (co-author of the Anime Encyclopedia and tons of other stuff) and Andrew Osmond (who wrote the BFI Film Classics: Spirited Away book, along with lots of other stuff).

The 4K Release will be the first anywhere in the world, but we think it's worth it just for the book and a chance to finally get Future Boy Conan officially in the UK is something we've been eagerly waiting for. This title is a must watch for any Ghibli fan.

Read More... | Souce: Anime Limited

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2021 Details

Date: 2021 September 08 20:09 | Posted By:

Category > Events

The good folks from the Kotatsu Festival have just sent us details for their upcoming 2021 event. Set to run in Cardiff - Chapter from Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th September 2021 and Aberystwyth Arts Centre from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October 2021. As always the Japanese animation festival has a great selection of films including The Deer King, Ride Your Wave, On-Gaku along with Studio Ghibli's first 3D CGI offering Earwig and the Witch.

Not to be outdone by the big titles, they'll also be showcasing the talents of independent animators including
cut-out animation called In Full Bloom and a hand-drawn fresh depiction of affection between two girls in The Mark of Emi.

They'll also be a few workshops and some free online events are also being planned.

As always with events like this we suggest booking early to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Souce: Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival

Scotland Loves Animation 2021 Details

Date: 2021 August 25 15:24 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > Film

Scotland Loves Animation the fan favourite anime film festival is back for 2021. They're set to run at Glasgow from 1st to 3rd October 2021 and Edinburgh 11th to 17th October 2021.

Festival Highlights include Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko from Studio 4°C, Pompo the Cinephile a film about making films, Shirobako: The Movie which is an anime about making anime, along with Sing a Bit of Harmony which we mentioned yesterday, The Deer King, along with the original The End of Evangelion.

There's lots to see and as always there's a host of UK premieres with the odd European premiere too.

Souce: Scotland Loves Animation

BFI Japan 2021 Comes to Big Screens UK-wide

Date: 2021 August 18 20:47 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > Film

The good folks from the BFI have just sent us details of the upcoming Japan 2021 Cinema Season. Celebrating 100 Years of Japanese Cinema, coming to cinemas UK-wide from October to December 2021. The season will show case an amazing selection films from Japan.

The screenings mark a continuation of the Japan 2020 season from last year, which was more of a home screening event due to the UK's COVID-19 lockdown situation.

As well as the often imitated Akira Kurosawa re-release of Seven Samurai cinemas UK Wide, there'll be a major two part season of Japanese cinema at BFI Southbank from 18 October - 30 December 2021. Plus screenings and special events at cinemas UK-wide. Along with BFI Japan collection on BFI Player.

Read More... | Souce: BFI Japan 2021

Mamoru Hosoda's Belle gets a 14-minute Standing Ovation at Cannes

Date: 2021 July 21 20:14 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > Film

The good folks from anime distribution company Anime Limited have just sent us the latest update about Mamoru Hosoda's latest movie Belle. The film has just received a 14-minute standing ovation at Cannes. The coveted audience endorsement was the the seventh longest in the festival's history!

We haven't seen the movie yet, but we're excited about it, as Mamoru Hosoda has a track record of delivering great movies. Critics are making the right sounds about it too, with Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin saying "there is usually one film per Cannes that emotionally bulldozes me, and this year Belle was it." While Time Out's Phil de Semlyen described it as one of my favourite things at Cannes.

Read More... | Souce: Anime Limited

Manga Jiman 2021 Launch Details

Date: 2021 July 18 15:50 | Posted By:

Category > Manga

The good folks from the Embassy of Japan in the UK have just sent us details of the annual manga competition. The 15th Manga Jiman. The competition closes on 15th November 2021. This year around theme is light.

The Embassy of Japan has searched for the best comic creators in the UK since 2007. The search now continues with two competitions, Manga Jiman and Yonkoma, with the aim of providing a platform for aspiring comic artists.

Apart from being a great challenge and opportunity the competition always has a great selection of prizes from it's various generous sponsors. So if you have time and the urge to be an aspiring manga artist then check out the Manga Jiman website on how to enter.

