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Recommended Anime: Movies

Last touched: May 27, 2017



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Explanatory Notes
 Chameko's Day1931A short anime film (7 minutes, black and white) created as a phonograph talkie (a film with synchronized sound from a record), based on a smash hit song "Chameko no Ichinichi (Chameko's Day)", sung by a singer Hideko Hirai and released in 1929. The original song (first released in 1919) is a masterpiece of operetta for children (written and composed by Kouka Sassa), which is about a prototypical day of a young, urban-dwelling girl in Taisho period (around the 1910s). This film is a faithful visualization of the lyrics of the song. It describes an elementary school girl Chameko's day, in which she gets up in the morning, has a breakfast, goes to school, takes lessons (arithmetic, reading aloud), and goes to see movies in the evening. The animations are simple, but its modern, pop drawing style and surrealistic, comical expressions are impressive. In the scene of the theater, an live-action image is inserted before Samurai (sword fighting) film, which is a newsreel footage of an athlete Kinue Hitomi, Japan's first woman Olympic medalist. The scene in which Chameko reads aloud in school is partly cut on DVD, because the use of the word "izari" (means people who cannot walk on their legs). Directed by Kiyoji Nishikura. Produced by Kyoryoku Eiga Productions.
 Kumo to Tulip (Spider and Tulip)1943A short anime film (16 minutes, black and white) created by Kenzo Masaoka, an animation creator and director who had established the method of producing cel animation in Japanese anime before and during the war in the 1930s and 1940s, and is called "the father of Japanese animation". The Japan's first animation with using only cels, and one of the masterpieces in Japanese animation history. Based on "Kumo to Tulip (Spider and Tulip)", a piece of the fairy-tale storybook "Yoiko Tsuyoiko (A Good Child, a Strong Child)" (1939) written by a novelist Michiko Yokoyama. A fantasy film filled with sensitive lyricism, featuring anthropomorphized characters of spider and ladybird, in the musical style including songs and dialogues. The story is about a ladybird girl being chased by a spider on the trees in a field of flowers. The delicate drawings and flowing animation with using 20,000 graphics are worth seeing. The direction, screenplay and cinematography by Kenzo Masaoka. Produced by Shochiku Moving Picture Laboratory.
 Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei (Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors)1945A feature-length animated film (74 minutes, black and white) created by Shochiku Moving Picture Laboratory in 1943-1944 during World War II at the request of the Japanese Naval Ministry, and released in April 1945 toward the end of the war. Directed by Mitsuyo Seo, following his "Momotaro no Umiwashi (Momotaro's Sea Eagles)" (1943, 37 minutes). The longest Japanese anime film at that time. A wartime propaganda film aimed at children for propagating imperialist Japan's cause of "Asian liberation from Western rule" and increasing their fighting spirits. This film depicted Japanese marine paratroopers, who raided on Celebes (Dutch East Indies at that time. Current Sulawesi, Indonesia) and occupied it in 1942, likening it to Japanese folklore on Momotaro/Peach Boy's chasing out Oni (ogres). The characters are depicted as anthropomorphic adorable animals, except the officer Momotaro and Oni (English-speaking caucasians). The first part is made up of episodes in which marines (monkey, dog, pheasant and bear) spend holidays at home (farm village). Then, scene changes to an island in south sea. The officer Momotaro and animals fly into the island, and prepare the airborne operation to conquer Oni-ga-Shima (Ogre Island). The smooth and flowing images with 50,000 key animations are worth seeing. The descriptions of troops and weapons are realistic and detailed, but the tone of the whole film is idyllic and lyrical. There are several musical-style scenes by reference to Disney's "Fantasia" (1940). The direction and screenplay by Mitsuyo Seo. The shadow play sequence was made by Kenzo Masaoka ("Kumo to Tulip/Spider and Tulip" director). In Japan, the film was considered to be lost after the war, but the negative film was discovered in 1982, and re-released in 1984. Released on VHS in 1992, and on DVD in 2014.
 The Legend of the White Snake (Hakujaden)1958The first full-color, feature-length cartoon movie in Japan. Based on the Chinese folktale 'Bai Su Zhen/The Legend of the White Snake', also known as the Beijing Opera. The fantasy romance story of love between a young man Xu Xian and a white-snake personified fairy woman Bai Nyang. An aesthetic work full of Chinese taste. The screenplay and direction by Taiji Yabushita. Produced by Toei Animation.
 The Adventures of Little Samurai (Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke)1959The second of the feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation. A ninja/samurai action set in Japan's medieval period of Warring States. Based on Kazuo Dan's novel in a newspaper. The story of a boy named Sasuke Sarutobi, who did the training of ninjutsu under a ninjutsu-master Hakuunsai Tozawa, and fights with the samurai warrior Yukimura Sanada against an evil enchantress Yasha-Hime (Princess Yasha). The first CinemaScope animated film in Japan. Directed by Taiji Yabushita and Akira Daikuhara.
 Saiyuki
(Alakazam the Great)
1960The third of the feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation. Based on Osamu Tezuka's manga (graphic novel), 'Boku no Son Goku/Son-Goku the Monkey', an adaptation of the Chinese classical fantasy novel 'Hsi Yu Chi/Journey to the West'. The comedy action story of Son Goku, a monkey boy with supernatural arts, who takes an adventurous journey with Chinese Buddhist priest Sanzo-hoshi to India in order to get the Buddhist texts. Directed by Taiji Yabushita, Osamu Tezuka and Daisaku Shirakawa. The English-dubbed version entitled 'Alakazam the Great' was released in the US.
 Anju to Zushio-maru
(The Littlest Warrior)
1961The fourth of the feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation. Based on "Anju to Zushio (Anju and Zushio)", which is the traditional story from medieval Japan, and known as the original of the novel "Sansho Dayu (Sansho the Bailiff)" written by Ogai Mori. Set in the Mutsu Country (in northeastern Japan), in the last days of the Heian period (the 11th century). The unhappy story about a girl named Anju and her younger brother Zushio-maru, who were separated from their parents, and were forced to work as slave laborers under Sansho Dayu, a greedy and ruthless bailiff. The images like Japanese-style paintings or picture scrolls are beautiful. Directed by Taiji Yabushita and Yugo Serikawa.
 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sindbad1962The fifth of the feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation is an action/adventure derived from 'The Arabian Nights/Alf Laylah wa Laylah' (the collection of Indian/Persian/Middle Eastern stories written in Arabic). The story of a young man Sindbad, who makes an adventurous voyage with a boy named Ali and Princess Samir, in search of the treasure island in the south. The screenplay by Osamu Tezuka (manga artist) and Morio Kita (novelist). Directed by Taiji Yabushita and Yoshio Kuroda.
 Tales of the Street Corner1962The first original animated film produced by manga artist Osamu Tezuka. The debut work of his animation production campany, Mushi Production. An experimental short film (39 minutes), like a visual poetry. On a street with lots of colorful posters, various animate/inanimate things are living, such as a little girl and her stuffed bear, a rat family, a plane tree, a street light, a moth, and the people illustrated on the posters (a young man playing the violin, a girl playing the piano). Suddenly, the street is filled with dictator's posters, and it is involved in a war. This film is created only by images, music and sound effects, without dialog. The last scene (burnt-out ruins) is the first case in Japan of multi-plane shooting with five background layers. The original story, composition and production by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto and Yuusaku Sakamoto.
 The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon (Wanpaku Oji no Orochi Taiji)1963The sixth of the feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation. An action adventure film on the Japanese ancient myths. The story of a naughty little prince named Susanoo, who embarks on an adventurous journey to search Underworld where his dead mother Izanami lives, and in the Izumo Country, he fights off the Eight-Headed Dragon. The chief animator is Yasuji Mori. The music by contemporary composer Akira Ifukube, who is known for his music for the Japanese special-effects monster film 'Godzilla'. Directed by Yugo Serikawa.
 Doggie March (Wan Wan Chushingura)1963The seventh of the feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation is an animal animation produced as competition with Walt Disney Studios. The story of a wild dog in the woods named Rock, whose mother was killed by a tiger named Killer. Rock and his fellow stray dogs in the town try to fight against Killer and his followers of wild beasts. The title and the motif of "revenge" derive from the Japanese medieval story "Chushingura" (the English title is "The Treasury of Loyal Retainers" or "Revenge of the Forty-Seven Ronin". Also known as Kabuki play or stage drama), but the story content is universal and modern, and it has little relation to "Chushingura". The origial story and storyline by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Daisaku Shirakawa.
 Mighty Atom: Hero of Space1964The movie version (87 minutes) of "Astro Boy/Mighty Atom", the TV anime based on Osamu Tezuka's Sci-Fi manga "Tetsuwan Atom", and the first full-scale TV anime series in Japan (aired in 1963-1966). This film was the first anime movie made from TV anime in Japan. It was made by re-editing and reconstructing the three episodes of the TV series; the 46th "The Robot Spaceship", the 56th "Earth Defense Squadron" and the 71st "The Last Day of Earth", adding several scenes from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd episodes. The Colonel Vega of the Artificial Island prevents the Ministry of Science from developing "The Robot Spaceship", but the Ministry succeeds in developing it by the action of the robot Astro Boy. The Professor Ochanomizu goes to the moon by the spaceship, but he is abducted by aliens. Astro Boy joins the Earth Defense Squadron of the moon base, and they fight against the aliens. After coming back to the earth, Astro Boy meets a bomb robot Bem from the Planet Nicolo. The Nicolos try to carry out the bombing of the sun by using Bem. The opening and bridge shots between the episodes were newly drawn. The voices were newly dubbed overall. The TV series were black-and-white, but the 56th episode was produced in color, and the 71st was partly colored. The original story and composition by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, Shigeyuki Hayashi (Rintaro) and Atsushi Takagi. Produced by Mushi Production.
 Gulliver's Space Travel1965The eighth of the feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation is a fantasy adventure set in outer space, inspired by "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift. The story of a homeless boy named Ted and an old scientist Dr. Gulliver, who took a spaceship and embarked on an adventurous journey for the 'Blue Planet of Hope', but the 'Blue Planet' had been under the occupation of robots, and the people in the planet had escaped to the 'Purple Planet' in despair. Ted and Gulliver try to bring down the rule by the robots to help the people from the 'Blue Planet'. An artistic film with highly stylized shapes and exquisite color tones. The animation director is Hideo Furusawa. Directed by Yoshio Kuroda. Released in the US theaters in 1966.
 Cyborg 0091966The first movie version of 'Cyborg 009', Shotaro Ishinomori (former name was Ishimori)'s Sci-Fi saga manga (started in 1964). A Sci-Fi action with the story of a team of 9 cyborgs, produced by Dr. Gilmore, who fight for world peace against 'Black Ghost', the organization of war industry (merchants of death). Directed by Yugo Serikawa. Produced by Toei Animation. Unlike the previous cartoon films by Toei Animation, this film was produced in the method of Japanese TV anime, called 'limited animation'. There are also the second movie version 'Cyborg 009: Monster War' (1967), the first TV anime series (1967-68, monochrome), the second TV anime series (1979-80), the third movie version 'Cyborg 009: Legend of the Super Galaxy' (1980), and the third TV anime series (2001-2002).
 Cyborg 009: Monster War1967See the paragraph about the Cyborg 009 the first movie. The second movie version. The evil organization 'Black Ghost' attacked around the world, using dinosaur (plesiosaur) type giant robots, and the team of 9 cyborgs launched their quest for the Black Ghost's hideout. 009 met a girl named Helena, who was actually the 10th cyborg, 0010, and a spy sent out by Black Ghost, and she tries to kill 009. The animation produced by Toei Animation. Directed by Yugo Serikawa.
 Jack and the Witch (Shonen Jack to Mahotsukai)1967An action fantasy film produced by Toei Animation. The story of a boy named Jack (a descendant of Beowulf, the hero in the myth of North Europe), who was taken away by a devil girl named Kikie and came over to the castle of the Witch Grendel. Grendel had kidnapped children and changed them into devils. Jack tries saving Kikie, who is ready to be killed by Grendel. Directed by Taiji Yabushita.
Good!Horus: The Prince of the Sun (Little Norse Prince Valiant)1968A heroic/socialistic mob action/drama anime by the young staffs of Toei Animation at the time: directed by Isao Takahata, and scene design by Hayao Miyazaki. Based on Ainu's oral epic (Ainu is Japan's indigenous people) and Kazuo Fukazawa's puppet play. The scene is laid in northern Europe. The story of a boy named Horus, who and village people unite in fighting against the invasion by the devil Grunwald. A product of leftist ideology and labor union movement in the 1960s. Since this work, Takahata and Miyazaki kept on working as a director-animator team for a long time.
 Fables from Hans Christian Andersen (Toei Animation version)1968A musical fantasy film (80 minutes) describing the Danish author and poet, Hans Christian Andersen's boyhood as a story in combination with his four fairy tales, 'Ole-Luk-Oie, The Dream God/The Sandman', 'Thumbelina', 'The Red Shoes' and 'The Little Match Girl'. The animation produced by Toei Animation. Directed by Kimio Yabuki. The animation director is Akira Daikuhara. The music by Seiichiro Uno. A TV anime series 'Andersen Stories' (aired in 1971. 52 episodes) produced by Mushi Productions has the same title ('Andersen Monogatari' in Japanese) as this film, but there is no direct relationship between them.
 The Master Cat or Puss in Boots1969A feature-length action/comedy film based on the juvenile literature 'The Master Cat or Puss in Boots' (Le Maître chat ou le chat botté) by French writer Charles Perrault. The first film of the 'Toei Manga Festival'. The story of Pero, a cat with long boots, and a boy named Pierre, who have a try at getting the Princess Rosa out of The Satan, Lucifer. The highlight is the thrilling chase scene on the steeples of Lucifer's castle. Hayao Miyazaki participated as a key animator. Directed by Kimio Yabuki.
 The Flying Ghost Ship1969A Sci-Fi horror action film based on the manga (graphic novel) by Shotaro Ishinomori (former name was Ishimori). The story of a boy named Hayato Arashiyama, who got involved in the fight between the mysterious ghost ship and a large corporation Kuroshio Products Company, and he fights with the ghost ship against Boa, a mysterious undersea life that controlled Kuroshio's conspiracy from behind. The highlights are the scenes drawn by Hayao Miyazaki, where the giant robot Golem destroys Tokyo. Directed by Hiroshi Ikeda. Produced by Toei Animation.
 A Thousand and One Nights1969An entertaining action/adventure based on 'The Arabian Nights/Alf Laylah wa Laylah' (the collection of Indian/Persian/Middle Eastern stories written in Arabic), and an adult-oriented anime film that includes some erotic scenes. The story of a young man who had been a water seller in Baghdad, Aldin's checkered life full of love and adventure. The first theatrical, feature-length animated movie produced by manga artist Osamu Tezuka and his Mushi Production. The executive producer is Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto. The animation director is Sadao Miyamoto. The art direction (character design) by Takashi Yanase. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1969.
 Cleopatra1970The second of the adult-oriented anime films, 'Animerama' (a coined word from anime and drama or cinerama) by Osamu Tezuka and his Mushi Production, following 'A Thousand and One Nights'. A historical drama on the checkered life of Cleopatra VII, the last queen of the Ptolemaic Dynasty of ancient Egypt. An amorous, comic film full of parodies/quotations from Japanese manga characters, famous paintings of all ages/countries and so on. The original story by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Osamu Tezuka and Eiichi Yamamoto. The character design by Isao Kojima, who is known for his adult-oriented manga.
 Little Remi and Famous Dog Capi1970A feature-length anime film (81 minutes) by Toei Animation. An adaptation of Hector Malot's novel for children, "Sans Famille/Nobody's Boy", focusing on the friendship between the main character Remi and his dog Capi. An orphan boy Remi was adopted by Jerome Barberin and his wife, and they lived in a little French town, Chavanon, but Jerome sells Remi to a traveling entertainer, old Vitalis. Remi travels with old Vitalis and Capi, looking for his real mother. Directed by Yugo Serikawa. The animation director is Akira Daikuhara. Music by Chuji Kinoshita. The BGM of this film was reused in other Toei works, such as the TV anime series "Tiger Mask". The 1975 film "Ie Naki Ko/Nobody's Boy: from 'Little Remi and Famous Dog Capi'" (55 minutes) is an abbreviated rerelease of this film. There are also other anime versions of "Sans Famille", including Tokyo Movie Shinsha's TV series "Ie Naki Ko/Nobody's Boy: Remi" (1977-1978), and Nippon Animation's TV series "Ie Naki Ko Remi/Remi, Nobody's Girl" (1996-1997).
 Thirty Thousand Miles Under the Sea1970A science-fiction cartoon film set in the world under the sea and the ground. The original story written by manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori (former name was Ishimori). A 12-year-old boy Isamu, whose father is an oceanographer, got involved in the war between the Underground Kingdom and the Undersea Kingdom. The Underground King tries to conquer the world on the ground by manipulating big robotic monsters called "Flame Dragons", but Isamu struggles to interrupt the Underground Kingdom's invasion with the princess of the Undersea Kingdom, named Angel. The scenes with the Flame Dragons, like special effects monster film, are impressive. Directed by Takeshi Tamiya. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Animal Treasure Island (Doubutsu Takarajima)1971An entertaining action adventure film adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, 'Treasure Island'. The story of a boy named Jim, who and a girl named Kathy go on an adventurous journey in search of Treasure Island, fighting against pirates. The pirates are all anthropomorphized animal characters. Hayao Miyazaki participated (idea construction and key animation). Directed by Hiroshi Ikeda. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Ali Baba to Yonju-ppiki no Tozoku)1971A entertaining comedy film filled with speedy motion and action. An original story based on the episode 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves' from 'The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights'. A boy Al Huck, who is a descendant of the boss of the forty thieves, fights with his mouse Kajiru and 38 cats against a tyrant king, Ali Baba the 33rd. The cartoonish and freewheeling key animation by Yoichi Kotabe and young Hayao Miyazaki are worth seeing. Directed by Hiroshi Shitara. The animation director is Akira Daikuhara. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Panda Kopanda
(Panda! Go Panda!)
1972A fairy-tale anime aimed at children. 'Ko-panda' means 'a kid/little panda'. The story of a commotion caused by a panda family (father and his son), who came to the house of a little girl Mimiko and lived with her. The original works, screenplay and scene design by Hayao Miyazaki. Directed by Isao Takahata. Recommended to those who like Miyazaki's 'My Neighbor Totoro'. Produced by Tokyo Movie. There is the sequel entitled 'Panda Kopanda: Rainy Circus' (1973).
 The Three Musketeers in Boots (Nagagutsu Sanjyuushi)1972The second of Toei Animation's 'Puss in Boots' series, following 'The Master Cat or Puss in Boots' (1969). 52 minutes. An entertaining action/comedy film set in the American Old West. In the Go Go Town, outlaws had produced counterfeit coins in the basement of a bar. A barkeeper was killed by them, because he discovered the secret of counterfeit coins. Pero (cat) and a boy named Jimmy fight against outlaws, to help a girl named Annie (barkeeper's daughter) and to reveal outlaws' plot. Not so good in animation quality as the first 'The Master Cat or Puss in Boots' (Hayao Miyazaki did the key animation). Directed by Tomoharu Katsumata. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The English-dubbed VHS had released under the title of "Ringo Rides West" or "Ringo Goes West" in the early 1980s.
 Maken Liner 0011 Henshin Seyo!1972A medium long anime movie (50 minutes) released as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival', and screened with a live-action film "Kamen Rider vs. Ambassador Hell" and others. The title means "Hellhound Liner 0011, Transform!". A near-future Sci-Fi mecha action film featuring four cyborg dogs. An original story based on the concept from Hiroshi Sasagawa's manga "Maken Goro" (serialized in the magazine "Weekly Shonen King" in 1963). A boy named Tsutomu and four cyborg dogs (Queen, Ace, Jack and Joker. They coalesce and transform into a spaceship "Liner") fight against aggression by insect-type aliens from the Planet Devil. Directed by Takeshi Tamiya. The music by Takeo Yamshita. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Mazinger Z vs. Devilman1973The movie version that co-stars the two heroes from the TV animes based on the original by manga (graphic novel) artist Go Nagai and his Dynamic Productions: Mazinger Z and Devilman. Mazinger Z, who gained the ability to fly in the air with the jet-propelled wings called 'Jet Scrander', fights with Devilman against the allied forces between Dr. Hell's Machine Beasts and Monstrous Beasts from the Demon Race. Directed by Tomoharu Katsumata. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Belladonna1973The third of the adult-oriented anime films by Mushi Production, following 'A Thousand and One Nights' and 'Cleopatra'. An avant-garde art film based on French historian, Jules Michelet's book "La Sorcière" (the title of the English version is "Satanism and Witchcraft"). Called "Anime Romanesque" in those days. Set in a farming community in medieval France. A sad story of a woman named Jeanne, who sold her body and soul to the devil for living with her beloved husband, Jean. Features the images drawn by illustrator, Kuni Fukai, and produced by an experimental method of using lots of still images and animating the illustrations. The images full of eroticism, like psychedelic wet dreams, are artistic and beautiful. Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto. The art by Kuni Fukai. The animation director is Gisaburo Sugii.
 Mazinger Z vs. Grand General of Darkness1974The movie version that depicted an episode in the interval between the 2 TV series, Mazinger Z and the sequel, Great Mazinger: The Grand General of Darkness from the Mycenae Empire and his 7 Combat Beasts corps attack the cities around the world. In Tokyo, Mazinger Z is being attacked by the strong corps and gets mortally wounded, but the new hero Great Mazinger appears and with Mazinger Z beats back the Combat Beasts corps. Noted as the most memorable one in all of the 'Mazinger' movies. Directed by Nobutaka Nishizawa. Produced by Toei Animation.
 The Great Adventures of Kikansha Yaemon D511974An anime film (62 minutes) created by adapting the picture book "Kikansha Yaemon (Locomotive Yaemon)" (Written by Hiroyuki Agawa and illustrated by Fuyuhiko Okabe. Published in 1959) with adding original characters and episodes, supported by "SL (Steam Locomotive) boom" with regret at diminishing steam locomotives in Japan in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Released as one of the programs of "Toei Manga Festival" (Spring 1974). Basically an anime film, but about one-third of the total consists of live-action images such as on-location shoots of steam locomotives. An entertaining movie for children, with introducing anthropomorphised railroad vehicles and animals, songs in the musical style, and comical slapstick actions. An old steam locomotive Yaemon is treated like a nuisance by his fellow vehicles, and is forced into a country engine depot. A boy and Yaemon's friend, Tadashi tries to take Yaemon back to the city, but... The live-action scene of steam locomotive derailment and rollover accident is a reuse of Toei's film "Ooinaru Tabiji" (1960). Directed by Takeshi Tamiya. Produced by Toei Animation. As works based on "Kikansha Yaemon", there was the shadow play edition by Theatre Kakashiza (premiered in 1970) before this film. In 2009, Toei Animation released a new stereoscopic 3-D anime film "Kikansha Yaemon" in "3D Toei Anime Festival". As pictuire book/animation works featuring locomotive characters, there are also works such as "The Little Engine That Could" (US, first published in 1930) and the animated series "Thomas & Friends" based on "The Railway Series" (UK, first published in 1945).
 Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid1975An anime film (69 minutes) aimed at girls, screened as the main program of "Toei Manga Festival" (released in March 1975). Based on the fairy tale "The Little Mermaid" by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. A tragic love story about a mermaid who loved a male human being. The youngest daughter of the royal Merman family, Marina saves a human prince in a ship wrecked by a storm. Falling in love with him, she changes her shape to a human by drinking a drug from the Sea Witch and goes to see him, but she face a tragic fate. A faithful adaptation of the original, but it has several original characters such as Fritz, a dolphin and Marina's best friend. The direction and drawing are in the style of Toei's TV anime at that time. There are live-action images filmed in Denmark in the beginning and ending of the film. Directed by Tomoharu Katsumata. Produced by Toei Animation. Screened with "Great Mazinger vs. Getter Robo", "That is an UFO! The Flying Saucer", "Kamen Rider Amazon", "Ganbare!! Robocon" and "Majokko Megu-chan: Messenger from the Moon". The No.10 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1975.
 Great Mazinger vs. Getter Robo1975A short film (30 minutes) released as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival'. The movie version that co-stars the two giant robot heroes from the TV animes based on the original by manga (graphic novel) artist Go Nagai and his Dynamic Productions: Great Mazinger and Getter Robo. Great Mazinger from the Fortified Research Institute for Science and Getter Robo from the Saotome Research Institute cooperate with each other and fight against an unidentified flying saucer from space and a space monster GilGilGan. The original story by Go Nagai, Ken Ishikawa and Dynamic Productions. Directed by Masayuki Akehi. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Great Mazinger vs. Getter Robo G: The Great Space Encounter1975A short film (24 minutes) released as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival'. The movie version that co-stars the two giant robot heroes from the TV animes based on the original by manga (graphic novel) artist Go Nagai and his Dynamic Productions: Great Mazinger and Getter Robo G. Great Mazinger and Getter Robo G fight against 'Lightwave Beast Pigdron', a monster robot sent by mystery invaders. The features are the alternation of heroes from Getter Robo to Getter Robo G and Great Mazinger's new weapon, 'Great Booster'. The original story by Go Nagai, Ken Ishikawa and Dynamic Productions. Directed by Masayuki Akehi. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Uchu Enban Daisenso (Space Saucer Great War)1975A short film (30 minutes) released as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival'. A giant robot anime using UFO (flying saucer) as a material. The story of the prince Duke Fleed, whose home, the planet Fleed was destroyed by the invading force led by Yarban the Great, and he escaped to the Earth and lived there as an Earthian Daisuke Umon. But the princess Terronna, who is Yarban's daughter and ex-lover of Duke Fleed, came to the Earth with the invading force, following Duke Fleed. Duke Fleed operates a UFO-type robot 'Gattaiger' and fights against the invading force. It is well-known that this film was the prototype of the later TV anime series 'UFO Robo Grendizer'. The original works by Go Nagai and Dynamic Productions. Directed by Yugo Serikawa. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Puss in Boots: Around the World in 80 Days1976The third of Toei Animation's 'Puss in Boots' series, following 'The Master Cat or Puss in Boots' (1969) and 'The Three Musketeers in Boots' (1972). An entertaining action/comedy film based on Jules Verne's 'Around the World in Eighty Days'. Pero (cat) made a bet with Lord Gourmont (pig), a big shot in the city, and he gambled that he could go around the world in 80 days. Pero challenges the round-the-world travel in 80 days with his fellows, Carter (river horse), Chibi (baby mouse) and Chibi's father, fighting against the interference by a hit team of three cats and Dr. Galigari (wolf), who was sent by Gourmont. Directed by Hiroshi Shitara.
 UFO Robo Grendizer vs. Great Mazinger1976A short film (27 minutes) released as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival'. The movie version that co-stars the two giant robot heroes from the TV animes based on the original by manga (graphic novel) artist Go Nagai and his Dynamic Productions: Great Mazinger and Grendizer. A filler episode of the TV series 'UFO Robo Grendizer'. The King Vega sends General Barendos of the Planet Vega Allied Forces for invading the Earth. Barendos robs the Robot Museum of Great Mazinger, and attacks Grendizer. The original story by Go Nagai and Dynamic Planning. Directed by Osamu Kasai. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Grendizer, Getter Robo G, Great Mazinger: Kessen! Daikaijuu1976A short film (30 minutes) released as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival'. A crossover of three super robot animes based on Go Nagai's works: "UFO Robo Grendizer", "Getter Robo G" and "Great Mazinger". A mysterious big monster appeared on the Sea of Japan. That was Dragonsaurus, a big sea animal thought to be extinct in ancient times. To beat the animal, "Robot Corps" is orgaized by Grendizer, Great Mazinger, and Getter Robo G, with Double Spazer, Venus A, and Dianan A. The original story by Go Nagai and Dynamic Planning. Directed by Masayuki Akehi. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Space Battleship Yamato1977See the paragraph about the Space Battleship Yamato TV series. The digest movie version edited from the first TV series. In Japan it scored a big hit at the theaters, and caused 'Yamato' boom (the first anime boom in Japan). The original works by Leiji Matsumoto. Supervised by Yoshinobu Nishizaki. Directed by Toshio Masuda. Produced by Office Academy.
 Tenguri, the Boy of the Plains1977A short film (22 minutes) produced as a public relations film for Snow Brand Milk Products. Tenguri is a boy living in a rairie in Central Asia, who grew up with a calf named TaruTaru like brothers. One day, the village people tried to kill and eat TaruTaru for lack of food, but Tenguri made TaruTaru get way. Years later, the village people and Tenguri go on safari looking for cattle led by a bull with 'golden horns', and Tenguri meets up again with TaruTaru. A high-quality work by eminent creators, the original story by Osamu Tezuka, direction and animation direction by Yasuo Otsuka (animation director of "Horus: The Prince of the Sun", "Lupin III" the first TV series, "Panda Kopanda", "Samurai Giants", "Future Boy Conan" and "Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro"), the key animation by Yoichi Kotabe (character designer and animation director of "Heidi, Girl of the Alps" and "Haha o Tazunete Sanzenri"), Yoshio Kabashima (animation director of "Shin Obake no Q-Taro", "Jungle Kurobee", "Ace wo Nerae!" the first TV series and "The Adventures of Gamba"), Hayao Miyazaki, Yoshifumi Kondo (director of "Whisper of the Heart") and others. It had been a rare film for a long time, because it was not on general release in theaters, but released on DVD in 2007. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Danguard Ace vs. the Army of Insect Robots1977The first and only original theatrical film (25 minutes) of "Planet Robo Danguard Ace/Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace", a sci-fi robot anime series (aired in 1977-1978) Leiji Matsumoto (manga artist and the author of "Space Battleship Yamato" and "Galaxy Express 999") joined as the original planner and Toei Animation produced. Released as one of the programs of "Toei Manga Festival". The space development base (big battle carrier) Jasdam had launched the plan of relocation to Promete, the tenth planet in the solar system. One day, the Moon Base is attacked and fully destroyed by blood-sucking, insect-type aliens and their flying saucers. To intercept them, Dr. Ooedo scrambles Jasdam to the Moon. The pilot Takuma Ichimonji operates a giant transforming robot Danguard Ace and fights against the robot of the aliens. Directed by Teruo Ishii (live-action director known for his "Abashiri Prison" and "Horrors of Malformed Men") and Masayuki Akehi. Teruo Ishii made this film into a unique work including bloody descriptions and martial arts fighting scene in the kung-fu style. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Farewell to Space Battleship Yamato: In the Name of Love1978See the paragraph about the Space Battleship Yamato TV series. The first original movie version of Yamato series and the sequel to the story of the TV series. In 2201 AD, ex-Yamato crew go aboard Yamato again and carry out suicidal attacks on the White Comet Empire Gatlantis trying to destroy planets and to conquer the universe. There was criticism for its romanticism as if to glorify death in war or suicide attack, but this movie was a big hit in Japan (the attendance was four million). The original works by Leiji Matsumoto. The original conception by Yoshinobu Nishizaki, Leiji Matsumoto and Toshio Masuda. The planning, production and supervision by Yoshinobu Nishizaki. Directed by Toshio Masuda and Leiji Matsumoto. Produced by Office Academy. Produced as the last program of the series, but after this many sequels had been produced: the second TV series 'Space Battleship Yamato 2' (1978-79), the TV special 'Space Battleship Yamato: The New Voyage' (1979), the movie 'Be Forever Yamato' (1980), the third TV series 'Space Battleship Yamato III' (1980-81), and the movie 'Space Battleship Yamato: The Final Battle' (1983).
 Gatchaman the Movie1978See the paragraph about the 'Gatchaman' TV series. The movie version (1 hour and 50 minutes) produced as a redigest of the TV series (aired in 1972-1974). The Science Ninja Team battles against Gallactor's 'V2 Program' (the leader of Gallactor, Berg Katse threatens the human race with a Monster Bird Missile which can bring down the Van Allen radiation belt surrounding the Earth) and 'Black Hole Program' (Generalissimo X of Gallactor tries to wipe out the Earth by detonating a molecule bomb within the Earth). The climaxes are the scenes of brief reunion between Ken and his father, and the last sequence in which Joe dies. The original story by Tatsuo Yoshida. The general supervision by Kihachi Okamoto. Directed by Hisayuki Toriumi. The music by Koichi Sugiyama. The animation produced by Tstsunoko Production. Screened with 4 channel stereophonic system called 'Phoenix Sound'.
 Lupin III: The Mystery of Mamo1978See the paragraph about the Lupin III first TV series. The first movie version released when the second TV series was on the air. A slapstick action/comedy depicting a battle between Lupin III and Mamo, a mystery man who developed cloning technology at the very dawn of time, and gained enormous wealth and eternal life. The atmosphere is like the first half of the first TV series, and much closer to the image of the original manga (graphic novel) version by Monkey Punch, and more adult-oriented than other movie versions. The original story by Monkey Punch. Directed by Soji Yoshikawa. Supervised by Yasuo Otsuka. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
Very good!Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro1979See the paragraph about the Lupin III first TV series. The second movie version. The scene is laid in Principality of Cagliostro, an European small country that makes fake bills. The story of Lupin III's attempts to protect the Princess Clarisse from unwilling marriage with Count Cagliostro. The screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. The first film by the director Miyazaki. A very high quality finished work as an entertaining action/adventure film. A must-see masterpiece. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
 Galaxy Express 9991979See the paragraph about the Galaxy Express 999 TV series. The first movie version based on the storyline of the TV series. The express stops are: Megalopolis Central Station (on the Earth), Titan (the Saturn's satellite), Pluto, Trader's Fork (on the planet Heavy Melder), and Maetel, the mechanized mother planet. Tetsuro avenged his mother's death on Count Mecha, and challenges Promethium, the queen of the Machine Empire. Leiji Matsumoto's other main characters, Emeraldas and Captain Herlock appear as supporting players. Directed by Taro Rin. Produced by Toei Animation. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1979. There is the sequel second movie version too.
 Aim for the Ace!
(Ace wo Nerae!)
1979See the paragraph about the 'Aim for the Ace!' first TV series. The completely renewed movie version based on the first part of the original manga (graphic novel) by Sumika Yamamoto. More faithful to the original manga version than the first TV series. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
 Taro the Dragon Boy1979An anime film adaptation (75 minutes) of Miyoko Matsutani's "Tatsunoko Taro (Taro, the Son of Dragon)", a children's literature (published in 1960) based on Japanese folklores. As works based on "Tatsunoko Taro", there was the puppet play edition and stage drama editions before this film. A lazy boy and big eater Tatsunoko Taro lives with his grandmother in a small village in a mountain. One day he gains a strength of a handred men from Tengu (a long-nosed goblin), and the strength can only be used for helping others. Helping people suffering from food shortages, Taro makes a journey in search of his mother, who is transformed into a dragon and is living at a lake in the northland. The highlights are the careful drawings and animations, and the beautiful background art like ink painting. Nearly last work of old feature-length cartoon films by Toei Animation as huge anime movies based on folklores or literary works, which began with "The Legend of the White Snake" (1958). Directed by Kirio Urayama (the director of the live-action film "Foundry Town"). The animation directed by Osamu Kasai. The character designers and animation directors are Yoichi Kotabe (the character designer and animation director of "Heidi, Girl of the Alps" and "3000 Leagues in Search of Mother") and Reiko Okuyama. The art director is Isamu Tsuchida. Produced by Toei Animation. Released as one of the programs of "Toei Manga Festival".
 Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur1980Based on Fujio F. Fujiko's popular Sci-Fi comedy manga. Doraemon is a cat-like robot, who came from the future world to help a boy named Nobita Nobi, a grade schooler and born loser. The original manga version (1969-1996) is one of nationally-popular manga works in Japan, and had gained popularity in Asian countries too. The first movie. The story of Nobita's attempts to protect a Cretaceous dinosaur named Peesuke (he raised by himself) from a dinosaur hunter came from the future. Directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. There are the first TV series (1973), second TV series (1979-) and lots of movie versions too.
 Phoenix 2772: Love's Cosmo Zone1980The one and only original theatrical anime movie based on the worldview of Osamu Tezuka's manga, 'Phoenix/Hi no Tori' (serialized in 1967-88). The manga version is a saga drama dealing with the theme of 'human life and death', and Tezuka's lifework that mainly consists of 12 long stories from the ancient times to the distant future. This movie version '2772' has the original story independent from the manga version. A Sci-Fi fantasy set in extremely rationalized and controlled future society. A young man named Godot, who was born as a test-tube baby and raised as a space hunter by a nursery robot Olga, takes the spaceship 'Space Shark' and goes on a journey with Olga to outer space in search of space life 2772, so-called the 'Phoenix'. The original works and supervising direction by Osamu Tezuka. The screenplay by Osamu Tezuka and Taku Sugiyama. Directed by Taku Sugiyama. Produced by Tezuka Production. There are other 'Phoenix' film versions: the live-action movie 'Phoenix' (partly combined with anime, 1978), the anime movie 'Phoenix: Karma Chapter' (1986), and 2 OAVs, 'Phoenix: Yamato Chapter' (1987) and 'Phoenix: Space Chapter' (1987).
 Toward the Terra1980A feature-length animated movie (112 minutes) based on Keiko Takemiya's Sci-Fi manga 'Terra he.../Toward the Terra' (serialized in 'Monthly Manga Shonen' in 1977-1980). The original manga is a serious political drama set in the distant space-age future depicting a struggle between the human race and a new human race of psionics called 'Mu'. In 500 S.D. (Superior Dominance), people have grown up in colonial planets, being controlled by the mother computer, from the cradle to the grave, and only chosen people are allowed to live on Earth (Terra). The Mu have been oppressed as disparate elements by humans, but the Mu leader Jomy Marquis Shin leads the Mu race and tries to return to their mother planet Terra. Meanwhile, a young man from the enforcement agency 'Members Elite', Keith Anyan becomes the Head of the Terra and counters the Mu. This movie version has a different ending from the original manga. The direction in the live-action style using lots of long takes is worth seeing. Directed by Hideo Onchi (live-action director). The character designer and animation director is Masami Suda. Produced by Toei Animation. There is also the TV anime series (produced Minamimachi Bugyosho and Tokyo Kids. 2007).
 Makoto-chan1980The only animated film (85 minutes) based on the popular comedy manga 'Makoto-chan' (serialized in 'Weekly Shonen Sunday' since 1976 until 1981) by Kazuo Umezu, who is known as the master of the genre in horror manga. The original manga is a nonsense, surreal and scatologic comedy/gag manga depicting the daily life of a boy at a kindergarten, Makoto Sawada with his family and friends. This movie consists of five episodes from the original manga: 1. A Little Lover, 2. A Present of Mother's Day, 3. Sparrow's Egg, 4. Lunch of Love, 5. Good-Child Award. The original title is "Energisch Gag Makoto-chan". The character design and animation direction by Osamu Kobayashi. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. The original author Kazuo Umezu has a talent for music, and the opening song "Papa and Mama Rock" and the ending song "Samba de Makoto-chan" are written, composed and sung by Kazuo Umezu himself. Screened with co-feature: 'Tonda Couple/Dreamy Fifteen', a live action film directed by Shinji Somai.
 Ashita no Joe
(Tomorrow's Joe)
1980A sports anime. The story of Joe Yabuki, a homeless orphan boy, who met his archrival, a boxer Toru Rikiishi in a youth prison and became a boxer to fight against Rikiishi. Based on the manga (1968-73) by Asao Takamori (Ikki Kajiwara) and Tetsuya Chiba. The first movie edited from the first TV series (1970-71). Directed by Yoichiro Fukuda. The original manga version is a monumental masterpiece noted as the greatest work of boxing/sports manga. There are the second TV series and the second movie version too.
 Cyborg 009: Legend of the Super Galaxy1980See the paragraph about the Cyborg 009 the first movie. The third movie version released after the second TV series was aired. A Sci-Fi action film set in space. The team of 9 cyborg warriors take a spaceship called "Ismael" and fight against Zoa, the king of the Planet Dagas, who plots to conquer the universe by using the super energy "Vortex", which is something like the mother source of the universe. The original works and general supervision by Shotaro Ishinomori. Directed by Masayuki Akehi. Produced by Toei.
 Mobile Suit Gundam: The Movie1981See the paragraph about the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series. The first of the Gundam movie trilogy, and the re-edited version from the first 13 episodes of the TV series with some new shots and scenes added. The supervising director is Yoshiyuki Tomino. Produced by Sunrise.
 Mobile Suit Gundam II:
Soldiers of Sorrow
1981See the paragraph about the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series. The second of the Gundam movie trilogy. Re-edited/re-constructed version of the TV series, from the 16th episode to the 31st one, with some new shots and scenes added. The supervising director is Yoshiyuki Tomino. Produced by Sunrise.
 The Sea Prince and the Fire Child1981A feature-length anime film (108 minutes) produced by Sanrio. A fantasy depicting a tragic love story between Syrius (the Prince of the Water Kingdom) and Malta (the Princess of the Fire Kingdom), like Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", based on a mythical world-view. Set in a world where the Fire Kingdom and the Water Kingdom are at odds, because of the falling-out between older sister Themis (the Fire Queen) and younger brother Glaucus (the Water King). The Prince of the Water Kingdom, Syrius meets up with Themis' daughter, Princess Malta. They fall in love with each other, and are in anguish over forbidden love. The fantastic and beautiful images featuring elaborate drawings and fluid animations (They spent three years for producing this film. All the 80,000 in-between drawings are made by hand trace) are worth seeing. The original story, planning and production by Shintaro Tsuji (the founder and president of Sanrio). Directed by Masami Hata. Koichi Sugiyama's classical and superb music are performed by NHK Symphony Orchestra. The original story is publushed as a book (story: Shintaro Tsuji, illustration: Yukio Abe, the art director of the film).
 Doraemon: The Records of Nobita, Spaceblazer1981See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The second movie based on Fujio F. Fujiko's manga (graphic novel). A Sci-Fi action/adventure in the Western style. The scene is laid in the Planet Koyakoya, where the gravity is lighter than the Earth's. The story of Nobita's heroic activity in battle against the Galtite Mining Industry, which plots to drive the pioneering settlers out of the planet and to monopolize the Galtite ore, a substance that generates antigravity energy. This work is noted as a masterpiece of Doraemon movie versions, among many others. The original works and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Hideo Nishimaki. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Adieu Galaxy Express 9991981See the paragraphs about the Galaxy Express 999 TV series and the first movie version. The second movie version based on the manga by Leiji Matsumoto. The sequel to the first movie. Tetsuro, who had been fighting against the Mechanized Men as a partisan soldier on the Earth, gets on the 999 again and starts for the terminal station, the planet Great Andromeda. Directed by Taro Rin. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Jarinko Chie the Movie (Chie the Brat)1981The animated feature film based on Etsumi Haruki's popular manga (graphic novel) 'Jarinko Chie (Chie the Brat)' (serialized in weekly 'Manga Action' since 1978 until 1997). A comedy full of human touches, set in downtown Osaka (the big city in Kansai region, the middle west of Japan). The leading character, Chie Takemoto is an eleven-year-old girl (in the fifth grade). She manages her family business, a bar-and-grill serving broiled pig innards, on behalf of her father Tetsu Takemoto, who does nothing but gambling and brawling. The original story by Etsumi Haruki. Directed by Isao Takahata. The character design by Yoichi Kotabe. The animation directors are Yoichi Kotabe and Yasuo Otsuka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. The TV anime series (1981-1983, 65 episodes) was aired after this movie version. In Kansai region, the TV series was re-aired many times and became a popular show. There is also the sequel second TV series (1991-1992, 39 episodes).
