Welcome! Can you believe we're already a third of the way through 2021?
Now you've had a moment to let that sink in, let's focus on some brighter news and what you're really here for - a first look at our releases for the month of June, as well as a peek into what we have in store for you this July!
For all of the details, including what Early Bird pre-order offers you can expect over the coming month, read on! But before we look ahead, here's a quick refresher of our May slate of releases.
By Tom Wilmot.
Of the thousands of films released every year, few are subjected to a high level of controversy, critical acclaim, or commercial success, let alone all three. Yet with Battle Royale, director Kinji Fukasaku was dealt a full house. Even those unfamiliar with Japanese cinema are sure to have at least heard of the late auteur’s notorious project that has had a lasting impact.
By Jonathan Clements.
Eric C. Rath observes that in the anime series Sushi Police, fish are portrayed weeping at the injustices done to them by culinary criminals. Luckily, a three-man team travels the world “armed with wasabi machine guns, a vacuum to collect illicit sushi and chopstick nunchaku.” Sushi Police is, or course, bonkers, but it captures for Rath the increasingly strict ideas in Japan about what sushi should be, and that there is something somehow “dubious” or “unhealthy” about sushi not made by Japanese hands. But as he argues in his new book Oishii: The History of Sushi, the foodstuff is a truly global phenomenon, part of a network that extends to Thai aquaculture farms and South Atlantic fishing grounds, small-town buffets and supermarket shelves.
By Jonathan Clements.
Stolen from her betrothed, raped by the lord of the manor and his men, medieval European peasant girl Jeanne loses her faith in God and turns to the Devil. Cast out by the baron’s jealous wife, she embraces witchcraft and leads a peasant rebellion. That, at least, is the basic plot of Eiichi Yamamoto’s surreal 1973 arthouse epic Belladonna of Sadness, a box office disaster in its native Japan that has become something of an anime legend.
By Andrew Osmond.
The film The Relative Worlds may be made in CGI, but otherwise it’s a traditional SF anime adventure. Two ordinary present-day teenagers find themselves at the centre of a war involving an “alternative” Japan, whose leaders plan to invade our reality. At first there are just a few strangers on the streets, including a pair of lethal fighting girl androids. Later, though, the action ramps all the way up to city-destroying proportions.
Following Relative Worlds’ cinema release in Japan in January 2019, it had its British premiere in Glasgow as part of October’s Scotland Loves Anime event. Director Yuhei Sakuragi travelled all the way from Japan to be there, taking questions about his film and his wider career in CGI.