Read More... | Souce: Manga Jiman Website

Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu's latest film Belle Gets World Premiere at Cannes Film Festival 2021

Date: 2021 July 08 19:33 | Posted By:

Category > Anime > Film

The good folks from anime distribution company Anime Limited have sent us the latest details about Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu's latest film Belle. We've been told it will get it's world premiere at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

We've mentioned that Anime Limited have the rights to the movie for the UK and Ireland. We're really excited about this feature and are eager to see it!

Read More... | Souce: Anime Limited

Akemi Tanaka 1959 - 2021

Date: 2021 June 12 12:56 | Posted By:

Category > Current Affairs

In sad news this week we learned of the passing of Akemi Tanaka. She died of cancer on Monday 7th June 2021. Many anime fans will remember Akemi as a lively ambassador of Japanese culture. She'd often attend anime events as guest to lecture and explain the world of Japanese culture. An expert in Japanese etiquette she'd often be a kind and eccentric presence at events.

When the 2011 disaster hit Japan Akemi set up the charity Aid For Japan to support the orphans of the earthquake.

Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Read More... | Souce: Akemi Tanaka's Twitter Account

Culture Gate to Japan Art Exhibition Opens Online and at Airports Across Japan

Date: 2021 March 27 11:11 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

We've just been sent some interesting details about the Culture Gate to Japan Art Exhibition. Set around the airports of Japan each exhibition focuses on a different aspect of Japanese art, history and culture relevant to each location. Kansai International Airport will be hosting a manga themed exhibition, which includes new works by artists including Yuki Urushibara (Mushishi), Machiko Satonaka, Yoshihiro Yamada, Yuichi Yokoyama and more.

But you can't get to Japan right now to enjoy this I hear you cry! Well the reason we're publishing this is the official Culture Gate website has lot of interactive content for you to enjoy from each exhibition online. So you don't have to go hopping around each airport of Japan to get exhibition experience.

We've been told "There are high-tech, contemporary artworks by 29 artists installed at eight locations across Japan. Each location's exhibition is inspired by the culture and history of the region of Japan it is located. From the mysterious soundscapes of Hokkaido's indigenous Ainu people to the vibrant history of Okinawa's ancient Ryukyu Kingdom, diverse cultures can be found throughout Japan. Through this project, artists and creators seek to reinterpret and convey the appeal of these rich cultural resources, each molded by the particular regional climate in which they developed. As the gateways to these unique regions, airports are the ideal location at which to exhibit these works, inviting visitors to discover new aspects of Japanese culture."

Read More... | Souce: Culture Gate to Japan

Women Make Animation Online Event

Date: 2021 March 06 14:07 | Posted By:

Category > Events

The good folks from the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival have teamed up with Wales One World Festival to Celebrate International Women's Day. Together they'll be hosting free family friendly online event on 13th March 2021. The event will show case works by up and coming female directors. They'll be showing various family friendly short films on the Zoom Stream. The event is free to attend, but registration is required.

They'll also be running a free drawing workshop with the Japanese animator and illustrator Chie Arai.

Read More... | Souce: Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival

Talk Series Announced - The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021

Date: 2021 February 17 21:02 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

The good folks from the Japan Foundation in the UK have sent us a reminder about their Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021. As we've mentioned before in addition to the eighteen finest and most talked about recently released Japanese films, the programme will host 7 online talks where 8 Japanese directors in total will talk about their work and explore issues existing in Japanese society.

They've curated 18 Japanese titles under the theme of This is My Place - Carving out a sense of existence and belonging in Japanese Cinema.

You can sign up to watch the films and talks at home check out https://onlinecinema.jpf-film.org.uk.

As always we've they some really good titles.
The live action adaptation of Little Miss Period stands out. If you enjoyed the manga or are curious about personifications of that time of the month, then it's well worth catching!

For anime fans they'll be showing HELLO WORLD, a romantic story with a sci-fi twist.

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021

The Original Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 comes to Crunchyroll

Date: 2021 January 25 21:39 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

The good folks from streaming anime service Crunchyroll have just sent us news that they'll be streaming the original Gundam Series Mobile Suit Gundam 0079. This is the original 1979 anime that started it all!

Hugely influential, it's the start of the massive Gundam franchise, the show that spawned so many other shows and countless bits of merchandise (which was the point of the show).

Crunchyroll have both the sub and English dubbed versions available.

