Earlier this year, The Guardian published a comment piece by Robert Dewar nominating Japanese anime as the ‘most underrated genre’. In the article, Dewar goes on to suggest that the ‘lack of mainstream distribution means that the fan-base anime does enjoy in the UK is a minority one’. After the success of last year’s festival, Scotland Loves Anime is again bringing an exciting and ambitious programme of animated cinema to Glasgow and Edinburgh over two weekends this October.
The festival premièred last year and is currently the only one of its kind in the UK. For such a new festival, it has big ideas, names and events. As well as screening classics – such as Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555 – there will also be recent releases, including Durarara creators Shuko Yokoyama and Yumi Sato’s new film Hotarubi no Mori E (In the Forest of the Fireflies) which will have its European première in Glasgow. On the 14th in Edinburgh, a graduate showcase will take place allowing industry professionals and students to meet and share work and ideas. A Japanese art exhibition will be available to view in the Filmhouse Gallery, Edinburgh, and a piece of work by pop artist Kanon Wakeshima is already on display outside Glasgow Central Station. It seems the efforts made by this relatively short festival to develop interest, engage audiences and grab attention could go a long way. Japanese anime might still be a niche market in the UK, but with festivals like this, it won’t be for long.
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