 Unico1981A feature-length, child-oriented fantasy adventure film based on Osamu Tezuka's manga (graphic novel) 'Unico', which was serialized in 'Lyrica', a girl's magazine published by Sanrio. The storyline is an adaptation of the chapters 3 ('A Cat on a Broomstick') and 8 ('Lonely Unico') of the original manga. A little unicorn with a white horn, Unico met a kitten Chao, who wanted to be a human girl. Unico transformed Chao into a girl by his magical power, but she was kidnapped by Baron Ghost, who was the incarnation of a giant Satan. Unico and his friend Akuma-kun (a little devil) try to fight against Satan and help her out. The original story by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Toshio Hirata. Produced by Sanrio (cooperated by Madhouse). There are other 'Unico' film versions: a short pilot film 'Unico' (produced in 1979 and released as video under the title of 'Unico: Black Cloud and White Feather') and the second movie 'Unico: To the Magic Island' (1983).
 Captain1981A feature-length animated movie (101 minutes) based on Akio Chiba's popular baseball manga 'Captain' (serialized in 'Monthly Shonen Jump' from 1972 to 1979). The original is an impressive sports manga featuring not heroes, but common boys, and the story depicts the growth of Sumiya 2 junior high school baseball team (the successive captains and players) in downtown Tokyo. Takao Taniguchi, who was a substitute player of the second team of Aoba Gakuin, a prestigious junior high school in the baseball world, but he transferred to Sumiya 2 and he became the captain of the baseball club. After steady training, the team try to do a final game in the regional preliminaries, against Aoba Gakuin. Originally aired as a one-shot TV special in 1980. The TV special was popular, so an extened version with a 30 minutes new part (a rematch against Aoba Gakuin) was re-aired, and then the movie version with small new shots was released in 1981. Directed by Satoshi Dezaki. Procuded by Eiken. The animation produced by Magic Bus. There are also the TV anime series (26 episodes, 1983) and live-action film (2007).
 The Door into Summer1981A medium long anime movie (59 minutes) based on the short story "The Door into Summer" (published in the girls' manga magazine 'Hana to Yume' in 1975) by Keiko Takemiya. An aesthetic film describing adolescent boys' delicate feelings set in France in the early 20 century. A story of a four boy team in a gymnasium, who calls themselves 'Rationalist Party'. The leader of the team, Marion takes a critical attitude toward adults and has no fear of senior students. A mayor's daughter and a beatiful girl Ledania is secretly in love with him, but he is tempted by an older beautiful woman Sarah and spends the night together with her. A cutting-edge film in those days, for it had some touchy subjects of sexual awakening and homosexuality, and exquisite drawings close to the original manga's touch. Directed by Mori Masaki. The animation produced by Madhouse and Toei Animation. Screened in the off-theater system (in non-theater locations such as halls and public cultural facilities) with "Akuma to Himegimi/The Devil and the Princess" based on the manga by Akimi Yoshida.
Good!Mobile Suit Gundam III:
Encounters in Space
1982See the paragraph about the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series. The third of the Gundam movie trilogy. Re-edited version of the episodes 32 to 43 (the last) of the TV series. About 70% of the animation is new. The supervising director is Yoshiyuki Tomino. Produced by Sunrise.
Very good!The Ideon: A Contact/Be Invoked1982See the paragraph about the Ideon TV series. This movie version consists of two parts: The first part 'A Contact' is a digest version summarizing the TV series, and the second 'Be Invoked' is a completely new film and the ending part that corresponds to the last four (40-43) episodes not aired on TV. 'Be Invoked' is a grand-scale Sci-Fi film depicting the drama of mankind's extinction and transmigration set in outer space, like Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'. The supervising director is Yoshiyuki Tomino. Produced by Sunrise.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil1982See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The third movie is an action adventure set in Africa. Nobita, Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian explore the secret of a big stone god in a jungle of Congo Basin, central Africa, and find a kingdom of evolved dogs. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Hideo Nishimaki. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Arcadia of My Youth (My Youth in Arcadia)1982A Sci-Fi adventure which depicted the younger days of Herlock, the hero of the TV anime series 'Space Pirate Captain Herlock' (aired in 1978-79) based on Leiji Matsumoto's manga (graphic novel). The story of young Herlock, who had fought agaisnt the invasion by aliens Illumidus, as the captain of the space battleship Death Shadow, which belonged to the Solar System Federation, but he lost the battle, and the Earth was conquered by Illumidus. After losing his beloved woman Maya in the fight against Illumidus' occupation forces, Herlock left the Earth and took off for space, with his lifelong friend Tochiro and the space battleship 'Arcadia', for his belief, 'to live freely'. The original story by Leiji Matsumoto. Directed by Tomoharu Katsumata. Produced by Toei. The TV series 'Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX' (aired in 1982-83) is the sequel of this film.
 Queen Millennia the Movie1982The movie version released just before the end of the TV anime series 'Queen Millennia' (aired in 1981-1982, 42 episodes), based on the original story by manga artist Leiji Matsumoto. A Sci-Fi fantasy story on 'Queen Millennia', who comes to the Earth from the planet Lar Metal once a millennium. In the year 1999, the Queen Millennia had lived in the Earth as a woman named Yayoi Yukino, working as a teacher and observatory officer. She fights with observatory's professor Amamori and a boy named Hajime Amamori (professor Amamori's nephew and her student) against the attack by Lar Metalians, who try to emigrate to the Earth. The original story by Leiji Matsumoto. Directed by Masayuki Akehi. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Goshu the Cellist1982A fantasy film based on the fairy story written by Kenji Miyazawa. Self-produced by Oh-Produntion, the well-established animation company. Set in a Japanese old-time country town surrounded by nature. The story of a young cellist named Goshu, who meets strange talking animals (cat, cuckoo, Japanese raccoon dog and mice). The background music is Beethoven's Symphony No.6 'Pastoral'. The screenplay and direction by Isao Takahata. The character designs and key animations by Shunji Saida for himself.
 Crusher Joe1983A Sci-Fi action movie based on the space-opera novel by Haruka Takachiho. The direction, character design and drawing direction by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (an animator/manga artist who is known as the character designer and animation director of the Gundam first TV series). The story of a space handyman, Crusher Joe and his team's fights against space pirate Murphy. Kei and Yuri from 'Dirty Pair' (the original characters by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko) appear as guests. Produced by Sunrise. There are also the 2 OAVs released in 1989.
 Harmagedon1983A Sci-Fi anime based on the original works by Kazumasa Hirai (novel) and Shotaro Ishinomori (manga). The story of a Japanese high school boy with psi power, Joe Azuma, and other psionic fighters in the world, who unite in fighting against 'Genma', an invader from outer space, to save the Earth. The characters designed by Katsuhiro Otomo are cool. Directed by Taro Rin. The music directed by Keith Emerson. The animation production by Madhouse.
 Barefoot Gen1983A feature-length anime film (84 minutes) based on the manga "Barefoot Gen" by Keiji Nakazawa, the part serialized in "Weekly Shonen Jump" (1973-1974). The original manga is a must-read masterpiece of drama/survival story based on Nakazawa's own experiences as a survivor of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb. This anime film version was made by selecting some episodes from the original manga and reconstructing them. A boy in the second grade at national (elementary) school, living in Hiroshima, Gen Nakaoka loses his father, sister and brother by the atomic bombing. He struggles to survive in the devastated land after defeat in the war, with his mother and an orphan boy Ryuta Kondo. The characters' designs and actions are more cartoonish than the original, but the descriptions of the devastation after the nuclear blast are shocking and frightful. The production, original story and screenplay by Keiji Nakazawa. Directed by Mori Masaki. The character design and animation direction by Kazuo Tomizawa. The animation production by Madhouse. There is the sequel "Barefoot Gen 2" (1986).
 Urusei Yatsura: Only You1983See the paragraph about the Urusei Yatsura TV series. The first movie directed by Mamoru Oshii, who had been the chief director of the TV series. A slapstick comedy/love romance that is extension of the TV series. The story of Elle, the queen of the Planet Elle, who pressed to Ataru Moroboshi to get married with her, and took him away to her planet. She tried going ahead with the marriage, but Lum begins an operation to recapture Ataru. Produced by Kitty Film (cooperated by Studio Pierrot). Screened with co-feature: 'The Big Catch; Shonben Rider', a live action film directed by Shinji Somai.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Monstrous Underwater Castle1983See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The fourth movie is an action adventure set in the depths of the sea. Nobita, Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian rode a submergible buggy and went camping in the mountains at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. They found an undersea people's state, the Mu Federation in the Mariana Trench, and met Mu's child soldier, El. Then, submarine volcanic activity reactivated Atlantis' automatic reprisal system in the Bermuda Triangle, which was a legacy of extinct Atlanteans, and it was going to fire a nuclear missile. Nobita, his friends and El go to the Bermuda Triangle to stop the missile launch. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Golgo 13: The Professional1983'Golgo 13' is Takao Saito's graphic novel serialized in the magazine 'Big Comic' since 1968 for long periods. The leading character Golgo 13 (alias: Duke Togo) is a professional assassin and ruthless sniper who never fails to shoot down any target. The anime movie version is a hard-boiled action with the story based on the 108th episode of the original. The oil tycoon, Leonard Dawson fights a pursuit battle with Golgo 13, who killed Dawson's son Robert, mobilizing FBI, CIA and Pentagon. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. The chief animator is Akio Sugino. The animation production by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. The title of the US release version is 'The Professional: Golgo 13'. There is also the OAV (original animation video) 'Golgo 13: Queen Bee' (1998) by the duo of Dezaki and Sugino.
 Unico: To the Magic Island1983See the paragraph about 'Unico' the first movie. The second movie is a fantasy adventure in a modern-horror style. Based on the manga 'Unico and the Kingdom of the Sun' newly-drawn for this film. The story describes the fight between Unico and the sorcerer Kukurukku, who changes humans into dolls called 'living puppets' and builds his castle by using them for the parts. The original story by Osamu Tezuka. The screenplay and direction by Moribi Murano. Produced by Sanrio. Cooperated by Madhouse.
 Patalliro! Stardust Program1983See the paragraph about the 'Patalliro!' TV series. The movie version (48 minutes) released after the TV series ended. Based on the original manga's long episode 'Stardust' (published in the book vol. 5). A comical spy action/gag anime set in outer space. Patalliro, Bancolin, Maraich and Plasma X (a super robot created by Patalliro) fight against 'Tarantella', an international crime organization which steals diamonds from around the world and tries to rule the world. The original story by Mineo Maya. Directed by Nobutaka Nishizawa. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The opening theme song 'Run Away Rose Boys!' is sung by the original manga author Mineo Maya himself.
Good!Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind1984An ecological Sci-Fi film. The original works, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. Based on the full-length manga (graphic novel) by Miyazaki himself. Set in a distant future world when industrial civilization has collapsed after the apocalyptic war called the 'Seven Days of Fire'. The large parts of the earth have been covered by the 'Sea of Corruption', the forests with miasma (poison gas) and 'Ohmu' (giant mutated insects). Nausicaa, who is the princess of a small kingdom 'Valley of Wind', gets involved in the war against Torumekia, the military kingdom plotting to revive the Giant God Soldiers (weapons that destroyed the world in the 'Seven Days of Fire'), and she seeks to follow a path of coexistence with ecosystem. The storyline is simpler than the original manga, but a very high quality finished work as a motion picture. Produced by Top Craft (later Studio Ghibli).
Very good!Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer1984See the paragraph about the Urusei Yatsura TV series. The second movie version is a controversial piece which is both a self-parody of the TV series as 'an endlessly repeating slapstick comedy' and a meta-fictional Sci-Fi film with the theme of 'inner space'. The story of Ataru Moroboshi and other main characters, who are confined in a strange world of inner space like a dream, where one and the same day-the day before the school festival in Tomobiki High School-is being repeated over and over. The screenplay and direction by Mamoru Oshii. The greatest work in all of the Urusei Yatsura series, and must-see masterpiece. Produced by Kitty Film. Cooperated by Studio Pierrot.
Good!Macross: Do You Remember Love?1984See the paragraph about the Macross TV series. The completely renewed movie version based on the main storyline of the TV series. The drawings and animations are much more elaborate and splendid than the TV series. In terms of images, the highest quality anime film of the time. Directed by Noboru Ishiguro and Shoji Kawamori. Produced by Big West, Tatsunoko Production and others.
 Wata no Kuni Hoshi (The Star of Cottonland)1984The anime film version based on the girls' manga 'Wata no Kuni Hoshi' by Yumiko Oshima (serialized in monthly 'LaLa' since 1978). The original manga version is a fantasy masterpiece with a literary flavor, which depicted the worlds of humans and cats from the viewpoint of an anthropomorphized kitten. The storyline of the film is mainly based on the episode one ('Watanokunihoshi') and three ('Silkmoon Petitroad') of the original: A young man going to a prep school, Tokio Suwano brought home an abandoned female kitten, and he named her 'Chibineko'. Chibineko believed she could be a human being someday, but a beautiful, silver-colored male cat Raphael said to her "cats can't be humans", and talked to her about the legendary 'Cottonland'. The planning and production by Mushi Production. The screenplay by Masaki Tsuji and Yumiko Oshima. Directed by Shin'ichi Tsuji.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Great Adventure into the Underworld1984See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The fifth movie version is a fantasy adventure set in another world (a parallel world) where magic has evolved. Dr. Mangetsu preaches the 'Devildom Contiguity Theory' that says the 'Planet Devildom' approaches the Earth and the devils plot to invade the Earth. The devils abduct him and change his daughter Miyako into the form of a cat. Nobita, Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian with Miyako barge into the devildom and fight against the Great Satan Demaon to save the Earth. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Shonen Kenya (Jungle Boy Kenya)1984A feature-length anime film (109 minutes) based on "Shonen Kenya (Boy Kenya)", an illustrated story by Soji Yamakawa (serialized in the daily newspaper "Sangyo Keizai Shinbun" in 1951-1955). The second anime film produced by Kadokawa Film, following "Harmagedon" (1983). A jungle adventure story set in Africa, with the world-view like Tarzan films and Conan Doyle's novel "The Lost World". In 1941, a Japanese boy Wataru Murakami had lived in Kenya (British colony), for his father works as a trading merchant there. Japan declares war against the U.S. and the British Empire, and the Pacific War breaks out. Being hunted by the British soldiers, Wataru is separated from his father deep in jungle. Then, Wataru mates with Zega (an old chief of Maasai people), Kate (a beautiful Caucasian girl) and Dana (a huge serpent), and embarks on an adventurous journey to search for his father. The highlights are its avant-garde image expressions, including color-coding images without lines, black-on-white ink drawing style animation, optical compositing and CGs, and its outrageous development in the last part in which a secret Nazi base, an atomic bomb and ancient dinosaurs appear. The original author Soji Yamakawa appears in the opening and ending live-action parts. Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi (director known for his live-action films such as "Nerawareta Gakuen", "Exchange Students" and "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"). Co-director is Tetsuo Imazawa. The animation produced by Toei Animation. There were the radio drama, live-action film, TV drama and manga versions before this anime version.
 Jumping1984The most famous and ambitious work of experimental short anime films produced by the manga artist Osamu Tezuka in his later years (the 1980s). The world scenes, such as towns, forests, sea and battlefields, are seen from a first person point of view that keeps on jumping high, like a bouncing ball. 6 minutes and 20 seconds. One-shot shooting all through the film. Tezuka was inspired by Hungarian animator, Ferenc Rofusz's short film "The Fly" (1980) and produced this film. The direction and screenplay by Osamu Tezuka. The drawing by Junji Kobayashi. Produced by Tezuka Productions. Won the Grand Prix at 1984 Zagreb international animation festival.
 Gamba the Movie1984See the paragraph about the 'Gamba no Bouken/The Adventures of Gamba' TV series. A digest version (93 minutes) that summarizes the TV series' main episodes. The original movie title is 'Boukenshatachi: Gamba to Nana-hiki no Nakama (The Adventurers: Gamba and Seven Friends)'. Re-edited and directed by the TV series' director Osamu Dezaki himself. Mainly consists of the episodes which describe Gamba's encounter with friends and fight against a white weasel Noroi. If you have time, I recommend you watch all the episodes of the TV series, because the TV series is one of the greatest films in Japan's anime history. The original story by Atsuo Saito. The animation director is Yoshio Kabashima. The scenes design and layout by Tsutomu Shibayama. The art director is Shichiro Kobayashi. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
 The Dagger of Kamui1985A ninja action/adventure film based on the novel by Sci-Fi writer Tetsu Yano. Set in Japan (last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate of the Edo Period) and the US (the pioneer days of the American West) in the middle of the 19th century. The story of a half-Ainu half-Japanese young man named Jiro (Ainu is Japan's indigenous people), who became a ninja and takes an adventurous journey with the 'Dagger of Kamui' (a relic of his father), from Japan to the US through Kamchatka peninsula and ice-bound seas, to explore the mysteries of the pirate Captain Kidd's treasures. 'Kamui' is Ainu's word for something like 'Gods'. Directed by Taro Rin. The animation production by Project Team Argos and Madhouse.
 Night on the Galactic Railroad
(Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo)
1985A fantasy film based on Hiroshi Masumura's manga (graphic novel) version of the fairy story written by Kenji Miyazawa. The main characters are anthropomorphized cats. The story of a boy named Giovanni ans his best friend Campanella, who go on a strange trip into the Milky Way on the galactic railroad train. Directed by Gisaburo Sugii. Music by Haruomi Hosono. The animation production by Group Tac. 'Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo' is the Esperanto title.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Little Star Wars1985See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The sixth movie version is a Sci-Fi action adventure in the motif of "A Voyage To Lilliput" from "Gulliver's Travels" written by Jonathan Swift. One day Nobita meets a lilliputian boy Papi, who is the president of small-sized aliens' planet, Pirika. In Pirika, General Gilmore had launched a coup d'etat and Papi had escaped from the planet. Gilmore comes to the Earth and captures Papi to kill him. Nobita and his friends (Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian) make themselves smaller like lilliputians and goes to Pirika to save Papi, riding on radio-controlled tanks. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love1985See the paragraph about the Urusei Yatsura TV series. The third movie version directed by Kazuo Yamazaki, who became the chief director of the TV series, taking over from Mamoru Oshii. A fantasy drama and a straightforward love story based on the original worldview of the manga version and TV series. Featuring all the main characters. Being cursed by a sorcerer, Lum and Ataru Moroboshi were separated by the fault line in time and space. Ataru changed into a pink hippopotamus, and Lum disappeared after a mysterious boy named Ruu, who changed Ataru into a hippopotamus. And then, Ataru reverted to his original appearance, and became used to the daily life without Lum, but one day he realizes that he needs Lum at heart. Produced by Kitty Film. Cooperated by Studio DEEN.
 Broken Down Film1985One of experimental short anime films produced by the manga artist Osamu Tezuka in his later years (the 1980s). A comical parody of old black-and-white silent animated films. A story of a cowboy who tries to defeat a villain and help out a beautiful girl. He also struggles with the film itself on which he appears, the scratches (like rain) and dust on the film and disturbed frames. 5 minutes and 37 seconds. Black and white (partly color). Screened in the 1st Hiroshima International Animation Film Festival. The original story, composition and direction by Osamu Tezuka. Produced by Tezuka Productions.
 Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon1985See the paragraph about the Lupin III first TV series. The third movie released when the third TV series was on the air. Mamoru Oshii was originally supposed to direct, but the producers fired him because his plan was too experimental. Instead, Shigetsugu Yoshida and Seijun Suzuki directed this movie, and the staff of the third TV series produced it. A slapstick comedy depicting the battle between Lupin and Marciano, a New York mafia boss, for hidden golden treasures in Babylon of ancient Mesopotamia. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
 GeGeGe no Kitaro1985See the paragraph about the 'GeGeGe no Kitaro' first TV series. The first movie (24 minutes) of the third TV series. A southern yokai, Chimpo and his gang conspire with Nezumi Otoko (Rat Man) to kill Kitaro. Nezumi Otoko lures Kitaro by kidnapping Yumeko Tendo (A human girl. An original character in the third TV series), but Kitaro and his friends (Neko Musume, Sunakake Babaa, Konaki Jijii, Ittan Momen and Nurikabe) fight against southern yokai gang and the real boss Nurarihyon to rescue Yumeko. Directed by Taeshi Shirato. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Laputa: The Castle in the Sky1986A delightful fantasy action adventure film on 'Laputa', the floating island in the sky, from Jonathan Swift's novel, "Gulliver's Travels". The story of a boy, Pazu (an apprentice mechanic) and a girl, Sheeta, who embarks on an adventurous journey for exploring the legend of 'Laputa' and the mystery of the 'Flying Stone'. The first of the feature-length anime movies produced by Studio Ghibli. The original works, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki.
 Dragon Ball the Movie: Curse of the Blood Rubies (The Legend of Shen Long)1986See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball' TV series. The first movie version (50 minutes) is an original story that tells the meeting of Son Goku, Bulma, Oolong, Yamucha and Master Muten, and the beginning of Goku's adventure, which is different from the manga version and TV series. In the Kingdom of Gurumes, people suffer under the misrule of the King Gurumes, who is looking for the world's greatest delicacy. Goku and his party fight against the Gurumes' military forces, scrambling for dragon balls. Directed by Daisuke Nishio. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Platoon of Iron Men1986See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The seventh movie version is a Sci-Fi action/drama depicting the fight against robotic corps from another planet. One day, Nobita met a mystery girl named Rilulu. She was actually a robot from the Planet Mechatopia, in which highly-advanced robots are living, and she tried to establish a front-line base for conquering the earth. Nobita and his friends get Mechatopia's robotic corps into the 'Specular World' (world on the other side of the mirror) and fight a desperate battle againt them. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 GeGeGe no Kitaro: The Great Yokai War1986See the paragraph about the 'GeGeGe no Kitaro' first TV series. The second movie (about 40 minutes) of the third TV series. Based on the episode "Yokai Daisenso/The Great Yokai War" (appeared in "Weekly Shonen Magazine"" in 1966) of the original manga "Hakaba no Kitaro". Backbaird (a giant one-eyed monster) and his Western Monster Team (Dracula, Witch, Frankenstein and Werewolf) take over the Houkiboshi Island in southern Japan, and start to build a fortress to conquer Japan. Kitaro ans his Japanese Yokai team (Medama-oyaji, Sunakake Babaa, Konaki Jijii, Ittan Momen, Nurikabe, Neko Musume and Nezumi Otoko) fight with the islanders against the Western Monster Team. The highlights are battle/action scenes with high-quality drawings and animations. Directed by Osamu Kasai (the series director of 'GeGeGe no Kitaro' third TV series). The animation director is Yoshinori Kanemori (the character designer of the third TV series). The art director is Isamu Tsuchida. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 They Were Eleven1986A Sci-Fi suspense set in a closed situation inside a spaceship. Based on Moto Hagio's short manga (published in 1975). The story of a young man named Tadatos Lane (Tada), who took the entrance exam for 'Cosmo Academy', the most prestigious university in space. In the final test, test-takers were made to live together in groups of ten each in a derelict spaceship during 53 days, but for some reason, there were 11 test-takers in the spaceship Tada boarded. Produced by Kitty Film. Directed by Tetsu Dezaki and Tsuneo Tominaga.
 Project A-ko1986A Sci-Fi slapstick action/comedy by two animators who had participated in working on the Urusei Yatsura TV anime series: Katsuhiko Nishijima and Yuji Moriyama. Directed by Katsuhiko Nishijima. The character designer and chief animator is Yuji Moriyama. The leading character, Eiko Magami (A-ko) is a high school girl with superhuman strength. She and her friend Shiiko Kotobuki (C-ko) transfer to the Graviton School. There A-ko combats against her childhood friend Biiko Daitokuji (B-ko) over C-ko, and they get involved in the battle between alien's spaceship and defense forces. The animation production by A.P.P.P. There are the sequels too.
 Windaria1986A fantasy film depicting the tragic love of the two couples involved in the war between the two powers. The story of a youngman named Izu and his young wife Marlin, who had lived in the village of Saki, where a big tree called 'Windaria' stood. They had worked as vegetable vendors and lived peacefully, but when the war started between the two kingdoms, Isa and Paro, Izu went to Paro and joined the war, leaving Marlin. Meanwhile, princess of Isa, Ahanas and prince of Paro, Jill had loved each other, but their destiny was to meet again in the battlefield and fight each other. The storyline is based on the one episode 'Asaji ga Yodo/The House of Wild Gramineons' from 'Ugetsu Monogatari/Tales of Ugetsu' by Akinari Ueda (the Japanese ghost stories of the 18th century). The original story and screenplay by Keisuke Fujikawa. The character design and animation supervised by Mutsumi Inomata. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation produced by Kaname Production. There is the novelized version, 'Windaria: Legend of Fabulous Battle' by Keisuke Fujikawa.
 Arion1986A fantasy/romance film on Greek myths. Directed by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the animator/manga artist who is known as the character designer and animation director of the Gundam first TV series. Based on the manga/graphic novel (serialized in 1980-85) by Yasuhiko himself. Set in ancient Greece which had been ruled by the god family Titans. A coming-of-age story of a boy named Arion, who was born between Titans and humans. The original works, direction, character design and animation direction by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. The animation produced by Nippon Sunrise. Recommended to those who like the original manga or Yasuhiko's characters.
 Barefoot Gen 21986A feature-length anime film (86 minutes) produced as a sequel to "Barefoot Gen" (1983). Based on the manga "Barefoot Gen" by Keiji Nakazawa, Choubunsha's book volumes 5-7 (from the meeting with friends of A-bomb orphans to the death of Gen's mother). Three years after the atomic bombing and Japan's defeat in the war. Gen Nakaoka got into the fourth grade, and had lived with his mother and an orphan boy Ryuta Kondo. Gen and Ryuta meet a group of A-bomb orphans (Enkou no Masa, Katsuko and others) and make friends with them. They work together and try to gain money for recovery of Gen's mother, who is affected by A-bomb disease. Like the previous film, lots of characters and episodes of the original manga are abbreviated. Enkou no Masa is an original character who only appeared in the anime film. The drawings of the characters are not as cartoonish as the previous film, and closer to the mainstream of the 1980s Madhouse, like "Harmagedon" (1983) and Yoshiaki Kawajiri works. The production and original story by Keiji Nakazawa. Directed by Toshio Hirata (the director of "Unico"). The animation production by Madhouse.
 Toki no Tabibito -Time Stranger-1986A feature-length anime movie (91 minutes) based on Taku Mayumura's time-travel Sci-Fi novel for young adults "Toki no Tabibito (Time Stranger)" (the original title is "Toraerareta Schoolbus (A Schoolbus Snatched)", published in 1981-1983). A boy who had escaped from the future world, Jiro Agino slips back in time to current Japan, and he converts a van into a time machine. The people in the van, a female high-school student Tetsuko Hayasaka, her friends and teacher are involved in Jiro's escape, and wander around the scenes in Japanese history, such as Bombing of Tokyo (1945), Battle of Sekigahara (1600) and Honno-ji Incident (1582). Directed by Mori Masaki. The character design by Moto Hagio (a manga artist). The mechanical design by Koji Morimoto. The animation production by Project Team Argos and Madhouse. Screened with a medium long anime movie "The Phoenix: Karma". The theme song written, composed and sung by Mariya Takeuchi (a singer-songwriter). There is an adventure game (for Family Computer) based on the setting of this film.
 The Phoenix: Karma1986A medium long anime movie (60 minutes) based on Osamu Tezuka's saga manga 'The Phoenix', the 'Karma Chapter' (serialized in the magazine 'COM' in 1969-1970) of the series, which is famous as one of the greatest masterpieces in all of the series. A drama depicting a fateful fight between two sculptors, Akanemaru and Gao, set in ancient Japan (the 8th century, Nara period). A sculptor from Yamato, Akanemaru was roaming across the country in search of Houou (Chinese name of Phoenix). A boss of a thief gang, Gao (one-eyed, one-armed man) attacked Akanemaru and slashed his right arm. Because of remorse for killing his beloved wife Hayame, Gao went on a wandering journey sculpturing Buddhist statues. Meanwhile, Akanemaru became the man in charge of the building of Great Buddha, and got status and fame. They meet again and fight in a contest of sculpture for the Emperor. Several important episodes in the original are omitted in this film, because of its short length, so it's undeniable that it is less impressive in drama than the original. Directed by Taro Rin. The animation production by Project Team Argos and Madhouse.
Good!Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise1987A Sci-Fi film depicting the first manned space flight in another world, the Kingdom of Honneamise. The story of Shirotsugh Lhardatto, a young officer in the 'Royal Space Force', who meets a devout girl named Leiqunni Nondelaiko, and volunteers for being the pilot of the experimental manned spacecraft. The highlights are the detailed settings and realistic description of another world. The first production by GAINAX (the production company of Gunbuster, Nadia and Evangelion). The original concept, screenplay and direction by Hiroyuki Yamaga. The musical director is Ryuichi Sakamoto.
 Dirty Pair the Movie (Project Eden)1987See the paragraph about the 'DirtyPair' TV series. The movie version released after the TV series (1985) and the OAV 'Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia (Mystery of Norlandia)' (1986). A Sci-Fi action entertainment featuring the girl duo, Kei and Yuri, who work in the WWWA (Worlds Welfare Work Association) as galactic troubleshooters. In the year 2141, they went to the planet Agerna to investigate the case of the attack on the experiment plant for 'Vizorium' (a rare-metal element essential to the latest technologies like warp engine). They sneaked with a master thief Carson D. Carson into the laboratory of scientist Wattsman, and they discovered that the case was caused by Wattsman, who tried to create a new life form from Vizorium ore (fossils of an ancient creature 'Sadinga'). The features are the sequences of tremendous physical actions and battles against monsters. The original story by Haruka Takachiho. Produced by Shochiku and Sunrise. Directed by Koichi Mashita.
 Dragon Ball the Movie: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle1987See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball' TV series. The second movie (46 minutes) is an original story set in the 'Castle of Fiend' where Lucifer and demons live. Kame-Sen'nin (the Master Muten) says to Son Goku and Krillin, "tack back the sleeping princess from the Castle of Fiend, and I'll take you as my students". Goku and Krillin sneak into the castle, but Bulma, who also comes to the castle with Yamcha, Puer and Oolong, following Goku, is captured by the castellan Lucifer. Directed by Daisuke Nishio. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Saint Seiya: Evil Goddess Eris1987See the paragraph about the "Saint Seiya" TV series. The first movie (45 minutes) released in 1987, when the TV series had been on air, as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival', with "Dragon Ball the Movie: Sleeping Princess in Devil's Castle", "Hikari Sentai Maskman" and "Choujinki Metalder". The original title was "Saint Seiya", but the 2004 DVD release was titled "Saint Seiya: Evil Goddess Eris". The Goddess of Discord, Eris descends to earth. Eris kidnaps Athena (Saori Kido) and plans to be back in full force by sucking Athena's energy out. To save Athena's life, the Bronze Saints fight against the five Ghost Saints revived by Eris. Directed by Kozo Morishita. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Dragon Rider1987See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The eighth movie is a Sci-Fi adventure set in the world under the ground. One day, Nobita found a giant cavity under the ground, by using Doraemon's tool 'Everywhere Hole'. Nobita, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian try to make it their playground, but they find people living under the ground. They are Dinosauroids evolved from dinosaurs, and they build an advanced civilization under the ground. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Lupin III: The Plot of the Fuma Clan1987See the paragraph about the Lupin III first TV series. The fourth movie (73 minutes). originally made as an OAV, but released in theaters before its video release. An action film set in Hida (Gifu Pref.) in Japan. one of Lupin's gang, Goemon Ishikawa is going to get married to Murasaki Suminawa, a daughter and heir of the Suminawa Family, but the Fuma Clan (a gang of thieves) hold her hostage, and they demand Suminawa's urn in exchange for the hostage, for the location of Suminawa's hidden treasures is expressed in it. Lupin and his gang take back Murasaki from Fuma, and battle against Fuma for hidden treasures. This film features speedy action scenes, such as car chase and swordfight, and it has nothing in story and drama to speak of. The highlights are the high-quality drawings and animations by Telecom Animation Film (a subsidiary of Tokyo Movie Shinsha). The supervisor is Yasuo Otsuka (the animation director of "Lupin III" first TV series). The animation director is Kazuhide Tomonaga. The exceptional feature of this film was that the voice cast was changed completely from the traditional series.
 My Neighbor Totoro1988A fantasy film set in a Japanese farming village of around the 1960. The story of a 11-year-old girl named Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei, who move into a farming village (Tokorozawa City, Saitama Pref.), and meet Totoro, an odd-looking creature (spirit) living in the woods. The original works, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. Produced by Studio Ghibli. Screened with co-feature: 'Grave of the Fireflies' directed by Isao Takahata.
Good!Grave of the Fireflies1988A tragic story of a young orphaned Japanese brother and sister at the time of World War II. In the last days of the Pacific War, in 1945, a 14-year-old boy named Seita and his four-year-old sister Setsuko lose their mother and house in an air raid, and they try living alone at an air-raid shelter. An impressive film depicting hopeless love and near-death experience with cold and realistic touch. Based on the novel by Akiyuki Nosaka. The screenplay and direction by Isao Takahata. Produced by Studio Ghibli. Screened with co-feature: 'My Neighbor Totoro' directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Good!AKIRA1988A world-famous cyberpunk Sci-Fi action movie. Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, a manga (graphic novel) artist. Based on the full-length manga by Otomo himself. In near future 'Neo-Tokyo' after the World War III, government, armed services, urban guerilla and motorcycle gangs fight over a state secret called 'AKIRA'. The highlights are the elaborate and ultra realistic drawings/animations. The animation production by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
Good!Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack1988See the paragraph about the 'Mobile Suit Gundam' TV series. The first completely original movie of the Gundam series. The sequel to the story of the first TV series. The story of the final fight between Amuro Ray (who belongs to Londo Bell, the independent corps of the Earth Federal Forces) and Char Aznable (the leader of Neo Zeon) in 0093 Universal Century, 13 years after the 'One Year War'. The original works, screenplay and direction by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Produced by Sunrise.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Parallel Saiyuki1988See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The ninth movie is a Sci-Fi action adventure with the theme of time paradox (paradox of time travel), set in ancient China and today's Japan. Nobita, Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian went to ancient China to confirm the reality of Son Goku, who appeared in the Chinese classical fantasy novel 'Hsi Yu Chi/Journey to the West'. Nobita played Son Goku by using Doraemon's future game console 'Hero Machine', but monsters jumped out of the machine and ruled the real world. As a result, the history was altered, and today's world was changed into monsters' world. To put the history back by bringing down monsters, Nobita and his friends head to ancient China again. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Dragon Ball the Movie: Mystical Adventure1988See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball' TV series. The third movie (46 minutes) is an original story set in the Mifan Empire. Son Goku visits the empire to enter the martial arts contest, but a minister Tsuru Sennin makes his follower Tao Pai Pai kill Goku to get dragonballs. Arare-chan from 'Dr. Slump: Arare-chan' appears as a guest character. Directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Saint Seiya: The Heated Battle of the Gods1988See the paragraph about the "Saint Seiya" TV series. The second movie (46 minutes) released in 1988, when the TV series had been on air, as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival', with "Lady Lady!!", "Bikkuriman" and "Kamen Rider Black". An original story using the Norse myth motifs, which later became the model for the "Asgard Saga" of the TV series. Set in Asgard (a North European kingdom of the Gods), the Bronze Saints fight against the hierarch Dolbar, who plots to put Athena to death and rule the Sanctuary, and his followers, God Warriors. The gorgeous and beautiful drawings (all the key-animations by Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno) and the high level of images as an anction anime are worth seeing. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Saint Seiya: Legend of Crimson Youth1988See the paragraph about the "Saint Seiya" TV series. The third movie released in 1988, when the TV series had been on air. The first feature-length movie (75 minutes) of the series. Released along with "Sakigake!! Otokojuku". An original story about the battle between the Bronze Saints and Phoebus Abel (the Sun God). Zeus' son and Athena (Saori Kido)'s brother, Abel comes back to the earth with three Corona Saints in order to destroy the human race in God's name. Abel revives the five Gold Saints (who had died in the battle of the zodiac), and sends Athena's soul to afterlife, the Elysian Fields. The Bronze Saints battle against the many strong enemies to save Athena. The animation director is Shingo Araki. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Maison Ikkoku: Final Chapter1988See the paragraph about the 'Maison Ikkoku' TV series. The movie version released when the TV series ended. An original episode that describes the scenes at Ikkoku-kan two days before the wedding of Yusaku Godai and Kyoko Otonashi. As always, the residents at Ikkoku-kan have spent their time doing drinking parties each and every day, but it seems like Kyoko is eagerly waiting for a letter from someone, so Yusaku worries that she might change her mind. Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki. The character designer/drawing director is Yuji Moriyama. Produced by Kitty Film. The animation produced by Asia-Do.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: The Dead Zone1989See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The first movie (41 minutes) is an original story after Son Goku defeated Piccolo at the 23rd World Martial-Arts Tournament. Kami-sama's old nemesis Garlic's son Garlic Jr. and his following knock down Piccolo by attacking him unawares, and they kidnap Son Goku's son Gohan with his dragonball. Gaining immortality by Shen Long's power, Garlic Jr. tries to be Earth's ruler by killing Kami-sama, but Goku, Krillin and Piccolo challenge Garlic Jr. to a death match. Directed by Daisuke Nishio. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Kiki's Delivery Service1989A fantasy film based on the juvenile literature by Eiko Kadono. The story of a 13-year-old witch named Kiki, who with her black cat Jiji, left her family, and started to work as a deliverer flying on a broom, for being a full-fledged witch. The screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. Produced by Studio Ghibli. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1989.
Very good!Patlabor the Movie1989See the paragraph about the Patlabor OAV series. The first movie version. The story of the Special Vehicles Section 2 members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police, who fight against a cybercrime to plot to destory Tokyo by making Labors run amuck with a computer virus. The new Patlabor, 'Type-Zero' is cool. A high quality finished movie as an entertainment film. Highly recommended. The planning and original works by Headgear. Directed by Mamoru Oshii. Produced by Studio DEEN.
 Saint Seiya: Warriors of the Final Holy Battle1989See the paragraph about the "Saint Seiya" TV series. The fourth movie (45 minutes) released in 1989, just before the TV series ended, as one of the programs of 'Toei Manga Festival', with "Osomatsu-kun: Suika no Hoshi kara Konnichiwa zansu!", "Himitsu no Akko-chan" and "Kousoku Sentai Turboranger". An original story featuring guest characters based on the Bible and Christianity, after the last "Poseidon Saga" of the TV series in chronological order. The fallen angel Lucifer comes back to life from the underworld, with his four servants fallen angels (Beelzebub of Seraph, Ashtoreth of Cherubim, Mois of Thrones, Eligor of Virtues), and tries to wreak a catastrophe on the world. To save the world by the sacrifice of self, Athena goes to Lucifer in the abode of demons. The Bronze Saints follow her, but four fallen angels stand in their way. The highlight is the fast-paced development of a series of powerful battle action scenes. The animation director is Masahiro Naoi. Directed by Masayuki Akehi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Soreike! Anpanman: Tears of the Planet KiraKira1989The first movie version of 'Soreike! Anpanman' (Go! Anpanman), the TV anime series (aired since 1988) based on Takashi Yanase's picture books for little children. 'Anpan' means 'a bean-paste bun' (a sweet bun filled with red-bean paste), and Anpanman is an Anpan-headed hero fighting for justice. The story of Anpanman and his fellow's fights to save the Princess Nanda from the Planet KiraKira. The character designs are simple and cute. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. The TV version has been aired in South Korea, Thailand, Spain and Brazil. There are many other movie versions too.
 Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland1989A feature-length animated movie based on the American comic strip classic 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' (serialized in the 'New York Herald' since 1905) by Winsor McCay. A Disney-style fantasy animation produced by Japan-U.S. collaboration. Set in the kingdom of dreamland called 'Slumberland', a little boy Nemo and his friends, Princess Camille and Professor Genius have an adventurous journey to save the King Morpheus kidnapped by the Nightmare King. Released in the U.S. in 1992. This film was a box-office failure, but the quality of animation itself is high, and in the US the video racked up sales of 2 million. Produced by Yutaka Fujioka (Tokyo Movie Shinsha president). Directed by Masami Hata and William Hurtz (William T. Hurtz. An animator who participated in Disney's 'Fantasia'). Screenplay by Chris Columbus and Richard Outten. Screen concept by Ray Bradbury. The animation directors are Kazuhide Tomonaga and Nobuo Tomizawa. Conceptual design by Jean Moebius Giraud. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha. There are the three versions of pilot films: Sadao Tsukioka version, Yoshifumi Kondo/Kazuhide Tomonaga version, and Osamu Dezaki version.
 The Five Star Stories1989The anime film version based on the first volume's episode of 'The Five Star Stories', the Sci-Fi/fantasy saga manga (graphic novel) by Mamoru Nagano (the character/mechanical designer for the TV anime 'Heavy Metal L-Gaim'). The original manga version is a very long and best-selling series started in 1986. A sweeping epic of romance and mecha-action set in the Joker Star Cluster, formed by the four solar systems and one sun-and-plannet system. On the Planet Addler, people have fought fierce battles with each other by using giant humanoid machines called 'Mortar Headds', which are piloted by knights called 'Headliners' and controlled by female androids called 'Fatimas'. The film version is the love story between Ladios Sopp, the maker of Mortar Headd 'The Knight Of Gold', and a Fatima girl, Lachesis. The original story by Mamoru Nagano. Directed by Kazuo Yamazaki. The animation produced by Sunrise. Recommended to those who like the original manga version, or who have an interest in it.