Read More... | Souce: Crunchyroll

The Japan Foundation UK Touring Film Programme 2021 Line-up Announcement

Date: 2021 January 16 20:10 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

We've just received details from the good folks at The Japan Foundation in the UK. They've just revealed the line up for The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021. The yearly film festival has always been a great way of seeing a wide range of Japanese films. This year around for the first time ever the festival is going online. It's set to run from 19th February to 10th March 2021.

Screening dates will be announced on Friday January 22nd 2021.

They've curated 18 Japanese titles under the theme of This is My Place - Carving out a sense of existence and belonging in Japanese Cinema.

Anime wise they'll be showing HELLO WORLD, a romantic story with a sci-fi twist.

They've also got the live action adaptation of Little Miss Period. The movie is based on the manga about personified visitations of that time of the month.

As always they've got a lot of good stuff showing and we're spoilt for choice. This time around you'll be able to watch it from the comfort of your own home.

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2021

An Interview with Sara Linsley Manga Letterer

Date: 2020 December 14 20:51 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Localising manga is more than just buying the rights and getting it translated, there's also sorts of factors to consider to bring it to market. While people often consider the translation there's another part of the localisation process to consider, the letterer! All the words you read on the page aren't just magically put into place, there's actually a lot of art and craft to lettering a manga page. So we thought we'd catch up with a manga letterer to find out more about the process.

Sara Linsley is a software developer and comic book letterer living in NYC, she has done lettering for manga including Sweat and Soap, Spoof on Titan, LDK and Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches. Recently she's also just released a font of her own intended for manga use! We thought we'd catch up with Sara over e-mail to find out how letterer can make or break a good localisation.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

Manga Jiman 2020 Competition Reminder

Date: 2020 October 22 20:50 | Posted By:

Category > Events

UK based artists will be very interested to hear about the Manga Jiman competition. The theme this time around is technology. The long running competition lets you submit a short manga entry for the chance to win some amazing prizes, in the past they've included laptops and flights to Japan. The competition is organised by the Embassy for Japan in the UK.

The competition closes on 16th November 2020. So get drawing!

Read More... | Souce: Manga Jiman

Spirits of Action: Japanese Manga and Sports Online Talk

Date: 2020 October 14 19:41 | Posted By:

Category > Events

With COVID-19 still placing restriction on events the good people at Japan Foundation London have got a great range of talks and workshops appearing online soon.

One talk we're excited about is the Spirits of Action: Japanese Manga and Sports . Yoshimura Kazuma will discuss the position of 'sports manga' in Japanese culture and how its contents have evolved to reflect the time. After the presentation anime and manga expert Rayna Denison will join in the conversation.

The online event is set to run at 12:00pm (BST) on Wednesday 28th October 2020. The event is free to attend virtually but places are limited and registration is essential.

Read More... | Souce: Japan Foundation London

Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2020 Details

Date: 2020 September 24 20:36 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

While many events have had to be cancelled this year due to the current COVID-19 crisis a lot of events have been able to shift online. As a result it means there are some great festivals and talks you can go to while staying comfy at home while not having to travel. So the good folks at the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival will be celebrating their 10th anniversary with short film screenings and events on their YouTube channel and via Zoom.

We've been told there will be 3 Zoom meetings and 4 short film programmes featuring award winning film makers and emerging talents from various universities across Japan.

All films are in Japanese with English subtitles and everything is free to view. Some events do require booking. Content wise the stream is declared safe for children, the equivalent of a U rating in UK cinema. So will be appropriate for all ages.

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival has always had a great line-up, so now you just need to keep a weekend free to appropriate some truly lovely animation!

Everything is set to run on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October 2020.
Check out their festival programme for more details and remember that streaming times are in the UK times.

Read More... | Souce: Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2020

Animex 2020 - International Festival of Animation, VFX & Games

Date: 2020 September 17 20:48 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

With COVID-19 still limiting peoples movements online virtual events have been proving popular. Animex The International Festival of Animation, VFX & Games has moved on-line and is set to run from Monday 21st September to Friday 2nd October 2020. The event is free to virtually attend this year so book now to grab a place.

The event is packed with workshops, screenings, Portfolio Reviews, Talks, exhibitions and much more.

