Scotland Loves Anime 2012: Day 3

The final day of the Scotland Loves Animation festival started off with the first Tiger and Bunny movie at half past noon, however a special ticketed question and answer session with the K-On director, Naoko Yamada, had been organised for 1pm. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up so I'm entirely unaware as to how Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning turned out.

For the session itself, due to the size and detail there's a full post on an intriguing insight into Kyoto Animation, anime in general and Naoko's working life.

The second event of the day was not a single film at all, but four shorts under the Anime Mirai (Anime Future) banner. From up-and-coming animators and as a show-reel for animation studios, the Anime Mirai project was started in 2010 and sees money from the Japanese government distributed to companies in order to train the next generation of young animators.

As Jonathan Clements explained in his introduction, the shorts are ordinarily very rare, often running only at film festivals or sometimes only shown within the companies themselves in order to see what a department or studio is capable of, much like After School Midnighters shown yesterday started out as.

The four stories in order were Puka Puka Juju (translated as Juju the Weightless Dugong) by Answer Studio, Shiranpuri (Pretending Not To See) by Shirogumi, Production I.G's Wasurenagumo (L'il Spider Girl) and finally Buta by Telecom Animation Film.

All of them demonstrated different styles and tones with Juju very kid friendly and twee (again managing the miraculous feat of a shrill but endearing child protagonist); Pretending tackled a tough issue with scratchy, sketchy animation; Spider Girl was the most typically "anime" of the set with a familiar and unadventurous style but which made up for it with a very dark twist; and finally Buta which was another youth focused tale of adventuring animals and follows a similar (but not identical) setup to that of Sword of the Stranger.

Hearing the audience's reaction after the rather abrupt ending to the quadrilogy, the Production I.G. short was the most liked which was easy to predict given the audience's gender and age makeup. It was however nice to see a father and two young children in the audience, both of whom seemed enthralled by a talking fox, a sword wielding pig and a golden inflatable sea creature.

Following half an hour after Anime Mirai was the final film of the festival, Blood-C: The Last Dark. The black sheep of the line-up given the original series' largely negative reception, this was helped little by Jonathan's introduction which mentioned Twilight (or Twiglet which is now my favourite term for the sparkling vampire series) as well as repeating the difficulty in achieving night shots in anime before the advent of digital cels.

He seemed somewhat distracted by calling the film subversive for its portrayal of youth being the main users of technology and the internet but did not elaborate any further.

As for the film itself, I am the last person to ask for an objective opinion although it seemed many audience members forgot to use the restroom before coming in. Anecdotally the reaction seems to have been "better than I was expecting", although whether that was based on having seen the series beforehand I couldn't posit.

So ends the Glasgow leg of the festival. Technically the Edinburgh leg starts tomorrow; however the main clutch of films is next weekend starting with After School Midnighters but also includes the European premiere of the second Berserk film (The Battle for Doldrey), the UK premiere of Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children and the world premiere of Nerawareta Gakuen as well as more guests.

A big thank you to the organisers and guests who made this such a great time, long may it continue and roll on Edinburgh!