 Doraemon: Nobita at the Birth of Japan1989See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The tenth movie is a Sci-Fi action adventure set in Japan and the Chinese continent 70 thousand years ago. Nobita, Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian run away from home to Japan 70 thousand years ago by riding a time machine, and they start building a utopia. They meet a boy named Kukuru, who came from Hikari (light) tribe in the Chinese continent, and Hikari tribe has been attacked by the King of Spirits 'Giga Zombie' and violent Kurayami (darkness) tribe. Nobita and his friends go to the Chinese continent to save Hikari tribe. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Animal Planet1990See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The eleventh movie (100 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita and the Animal Planet" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1989-1990). A Sci-Fi adventure set in a planet where human-like evolved animals are living. Nobita wanders into a strange world of another planet through a pink fog, where human-like animals are living in peace under the advanced civilization. Nobita and Draemon make friends with a dog boy Chippo there. Humanoid aliens called The Nimuges, who are living in a planet ruined by collapse of civilization, attack the Animal Planet and try to conquer it. A didactic and entertaining film that includes criticism against environmental destruction and human's egoistic civilization. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1990. There is also a stage drama (2008) directed by Shoji Kokami.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: The World's Strongest1990See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The second movie (59 minutes) is an original story describing a fight between Son Goku and evil scientists. An extraordinary scientific genius, Dr. Wheelo had died 50 years before, but his assistant Dr. Kochin colletced seven dragonballs, called Shen Long and resurrected Dr. Wheelo into a mechanical body with his brain. Dr. Wheelo takes Bulma hostage and calls Kame-Sen'nin to get the body of the world's strongest guy. Goku, Gohan and Krillin fight against Dr. Wheelo and his following to rescue Kame-Sen'nin and Bulma. Directed by Daisuke Nishio. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: The Tree of Might1990See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The third movie (61 minutes) is an original story describing a fight between Son Goku and a heinous Saiyan fighter named Turles. Turles tries to destroy the Earth by planting the seeds of 'the Tree of Might', which sucks dry the nutrients of the earth and turns it into a desert. Goku and the Z Warriors (Gohan, Krillin, Yamcha, Tenshinhan, Chaozu and Piccolo) challenge Turles' group to a death match in order to save the Earth. Directed by Daisuke Nishio. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 A Wind Named Amnesia1990The third anime work based on the novel by Hideyuki Kikuchi and produced by Madhouse, following the 2 OAVs, 'Wicked City' and 'Demon City Shinjuku'. A Sci-Fi adventure story set in the near-future world after the human race lost their memories and the civilization collapsed. A Japanese boy Wataru and a mysterious woman Sophia start a journey crossing ex-United States of America, fighting against two-legged robots called 'Guardians', which were the fighting machines deployed by the security authority of San Francisco in the early 1990s, for suppressing riots. A serious science fiction with a critical view on mechanized and computerized civilization. Directed by Kazuo Yamazaki. Supervised by Taro Rin and Yoshiaki Kawajiri. The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman's Counterattack1990The second movie (70 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". The top-grossing (about 664 million yen) Anpanman film ever made in Japan. Featuring lots of action/adventure elements, and lots of sub characters who join together in fighting. Baikinman and Dokin-chan go to find a wizardly "Mekoisu Pot", which can fulfill any wish, to beat Anpanman. A girl who calls herself the Princess Yada is also looking for "Mekoisu Pot" to rebuild her long-dead kingdom. She finds the pot, but Baikinman robs her of her pot. Anpanman meets Yada in a desert. To recapture the pot, Anpanman and his friends fight against Baikinman who transforms himself to monsters. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Omusubiman".
 Omusubiman1990A cofeature (27 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman's Counterattack". A spin-off film of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". Featuring Omusubiman (Riceball Man), who was originally the leading character of Takashi Yanase's picture book "Omusubiman" series, and then became a sub character of "Anpanman" series. The regular characters of "Anpanman" TV series don't appear in this film. It consists of two episodes. In "Komusubiman of the Hitokuchi Village", a traveler with a riceball head, Omusubiman meets Komusubiman because of their battle against Tanukioni, a monster like a combination of raccoon dog and oni, and Komusubiman becomes a disciple of Omusubiman. In "Tanukioni in the Spooky Temple", Omusubiman and Komusubiman stop over at the Manpuku Temple to eat Chinese noodle, but they are caught in a trap of Tanukioni. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Chibi Maruko-chan: the Original Movie1990'Chibi Maruko-chan' ('Little Maruko') is a popular TV anime series (started in 1990) based on the essayistic manga (started in 1986) by Momoko Sakura, which is a nostalgic and heartwarming comedy story depicting the everyday life of Momoko Sakura (nicknamed Maruko), a nine-year-old girl in the third grade. Set in Shimizu City, Shizuoka Pref. (a local city in Japan) in the 1974. This first movie version has the original story of the friendship between Maruko's two boy classmates, Ken'ichi Ono and Satoshi Sugiyama. The original story and screenplay by Momoko Sakura. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Nippon Animation.
 Only Yesterday (Omoide Poroporo)1991The film based on the manga (graphic novel) by Hotaru Okamoto (story) and Yuuko Tone (drawing), produced by Studio Ghibli. The story is set in 1982. A 27-year-old single woman Taeko Okajima, who is an office worker in Tokyo, takes a vacation at her brother-in-law's home in Yamagata (Northeastern countryside in Japan). There she reconsiders herself, helping with the farm work, and thinking back on events of her childhood when she was in the fifth grade (in 1966). There are lots of nostalgic scenes of the 1960s. The screenplay and direction by Isao Takahata. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1991.
 Doraemon: Nobita in Dorabian Nights1991See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The twelfth movie (100 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita in Dorabian Nights" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1990-1991). An adventure story set in the medieval Muslim world linked to the narrative world of "The Arabian Nights (One Thousand and One Nights)". Nobita and his friends enjoy coming into the picture book worlds by wearing "Picture Book Entry Shoes", but Shizuka is confined to the world of "The Arabian Nights", and is caught by evil slave dealer Abdul. Finding that the fictional world is connected to the real world, Doraemon, Nobita, Suneo and Gian go to Baghdad in 794, during the reign of the fifth Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid, by riding a time machine. They tries to save Shizuka from Abdul, with the help of ex-sailor old man Sindbad. The original story and screenplay by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1991. There is also the video game (action) version for PC-Engine.
 Roujin-Z1991A Sci-Fi slapstick action/comedy set in the near-future Japan, where the society is rapidly aging. 'Roujin' is a Japanese word for 'old man'. The story of a computer-aided automatic hospital bed for a bedridden old man, called 'Z-001', which finds the will like a robot, and begins to run amuck with an old man riding on it. The original works, screenplay and mechanical designs by Katsuhiro Otomo. The original character designs by manga (graphic novel) artist Hisashi Eguchi. Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo. Produced by A.P.P.P.
 Silent Möbius1991The first movie (53 minutes) based on Kia Asamiya's manga 'Silent Möbius' (serialized since 1988). The original manga is a sci-fi/police action set in near-future Tokyo, and it follows the world view of the movie 'Blade Runner'. The story of AMP/Attacked Mystification Police Department, a group of six women against invaders called 'Lucifer Hawks' from another dimensional world 'Nemesis'. The first movie is an original story depicting the development in which a woman with magical powers, Katsumi Liqueur became a member of AMP. The supervising direction, character design and storyboards by Michitaka Kikuchi (alias of Kia Asamiya). Directed by Kazuo Tomizawa. The animation produced by AIC. The two movie versions are better in drawing quality than the later TV series (26 episodes, aired in 1998).
 Mobile Suit Gundam F911991One of the Gundam sagas. The completely original movie by the staff of Gundam first TV series. In 0123 Universal Century, a militant group named Crossbones Vanguard occupied the space colony Frontier IV, and a high school boy named Seabook Arno joined a resistance group and started to fight Crossbones Vanguard as the pilot of Gundam F91. The supervising director is Yoshiyuki Tomino. Produced by Sunrise.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Lord Slug1991See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The fourth movie (52 minutes) is an original story describing a fight between the Z Warriors and a Namekian named Slug. An evil super Namekian Slug and his gang come to the Earth and try to convert the Earth into a vehicle (planet cruiser). Son Goku becomes a super Saiyan and fight with Son Gohan, Krillin and Piccolo against Slug and his gang. Directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Cooler's Revenge1991See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The fifth movie (47 minutes) is an original story describing a fight between Son Goku and Cooler (Frieza's elder brother), the strongest warrior in space. After defeating Frieza, Goku returns to the Earth and enjoys camping with Gohan, Krillin and Oolong. Cooler, who comes to the Earth to destroy the Saiyans, attacks them. Goku transforms into Super Saiyan and counters Cooler. Directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Ranma 1/2 the Movie: Big Trouble in Nekonron, China1991See the paragraph about the Ranma 1/2 TV series. The first movie version of 'Ranma 1/2', romantic comedy/martial-arts action anime based on Rumiko Takahashi's manga (graphic novel). A Chinese martial artist named Kirin, who was the head of the perfect and faultless martial art school called 'Shichifuku-Dojin/Seven-Gods', visited Tendo family's home, and he kidnapped Akane Tendo (Ranma Saotome's future bride) to take her for his wife. Ranma and all other related people go to Nekonron, China and confront the Shichifuku-Dojin/Seven-Gods martial artists to bring back Akane. Directed by Shuji Iuchi. The animation produced by Studio DEEN.
 Soreike! Anpanman: Fly! Fly! Chibigon1991The third movie (40 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". A story of a child dragon's growth. In the island of the dragon (the protectorate god of the rain), a little dragon, Chibigon practices flying in the sky under the direction of Horrorman, but Baikinman and Dokin-chan attack the island after dragon's green gem. Chibigon tries to run away and drifts on the sea. He is rescued by Anpanman. He begins living in Uncle Jam's bakery and gets friends at school. To save the island which is overrun by Baikinman, he heads for the island with Anpanman. Featuring the first appearance of Horrorman. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Dokin-chan's Doki Doki Calendar".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Dokin-chan's Doki Doki Calendar1991A cofeature (50 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Fly! Fly! Chibigon". Dokin-chan puts on a variety show with song and dance on stage. She and Baikinman look back on the past scenes of the TV series at different seasons of the year, from August to July, flipping through a calendar. An unfocused film including numerous characters and scenes, but can be enjoyed as an omnibus of the TV series. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Hiroyuki Yano. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Gamba to Kawauso no Boken (The Adventures of Gamba and Otter)1991See the paragraph about the 'Gamba no Bouken/The Adventures of Gamba' TV series. A new theatrical version (80 minutes) produced as a sequel to the 1975 TV series and 1984 movie. Gamba and his friends (Boobo, Ikasama, Gakusha, Yoisho, Shijin) gathered again and took to the road to search for Shijin's lost lover, Nagisa. They found Nagisa, and she was going to escort two otters, who were pursued by wild dogs, to their habitat. Gamba and his friends also escort otters and try to find the place in which otters can safely live, called "rich river", fighting against wild dogs. The staff is different from the original TV series, but the cast is the same as the TV series. This film deals with the problem of Japanese river otter threatened with extinction, and it has a strong message against human's destruction of nature. The original story by Atsuo Saito. Directed by Shunji Oga. Produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.
 Porco Rosso
(The Crimson Pig)
1992A comic and nostalgic film set in Italy in the 1920s. The story of a bounty hunter called Porco Rosso, who has the pig's face and fights against the flying pirates by a seaplane in the Mediterranean Sea. The original works, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki.Produced by Studio Ghibli. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1992.
 Ranma 1/2 the Movie: Nihao My Concubine1992See the paragraph about the Ranma 1/2 TV series. The second movie version of 'Ranma 1/2', romantic comedy/martial-arts action anime based on Rumiko Takahashi's manga (graphic novel). One day in summer, the Tendo family and other related people had taken a vacation in an island in the south, but the ruler of the island Toma, who was the prince with magical power, abducted the girls one by one to make them his prospective brides. To rescue kidnapped Akane Tendo (Ranma Saotome's fiancee) and other girls, Ranma Saotome and other boys fight against Toma and the gang. There are lots of amusing action scenes. Directed by Iku Suzuki. The animation produced by Studio DEEN.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Return of Cooler1992See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The sixth movie (46 minutes) is a sequel to the previous film "Cooler's Revenge". A supergiant computer called the Big-Getestar is parasitic in the Planet New Namek. To save Namekians, Son Goku and his gang take a spaceship to the Planet New Namek, but Cooler is resurrected as 'Metal Cooler' with a mechanical body by the Big-Getestar, and he stands up against Goku and hid gang. Goku and Vegeta transform into Super Saiyans and fight against Cooler. Directed by Daisuke Nishio. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Super Android 131992See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The seventh movie (46 minutes). After Dr. Gero died, his secret laboratory computers developed androids #13, #14, and #15, and they try to eliminate Son Goku. Goku, Trunks, and Vegita transform into Super Saiyans, and fight against the androids with Kuririn and Piccolo. Directed by Kazuhito Kikuchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds1992See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The thirteenth movie (100 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1991-1992). A Sci-Fi adventure film dealing with environmental problem as serious theme, following "Doraemon: Nobita and the Animal Planet" (1990). Nobita and Doraemon make their dream kingdom like heaven on the clouds in cooperation with Shizuka, Suneo and Gian. They find that the sky humans had built their advanced civilization in the sky. Because their survival is threatened by environmental destruction caused by the humans on the ground, the sky humans try to bring down the civilization on the ground by the great flood, like "Noah's Ark" of the Old Testament. In this film, several characters appeared in the original manga and TV series in the past, such as Hoi of the Donjara Village (a lilliputian boy), Kii-bou (an intelligent life evolved from a plant on the earth), and extinct animals (Moa and Dodo), appear as guests again. The original story, screenplay and executive production by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1992.
 21-emon: Sora-ike! Hadashi no Princess1992A medium long anime movie (39 minutes) screened with "Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds", when the TV series '21-emon' (1991-1992) was aired. The title means '21-emon: To Space! The Barefoot Princess'. The original is Fujio F. Fujiko's Sci-Fi manga (serialized in "Weekly Shonen Sunday" in 1967-1969). Set in a future space travel age. A boy named 21-emon is the heir to his father's dilapidated old hotel 'Tsuzure-ya', but he wishes to be a spaceship pilot. The trio of 21-emon, Monger (a space creature) and Gonsuke (a robot) meet a girl named Fana, who is the princess of the Planet Noble. They fly into space by a spaceship, and participate in a spaceship race, 'The Galaxy Rally'. The first half has a storyline like the movie 'Roman Holiday', and the latter half about the space race is based on the episode 'Asteroid Rally' from Fujio F. Fujiko's Sci-Fi manga 'Mojacko'. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo (director of 'Crayon Shin-chan' TV series/movies, and 'Outlaw Star'). The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation. There is also the feature-length anime movie '21-emon: Uchu e Irasshai!/Welcome to the Space!' (1981).
 Midori1992A cult anime film (47 minutes) based on the manga 'Shoujo Tsubaki' (the English title is "Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show") by Suehiro Maruo, a manga artist known for his artistic drawing and underground style, such as erotic and grotesque. The original manga (a short story published in the magazine 'Manga Piranha' in 1981, and a long story book published from Seirindo in 1984) is an adaptation of a picture-story show on the street 'Shoujo Tsubaki (A Girl Tsubaki)' drawn by a painter Seiun in the early Showa period (around the 1930-1940s). The story is about a girl Midori, who lost her parents, and tricked by the master of a freak show tent into servitude as a freak show performer. The original movie title is 'Chika Gentou Gekiga (means 'underground lantern-slide graphic novel'): Shoujo Tsubaki'. Animator Hiroshi Harada produced this anime version independently. He drew almost all the animations by himself. The story, scripts and scenes are quite faithful to the manga version. The planning and production by Kiryukan. The screenplay and direction by Hisaaki Etsu (alias of Hiroshi Harada). The music by J. A. Seazer. In Japan, screened in 1992 Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival and several other theaters and events in Shinto shrines and basement. In Europe, screened in film festivals many times. Never released on video in Japan, but released on DVD from CineMalta, France in 2006.
 Soreike! Anpanman: The Secret of Building Block Castle1992The fourth movie (60 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". Set in two islands next to each other. A heartwarming story for children, featuring toylike worldview with using building blocks and Origami (Japanese art of paper folding) as motifs, though it includes ethnic antagonism and "Romeo and Juliet" type romance as elements. The Prince Block of "Block Island" and the Princess Origa of "Origami Island" are going to build a bridge of peace between their two opposing islands, but Baikinman proclaims himself the Prince Cubicle and takes over the Block Island. Baikinman kidnaps the Princess Origa, and wakes the legendary giant block robot "Woodler". The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Pleasant Friends".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Pleasant Friends1992A cofeature (31 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: The Secret of Building Block Castle". An omnibus which consists of three short films. "Akachanman's Great Adventure" (directed by Masaharu Okuwaki) is an episode featuring the baby hero Akachanman, who fights against Baikinman to save Anpanman and his friends at "Baikin Amusement Park". "Currypanman and SL-Man" (directed by Hiroyuki Yano) is a Western drama in which Currypanman (a gunman) guards SL-Man carrying food to a town and fights agsinst Baikinman and his gang of robbers. "Sing! The Anpanman Go of Dreams" (directed by Shunji Ooga) is a film with lots of songs like a musical, featuring lots of characters driving their handmade vehicles and gathering for "Anpanman Gymnastics Meet". The original story by Takashi Yanase. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Doraemon: Nobita and Tin Labyrinth1993See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The fourteenth movie (100 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita and Tin Labyrinth" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1992-1993). A Sci-Fi adventure film set in a highly-robotized civilized world on a planet, and under the theme of criticism against overreliance on technology in robotization and machine civilization. One day a trunk is delivered to Nobita's home, and a gate comes out from it. Going through the gate, Nobita and Doraemon find the place is a tinplate toy-built island called Burikin. They enjoy staying at a hotel, bathing in the sea and skiing there. But Doraemon is abducted by tin soldiers, and Nobita find the Burikin Island is a spacecraft from the Planet Chamocha, where the highly-robotized civilization brings people under the control of robots. To save Doraemon and Chamocha people, Nobita and his friends go to the Planet Chamocha and challenge the robotic dictator Napoghistler I. The highlight is the thrilling development in the middle without Doraemon. It would appear that this work includes self-criticism against the world of "Doraemon" itself, which tends to be overly dependent on "convenient tools". The original story, screenplay and executive production by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1993.
 Ninja Scroll1993A quite entertaining historical romance/ninja sction, like Japanese ninja novels by Futaro Yamada. Set in the Edo period of feudal Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate regime. A stray Ninja, Jubei Kibagami and a female Ninja of the Koga clan (beneath Tokugawa), Kagero fights fierce battles against the "Eight Devils of Kimon", the anti-Tokugawan Ninja group with unusual arts, commanded by Gemma Himuro, Jubei's long time enemy and a deathless man. This film has enjoyed greater popularity outside Japan than within Japan. In the North American market, the video was released in 1995 and racked up cumulative sales of about 800 thousand. The original story, screenplay, character creation and direction by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Produced by Animate Film. Cooperated by Madhouse. There is also the "Ninja Scroll" TV anime series (13 episodes, aired in 2003).
Good!Patlabor 2 the Movie1993See the paragraph about the Patlabor OAV series. The second movie version. A politico-military drama depicting the confrontations between terrorists, the police and the Self-Defense Force (the Japanese forces) in the near future Tokyo. Ex-members of the Special Vehicles Section 2 follow a terrorist (former Self-Defense Official) who tries simulating a war situation in Tokyo. The photorealistic images with using CGs, like live-action documentary footage, are worth seeing. The original works by Headgear. Directed by Mamoru Oshii. The animation production by Production I.G. There is also the novelized version, 'Tokyo War: Patlabor the Mobile Police', written by Oshii himself.
 Sailor Moon R the Movie: The Promise of the Rose1993See the paragraph about the Sailor Moon TV series. The first movie version directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, who was the series director of Sailor Moon R/Sailor Moon S/Sailor Moon SuperS TV series. The story of the Sailor Scouts' fight against an alien named Fiore, who is in the control of the flower monsters called Kisenian, and takes away Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask. More serious, dramatic and adult-oriented than the TV series. There are the five films of the Sailor Moon series in total, including the short films, and this is the greatest one among them. Produced by Toei Animation. Screened with co-feature: 'Make Up! Sailor Scouts' (a short film).
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Action Kamen vs. Haigure Maou1993'Crayon Shin-chan' is a popular comedy anime based on the manga (graphic novel) by Yoshito Usui. The leading character is Shinnosuke Nohara (nicknamed Shin-chan), a five-year-old, impertinent preschool boy. The original manga (started in 1990) is for adult readers, but the animated TV series started in 1992 has been adapted for children. This is the first of the 'super-laughable movie' versions, and the Sci-Fi story set in an alternate Earth (parallel world) where 'Action Kamen' (the hero of Shinnosuke's favorite TV show) really exists. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. There are lots of other Crayon Shin-chan movies worth noting.
 BonoBono1993The animated film version of 'BonoBono', Mikio Igarashi's best-selling manga (serialized since 1986). The original manga version is a series of four/eight-panel comic strips featuring anthropomorphized animal characters inhabiting the sea and woodland, and it's seemingly an idyllic and humorous fable, but it has profound subjects like philosophy. The story of a little sea otter named BonoBono, who had a question in his mind: "why does something fun end?". One day he and his friends (chipmunk and raccoon) went to see a huge creature coming that they had never seen before. Meanwhile, adults in the woods say: "every time that creature comes, something will change in the woods." The original story, screenplay and direction by Mikio Igarashi. The animation production by Group Tac. Music by Gontiti. There is also the TV anime series (1995-1996) and the second movie version "BonoBono: the Tree of Kumomo" (a totally CG movie, 2002).
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: The Legendary Super Saiyan1993See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The eighth movie (72 minutes). A Saiyan named Paragus asked Vegeta to be the king of the New Planet Vegeta and to destroy the Legenday Super Saiyan. Vegeta went to the New Planet Vegeta with Son Gohan, Trunks, Kuririn, Kame-Sen'nin (the Master Muten) and Oolong, but Son Goku realized that Paragus' son Brolly was the Legenday Super Saiyan and Paragus plotted to conquer the universe by using Brolly. Goku, Gohan and Trunks try to fight against Brolly, but they are overwhelmed by Brolly's incredible fighting power. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Bojack Unbound1993See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The ninth movie (50 minutes) is an original episode after the Cell Games Saga of the TV series. Son Goku is already dead and in the afterworld with Kaio, so the leading character is Son Gohan. Gohan and his friends entered a world martial-arts tournament held by a millionaire, Mr. Money. Gohan, Kuririn and Trunks advanced to the finals, but Kuririn and Trunks were defeated by Bojack and his gang (heinous fighters who once had sealed by four Kaios). Gohan battles against Bojack to save the Earth. Directed by Yoshihiro Ueda. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Soreike! Anpanman: Nosshi the Dinosaur's Big Adventure1993The fifth movie (60 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". An adventure story set in dinosaur land. Anpanman and his friends go on a picnic by SL-Man's train. Baikinman and Dokin-chan make Iwaotoko (Rock Man) attack them, and they wander into a dinosaur land of another world. Anpanman finds that the land faces ruin because the "Tree of Life" is dying. Anpanman and a child dinosaur Nosshi go to find the "Ball of Light" to revive the "Tree of Life", but Baikinman obstructs it. Featuring the first appearance of Melonpanna in movie. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Kaiketsu Zorori".
 Sailor Moon S the Movie: Hearts in Ice1994See the paragraph about the Sailor Moon TV series. A medium long anime movie (60 minutes) released when the TV series third season 'Sailor Moon S' (1994-1995) was aired. A fantasy love romance in the motif of Japanese old story 'The Tale of the Bamboo-Cutter'. Usagi Tsukino's cat, Luna falls in love with a young man Kakeru Ozora, who works in the space-pioneering corporation. He gave up becoming an astronaut because of illness, but his childhood girlfriend Himeko Nayotake was chosen to become a space shuttle pilot. Meanwhile, the 5 Sailor Warriors, 3 Outer Solar System Warriors (Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Neptune) and Chibi Moon fight against evil Princess Snow Kaguya, who comes from outer space and plans to freeze the entire earth. Directed by Hiroki Shibata. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Brolly Second Coming1994See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The tenth movie (52 minutes). Son Goten (Son Gohan's younger brother), young Trunks and Videl (daughter of Mr. Satan. Gohan's schoolmate) visit the Natade Village looking for dragonballs. Then, Brolly (a legenday super Saiyan who was defeated by Son Goku seven years ago) awakes and attacks them, mistaking Goten to be Goku. Gohan also rushes to the scene and they fight back against Brolly, but Gohan, Goten and Trunks face a hard time against Brolly. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Bio-Brolly1994See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The eleventh movie (47 minutes) is the last part of the Brolly trilogy. Android #18 and her husband Kuririn visit Mr. Satan for the payment of World Martial-Arts Tournament's prize money. Mr. Satan's childhood friend, Baron Jaguer Batta sends a challenge to Mr. Satan. #18, Son Goten and Trunks follow Mr. Satan to Jaguer's Castle of Mayqueen, and they fight against biotechnologically-resurrected Brolly (Bio-Brolly). Directed by Yoshihiro Ueda. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Street Fighter II1994The animated film version of the world-famous arcade game, Street Fighter II (1991-94, Capcom), which is the first big hit in man-to-man fighting game genre. The story of martial artists, Ryu and Ken Mansters, who fight with Chun-Li (a Chinese woman and narcotics agent in Interpol) and Guile (US Air Force Major) against Vega, the commander of the crime syndicate Shadowloo. Directed by Gisaburo Sugii. The animation production by Group Tac. There is also the TV anime series 'Street Fighter II V' (1995, 29 episodes) and Hollywood live-action version 'Street Fighter' (1994, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme).
 Pompoko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko)1994A Studio Ghibli work. A humorous film featuring anthropomorphized Japanese raccoon dogs (animals like raccoons, called 'Tanuki'). The story of Tanuki living at Tama Hills in western Tokyo, who launch a movement against the housing development project of 'Tama New Town', which destroys the natural environment and their habitat. The highlights are the scenes where Tanuki change their shape into Japanese traditional monsters/specters (called 'Yokai') and trying to sabotage the housing construction. The original works, screenplay and direction by Isao Takahata. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1994.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Three Visionary Swordsmen1994See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The fifteenth movie (100 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita's Three Visionary Swordsmen" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1993-1994). An action adventure set in a dream world like heroic fantasy of "sword and sorcery". Nobita tries to have a dream of "Three Visionary Swordsmen" by using "selfindulgently-dreaming machine" to make someone have a dream he likes during sleep. In the dream world, the spirit emperor Odrome and his spirit army invade the Yumirume kingdom. Nobita becomes the legendary Silver Swordsman and faces the challenge of fighting against Odrome, with Doraemon (as a sorcerer), Shizuka (as a princess), Gian and Suneo (as swordsmen). The character names of the dream world come from Alexandre Dumas's novel "The Three Musketeers". The dream and the reality are reversed in the middle of the story, and it becomes obvious that the dream world is another real world that makes an effect the real world. The last scene implies the ambivalent relationship between dreams and reality. The original story, screenplay and executive production by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1994.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Treasure of Buri Buri Kingdom1994See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The second movie version is an action adventure film set in a southern island in the Indian Ocean. The evil secret society, "White Snake" abducted Shinnosuke and Prince Sunnokeshi of the Buri Buri kingdom, who looks very much like Shinnosuke, in order to get the kingdom's hidden treasure in the golden palace under the ground. Shinnosuke's parents, Hiroshi and Misae fight with Lulu, the major of the palace guard of the kingdom, against White Snake, trying to recapture Shinnosuke and the prince. The screenplay and storyboards by Mitsuru Hongo and Keiichi Hara. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Slam Dunk the Movie 11994See the paragraph about the 'Slam Dunk' TV series. The first movie of 'Slam Dunk'. A short anime film (30 minutes) screened in Toei Anime Fair in March 1994. Shohoku High School's basketball club (Hanamichi Sakuragi and Kaede Rukawa were new to the club) plays a practice match against Takezono Academy High School. At Takezono Academy, Hanamichi meets again Yoko Shimamura, the girl who rejected him in his junior high school days, saying "I like Oda-kun of basketball club". In the practice match, Hanamichi shows his fighting spirit against Tatsumasa Oda, who is Yoko's boyfriend and a leading center player of Takezono team. Directed by Toshihiko Arisako. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Slam Dunk the Movie 21994See the paragraph about the 'Slam Dunk' TV series. The second movie of 'Slam Dunk'. A short anime film (45 minutes) screened in Toei Anime Fair in July 1994. In fourth round of the regional preliminary for InterHigh (interhighschool) Championships, Shohoku take on Tsukubu High School. Tsukubu's captain, Tomokazu Godai is a former teammate of Takenori Akagi and Kiminobu Kogure in junior high school's basketball club. Hanamichi fights against Tsukubu's center player Koichiro Nango, who fell in love with Haruko Akagi at first sight. Directed by Toshihiko Arisako. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Soreike! Anpanman: The Lyrical Magical Witch's School1994The sixth movie (60 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". A story of a girl studying at a magic school to become a witch. Anpanman meets Lyrica, a magic school student in the magic island in the air. Lyrica takes Anpanman and his friends to the magic island, but Baikinman and Dokin-chan infiltrate the magic school, and Baikinman transforms the magic school teacher and students into different shapes by using magical power. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka and Hiroyuki Yano. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Everyone Get Together! Anpanman World".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Everyone Get Together! Anpanman World1994A cofeature (30 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: The Lyrical Magical Witch's School". An omnibus which consists of three short films. In "Komusubiman and Festival Robot" (directed by Shunji Ooga), Komusubiman stands against Baikinman and Dokin-chan, who manipulate a giant Omikoshi (portable shrine) Robot and rob street foods in a summer festival. In "Melonpanna and Akachanman" (directed by Toshiya Shinohara), Akachanman stands against Baikinman and Dokin-chan, who dash the water of the Rejuvenation Fountain over Anpanman and his friends and change them into babies. "Get Up! The Anpanman Go" is a film like a music video, featuring lots of the characters who appeared in previous "Anpanman" movies, with the song "Get Up! The Anpanman Go" in the background. The original story by Takashi Yanase. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Whisper of the Heart1995A pure love story of boy and girl. Based on the girls' manga (graphic novel) by Aoi Hiiragi. The leading charecter, Shizuku Tsukishima is a junior high girl and book lover. She met a boy named Seiji Amazawa, who aimed to be a violinmaker, and was attracted by him. Directed by Yoshifumi Kondo. He had worked as an animator with Miyazaki and Takahata. Produced by Studio Ghibli. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1995. The original of the theme song 'Country Road' is 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' by John Denver. The setting of this film is modeled after the real apartment complex city, 'Tama New Town' in western Tokyo.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Diary of the Creation of the World1995See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The sixteenth movie (102 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita's Diary of the Creation of the World" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1994-1995). A Sci-Fi adventure story dealing with "creation (creating the world)" and the history of another Earth. Nobita tries to create a universe and observe the new Earth by using "world creating set" for his homework (free investigation) for summer vacation. Nobita finds the evolution of life and the birth of mankind on the new Earth. The people on the new Earth develop a civilization like the Earthians, but insects evolve independently and build an advanced civilization under the ground. There are several episodes about ancient religion and shamanism, Japanese folklores such as the legend of "Oni" (ogre-like creatures) at Rashomon and a fable of "Shita-kiri Suzume (Tongue-Cut Sparrow)", and the hollow Earth hypothesis. The original story, screenplay and executive production by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1995.
 On Your Mark1995A short anime movie (6 minutes and 48 seconds) produced as the promotion film for the Japanese pop duo, Chage & Aska's song with the same title. An image film, like a Sci-Fi fantasy movie, with the song in the background and without any character voice. Set in a future city, where the ground is contaminated by radioactivity and the people live under the ground. An armed police force raided a religious cult compound, and two policemen found a winged girl shackled there. They try to set her free and get her back to the sky. It's too short film, but the elaborately-crafted image is full of imagination and worth seeing. The original story, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. Produced by Studio Ghibli. Co-featured with the movie 'Whisper of the Heart'.
Good!Memories1995An omnibus which consists of three short anime films with gorgeous images by the executive producer and supervising director Katsuhiro Otomo. 'Magnetic Rose' (the original works by Katsuhiro Otomo, directed by Koji Morimoto) is a serious science fiction set in outer space. 'Stink Bomb' (the original works, screenplay and original character design by Katsuhiro Otomo, directed by Tensai Okamura) is a slapstick action comedy, and the leading character is a guy who begins to give off an awful smell because of taking a new drug developed in strict secrecy. 'Cannon Fodder' (the original works, screenplay, direction, original character design and art by Katsuhiro Otomo) is a story of a mobile metropolis heavily armed with lots of cannons, and this is by one-shot/one-scene shooting through most of the film. The animation production by Studio 4°C ('Stink Bomb' was produced by Madhouse).
 Ghost in the Shell1995An ultra realistic Sci-Fi cyberpunk action movie by full use of computer graphics and digital technology. Set in an Asian country of the highly-networked information society in the near future, 2029 AD. The story of a female cyborg named Motoko Kusanagi, who is the major of the Security Police Section 9 (also known as 'Kokaku Kidotai/Armed Riot Police'), fights against the cyber crime by an unidentified hacker called 'Puppet Master'. The theme is something like self-identity crisis in network society and cyberspace. Based on Masamune Shirow's manga (graphic novel). Directed by Mamoru Oshii. Topped the video sales chart in Billboard, the US music magazine. The animation produced by Production I.G. There are also the TV anime series 'Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex' (2002-2003, directed by Kenji Kamiyama), 'Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG' (2004-2005, directed by Kenji Kamiyama), and the sequel movie 'Innocence: Ghost in the Shell' (2004, screenplay and direction by Mamoru Oshii).
 Macross Plus: Movie Edition1995See the paragraph about the 'Macross Plus' OAV series. The movie version (115 minutes) is a redigest of the OAV series with new (about 20 minutes) scenes and shots added. I recommend the OAV version to those who want to follow the detailed episodes, and this movie version to those who want to enjoy the footage quickly.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Intrigue of Unkokusai1995See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The third movie version is a Sci-Fi action/historical drama depicting the fight against a time-travel criminal who goes back into the past and tries to change the history. The Nohara family time-traveled with Ring Snowstorm, a female time-patroller from the 30th century, into the Warring States Period of feudal Japan (the year 1570), in order to prevent the crime of a history nerd from the 30th century, Hierre Jocoman, who called himself 'Unkokusai'. Shinnosuke and a boy swordsman (girl in reality) Fubuki-maru beat down Unkokusai with the help of Ring Snowstorm, and the Nohara family returned to the 20th century, but it had been another modern Japan changed into a strange world by Hierre. An entertaining film with lots of highlights, such as full-scale sword-action scenes, Sci-Fi elements dealing with time paradox theme, and the great battle between two giant robots in the final climax. The screenplay by Mitsuru Hongo and Keiichi Hara. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Slam Dunk the Movie 31995See the paragraph about the 'Slam Dunk' TV series. The third movie of 'Slam Dunk'. A short anime film (40 minutes) screened in Toei Anime Fair in March 1995. After losing to Kainan High School in the first round of the preliminary finals for InterHigh (interhighschool) Championships, Hanamichi presumed they lost it because of his passing mistake, and he cropped his hair short. Team Shohoku challenges a practice game against the strong Ryoukufu High School basketball team led by the captain Michael Okita, who came home from studying in the United States. Directed by Hiroyuki Kakudo. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Slam Dunk the Movie 41995See the paragraph about the 'Slam Dunk' TV series. The fourth movie of 'Slam Dunk'. A short anime film (40 minutes) screened in Toei Anime Fair in July 1995. Rukawa's junior in school, Ichiro Mizusawa was the captain of the Tomigaoka Junior High Schoot basketball team, and he admired Rukawa. His dream was to join the Shohoku basketball club and lead the team to a national tournament victory with Rukawa. But he was forced to give up playing basketball because of his illness (joint tuberculosis). He wants to play one last game with Rukawa. To fulfill his wish, the Shohoku team makes him participate in a practice game (intrasquad game). Directed by Masayuki Akehi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Fusion Reborn1995See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The twelfth movie (51 minutes). The dead Son Goku fights against Paikuhan in the Underworld Martial-Arts Tournament. In the same time, in the Yemma world, an accident of the spirit-laundering (purification) machine releases all of the evil energy. As a result, a psyche ogre changes into a monster Janemba, and the dead souls bring back to life all over the world. Goku and Vegeta (he is also dead but he recaptured his body) fuse into 'Gogeta' and fight against Janemba. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Wrath of the Dragon1995See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball Z' TV series. The thirteenth movie (52 minutes) is an original story after the 'Majin Buu Saga' of the TV series. An old man named Hoi asks the Z Warriors to revive Tapion, a brave from the Planet Conuts. They revive Tapion, but a giant monster Hirudegarn had been sealed in Tapion's body, and Hirudegarn also comes back to life. Hirudegarn is too tough for Son Gohan, Videl and Supuer Gotenks (a fusion between Son Goten and Trunks). Son Goku becomes a super Saiyan 3 and fight against Hirudegarn. Directed by Mitsuo Hashimoto. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Sailor Moon SuperS the Movie: Black Dream Hole1995See the paragraph about the Sailor Moon TV series. A medium long anime movie (60 minutes) released when the TV series fourth season 'Sailor Moon SuperS' (1995-1996) was aired. A fantasy action in the motif of 'Pied Piper of Hamelin', a folklore of medieval Europe. One day, an incident happens in which whistling fairies kidnap children around the world. Chibiusa is also kidnapped. That is a plot by Badiane, a witch from another world, to wrap around the world with her Black Dream Hole by using children's dream energy. The 5 Sailor Warriors and 3 Outer Solar System Warriors (Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Neptune) go to Badiane's Marzipan Castle, in order to save Chibiusa and children. Directed by Hiroki Shibata. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Soreike! Anpanman: Let's Defeat the Haunted Ship!!1995The seventh movie (56 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". Featuring the first appearance of Rollpanna in movie. A story about Rollpanna, her younger sister Melonpanna and a guest character Marine the white horse. Melonpanna goes to the sea with her friends of school, and she becomes friendly with Marine the white horse. Baikinman snatches and takes Marine to the Gaikotsu Island. In the Gaikotsu Island, Dr. Hiyari changes Rollpanna into "Black Rollpanna" with only an evil heart. Baikinman takes a haunted ship with Black Rollpanna and ghosts and attacks the town to defeat Anpanman. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Hiroyuki Yano. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and Your Happy Birthday".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and Your Happy Birthday1995A cofeature (30 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Let's Defeat the Haunted Ship!!". A re-editing of the video "Soreike! Anpanman: Birthday Series" ("Born in July" and "Born in August") with adding new images for theatrical release. Anpanman and Baikinman have a birthday party for "Moku-chan the Cloud". A film like an educational video for young children, including songs and playing (with hands). The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Junkers, Come Here1995The first theatrical film directed by Junichi Sato, the first director of Sailor Moon series. A fantasy drama depicting carefully the daily life of an adolescent girl and her family. The leading character, Hiromi Nozawa is a sixth-grade school girl. She keeps a schnauzer dog named Junkers, who speaks human language. She faces the crisis of her parents' divorce, and Junkers says to her, 'I can work miracles only three times...' The original story and music by Naoto Kine. The animation production by Triangle Staff.
 The Diary of Anne Frank1995The anime movie based on 'The Diary of a Young Girl/The Diary of Anne Frank' (the original Dutch title is 'Het Achterhuis'. It means 'The House Behind') written by Anne Frank (1929-1945), the worldwide best-seller that described the life in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Netherlands in the last days of the World War II. The story of the Jewish Frank family (a 13-year-old girl Anne Frank, father Otto, mother Edith and elder sister Margot), who was obliged to live in a hiding place with other four Jews, to escape from the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. The animattion is decorous and delicate, like the old 'World Masterpieces Theater' series produced by Nippon Animation. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Madhouse. Music by Michael Nyman.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express1996See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The seventeenth movie (97 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1995-1996). A Sci-Fi adventure story about travel and theme park in space of the future. A kid-friendly and amusing film. Nobita and his friends ride the 22nd century's Galaxy Super-express and take a mystery tour with a secret destination. They arrive at huge theme parks "Dreamers Land" in Hatenohate Asterism, where used to thrive on mining, but fell into ruin because of depletion of resources, and plans to rebuild the area by tourism development. Nobita and friends have fun at the western planet, ninja planet, fairy tale planet and dinosaurian planet, but parasite-type aliens "Yadori" plot to conquer the Galaxy and begin invading the asterism. The setting of steam locomotive type spaceship is built by following Leiji Matsumoto's manga "Galaxy Express 999". Several parts of Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (overture, scherzo and Fairies' March) are used as background music. The original story, screenplay and executive production by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1996.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Great Adventure in Hender Land1996See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The fourth movie version is a modern horror style fantasy depicting a laughable adventure in 'Gunma Hender Land', the largest theme park in the north areas around Tokyo. Nohara family fight with Toppema Muppet (a talking doll from Magic World) against two gay 'witch' men Makao and Joma, who came from Another World and try to invade the Real World. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo. The animation production by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Dragon Ball the Movie: The Path to Power1996See the paragraph about the 'Dragon Ball' TV series. The seventeenth and last movie (80 minutes) of 'Dragon Ball/ Dragon Ball Z' series. Released in 1996 when the TV anime original 'Dragon Ball GT' was airing. A retelling of early 'Dragon Ball' episodes, such as the meeting of Son Goku, Bulma, and Kame-Sen'nin (the Master Muten) and the Red Ribbon Army story, with new character designs and new animations. The character designs and animations close to 'Dragon Ball GT'. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Hell Teacher Nūbē the Movie1996The first movie (48 minutes) released when the TV anime series (1996-1997. 49 episodes) was airing. Based on a horror/school-comedy manga 'Hell Teacher Nūbē' (serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump in 1993-1999) by Sho Makura (story) and Takeshi Okano (art), in which an elementary school teacher with psychic powers and "Demon's Hand", Meisuke Nueno (nicknamed 'Nūbē') exorcizes evil spirits and specters to protect his students. This movie has an original story in which Nūbē battles against an evil spirit from Tengu (Japanese long-nosed goblin) Mound, who attacks a girl in the class, named Kumiko Iijima (she is good at drawing but meek and weak-hearted). Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation produced by Toei Animation. Screened with co-feature: 'GeGeGe no Kitaro'.
 X: The Movie1996A fantasy action movie based on the popular manga (graphic novel) by CLAMP. A psychic battle set in central Tokyo of 1999. The story of a boy with psychic powers, Kamui Shirou, who as one of the seven psychics 'Dragons of the Heaven', fights against the 'Dragons of the Earth', another seven psychics trying to destroy the human race and to regenerate the Earth. The theme song was 'Forever Love' by X Japan. Directed by Taro Rin. The animation production by Madhouse. There is the TV series (2001) too.
 Tenchi Muyo! in Love1996See the paragraph about the Tenchi Muyo OAV series. The first movie version and an extra episode in the storyline of the TV series. The story of Tenchi and his party's time warp into the past (the year 1970) to save Tenchi's mother, Achika Masaki, whose life is sought by a criminal named Cain. Directed by Hiroshi Negishi. Produced by AIC.
 Black Jack: The Movie1996See the paragraph about the Black Jack OAV series. The movie version by the staff of the OAV series. The story of Black Jack's challenge to the mystery of an unknown infectious disease called 'Moira Syndrome'. The original works by Osamu Tezuka. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. The animation production by Tezuka Productions.
 Mahoujin GuruGuru the Movie1996'Mahoujin GuruGuru' (Magical Circle GuruGuru) is Hiroyuki Eto's manga serialized in the magazine 'Monthly Shonen GanGan' since 1992. An easygoing slapstick fantasy/comedy based on the world-view of Japanese role-playing video games such as 'Dragon Quest'. The leading characters are Nike, a boy with the title of the Brave (hero), and Kukuri, a girl who uses a special magic called 'GuruGuru', and they have a journey to bring down the Satan. The movie version, which was released after the first TV anime series (aired in 1994-1995) ended, is a short film (30 minutes) depicting Nike and Kukuri's adventurous journey to Mt. Megalo in search of Megalodragon and the 'Pickle of Happiness', which can fulfill any wish. Directed by Nobuaki Nakanishi. The animation produced by Nippon Animation. There is also the second TV series 'Dokidoki Densetsu Mahoujin GuruGuru' (aired in 2000).