Founded 20 years ago by Teesside University the festival aimed at creating a world-class inclusive festival that would draw some of the games and animation industries' brightest lights and future stars together to share their knowledge with the next generation.

This is event will be of interest to those who want to get into the animation industry, regardless of if you want to work in VFX, video games, animation or something else! Or for those who are curious to see the inner workings of a creative industry.

Read More... | Souce: Animex - International Festival of Animation, VFX & Games

Manga Jiman 2020 Online Launch Event

Date: 2020 June 30 19:58 | Posted By:

Category > Events

UK based aspiring artists will want to watch the online launch event for the latest Manga Jiman Competition.
The details for the competition will be streamed at 7pm on Wednesday 1st July 2020. Previous winners Katja Hammond, Shangomola Edunjobi and Tori Jones will join the stream for a chat as well.

The manga competition is run by the Embassy of Japan in the UK. The competition often marks rising stars in the UK industry and is a great place to showcase talent.

The live stream is free and you can register here.

You can see more details about the previous 2019 Competition here.

The Embassy have also just posted some fun quizzes on Japan, so give it a go if you want to test your Japanese knowledge!

Souce: Embassy of Japan in the UK

Mizuki Kiyama's Bath House of Whales wins Lotte Reiniger Award in Stuttgart

Date: 2020 May 17 19:13 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

On Sunday, 10 May 2020 at the closing award ceremony of the 27th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), this year's Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film - named after the German-born silhouette animator who made the earliest surviving animated feature, and awarded to the jury's choice of the best graduation film by a film student - was awarded to Japanese animator Mizuki Kiyama for her graduation film Bath House of Whales (くじらの湯 Kujira no yu, 2019), produced at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Kiyama, who now stylizes her name as Kiyamamizuki (キヤマミズキ), animated and directed the 7-minute-long short in paint on glass; it was produced by Oscar-nominated indie animator and Tokyo University of the Arts professor Koji Yamamura, along with Yuichi Ito, Mitsuko Okamoto and Taruto Fuyama.The festival has now finished, but the short is still available to view officially on the YouTube channel of Osaka-based organization Knowledge Capital.

Her name was previously written as 木山瑞嬉, and while going by this rendering she made independent shorts including the 5-minute Futatsume (ふたつめ, 2016), 1-minute Metatarō (メタ太郎, 2017) - both on her Vimeo channel - and 3-minute On the way home (かえりみち Kaerimichi, 2018) and worked for Science SARU as an animator and digital animator on episodes of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!.

The Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award includes €10,000, sponsored by MFG Film Funding Baden-Württemberg. The jury at this year's festival comprised Jon Frickey (who made the Japanese-co-produced Cat Days, featured in this year's Best of Animation program), Waltraud Grausgruber, Ben Mitchell, Cécile Noesser and Gerben Schermer.

Japanese productions that have won awards at Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film before include Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea in 2010, Makoto Shinkai's The Garden of Words in 2014 and Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai in 2019, all of which won the AniMovie Award for the best animated feature film screened at the festival.

Thanks to Otaku News reader Jordan Scott for bringing this to our attention!

Souce: Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film

International Manga Competition - 14th Japan International Manga Award

Date: 2020 April 04 13:13 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Are you artistic? Well, with so many people at home right now, it is the perfect time for another manga competition. The application for the 14th Japan International Manga Award. The competition is organised by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

The deadline is 19th June 2020. Entries can be posted to us at the Embassy in London. If you're outside the UK you can submit entries to your local Embassy of Japan. Entrants to the Manga Jiman Competition are encouraged to enter.

Souce: 14th Japan International MANGA Award

Anime Architecture Collector's Edition Art Book Release Details

Date: 2020 April 03 19:31 | Posted By:

Category > Retail

A couple of years ago we covered an excellent exhibition on Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan. It was hosted at House of Illustration. The exhibition focused on the lavish and detailed backgrounds used in anime. It included backgrounds many seminal anime films.

Stefan Riekeles the curator of the exhibition has teamed up with Volume to publish a book based the images from the exhibition. This hardcover 256 page publication promises to be "The definitive visual guide to the cityscapes and buildings of the most celebrated and influential anime movies". "This overdue celebration offers a peerless survey of these cinematic arenas - including material from AKIRA, Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tekkonkinkreet - through original background paintings, storyboards, drafts, sources of inspiration and film excerpts. Produced in direct collaboration with the original Japanese production studios, Anime Architecture offers privileged views into the earliest conception stages of iconic scenes, through to their development into finished films."

