Set in the aftermath of an all-consuming war, Violet Evergarden follows the eponymous lead, an ex-child soldier, as she tries to piece together the fragments of her self through a new job ghost-writing letters.
Long overdue for inclusion in the BFI’s Film Classics series, Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies finally gets the critical treatment, courtesy of Alex Dudok de Wit. In 100 closely argued pages, he takes the reader through the film’s genesis at Studio Ghibli, the peculiarities of its director, its major themes and minor issues, and the long, long tail of its reception.
Although there were plenty of anime fans who were already watching Demon Slayer, its movie spin-off’s sudden breaking of box office records was greeted worldwide by the mainstream media as some sort of sneak attack, catching many pundits unawares. The winter’s big winner at the box office, Haruo Sotozaki’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train became the highest-grossing anime film in Japan, even overtaking Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Miyazaki’s work still leads the worldwide ranking, but even that could change now that Demon Slayer is released abroad. In March, again to the surprise of many overseas commentators, and indeed to the director, whose name was not mentioned, it won Best Anime and Best Score at the Japanese Academy Film Prize.
It's the end of the month and that means it's time to look ahead to what releases we have got in pipeline!
Today our primary focus will be on what's coming in May 2021, but we'll also give you a refresher on what's coming in April and we'll even have a few things to share on what you can expect from us in June too.
Out now on Blu-ray alongside the standalone release of Mothra (1961) comes a double bill of two more Toho science fiction movies, The H Man (1958) and Battle in Outer Space (1959), both also directed by Ishiro Honda with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. The Toho studio is more readily associated with monster movies than any other type of film in the popular mind, notably Godzilla (1954), Mothra and a slew of similar films. The superior entries in this cycle tend to be the ones with the Honda and Tsuburaya dream team, including the initial 1954 film which ticked all the right boxes and proved a massive success.