 Soreike! Anpanman: The Flying Picture Book and the Glass Shoes1996The eighth movie (60 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". An adventure story set in a fairyland where Cinderella lives. Melonpanna finds a picture book sequel to "Cinderella". In the book, Cinderella and the prince get separated from each other, and the fairyland suffers a misfortune, because Cinderella's glass shoes disappear. Anpanman and his friends go to the fairyland in the book, and they look for the glass shoes with a pumpkin-headed girl Kabo-chan, but Baikinman and Dokin-chan try to steal the glass shoes. The original story and executive production by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman and the 3-"Bai" Punch".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Baikinman and the 3-"Bai" Punch1996A cofeature (30 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: The Flying Picture Book and the Glass Shoes". One night, two guys who look exactly like Baikinman, Akakinman (red) and Aokinman (blue) come to the Anpanman World by a giant UFO from the Planet Baikin, to help Baikinman defeat Anpanman. Baikinman forms "Baikin Trio" with them. They throw a 3-"Bai" (triple) punch at Anpanman and blow away him. The original story and executive production by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
Very good!The End of Evangelion1997See the paragraph about the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series. The completely new movie version that adapted the last two episodes of the TV series, which were incomplete, with incredibly high-quality images. Consists of two parts: the 25th episode 'Air' and the 26th one 'For You, My Heart and Soul'. When 'The Human Instrumentality Project'-as organic integration of all personalities-is being realized, the leading character Shinji Ikari refuses a luscious fusion with Rei Ayanami (a clone of his mother), and choses that he should be with Asuka Langley Soryu, the other he can never fuse into one with... This film is another ending with the variation on the theme presented ironically in the last part of the TV series. The planning and original works by GAINAX and Hideaki Anno. The screenplay and supervising direction by Hideaki Anno. Produced by Production I.G and GAINAX.
 Princess Mononoke
(Mononoke Hime)
1997A historical action/adventure film produced by Studio Ghibli. A fantastic story concerning conflicts between modernization and the force of nature in the medieval time of Japan. The story of Ashitaka, a boy of the Emishi Race in the Northeast, who went on a journey to the Western land, and there he met Lady Eboshi, the female leader of the iron-making community, and San (Princess Mononoke), a girl raised by the dog god. San had been fighting with the gods of the forest against Lady Eboshi who had cut down the forest. The original works, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. The No.1 at the box-office of all movies released in Japan in 1997.
Good!Perfect Blue1997The feature-length anime movie that adapted Yoshikazu Takeuchi's psycho horror novel. The story of Mima Kirigoe, who had been a member of the three-girl pop idol group Cham, but she left the group and begun to work as an actress. After that, the people involved with her are murdered one after another, and she falls into the world where there is no distinction between reality and delusion, like an endless nightmare. Directed by Satoshi Kon, a manga (graphic novel) artist who had participated in several anime works: 'Roujin-Z', 'Patlabor 2 the Movie' and 'Memories'. The original character designed by Hisashi Eguchi. The animation production by Madhouse.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Spiral City1997See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The eighteenth movie (98 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita and the Spiral City" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1996-1997). Because the author Fujio F. Fujiko died before the end of serialization of the original, and the unfinished part was created by Fujiko Production. A kid-friendly action adventure story set in an asteroid. Nobita and his friends try to build a toy city named "Wind-up City" on an asteroid by breathing life into stuffed animals and toys with the use of "Screw of Life". Stuffed animals become intelligent under the influence of lightning strike, and they start to build the city by themselves. But, an escaped prisoner Onigoro Kumatora strays into the wind-up city through "Everywhere Door", and he plots to conquer the city. The original story, screenplay and executive production by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1997.
 Detective Conan: A Clockwork Skyscraper1997'Detective Conan' is a popular TV anime series (started in 1996) based on Gosho Aoyama's serious mystery manga (started in 1994) featuring Shin'ichi Kudo, who had been a 17-year-old high school boy and detective, but his body shrivelled up like a child after receiving a poison from a criminal organization called 'Black Organization', and since then he have acted as a 7-year-old grade-schooler and detective, Conan Edogawa. The first of the 'Detective Conan' movie versions which have been released in holiday period of April every year since 1997. Conan confronts the challenges of a mysterious bomber who blows up with plastic explosives the building structures designed by Teiji Moriya, an eminent architect. Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama. The animation production by Kyokuichi Tokyo Movie.
 Cutey Honey F (Flash) the Movie1997The short film (38 minutes) of 'Cutey Honey F (Cutey Honey Flash)', the TV anime series (aired in 1997-1998, 39 episodes in total) produced by Toei Animation, which took over the time slot of 'Sailor Moon' series. The TV series is a remake/adaptation of 'Cutey Honey', the heroine action anime based on Go Nagai's manga (graphic novel). This series was more oriented to girls' manga (graphic novel) style than Go Nagai's original version, and it had a flavor like 'Sailor Moon' series, because it targeted the girls who watched 'Sailor Moon' series. The manga version was written and drawn by Yukako Iizuka. In this movie version, Honey Kisaragi (Cutey Honey) fights against the Panther Claw gang who attacked an archaeologist Robert Steiner (for he got a pupa of an ancient butterfly, which was said to be a key to the hidden treasure of an Ancient Kingdom) and kidnapped Honey's friend Natsuko Aki. Directed by Noriyo Sasaki.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Ankoku TamaTama Daitsuiseki1997See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The fifth movie version is an action comedy film depicting the Nohara family who get caught in a fight between two clans, Tamayura and Tamayomi. Set in Tokyo and Aomori (northern end of Japan's main island). The Tamayomi clan had plotted to revive the evil genie "Jarke" and to conquer the world. To stop Tamayomi's plot, the three gay brothers (Rose, Lavender and Lemon) from Tamayura clan wrested "Jarke's ball", which was a key to revive Jarke, from the bar girl gang of Tamayomi clan, but Shinnosuke's younger sister Himawari swallowed down the ball. The Nohara family, with the three gay brothers and a female detective Yone Higashimatsuyama, fights a fierce battle against the Tamayomi gang chasing them. The screenplay, storyboards and direction by Keiichi Hara. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Bakuso Kyodai Let's & Go!! WGP the Movie: The Great Pursuit of the Runaway Mini 4WD!1997The movie (80 minutes) of the TV anime series second season "Bakuso Kyodai Let's & Go!! WGP" (aired in 1997) based on Tetsuhiro Koshita's manga "Bakuso Kyodai Let's & Go!!" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1994-1999). The original is a popular series which progressed the second Mini 4WD boom in Japan in the late 1990s as a media mix of Mini 4WD, manga, anime, game and others. An action/racing battle film with an original story on the pursuit of a mystery Mini 4WD. The Seiba Brothers (Retsu and Go) enter the Mini 4WD World Grand Prix (WGP) competition as racers of the Japanese team "TRF Victorys" with other three members. A mystery machine "Gunbluster XTO" bursts into the race and runs out of control, crushing other machines. To prevent the runaway XTO, Rion Cuzcoa, a boy who is the owner of XTO, and TRF Victorys members chase XTO, diverting the assault of a special forces "SPF (Scramble Pentagon Forces)". The screenplay and direction by Tetsuro Amino. The animation produced by XEBEC.
Good!Donguri no Ie (Acorn House)1997A feature-length anime movie (110 minutes) based on Osamu Yamamoto's manga "Donguri no Ie (Acorn House)" (serialized in "Big Comic" in 1993-1997). The original manga is a work depicting children with multiple disabilities (deaf and others), their families and deaf school teachers based on the real story in Saitama Prefecture from various perspectives. It received a great response from the public in Japan. The daughter of the Tasakis, Keiko is a girl with hearing and intellectual disabilities. Her parents had no hope for the future of their daughter, but they come to feel an invaluable joy of living with Keiko who grows up physically and mentally little by little. For the independence and social involvement of the people who graduated from deaf school, their families (the Tasakis and others) and deaf school teachers make efforts to set up a collaborative workshop "Donguri no Ie (Acorn House)" for the people with multiple disabilities (deaf and others), with lots of supporters. An enlightening semidocumentary about the people with severe disabilities facing the harsh reality and a mutual aid community for them, and an entertainment film which can be appreciated as a moving and cathartic drama. It has live-action parts of the real facility "Donguri no Ie" and the people involved in the opening and ending of the film. The general direction and screenplay by Osamu Yamamoto. Directed by Takashi Annou (the director of "Magical Emi, the Magic Star" and "The Hakkenden"). The animation produced by Ajia-do Animation Works. Screened as an independent film subtitled in Japanese.
 Tenchi Muyo! Manatsu no Eve
(Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness)
1997See the paragraph about the Tenchi Muyo OAV series. The second movie version and an original episode that is independent of the TV series and OAVs. The original Japanese title, 'Manatsu no Eve' means 'Eve in Midsummer'. The story of an artificial humanoid girl named Mayuka, who calls herself Tenchi's daughter. Directed by Satoshi Kimura. The animation production by AIC.
 Slayers Great1997See the paragraph about the 'Slayers' first TV series. The third movie version. An original episode featuring Lina Inverse and Naga the Serpent, the main characters of 'Slayers Special', the novel version by Hajime Kanzaka. Two sorceresses, Lina and Naga came to the town of Stoner, which is famous for golem (dolls movable by magical power) production, and they get involved with the fight for hegemony between two castellans, Heisen and Granion, who try to decide by creating each one's giant golem and making them fight... Valued by fans as the greatest one among all the five 'Slayers' movie versions and a completely nonsense, laughable slapstick comedy. The original story and screenplay by Hajime Kanzaka. Directed by Hiroshi Watanabe. The animation production by J.C.STAFF.
 Armitage III Poly-Matrix1997A Sci-Fi cyberpunk action anime aimed at the US market. The movie version re-edited from the OAV series 'Armitage III' (1995, 4 episodes) with new parts (about 10 minutes) added. The sound effects were re-produced by Hollywood staff. The scene is laid on Mars, in the 2179. Ross Sylibus, a lieutenant in MPD (Martian Police Dept.) who transferred from Chicago, Earth, and Naomi Armitage, a female detective in MPD who was a humanoid robot, hunt a murderer D'anclaude who killed ultra-advanced humanoid robots called "The Thirds". Directed by Hiroyuki Ochi. Produced by AIC. The voices are English only. The voice actors are: Elizabeth Berkley (Armitage), Kiefer Sutherland (Sylibus) and so on. The OAV 'Armitage III Dual-Matrix' (2002) was the sequel to this movie.
 Noiseman Sound Insect1997A totally digital short film (15 minutes) by animator/director Koji Morimoto, who had participated in the OAV 'Robot Carnival', the movie 'AKIRA', and the movie 'Memories' as a core staff. High quality images with a sense of speed and stereoscopic effect by fusion of 2-D animation/3-D CG and free-flowing camera work. A story set in a town ruled by a sonic lifeform called Noiseman, who changes music into noise crystals. Directed by Koji Morimoto. The Character designers and supervising animators are Koji Morimoto and Masaaki Yuasa (setup designer of 'Crayon Shin-chan' movies). Music by Yoko Kanno. The animation production by Studio 4°C. Screened in the Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival in 1997.
 Rurouni Kenshin the Movie: Requiem for the Ishin Shishi1997'Rurouni Kenshin' is a TV anime series (aired in 1996-98, 94 episodes) based on the Japanese historical/samurai manga (graphic novel) by Nobuhiro Watsuki. This movie version is a romantic sword-play/samurai film set in Tokyo after the Meiji Restoration (the absolutism revolution in modern Japan), in 1878, and has the original story not told in the manga and the TV series. 'Ishin Shishi' means something like 'pro-Restoration warriors'. A swordman Kenshin Himura, who once had worked as an assassin to overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate (Japan's feudal government) in the end of Edo Period, meets a man named Takimi Shigure, who tries to create a new restoration by overthrowing the Meiji government. Takimi was the man who once fought as a pro-Tokugawa loyalist against Kenshin's side, anti-Tokugawan forces. The character designer, animation supervisor and director is Hatsuki Tsuji. The animation production by Studio Gallop. There are also the OAV series.
 Hell Teacher Nūbē the Movie 21997See the paragraph about 'Hell Teacher Nūbē' the first movie. The second movie (45 minutes). A monster pierrot appears from darkness deep within the mind of Jun Kagami, a lonely boy who entered Nūbē's class, and attacks Nūbē. Directed by Yukio Kaizawa (the series director of 'Hell Teacher Nūbē' TV series). The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Hell Teacher Nūbē the Movie 31997See the paragraph about 'Hell Teacher Nūbē' the first movie. The third movie (38 minutes). Nūbē and Dr. Ritsuko take students to a small island and enjoy swimming in the sea. Legend has it that a man-eating monster, "Sea-Spider" is living in the Spider Island. The students meet a mystery girl named Nagisa, and she takes them to the Spider Island. There are usual fan services of sexy swimsuit scenes. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Soreike! Anpanman: The Pyramid of the Rainbow1997The ninth movie (60 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". An adventure story set in "The Planet of the Rainbow". Anpanman and his friends rescue Amefuri-Oni (Raining Ogre) and his granddaughter Ame-chan who fell from the sky. As saying by Ame-chan, Baikinman steals "The Rainbow Ball" by using Sand Man from the Planet of the Rainbow, in which the Prince Rainbow and Rainbow Children make rainbows, and the planet turns to desert. Anpanman and his friends go to the planet, but Sand Man changes them into small pyramids. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: We're Heroes".
 Soreike! Anpanman: We're Heroes1997A cofeature (25 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: The Pyramid of the Rainbow". An omnibus which consists of two short films. In "Currypanman and the Magic Ink Brush", Baikinman uses the Magic Ink Brush borrowed from Baikin Sennin (Old Germ Hermit) and makes the town people lose their strength by "The Black Ghosts" from the brush. In "Shokupanman and a Fake Shokupanman-Go", Baikinman gets jealous of Shokupanman's popularity, and makes Shokupanman run out of control by replacing Shokupanman-Go (Shokupanman's white truck) with a fake one. The original story and executive production by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Tsukasa Abe. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back1998The animated film of 'Pokémon' (Pocket Monsters), a popular videogame on Game Boy and Nintendo 64. See the official site for Nintendo of America. Pokémon is strange creatures who fight each other by using their skills. The TV anime series has been aired since 1997 in Japan. This first feature-length anime movie version describes the story of Mewtwo, the world's strongest Pokémon created as a clone. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1998. The No.24 at the box-office of in the United States in 1999.
 Doraemon: Great Adventure in the South Seas1998See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The nineteenth movie (91 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita's Great Adventure in the South Seas" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1997-1998) created by Fujiko Production (illustrated by Shin'ichi Hagiwara (Shintaro Mugiwara)). The story is based on the two short stories of Fujio F. Fujiko's original manga "Doraemon", "Great Adventure in the South Seas" (Tentomushi Comics Vol.45) and "Giant Monster on a Desert Island" (Vol.41). A Sci-Fi action adventure set in the Caribbean Sea in the 17th century. Nobita finds a treasure island in the Caribbean Sea by using Doraemon's tool "treasure hunting map", and he sails to the treasure island with Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian. They slip into the 17th century, and get involved in a battle between pirates. Nobita is separated from his friends, and drifts to a desert island where mysterious altered animals live. The plot in which they go back to the past and fight against a criminal from the future is the same as "Doraemon: Nobita at the Birth of Japan". The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1998.
 Spriggan1998A Sci-Fi action movie based on the original story by Hiroshi Takashige and manga (graphic novel) by Ryoji Minagawa. The leading character is a 17-year-old high-school boy named Yuu Ominae, who is a 'Spriggan', the special agent of Arcam Corporation, that is an international secret organization aiming to seal off the dangerous legacy of an ultra-ancient scientific civilization. Directed by Hirotsugu Kawasaki. The supervising director is Katsuhiro Otomo. The animation production by Studio 4°C.
Good!Nadesico the Movie: The Prince of Darkness1998See the paragraph about the Martian Successor Nadesico TV series. The completely new movie version. A sequel to the story of The TV series. The story of ex-Nadesico crew's attempts to crush a coup d'etat by 'Martian Successors'. Minute cutting of the scenes and high quality images. Directed by Tatsuo Sato. Produced by XEBEC.
 Detective Conan: The Fourteenth Target1998See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. In the second movie version, Conan Edogawa challenges a serial murder case, in which an unidentified criminal tries to kill people in order whose names contain the playing-card numbers: from Thirteen (King) to One (Ace). The highlight is the sequence of criminal-hunting in a closed situation inside an undersea restaurant. Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Dengeki! Buta no Hizume Daisakusen1998See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The sixth movie version is a full-scale action film with tastes of the '007' series and Jackie Chan's movies. The story of the members of the secret organization for world peace 'SML', code-named 'Oiroke' (sexual attractiveness) and 'Kinniku' (muscle), who join hands with the Nohara family and 'Kasukabe Defense Forces' (Shinnosuke Nohara and his mates: Kazama-kun, Nene-chan, Masao-kun and Bo-chan), and fight against the evil organization 'Buta no Hizume' (Pig's Hoof), who tries to conquer the world by using a computer virus. An excellent action entertainment film among other 'Shin-chan' movies. The screenplay and direction by Keiichi Hara. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Soreike! Anpanman: The Palm of the Hand to the Sun1998The tenth movie (60 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". A story themed on the children's song "Tenohira o Taiyo ni/The Palm of the Hand to the Sun" (composed by Taku Izumi, written by Takashi Yanase). Features lots of computer graphics. A good ocarina player Rina-chan is touring as a member of "the Denden Troupe" with Daikon Yakusha and other actors. She is actually the Princess Ocarina, and she is looking for her lover the Prince Shine, who had sealed the Great Black Satan in the Kurayami Canyon. The troupe go to the Kurayami Canyon, but Baikinman revives the Great Black Satan, and the world is steeped in darkness. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Strange Friend".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and His Strange Friend1998A cofeature (25 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: The Palm of the Hand to the Sun". An omnibus which consists of two short films. In "Omusubiman and a Haunted House" (directed by Hiroyuki Yano), the bakery receives a letter from Omusubiman. The letter says that Omusubiman and Komusubiman strayed into a haunted house. Anpanman reads the letter in the Kodan (traditional oral Japanese storytelling) style. In "Creampanda and the Candy Land" (directed by Tsukasa Abe), Melonpanna and Creampanda come to the Candy Land, but Baikinman and Dokin-chan cover the Candy Land with a crystal barrier and sink it into the sea to keep candies all to themselves. The original story by Takashi Yanase. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Pokemon 2000 the Movie (Revelation Lugia)1999See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The second of the Pokemon feature-length animated movies is an action/adventure film set in the southern Orange Islands. A collector, Girardin tried to capture the three Pokemons called the Titans of Fire, Ice, and Lightning, in order to get the legendary Pokemon, Lugia (the Titan of Sea), but that disturbed the ecosystem, and it caused a catastrophe on the Earth. In collaboration with Lugia, Flura (a girl in the island) and the Team Rocket, Satoshi (Ash) tries to stop the battle of the three Titans, in order to save the world. More children-oriented than the first movie 'Mewtwo Strikes Back' with a serious theme. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1999. The No.59 at the box-office of in the United States in 2000.
 Doraemon: Nobita Drifts in the Universe1999See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The twentieth movie (93 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita Drifts in the Universe" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1998-1999) created by Fujiko Production. A Sci-Fi adventure set in space. Nobita and his friends play a space-exploration game "Star Crush Game". When Gian and Suneo are in the game, a UFO takes the game machine away to space. Doraemon, Nobita and Shizuka fly into space and find Gian and Suneo in the UFO. The UFO crew are a boy named Lien and his team, who come from "Galaxy-Drifting Fleet". They cannot live in their mother planet because of environmental devastation, and are looking for a planet where they can live. They are pacifists, but some people form an independent army and attempt to invade the earth. The plot is like the film "Star Wars". A mechanical designer Kazutaka Miyatake (known for his works in "Space Battleship Yamato" and "Super Dimension Fortress Macross") and Studio Nue did the mecha designs of space vehicles and others. The ending theme "Kisetsu ga Iku Toki (When the Season is Gone)" is a song by Speed (female vocal/dance group). Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 1999.
 My Neighbors the Yamadas1999A comedy movie depicting the episodes in the daily life of the Yamadas, a Japanese lazy family. The drawings in a watercolor style. Based on the four-panel comic strips by Hisaichi Ishii. The screenplay and direction by Isao Takahata. Produced by Studio Ghibli.
 Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2
(Tenchi Forever)
1999See the paragraph about the Tenchi Muyo OAV series. The third movie version and an extra episode in the story of the TV series. The story of Tenchi's friends' attempts to save Tenchi from another world ruled by the soul of Haruna Tsubaki, a woman who died young. Directed by Hiroshi Negishi. Produced by AIC.
 You're Under Arrest: the Movie1999See the paragraph about the You're Under Arrest OAV series. The completely new movie version with the original story. An entertaining police-action movie set in downtown Tokyo (around the Sumida River). The strongest duo of policewomen, Natsumi Tsujimoto and Miyuki Kobayakawa chase the terrorists who attacked the Bokuto Police Station. Directed by Junji Nishimura. Produced by Studio DEEN.
 Kochikame the Movie1999'Kochikame' (Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo/This is Police Box in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward) is Osamu Akimoto's popular comedy manga (graphic novel) serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump since 1976 for long periods. The leading character Kankichi Ryotsu (nicknamed 'Ryo-san') is an unconventional police officer working at a police box. The TV anime series has been aired since 1996. This first movie version by the same staff of the TV series is a slapstick action comedy set in downtown Tokyo. Ryotsu and a female FBI agent Risa Hoshino (who is a bomb disposal expert) confront a series of bomb attacks against a vicious company Shinatora Firm. The original works by Osamu Akimoto and Atelier Beedama. Directed by Shinji Takamatsu. The animation produced by Studio Gallop. The Japanese DVD carries the English subtitle.
 The Animated Movie Card Captor Sakura1999See the paragraph about the Card Captor Sakura TV series. The first movie version. Sakura Kinomoto makes a trip to Hong Kong, China with her classmate Tomoyo Daidoji, her brother Toya Kinomoto and Toya's friend Yukito Tsukishiro, and there she fights against a sorceress who is former fortune-teller. The original works by CLAMP. The screenplay by Nanase Okawa of CLAMP. Directed by Morio Asaka. The animation production by Madhouse.
 Clover1999A fully-digitized, very short anime movie (5 minutes) like a music video. Co-featured with 'The Animated Movie Card Captor Sakura'. Based on CLAMP's manga, "Clover" (serialized since 1997). A mysterious girl named Sue, she is the only 'Four-Leaf' Clover among children called 'Clovers' who can practice magic. She was imprisoned in a house like a cage, but an ex-military soldier Ryu Fay Kazuhiko is asked by his boss to escort her to an amusement park called 'Fairy Park'. Poetic and beautiful images. Directed by Kitaro Kosaka. The music by Ichiko Hashimoto. The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Revolutionary Girl Utena the Movie: Adolescence of Utena1999See the paragraph about the Revolutionary Girl Utena TV series. The completely original movie version based on the motif of the TV series. Another Utena story with renewed settings and characters. A more splendid, aesthetic and avant-garde film than the TV series. The highlight is the strange car-chase scene of the last part. The planning and original works by Be-Papas. The original concept and direction by Kunihiko Ikuhara. Produced by J.C.STAFF. Screened with co-feature: 'Cyber Team in Akihabara The Movie: Summer Vacation of 2011'.
 Cyber Team in Akihabara The Movie: Summer Vacation of 20111999See the paragraph about the Cyber Team in Akihabara TV series. The completely new movie version and a sequel to the TV series. In 2011, the ex-members of Akihabara Cyber Team, who have enjoyed their summer vacation, gather again and go to space, in order to stop the artificial intelligence 'Abigor' (the main computer of 'Primm Mobile', an artificial satellite) running away and to save Akihabara. Better than the TV series in quality. Recommended to those whe like the TV series. Directed by Hiroaki Sakurai. Produced by Production I.G. Screened with co-feature: 'Revolutionary Girl Utena the Movie: Adolescence of Utena'.
 Detective Conan: The Last Wizard of the Century1999See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The third movie version is a mystery adventure story in which Conan Edogawa fights against Kid the Master Thief and an unidentified sniper 'Scorpion' over the secret of 'Imperial Easter Eggs', the hidden treasures of Nicholas II, who was the last emperor of the Romanov Dynasty in Imperialist Russia. Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Bakuhatsu! Onsen Wakuwaku Daikessen1999See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The seventh movie version is a spy action film about bath and 'Onsen' (Japanese hot spring). The Nohara family and 'Onsen G-Men' (the secret government agency maintaining all the hot springs in Japan) fight against 'Yuzame' (a bath-hating terrorist organization plotting to wipe out all the hot springs in Japan). The sequences in which Yuzame's giant robot attacks the Saitama cities are brilliant parodies of Japanese 'Tokusatsu' (special effects monster films), such as 'Godzilla'. The screenplay and direction by Keiichi Hara. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. Screened with co-feature: 'KureShin Paradise! Made in Saitama', an omnibus short film which consists of six episodes.
 Digimon Adventure1999The first theatrical film (20 minutes) of "Digimon Adventure", the anime series of "Digimon: Digital Monsters" (a monster-raising game released by Bandai in 1997). Screened in Toei Anime Fair in Spring 1999. The story is about the episode four years before the world of the first TV series "Digimon Adventure" (1999-2000). Set in the housing complex in Hikarigaoka, Nerima, Tokyo, in 1995. An elementary school boy Taichi Yagami and his younger sister Hikari find a big egg coming out of a PC screen at home. A strange creature (Digimon) emerges from the egg. He calls himself "Koromon", and makes friends with Taichi and Hikari, but he becomes enormous like a dinosaur, and begins to destroy the city. The arrangement of Maurice Ravel's "Boléro" is used as incidental music. The directorial debut by Mamoru Hosoda. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Soreike! Anpanman: When the Flower of Courage Opens1999The eleventh movie (56 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". A heroic drama dealing with "true courage" as theme, set in three planets (the Anpanman World, the Planet Kirakira and the Planet Iron). The Princess Kirara becomes bored with her monotonous and busy life in the Planet Kirakira, and she escapes from her planet, switching places with Dokin-chan. She meets Anpanman in outer space, and she comes to the Anpanman World. In the meantime, Baikinman tricks the people of the Planet Iron into building a giant fighter "Giant Mogurin". He takes Giant Mogurin and attacks the town in the Anpanman World. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Toshiya Shinohara. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and Their Fun Friends".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Anpanman and Their Fun Friends1999A cofeature (25 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: When the Flower of Courage Opens". An omnibus which consists of two short films. In "Omusubiman and Summer Festival", Omusubiman and Komusubiman carry rice for summer festival by Shokupanman-Go with their friend Umeko-chan, but Baikinman attacks them on the mountain road. In "Yakisobapanman and Baikin Western", Yakisobapanman fights against Baikin robber gang, who attack SL-Man carrying fruits and vegetables to a town. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 A.LI.CE1999A Sci-Fi action film (85 minutes) produced as a totally computer-generated 3-D image, which was advanced for that time. The second of the three 3-D CG films ("Visitor", "A.LI.CE" and "The Aurora") produced by film distributor GAGA Communications. In 2000, a girl named Alice was in a shuttle to the moon, but the shuttle crashed and she jumped into a future world 30 years later by time warp, where is a dark society ruled by a dictator Nero and computers. The characters motions are based on magnetic motion captures, but the designs look like wooden puppets of puppet play. Directed by Kenichi Maejima. The production designer is Hirosuke Kizaki (a manga artist).
 Pokemon 3 the Movie (Lord of the Unknown Tower)2000See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The third of the Pokemon feature-length animated movies is an action/adventure film set in a town crystallized by a mystery Pokemon. A little girl living in the town of Greenfield, Mie (Molly) missed her parents. One day she accidently releases a Pokemon called 'the Unknown' from ancient relics, who can make a person's wishes real. The Unknown creates a lion-like Pokemon Entei as a substitute for Mie's father, and Entei kidnaps Satoshi's (Ash's) mother as a substitute for Mie's mother. Satoshi (Ash) and his friends try to save Mie and his mom from the town covered with crystal by the power of the Unknown. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2000. Released in the US in 2001.
 Doraemon: Nobita's the Legend of the Sun King2000See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The twenty-first movie (92 minutes) based on the Draemon Long Story Series' "Doraemon: Nobita's the Legend of the Sun King" (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1999-2000) created by Fujiko Production. An adventure story set in an ancient kingdom like the kingdoms of Maya civilization. Nobita and Doraemon wander into Mayana, the kingdom of sun, through Doraemon's tool "Time Hole", and meet the prince Theo, who looks exactly like Nobita. In Mayana, a witch who uses black magic, Ledina plots to conquer the kingdom. Nobita and his friends support Theo to fight against Ledina. Its introduction in which Nobita and Theo swap their lives is based on Mark Twain's novel "The Prince and The Pauper". A coming-of-age story (Bildungsroman) in which Theo grows from an arrogant prince to an honorable king through interaction with Nobita and his friends. The opening theme "Doraemon no Uta (The Song of Doraemon)" is sung by Vienna Boys' Choir. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2000.
 Detective Conan: Captured in Her Eyes2000See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The fourth movie version. The story of Conan's challenge to solve a serial shooting murder for policemen. An important episode depicting the relationship between Shin'ichi Kudo/Conan Edogawa and Ran Mouri (Shin'ichi's girl friend since childhood and daughter of Kogoro Mouri, a private detective who keeps Conan). A good-quality film which can be enjoyed both as a detective drama and a wistful love story. Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Jin-Roh/
The Wolf Brigade
2000A politico-military action film set in an alternative past Japan, around the 1960. The leading character, Kazuki Fuse is a cop-soldier of the Capital Police's special panzer unit and a member of a counter-intelligence corps called the Wolf Brigade. He meets a young terrorist girl Kei Amamiya, and then gets involved in infighting of the police. The original works and screenplay by Mamoru Oshii. Directed by Hiroyuki Okiura, who was the character designer and animation director of 'Ghost in the Shell'. Produced by Production I.G.
 Card Captor Sakura the Movie "Enchanted Cards" (The Sealed Card)2000See the paragraph about the Card Captor Sakura TV series. The second movie version and last program of the series. Sakura Kinomoto tries to make a declaration of love for Shao-Lang Li, a boy cardcaptor from Hong Kong, China, and challenges the last and strongest Clow Card 'Nothingness'. The original works by CLAMP. The screenplay by Nanase Okawa of CLAMP. Directed by Morio Asaka. The animation production by Madhouse.
 Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!2000See the paragraph about "Digimon Adventure" first movie. The second movie (40 minutes) screened in Toei Anime Fair in Spring 2000. The story of a fight against a new variety of Digimon, who evolves and multiplies on the internet/cyberspace. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda. An excellent action/adventure fiim. This film is the prototype of Mamoru Hosoda's "Summer Wars" (2009). The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 One Piece2000"One Piece" is Eiichiro Oda's popular manga (graphic novel) serialized in the magazine "Weekly Shonen Jump" since 1997. A sea adventure/action story set in "The Golden Age of Piracy". The leading character, Monkey D. Luffy is a boy who got a rubber-like body that can be elastically stretched because of eating the "Devil's Fruit". Luffy aims to be the Pirate King, and makes an adventurous journey across the ocean, looking for a hidden treasure called "One Piece", with his fellows. The TV anime series has been aired since 1999. This first movie (50 minutes) is an original story between the "Syrup Village" and "Baratie" arcs. "The Straw Hat Pirates", Luffy, Roronoa Zoro (swordsman), Nami (navigator), and Usopp (gunner) meet up with a boy named Tobio, who yearns for "The Great Gold Pirate" Woonan. The Straw Hat Pirates and Tobio go to an legendary island looking for gold hidden by Woonan, and there they find a pirate El Drago, who can destroy everything by his tremendous voice, and his men are also looking for gold. Luffy and Zoro are involved in a battle with El Drago and his men over Woonan's island and gold. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation production by Toei Animation. Screened in "Toei Anime Fair" with "Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!".
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Arashi wo Yobu Jungle2000See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The eighth movie version is an laughable action adventure set in a south island. Shinnosuke with his parents and friends joined a tour with the preview of Action Kamen's new movie 'South Sea Millennium Wars' on a luxury liner, but a funky guy who names himself 'Paradise King' and his slave gang of gibbon monkeys took away adults to a south island. Gotaro Go, an actor playing the role of Action Kamen, with Shinnosuke, fights a martial-art battle and air battle against Paradise King. Relatively child-oriented and normal compared with other 'Shin-chan' movies. The screenplay and direction by Keiichi Hara. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Escaflowne2000See the paragraph about the Escaflowne TV series. The completely new movie version based on the storyline of the TV series. Produced by Japan-U.S.-Korea collaboration. A love romance/mecha action story set in another world called Gaea. Better than the TV series in drawing/animation quality. Directed by Kazuki Akane. Produced by Sunrise.
 Blood: The Last Vampire2000An action/horror film set in the U.S. Air Force's Yokota Base in Tokyo, Japan in 1966. The story of a young girl named Saya, who kills vampires called the 'Chiropteran' with a sword. The full digital images by fusion of animation and 3-D CG. Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo. Co-planning by Mamoru Oshii. Produced by Production I.G. and IG Plus.
 Ah! My Goddess2000See the paragraph about the Ah! My Goddess OAV series. The completely new movie version based on the manga (graphic novel) by Kosuke Fujishima. A love story. Belldandy's former teacher and a rebel against the World Above, Celestine activated a virus in the system of the World Above through Belldandy in order to break the system, and Belldandy lost her memory about her life with Keiichi Morisato. Directed by Hiroaki Goda. The animation production by AIC.
 Digimon Adventure 02: Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!!/Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals2000See the paragraph about "Digimon Adventure" first movie. The movie version (60 minutes) of the second TV series "Digimon Adventure 02" (aired in 2000-2001). The third Digimon movie screened in Toei Anime Fair in Summer 2000, with "Ojamajo Doremi # the Movie". It consists of two parts, "Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!!" and "Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals". An original story set in the US. A giant Digimon appears in New York and snatches "Chosen Children" with Digivices to the Digital World. That giant Digimon is Chocomon, who was separated from An American boy Wallace when they were children. Wallace goes to a country town Summer Memory near Denver, the US state of Colorado, in search of Chocomon. Daisuke Motomiya and his friends come to the U.S. and chase Wallace. A unique film with lyricism and the atmosphere like European road movie, featuring director Yamauchi's distinctive abstract direction and peculiar music (country blues and contemporary jazz). A character appeared first in this film, Terriermon becames a regular character in "Digimon Tamers". Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Ojamajo Doremi # the Movie2000See the paragraph about the 'Ojamajo Doremi' TV series. The short movie version (27 minutes) of the second season of the TV series, 'Ojamajo Doremi # (Sharp)', and the first of the 'Ojamajo Doremi' movies. The story describing the relationship between Harukaze sisters, Doremi Harukaze and her younger sister Pop Harukaze, through the commotion made over 'Witchy Queen Heart', a magical flower brought from the Witch World. Directed by Takuya Igarashi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Mon Colle Knights the Movie: Legend of the Fire Dragon2000'Mon Colle Knights' (Rokumon Tengai Mon Colle Knight) is a TV anime series (51 episodes, aired in 2000) based on 'Monster Collection', which is a trading card game developed by Group SNE. A fantasy adventure in which two elementary school children, Mondo Ooya and Rokuna Hiiragi (Mon Colle Knights) have an adventurous journey with a scientist Professor Hiiragi (Rokuna's father) in a different dimensional 'Rokumon World', where monsters exist. Also known as a slapstick comedy anime written by scriptwriter Satoru Akahori, featuring cute girl characters and parodies of past anime works such as 'Time Bokan' series. The movie version is a short film (32 minutes) with an original story. The original concept by Hitoshi Yasuda and Group SNE. The original story written by Satoru Akahori and Katsuki Hasegawa. Directed by Yasunao Aoki. The animation produced by Studio DEEN. Released in '2000 Summer Kadokawa Manga Daikoshin'.
 Soreike! Anpanman: The Tears of the Mermaid Princess2000The twelfth movie (56 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". A story centered around a pure love between Shokupanman and a mermaid girl. The Princess Sunny is a mermaid living in the Uzumaki (Vortex) Castle at the bottom of sea, but she longs for the world on the land. She sneaks a magical hair accessory of the red starfish (if a mermaid wear it, she will be able to be a human) out of Sea Witch Grandma's home. She wears it and becomes a human girl. She lives happily with Shokupanman and his friends on land, but at the bottom of sea, a stone monster Gorongora comes to life again and begins to act violently, because of the cursed hair accessory. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Akinori Nagaoka. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Yakisobapanman and Black Sabotenman".
 Soreike! Anpanman: Yakisobapanman and Black Sabotenman2000A cofeature (25 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: The Tears of the Mermaid Princess". A Western. The members of "Anpanman Cavalry", Melonpanna and Yakisobakasu guard SL-Man carrying foods. A robber gang led by Baikinman and Dokin-chan appears. Baikinman changes Sabotenman (Cactus Man) into "Black Sabotenman" and make Black Sabotenman attack SL-Man for foods, but Yakisobapanman (Yakisobakasu's older brother) and Rollpanna (Melonpanna's older sister) come over to help SL-Man and their sisters. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
Good!Spirited Away/
Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
2001A fantasy adventure movie produced by Studio Ghibli. The story of a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro Ogino, who strayed off into a hot-spring town for curing the Holy Spirits in another world where specters and monsters live. To rescue her parents (transformed into pigs) and go back to the original world, she starts to work at a hot-spring hotel operated by the greedy witch Yu-baba. This movie scored a big hit and broke the record for attendance of movie theaters in Japan, and won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, the US Academy Award (Oscar) for Animated Feature Film, and so on. The original works, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki.
Good!Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Adult Empire Strikes Back2001See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The ninth movie version noted as the outstanding masterpiece filled with laughter and tears. Adult people all over Japan had been captivated by '20th Century Expo', the theme parks that reenacted good old days of the 1970s (the last days of Japan's high economic growth), and one day they disappeared into the theme parks, leaving their children. That was a plot by 'Yesterday Once More', an organization who despaired of the 21st century and tries to bring Japan back to the 20th century with the dreams and hopes. Shinnosuke and his parents, Hiroshi and Misae fight against the plot of 'Yesterday Once More' in order to live together with family in the 21st century. The highlight is the detailed description of The Japan World Exposition (held in Osaka, Japan in 1970). A compelling movie that moved adult audience to tears. The screenplay and direction by Keiichi Hara. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Pokemon 4Ever (Celebi A Timeless Encounter)2001See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The fourth of the Pokemon feature-length animated movies is a fantasy adventure film set in a forest where many Pokemons live in. Satoshi (Ash) and his party met a boy named Yukinari and a Pokemon named Celebi (the protector god of the forest), who had been transported from the world 40 years before by Celebi's time-traveling power. One of the leaders of Team Rocket, Viscious captures Celebi, but Satoshi (Ash) and his party try to save Celebi, who is changed into an evil Pokemon 'Celebi Golem' by Viscious. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.8 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2001.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Winged Braves2001See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The twenty-second movie (91 minutes). The manga version (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 2001) was drawn by Yasunori Okada (Fujiko Production). An adventure story set in Birdpia, another world where "Birdman" evolved from birds live. Nobita and his friends wander into Birdpia, and become friends with a birdman boy Gusuke. Gusuke cannot fly by his wings because of his childhood trauma, but he enters "Icarus Race", the tryout test for Bird Migration Patrolling Troops, and struggles for the victory flying in his human-powered aircraft. At the same time, Commander Seagrid (vulture) of the Crow Guards tries to revive an ancient monster Fenikia to revenge against the human race. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2001.
 One Piece: Clockwork Island Adventure2001See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The second movie (60 minutes) released in "Toei Anime Fair" March 2001 with a short movie "Jango's Dance Carnival" and "Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon". An original story just after "Entering into the Grand Line" in chronological order. The Straw Hats have their ship "The Going Merry" stolen. Thief siblings, Borodo and Akisu tell them that Bear King and his Trump Siblings have stolen it. The Straw Hats go to the Clockwork Island ruled by the Siblings, but Nami, Sanji, Usopp and Zoro are kidnapped by the Siblings one after another. To get back his friends and ship, Luffy storms into the Trump Castle on the top of the island and fights against Bear King. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation production by Toei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2001.
 Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon2001See the paragraph about "Digimon Adventure" first movie. The second movie (30 minutes) of the second TV series "Digimon Adventure 02" (aired in 2000-2001). The fourth Digimon movie screened in Toei Anime Fair March 2001 with "One Piece: Clockwork Island Adventure". A sequel to "Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!", and a film for fans in which all the main characters of "Digimon Adventure" and "Digimon Adventure 02" appear. Diaboromon, a new Digimon who appeared on the net and was defeated by Omegamon three years before, comes back to life, becoming more powerful, and makes a huge amount of Kuramon (jellyfish-like Digimon) appear in Tokyo via e-mail. Daisuke, Ken and other "Chosen Children" challenge to fight against Diaboromon, in cooperation with Taichi and his friends. Directed by Takahiro Imamura. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2001.
 Detective Conan: Count Down to Heaven2001See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The fifth movie version is a good suspense action set in a skyscraper. Conan Edogawa and Ai Haibara (she has a child's body like Conan, but she is a woman who was once a member of 'Black Organization'. The organization is seeking her life because she left them) with other members of 'Detective Boys' challenge a series of murders set in a twin-tower building in Nishitama City, Tokyo, owned by a computer software company 'Tokiwa'. The highlights are the action scenes like the US movies such as 'The Towering Inferno' and 'Die Hard'. Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Gensomaden Saiyuki the Movie: Requiem2001'Gensomaden Saiyuki' is a TV anime series (aired in 2000-2001, 50 episodes) based on the manga 'Saiyuki' by female manga artist Kazuya Minekura (serialized in the magazine 'Monthly G Fantasy' in 1997-2002). The original manga is a fantasy adventure based on the setting of the Chinese classical fantasy novel 'Hsi Yu Chi/Journey to the West', and it gained popularity among girls for its cute boy characters. The movie version was released after the TV series ended. The priest Genjo Sanzo and his gang (three demons: Son Goku, Sa Gojo and Cho Hakkai), who had been on a journey to the west to stop the resurrection of the big demon Gyumao, save a girl named Houran attacked by demon birds, and she invites them to her big house. At the house, they fall into a trap by a mysterious enemy, being haunted by visions. The original story by Kazuya Minekura. The character designer and animation supervisor is Yuji Moriyama. Directed by Hayato Date. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot.
 Avalon2001Not an anime, but a film produced by anime-like methods: digital process of live-action images (on-location filming in Poland) and CGs. In the near future, a woman called Ash, who is a player of a virtual-reality war game called 'Avalon', challenges the secret field of the game world, 'Special A', also known as 'class real'. The beautiful, European-style images with the color tones totally controlled. Directed by Mamoru Oshii. The leading actress is Malgorzata Foremniak. Recommended to those whe like Oshii's 'Ghost in the Shell' and Wachowski Brothers' 'The Matrix'.
 Metropolis2001A retro-modern styled Sci-Fi movie based on Osamu Tezuka's manga (graphic novel), 'Metropolis' (1949), one of his 'early Sci-Fi trilogy'. The story of an android girl named Tima, who was born in Metropolis, the big city-state in the future. High-density images by fusion of classical animation and digital technology. Tezuka's characters are vividly animated. Directed by Taro Rin. The screenplay by Katsuhiro Otomo. The animation production by Madhouse.