The art book itself is a collectors item and is limited to 1,000 individually numbered copies. It also includes a screen printed acrylic slipcase.

It's available now for pre-order for £75 from Volume and will ship some time in Q4 2020.

If you want to know more about the original exhibition, then why not read our interview with Stefan Riekeles?

Read More... | Souce: Volume

Manga Jiman Competition 2019 Winners

Date: 2020 February 26 22:20 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

It's that time of year again! Recently the Embassy of Japan in the UK revealed the winners of the prestigious Manga Jiman Competition 2019. The competition often marks rising stars in the UK industry too. Competition prizes range from an amazing two flights to Japan for the 1st place winner, to lovely A3 scanners for second place and so.

This years first place went to Tori Jones for A Heart of Gold or Some Other Metal, while Alexandra Cook took second place with Kiyomi's Prequel. Third place went to Mina Ghosh with The Last Day of Uther Adriss.

Many of the shortlisted artists were first time entrants, showing that the competition has endured for the 13 times it's been run.

Read More... | Souce: Embassy of Japan in the UK

Call For Papers - Anime and Manga Fandom Before the Year 2000

Date: 2020 February 09 11:09 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

Readers in academic circles may be interested to hear about this call for chapter proposals. It's for a book devoted to archival research in anime and manga fandom before the year 2000. Co-edited by anime and manga expert Helen McCarthy and Dr. Darren-Jon Ashmore, Professor of Anthropology, Yamanashi Gakuin University.

Helen McCarthy tells us "Independent scholars are welcome to submit, you don't have to be attached to an institution, anime and manga don't have to be your primary areas of study if you are. We're really keen to get new thinking and rigorous archival research"

Details can be found on https://cfplist.com/CFP/25594.

Souce: CFP List

Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan at Japan House London

Date: 2020 February 05 21:46 | Posted By:

Category > Events

Fans of Japanese culture in London will want to head over to Japan House London to experience the Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan exhibition. It's set to run from Thursday 16th April to Sunday 28th June 2020. Admission is free.

The exhibition explores the architectural side and also the abstract and meaning of windows. Of course they've also got a window into manga, with the classic manga Sazae-san being displayed. They've selected some great strips on the themes of windows too! Sazae-san is one of Japan's most popular manga series. It's presented in the classic yonkoma (4 panel) strip style.

So why not visit Japan House London to get a view on this exhibit!

Read More... | Souce: Japan House London

The Garden of Words Stage Production To Hit London This Summer 2020

Date: 2020 January 22 21:05 | Posted By:

Category > Culture

While everyone is talking about Makoto Shinkai's latest smash hit Weathering With You, we can't help but wonder what the next Makoto Shinkai offering will be. Whole Hog Theatre have got in touch with to reveal that they'll be performing a stage adaptation of The Garden of Words.

The official stage production is set to run from 16 July - 15 August 2020 at Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London.

Whole Hog Theatre are not new to adapting anime, having run a mesmerising stage version of Princess Mononoke.

We're excited to see what creative ideas Whole Hog Theatre will bring to life.

Read More... | Souce: Whole Hog Theatre Company

Studio Ghibli Movies Hit Netflix

Date: 2020 January 20 20:51 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Streaming service Netflix have just announced that they'll be adding Studio Ghibli films to their list of movies. Fans from Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America will be able to enjoy films. The films will be subtitled in 28 languages, and dubbed in up to 20 languages.

Studio Ghibli are renowned for creating high quality masterpiece movies. Hugely influential Studio Ghibli is the only Japanese anime studio to have won an Oscar with Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.

The movies release to Netflix will be spread across 3 months, on 1st February 2020, 1st March 2020 and 1st April 2020.

Totoro, Kiki and Porco Rosso will all be in the first wave movies. Up until now Studio Ghibli have been reluctant to allow their titles available for streaming.

All these movies are fantastic in their own right and we can't say in stronger words go out and watch them. With the exception of Tales from Earthsea which was a trouble production, skip that one.

The US, Canada and Japan are noticeably absent from the list of countries the films will be available from. We suspect another company has streaming rights to these countries.

