We are now a few days into this year’s Scotland Loves Anime festival and the big weekend blow out is fast approaching. As an avid fan of Japan’s unique take on the animated medium I can’t wait for the new releases that the 2019 Festival has to offer. This being the 10th anniversary of the festival let’s look back at the amazing events brought to us over the past decade...
Scotland Loves Anime began in October of 2010 featuring the UK premiere of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (Tatsuya Ishihara/Yasuhiro Takemoto) which garnered massive success in Japan and here at the Filmhouse. That first year also showed us a powerhouse of already popular names in the Anime industry including Trigun: Badlands Rumble, One Piece Strong World, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance and Summer Wars (Makoto Shinkai). You really have to give it to these films, they have a way of making a performance of a name even in the English Translation.
For a long time, access to anime outside of Japan wasn’t readily available, and even when it was, options were very limited or heavily edited to trick audiences into thinking it was set in the west. A strange trend to think of now but it was normal. Westernised names, relationship changes and image editing were just the tip of the magical, anthropomorphic iceberg. The outright popularity of this festival in its first year really goes to show that there was an audience hungry for something exciting, varied and different; and they delivered.
It’s not just the Otakus (Anime fans) but following the success of Disney’s partnership with Studio Ghibli and the subsequent triumphs of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle outside of Japan the doors were open for fans looking to find what the medium had to offer. Lovers of world cinema had found an avenue they may have not considered.
In the years that have followed audiences have been treated to nostalgia with the likes of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, dark thrillers (Perfect Blue), experimental, (Belladonna of Sadness), shorts showcases (Pigtails and Other Short Films) and focuses on new and upcoming directors defining the future of the medium. In 2016 Scotland Loves Anime celebrated the work of Makoto Shinkai. His work was first screened in the 2013 festival with The Place Promised in Our Early Days which honestly made me cry. His themes of impossible love would follow on through the years up to the huge success of Your Name in 2016. This year Makoto’s new feature Weathering With You has the fans excited and we can’t blame them.
This year’s festival has something for everyone. There are fan favourites from past years and plenty of brand-new features from 2019. Alongside Weathering With You, highlights include Masaki Yuas’ Ride Your Wave, who boasts an array of stylised features and series including Space Dandy, Night is Short, Walk On Girl, Lu Over the Wall and Devilman Crybaby. Other highlights include Birthday Wonderland (Keiichi Hara), and Promare (Hiroyuki Imaishi), first feature from Trigger Inc. who are responsible for the action-packed spectacle Kill la Kill, the charming Little Witch Academia and Daring in the Franxx.
See the full listings of all of this year's great anime features. Here's to another ten years of Scotland Loves Anime!