 Vampire Hunter D the Movie: Bloodlust2001A Gothic horror/action movie by Japan-U.S. collaboration. The movie version of the 3rd of the novel 'Vampire Hunter D' series by Hideyuki Kikuchi. In distant future world like the Middle Ages, a young vampire hunter named 'D', who himself is a dunpeal (half-human, half-vampire), tries getting a woman named Charlotte out of a vampire Meier Link. An artistic and beautiful film. Much better in quality than the OAV version (1985). Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. The original character illustrations by Yoshitaka Amano. The animation production by Madhouse. The voices are English only.
 Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door2001See the paragraph about the Cowboy Bebop TV series. The completely original movie edition and an extra episode in the storyline of the TV series. The story of the Bebop crew's attempts to hunt a terrorist using a biochemical weapon in a crater city on Mars. Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. The animation produced by Sunrise and Bones.
 Princess Arete2001A Sci-Fi fantasy film based and adapted on the feminist fairy tale, 'The Clever Princess' by Diana Coles from England. Set in a world like medieval Europe, a millennia after the disappearance of the wizards using high technology. The leading character, princess Arete was determined to leave her castle and start on a journey looking for her own life. One day, a surviving wizard named Box confined her within a dungeon, and sealed off her will, but she tries to regain herself on her own. A full-digital anime with delicate color tones like paintings. An allegoric film with the universal theme, 'What on earth can I do with my own hands?' Recommended to late teens and adults. The screenplay and direction by Sunao Katabuchi. Produced by Studio 4°C.
 Hamtaro the Movie: Adventures in Ham-Ham Land2001'Tottoko Hamtaro' is a popular TV anime series for young children (started in 2000. Aired in 36 countries of the world), based on the illustrated story/manga (serialized since 1997) by Ritsuko Kawai. The leading character is a golden hamster Hamtaro, who is kept by a fifth-grade girl Roko-chan (real name: Hiroko Haruna). The first movie version is a story of Hamtaro and his fellow hamsters' adventures to look for the 'magic sunflower seed' (if a hamster eats it, he will be able to speak human language) in Ham-Ham Land, the dreamland where only hamsters live. A fast-moving, musical comedy with songs and rap. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Mooto Ojamajo Doremi the Movie: The Secret of Frog Stone2001See the paragraph about the 'Ojamajo Doremi' TV series. The short movie version (26 minutes) of the third season of the TV series, 'Mooto Ojamajo Doremi' (More Ojamajo Doremi), and the second of the 'Ojamajo Doremi' movies, following the first 'Ojamajo Doremi # the Movie' released in 2000. The story of Doremi Harukaze and the members of Maho-Do (trainee witches), who visited Doremi's grandpa's house in Hida (in Gifu prefecture, the countryside in central Japan) on their summer vacation. Listening to Grandma's talk about the legend (a tragic love story between a peasant Zenjuro and a witch Mayuri) concerning the 'Frog Stone' on the 'Mt. No Return', they went to the mountain in search of the Frog Stone. The CG/special effect-driven images are worth seeing. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The No.15 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2001.
 Digimon Tamers: Battle of Adventurers2001See the paragraph about "Digimon Adventure" first movie. The first movie (51 minutes) of the third TV series "Digimon Tamers" (aired in 2001-2002). The fifth Digimon movie screened in Toei Anime Fair July 2001 with "Mooto Ojamajo Doremi the Movie: The Secret of Frog Stone" and "Kinnikuman Nisei". A story focusing battles against the Digimon enemies. Set in Okinawa. Takato Matsuda visits his cousin Kai Urazoe's home in Okinawa during summer vacation. At that time, vicious Digimons appear in front of Ruki Makino in Tokyo. Takato helps a girl Minami Uehara being attacked by a shark-type Digimon, and gets involved in an intrigue about an extremely popular digital pet "V-Pet". The story is linked with the world of "Digimon Adventure" series, and Omegamon (a Digimon appeared in "Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!" and "Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon") appears. Directed by Tetsuo Imazawa. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The No.15 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2001.
 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within2001An entirely computer-generated Sci-Fi movie by the collaboration of Japanese videogame creators and Hollywood filmmakers. The original works, direction and production by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the producer of 'Final Fantasy', the role playing game series by Square. On the Earth in the 2065, a female scientist Aki Ross and members of the Deep Eyes military squadron confront the invasion by extra-terrestrial life called 'Phantom'. This film was a box-office failure, but worth seeing for its photorealistic 3-D CG images describing exquisitely human's detailed movements and skin textures.
 Sakura Wars: The Movie2001'Sakura Wars' is a popular adventure video game series by Sega, and a steampunk Sci-Fi action set in an alternative past Japan of the 1920s. The leading character, Sakura Shinguji is a star member of the Imperial Opera Company consisted of only females, but it is also the secret corps who defends the metropolitan Tokyo against the attack of monsters called 'Kouma', by operating humanoid vehicles (robotic armors). This movie version has the original story of fights against the conspiracy of the Douglas Stewart Company from the US. The highlights are the high quality images by fusion of 2-D animation and 3-D CG. The original works by Oji Hiroi. The original characters designed by Kosuke Fujishima (the author of 'You're Under Arrest' and 'Ah! My Goddess'). Directed by Mitsuru Hongo. Produced by Production I.G. There are the OAV series and TV series too.
 Soreike! Anpanman: Gomira's Star2001The thirteenth movie (50 minutes) of the TV anime series "Soreike! Anpanman". A story centered around the friendship between a garbage-eating monster "Gomira" and the princess of the cleaning planet "Yaada". The Planet Yaada loses its garbage-disposal power, and it is flooded with garbages. The princess Yaada asks Anpanman for help. Anpanman and his friends take Gomira to the Planet Yaada to make Gomira eat garbages, but Baikinman tries to crash the Planet Yaada into the Anpanman World by using a jet engine. Anpanman and his friends are going to destroy the jet engine, but Baikinman operates a garbage robot "Dust Demon" and disrupts their work. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie. Screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: The Amazing Naganegiman and Yakisobapanman".
 Soreike! Anpanman: The Amazing Naganegiman and Yakisobapanman2001A cofeature (20 minutes) screened with "Soreike! Anpanman: Gomira's Star". A Western featuring two leading characters, Naganegiman (Long Green Onion Man) and Yakisobapanman (Fried Noodles Bread Man). They fight against Baikinman who attacked the carnival in the Vegetable Village. The original story by Takashi Yanase. Directed by Shunji Ooga. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Di Gi Charat the Movie: A Trip to the Planet2001'Di Gi Charat' is a comedy anime for maniacs, starring a girl named Di Gi Charat (her real name is Chocolat, and nickname is Digiko. She is the Princess of the Planet Di Gi Charat), who works at 'Gamers', the game/anime goods store in Akihabara, Tokyo. 'Gamers' is a real store, and 'Di Gi Charat' is the store's mascot character. The first TV anime series (3 minutes per episode, 16 episodes in total) was aired in 1999. The theatrical version is a short film (20 minutes) depicting the commotion when Digiko returned to her homeland the Planet Di Gi Charat with her mates, Puchiko (Puchi Charat) and Usada (Rabi-en-Rose). The planning by Broccoli and Kadokawa Shoten Publishing. The original works by Koge Donbo. Directed by Hiroaki Sakurai. The animation production by Madhouse.
 Azumanga-Daioh the Short Movie2001See the paragraph about the TV series of Azumanga-Daioh: The Animation. A very short anime movie (5 minutes) released before the TV anime series was aired. The main story is Ayumu Kasuga/Osaka's daydream in class about Chiyo Mihama's pigtails. Something like a pilot film of the TV series. Directed by Hiroshi Nishikiori. The animation produced by J.C.STAFF. Screened in 2001 'Kadokawa Anime Festival' with co-feature: 'Sakura Wars: The Movie', 'Slayers Premium' and 'Di Gi Charat the Movie: A Trip to the Planet'.
 InuYasha the Movie: Affections Touching Across Time2001'InuYasha' is Rumiko Takahashi's popular manga (graphic novel) serialized in the magazine 'Weekly Shonen Sunday' since 1996, and the TV anime series has been aired since 2000. It is a romantic saga with the hero InuYasha, who is a half human and half dog-demon boy living in the Warring States Period of medieval Japan, and the heroine Kagome Higurashi, a girl in the ninth grade who is time-warped into the Warring States Period. The first movie version is an original story different from the manga version and the TV series. InuYasha and his fellows fight against Meno-maru, the son of Hyoga, who was the leader of the Chinese demon troops that invaded Japan 200 years ago. Directed by Toshiya Shinohara. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 eX-Driver the Movie2002The feature-length animated movie version of "éX-D (eX-Driver)", which is an original animation video series (relesed in 2000-2001, 6 episodes), and its planning, original story and original character design are done by the manga artist Kosuke Fujishima (the author of "Ah! My Goddess" and "You're Under Arrest"). Set in the near future world where the computer-controlled, fully-automatic electric vehicles called 'AI Car' gain widespread use. The story describes the skilled people called 'eX-Drivers', who drive gasoline-powered cars for stopping runaway AI cars. The movie version is set in California, the United States of America. The three Japanese high schoolers and eX-drivers, Souichi Sugano, Lorna Endou and Lisa Sakakino, visited the USA for entering the world-class race of eX-drivers, and battle against a crime behind the race. The car action sequences featuring 3D computer graphics have a sense of speed and are worth seeing. Directed by Akira Nishimori. The animation produced by Actas. Screened with co-feature: "eX-Driver: Nina & Rei Danger Zone" (a short film).
 Pokemon Heroes: The Movie (Latias and Latios)2002See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The fifth of the Pokemon feature-length animated movies is an action/adventure set in a lagoon city Alto Mare, like Venice, Italy. Satoshi (Ash) meets an elder-brother/younger-sister pair of Pokemons, Latios and Latias, the legendary protector gods of the city, who are protecting a hidden treasure called the 'Droplet of the Heart'. A pair of sister thieves, Zanna and Lion steals the treasure and activates the ancient device for protecting the city by using it, but it goes out of control, and it brings the city to the crisis of being submerged. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM.
 The Cat Returns/
Neko no Ongaeshi
2002A heartwarming fantasy movie produced by Studio Ghibli. A companion volume to the movie 'Whisper of the Heart'. Based on the manga (graphic novel) 'The Cat Baron' by Aoi Hiiragi, the author of 'Whisper of the Heart'. The story of a 17-year-old high school girl named Haru Yoshioka. One day she rescued a cat who was nearly run over by a truck. That cat was the Prince Loon of the Cat Kingdom. The king of the Cat Kingdom took her away to his kingdom and tried to make her married with his son. The cat baron, Humbert von Sickingen and his fellow Muta, a fat cat, try to get her out of there. The planning by Hayao Miyazaki. Directed by Hiroyuki Morita, who had participated in the movie 'My Neighbors the Yamadas' as a key animator. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2002. Screened with co-feature: 'Ghiblies Episode 2'.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Arashi wo Yobu Appare! Sengoku Daikassen2002See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The tenth movie version is a full-scale historical drama set in the last days (the year 1574) of the Warring States Period of feudal Japan. The story of a laughable adventure of the Nohara family, who has been transferred into the Warring States Period by time warp, and a tragic love between a princess Ren Kasuga (a daughter of the feudal lord Kasuga at the Province of Musashi) and a samurai warrior Matabei Ijiri (a retainer of the Lord Kasuga). The highlight is the detailed description of the battle of the Warring States Period based on the studying historical evidence. Lots of quotations from Akira Kurosawa's samurai films. The screenplay and direction by Keiichi Hara. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. In Japan this film won various prizes such as the Animation Award of Cultural Affairs Agency's Media Art Festival.
 Mt. Head2002An animation creator known for his short animation films with a wide range of techniques, Koji Yamamura's 2002 short animation film (10 minutes). A new interpretation of the traditional Japanese Rakugo (verbal entertainment) story "Atama-yama" (Mt. Head) set in contemporary Tokyo. After a stingy man eats some cherry seeds, a cherry tree grows on his head, and he gets into a lot of troubles. All the animations are made by hand-drawn illustrations with colored pencils, markers, inks and others (using over 16,000 graphics), and the computers are used only in filming and editing. This film won the grand prix (Short films Awards) of Annecy International Animated Film Festival and many other awards. The direction, animation, design and editing by Koji Yamamura. Narration and shamisen by Takeharu Kunimoto. Produced by Yamamura Animation.
 Hamtaro the Movie 2 (Ham Ham Hamuja! Princess of Vision)2002See the paragraph about 'Hamtaro' the first movie. The second movie is a fantasy in the Middle Eastern style, like "One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)". Hamtaro and his friends (Ham-chans) visit the Hamuja Kingdom (hamsters' homeland) in the desert. In the kingdom, a wizard cat Sabakuunya locks the Princess Sheera in the castle, and he plots to take over the kingdom by marrying her. Hamtaro fights against Sabakuunya to save the Princess. In this movie, not only the MiniMoni members, but also all the members of Morning Musume at that time and Maki Goto appear as special guest voice actresses. Directed by Osamu Dezaki. The animation produced by Tokyo Movie.
 Detective Conan: The Phantom of Baker Street2002See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The sixth movie version is a mystery action set in a virtual-reality space modeled on London, England at the end of the 19th century (around 1888). The computer of a virtual simulation game 'Cocoon' was hacked by an artificial intelligence program called "Noah's Ark", and it transpired that all the game players (50 children) would die unless at least one player cleared the game. Inside the game world, Conan Edogawa and his mates selected a stage named 'old-time London', which re-created the world of the mystery novel 'Sherlock Holmes' series written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and there Conan confronts the well-known serial killer 'Jack the Ripper'. The screenplay by Hisashi Nozawa, known as a mystery writer and scenarist. Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Doraemon: Nobita in the Robot Kingdom2002See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The twenty-third movie (80 minutes). The manga version (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 2002) was drawn by Yasunori Okada (Fujiko Production). An adventure story dealing with the coexistence between humans and robots. Nobita and his friends find a robot boy Poko, who comes from the Robot Kingdom on another planet. They return Poko to his home, the Robot Kingdom via the time machine. In the Robot Kingdom, humans and robots with emotions are living together, but the Empress Jeanne and Commander Dester develop "Robot Remodeling Plan" to turn robots emotionless and make them tools working like slaves for humans. Nobita and his friends follow Poko who goes to rescue his mother confined in a tower in the court, but they are detected by droid soldiers, and Doraemon is kidnapped. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2002.
 One Piece: Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals2002See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The third movie (61 minutes) released in "Toei Anime Fair" March 2002 with a short movie "One Piece: Dream Soccer King" and " Digimon Tamers: Runaway Locomon". An original episode just after Tony Tony Chopper joined the Straw Hats, between the "Drum Island" and "Alabaster" arcs in the original, but Nefertari Vivi and Carue didn't appear. A battle action film dealing with "the courage to fight for friends". The Straw Hats head down to "the Crown Island" in search of King's Treasure, but an undersea volcano explodes and blows the Going Merry ship to the island. The island is a paradise strange animals live, and a boy living in the island, Mobambi believes Chopper to be the new Animal King. At the time, Count Butler and his gang attack horned animals in the island one after another in search of treasure hidden in animal horns. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation production by Toei Animation. The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2002.
 Digimon Tamers: Runaway Locomon2002See the paragraph about "Digimon Adventure" first movie. The second movie (31 minutes) of the third TV series "Digimon Tamers" (aired in 2001-2002). The sixth Digimon movie screened in Toei Anime Fair March 2002 with "One Piece: Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals". It seems like a sequel to the TV series, but a parallel story independent of the TV series. A story focusing one of the main characters, Ruki Makino's feelings. A train-type Digimon like a locomotive, Locomon becomes realized from the Digital World and runs out of control on Yamanote Line, Tokyo. The Tamers (Takato Matsuda, Lee Jianliang and Ruki Makino) stand up against Locomon to stop its runaway. Directed by Tetsuharu Nakamura. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2002.
 Beyblade the Movie: Fierce Battle2002See the paragraph about Beyblade the first TV series. The movie version (71 minutes) released when the second season of the first TV series "Beyblade 2002 (Beyblade: VForce)" was on air. Another story (a parallel world) different from the TV series, featuring the first appearance of Daichi Sumeragi (a character who had appeared only in the side story of original manga, and later appeared in the third season of the TV series "Beyblade: G-Revolution"). When Takao Kinomiya and Dragoon won Japan's Beyblade Championship, a wild boy Daichi Sumeragi with Gaia Dragoon challenges Takao for the best blader in Japan. The fight between Takao and Daichi awakens the four dark bit-beasts who had sealed within an ancient ruins, and they fight a beybattle against the dark power. Directed by Tetsuo Yasumi. The supervising director is Yoshio Takeuchi. The animation produced by Nihon Animedia. Screened with a short CG anime film "Saru Get You/Ape Escape the Movie: Battle for the Golden Pipo Helmet".
 Digimon Frontier: Island of Lost Digimon2002See the paragraph about "Digimon Adventure" first movie. The movie (41 minutes) of the fourth TV series "Digimon Frontier" (aired in 2002-2003). The seventh Digimon movie screened in Toei Anime Fair July 2002 with "Kinnikuman Nisei: Muscle Ginseng Competition! The Great Choujin War" and "Crush Gear Turbo: Caesarvern's Challenge!". An original story featuring AncientGreymon and AncientGarurumon of the Ten Ancient Warriors, who had appeared only in the opening of the TV series. Takuya and his friends stray into a "Wandering Island" in a gap between the dimensions of the Digital World, and there they get involved in the war between humanoid and beast-type Digimon. Takuya and Koji seek to stop the conflict, but they find a secret behind the war. Directed by Takahiro Imamura. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 WXIII (Wasted Thirteen): Patlabor the Movie 32002See the paragraph about the Patlabor OAV series. More an additional episode to the original series than the third movie version. The main characters of the original series (Special Vehicles Section 2 and Patlabors) only play supporting roles. A police drama/biological horror based on 'Waste No.13', the 9th episode of the manga (graphic novel) version by Masami Yuuki. The story of a young detective in the National Police Agency, Shin'ichiro Hata, who had investigated attacks against Labors on the coast of Tokyo Bay, and encounters a big, man-eating monster and a mysterious female scientist named Saeko Misaki. The general supervisor is Fumihiko Takayama. The animation production by Madhouse. Screened with co-feature: 'MiniPato' (screenplay by Mamoru Oshii, directed by Kenji Kamiyama).
 MiniPato: Mobile Police Patlabor Minimum2002See the paragraph about the Patlabor OAV series. 3-D 'digital paper puppet' anime series using paper puppet theater-style materials. Screened with 'WXIII (Wasted Thirteen): Patlabor the Movie 3'. A comedy filled with Mamoru Oshii's erudite information, parodies and inside jokes based on the the worldview and character settings of 'Mobile Police Patlabor'. A series of three short films: the episode 1 "Cry of the Revolver Cannon!" (about 14 minutes), the episode 2 "Ah, the Glory of the '98 AV!" (about 12 minutes) and the episode 3 "The Secret of the Special Vehicle 2" (about 12 minutes). The screenplay by Mamoru Oshii. The character design and animation by Tetsuya Nishio. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama. The animation produced by Production I.G. A must-see for diehard Oshii/Patlabor fans. There is an English-dubbed version. There is also the videogame version 'Mobile Police Patlabor Comeback: MiniPato' for PlayStation Portable (2005).
Good!Millennium Actress (Chiyoko Millennial Actress)2002The second film directed by Satoshi Kon, the director of Perfect Blue. The leading character is a Japanese actress Chiyoko Fujiwara, who was born in 1923 and was a movie queen during and after World War Two. She talks about a 'love story' through the kaleidoscope of her memories on her life and the days within the movies she appeared in (from the medieval time of war to future space age). The original works and direction by Satoshi Kon. A film in the Trompe L'oeil style, by introducing a play-within-a-play structure, like his Perfect Blue. The music by Susumu Hirasawa. Produced by Madhouse and GENCO. Distributed over the world by the DreamWorks Pictures (Hollywood movie studio).
 TAMALA2010 a punk cat in space2002An artistic full-digital CG animated film (92 minutes) produced by t.o.L, a graphic artist/art director/musician duo of k. (Kazuhiro Saito) and kuno (Makiko Kuno). A space fantasy set in the 'Feline Galaxy' in 2010. The heroine is a cute and violent female cat Tamala (one year old), who lives in an apartment complex in Gonnosukezaka in Meguro-City, Tokyo on Cat Earth. She makes a crash landing with her spaceship on the violence-ridden 'Planet Q' en route to her birthplace, the Planet Edessa in Orion. She picks up a male cat Michelangelo and has fun with him, but Planet Q's city changes significantly because of Tamala, and Michelangelo approachs the hidden relationship between Tamala, a giant conglomerate 'CATTY & Co.', and 'Tatla', a giant cat robot who appears in kitties' dreams. Almost all of the images (2D/3D graphics) is created by using Adobe Systems Incorporated's softwares (Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects). 2D graphics (characters and background) with Bézier curves have a cartoonish and retro style like Walt Disney's old animations or Osamu Tezuka's early manga works. The images are mainly black & white (partly colored). The giant robot Tatla and Meguro-City are drawn as 3D graphics. The direction and screenplay by t.o.L. The character design by Kentaro Nemoto and t.o.L. The art director is kuno (t.o.L). 2D animation by Kentaro Nemoto.
 InuYasha the Movie: The Castle beyond the Looking Glass2002See the paragraph about the 'InuYasha' first movie. As with the first movie version 'InuYasha: Affections Touching Across Time' (2001), this second movie version has the original story different from the manga version and the TV series. InuYasha and his fellows fight against Kaguya, a female demon with the power to control time. Directed by Toshiya Shinohara. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 A Tree of Palme2002A fantasy adventure based on the motif of 'The Adventures of Pinocchio/Le Avventure di Pinocchio', the Italian fairy tale written by Carlo Collodi. A supersensual and metaphysical film depicting 'a journey in the soul' of Palme, a wooden puppet who wants to be a human, set in another world consisted of the Roof (Touto), the Earth (Arcana) and the Below (Tamas). The settings and storyline are esoteric and hard to understand, but the beautiful images with fantastic description of another world and well-crafted animations are worth seeing. The original story, screenplay and direction by Takashi Nakamura (he had participated in 'Gold Lightan', 'Harmagedon', 'Urashiman', 'AKIRA' and 'Neo-Tokyo/Manie-Manie: Labyrinth Tales' as a key animator/animation director). The animation produced by Palm Studio. Produced by GENCO.
 Welcome to Pia Carrot the Movie: Sayaka's Love Story2002The theatrical animated film (48 minutes) for all ages based on 'Welcome to Pia Carrot 3', the F&C FC02's ren'ai (bishoujo) video game forbidden for under 18s (for Windows/Dreamcast/PlayStation2) released in 2001. The original 'Welcome to Pia Carrot' is a popular series set in a family restaurant 'Pia Carrot' (released since 1996), and the OAVs also have been released. Sayaka Takai is a high school girl working part-time in Pia Carrot's main outlet. She loves a boy Akihiko Kannazuki, who is Sayaka's school friend and he also works in the main outlet, but she can never express her feelings to Akihiko. One day in the last summer vacation of her high school years, she happened to work in new 4th outlet opened on the Misaki seafront as a helper for a short time, without meeting Akihiko. Directed by Yuji Muto. The animation produced by Imove. Cooperated by Bones. Many OAVs based on the video games forbidden for under 18s have been produced, but this is the first one that released in the theaters. The theatrical version was bad in animation quality, so it is substantially redrawn on VHS/DVD version.
 Pokemon: Jirachi Wish Maker2003See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The first movie of the TV series 'Pokemon Advance/Pocket Monster: Advanced Generation' (aired on TV since 2002). In the nights of Comet Millennia, which appears only seven days once a millennium, Satoshi, Takeshi, Haruka and Masato meet Butler, a magician of a traveling carnival 'Pokemon Park', and find a legendary Pokemon, Jirachi, who grants people's wish only once a millennium. Masato makes friends with Jirachi, but Butler tries to carry out an ambition, using Jirachi's power. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2003.
 One Piece the Movie: The Dead End Adventure2003See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The fourth movie and the first feature-length film (90 minutes) of "One Piece". Luffy and his fellows enter a race called the 'Dead End', which is a ruleless, dangerous survival battle of the pirates. In the race, Luffy and a bounty hunter named Schreier Buskurd fight against 'General' Gasparde, an ex-navy pirate. Directed by Konosuke Uda (the director of the TV series). The animation production by Toei Animation.
 Tokyo Godfathers2003The third film directed by Satoshi Kon, the director of 'Perfect Blue' and 'Millennium Actress'. A tragicomic human drama/slapstick starring a homeless trio living in Shinjuku (one of the central cities in Tokyo). The story of the trio, Gin (a middle-aged man and a self-proclaimed ex-cycle racer), Hana (a gay man and an ex-drag queen) and Miyuki (a girl who has run away from home), who took in an abandoned baby on Christmas night, and they struggle to find out the baby's parents. The highlights are the storyline full of 'miracles' such as happy accidents and fateful meetings, and the realistic scene description of the big city Tokyo. The original story and direction by Satoshi Kon. The animation produced by Madhouse. The music by Keiichi Suzuki of Moonriders.
 Detective Conan: Crossroad in the Ancient Capital2003See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The seventh movie version is a mystery action set in Kyoto, the ancient capital city in the western Japan. Conan Edogawa and Heiji Hattori, who is another high-school detective from Osaka, challenge the mystery of Buddhist-statue theft and a series of murders by a gang of art thieves. One motif in the storyline is Heiji's memory of his first love in Kyoto. A film full of traditional Japanese sentiment, as in the beautiful landscapes of Kyoto and Heiji's samurai sword battle against the thieves. Directed by Kanetsugu Kodama. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Windmasters2003See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The twenty-fourth movie (83 minutes). The manga version (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 2003) was drawn by Yasunori Okada (Fujiko Production). An original story featuring a child of typhoon Fuko as a key character, who appeared in the short story of Fujio F. Fujiko's original manga "Doraemon", "Fuko the Typhoon" (Tentomushi Comics Vol.6). A fantasy adventure set in a magical village in a vast plain, where the Windmasters (people who manipulate winds) are living, like Tibet or Mongol. Nobita finds a child of typhoon. He names her "Fuko" and treats her like his pet, but they wander into the "Wind Village", where the Wind People (who coexist with winds) and the Storm Clan (who misuses the wind power) are opposed to each other. To revive the wind monster Mafuuga, the Storm Clan targets Fuko's secret power. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. The animation director is Ayumu Watanabe. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.6 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2003.
 Winter Days2003An anthology of 36 short art animation films by 35 artists from the world, inspired by Renku (collaborative linked poems) from "Winter Days", one of "Seven anthologies of the Basho School" (Basho is a 17th-century Japanese poet). Features Yuriy Norshteyn (Russia), Kihachiro Kawamoto, Raoul Servais (Belgium), Reiko Okuyama/Yoichi Kotabe, Aleksandr Petrov (Russia), Yoji Kuri, Uruma Delvi, Seiichi Hayashi, Břetislav Pojar (Czech Republic), Katsushi Bowda, Mark Baker (UK), Bai Rong Wang (China), Isao Takahata, Taku Furukawa, Co Hoedeman (Canada), Jacques Drouin (Canada), Koji Yamamura and others. You can enjoy watching a variety of animation techniques, such as cel, CG, puppet, clay, cutout, pinscreen, paint-on-glass, and ink painting. The planning and direction by Kihachiro Kawamoto. The first part "Winter Days" is animation (40 minutes). The second part "Poets in Winter Days" (65 minutes) is a live-action "Making of" documentary including interviews with all the artists.
 The Animatrix2003An omnibus which consists of nine short anime/CG films on the worldview of "The Matrix" trilogy, the live-action movies directed by Andy & Larry Wachowski. A collaboration between the producers of "The Matrix" and anime/CG creators from the US, Japan and South Korea. "The Final Flight of the Osiris" (directed by Andy Jones, written by Andy & Larry Wachowski, produced by Square USA) is an ultrarealistic, entire computer graphic film in the live-action style. The other works are high-quality footages fusing animation and CG in the Japanese anime style, with each creator's originality: "The Second Renaissance Part 1" and "Part 2" (directed by Mahiro Maeda, written by Andy & Larry Wachowski, produced by Studio 4°C, Japan), "Kid's Story" (directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, written by Andy & Larry Wachowski, produced by Studio 4°C), "Program" (written and directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, produced by Madhouse, Japan), "World Record" (directed by Takeshi Koike, written by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, produced by Madhouse), "Beyond" (written and directed by Koji Morimoto, produced by Studio 4°C), "Detective Story" (written and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, produced by Studio 4°C), and "Matriculated" (written and directed by Peter Chung, produced by DNA, South Korea). The voice actors are Keanu Reeves (as Neo), Carrie-Anne Moss (as Trinity) and others. Recommended to those who like "The Matrix", its worldview and visual effects.
 RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio (Pluralistic Variation)2003See the paragraph about the RahXephon TV series. The movie version that reconstructed the 26 episodes of the TV series as another story with added scenes/shots (about 30 minutes) and newly dubbed voices. In the year 2027, Tokyo had been occupied by 'Mu', invaders from different dimension, and it has formed 'Tokyo Jupiter', a domed space isolated from the outside. A 29-year-old woman Haruka Shitow, who is an intelligence officer of counter-Mu strategic research institute 'Terra', tries to get her ex-classmate and boyfriend Ayato Kamina out of Tokyo Jupiter. The character settings and storyline are arranged from the perspective of love story between Ayato and Haruka, who are separated by the fault line in time and space. The original works by Bones and Yutaka Izubuchi. Directed by Tomoki Kyoda (the assistant director of the TV series). The supervising director is Yutaka Izubuchi. The animation produced by Bones.
 Nasu: Summer in Andalusia2003A short anime film (47 minutes) on the bicycle road race in Spain. Based on an episode 'Summer in Andalusia' from Iou Kuroda's short manga series 'Nasu' (2000-2002). 'Nasu' is the Japanese word for 'eggplant'. The story of a bicycle racer Pepe Benengeli, who entered 'Vuelta a España' (one of the three grand tours of the world along with Tour de France and Giro d'Italia). At that time, in his native village in Andalusia, his older brother Angel and his ex-girlfriend Carmen had a wedding ceremony. The highlights are the realistic and powerful scenes of the bicycle race. The direction and screenplay by Kitaro Kosaka (animation director of 'Yawara!', 'Master Keaton', 'Whisper of the Heart', 'Princess Mononoke' and 'Spirited Away'). The animation production by Madhouse.
 Dead Leaves2003A comical, funky and non-stop action anime. A 52 minutes long-short film with a whirl of crazy violent actions through most of the film. The story of the duo of Pandy and Retro, who try to escape from 'Dead Leaves', a prison on the moon. The planning and original story by Imaitoonz (illustrator/designer) and Production I.G. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi (the animation director of the OAV 'FLCL/Fooly Cooly'). The animation produced by Production I.G.
 InuYasha the Movie: Swords of an Honorable Ruler2003See the paragraph about the 'InuYasha' first movie. The third movie version is a sword/demon action film depicting the fight against the third sword 'Souunga' (Cloud-masses Fang), one of the three swords left by InuYasha's father, following InuYasha's 'Tetsusaiga' (Iron-Pulverising Fang) and InuYasha's elder brother, Sesshomaru's 'Tenseiga' (Heavenly-Life Fang). InuYasha and Sesshomaru fight against the demon-sword 'Souunga', which breaks the border between the land of the living and land of the dead. Directed by Toshiya Shinohara. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Kochikame the Movie 22003See the paragraph about 'Kochikame' the first movie version. The second movie version is a hilarious spectacular action film depicting the commotion about a supergiant UFO that appeared over Hawaii and Tokyo. To meet again elementary school classmate Tappei Tanaka, Kankichi Ryotsu visited Hilo City in Big Island of Hawaii, and there he saw Tappei being abducted by an unidentified armed group operating a giant UFO. To rescue Tappei from the UFO, Ryotsu and a girl named Meena (Tappei's daughter) take an old-Japanese-Navy's fighter Zero and chase the UFO, which generates a fierce tornado and attacks Tokyo. The original works by Osamu Akimoto and Atelier Beedama. Directed by Shinji Takamatsu. The animation produced by Gallop.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Arashi wo Yobu Eikou no Yakiniku Road2003See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The eleventh movie version is a slapstick action/comedy going back to the basic, 'laughable' style of the TV series. One day, the Nohara family was looking forward to having an ultrarich Yakiniku (beef barbecue) dinner, but they was put on the wanted list on suspicion of heinous crimes, because of a scheme of a mysterious organization named 'Sweet Boys'. The Nohara family run from Sweet Boys pursuit, but, to eat Yakiniku for dinner, they stop escaping and decide to meet the boss of Sweet Boys, who is based in Atami (a hot spring/resort city in Shizuoka Pref). The screenplay by Tsutomu Mizushima and Keiichi Hara. Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Atashinchi the Movie2003'Atashinchi' (means 'My Home') is Eiko Kera's heartwarming, family-oriented comedy manga (serialized in the newspaper 'Yomiuri Shimbun' Sunday edition since 1994) that describes the daily life of a Japanese average family, the Tachibanas: Mikan Tachibama (a high-school girl), younger brother Yuzuhiko, mother and father. The TV anime series has been aired since 2002. This movie version is the first full-length drama of 'Atashinchi'. One rainy day, Mikan and her mother were hit by a stroke of lightning. At that moment their souls left their bodies, and then Mikan got her mother's body, and her mother got Mikan's body. Since then, they managed to do each other's daily duty (Mikan did the housework with her mother's body, and her mother went to high school with Mikan's body), but they confront the difficult challenge that Mikan's mother has to go to Kyoto (the ancient capital city in the western Japan) for the school trip with Mikan's body. The original story by Eiko Kera. Directed by Tetsuo Yasumi. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The theme song written and sung by the singer-songwriter Akiko Yano.
 Kill Bill Vol.12003The live-action film written and directed by the US film director, Quentin Tarantino. The first part (vol.1) includes the anime part (about 10 minutes) produced by Production I.G. An unreal and violent action movie filled with quotations and parodies from Tarantino's favorites, such as Hong Kong's kung-fu movies, Italian spaghetti western movies, Japanese historical sword-play/yakuza (gangster) films and anime. The story of a woman called 'The Bride', who had once been an assassin. She was attacked at her wedding by her former boss, Bill and his followings. Her husband and baby in her body were Killed by them, and she herself was mortally wounded. After 4 years in a coma, she wakes up and tries to kill Bill and his followings, thirsting for revenge. Lots of bloody swordfight scenes with Japanese samurai swords cutting off arms, legs and heads. The leading actress is Uma Thurman. Several Japanese actors, such as Sonny Chiba (Shin'ichi Chiba) and Chiaki Kuriyama, also appear. The character designers of the anime part are Shou Tajima and Katsuhito Ishii. The animation directors are Kazuto Nakazawa and Toshihiko Nishikubo. Recommended to those who like Kinji Fukasaku's films and action anime such as 'A Kite' and 'Blood: The Last Vampire'.
 Howl's Moving Castle2004A fantasy adventure directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. Based on the novel of the same title written by Diana Wynne Jones, the British fantasy and science fiction writer. Set in another world where magic coexists with scientific civilization. A love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sophie, who works as a hatter, and a young handsome wizard Howl. One day Sophie is cursed by the Witch of the Waste, and turns into an old woman's body. After meeting with Howl and his moving castle, she becomes a live-in housekeeper for the castle, and begins a strange life with Howl, Markl (a boy and Howl's apprentice), a fire demon Calcifer (a source of power to move the castle) and a turnip-headed scarecrow. The screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. Won the Golden Osella award for Technical Contribution at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2004.
Good!Innocence: Ghost in the Shell2004See the paragraph about the previous work 'Ghost in the Shell'. A sequel to 'Ghost in the Shell'. Set in 2032, near-future where people live together with cyborgs and robots. The story of a cyborg detective of Public Security Section 9, Batou and his buddy Togusa, who investigate a murder case caused by girl-type pet-robots called 'gynoid'. An aesthetic and thematic film dealing with fundamental subjects such as body and soul, life and death, and love beyond anthropocentrism, with the motifs of surrealist Hans Bellmer's 'ball joint doll' and Chinese-style Gothic architecture. Absolutely gorgeous images by 2-D animation and photoreal 3-D CG. There's lots of lines quoted from classics, novels and so on. The original story by Shirow Masamune. The screenplay and direction by Mamoru Oshii. Produced by Production I.G. The novel version 'Innocence: After the Long Goodbye' written by Sci-Fi/mystery writer Masaki Yamada is another story of 'Innocence' and a previous story to the film version.
 Steamboy2004A retro-styled steampunk Sci-Fi/action adventure film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, who had directed 'AKIRA' (1988) and 'Cannon Fodder' (the third episode of 'Memories', 1995). Set in England in the middle of the 19th century, the era of the Industrial Revolution. The leading character is a 13-year-old boy, James Ray Steam, whose father Edward and grandfather Lloyd are both inventors. One day, Ray found out his father and grandfather invented a sphere that contains extra-high pressure and high-density steam, called 'Steamball'. His father Eddie tries to use Steamball for weapons with the O'hara Foundation from the US. Against using science for military, Ray and his grandfather Lloyd fight over Steamball against his father Eddie. A totally digital processed anime film fusing hand-drawn 2-D animation and 3-D CG. The meticulous and picturesque images are worth seeing. The pilot film had been produced in 1995, but it took a very long time to finish the movie, because there were some difficulties, such as intermission of the production with changes of the investing/production companies. The original story and direction by Katsuhiro Otomo. The screenplay by Katsuhiro Otomo and Sadayuki Murai. The music by Steve Jablonsky. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Appleseed2004A Sci-Fi action based on the manga (graphic novel) 'Appleseed', Masamune Shirow's commercial debut (started to be published in 1985). A totally computer-generated 3-D anime movie. Set in a future city called Olympus, where human beings live together with human clones called 'bioroid', in the year 2131, after the 'non-nuclear world war'. The leading character is a female warrior Deunan Knute, who had survived the war as a soldier. The highlight is the innovative style of images, called '3-D live anime', which is the combination of the designs of Japanese traditional anime and photorealistic, stereoscopic 3-D animation by optical motion captures of human body and facial movements. The production by Digital Frontier. Directed by Shinji Aramaki. Produced by Fumihiko Sori, who had been a CG animator of the movie 'Titanic' (1997), directed by James Cameron, and the director of Japanese live-action movie 'Ping-Pong' (2002), based on Taiyo Matsumoto's manga.
Good!Mind Game2004The animated feature film based on Robin Nishi's cult manga (graphic novel) "Mind Game" (serialized in monthly "Comic Are!" in 1995-96). A surrealistic and artistic film fusing 2D anime with CG, 3D animation and live-action materials. A young man named Nishi, who wanted to become a manga artist, met again Myon Uchida, his childhood friend and his first crush. Myon invited him to the bar-and-grill run by her and her elder sister Yon, and there Nishi was shot by a gangster who came to collect a debt from Myon's father. Nishi was once dead, but he came back to life again, gunned down the gangster, robbed the gangster's car and run away with Myon and Yon. The highlights are the kaleidoscopic changing images running through the 'good old past' and 'shining future', with a sense of speed. The original story by Robin Nishi. The screenplay and direction by Masaaki Yuasa (character design and animation supervising of 'Noiseman Sound Insect', setup design of 'Crayon Shin-chan' movies, screenplay and animation direction of 'Cat Soup/Nekojiru-so'). The animation produced by Studio 4°C. The music by Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms, Omoide Hatoba, Rashinban, ROVO).
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Arashi wo Yobu! Yuhi no Kasukabe Boys2004See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The twelfth movie version is a fantasy action set in a world of Western films. One day the Nohara family, 'Kasukabe Defense Forces' (Shinnosuke Nohara and his mates: Kazama-kun, Nene-chan, Masao-kun and Bo-chan) and other people living in Kasukabe-city get lost in a world within a Western film, which is a city ruled by an evil governor named Justice. The time progress has been stopped there because the film is unfinished, and people are losing their memories about the past little by little. To go back to their former world, Kasukabe Defense Forces try to defeat Governor Justice and finish the film. The highlights are the last sequences of locomotive chase and fight against the giant wooden robot, "Justice Robo". The screenplay and direction by Tsutomu Mizushima. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Pokemon: Destiny Deoxys2004See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The second movie of the TV series 'Pokemon Advance/Pocket Monster: Advanced Generation' (aired on TV since 2002). One day a meteorite from space crashed to the earth, and a mystery humanoid pokemon 'Deoxys' appeared from it. Rekkuuza, a sky pokemon living in the ozone layer, fought against Deoxys and defeated it. A little boy Tooi was involved in the fight, and he became afraid of pokemon because of this traumatic experience. Four years later, Satoshi and the gang meet Tooi in the high-tech city Larousse, and Deoxys appears and fights against Rekkuuza again. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2004.
 Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey2004See the paragraph about the Doraemon first movie. The twenty-fifth movie (84 minutes) and the last one by the original cast of the first season (1979-2005) of the second TV series. The manga version (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 2004) was drawn by Yasunori Okada (Fujiko Production). An original story based on the short story of Fujio F. Fujiko's original manga "Doraemon", "A Stray Dog Ichi's Country" (Tentomushi Comics Vol.22). A Sci-Fi action adventure dealing with paradox of time travel, and a story of the friendship between Nobita and his dog Ichi, transcending time and space. Nobita rescues a puppy from drowning in a river. He names the puppy "Ichi" and starts to keep Ichi secretly. Nobita and friends take Ichi with other abandoned dogs/cats to the Earth 300 million years ago via the time machine. In the world a millennia later, evolved humanoid dogs/cats had built an advanced civilization. Directed by Tsutomu Shibayama. The animation director is Ayumu Watanabe. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2004.
 Detective Conan: Magician of the Silver Sky2004See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The eighth movie version is an air panic/suspense film set in an airplane on the fly. A stage actress, Juri Maki received a notice from Kid the Master Thief (Conan Edogawa's archrival) that he would steal her star sapphire ring, called "The Jewel of Destiny". Conan and his party escorted her to protect her from Kid, but Kid appeared in front of them, in the disguise of Shin'ichi Kudo, who was Conan's original figure. Directed by Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie. The No.6 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2004.
 One Piece: The Cursed Holy Sword2004See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The fifth movie (95 minutes) released with a short movie "One Piece: Take Aim! The Pirate Baseball King". An original story focusing on the fateful reunion between Roronoa Zoro and his childhood friend Saga. The Straw Hats go ashore at the Asuka Island. It is said that a legendary beautiful treasured sword "Seven-Star Sword" and blinding treasures are hidden in the island. There Zoro meets Saga again, who is Zoro's friend in swordplay training in his childhood, and the master of navy's swordplay dojo. At the request of Saga, Zoro and navy swordsmen attack the village, and Zoro takes three purple orbs away from Maya, a girl in the island. Directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi. The animation production by Toei Animation. The No.11 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2004.
 The Place Promised in Our Early Days2004The first feature-length anime movie directed by the animation creator Makoto Shinkai, who created the short full-digital anime film, 'Hoshi no Koe/The Voices of a Distant Star'. A lyrical and sentimental film on youth's dreams, longing and wistful feeling. The brightly colored images emphasizing the contrast between light and shade are beautiful. Set in another postwar world, where Japan is divided into the north (Hokkaido Island) and south (mainland), and they are separately ruled by 'the Union' and U.S. forces. The story of two junior high boys living in Aomori (northern end of the mainland), Hiroki Fujisawa and Takuya Shirakawa, who had promised to fly to a big tower in Hokkaido by a handmade small plane with a girl classmate, Sayuri Sawatari. But after that she came down with a disease of unknown cause and slept on for years without awaking. Trying to save her from eternal sleep, Hiroki and Takuya approach the secret relationship between her and 'the tower'. The original story, screenplay and direction by Makoto Shinkai. The character design and animation direction by Ushio Tazawa. Produced by Makoto Shinkai and CoMix Wave.