Read More... | Souce: Netflix

Interview with Eunyoung Choi, producer and co-founder at Science SARU about Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

Date: 2020 January 17 07:03 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

We're currently really enjoying anime studio Science SARU's latest show Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!. It's a delightful series that really captures of the passion, joy and excitement of being anime fan. Not only that, but it enthusiastically explains what makes certain anime titles so great.

Along the for the imaginative ride it takes us on we were keen to find out more. The good folks at anime streaming service Crunchyroll helped us by sending us an interview with Eunyoung Choi who is producer and co-founder of Science SARU. They've even let us publish the interview ahead of their news letter.

Read More... | Souce: Crunchyroll

The Japan Foundation - Touring Film Programme 2020 Screening Details

Date: 2019 December 27 19:28 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

UK Fans of Japanese are in for a great treat. The Japan Foundation have just revealed the line up for their Touring Film Programme 2020. The theme for this year is Happiness is A State of Mind: Joy and Despair in Japanese Cinema. Films will be screened all around the UK from 31st January to 29th March 2020.

There's plenty of excellent films to choose from too:

  • My Love Story!!
  • Our Meal for Tomorrow
  • Her Sketchbook
  • A Banana? At This Time of Night?
  • Organ
  • The Actor
  • Little Nights, Little Love
  • Jesus
  • Another World
  • Bento Harassment
  • My Dad is a Heel Wrestler
  • Lying to Mom
  • Shadowfall
  • And Your Bird Can Sing
  • Sea of Revival
  • The House Where the Mermaid Sleeps
  • Kakegurui - Compulsive Gambler
  • Ten Dark Women
  • I Go Gaga, My Dear
  • Ride Your Wave
Anime fans will be interested in Ride Your Wave from director Masaaki Yuasa (Lu Over The Wall, Night is Short, Walk on Girl and DEVILMAN crybaby). It's a tale of romance with a twist.

If you've caught the anime of Kakegurui on Netflix you're sure you be interested in the live action version which will be screening at the festival.

If you've seen the anime or read the manga of My Love Story!! You can also catch the live action version. Takeo looks like his jumped directly out of the anime/manga version!

To find a screening near you visit https://www.jpf-film.org.uk for more details.

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2020

Crunchyroll Reveals UK Anime Fans Shun Cosplay in Favour of Books and Boardgames

Date: 2019 December 11 21:01 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Anime streaming service Crunchyroll have sent us an interesting press release. They highlight that most UK anime fans would rather read a good book than cosplay. Surveying their premium UK members (who pay for the service to remove ads and get earlier access to titles) they discovered that less 7% are into cosplaying. In comparison 10% write or read fan fiction!

We could speculate as to why this is. Could it be that cosplayers would rather spend their disposable income on cosplaying? Instead using the free access areas of Crunchyroll? Does it reflect fandom in general, are less than 7% of anime fans involved in creating cosplay?

Read More... | Souce: Crunchyroll

An Interview with Anime Directors Shinichiro Watanabe and Motonobu Hori

Date: 2019 November 09 17:06 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

MCM Comic Con London and Anime Limited frequently team up to bring great guests to the event. MCM Comic Con London October 2019 was no exception, with not one, but two guests of honour - anime directors Shinichiro Watanabe (best known for Cowboy Bebop) and Motonobu Hori a rising star in the anime industry.

We caught up with the two directors at MCM Comic Con London to talk about their latest project the fanatic Carole & Tuesday.

Read More... | Souce: Otaku News

The Garden of Words the Stage Play by The Whole Hog Theatre Company

Date: 2019 October 14 21:34 | Posted By:

Category > Events

UK based Theatre Company Whole Hog Theatre have just revealed details of their latest production The Garden of Words. Based on the anime of the same name by director Makoto Shinkai. The play will be performed in London at Park Theatre from 15th July to 15th August 2020.

It will also be performed in Tokyo with Japanese Animation stage production specialists, Nelke Planning (Sailor Moon stage production).

Curiously the performance promises to be an interdisciplinary adaptation visually emotive story using puppetry, movement and projection art. Performed in English with occasional Japanese. The Whole Hog Theatre Company are not new to anime adaptations, having performed Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke on stage. While Princess Mononoke naturally lends itself to puppetry, The Garden of Words could have been done as conventional play. So we're very interested to see what Whole Hog have up their sleeves.

