Film Review: Bubble

Year: 2022 Runtime: 100 Minutes Directors: Tetsuro Araki Writers: Gen Urobuchi, Naoko Sato, Renji Oki Voice Stars: Jun Shison, Riria, Alice Hirose, Mamoru Miyano, Yuki Kaji By Tom Moore The newest film from Wit Studio (“Attack on Titan”) and director Tetsuro Araki (“Death Note”, “Attack on Titan”), “Bubble” (2022), is a flowing fantasy adventure full of visually epic action taking place in a beautifully realized … Continue reading Film Review: Bubble

A Whisker Away Review: Animated April

Back in 2020 “A Whisker Away” (Nakitai watashi wa neko o kaburu ) was meant to premier at the cinema in Japan and the USA but because of the Corona virus outbreak it was picked up by Netflix instead and premiered worldwide on Netflix. It was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed the film to be seen by a wider audience, and it’s a film that should be seen by as many people as possible for it’s charming, feel-good-factor and it’s rather attractive animation. It may not be the most visually impressive animated film to emerge out of Japan in the last five years, but there’s something about “A Whisker Away” that draws you in and keeps you invested in the narrative and the characters. Continue reading A Whisker Away Review: Animated April

Belle: LFF2021 Review

Year: 2021 Runtime: 122 minutes Director: Mamoru Hosoda Writer: Mamoru Hosoda Stars: Kaho Nakamura, Takeru Satoh, Ryo Narita, Shota Sometani, Tina Tamashiro, Lilas Ikuta, Koji Yakusho By Calum Cooper While many would declare Makoto Shinkai the next Miyazaki of Japanese animation, I believe there’s an argument to be made for Mamoru Hosoda. Since breaking away from franchises like “Digimon” (1997-) and “One Piece” (1997-) to … Continue reading Belle: LFF2021 Review

Mary and the Witch's Flower

Witchcraft Month: Mary and the Witch’s Flower

By Tom Moore When it was announced that legendary animator/filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki was retiring from feature filmmaking back in 2013 due to his age, there was a lot of questions as to what the fate of Studio Ghibli, one of the greatest film studios in history, would be. At the time, there was a decision made to put the studio on pause while certain decision … Continue reading Witchcraft Month: Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Animated April: Spotlight on Naoko Yamada

For Animated April we are focusing on a range of women in animation both past and present. You may recall that Naoko Yamada’s animated feature “A Silent Voice” made our top 50 films of the decade last year. To those who aren’t familiar with her work, we have decided to look back at her career and the works that placed her on the map. She remains one of the few female anime directors in Japan who is working today.

Born in 1984, Yamada has always maintained an interest and passion for art. As a child, she enjoyed drawing and would copy images from the “Patlabor” and “Dragonball” anime series. After finishing High School, Yamada went on to study at Kyoto University of Art and Design, where she studied oil painting and was a member of the special effects club. Continue reading Animated April: Spotlight on Naoko Yamada