 Naruto the Movie2004'Naruto' is Masashi Kishimoto's popular ninja action manga (graphic novel) serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump since 1999. The leading character, Naruto Uzumaki is a 12-year-old boy who with a 'Nine-tailed Fox Demon' sealed inside his body. He spends all his time doing ninja training and mission with his teammates Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, aiming to be 'Hokage', the No.1 ninja of his home village. The TV anime series has been aired since 2002. This is the first movie version, "Naruto: Daikatsugeki! Yukihime Ninpocho Dattebayo!!" (it means something like "Naruto: A Big Action Play! It's the Snow Princess' Ninja Art Book!!"). The Team Kakashi (the teacher Kakashi Hateke and his students: Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura) is assigned to escort the actress Yukie Fujikaze, who is playing the heroine of the popular movie "Snow Princess' Adventure" series, to the 'Snow Land' for location shooting, but somehow she adamantly refuses to go to the 'Snow Land', and the film crew is attacked by mysterious ninjas. The original story by Masashi Kishimoto. Directed by Tensai Okamura. The character design by Tetsuya Nishio. The animation supervisor is Hiroto Tanaka. The animation produced by Pierrot. The cofeature is the 11-minute short film "Naruto the Movie: Konoha no Sato no Dai Undoukai (The Big Athletic Meet in Konoha no Sato)".
 Saint Seiya: Heaven Chapter -Overture-2004See the paragraph about the "Saint Seiya" TV series. The fifth movie (83 minutes) released after the release of the OVA "Saint Seiya: Hades Chapter Sanctuary" (2002-2003). Created as a prologue to "Heaven Chapter" which the original author Masami Kurumada had plotted as the next story of "Hades" saga, the final episode of the original manga, but the sequels had not been created. After the battle against the god of the Underworld Hades, Seiya has no energy because of the curse of Hades. The Moon Goddess Artemis (Saori Kido/Athena's older sister) sends three Angels (Icarus, Theseus and Odysseus) to kill Seiya and other Bronze Saints who rebelled against the god. Saori saves Seiya's life by abandoning her post as Goddess and handing over control of the Earth to Artemis, and sheds her blood for saving the human race. To save Saori, the Bronze Saints go to her, but Angels and the Sun God Apollo (older brother of Artemis and Athena). The beautiful images including drawings by Araki/Himeno, and background art with CGs are worth seeing, but it lacks entertaining elements as a hero action film, because the storyline is abstract, and the story is incomplete. The original story and plan by Masami Kurumada. The character design and animation direction by Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno. Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 InuYasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island2004See the paragraph about the 'InuYasha' first movie. The fourth movie version released three months after the TV series ended in September, 2004. Set in an legendary island named 'Horai-jima', which appears once every 50 years. InuYasha fights against the four gods, the 'Shitoushin', who rule the island, to get the half-demon children out of the island. The drawings are more closer to the TV series than the previous three movies. The action scenes are pretty powerful. Directed by Toshiya Shinohara. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie2004The feature-length movie version of the TV anime series 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' (aired on Japanese TV in 2000-2004. The original Japanese title is 'Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters') based on the card game manga 'Yu-Gi-Oh' (means 'King of Games') by Kazuki Takahashi (serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump in 1996-2004). The leading character Yugi Muto is a high school boy who solved the ancient Egyptian 'Millennium Puzzle', and met his alter ego called 'Nameless Pharaoh'. He fights a fierce battle on card game against Anubis, the 'King of Devastation' who was revived from ancient Egypt and tries to destroy Yugi. Released in theaters all over the US in 2004. The No.100 at the box-office of in the United States in 2004. In Japan, this film was not released in theaters, but aired on TV and released on DVD in 2005. The original story by Kazuki Takahashi and Studio Dice. Directed by Hatsuki Tsuji. The animation produced by Studio Gallop.
 The Prince of Tennis - Two Samurais: The First Game2005'The Prince of Tennis' is a TV anime series (aired in 2001-2005, 178 episodes) based on the popular tennis manga (serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump since 1999) by Takeshi Konomi. The first original movie (65 minutes) created by the TV series' staff. An amusing sports anime featuring boys who play tennis with superhuman technique. The leading character, Ryoma Echizen is a young prodigy in the tennis club of Seishun Gakuen Junior Highschool, and he has won four consecutive junior championships in the United States. Sei-Gaku tennis club members are invited to exhibition games on a luxury liner, and play exciting games with their opposing team led by the captain Ryoga Echizen, who calls himself Ryoma's older brother. The original story by Takeshi Konomi. Directed by Takayuki Hamana. The animation produced by Production I.G. Screened with co-feature: "The Prince of Tennis: A Gift from Atobe" (a short film, 29 minutes). There are also the game (PlayStation/PlayStation2/GameBoy Advance/Nintendo DS) versions, musical, live-action movie and OAV series.
 xxxHOLiC the Movie: A Midsummer Night's Dream2005A surreal, occultic mystery film (60 minutes) based on CLAMP's manga 'xxxHOLiC' (serialized in weekly 'Young Magazine' since 2003). A woman named Yuko Ichihara, who realizes customer's wish of any kind if she gets paid for it, receives an invitation to a mysterious auction held in a strange old mansion. Yuko visits the mansion, along with a high school boy Kimihiro Watanuki, who has the ability to see evil spirits, and Watanuki's classmate Shizuka Doumeki, and there she meets seven enthusiastic collectors invited. The high quality animation, art and direction are worth seeing. The original story by CLAMP. Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. The character designer and animation supervisor is Kazuchika Kise. The animation produced by Production I.G. Co-featured with 'Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie: The Princess of the Land of the Birdcage'. There is also the 'xxxHOLiC' TV series (2006) produced by Production I.G.
 Tsubasa Chronicle the Movie: The Princess of the Land of the Birdcage2005A short anime film (35 minutes) based on the manga 'Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-' by CLAMP (serialized in monthly 'Shonen Magazine' since 2003). The original manga is an all-star cast story featuring many characters from CLAMP's other works, such as 'Cardcaptor Sakura', 'Chobits' and 'Magic Knight Rayearth', and its story links to 'xxxHOLiC' too. The leading characters are the Princess Sakura of the Clow Kingdom, who lost all her memories, and a boy Syaoran, who travels in another worlds to find the feathers that are the fragments of Sakura's lost memory. In this movie, Syaoran ans Sakura visit 'Land of the Birdcage', and stand up against the scheming king to save the Princess Tomoyo and the citizens. Directed by Itsuro Kawasaki. The animation produced by Production I.G. Co-featured with 'xxxHOLiC the Movie: A Midsummer Night's Dream'. There are also the TV series 'Tsubasa Chronicle' (2005-) produced by Bee Train, aired in NHK Kyoiku (Education) TV.
 One Piece the Movie: Omatsuri Danshaku to Himitsu no Shima (Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island)2005See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The sixth movie and the third of the feature-length films (90 minutes). Luffy's pirate team visited 'Omatsuri Island' ('Omatsuri' means 'festival'), and there they met a mystery man named 'Baron Omatsuri'. "I'll give you a a secret treasure, if you can a hellish ordeal", said Baron Omatsuri, and Luffy tries the 'ordeal' with his fellow crew members. An unique suspense/adventure film produced by the staff which is different from that of the TV series. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, who directed "Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!". The character design and animation directed by Takaaki Yamashita, Sushio and Chikashi Kubota. Produced by Toei Animation. Hosoda's elaborate direction (image composition, scene cutting and camera work) is worth seeing.
 Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shambala2005See the paragraph about the 'Fullmetal Alchemist' TV series. The movie version is a sequel that describes the events two years after the last episode of the TV series. A serious political drama/fantasy action set in the two parallel worlds, another world where alchemy has evolved and the real world (interwar Germany). In the alchemical world Amestris, Alphonse Elric keeps on traveling in search for a way to reunite with his older brother, Edward (Ed). Meanwhile, being transferred from his alchemical world to the real world (Munich, Germany, 1923), Ed has been researching rocketry to find a way back home, but he is involved in the conspiracy of secret society, Thule-Gesellschaft, who regard the alchemical world as utopia 'Shambala' and try to open the gate to Shambala. The heavy drama with historical facts and real people against the backdrop of Munich Putsch in 1923 and the impressive action scenes are worth seeing. The original works by Hiromu Arakawa. The story and screenplay by Sho Aikawa. Directed by Seiji Mizushima. The animation produced by Bones.
 Naruto the Movie 22005See the paragraph about 'Naruto' the first movie. The second movie is a ninja action film full of overwhelming battle scenes, just like the first movie. One day Naruto, Shikamaru, and Sakura meet a mysterious young knight Temujin, who has traveled with his master Haido in a giant moving fortress for creating a warless, peaceful world, but Naruto challenges Haido, who has his wicked ambition. The original story by Masashi Kishimoto. Directed by Hirotsugu Kawasaki. The character design by Tetsuya Nishio. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot.
 Air the Movie2005The feature-length anime movie based on VisualArt's/Key's love romance (dating-sim) game for Windows PC, "Air". The original game is known for its touching story about family's love. The TV anime series (aired in 2005, 12 episodes) is pretty faithful to the original game, but this movie version is different in plot and character settings from the original. The director Osamu Dezaki pruduced this as a film on pure love, with his own interpretation and direction. The story of a young man Yukito Kunisaki, who has traveled around, performing a puppet play on the streets. He met a sickly girl named Misuzu Kamio in a seaside town. The original story and supervising by VisualArt's/Key. Produced by Toei Animation.
 Detective Conan: Strategy above the Depths2005See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The ninth movie version is a mystery/action set in a luxury liner "Aphrodite" sailing on the Pacific Ocean. On the maiden voyage of "Aphrodite", Conan Edogawa, Ran Mouri, Kogoro Mouri and their fellows encounter a murder case. Conan and Kogoro attempt to find out the murderer, who tries to explode the liner. The highlights are the sudden reversal in the ending and the surprisingly outstanding performance of Kogoro Mouri. Directed by Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie. The No.11 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2005.
 Pokemon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew2005See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The third movie of the TV series 'Pokemon Advance/Pocket Monster: Advanced Generation' (aired on TV in 2002-2006). At the Oldland Castle in the town of Lohta, a festival is thrown praising Aaron, the legendary Wave Leader Hero who stopped a war centuries ago by using the power of 'the Tree of the World's Origin'. Satoshi and Pikachu participate in a Pokemon battle to decide this year's hero and after their victory, they are chosen as the 'Wave Leader Hero'. But suddenly the phantom Pokemon Mew appears and takes Pikachu to 'the Tree of the World's Origin'. Soon afterwards, the Wave Leader Pokemon 'Lucario' is freed from his centuries-long seal by Satoshi's wave power. To rescue Pikachu, Satoshi and his gang go to 'the Tree of the World's Origin' with Lucario. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2005.
 Pretty Cure Max Heart: The Movie2005The feature-length movie version of 'Pretty Cure Max Heart', the second season of the TV anime series 'Pretty Cure' (the original Japanese title is 'Futari wa PreCure'), produced by Toei Animation and aired on TV since 2004. A unique series aimed at girl children, which is a fantasy 'Magical Girl' anime filled with a girlish cuteness, but it is also a hero action story that features hand-to-hand battle scenes like 'Dragon Ball Z' (the director of the TV series is Daisuke Nishio, who also directed the TV series 'Dragon Ball Z'). The leading characters are two junior high girls at the Berrone Academy, Nagisa Misumi (good at all sports and boyish) and Honoka Yukishiro (good at school and graceful), who transform themselves into the Messengers of the Light called 'Pretty Cure' (PreCure), Cure Black and Cure White, by the powers of Mepple and Mipple (magical creatures from the 'Garden of Light'), and fight against evil enemies from the World of Darkness. This movie version is set in a fairy land called the 'Garden of Hope'. Nagisa, Honoka and another girl, Hikari Kujou (Shiny Luminous) fight with seven frog-like fairies against the Witch of the World of Darkness, who robbed the 'Diamond Line' (the source of shining energy) from the Garden of Hope. Directed by Junji Shimizu.
 Pretty Cure Max Heart: The Movie 22005See the paragraph about the 'Pretty Cure Max Heart' first movie. The second movie. Nagisa Misumi, Honoka Yukishiro and Hikari Kujou visit a ski resort with friends during the winter holidays. Hikari finds a strange egg, and a little one hatched from the egg is a young Houou (phoenix) from the Garden of Cloud in the sky. Hikari names the little one 'Hinata' and makes friends with Hinata. Zakenna, the enemies from the dark world attacks and kidnaps Hinata. Nagisa and Honoka have quarrelled about trifles, but they join forces to fight against Zakenna to save Hinata. The ending theme "Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai (Please Love Me as Much as 100 Jokes)" is the ninth single by girl idol group Berryz Kobo. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation -Heirs to the Stars-2005See the paragraph about the 'Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam' TV series. The first part of the movie version trilogy of 'Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam', produced 20 years after the TV series. A redigest of the TV series, from the 1st episode to the 14th one, with some new scenes added (about 1/3 of the total is new). To minimalize the incongruity between the old TV series images and the new degital images, all the images are treated with a digital processing called 'aging' (noise coordination, color correction and image adjustment), but the difference between them is quite obvious. The soundtrack is totally re-recorded in 5.1 channel surround sound, including the back-ground music and character voices. This first part starts with the sequence in which Kamille Bidan (a boy living in the space colony 'Green Noa 1') robbed the mobile suit 'Gundam Mk-II' from Earth Federation Space Force and joined A.E.U.G. (Anti Earth Union Government), and it ends with the scene in which Amuro Ray met Char Aznable again, who were enemies in 'the One Year War' depicted in the first TV series 'Mobile Suit Gundam'. The newly-drawn parts, especially mobile suit battle scenes are beautiful and worth seeing. The original story, screenplay, storyboards and supervising direction by Yoshiyuki Tomino. The Planning and production by Sunrise.
 Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam II: A New Translation -Lovers-2005See the paragraphs about the 'Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam' TV series and the first part of the movies, 'Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation -Heirs to the Stars-'. The second part of the movie version trilogy. A redigest of the TV series, from the 15th episode to the 32nd one, with some new scenes added. Full of many fragmentary episodes, so it's hard for the people who have never seen the TV series to follow the storyline. The climax is the sequence of encounter and farewell between Kamille Bidan and Four Murasame, who is the fourth enhanced-person from Murasame Laboratory of Titans (the elite of the Earth Federal Forces) and the most popular heroine character of the series. In this second part, the voice actors of several important characters are changed from the original to new ones, such as Four Murasame (from Saeko Shimazu to Yukana) and Sarah Zabiarov (Yuuko Mizutani to Chizuru Ikewaki). In Japan this incomprehensible voice casting with an opaque selection process became a big problem among fans who love the original voice cast. The original story, screenplay, storyboards and supervising direction by Yoshiyuki Tomino. The Planning and production by Sunrise.
 Arashi no Yoru ni (Stormy Night)2005The feature-length animated movie based on the long-selling picture book, 'Arashi no Yoru ni (Stormy Night)' series (the first book was published in 1994) written by Yuuichi Kimura (drawn by Hiroshi Abe). One a stormy night, a goat named Mei seeks refuge in a mountain lodge, and encounters a wolf named Gabu. They get along so well in the darkness, without knowing the other's identity, and promise to meet again on the next day. On the following day, each of them knows what the other is, but they strike up a 'secret friendship', beyond the predator-prey relationships between wolves and goats. Each group of goats and wolves realizes the forbidden friendship between Mei and Gabu, and they are forced to escape from each other's group. The original story and screenplay by Yuuichi Kimura. Directed by Gisaburo Sugii. The animation produced by Group Tac. The No.16 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2006.
 Mushiking the Movie: The Road to the Greatest Champion2005'Mushiking: King of the Beetles' is a trading-card style arcade game developed by Sega. The players battle with each other on the arcade machine with the scanned cards of beetles or stag beetles. This game has become very popular among younger (kindergarten and early elementary school) boys in Japan since the 2003. The game is also available on home-use game machines (GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS). The TV anime series 'King of the Beetles Mushiking: Legend of the Forest People' (52 episodes) was aired in 2005-2006. This movie version (50 minutes) is an original story describing a mushi-battle between a dashing boy mushi-battler Kent Mirai with Mushiking and a mystery boy Shiro Mizorogi with Darkside Neptune Hercules Beetle. Based on the story of the home-use game software, and it has no relationship to the story of the TV series. Directed by Shunji Oga. The animation produced by TMS Entertainment.
 Negadon: The Monster from Mars2005An entirely computer-generated (without using any live-action images) monster film (about 25 minutes) independently produced by CG (computer graphics) creator Jun Awazu, who loves Japanese Tokusatsu (special effects) monster films of the Showa (Japan's traditional era name. 1926-1988) era, including "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" (1954), and Heisei (1989-) "Gamera" trilogy. The story is set in Showa Year 100 (2025). A giant space monster from Mars, Negadon invades Tokyo. A middle age man and an authority on robotics, Ryuichi Narasaki rises up against Negadon, manipulating a giant, humanoid general-purpose robot named Miroku (MI-6) No.2. The images with realistic touches, which simulate the motif, film texture and color tone of Showa Tokusatsu, are impressive and worth seeing. The original story, screenplay and direction by Jun Awazu. The music and sound effect by Shingo Terasawa. Produced by Jun Awazu and CoMix Wave. Screened at the Tokyo International Fantastic Film Festival 2005.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Legend Called Buri Buri 3 Minutes Charge2005See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The thirteenth movie (92 minutes) is an action comedy including parodies of tokusatsu monster/hero genre, such as "Godzilla" and "Ultraman". A time-space conditioner from the future, "Mirai-man" suddenly appears before the Nohara family, and he requests the family to fight against giant monsters who appear from time-space distortion one after another, in order to save the world from destruction. Every time monsters appear, Shinnosuke's parents, father Hiroshi and mother Misae go to the world three minute later, transform themselves into righteous heroes and defeat them within the time limit of three minutes. Hiroshi and Misae become wrapped up in getting rid of monsters, and Misae stops doing the housework. Then, a strong monster appears, and he cannot be defeated within three minutes. Shinnosuke rises up against the monster. A kid-friendly film with a row of episodes, so it is kind of monotonous as a film. Directed by Yuji Muto (the third director of "Crayon Shin-chan" TV series). Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Tales from Earthsea2006A fantasy adventure film (115 minutes) directed by Goro Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. Based on American novelist, Ursula K. Le Guin's fantasy novel 'Earthsea' (mainly the third of the series, 'The Farthest Shore') and Hayao Miyazaki's fantasy picture story book 'The Journey of Shuna'. Set in an archipelago world 'Earthsea'. On a quest to investigate the cause of world's abnormalities, a wizard (an archmage) named Sparrowhawk (Ged) meets a boy named Arren, who had killed hif father, the King, and run away from his land. Sparrowhawk travels on with Arren. They stay with Sparrowhawk's old female friend, Tenar, and Arren meets a mystery girl Therru, who lives with Tenar. Arren and Therru get involved in a fight between Sparrowhawk and Cob, a wizard who seeks eternal life. The direction and storyboards by Goro Miyazaki. The screenplay by Goro Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. Goro Miyazaki is a son of Hayao Miyazaki and an amateur with no experience of animation prodution and direction. A poor imitation of the images from Hayao Mizazaki's past works. Not high in quality among the Ghibli films. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2006.
 One Piece the Movie: Karakuri-Jo no Mecha-Kyohei (The Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle)2006See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The seventh version and the fourth of the feature-length films (95 minutes). A comical action adventure featuring treasure hunting (solving a mystery) and mecha battle. Luffy's pirate team find an old woman named Roba in a treasure box on a sinking pirate ship. She says, "If you deliver me back to my island, I'll give a legendary treasure called a gold crown." With Roba, Luffy and his gang visit the Mecha Island, and quest for the treasure, but they fall into elaborate traps made by Ratchet, who is Roba's son and the lord of the Mecha Island. Directed by Konosuke Uda (the director of the TV series). The animation production by Toei Animation.
 Naruto the Movie 32006See the paragraph about 'Naruto' the first movie. The third movie is a ninja action film set in Crescent Moon Island, which is a land of perpetual summer on a southern sea. The prince Michiru of the Moon Country on Crescent Moon Island, who is extremely wealthy and gluttonous, and his spoiled and selfish son Hikaru were traveling the world, and they were escorted back to his home by Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake, Sakura Haruno and Rock Lee. The prince Michiru bought an entire traveling circus on his way home and took them back his home island, but the king of the Moon Country is to be toppled in a coup by his close aides, and they are attacked by three mysterious ninjas. The battle action scenes are powerful, full of speed and worth seeing. The original story by Masashi Kishimoto. The screenplay and direction by Toshiyuki Tsuru. The character design by Tetsuya Nishio and Hirofumi Suzuki. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot.
 Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea2006See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The fourth movie of the TV series 'Pokemon Advance/Pocket Monster: Advanced Generation' (aired on TV in 2002-2006) is a sea adventure/action story featuring a Pokemon ranger named Jack Walker and an aquatic Pokemon named Manaphy. A Pokemon ranger Jack Walker tries to send Manaphy to a legendary 'Sea Temple' in collaboration with Satoshi and his gang, and Marina Family, a troupe of aquatic Pokemon show, who are descendants of the People of the Water, but a pirate called 'The Phantom' follows them to get a hidden treasure 'Sea Crown' of the Sea Temple. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2006.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaur 20062006The first Doraemon movie after the change of the staff and cast for TV series in 2005, which is a remake (106 minutes) of the first Doraemon movie 'Nobita's Dinosaur' (released in 1980) with modern image technology including 3-D CG and the new voice cast for the TV series. The storyline adheres fairly closely to the original manga and old movie version. A visually appealing film with dynamic animation using animators' handwriting touch and beautiful background art, though it is different in visual image from the original manga and old movie version. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. The supervising diretor is Kozo Kusuba. The direction and storyboards by Ayumu Watanabe. The animation director is Konishi Ken'ichi from Studio Ghibli. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.8 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2006.
 Keroro Gunso the Super Movie2006See the paragraphs about the 'Sgt. Frog/Keroro Gunso' TV series (1st season). The first movie (60 minutes) of the TV anime series 'Sgt. Frog/Keroro Gunso' based on Mine Yoshizaki's manga. On the way home from buying a gunpla (Gundam plastic model) 'GM Sniper Custom', Keroro and Fuyuki found a strange shrine, and they unsealed an ancient Keronian ultimate weapon 'Kiruru' by breaking someting like a vase enshrined there. Kiruru grew people's negative emotional energy. Keroro and Fuyuki, Keronians and Earthians also nearly lose their relations of friendship and trust, but to save the Earth from destruction, the Keroro platoon (Keroro, Tamama, Giroro, Kururu, Dororo) and their friends (Fuyuki, Natsumi, Momoka, Saburo, Koyuki) join all forces to try to seal Kiruru. Directed by Nobuhiro Kondo. The supervising director is Jun'ichi Sato. The animation produced by Sunrise.
Good!Kaiketsu Zorori: Quest for the Mysterious Treasure2006A medium-long theatrical version (53 minutes) of "Majime ni Fumajime: Kaiketsu Zorori", the second TV anime series (97 episodes, aired in 2005-2007) based on the popular children's book series "Kaiketsu Zorori" (published since 1987) created by Yutaka Hara. The leading character Zorori is a fox who keeps traveling for becoming the King of Pranks, and getting a cute bride and his own castle, with his followers, boar twins (Ishishi and Noshishi). This theatrical version is a comical slapstick action comedy set in an ancient castle, featuring a straightforward treasure hunting/adventure story, like Hayao Miyazaki's "Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro". One day Zorori helps a girl named Tail who is being attacked by the pirate Tiger. Zorori, Ishishi, Noshishi and Tail go into an ancient castle in search of a treasure, being guided by Tail's father's map. A masterpiece of motion-oriented, non-stop action comedy anime, like Toei Animation's old 'cartoon films', such as "The Master Cat or Puss in Boots". There are also mecha actions and effective drawings, like an homage to robot animes drawn by Yoshinori Kanada. Directed by Hajime Kamegaki (TV series director). The animation produced by Sunrise and Ajia-do. Co-featured with "Keroro Gunso the Super Movie".
 Gin-iro no Kami no Agito2006The first theatrical feature (95 minutes) produced by Gonzo, the anime production company known for their digital anime featuring 3-D computer graphics, such as 'Vandread' (2000), 'SaiKano' (2002), 'Kaleido Star' (2003) and 'GANTZ' (2004). The original Japanese title means 'Silver-haired Agito'. A fantasy adventure set in the future world 300 years after, in which the civilization was destroyed, because failure of genetic manipulation gave the plants their own will, and the forests attacked people and cities. A boy named Agito, who lives in the Neutral City which coexists with the forests, meets a girl named Toola, who awoke from deep sleep of 300 years. Agito falls in love with her at first sight, but, to revive the Earth's environment, she leaves him and she and Shunack, a young soldier of the military state Ragna, tries to activate 'Istok', which is an environmental rehabilitation (defragment) system developed by Dr. Sacl (Toola's father). Similar in world-view, storyline and theme to Hayao Miyazaki's 'Future Boy Conan' (1978) and 'Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind' (1984). The CGs and background art are beautiful and worth seeing, but the script is predictable. The original conception by Umanosuke Iida. Directed by Keiichi Sugiyama. The largest film distribution company in China, China Film Group Corporation (CFGC) released this movie in mainland China in June 2006. This is the first Japanese anime movie released in theaters in China.
 Detective Conan: The Private Eyes' Requiem2006See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The tenth movie produced as an all-star film featuring almost all the regular characters for commemorating its 10th anniversary. A mystery action set in Yokohama (Kanagawa Pref., near Tokyo). An unknown client invites Kogoro Mouri, Ran Mouri, Conan Edogawa and 'Detective Boys' members to 'Red Castle Hotel' next to the theme park 'Miracle Land' in Yokohama, and he asks Mouri and Conan to investigate a murder case. He sets watch-type bombs on all their wrists, and he says if it is not solved within 12 hours (by 10 p.m.), the bombs will explode. In collaboration with 'high-school detective of the west' Heiji Hattori, Conan tries to solve the case. Kid the Master Thief also plays an important role. Directed by Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie. The No.10 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2006.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Legend Called: Dance! Amigo!2006See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The fourteenth movie (96 minutes) is an action comedy film based on the "duplicating humans' invasion" setting derived from Jack Finney's Sci-Fi novel "The Body Snatchers", combining Sci-Fi horror-like story and dance (samba). An authority on biotechnology and a developer of "konjaclone" technology, Amigo Suzuki carrys out "Transformation Plans for Samba World", in which he makes human clones using konjac as a material and makes them dance a samba. In Kasukabe city, people switch places with false ones who look just like the real persons. The Nohara family and the members of Kasukabe Defense Forces try to escape from Kasukabe with the help of a mystery beautiful girl Jacqueline Feeney (Jackie). The first half in the horror film style includes several scary scenes, but the film ends with a laughable dance battle. Directed by Yuji Muto. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.20 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2006.
 Tachiguishi-Retsuden (Tachigui: The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters)2006A feature film (104 minutes) directed by Mamoru Oshii and based on his own novel of the same title. The 3D digital images created with a method called 'Superlivemation', which uses still photos of Oshii's acquaintances (Studio Ghibli's producer Toshio Suzuki, Production I.G's president Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, anime director/mecha designer Shoji Kawamori, special effects director Shinji Higuchi, composer Kenji Kawai, anime director Kenji Kamiyama and others) as materials for paper puppet theater-style animation, like 2002 short anime films 'Mobile Police Patlabor Minimum: Minipato' (screenplay by Mamoru Oshii, directed by Kenji Kamiyama, produced by Production I.G). A comical and ideological film which examines scientifically the legendary genealogy of 'Tachiguishi/Fast Food Grifters' (fictional outlaws who eat in fast-food restaurants such as standing-up-eating soba noodle, beef and rice bowl, curry and rice, frankfurter and hamburger, without paying) in Japan's postwar history. 'Tachiguishi' is an existence which has appeared many times in Oshii's past works. Diehard Oshii fans or people interested in the theme of this film will enjoy it, but the film itself is a kind of combination of radio drama which mainly consists of narration and digital picture-story show, so it lacks the common touch and generality as a movie. The original story, screenplay and direction by Mamoru Oshii. Produced by Production I.G.
 Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam III: A New Translation -Love is the Pulse of the Stars-2006See the paragraphs about the 'Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam' TV series and the first part of the movies, 'Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation -Heirs to the Stars-'. The third and last part of the movie version trilogy. A redigest of the TV series, from the 33rd episode to the last 50th one, with some new scenes added. In the last stage of so-called 'Gryps Conflict', which is the three-cornered battle of Titans (the elite of the Earth Federal Forces), AEUG (Anti-Earth Union Group) and Axis (the remnants of Zeon), AEUG's Quattro Bajeena (Char Aznable), Axis' leader Haman Karn and Titans' Paptimus Scirocco fight with each other scrambling for the colony laser 'Gryps 2' (a giant laser cannon converted from a space colony). The highlight is the last scene different from the TV version's tragic finale in which the leading character Kamille Bidan became insane. This movie trilogy can be seen as a bridge between 'Mobile Suit Gundam' first series and the movie 'Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack' in a direct line, and it contains an intention to regard the first Gundam, Zeta Gundam and "Char's Counterattack" (except "Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ") as authentic history. The original story, screenplay, storyboards and supervising direction by Yoshiyuki Tomino. The Planning and production by Sunrise.
Good!Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)2006The animated film based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's Sci-Fi juvenile novel 'Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo' (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time/The Little Girl Who Conquered Time) (serialized in 1965-1966). A masterpiece of refreshing young love romance/fantasy film. The original is a popular novel which has been made into TV dramas and live-action films many times, but this is the first time to be made into anime. This anime version is a sequel to the novel and it is set in the present day, about 20 years after the original story. A 17-year-old girl at a high school in Tokyo, Makoto Konno is a girl who prefers playing baseball with her two male classmates, Kousuke Tsuda and Chiaki Mamiya after school rather than having fun with her female classmates. One day, she gains the ability to leap backwards through time and do the things of her past again. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda (the director of "Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!" and "One Piece the Movie: Omatsuri Danshaku to Himitsu no Shima/Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island"). The character design by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (the character designer of "Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water" and "Neon Genesis Evangelion"). The art director is Nizo Yamamoto (the art director of "Grave of the Fireflies" and "Princess Mononoke"). The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Brave Story2006A huge feature-length animated movie (111 minutes) produced by Fuji TV and Gonzo as competition with NTV and Studio Ghibli. Based on Miyuki Miyabe's fantasy novel (2003) in the RPG (Japanese role-playing video game) style. The leading character is an eleven-year-old boy Wataru Mitsuya. One day his father gets a divorce from his mother and leaves home. To recover his family bond, Wataru travels to another world called 'the Vision', the world of sword and sorcery, as an 'apprentice Brave' with several comrades, and searches for the five gems, which can change people's fate (fulfill only one wish). At the same time, a beautiful boy Mitsuru Ashikawa, who transferred to the class next to his, also searches for the gems as a 'Mage' to change his fate. The original story by Miyuki Miyabe. Directed by Koichi Chigira (the director of 'Gate Keepers', 'Full Metal Panic!' and 'Last Exile'). The character designer and animation director is Yuriko Chiba. The animation produced by Gonzo. No.15 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2006. There are also the manga/video game (Nintendo DS/PlayStation2/PlayStation Portable) versions.
 Atagoal: Cat's Magical Forest2006A 3-D CG anime movie (81 minutes) in the musical/puppet play-style, based on Hiroshi Masumura's long-selling fantasy manga 'Atagoal' series (serialized since 1976), which is set in an imaginary world where cats speak human language and walk with two legs. The story of this movie version is based on a side story of the series, 'Girudoma' (serialized in the manga mangazine 'Nemuki' in 1997-1999). One day, a fat cat named Hideyoshi, who is the number-one troublemaker in Atagoal, opens a sealed door and wakes Pirea, the plant queen who has an ambition to conquer the world, from thousands of years sleep. The original story by Hiroshi Masumura. The CG director is Youichi Mouri. Directed by Mizuho Nishikubo (Toshihiko Nishikubo). Produced by Digital Frontier. The music directed by Tatsuya Ishii (ex-Kome Kome Club).
Good!Paprika2006The animated film based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's Sci-Fi novel 'Paprika' (serialized in women's magazine 'marie claire' in 1991-1993). The leading character, Atsuko Chiba is a psychotherapist working at an institute for psychiatric treatment. She sometimes becomes a 'dream detective' code-named 'Paprika' and enters into clients' dreams to explore the secrets of their hearts, using s psychotherapy device. One day someone steals the latest model of the psychotherapy devices, 'DC Mini' (if people wear it, they will be able to share a same dream) from the institute. Because of the abuse of 'DC Mini', people's minds are invaded by bizarre dreams. Paprika dives into the crazy dreams in an attempt to discover who is the 'dream terrorist'. An entertaining psycho suspense film featuring the dreamy styles of both the original author Yasutaka Tsutsui and the director Satoshi Kon (director of 'Perfect Blue', 'Millennium Actress' and 'Paranoia Agent'). The character designer/animation director is Masashi Ando (animation director of 'Princess Mononoke' and 'Spirited Away'). The animation produced by Madhouse. The music by Susumu Hirasawa.
Good!Tekkon Kinkreet (Black and White)2006The animated feature film (111 minutes) based on Taiyo Matsumoto's manga "Tekkon Kinkreet (English title: Black and White)" (serialized in weekly "Big Comic Spirits" in 1993-94). The leading characters are Kuro (black) and Shiro (white), a duo of homeless bad boys called 'Neko (cats)', who live in Takara, a town of loyalty, compassion and gangsters. A unique film which is both a hard-boiled violence action movie set in a chaotic and bawdy town, like Japan in Showa era or Asian cities such as Hong Kong, and a touching story describing pure friendship or brotherhood between two boys. The storyline is quite faithful to the original manga. The high-quality images created by fusion of hand-drawn 2-D anime and 3-D CG are worth seeing. Directed by Michael Arias (American visual effects/computer graphics creator/software developer. The producer of "The Animatrix"). Co-directed by Hiroaki Ando. The character designer/animation director is Shojiro Nishimi. The animation produced by Studio 4°C. The music by Plaid (English techno/electronica group). There is also a pilot film (1999) directed by Koji Morimoto.
 Gunbuster the Movie2006The movie version (95 minutes) produced as a redigest of 'Gunbuster', a Sci-Fi robot anime produced as an OAV series by GAINAX (released in 1988-1989). See the paragraph about the 'Gunbuster' OAV series. Released as a double-feature movie 'Gunbuster vs. Diebuster' with a redigest of the sequel 'Top o Nerae 2!/Diebuster' (released in 2004-2006) in 2006. The soundtrack is remade in 5.1 channel surround, with character voices re-dubbed by original cast. Even if you have never seen the OAV series, you can understand the outline of the story only by this film, but I recommend that you watch all the six episodes of the original OAV series, because 'Gunbuster' is one of the best OAVs in history.
 Diebuster the Movie2006The movie version (95 minutes) produced as a redigest of 'Diebuster', a Sci-Fi robot anime produced as an OAV series by GAINAX (released in 2004-2006), with new parts (about 3 minutes in total) added. See the paragraph about the 'Diebuster' OAV series. This film centers on the latter half of the OAV series, focusing the relationship between Lal'C and Nono. The new parts are bridge shots mainly for purposes of explanation. Released as a double-feature movie 'Gunbuster vs. Diebuster' with a redigest of the previous film 'Gunbuster' (released in 1988-1989) in 2006.
 Deep Imagination2006An anthology of five short anime films (each one is about ten minutes) created by up-and-coming creators of Studio 4°C. A new film "Garakuta no Machi (Junk Town)" (directed by Nobutake Ito) and four films of "Sweat Punch" series released on the DVD magazine "Grasshoppa!" in 2001-2002, "Pr. Dan Petory's Blues" (directed by Hidekazu Ohara), "End of the World" (directed by Osamu Kobayashi), "Comedy" (directed by Kazuto Nakazawa) and "Higan" (directed by Yasushi Muraki). Recommended to those who like Studio 4°C's works, such as "Memories", "The Animatrix", "Mind Game" and "Tekkon Kinkreet".
 Harukanaru Toki no Naka de the Movie: Maihitoyo (In a Distant Spacetime the Movie: A Night of Dance)2006'Harukanaru Toki no Naka de' (means 'In a Distant Spacetime') is a Dating-sim/Visual-novel game series for women (released since 2000 on PlayStation/PlayStation2/PlayStation Portable/GameBoy Advance/Nintendo DS/Windows) developed by Ruby Party, Koei's videogame development team. A Japanese-style fantasy with similar setting as Yuu Watase's manga 'Fushigi Yuugi'. The leading character, Akane Motomiya is a high school girl who was summoned to another world 'Kyo' like Heian period's Kyoto. She became 'Ryujin no Miko' (a shrine maiden for God Dragon with power to seal off (sanctify) ghosts) who aims to bring peace to Kyo with the help of eight guardian men called 'Hachi-yo' (Eight Leaves). Following the OAV (2002-2003) and TV anime series (2004-2005), the movie version was released in 2006. An original story in which Akane meets Suefumi Oono (a new character) , a mysterious boy who lost his memory. The original manga by Tooko Mizuno. Directed by Toshiya Shinohara (director of 'InuYasha' movies). The animation produced by Yumeta Company.
 Pretty Cure Splash Star the Movie: Tic-Tac Crisis Hanging by a Thin Thread!2006See the paragraph about the 'Pretty Cure Max Heart' first movie. The feature-length movie version of 'Pretty Cure Splash Star', the third season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. Two junior high girls, Saki Hyuuga (Cure Bloom) and Mai Mishou (Cure Egret) entered a singing contest as a duo, but they quarrelled about trifles. On the stage, they forgot the lyrics and hoped the time stop, and then the time came to a sudden stop. Being taken by two spirits named Hours and Minutes, they went to 'the Land of Clock', and they found a mystery man named Sirloin stopped the time to get the world. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation produced by Toei Animation. Screened with "Digimon Savers the Movie: Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode!!".
 Digimon Savers the Movie: Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode!!2006See the paragraph about "Digimon Adventure" first movie. The movie (20 minutes) of the fifth TV series "Digimon Savers (Digimon Data Squad)" (aired in 2006-2007). The ninth Digimon movie. A short film centering on Digimon battle action. There is little human character. A vicious Digimon named Argomon hates human, and he puts the people into an eternal sleep with his power. Agumon, Gaomon and Lalamon save Rhythm, a girl-typed Digimon, from being chased by the followers of Argomon. To turn the world back to normal, they confront Argomon. The highlight is its last battle scene between the ultimately-evolved two Digimons, Argomon and Agumon (Shine Greymon) in the giant robot anime style. There are several parodies of Hong Kong kung-fu movies, including bloopers in the closing credits. Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine. The animation produced by Toei Animation. Screened with "Pretty Cure Splash Star the Movie: Tic-Tac Crisis Hanging by a Thin Thread!".
 Yonna in the Solitary Fortress2006An entirely computer-generated short animation film (about 34 minutes) independently produced by CG creator Kengo Takeuchi, who had worked for producing videogame movies and CG films as a CG engineer/designer in Square (current Square Enix). A fantasy based on the world-view of medieval times. A girl named Yonna and her elder brother Stan had been persecuted by village people due to Yonna's magical abilities, and they had lived in a frontier fortress. One day, a boy named Garuda, who is an agent from the royal government, comes to the fortress to summon Yonna. The original story, direction and animation production by Kengo Takeuchi.
 Pokemon Diamond and Pearl the Movie: Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai2007See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The first movie of the TV series 'Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl' (aired on TV since 2006) and a commemoration of 'Pokemon' movie 10th anniversary. Satoshi and his friends come to Alamos Town to participate in a Pokemon contest, and they meet a woman named Alice. In Alamos Town, an unidentified Pokemon called Darkrai appears and he makes people have nightmares. Meanwhile, two Pokemons called gods, Dialga and Palkia fight with each other over the town, shaking time and space, and the whole town is about to collapse. Satoshi and his friends try to save the town with the help of Alice and her childhood friend and a scientist Tonio. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2007.
 Keroro Gunso the Super Movie 2: The Deep Sea Princess2007See the paragraphs about the 'Sgt. Frog/Keroro Gunso' TV series (1st season). The second movie and the first feature-length film (80 minutes) of 'Keroro Gunso'. An adventure/action story set in the depths of the sea. Two male and female aliens named Meru (princess) and Maru (servant) are descendants of Maronians, who had came once to invade the Earth from a watery planet Maron. Being determined to rebuild their world, they kidnap Natsumi Hinata as Meru's prospective princess to their secret deep-sea kingdom. The Keroro Platoon, Fuyuki Hinata, Momoka Nishizawa, Angol Mois and Koyuki Azumaya launch an operation to rescue Natsumi. The original story by Mine Yoshizaki. Directed by Susumu Yamaguchi. The supervising director is Jun'ichi Sato. The animation produced by Sunrise. Screened with co-feature: 'Chibi Kero: The Secret of Kero Ball!?' (a 3D-CG animated short film. 16 minutes).
Good!Summer Days with Coo (Kappa no Coo to Natsuyasumi)2007A fantasy drama (138 minutes) based on children's literature series, "Kappa Oosawagi" (1978) and "Kappa Bikkuri-tabi" (1980) written by Masao Kogure. One day, an elementary school boy living in the suburb of Tokyo (Higashikurume City), Koichi Uehara found a baby kappa (Japanese legendary water creature) sleeping underground for the past 300 years. Koichi named it "Coo". Koichi and Coo become friends and starts living with his family. During summer vacation, Koichi and Coo take a trip to Tono (Iwate Pref.), which has a legend about kappa, to find Coo's fellows. A dramatic and impressive film describing adolescent feelings and the friendship between a boy and a kappa coming back to modern society, including also social themes such as environmental problems, school bullying issue, family ties and media hoopla. The direction and screenplay by Keiichi Hara (the director of "Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Adult Empire Strikes Back"). The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 5 Centimeters Per Second: a chain of short stories about their distance.2007An anime film by Makoto Shinkai, who created 'Hoshi no Koe/The Voices of a Distant Star' and 'The Place Promised in Our Early Days'. A series (63 minutes) of three short episodes about a boy living in Japan from the late 1990s to the present. An elementary school boy living in Tokyo, Takaki Tono and a girl in his class, Akari Shinohara secretly love each other, but she transfers to Tochigi Pref., and since then they carry on a correspondence with each other. In the seventh grade, Takaki is being transferred to Kagoshima. On day he goes to meet Akari through the heavy snow. A lyrical and sentimental romance film depicting calf love in retrospection and change of heart in the everyday reality. The images created by using Adobe Photoshop are beautiful, especially the background art which draws lively the landscapes of the daily lives. The song used in the third episode is Masayoshi Yamazaki's "One More Time, One More Chance". The original story, screenplay and direction by Makoto Shinkai. The character design and animation direction by Takayo Nishimura.