Anime and manga being adapted for the stage seems to be an on going trend in the west, with Kiki's Delivery Service being adapted by Southwark Playhouse and Urasawa's Pluto getting a performance at London's Barbican.

While popular franchises are frequently adapted for the stage in Japan by theatre companies such as Nelke Planning.

We're excited to see what Whole Hog do and suggest you book tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

Read More... | Souce: The Whole Hog Theatre Company

Digital Art Exhibition at Japan House London

Date: 2019 October 14 20:07 | Posted By:

Category > Events

As autumn fades into winter and the evenings get darker Japan House London have been thinking ahead. They've just announced details a new exhibition to brighten things up. WOW: City Lights and Woodland Shade is set to run at Japan House from Thursday 21 November 2019 until Sunday 22nd March 2020.

The two installations by WOW looking at both the urban future and timelessness of rural Japan.

The installation will offer mesmerising digital displays, images of Tokyo by night projected in a mind-bending 360-degree reimagining of Japan's capital city by night. Plus POPPO is an excursion into the folk art of Japan's countryside.

The exhibition is suitable for all ages and is free to attend.

Read More... | Souce: Japan House London

Geiko and Maiko Guest Appearances at Japan House London

Date: 2019 October 13 19:13 | Posted By:

Category > Events

As far as images of Japan goes, you can't get more Japanese than an image of Geisha. The traditional Japanese entertainers will be making an appearance at Japan House London on Friday 18th October at 12:30 to 13:30.

You'll get a rare chance to meet Geiko (aka Geisha) and Maiko (apprentice Geiko). They'll perform signature dances and also take part in a conversation with Japan House.

The event is free to attend.

Read More... | Souce: Japan House London

Directors Shinichiro Watanabe and Motonobu Hori to Attend MCM Comic Con London as Anime Guests of Honour

Date: 2019 October 11 20:32 | Posted By:

Category > Events

It's October. Which means it's almost time for MCM Comic Con London. The massive geek event is set to to run from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October 2019 at the ExCel Centre in London.

They've just announced two very special anime guests of honour. First up we have Shinichiro Watanabe, best known for the major anime series Cowboy Bebop, but he's also done some other great shows including Terror in Resonance, Samurai Champloo, along with Kids on the Slope. You can also see his latest show Carole & Tuesday on Netflix. Shinichiro Watanabe is credited as the supervising director / chief director of the show.,

Guest number two is Motonobu Hori who is the director of Carole & Tuesday. The show marks his directorial debut, while he's worked on n key animation, animation direction and storyboards for a wealth of anime, including Napping Princess, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc, and episodes of Psycho-Pass in the past.

Both guests will be hosting an Anime Guest of Honour panel at the Centre Stage on Saturday, 26th October from 11:15AM, and will also be attending free signing sessions on both Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th October from 14:30-15:30.

As always we're very excited about this as it's a great chance to see some top talent from the anime industry. We look forward to find out what insights from anime production they'll reveal at this panel.

Read More... | Souce: MCM Comic Con London

Japan Matsuri in London - Sunday 29th September 2019

Date: 2019 September 25 20:46 | Posted By:

Category > Events

Fans of Japanese culture in London this weekend will want to head to the Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square. Now in it's 11th year the free event is set to run from 10am to 8pm on Sunday 29th September 2019. As always there'll be lots to see and do. Including a watching expert martial arts demonstrations, Japanese music and dance performances.

One of the main draws is always Japanese street food. We've also been told that Japanese fast food favourite MOS burger will be making their UK debut. There's always so much good Japanese food there it can be hard to choose what to eat! Yakisoba! Sushi! Hmmm. It's hard not to drool thinking about food while typing this!

There's also a great family activity tent will teach parents and kids alike manga, calligraphy, origami
and more.

This year's Matsuri marks the official opening of the Japan-UK Season of Culture - an exciting and varied programme of events taking place until the end of 2020.

