By Jonathan Clements.
Surely nothing could be less animated than a statue? But if there is anything notable in 2020 beyond pandemic and politics, it must be the power that statues have in daily life: to be ignored, to be toppled, to be replaced with images more fitting of who we want ourselves to be? Statues, for Sven Saaler of Tokyo’s Sophia University, are an intriguingly contradictory element of public life. They have a misleading permanence, and a deceptive importance – I’ve lived in the same town for ten years, but if you put me on the spot, I still couldn’t tell you the name of the statue of That Guy in the Park. I’ve never got around to reading the plaque.
By Jonathan Clements.
“For its emotional effect and its deep meaning, its polish and its heart, the jury confers this year's Judges Award on Ride Your Wave by Masaaki Yuasa.” Not a sentence that I ever expected to be reading out to an Edinburgh crowd, who gasped with surprise, and then burst into applause.
And thereby hangs a tale, not least the Festival Jury Chairman wondering if he is going to be dropped through the trap door into the piranha tank, after the odds-on favourite, Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You, was consigned to second place at Scotland Loves Anime 2019, pipped at the post by an outside contender about a surfer girl and her lost love. Continue Reading
Since its launch, our own online storefront has grown substantially, and now that it's become such an important destination for so many of you we've been working away in the background to overhaul and improve our shop experience for our customers.
As of today, this updated shop interface is now live on our site, boasting a substantially new look that adds a number of important features to give you an improved and easier browsing experience.
Just what have we changed? Let's highlight just a few of the key new features.
By Andrew Osmond.
The collection of anime called Pigtails and Other I.G Shorts encompasses anime going in bold new directions, as well as established directors – namely Masaaki Yuasa and Hiroyuki Imaishi – flaunting their signature styles. Continue Reading
By Shelley Pallis.
The seaside town of Numazu has a “special” status in Japan. That’s supposed to mean that it has a quirkily autonomous mayoral council, but the tourist trade is keen to jump on the idea, and witters incessantly about how you can see Mount Fuji from the harbour, and how nobody makes noppo bread like the Numazu people. There’s even a “Romance” train from Shinjuku, that will whisk you, and someone you are trying to impress, away to the seaside in just two hours, where you can apparently “see all the nature.”
So, in other words, Numazu is very much the same as a hundred other towns in Japan, but for one distinguishing factor. It is the home of the Uranohoshi girls’ school, proud hosts of the Aqours pop phenomenon, an all-girl singing sensation that hit it big at the Love Live competition. And you can be sure that the local tourist board won’t be shutting up about that any time soon, even if the Uranohoshi girls’ school is a made-up place populated by cartoon characters. Because everywhere in Japan now needs to be a “holy land” (seichi) for some media franchise or other, something that the cast of Love Live Sunshine: Over the Rainbow are so keen to stress that they even nip back in a post-credits sequence to say “holy land” a few times. Continue Reading