Good!Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone.2007See the paragraph about the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series. The first (98 minutes) of 'Evangelion the New Movie' tetralogy, which consists of three parts 'rebuilt' from the original TV series (1995-1996) and an entirely new final part. The first part '1.0' follows the TV series story, from the first episode to the sixth one, and the highlight is 'Operation Yashima' (vs Ramiel) sequence of the sixth episode. Though the TV series' key/in-between animations and layouts are reused as materials, the images are totally redrawn and recreated by using CG and digital technology. Lots of scenes and shots are added. Worth seeing. The original story, screenplay and chief direction by Hideaki Anno. Directed by Masayuki and Kazuya Tsurumaki. The animation produced by Studio Khara.
Good!Sword of the Stranger2007An original swashbuckler/swordfight action film produced by Bones (known for "Fullmetal Alchemist" and "Eureka Seven"). 102 minutes. Set in a turbulent age. Hunted by an armed group from the Ming (a Chinese dynasty), A boy Kotaro and his dog Tobimaru meet a strange swordsman Nanashi (means "No Name"), who avoids drawing his sword. Kotaro hires Nanashi as his bodyguard. A blond-haired, blue-eyed swordsman Luo-Lang works for the Ming as an assassin, but his only desire is to fight a strong opponent, and Nanashi and Luo-Lang cross swords with each other. An entertaining masterpiece featuring hard and realistic swordfight action sequences filled with a sense of speed and weight. The original story by Bones. The directorial debut by Masahiro Ando, an animator/director known for his great fighting/action drawings (key animation of "Ghost in the Shell", "The End of Evangelion" and "Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door". Storyboards and direction of "Fullmetal Alchemist"). The animation production by Bones.
 One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta2007See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The eighth movie (90 minutes) is a totally new (not re-editing) feature-length film and a remake of "Alabasta Arc", a popular episode of the original manga, which was aired in the TV anime series too. The Straw Hats meet Nefertari Vivi, the princess of Arabasta Kingdom in the desert. The kingdom is in danger of breaking down because of the conspiracy of an evil secret society. Vivi finds the source of evil is the national hero Sir Crocodile. To save the kingdom people, Vivi and the Straw Hats fight against Crocodile. Worth seeing as a battle action film including a princess adventure story, but there are lots of scenes and foreshadowings cut from the original, so the fans of the original manga may feel like a digest version. Directed by Takahiro Imamura. The animation production by Toei Animation. Screened with a short anime "Dr.Slump: Dr.Mashirito Abare-chan".
Good!Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor2007An animation creator known for his short animation films with a wide range of techniques, Koji Yamamura's 2007 short animation film (21 minutes). Based on Franz Kafka's short story "Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor)" (1917). The original story is a surreal and dreamy work depicting a country doctor confronted with strange events on a winter night, which can be interpreted as allegorical expression of anxiety and isolation of a person living through inevitable fates and repeated reality. A doctor is in trouble, because he has to visit an urgent patient by carriage, but his horse is dead. Then, a strange groom appears from a pig shed, and puts two horses to doctor's carriage. Because the groom begins to chase doctor's maid Rosa, the doctor hesitates to leave Rosa and go to the patient, but the carriage with the doctor arrives at the patient's house in no time at all. All the over 10,000 key animation graphics are hand-drawn. Trembling of drawing lines, change in shape of character's body, and strange posings like dance are used as techniques for expressing wavering mind. The voice actors are Kyogen performer Sensaku Shigeyama and his family, novelist Hitomi Kanehara and others. This film won the grand prix (short films) of Ottawa International Animation Festival. The script, storyboards, camera, editing, character design, animation, art direction, background drawing, and direction by Koji Yamamura. Produced by Yamamura Animation. There is also the picture book edition which used the key animation graphics of this film.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View2007The first chapter (48 minutes) of the anime films based on the seven chapters of the romantic novel/light novel series "Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners" (published as a web fiction in 1998, published as a doujin novel in 2001, and published by Kodansha in 2004) written by Kinoko Nasu (illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi). Nasu and Takeuchi are founders of Type-Moon, a doujin group/game brand known for their visual novels such as "Tsukihime" and "Fate/stay night". The original novel is a pedantic fantasy/mystery featuring Shiki Ryougi, a girl who possesses the "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception", and people around her. In this first chapter, Shiki faces the mystery of enigmatic serial suicide, in which girls jump off a ruined building and kill themselves one after another. The images using CGs and Yuki Kajiura's music are beautiful. The worldview and story are hard to understand, but can be enjoyed as a Japanese-style horror action. The original story by Kinoko Nasu. The original character design by Takashi Takeuchi. Directed by Ei Aoki. The animation produced by Ufotable. This first chapter was released as a drama CD before the anime film. The stereoscopic 3-D edition "Kara no Kyoukai the Movie: Overlooking View 3D" was released in 2013.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 2: A Study in Murder (Part 1)2007See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. The second chapter (58 minutes) of the anime films based on the seven chapters of the romantic novel/light novel series "Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners" written by Kinoko Nasu. The first episode in chronological order, which depicts Mikiya Kokuto's meeting with Shiki Ryougi. In 1995, 16-year-old boy Mikiya Kokuto meets up a mystery girl in a kimono, Shiki Ryougi. They meet again at a high school, and they are in the same class. Shiki has an unsociable personality, but Mikiya becomes attracted to her, and he gets to know another personality within her. At the time, a series of bizarre murders has occurred in the city. There are several bloody gore scenes, but there is little battle action scene like Chapter 1. Directed by Takuya Nonaka. The animation produced by Ufotable.
 Oshare Majo Love and Berry: Magic of Happiness2007'Oshare Majo Love and Berry' is a trading-card style arcade game developed by Sega as a girls version of 'Mushiking: King of the Beetles'. The players battle with each other on the arcade machine with the scanned cards, competing over their 'fashion power' and dance. This game has become very popular among younger (kindergarten and early elementary school) girls in Japan since the 2004. Also released on home-use game machine (Nintendo DS). This theatrical version (50 minutes) is an animated movie based on the game. An original story in which Love and Berry try to bring happiness to a shy girl named Yumi, who is aspiring to become a singer, by the power of Fashion Magic. The dance scenes are created with 3-D computer graphics, like the game, and others are created in the anime-drawing style. Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki. The animation produced by TMS Entertainment.
 Genius Party2007An anthology of seven original short anime films (102 minutes in total) directed by seven creators and produced by Studio 4°C. You can enjoy films in different types, such as surreal fantasy, Sci-Fi action comedy, experimental visual poetry and love story in youth. Includes "#1. Genius Party" (the opening directed by Atsuko Fukushima. An animator/illustrator/character designer who did the character design and animation direction of "Neo Tokyo: Labyrinth Labyrinthos", the character design and key animation of "Robot Carnival" opening/ending, the key animation of "AKIRA"), "#2. Shanghai Dragon" (directed by Shoji Kawamori. A mecha designer/director who directed "Macross: Do You Remember Love?"), "#3. Deathtic 4" (directed by Shinji Kimura. The art director of "Project A-ko", "Steamboy" and "Tekkon Kinkreet"), "#4. Doorbell" (directed by Yoji Fukuyama. An manga artist who created "Mademoiselle Mozart" and "A Day in the Life of Mr.F"), "#5. Limit Cycle" (directed by Hideki Futamura. An animator/visual creator who did the key animation of "Perfect Blue", the art design of "The Animatrix: The Second Renaissance Part 1 & 2"), "#6. Happy Machine" (directed by Masaaki Yuasa. An animator/director who directed "Mind Game"), "#7. Baby Blue" (directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. An director who directed "Macross Plus" and "Cowboy Bebop"). There is a sequel "Genius Party Beyond" (2008).
 Detective Conan: Jolly Roger in the Deep Azure2007See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The eleventh movie is a mystery adventure set in Koumi Island in the Pacific Ocean. Conan Edogawa and his group visited Koumi Island on vacation. The island was known for its seafloor palace, which was an ancient monument, and in the island there was a legend about a treasure left by two female pirates, Anne Bonnie and Mary Reed 300 years ago. They met treasure hunters seeking the treasure, and one of the hunters died suspiciously from shark bites. Conan tries to solve the mystery of the case, penetrating the code of treasure legend. Directed by Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie.
 Doraemon: Nobita's New Great Adventure into the Underworld2007The second 'Doraemon' movie after the new TV series since 2005 (27th in all) is a remake (112 minutes) of the fifth Doraemon movie "Nobita's Great Adventure into the Underworld" (released in 1984). A fantasy adventure set in another world (a parallel world) where magic has evolved. The storyline of the original is adapted with the screenplay written by mystery writer Yuichi Shinpo. The dynamic animation with handwriting touch, like the previous film "Nobita's Dinosaur 2006", is worth seeing. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. The supervising diretor is Kozo Kusuba. The direction and storyboards by Yukiyo Teramoto. The animation director is Shizue Kaneko. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2007. There are also the manga version (by Yasunori Okada) and videogame version (card battle RPG for Nintendo DS).
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Storm Called: The Singing Buttocks Bomb!2007See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The fifteenth movie (102 minutes) is a slapstick comedy on a bomb uproar, and a touching story about the ties between the Nohara Family and their dog Shiro. A film in the musical style including the scenes with inserted songs. When the Nohara Family enjoy a trip to Okinawa, a strange object like a flying saucer becomes stuck with Shiro's bottom. That is a special bomb dropped by "The Only Buttocks Aliens", and it has the power to destroy the whole earth. The space monitoring center "UNTI" (Unidentified Nature Team Inspection) begins to pick up the bomb, but a female terrorist group "Hinageshi Opera Company" tries to get the bomb and disturbs UNTI's work. Directed by Yuji Muto. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.19 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2007.
 Yes! Pretty Cure 5 the Movie: Miracle Adventure in the Mirror Land2007The feature-length movie version of 'Yes! Pretty Cure 5', the fourth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. The Precure five members in L'École Cinq Lumières Middle School, Nozomi Yumehara (Cure Dream), Rin Natsuki (Cure Rouge), Urara Kasugano (Cure Lemonade), Komachi Akimoto (Cure Mint) and Karen Minatsuki (Cure Aqua) visit the theme park 'Princess Land' with three creatures from the Palmier Kingdom, Coco, Nuts and Milk. A villain with ambition to conquer the world, Shadow kidnap Coco and Nuts to the Mirror Land. The Precure members go to the Mirror Land to save Coco and Nuts, but 'Dark Precure 5' (created by Shadow by copying from Precure 5) attack them. Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Vexille2007A totally computer-generated 3-D anime movie directed by Fumihiko Sori (live-action movie 'Ping-Pong' director, anime movie 'Appleseed' producer). A Sci-Fi action set in the future Japan where biotechnology and robotics industry have developed rapidly. In 2077, ten years have passed since Japan closed off the whole country completely with high technology. A female commander named Vexille, who belongs to the United States Special Forces "SWORD", infiltrates Japan and there she sees the sight beyond her imagination. Like 'Appleseed', this movie is created by the technique of '3-D live anime', which is the combination of 3-D animation with motion captures and processing in 2-D anime style, but more live-action oriented in general and harder in character modelings and facial movements than 'Appleseed'. Produced by OXYBOT. The music by Paul Oakenfold. The soundtrack features Basement Jaxx, Boom Boom Satellites, DJ Shadow, Asian Dub Foundation, Carl Craig, The Prodigy, M.I.A., Dead Can Dance an others.
 Appleseed: Ex Machina2007A totally computer-generated 3-D Sci-Fi action film (105 minutes) made as a sequel to the 2004 anime film 'Appleseed', based on Masamune Shirow's manga. See the paragraph about 'Appleseed'. In the year 2138, two members of ES.W.A.T, the special assault force of the neutral city Olympus, a female warrior Deunan Knute and a cyborg-soldier Briareos Hecatonchires are partners in both their public and private lives. One day, a bioroid named Tereus, who was cloned from Briareos' genes, is assigned to ES.W.A.T, as a new partner of Deunan, and they stand up against a large-scale cyberterrorist incident. Like the previous 'Appleseed', this film was made by the technique of '3-D live anime', using motion capture and toon shading, but more photoreal and sophisticated than 'Appleseed'. Like the previous film, it shares characters and settings with the original work, but the storyline is a conventional and hackneyed one about high-tech conspiracy, and is not connected to the original. The production by Digital Frontier. Directed by Shinji Aramaki. Produced by John Woo. The music supervisor is Haruomi Hosono. The music by HASYMO (Haruomi Hosono/Ryuichi Sakamoto/Yukihiro Takahashi), Haruomi Hosono, Towa Tei, Cornelius, Rei Harakami, m-flo, Yoshihiro Hanno and others.
 Naruto Shippuden the Movie2007See the paragraph about 'Naruto' the first movie. The first movie of the TV series second season 'Naruto: Shippuden' (aired since 2007). A demon called Mouryou comes back to life from underworld and targets Shion, a priestess from the country of demons. She has two special abilities, sealing the demon and predicting the deaths of humans. Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno, Neji Hyuga and Rock Lee are assigned to escort Shion, but Shion predicts the death of Naruto. The original story by Masashi Kishimoto. Directed by Hajime Kamegaki. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot.
 Pokemon Diamond and Pearl the Movie: Giratina and the Sky Warrior2008See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The second (100 minutes) of the movie trilogy of the TV series 'Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl' (aired on TV since 2006). A sequel to the previous movie 'Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai'. Satoshi and his friends meet a Pokemon named Shaymin, who is involved in a battle between Dialga and Giratina living in the 'Reverse World' (a strange world, like a mirror, behind this world). Satoshi, his friends, Shaymin and a scientist Mugen Graceland wage fierce aerial battles against a mystery young man Zero, who tries to conquer the Reverse World. The scene setting surrounded by fiords and glaciers, like northern Europe, is based on location scoutings in Norway. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2008.
 Keroro Gunso the Super Movie 3: Keroro Vs. Keroro-Great Duel in the Sky2008See the paragraphs about the 'Sgt. Frog/Keroro Gunso' TV series (1st season). The third movie (96 minutes). The Keroro Platoon and Fuyuki Hinata visit Machu Picchu (the Inca Empire site called 'City in the Sky') and Fuyuki meets a mystery girl deep inside the site. After they go back to Tokyo, 'Dark Keroro' (looks just like Keroro, but a cruel invader) appears from a big city in the sky, and he starts the aggregation on the Earth. The Keroro Platoon, Fuyuki, Natsumi Hinata, Momoka Nishizawa, Angol Mois, Koyuki Azumaya and Saburo work together to resist the invasion. Keroro fans can enjoy this movie, because it has lots of action scenes, and almost every regular character plays an active role. The original story by Mine Yoshizaki. Directed by Susumu Yamaguchi. The supervising director is Jun'ichi Sato. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea2008An animated feature film (101 minutes) produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, four years after his "Howl's Moving Castle" (2004). A fairy story, like Andersen's "The Little Mermaid". Set in a small seaside town in Japan. The story is about the love between Ponyo, a little fish who wants to be a human, and Sosuke, a five-year-old boy living in a house on a cliff top. Though it has some attractive features such as totally hand-drawn animations without CGs and car chase scenes, this is a dreamy fantasy film without logical narrativity, so it seems to be love-it-or-hate-it among the people who liked Miyazaki's previous films. The original story, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. The animation director is Katsuya Kondo (character designer and animation director of "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "I Can Hear the Sea/Ocean Waves", animation director of "Omoide Poroporo/Only Yesterday"). The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2008.
 The Sky Crawlers2008An animated feature film (121 minutes) produced by Production I.G and directed by Mamoru Oshii, four years after his "Innocence: Ghost in the Shell" (2004). Based on the first book (published in 2001) of Hiroshi Mori's novel, "The Sky Crawlers" series. Set in a near-future world, where lasting peace had been realized, and war-contracting companies manage "a war as a show" (fighter air battle). The fighter pilots are young people called "Kildren", who live forever in adolescence unless they die in the sky. A wistful and sentimental love romance film full of sadness and resignation, set in an endless world repeated eternally. The air battle sequences using CGs are thrilling and worth seeing. The screenplay by Chihiro Ito (screenplay of live action films, "Socrates in Love" and "Spring Snow"). The sequence director is Toshihiko Nishikubo. The character designer and chief animation director is Tetsuya Nishio. There is also the flight shooter game "The Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces" for Nintendo Wii.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 3: Remaining Sense of Pain2008See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. The third chapter (56 minutes) of the anime films based on the seven chapters of the romantic novel/light novel series "Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners" written by Kinoko Nasu. In July 1998, the president of the studio "Garan no Dou", Toko Aozaki is commissioned to hold or kill the perpetrator of a series of bizarre murders (the limbs of the victims are ripped down). The perpetrator is a girl named Fujino Asagami, who had been sexually assaulted by the victims. Shiki Ryougi tries to prevent Fujino from killing, and fights a fatal battle against Fujino. The sexual descriptions are not so explicit, but there are several brutal bloody scenes. Directed by Mitsuru Obunai. The animation produced by Ufotable.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 4: The Hollow Shrine2008See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. The fourth chapter (50 minutes) of the anime films based on the seven chapters of the romantic novel/light novel series "Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners" written by Kinoko Nasu. In June 1998, Shiki Ryougi wakes up in a hospital room after about two years in a coma. She knows she gains a power to see the "death lines" of everything, "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception". A sorcerer and the president of the studio "Garan no Dou", Toko Aozaki visits Shiki, and says she will tell Shiki how to use the Mystic Eyes. Losing her another personality with homicidal impulse, Shiki becomes a lifeless shell. The evil spirits in the hospital assault Shiki, aiming for her empty container. Directed by Teiichi Takiguchi. The animation produced by Ufotable.
Good!Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 5: Paradox Spiral2008See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. The fifth chapter of the anime films based on the seven chapters of the romantic novel/light novel series "Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners" written by Kinoko Nasu. The Chapter 5 is the climax of the whole story, in which the heroine Shiki Ryougi fights against a sorcerer Soren Araya, and this is the longest film (112 minutes) next to the last (seventh) chapter. In October 1998, Shiki Ryougi meets up with a runaway boy Tomoe Enjou, and strangely they begin to live in a share house. Tomoe confesses to killing his parents, and they go to the condominium building he lived. The building is an experimental field of Soren Araya, a sorcerer who tries to reach "the root of everything" via Shiki's body. The highlight is the tricky composition in a cut-up/remix style reconstructing the scenes as fragments out of the chronological order, and introducing repetition like flashbacks. The setting and world-view are esoteric and hard to understand for those who haven't read the original novel, but worth seeing as a mysterious horror action film. Please note that it includes lots of bloody or grotesque descriptions, such as murder, destruction of the human body, and mummified corpses. Directed by Takayuki Hirao. The animation produced by Ufotable.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 6: Oblivion Recorder2008See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. The sixth chapter (59 minutes) of the anime films based on the seven chapters of the romantic novel/light novel series "Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners" written by Kinoko Nasu. This film was created by adapting and reconstructing the original novel's story, omitting drastically episodes and descriptions, and focusing on Azaka Kokuto (a girl student in the first grade of Reien Girl's Academy. Mikiya Kokuto's younger sister and an apprentice sorcerer). In January 1999, Toko Aozaki asks Azaka to find and exclude a sorcerer who disturbs students in Reien Girl's Academy by manipulating fairies. Azaka begins investigating in the Academy with Shiki Ryougi, who can see fairies. The highlight is the action scene of Azaka's battle against fairies. Directed by Takahiro Miura. The animation produced by Ufotable.
 Resident Evil: Degeneration2008The first full-length CG animation film (96 minutes) based on Capcom's survival horror video game series, 'Resident Evil' (known in Japan as 'Biohazard'). Seven years after the Umbrella Case in Racoon City (depicted in 'Resident Evil 2'), in a Midwestern US airport, a NGO member Claire Redfield stumbles across the people being infected by a virus and becoming zombies. The US President sends his agent Leon S. Kennedy to the airport to handle the situation. The highlights are the photorealistic CG images (using motion capture) fairly close to live-action and the storyline directly linked to the original game (Resident Evil 2). The voices are originally English. Directed by Makoto Kamiya (special effects director of 'Whiteout', 'Japan Sinks' and others). The CG created by Digital Frontier.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend2008The twenty-eighth Doraemon movie (112 minutes) and the third one of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. An original story based on the short stories of Fujio F. Fujiko's original manga "Doraemon", "Forest is Living" (Tentomushi Comics Vol.26) and "Goodbye Ki-bou" (Vol.33). A fantasy adventure film dealing with environmental problems and ecology. Nobita finds a little tree and takes it home, but her mother tells him not to plant it in their garden. Doraemon makes it mobile by using his "plant-automation liquid". Nobita names it "Ki-bou", and Ki-bou becomes a member of the Nobi family. One day Nobita and his friends wander into "the Planet of Green", where plant-type aliens carry out a plan to transplant all the plants on the Earth to the Planet of Green and to eliminate Earthians. The first half set in the Earth is elaborately-crafted, and the images and drawings are worth seeing, but the storyline of the latter half is abstract and hard to understand because of its imperfect script. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. The supervising diretor is Kozo Kusuba. Directed by Ayumu Watanabe. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.8 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2008. There are also the manga version (by Yasunori Okada) and videogame version (beat 'em up action for Nintendo DS).
 Detective Conan: Full Score of Fear2008See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The twelfth movie is a mystery on the theme of music. Conan Edogawa challenges serial murders of musicians and a music hall bombing incident. Someone kills former students of Doumoto Music Academy, which was founded by a famous pipe organist (ex-pianist) Kazuki Doumoto, one after another. Conan and his friends are invited to the opening concert of Doumoto Music Hall and meets one of the performers, a talented soprano singer Reiko Akiba, but someone tries to block her from appearing on the stage. The key to the cases is 'absolute pitch'. Directed by Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie. The No.12 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2008.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Storm Called: The Hero of Kinpoko2008See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The sixteenth movie (93 minutes) is a comical fantasy adventure on a fight against invaders from another world. Relatively targeted at chilren. Directed by Mitsuru Hongo for the first time in 12 years since "Great Adventure in Hender Land" (1996). The ruler of dark world "Don Kurai", Ase daku Dark plots to dominate the human world. There is a legend about three treasures and a hero in Don Kurai, and Dark takes over one of the three treasures, a bell of copper, but a man sent other two treasures (a spear of gold and a shield of silver) to the human world. Shinnosuke falls into Dark's trap and opens the door between the human world and Don Kurai, but he bocomes the hero selected by the spear of gold. With the power of a girl from Don Kurai, Mata Tami, the Nohara Family transform into various things and fight against Dark. There are three scenes with insert songs in the musical style. The aerial battle scene is created by CG. The direction and screenplay by Mitsuru Hongo. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.23 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2008.
 One Piece the Movie: Episode of Chopper Plus: Bloom in the Winter, Miracle Cherry Blossom2008The ninth movie (113 minutes) is an adaptation of "Drum Island Arc", a popular episode of the original manga, with new original elements under the cooperation with the original author. In search of a doctor to help Nami with a fever, the Straw Hats find their way into the Drum Kingdom. Luffy carries Nami on his back and heads for a castle in a snow mountain where a doctor named Dr. Kureha lives, but he runs out of steam at the top of the mountain. They are saved by Tony Tony Chopper, Kureha's assistant and a "humanoid reindeer". Then, the evil king Wapol, who had fled the country, returns home with his brother Musshuru and launches a full-scale attack on the castle. The highlights are its touching story depicting meetings and partings between Chopper and his mentors (Dr. Hiluluk and Dr. Kureha) before he participates in the Straw Hats as the ship's doctor, and distinctive action drawings with designs different from the mainstream of the TV series. The original story and concept cooperation by Eiichiro Oda. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation direction and charcter design by Naoki Tate. The animation production by Toei Animation.
 Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds2008See the paragraph about "Naruto" the first movie. The second movie (90 minutes) of the TV series second season "Naruto: Shippuden". An original story on the fight between ninjas of the Konoha village and ninjas from the "Sky Country". A mystery ninja group flies over the sea and raids the Konoha village. They are "Sora-nin", ninjas from the "Sky Country" which were once destroyed by the Konoha village. At the same time, a village in the outskirts of the Land of Fire is also attacked by them. A boy from the village, Amaru comes to Konoha and calls on his ex-teacher and an expert doctor Shinnou for help. The team of Naruto, Sakura, Hinata go to Amaru's village with Shinnou and Amaru. A ninja/monster battle action film with a story focusing on Naruto, Amaru and Shinnou. Naruto's ex-teammate Sasuke also appears. Directed by Hajime Kamegaki. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot. The No.25 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2008.
 Genius Party Beyond2008A sequel to the short anime anthology "Genius Party" (2007) by Studio 4°C. Consists of five original short anime films (82 minutes in total): "#1. Gala" (directed by Mahiro Maeda. The director of "Blue Submarine No.6", "The Animatrix: The Second Renaissance Part 1 & 2"), "#2. Moondrive" (directed by Kazuto Nakazawa. The character designer and chief animator of "Samurai Champloo"), "#3. 'Wanwa' the Doggy" (directed by Shinya Ohira. The key animator of "AKIRA", "The Hakkenden: New Chapter", "Spirited Away", "The Animatrix: Kid's Story"), "#4. Toujin Kit" (directed by Tatsuyuki Tanaka. The key animator of "AKIRA", "Eternal Family"), "#5. Dimension Bomb" (directed by Koji Morimoto. The director of "Memories: Magnetic Rose", "Noiseman Sound Insect", "Eternal Family", "The Animatrix: Beyond"). Like the previous work, the quality of images is outstanding. "Dimension Bomb" is a visual poetry without a clear storyline, like a music video. It's hard to understand, but memorable for some reason.
 The House of Small Cubes (La Maison en Petits Cubes)2008A short animation film (12 minutes) created by animation creator Kunio Kato, who belongs to video production company ROBOT. The story of an old man living in his house, like building blocks, surrounded by the water. He keeps on extending his house by adding rooms above, because the sea levels have been rising. One day he drops his smoking pipe into the submerged lower level. He dives under the water to pick up the pipe, and each room brings back memories about his family for him. This film is created only by images and music without dialog or narration (there is also a version with Japanese narration by an actress Masami Nagasawa). A nostalgic and heartwarming film with cordial warmth like a handcrafted picture book. Directed by Kunio Kato. The screenplay by Ken'ya Hirata. Music by Kondo Kenji. It won the grand prize for short films at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. There is also the picture book (illustrations by Kunio Kato, text by Ken'ya Hirata).
 Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo! the Movie: Happy Birthday in the Candy Land2008The feature-length movie version (70 minutes) of 'Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo!', the fifth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. The Precure five members, Nozomi Yumehara (Cure Dream), Rin Natsuki (Cure Rouge), Urara Kasugano (Cure Lemonade), Komachi Akimoto (Cure Mint), Karen Minatsuki (Cure Aqua), and their friends, Kurumi Mimino (Milky Rose), Coco, Nuts, and Syrup have Nozomi's birthday party. Precures rescue a girl named Chocola being chased by Bunbee. Chocola is the princess of the Dessert Kingdom (Candy Land), and she thanks them by taking them to her country. In the kingdom, an evil man Mushibarn brainwashes the Queen, and tries to change Precures into sweets. Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The cofeature is the 5-minute very short film "Precure All-Stars GoGo Dream Live!".
Good!Gurren Lagann the Movie: Childhood's End2008See the paragraph about the Gurren Lagann TV series. The first (113 minutes) of the two movies. A digest edition which summarizes the TV series episodes, from the 1st to the 11th, with new parts. The climax of the story is Simon's recovery after overcoming Kamina's death, and a battle against the Spiral King's Four Supreme Generals. The opening sequence of the movie is made by reusing the images from one of the music clip "Gurren Lagann Parallel Works" series, "All You Bastards, Get Fired Up!" by You Yoshinari. The highlights are new parts (the last about 20 minutes) describing Team Dai-Gurren's all-out battle against the Four Supreme Generals. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi. The screenplay by Kazuki Nakashima. The animation produced by GAINAX.
 Pokemon Diamond and Pearl the Movie: Arceus and the Jewel of Life2009See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The last (97 minutes) of "theomachy/battle of the gods" movie trilogy of the TV series 'Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl' (aired on TV in 2006-2010) following the first "Dialga vs. Palkia vs. Darkrai" and the second "Giratina and the Sky Warrior". A time-slip/alternate history Sci-Fi adventure set in Michina Town (a fictitious town modeled on Metéora, Greece). Thousands of years ago, a Pokemon named Arceus lent "the Jewel of Life" to human beings, and Michina Town became a green land because of it. But, human beings broke their promise to give back it to Arceus and attacked him. Now, Arceus comes back to the modern age with rage. Satoshi, his friends and a woman named Sheena (a protector of the Michina remains) travel back in time to appease the wrath of Arceus. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2009.
 One Piece Film: Strong World2009See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The tenth movie (115 minutes) for commemorating 'One Piece' anime's 10th anniversary. The original author Eiichiro Oda himself created the film's original story, designed the costumes and creatures, and supervised the production. An action adventure set in floating islands. A legendary pirate on a flying ship, "Shiki the Golden Lion" snatched Nami, and threw down Luffy and his friends on floating islands, in which unknown, ferocious animals fight against each other, and the weak are becoming victims of the strong. Directed by Munehisa Sakai. The animation production by Toei Animation. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2010.
Good!Gurren Lagann the Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars2009See the paragraph about the Gurren Lagann TV series. The last (130 minutes) of the two movies. A digest edition which summarizes the TV series episodes, from the 15th (battle against Lordgenome the Spiral King and Teppelin's fall) to the 27th (decisive war against Anti-Spirals), with newe parts (a total of about one minutes) in whole. The storyline is condensed from the latter part of the TV series, focusing the relationship between Simon and Nia. The battle against Lordgenome was edited shortly in avant-title. The highlights are battle scenes against Anti-Spirals, featuring lots of new mechas. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi. The screenplay by Kazuki Nakashima. The animation produced by GAINAX.
 Detective Conan: The Raven Chaser2009See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The thirteenth movie (110 minutes) is a detective action story about a three-cornered fight between Conan Edogawa, a serial killer and the 'Black Organization'. A serial murder case occurred around Tokyo. Conan finds a shadow of the Black Organization among the investigators. Conan seeks the truth of the case, but a member of the Black Organization, the code name 'Irish' finds out Conan's true identity (Shin'ichi Kudo) in the disguise of one of the investigators. The Police, Conan, the serial killer and the Black Organization members have a showdown with each other in Tohto Tower (modeled after Tokyo Tower). Directed by Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie. The No.6 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2009.
 Keroro Gunso the Super Movie: Dragon Warriors2009See the paragraphs about the 'Sgt. Frog/Keroro Gunso' TV series (1st season). The fourth movie (78 minutes). The Keroro Platoon did a research on 'Dragon Tails', mysterious giant objects appeared in Japan, the United States, France, Australia and Africa, but Tamama suddenly disappeared in France. Keroro, Fuyuki Hinata, Natsumi Hinata and Momoka Nishizawa search for Tamama, and they find giant dragons, who are the members of Keroro Platoon changed into dragons by a mysterious girl named Sion. The original story by Mine Yoshizaki. Directed by Susumu Yamaguchi. The supervising director is Jun'ichi Sato. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Pretty Cure All-Stars DX2009A feature-length movie (70 minutes) released when the sixth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series, 'Fresh Pretty Cure!' was on air. Features all the fourteen successive Precures of the series at that time, centering around the three heroines of 'Fresh Pretty Cure!', Love Momozono/Cure Peach, Miki Aono/Cure Berry and Inori Yamabuki/Cure Pine (except Setsuna Higashi/Cure Passion, because she didn't yet appear in the TV series at that time). On their way to a dance contest in Minato Mirai, Yokohama, Love, Miki and Inori get lost on their way. Then, they are attacked by an evil, liquiform living thing 'Fusion', who tries to swallow the city. The three Fresh Precures and other eleven Precures (Nagisa Misumi/Cure Black, Honoka Yukishiro/Cure White, Hikari Kujou/Shiny Luminous, Saki Hyuuga/Cure Bloom, Mai Mishou/Cure Egret, Nozomi Yumehara/Cure Dream, Rin Natsuki/Cure Rouge, Urara Kasugano/Cure Lemonade, Komachi Akimoto/Cure Mint, Karen Minatsuki/Cure Aqua, and Kurumi Mimino/Milky Rose) combine their powers to fight against the enemy. The highlights are the psysical battle action scenes by all the Precures. The transformation scenes are all original bank scenes. Directed by Takashi Otsuka. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Fresh Pretty Cure! The Movie: The Kingdom of Toys has Lots of Secrets!?2009A feature-length movie (71 minutes) of 'Fresh Pretty Cure!', the sixth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. On a night when Love Momozono/Cure Peach, Miki Aono/Cure Berry, Inori Yamabuki/Cure Pine and Setsuna Higashi/Cure Passion had a pajama party at Momozono's house, all toys disappeared everywhere in the city. A stuffed rabbit "Usapyon", which was once Love's toy, said Toymajin did it. The four Precures go to the Kingdom of Toys where Toymajin lives, to get toys back. The dance scene of the ending is made by 3-D CG animation with motion captures, just like the TV series. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
Good!Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance.2009See the paragraph about the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series. The second (108 minutes) of 'Evangelion the New Movie' tetralogy, which consists of three parts based on the original TV series (1995-1996) and an entirely new final part. The second part '2.0' follows the TV series story, from the eighth episode (Asuka's visit to Japan) to the twenty-third one, and climaxes with the episodes after the Unit-03 case (Eva Unit-01 destroys Unit-03 as an Angel), Shinji's sortie by his own will (the nineteenth one) and Rei's suicide attack (the twenty-third one), but it takes a new turn on storyline, different from the TV series. Unlike '1.0', the images are almost-totally new, and contain lots of sophisticated CG drawings. Worth seeing, especially battle scenes between Evangelions and Angels. The original story, screenplay and chief direction by Hideaki Anno. Directed by Masayuki and Kazuya Tsurumaki. The animation produced by Studio Khara. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2009.
Good!Summer Wars2009The first original feature-length anime movie (115 minutes) directed by Mamoru Hosoda (director of the anime movie "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"). A heartwarming action/entertainment movie set in a virtual world on the internet and a big family in a local city in Japan. A high-school boy in Tokyo, Kenji Koiso (good at math) accompanies a girl named Natsuki Shinohara (Kenji's senior at school) on visits to her hometown, Ueda, Nagano Pref. She is going to join the party for her great grandmother, Sakae Jinnouchi's 90th birthday at the house of Jinnouchi (an old family of samurai stock). Then, a hacking artificial intelligence "Love Machine" takes over a virtual world on the internet "OZ", and throws the real world into chaos. Kenji and Jinnouchis pull together to face the crisis caused by "Love Machine". The storyline is like Mamoru Hosoda's early masterpiece, "Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!" (2000). The screenplay by Satoko Okudera. The character design by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Spaceblazer2009The twenty-ninth Doraemon movie (102 minutes) and the fourth one of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. A remake of the 1981 movie "Doraemon: The Records of Nobita, Spaceblazer", with adding original characters and episodes, and changing settings. A Sci-Fi action/adventure in the Western style. The scene is laid in the Planet Koyakoya, where the gravity is lighter than the Earth's. The story of Nobita's heroic activity in battle against the Galtite Mining Industry, which plots to drive the pioneering settlers out of the planet and to monopolize the Galtite ore, a substance that generates antigravity energy. This film has several pieces faithful to the original manga, and its drawings/animations are worth seeing, but it lacks dramatic excitement, compared to the original long story manga (serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" in 1980) and its movie (1981), which are one of the outstanding, well-finished works of the Doraemon long stories/movies. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. The supervising diretor is Kozo Kusuba. Directed by Shigeo Koshi. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.15 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2009.
 Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire2009See the paragraph about "Naruto" the first movie. The third movie (95 minutes) of the TV series second season "Naruto: Shippuden". A nanja battle action film created as an all-star film featuring 13 members of Team Kakashi (No.7) (Naruto Uzumaki, Sakura Haruno, Kakashi Hatake, Sai), Team Asuma (No.10) (Shikamaru Nara, Choji Akimichi, Ino Yamanaka), Team No.8 Kurenai (Hinata Hyuga, Kiba Inuzuka, Shino Aburame) and Team Guy (No.3) (Rock Lee, Neji Hyuga, Tenten). An ex-ninja in Konoha Village, Hiruko takes ninjas with Kekkei Genkai abilities away from the villages of four lands (clouds, rocks, mist and sand), and announces the outbreak of Fourth Great Ninja World War. In the Konoha Village, Kakashi disappears mysteriously, and Naruto and Sakura follow Kakashi to get him back. Directed by Masahiko Murata. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot. The No.31 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2009.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Roar! Kasukabe Animal Kingdom2009See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The seventeenth movie (96 minutes) is a relatively child-oriented, comical action adventure film including a caricature of radical ecoactivism and theme of bond between mother and children. The new mayor of Futaba Town, Kasukabe-City, Saitama Prefecture, Mamoru Shizan promotes ecology activities, but his true identity is the leader of an eco-terrorist organization "SKBE: Save Keeping Beautiful Earth", and he launches a plan to transform human into animals by making them take a drink to change into animals. By taking the drink, Shinnosuke's father, Hiroshi changes into a chicken, and his mother changes into a panther. With a mystery woman Victoria, the Nohara Family and half-animalized members of Kasukabe Defense Forces fight against SKBE to stop Shizen's plan. The theme song "Yancha Michi (Naughty Road)" is a single song by Jero, an enka singer from the U.S. Directed by Akira Shigino. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 7: A Study in Murder (Part 2)2009See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. The seventh chapter (119 minutes) of the anime films based on the seven chapters of the romantic novel/light novel series "Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners" written by Kinoko Nasu. This chapter depicts the events of February 1999, reveals the truths about the series of bizarre murders since four years ago, and closes as a love story between Shiki Ryougi and Mikiya Kokuto. A series of bizarre murders occurs again after four years. Shiki hides herself and walks around the streets every night. Believing that Shiki is not a murderer, Mikiya investigates the connection between a drug and the murder case, and then he meets again his senior at high school, Rio Shirazumi. The highlights are the action sequences in which Shiki fights against Shirazumi. There are lots of bloody scenes. Directed by Shinsuke Takizwa (a group name for the production staff, Hikaru Kondo, Ei Aoki, Takuya Nonaka, Mitsuru Obunai, and Takayuki Hirao). The animation produced by Ufotable.
 Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers2009See the paragraph about Eureka Seven TV series. A theatrical film (115 minutes) created by combining the image materials of the TV series with lots of new shots, and recreating it as a new story. More than 40% of the total are new images. It inherits the basal line of "boy-meets-girl" story from the TV series, but it is different in worldview, character setting and story from the TV series. In 2054, human beings have continued to fight against "Image", a mystery life form from space. A child soldier Renton Thurston boards the battle carrier "Gekko" under the direction of Holland Novak and fight against Image as the pilot of "Nirvash" (a giant humanoid mobile machine). In a mission to ensure the most important secret at a military base, Renton meets up again with his childhood girlfriend Eureka. It's interesting because this film induces allegorical interpretations, but its settings and story are hard to understand at first sight. On the whole, it is similar to "The End of Evangelion", including its ideological tendency. The pacey aerial battle scenes (so-called "Itano Circus") are worth seeing. The screenplay and supervision by Tomoki Kyoda. Directed by Hiroshi Harada. The animation produced by Kinema Citrus. Produced by Bones.
 Macross Frontier The Movie: The False Songstress2009The first of the two-part movie edition of the TV anime series "Macross Frontier" (25 episodes, aired in 2008-2009). The TV series was produced for the 25th anniversary of "Macross" series, in a contemporary and orthodox style, featuring the three elements of the first "Macross" series (song, three-cornered relationship and variable fighter) and going back to the source. The movie edition is a rebuilding of the TV series, changing storyline and settings. The first "The False Songstress" (119 minutes) follows the development of the TV series, from the first episode to around the seventh one, but the latter half has an original story, and around 70% of the total images are newly drawn. In 2059, a galactic songstress Sheryl Nome comes to a galaxy colonial fleet "Macross Frontier" for her concert, and she meets Alto Saotome (a boy who aims to become a pilot) and Ranka Lee (a girl who is a singer wannabe). Then, heavy-armored aliens called "Vajra" attack the fleet, and the battle between humans and Vajra begins. The sequences of mecha-actions and Sheryl's live stages, featuring 3-D CGs, are worth seeing. Directed by Shoji Kawamori. The animation produced by Satelight Inc. and 8bit Corp, Inc.
 Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror2009A totally computer-generated 3-D animated movie (98 minutes) produced by Production I.G and Fuji Television. A fantasy adventure like a fairy story, based on a folk tale handed down in Musashino. A sixteen-year-old high-school girl named Haruka remembers a hand mirror, which her dead mother gave her. It was her treasure, but she lost it. She wanders off into a strange world called 'Oblivion Island', which is made with things neglected by people. She meets a fox-like creature living in the island, named Teo, and they start to search her lost hand mirror. The film is made by combination of 3-D CG characters and 2-D hand-drawn background images, so it has a distinct sensitive texture, different from any of Pixar, photorealistic, and toon shading 3-D CG animations. The storyline is predictable, but the images are ambitious and worth seeing. Directed by Shinsuke Sato (the director of the live-action film "Sand Chronicles"). The animation produced by Production I.G.
 Mai Mai Miracle2009An animated film (94 minutes) based on Nobuko Takagi's autobiographical novel "Maimai Shinko" (2003-2004). A bittersweet, but heartwarming story depicting boy-and-girl drama set in a local city in Japan ten years after the end of WWII (Hofu City, Yamaguchi Pref. in 1955). A nine-year-old, fanciful and spirited girl Shinko Aoki lives in Hofu City (which used to be the capital city of Suo Province in ancient/medieval times), and she imagines vividly the thousand-year-old city and Nagiko (Sei Shonagon), a girl who lived there a millennia ago. One day, Shinko meets Kiiko Shimazu, a girl moved from Tokyo, and they bond with each other gradually. The highlights are the world-view through children's eyes, in which reality coexists with fantasy, and the detailed description of daily life of a local city in Japan in the late 1950s. The screenplay and direction by Sunao Katabuchi (an assistant director on "Kiki's Delivery Service". The director of "Princess Arete"). The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Eden of the East the Movie I: The King of Eden2009See the paragraph about "Eden of the East" TV series. The first (82 minutes) of the two-part movie edition about a story after the TV series, a new battle between the leading character Akira Takizawa and other Seleção. Six months after Takizawa saved Japan from sixty missiles and disappeared, saying "I'm gonna be the king of this country," Saki Morimi (a girl who had been together with Takizawa) visits New York and looks for Takizawa, following a message on his cell-phone. This movie edition is a sequel to the TV series, and it's necessary to watch the TV series or a digest version summarizing the TV series "Eden of The East Compilation: Air Communication" before watching it to understand the story. The original story, screenplay and direction by Kenji Kamiyama. The animation produced by Production I.G.