Read More... | Souce: Japan Matsuri

Imaginary Solutions - Performance in London This November

Date: 2019 September 15 19:03 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

London based culture vultures will be interested to hear about Imaginary Solutions. It's an upcoming collaboration between the Tokyo-based Butoh dancer/martial artist Takahiro Tomatsu, and the acclaimed London-based experimental music ensemble ARCO, led by composer performer Neil Luck. The performance is set to run on Friday 15th November 2019 at The Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury. Tickets are £8 or 6 for concessions.

The performance is an official event of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020.

Read More... | Souce: Imaginary Solutions

Manga Artist Talk with Keiko Takemiya in London

Date: 2019 August 09 20:17 | Posted By:

Category > Events

Manga fans in London are truly being spoilt with all the guests and events currently available over the last couple of months. This trend is continuing with a Special talk event with legendary manga artist - Keiko Takemiya. Known for her shojo manga, pioneer of the Boys' Love genre and author of the iconic manga including To Terra... and The Poem of Wind and Trees. Comic book expert Paul Gravett will be talking to Keiko Takemiya from 2:30pm to 4:30pm on Sunday 25th August 2019 at Foyles Charing Cross Road.

The talk will be followed by a Q&A and an opportunity for books to be signed bring them along with you!

This exclusive UK event is in partnership with Japan Foundation London.

The event costs £8 per person or £5 for students and Foyalty members.

Read More... | Souce: The Japan Foundation London

Anime's Human Machines London Barbican Screening Details

Date: 2019 August 01 21:11 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Anime fans in London are in for a treat. The Barbican have got anime expert Helen McCarthy to curate a season of anime screenings. Anime's Human Machines is set to run from Thursday 12th to Monday 30th September 2019.

Each screening will have a special introduction by Helen McCarthy. They've also got super mecha designer Shôji Kawamori. Anime fans will best know him for his mecha designs in Macross. He also co-directed Macross Plus. Other famous designs include a series of Dicalone toys for Japanese toy company Takara. This was a collection of transforming robots. Hasbro licensed these toys and rebranded them as Transformers. Mr Kawamori designed a certain truck called Convoy who was rebranded as Optimus Prime!

Shôji Kawamori will be introducing the Ghost in the Shell Movie (the 1995 animated version), at the Barbican on Wednesday 18th September 2019 at 20:45. Kawamori did some of the mechanical design for this film too!

This season has a whole host of awesome films that are all really worth watching on the big screen (Helen's spoilt us for choice). We suggest booking early to avoid disappointment.

They'll also be showing the mind bending Paprika, Patlabor the Movie, Mamoru Hosoda's Summer Wars, plus a few other awesome films.

Not content with just films, they've got a couple of drawing workshops too!

Read More... | Souce: Barbican

Origami Soundscapes / The Crane - Avant-garde Performance in London this August

Date: 2019 July 23 20:53 | Posted By:

Category > Events

Fans of Japanese culture in London looking for something a bit different this August are in luck. We've just been sent details about an Anglo-Japanese Theatre/Opera/Live Art Production Origami Soundscapes / The Crane. It's set to run at the arcola theatre in East London on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August 2019. The Friday showing will be at 20:00, while there will be two showings on Saturday at 15:00 and 20:00.

The performance folds origami and music together in a multi-media opera installation exploring classical Japanese traditions with a uniquely avant-garde twist. You can always check out the trailer to get more of an idea.

This is supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and has been recognised as an Official Event of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020.

It will be sung in English and Japanese without subtitles.

Tickets range from £12 to £22.

Read More... | Souce: arcola theatre

Our Road to Recovery: An Anime Studio in Fukushima - Talk at Japan House London

Date: 2019 June 27 19:57 | Posted By:

Category > Anime

Japan House London have been hosting a lot of great events for anime and manga fans recently. Continuing with this trend they'll be hosting Our Road to Recovery: An Anime Studio in Fukushima. The talk is by Asao Yoshinori of Gaina (formally called Fukushima Gainax). The talk is set on run on Tuesday 2 July 2019 and has two sessions the first at 15:30 to 17:10 and the second at 18:30 to 20:00 (which is followed by a drinks reception).

In this event, Asao Yoshinori explores the role that animation has played in the recovery and revitalisation of Fukushima and introduces a screening of two of his studio's representative works that have been specially subtitled in English for this event at Japan House.

The event is free to attend, booking is required.

Read More... | Souce: Japan House London

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