 The Rebirth of Buddha2009A feature-length anime movie (114 minutes) based on the book "The Rebirth of Buddha" (1989) written by Ryuho Okawa, the CEO and founder of "Happy Science", a Japanese Buddhist new religious group, and produced by IRH Press (publisher of Happy Science). The sixth movie, and fifth anime movie of IRH Press. Featuring its original story with screenplay by Hiroshi Okawa (son of Ryuho Okawa. A university student at that time). A fantasy action based on the worldview of spiritualism, depicting battles between two religious groups, and including a youth love story. A 17-year-old girl who belongs to the newspaper club of a high school, Sayako Amanokawa comes to be able to see spirits through an incident, and she is involved in battles between "TSI", a religious group preaching truth, and "Sounen-kai", a religious group trying to control the people through fear. A propaganda film of Happy Science (or rather, a film for Happy Science believers), including preach scenes, but it also can be seen as a spectacular psychic power battle action film, like "Harmagedon" (1983) directed by Taro Rin. The drawings with using CGs and visual effects are elaborate in its own way. It feels like the enemy role "Sounen-kai" (an evil cult) is modeled on Happy Science's competitors, Soka Gakkai and others, but it seems the criticism against a religious cult in this film should be also directed at Happy Science themselves. The executive producer is Ryuho Okawa. The planning and screenplay by Hiroshi Okawa. Directed by Takaaki Ishiyama. The animation produced by Group Tac.
 Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time2010The stereoscopic 3D anime film (49 minutes) created as a crossover work featuring three leading characters, Yugi Muto of "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters", Judai Yuki of "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX", and Yusei Fudo of "Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's" for the tenth anniversary of the TV anime "Yu-Gi-Oh!" series broadcasted in TV Tokyo. The world's first stereoscopic 3D work by the conversion from hand-drawn 2D anime to 3D. Yusei Fudo keeps guarding New Domino City by duelling, but a mystery man Paradox comes from the future to destroy the world, and he takes over Yusei's ace monster Stardust Dragon. Following Paradox, Yusei slips back in time, and meets Judai Yuki, a duelist who can manages the power of the spirits, and a legendary duelist Yugi Muto. To save the world, Yugi, Judai and Yusei join forces to fight a fierce duel (card battle) aginst Paradox. The original story by Kazuki Takahashi. Directed by Ken'ichi Takeshita. The 3D conversion by Q-TEC. The stereoscopic 3D director is Kunihiko Mita. The animation produced by Gallop. Released in the US in 2011. The 2D and 3D (side by side format) editions are available on DVD/Blu-ray 3D.
 The Borrower Arrietty2010A feature-length animated movie (94 minutes) based on the fantasy novel "The Borrowers" (1952) by Mary Norton, an English children's author, and produced by Studio Ghibli. Set in an old suburban house. Tiny people, a 13-year-old girl Arrietty, her father Pod, and her mother Homily, live under the floorboards, "borrowing" things to survive from the house, and keeping their existence unknown. One summer day, a 12-year-old boy Sho comes to the house for his medical treatment. Because Arrietty is found by Sho, Arrietty and her parents are forced to move home. The planning by Hayao Miyazaki. Screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (key animation for "Spirited Away", "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea". Assistant animation director of "Tales from Earthsea"). Music by Cécile Corbel. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2010.
 Pokemon Diamond and Pearl the Movie: Zoroark: Master of Illusions2010See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The fourth and last (95 minutes) of Pokemon movie "Diamond and Pearl" series. Satoshi (Ash) and his friends meet a Pokemon named Zorua on their way to Crown City. Zorua is looking for Zoroark, a Pokemon he loves like his mother. At the time, Kodai (the president of big company "Kodai Network") manipulates Zoroark into destroying the city. Satoshi (Ash) and Zorua fight against Kodai's conspiracy in cooperation with their friends, to save Zoroark and the city. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation production by OLM. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2010.
Good!Welcome to the Space Show2010An original Sci-Fi fantasy adventure film (136 minutes) created by the TV anime series "Kamichu!" staff. Five elementary school children (Natsuki, Amane, Koji, Noriko and Kiyoshi) live in Murakawa, a small village surrounded by nature. They meet a dog-like alien named Pochi, from the Planet Wan, during their summer camp in school. Pochi invites them to the trip to the Moon, and they are engaged in a great space adventure. A boisterous and amusing world-view featuring a variety of aliens and robots living in a highly-civilized space world, like Fujio F. Fujiko's Sci-Fi manga, "21-emon" and "Mojacko". An excellent entertaining film can be enjoyed by all ages. Directed by Koji Masunari (director of "R.O.D" and "Kamichu!"). The character design and animation direction by Masashi Ishihama. The animation produced by A-1 Pictures.
Good!The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya2010See the paragraphs about 'The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya' TV series, 2006 version and 2009 version. A feature-length animated movie (163 minutes) created as a sequel to the TV series. A serious and compelling school story/Sci-Fi mystery. On a winter day with Christmas coming up soon, Kyon noticed he sliped into another world, in which Haruhi Suzumiya disappeared from their class, and Ryoko Asakura (who tried to kill him and erased by Yuki Nagato) exists. The original novel's story is depicted over time, and finely made into anime with elaborate production and beautiful drawings. The original story by Nagaru Tanigawa. The chief direction by Tatsuya Ishihara. Directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto. The animation produced by Kyoto Animation.
Good!Redline2010A Sci-Fi car action anime film (102 minutes) directed by Takeshi Koike and produced by Madhouse. In a distant future, the 8th of "Redline", a ruleless auto race featuring retro car with analog engine (without using antigravity control), will be staged in the Hercules Globular Cluster, at "Roboworld", a planet with lots of military secrets. A leather-clad man with regent hair, JP participates in Redline, with his car Trans-Am 20000. An excellent action film featuring character designs like American comic, delicate and dynamic animation sticking to handdrawing (it took seven years, and used 100,000 hand-made drawings), and unique worldview on the background of alien civilizations. Directed by Takeshi Koike ("The Animatrix: World Record" director). The original story by Katsuhito Ishii (the director of live-action films, "Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl" and "The Taste of Tea"). The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Colorful2010A feature-length anime movie (126 minutes) based on the popular children's book "Colorful" (1998) written by Eto Mori, directed by Keiichi Hara (the director of "Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Adult Empire Strikes Back", "Summer Days with Coo") and produced by Sunrise. The protagonist "I", his soul is eliminated from the cycle of rebirth, because of his sin before he died, but he is given a chance by heaven's lottery, to try again in the earth. His soul gets into the body of a third-year junior high school boy named Makoto Kobayashi, who attempted to commit suicide, and he begins to live as Makoto Kobayashi. A touching fantasy drama talking a serious theme of joy and sorrow of living, by accumulation of sensitive depictions of the daily lives, like live-action films, and including social issues such as bullying, suicide, compensated dating (prostitution) and adultery. The film is set in Setagaya Ward (Todoroki, Futagotamagawa) in Tokyo. The animation produced by Ascension. There is also a live-action film (2000) directed by Shun Nakahara.
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st2010See the paragraph about the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha TV series 1st season. The first movie (130 minutes) is a remake of the content of the TV series 1st season with totally new images. It follows the main story of the TV series, and focuses on Fate Testarossa who overcomes the feud with her mother Precia and becomes aware of friendship with Nanoha Takamachi. Superior in the quality of drawings and animations. The highlights are its typical but touching story, and spectacular aerial battle scenes. Its elaborate transformation scenes and description of mecha (devices) are also worth noting. The original story and screenplay by Masaki Tsuzuki. Directed by Keizo Kusakawa (the director of "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's" and "Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS"). The animation produced by Seven Arcs.
 Pretty Cure All Stars DX2: Light of Hope - Protect the Rainbow Jewel!2010A feature-length movie (72 minutes) released when the seventh season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series, 'HeartCatch PreCure!' was on air. The second all-star film, following "Pretty Cure All-Stars DX" (2009). Features a total of seventeen successive Precures, centering around the two heroines of 'HeartCatch PreCure!' (Tsubomi Hanasaki/Cure Blossom, Erika Kurumi/Cure Marine) and the four ones of "Fresh Pretty Cure!". Set in "Fairy Park", an amusement park on the sea. Tsubomi and Erika get together with other Precures to protect the Rainbow Jewel of the park from Bottom, the shadowy ruler of the deep sea. The highlights are 17 Precure all-stars' dance scenes of the ending, which are made by 3-D CG animation with motion captures. Directed by Takashi Otsuka. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Keroro Gunso the Super Movie: Creation! Ultimate Keroro, Wonder Space-Time Island2010See the paragraphs about the 'Sgt. Frog/Keroro Gunso' TV series (1st season). The fifth movie (77 minutes) and the last in the series. An action adventure set in Easter Island. Sergeant Keroro and Fuyuki Hinata visit Easter Island to unlock the mysteries of a strange stone figure statue just like Keroro. In the island, they meet cheerful spirits called 'Mana' and mysterious twins Io and Rana. Then, an evil spirit 'Aku-Aku' rises from a long sleep, and attacks the Keroro Platoon. The original story by Mine Yoshizaki. Directed by Susumu Yamaguchi. The supervising director is Jun'ichi Sato. The animation produced by Sunrise.
 Detective Conan: The Lost Ship in the Sky2010See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The fourteenth movie (102 minutes) is a detective action story set in an airship. An advisor for the Suzuki conglomerate, Jirokichi Suzuki flings down a challenge to Phantom Thief Kid, which of whether he is able to steal the jewel called "Lady Sky" from his airship "The Bell Tree I". Conan Edogawa and his friends board the airship, but it is hijacked by a terrorist group planting bombs and distributing killing bacteria in the airship. Directed by Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie. The No.10 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2010.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Great Battle of the Mermaid King2010The thirtieth Doraemon movie (98 minutes) and the fifth one of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. An original story based on the short story of Fujio F. Fujiko's original manga "Doraemon", "The Late-Night Town is on the Ocean Floor" (Tentomushi Comics Vol.41). A fantasy adventure film set in the depths of the sea. When Nobita and Doraemon play under the fictive sea on the land by using "Fictive Surface Simulator Pump", they meet Sophia, the princess of the Mermaid Tribe. The Mermaid Tribe emigrated from the Planet Aqua to the seafloor on the Earth 5,000 years ago, escaping from the Monster-Fish Tribe's invasion. In alliance with the Mermaid Tribe, Nobita and his friends fight against the Monster-Fish Tribe, who tries to get the Mermaid Tribe's treasure, "the Mermaid Sword" and to rlue the universe. A pretty child-oriented work. The images are beautiful, but the settings and storyline are formulaic, and it lacks originality and excitement as a film. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Kozo Kusuba. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.11 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2010.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Super-Dimension! The Storm Called My Bride2010See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The eighteenth movie (99 minutes) is a relatively child-oriented, comical action adventure film set in the future world, like a dystopian science fiction. Shinnosuke's future fiancee, Tamiko Kaneari comes from the future via the time machine. She says her father Masuzo Kaneari captures adult Shinnosuke in the future world and they needs the power of Shinnosuke at age 5 to rescue him. She takes Shinnosuke and Kasukabe Defense Forces members to the future big city Neotokio, which is the world ruled by Masuzo Kaneari, the president of the electric power company Kaneari Electric. Directed by Akira Shigino. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.24 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2010.
 HeartCatch PreCure! The Movie: Fashion Show in the Flower Capital... Really?!2010A feature-length movie (71 minutes) of 'HeartCatch PreCure!', the seventh season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. Erika's mother's fashion shop "Fairy Drop" will open a shop in Paris, and Precures (Tsubomi Hanasaki/Cure Blossom, Erika Kurumi/Cure Marine, Itsuki Myoudouin/Cure Sunshine, Yuri Tsukikage/Cure Moonlight) come to Paris to participate in its opening fashion show as models. Tsubomi meets Baron Salamander (the first man sent to the Earth by the Desert Apostles 400 years ago) and a mysterious boy Olivier. Baron Salamander transforms Olivier into a werewolf, and he is trying to destroy the world. A side story of the TV series, centering on the dramas of Salamander and Olivier. Not so child-friendly as the past PreCure movies. Directed by Rie Matsumoto. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Lost Tower2010See the paragraph about "Naruto" the first movie. The fourth movie (85 minutes) of the TV series second season "Naruto: Shippuden". A heroic nanja battle action film set in a city of the past era. When Naruto chases a missing ninja Mukade, Mukade releases the power of Ryumyaku (the Ley Line), and it makes Naruto slip back in time to the city with thousand towers, Rouran of the prosperous time. In Rouran, Mukade plots to alter history and to conquer the world, by producing Kugutsu (puppet) corps with the Ryumyaku power as the minister of Rouran. Naruto, Sara, the queen of Rouran, and young Minato Namikaze (Naruto's father) join forces to confront Mukade's ambition. The storyline is stereotypical, but the drawings and battle scenes are worth seeing. Directed by Masahiko Murata. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot. The No.29 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2010. Screened with a short film "Naruto Soyokazeden the Movie: Naruto, the Genie, and the Three Wishes!!".
 Inazuma Eleven the Movie: Saikyo Gundan Oga Shurai (Strongest Corps Ogre Attacks)2010The movie version (90 minutes) of the TV anime series "Inazuma Eleven" (aired in 2008-2011) based on "Inazuma Eleven", the role-playing (collection/development) football video game series (released since 2008) for the Nintendo DS developed by Level-5. The original story is set in junior high-school football world, and is about the development of a weak team and football battles of boys with superhuman finishing moves. The first half is an omnibus re-editing the TV series episodes, in which the captain Mamoru Endou (goalkeeper) leads the Raimon Jr High Football Club and they enter the national championship "Football Frontier". In the latter half, the Raimon Jr High fights a football battle in the final against Ogre Academy, the strongest corps from the future sent by the dark force. The planning, total supervision and original story by Akihiro Hino (CEO of Level-5). Directed by Yoshikazu Miyao. The animation produced by OLM (Team Koitabashi). Released both as a 2D and a stereoscopic 3D film at the same time. The No.15 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2011.
 King of Thorn2010An animated film (109 minutes) based on Yuji Iwahara's Sci-Fi action/survival horror manga "King of Thorn" (serialized in "Monthly Comic Beam" in 2002-2005). Set in the near future world facing a pandemic ACIS (Acquired Cellular Induration Syndrome), a strange disease called "Medusa" (it hardens the human body into stone). The 160 infected people. including a Japanese girl Kasumi Ishiki, are selected to take "cold sleep" at a center inside an old castle in Scotland, but, when she wakes up, the center became a thorn-covered ruin, and weird monsters attack the people. Kasumi and other six people struggle their way out of the castle. The storyline of the film is a reconstitution of the original story, focusing the relationship between the central characters, Kasumi and Marco Owen. The highlights are seamless, hybrid images between hand-drawn 2-D anime and 3-D CG (produced by Autodesk 3ds Max), and the metafictional development dealing with a theme of "reality might be a fabricated story". Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama (the director of "The Big O"). The animation produced by Sunrise (Ogikubo Studio known for "Steamboy" and "Freedom").
 Time of Eve the Movie2010"Time of Eve" is an original animation series (the first season consists of six episodes) produced by Yasuhiro Yoshiura, known for his independent anime film "Pale Cocoon", ans his production company Studio Rikka. Originally streamed on the Internet in 2008-2009, and the DVD was released in 2009. This theatrical version (106 minutes) is a re-edited film of the original six episodes supplemented with new scenes, and the whole is readjusted for high-definition quality. A Sci-Fi set in the near future Japan where robots and humanoid androids are in practical use. Depicting various episodes, such as heart-wrenching dramas and comedies, in a mysterious cafe named "Time of Eve", the people in which make no distinction between the humans and robots. Features stereoscopic, deep images (2D characters and 3D background) and flexible camera work (making use of zooming in/out and wrapping-around). The original story, screenplay, and direction by Yasuhiro Yoshiura. The animation produced by Studio Rikka.
 Trigun: Badlands Rumble2010See the paragraphs about 'Trigun' TV series. A new feature-length animated movie (90 minutes) created 12 years after the TV series. A shoot-'em-up action/Sci-Fi in the Western style, with a comical atmosphere, like the first half of the TV series. As word gets around that a master thief Gasback will attack Macca City, the mayor Kepler (Gasback's former henchman) brings rowdy fellows (bounty hunters) together to save the city. Vash the Stampede also visits Macca City, and he meets a young female bounty hunter named Amelia. An action entertainment film can be enjoyed watching comfortably. The original story by Yasuhiro Nightow and Satoshi Nishimura. Directed by Satoshi Nishimura. The character design by Takahiro Yoshimatsu. The animation produced by Madhouse.
 Eden of the East the Movie II: Paradise Lost2010See the paragraph about "Eden of the East" TV series. The last (92 minutes) of the two-part movie edition about a story after the TV series. Akira Takizawa and Saki Morimi return from New York to Japan. To bring an end to the Seleção game, Takizawa goes to prime minister's villa, and he asks Saki to find his mother. In this last program, we can see the secret of Takizawa's birth, the ending of the Seleção game, and the identity of "Mr. Outside," the mastermind behind the game, but there is almost no action sequence like the last of the TV series, and it lacks excitement as a film. The original story, screenplay and direction by Kenji Kamiyama. The animation produced by Production I.G.
 Planzet2010An entirely computer-generated animation film (about 53 minutes), created by CG creator Jun Awazu, known for his "Negadon: The Monster from Mars" (2005). A Sci-Fi/mecha action set in future. In 2053, an alien life-form from outer space had invaded the Earth, and most of the people had been lost. In the Fuji Base of the Japanese Force, the final operation to attack the enemy's base, "Planzet" is formulated. A pilot of a robotic weapon, Hiroshi Akishima evacuates his younger sister Koyomi to the Mars, and makes a sortie in order to defend the base to the death. The script is predictable, but, just like his "Negadon: The Monster from Mars", the artificial and retro-futuristic images, which simulate the motif and worldview of Showa Tokusatsu/mecha SF, are worth seeing. The original story, screenplay and direction by Jun Awazu. The CG director is Makoto Miyahara. Produced by Jun Awazu and CoMix Wave Films.
 Atashinchi the Movie 3D2010See the paragraph about "Atashinchi the Movie". The second movie (43 minutes) created as a stereoscopic 3D film. One day, Mikan's mother is struck by lightning, and gains a supernatural power (psychokinesis). She transforms herself into "Esper Maman" and tries to help people in the city by using her supernatural power. But her power goes out of control, and puts the Tachibana family's apartment building in danger of collapsing. On the surface the planar drawing style of "Atashinchi" is not suited to 3D, but surprisingly, this is an good 3D film featuring spatial effects like paper-crafting models. Directed by Wataru Takahashi. 3D director is Kunihiko Mita (Q-TEC). Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Epilogue: Boundary of Emptiness2010See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. A short film (33 minutes) based on the final chapter of the original novel. In March 1999, Mikiya Kokuto meets Shiki Ryougi again on a snowy hill where he first met her four years ago. Shiki Ryougi tells about the truth of her dissociated personality as her third personality different from her previous personalities (two Shikis). Shiki Ryougi and Mikiya Kokuto do nothing other than talking in the snow through most of the film. Recommended for diehard fans only. Released as a bonus for "Kara no Kyoukai" the movie blu-ray disc box in 2011. Screened at Theatre Shinjuku for just one week in December 2010. Directed by Hikaru Kondo (anime producer and the president of Ufotable). The animation produced by Ufotable.
 Kokurikozaka kara (From Up On Poppy Hill)2011A feature-length anime movie (91 minutes) directed by Goro Miyazaki (the director of "Tales from Earthsea") and produced by Studio Ghibli. Based on the manga "Kokurikozaka kara/From Up On Poppy Hill" (serialized in the girls' manga magazine "Nakayoshi" in 1979-1980) written by Tetsuro Sayama, and illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi. A nostalgic youth film set in a high school in Yokohama in 1963, depicting a faint love and a strange destiny between a boy and a girl. A 16-year-old high school girl, Umi Matsuzaki had lost her father in the sea. She manages her family's boarding house instead of her mother, who has been staying in the U.S. for her work. A 17-year-old high school boy, Shun Kazama is the head of the newspaper club, and he leads a crusade against the demolition of an aging building for culture club. They meet by chance and become attracted to each other. The planning by Hayao Miyazaki. The screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa (screenplay of "Ocean Waves", "Tales from Earthsea" and "The Borrower Arrietty"). The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2011.
 Children Who Chase Lost Voices2011A feature-length anime movie (116 minutes) directed by Makoto Shinkai (the director of "Voices of a Distant Star", "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" and "5 Centimeters Per Second"). A fantasy adventure set in a rural town like the 1970s Japan and another world below ground, for a wide range of ages, including children. Created in the style returning to the tradition of Japanese anime as typified by Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films. The leading character Asuna Watase is a girl who lives in the mountain area with her mother. A mystery boy Shun saves Asuna from attack by a monster, and then he is found dead. Asuna hears the story about Agartha, another world with a power to raise people from the dead, from her teacher Ryuji Morisaki, who hopes to meet his dead wife again. Asuna and Morisaki embark on an adventurous journey to Agartha. The character designs are similar to those of World Masterpiece Theater series (TV series produced by Zuiyo Eizo/Nippon Animation, such as "Anne of Green Gables"). The worldview and story are similar to Hayao Miyazaki's "Laputa: The Castle in the Sky" and "Princess Mononoke". This film lacks originality, but the beautiful images (particularly background art) are carefully created and worth seeing. The original story, screenplay and direction by Makoto Shinkai. The animation direction and character design by Takayo Nishimura (the animation director and character designer of "5 Centimeters Per Second"). Produced by CoMix Wave Films.
Good!Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society 3D2011A stereoscopic 3D version of the OAV 'Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society' (2006). The opening and cyberspace sequences are totally new, and others are produced by the conversion from the original 2D materials to 3D, with the addition of depth/asperity/disparity information. Because the original is handdrawn 2D animation, the character images are planar, like backdrops, though some have bumpy surfaces delicately in several scenes, but the interfaces in cyberbrain's subjective images are totally stereoscopic and look like jumping to foreground, so viewers can experience the images as if they are cyberbrained. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama. The 3D directors are Makoto Endo and Noriki Tsukamoto. Produced by Production I.G. The 3D conversion by IMAGICA.
 One Piece 3D: Straw Hat Chase2011The eleventh movie is a short film (30 minutes) released as a double feature with "Toriko 3D: Kaimaku! Gourmet Adventure!!", under the title of "Jump Heroes Film". The series' first stereoscopic 3D film totally created by CG. Luffy's prized straw hat (given by "Red-Haired" Shanks) was stolen by a big eagle. The Straw Hats chase the bird, and burst into the navy base. The stereognostic 3D images and chase/action sequences with dynamic camera works are worth seeing. An entertaining film, like attractions in amusement park. Directed by Hiroyuki Sato. The animation production by Toei Animation.
 Detective Conan: Quarter of Silence2011See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The fifteenth movie (109 minutes) is a detective action story set in a snowy mountain. The Governor of Tokyo, Yuuichiro Asakura, receives a threatening letter the day before the opening of Touto Line, a new train line for the Tokyo Metro, and in the day of the opening ceremony, the Touto Line's tunnel was blown up. Conan Edogawa suspects the relation between the case and the dam in the Niigata Prefecture (Asakura constructed it), and he and his friends go to the Kitanosawa village where the dam was constructed. The highlights are Conan's superhuman actions using skateboard and snowboard. Directed by Kobun Shizuno. The supervising director is Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by Tokyo Movie. The No.8 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2011.
 Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison2011See the paragraph about "Naruto" the first movie. The fifth movie (94 minutes. The Director's cut edition: 108 minutes) of the TV series second season "Naruto: Shippuden". A nanja battle action film including a mystery-style storyline, based on the screenplay by Akira Higashiyama, a Taiwan-born novelist. Naruto is captured in "Hozuki Jou" in the Hidden Grass Village, a prison impossible to escape from, for a crime he had not committed. The head of the prison Mui takes away Naruto's ninja power, but Naruto tries to escape from the prison, and he finds out the facts behind the case, a conspiracy in the Hidden Grass Village, about the legend of the "Box of Paradise", a box which grants any request, and a tragic story about Mui and his son Muku. The drawings are excellent and the action scenes are worth seeing. The story is serious and tragic. The battle scene between the box's demon Satori and Gamabunta (a giant toad summoned by Naruto) is like a monster film. Directed by Masahiko Murata. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot. There is the novel version written by Akira Higashiyama. Screened with a short film "Chunin Exam on Fire! Naruto vs. Konohamaru!!".
 Pretty Cure All Stars DX3: Deliver the Future! The Rainbow-Colored Flower That Connects the World2011A feature-length movie (71 minutes) released when the eighth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series, 'Suite PreCure' was on air. The third all-star film, following "Pretty Cure All Stars DX2" (2010). Features a total of twenty-one successive Precures. The two heroines of 'Suite PreCure', Hibiki Hojo/Cure Melody and Kanade Minamino/Cure Rhythm visit a big shopping mall on its opening day, and meet other Precures. Then, former formidable enemies come back to life, and try to plunge the world into darkness, by causing the 'Prism Flower' (a miracle flower that connects the world) to die. The highlight is the opening movie (mainly produced by Sanzigen) featuring 3-D CG animation in the style of hand-drawn cel anime. Directed by Takashi Otsuka. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Suite PreCure The Movie: Take it back! The Miraculous Melody that Connects Hearts2011A feature-length movie (70 minutes) of 'Suite PreCure', the eighth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. A side story depicting events between the 36th and 37th episodes of the TV series. Ako Shirabe tries to go back to Major Land (the land of music) with Mephisto (her father and the king of Major Land), because Mephisto got his good heart back and she fulfilled her role as Cure Muse. But, music disappears from Major Land. The four Precures, Hibiki Hojo/Cure Melody, Kanade Minamino/Cure Rhythm, Ellen Kurokawa/Cure Beat and Ako Shirabe/Cure Muse stand up against Howling, the enemy who took away music. There is a CG dance part after the closing credits. Directed by Yoko Ikeda. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Pokemon Black & White the Movie: Black-Victini and Reshiram/White-Victini and Zekrom2011See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The first movie of the TV series 'Pokemon Black & White' (the Japanese title is 'Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!', aired on TV since 2010). The two films, "Pokemon Black & White the Movie: Black-Victini and Reshiram" (97 minutes) and "Pokemon Black & White the Movie: White-Victini and Zekrom" (98 minutes), were released on the same day. A fantasy adventure set in a town on a coastal rocky hill (modeled on Eze, southern France). Satoshi (Ash) and his friends visit Eindoak, a town centering on a castle called "Sword of the Earth", and meet a strange Pokemon, Victini. Dread Grangil, a descendant of the "People of the Earth", tries to move the Sword of the Earth by using Victini's power, in order to revive the "Kingdom of People of the Earth". These two films are basically the same, though there are small differences between them, so almost no need to watch both. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation produced by Production I.G., XEBEC and OLM. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2011.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the New Steel Troops -Winged Angels-2011The 31st Doraemon movie (108 minutes) and the sixth of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. A remake of the 1986 movie "Doraemon: Nobita and the New Steel Troops", one of the old series classics. A Sci-Fi action/adventure with a story about the battle and friendship between humans and robots. Nobita picks up a mystery blue ball at the North Pole. Being guided by the ball, parts of a giant robot fall from the sky. Nobita and Doraemon assemble the robot in the "Mirror World". A gynoid named Lilulu appears and says she is the owner of the robot. She is a spy robot from the planet of the robots "Mechatopia", who is going to establish a base on the earth and lead the steel troops to enslave humans. Pippo, a robot like a chick, is an original character for this film. The images are worth seeing, but this film has little dramatic excitement and thrill compared to the original, because of its sentimental direction. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Yukiyo Teramoto. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.10 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2011.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Storm Called: Operation Golden Spy2011See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The nineteenth movie (107 minutes) is a child-oriented, comical action spy film including an indecent material (flatus) and a story of a girl who had obeyed her parents, but becomes self-aware. A mystery spy girl Lemon Sunomono suddenly appears in front of Shinnosuke, and she calls herself an emissary of Action Kamen. She had trained as a spy by her parents in the Sukashipestan Republic, and works for the Queens. Under her guidance, Shinnosuke decides to be a spy to fight for justice, and receives spy training. Under the instruction of Action Kamen, Lemon and Shinnosuke perform a mission to creep into the laboratory in the Hedelna Kingdom and recapture a capsule from an evil professor, but Lemon finds the real purpose of the Queens, and they fight to foil the plot of the Queens. There are several elements like a parody of the action spy film "Mission: Impossible" (1996) starring Tom Cruise. Directed by Souichi Masui. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos2011See the paragraph about the "Fullmetal Alchemist" first TV series. An original feature-length anime movie (110 minutes) based on the settings of Hiromu Arakawa's manga "Fullmetal Alchemist". Produced by the main staff differ from the first TV series (2003-2004), "Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shambala" (2005) and the second TV series "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" (2009-2010). A young man and alchemist named Melvin Voyager escapes from the prison in Amestris. Edward Elric (Ed) and his younger brother Alphonse (Al) trace Melvin, and find their way to the Table City, once called as "Milos", in the border between Amestris and Creta. There Ed and Al meet a girl named Julia Crichton, who in a resistance organization called the "Black Bats", and they know a tragic history about the oppressed pople of Milos. The story and animation style of this film are like Hayao Miyazaki's films, such as "Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind", "Laputa: The Castle in the Sky" and "Princess Mononoke". We had better regard this not as an animated film of "Fullmetal Alchemist", but as an original action/dark fantasy anime using the settings and characters of "Fullmetal Alchemist". Directed by Kazuya Murata (assistant director of "Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion"). The Screenplay by Yuichi Shinpo (screenplay of the live action film "Whiteout"). The character design and animation direction by Ken'ichi Konishi (animation director of "Millennium Actress" and "Tokyo Godfathers"). The animation produced by Bones.
 Macross Frontier The Movie: The Wings of Goodbye2011See the paragraph about Macross Frontier The Movie: The False Songstress. The last (115 minutes) of the two-part movie edition of the TV anime series "Macross Frontier" (25 episodes, aired in 2008-2009). The sequel to the first movie, featuring totally new images and an original story different to the TV series, and also describing the outcome of a love triangle (Alto, Sheryl and Ranka), which was not depicted in the TV series. Directed by Shoji Kawamori. The animation produced by Satelight Inc.
 K-On! the Movie2011See the paragraphs about 'K-On!' TV series first season. A new movie edition (110 minutes) on the events just before the graduation ceremony depicted in the last of the TV series second season. The four third-year students of the light music club, Yui, Mio, Ritsu and Tsumugi decided to travel to London to celebrate their graduation. They are leaving for London, taking Azusa in the second grade with them. Meanwhile, they think about a present for Azusa, who will be left alone in the club. Although it features an event of graduation trip overseas, this movie also lacks dramatic excitement and focuses on description of details, just like the TV series, so it leaves something to be desired as a film, but the fans of the TV series will enjoy it. The original story by Kakifly. Directed by Naoko Yamada. The screenplay by Reiko Yoshida. The character design and animation direction by Yukiko Horiguchi. The animation produced by Kyoto Animation.
 Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light)2011A medium-length anime film (44 minutes) based on the one-shot shojo manga "Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light)" (published in "LaLa DX" in 2002) by Yuki Midorikawa, known for her "Natsume's Book of Friends". Produced by the main staff of the TV anime series "Natsume's Book of Friends". A fantasy romance about a bittersweet love story between a strange boy, who is neither a human nor Yokai (spirit), and a human girl. A six-year-old girl Hotaru Takegawa comes see her grandfather during summer vacation. She gets lost in the "Forest of Yamagami (god of the mountains)", which is referred to as the place Yokais live, and meets Gin, a human-like entity wearing a fox mask, who will disappear if he is touched by a human. Since then, she comes to visit him every summer, and they become attracted to each other. Directed by Takahiro Omori. The animation produced by Brain's Base.
 Prince of Tennis the Movie: The Battle of the British Castle2011See the paragraphs about 'The Prince of Tennis' first movie. The second movie (87 minutes) created by almost the same main staff as that of the OAV series (released in 2006-2009), for commemorating the 10th anniversary of its anime versions. The members of Sei-Gaku, Hyotei, Rikkai and Shitenhoji are invited as Japan's best junior high schools to an international junior tournament at Wimbledon, London. But they are attacked by a street tennis group 'Crack'. Ryoma Echizen and other Japanese team members (TeniPuri all-stars) have superhuman tennis battles against the Crack members at anomalistic courts in an old castle. Directed by Shunsuke Tada. The animation produced by Production I.G. and M.S.C.
 Legend of the Millennium Dragon (Onigamiden)2011A feature-length anime movie (98 minutes. The Director's cut edition: 117 minutes) based on Takafumi Takada's historical mystery/adventure novel for young adults "Onigamiden" (published in 2004). A historical fantasy/action film set in Kyoto of the present day and the Heian period (about the ninth century). A junior high school boy living in Kyoto, Jun Tendo slips into the Heian period, and he gets involved with the fight between "humans" and "Oni" (ogre-like creatures). A monk Gen'un calls Jun "The Son of Salvation" and tries to make Jun fight against "Oni" by awakening the sealed dragon, but Jun meets an "Oni" girl Mizuha, and he finds that those called "Oni" are humans who hope to coexist with nature. A giant epic like old Toei feature-length cartoon films, and its hand-made drawings (200,000 graphics in total), effects and backgraound art are excellent in quality and worth seeing, but the storyline is predictable and stereotyped. Directed by Hirotsugu Kawasaki (the director of "Spriggan" and "Naruto the Movie 2"). The character design by Tetsuya Nishio (the character designer of "Naruto"). The concept design of the dragon by Katsuhiro Otomo. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot.
 Inazuma Eleven GO the Movie: Kyukyoku no Kizuna Griffon (The Ultimate Bond Griffon)2011See the paragraph about "Inazuma Eleven" the first movie. The movie version (90 minutes) of "Inazuma Eleven GO" the TV series (aired in 2011-2014), the sequel to "Inazuma Eleven". One decade after the first "Inazuma Eleven" storyline, the football world had been controlled by "Fifth Sector", the management organization to suppress the society with the football merit system and to eliminate the disparities between schools, and they order also the outcome and score in games. The Raimon Jr High Football Club including the first grader Tenma Matsukaze (midfielder) and the coach Mamoru Endou (the previous main character) have been fighting against the Fifth Sector to restore the real football. The Fifth Sector takes the Raimon members away to the "God Eden" island for a camp training. The Raimon club fights a football battle, using "Keshin" (realization of spiritual energy), against the team of "Seeds", strong players under the control of the Fifth Sector. The planning, screenplay and total supervision by Akihiro Hino. Directed by Yoshikazu Miyao. The animation produced by OLM (Team Koitabashi). Released both as a 2D and a stereoscopic 3D film at the same time.
 Friends: Mononoke Jima no Naki (Friends: Naki of Monster Island)2011A 3D CG animation film (87 minutes) loosely based on "Naita Aka Oni (Red Demon Cried)", the Japanese children's novel by Hirosuke Hamada (originally published in 1935). The style is like "Monsters, Inc." (2001). A friendship-themed fantasy film for children, with laughter and tears. A human baby Kotake strays into an island where demons live. A rowdy red demon Naki and his friend, blue demon Gunjo come to care for the baby. Although Naki hates humans and he is busy fighting with Kotake, friendship begins to grow between them. But because of the adversarial relationship between demons and humans, the time comes for them to part. Produced at a lower cost than the Hollywood CG films, but the 3D CG images, created by using Autodesk 3ds Max with the pre-scoring technique, are worth seeing. The motion and texture of the two demons are photoreal, but the human characters are modelled in the puppet play style. The background is partly created by synthesis of CGs and live-action images with miniature effect. Directed by Takashi Yamazaki (the director of "Always Sanchome no Yuhi") and Ryuichi Yagi. Produced by Shirogumi and Robot Communications. Released both as 2D and stereoscopic 3D editions at the same time.
 Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.2012See the paragraph about the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series. The third (95 minutes) of 'Evangelion the New Movie' tetralogy. An entirely new film without use of materials of the old series, which is totally different in worldview and story from the old series. It corresponds to the 24th episode (about Kaworu Nagisa) of the TV series as a step. Set in the world 14 years after the Near Third Impact (depicted in the previous film "Evangelion: 2.0"), which wiped out nearly all humans. Shinji Ikari gets involved in the fight between the old NERV (Gendo Ikari and others), which develops the Human Instrumentality Project, and WILLE (Misato Katsuragi and others), an anti-NERV organization. Unlike "Evangelion: 1.0" and "2.0", it lacks catharsis and entertaining elements. Should be seen as a bridge to the fourth part. The battle scene in outer space of the opening is worth seeing. The planning, original story, screenplay and chief direction by Hideaki Anno. Directed by Masayuki, Mahiro Maeda and Kazuya Tsurumaki. The animation produced by Studio Khara. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2012. The cofeature is a tokusatsu short film "Kyoshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru (Giant God Warriors Appear in Tokyo)" (directed by Shinji Higuchi, produced by Studio Ghibli).
 Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1: Beginnings2012See the paragraph about the Puella Magi Madoka Magica TV series. The first (130 minutes) of "Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie" trilogy. An omnibus which re-edits the TV series episodes, from the first (Madoka Kaname meets Homura Akemi) to the eighth (Sayaka Miki changes into a witch), including new cuts and shots. The images and sounds are re-created overall, and the character voices are re-dubbed. The opening sequence and magical girls' transformation sequences are entirely new. The general director is Akiyuki Shinbo. The series composition and screenplay by Gen Urobuchi. Directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto. The animation produced by Shaft.
 Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 2: Eternal2012See the paragraph about the Puella Magi Madoka Magica TV series. The second (109 minutes) of "Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie" trilogy. An omnibus which re-edits the TV series episodes, from the ninth (deaths of Sayaka Miki and Kyoko Sakura) to the last (twelfth) (Madoka Kaname becomes a magical girl and the universe is rebuilt), including new cuts and shots. Like the part 1, the images and sounds are re-created overall, and the character voices are re-dubbed, except the sequence equal to the tenth episode of the TV series (about Homura Akemi's past). The oepning is the same as the part 1. Because there are lots of important episodes from the ninth to the last episodes, the part 2 follows almost all of them, and there is little scene cut from the TV series. Like the TV series, the opening of the TV series is inserted after the sequence equal to the tenth episode. The general director is Akiyuki Shinbo. The series composition and screenplay by Gen Urobuchi. Directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto. The animation produced by Shaft.
 Wolf Children Ame and Yuki2012The director Mamoru Hosoda's second original feature-length anime movie (117 minutes), following "Summer Wars". A fantasy drama featuring a woman raising two kids of wolf blood for 13 years, and depicting the hardship and joy of child-raising, and children's independence from mother. The leading character, Hana is a university student in Tokyo. She meets a young man and falls in love with him, but he is a "wolfman" of the extinct Japanese Wolf blood. She gives birth to two kids, their daughter Yuki and her brother Ame, but the young man passed away suddenly. She goes to live in a small country town, and raises two "wolf children" by herself. Although there is a criticism that this film glorifies/idealizes "motherhood", if you can accept the purified fantasy world of this film, you can enjoy it, like Hosoda's others works, "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" and "Summer Wars". The original story and direction by Mamoru Hosoda. The screenplay by Satoko Okudera and Mamoru Hosoda. The character design by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. The planning and production by Studio Chizu. The production cooperation by Madhouse. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2012.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Island of Miracles -Animal Adventure-2012The 32nd Doraemon movie (99 minutes) and the seventh of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. An original story based on the short story of Fujio F. Fujiko's original manga "Doraemon", "Forever Moa and Dodo" (Tentomushi Comics Vol.17). An action adventure set in an lsland which extinct animals live. Nobita and Doraemon try to catch a big beetle in ancient New Zealand, but catch a Giant Moa by mistake. They take the Giant Moa to Belegamondo in the future, an island protecting extinct animals. That is a mystic island guarded by the force of a golden beetle called "Golden Hercules". In the island, Nobita and his friends meet Dakke, a boy who looks exactly like Nobita, and Colon, a girl of the Roccolo Clan, and have a good time, but an evil merchant Sharman and his gang attack the island for Golden Hercules. Gonsuke from "21-emon" appears as a guest character. This film has a sentimental direction as with the previous work. It lacks coherence and uniquity as a film because it seems like it just gathered elements such as extinct animals and the theme of parent-child bonding, following the patterns of the past Doraemon movies. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Kozo Kusuba. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.6 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2012.
Good!009 RE:CYBORG2012A 3DCG anime film (103 minutes) based on the Sci-Fi manga "Cyborg 009" (series started in 1964). An original story inspired by the original's unfinished arcs, "Angels Arc" and "The Battle of the Gods Arc". Set in the world in 2013. The nine cyborgs warriors, who had once saved the world from the crisis, had returned to their home countries. One of them, Joe Shimamura (009) had lived in Tokyo as a highschool boy, losing his memory of the past. Because serial bomb attacks on buildings occured around the world, Professor Gilmore calls out the cyborgs warriors, and they gather again. The theme of "gods within humans" is esoteric, and the story is hard to understand, but the innovative 3D images featuring characters, who look just like handdrawn 2D cell anime and move dynamically, are worth seeing. The screenplay and direction by Kenji Kamiyama ("Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" and "Eden of the East"). The animation produced by Production I.G and Sanzigen.
 A Letter to Momo2012A feature-length anime movie (120 minutes) directed by Hiroyuki Okiura and produced by Production I.G. A heartwarming fantasy drama depicting family love, set in a smal island in Seto Inland Sea, Japan. A sixth-grade elementary school girl Momo Miyaura had lost her father. She and her mother Ikuko Miyaura emigrate from Tokyo to Shio Island, a port town in Seto Inland Sea, where their relatives live. Momo is bewildered by the unaccustomed surrounding. One day she meets up with strange "watching team" of three Yokais (Japanese monsters or imps), Iwa, Kawa and Mame, and they settle down in the attic of her hause. The images featuring Okiura's realistic drawing style are worth seeing. Recommended to those who like Hayao Miyazaki's "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Spirited Away". "Shio Island" is a fictional island modeled on Osaki-Shimojima Island (Kure, Hiroshima Pref.). The original story, direction, screenplay and storyboards by Hiroyuki Okiura (director of "Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade", character designer and animation supervisor of "Ghost in the Shell" and "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence"). The character design by Hiroyuki Okiura and Masashi Ando (animation supervisor of "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away"). The animation supervisor is Masashi Ando. The animation produced by Production I.G. This film won the 16th New York International Children's Film Festival Grand Prize for Best Feature Film, and the 14th Future Film Festival (Italy) Platinum Grand Prize.
 Nerawareta Gakuen (Psychic School Wars)2012The animated film based on Taku Mayumura's Sci-Fi juvenile novel 'Nerawareta Gakuen' (Targeted School) (published in 1973). The original novel is a popular novel which has been made into TV dramas and live-action films many times, but this is the first time to be made into anime. This anime version has an original story, which is an adaptation set in present-day, and is also a sequel to the original novel. A boy at a junior high school in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Pref., Kenji Seki was attracted to Kahori Harukawa (a girl and the clerk of the student council), but his childhood girlfriend Natsuki Suzuura was secretly in love with him. Kahori became attracted to a new transfer boy student, Ryoichi Kyogoku, but since Kyogoku appeared, strange things started to happen in school. This film doesn't have much Sci-Fi/suspense element of the original novel, and it focuses young love romance drama straightforwardly. The cartoonish, vigorous movements of characters and bright, shiny images (like Makoto Shinkai's films) are impressive. Recommended to those who like pure love fantasy, such as Mamoru Hosoda's "Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo" (2006). Directed by Ryosuke Nakamura (director of "Moryo no Hako"). The animation produced by Sunrise (Studio No.8).
Good!Asura2012A CG anime film (75 minutes) based on the manga "Asura" (serialized in "Weekly Shonen Magazine" in 1970-1971) by George Akiyama. An excellent historical action movie on violence/survival, inheriting the fundamental theme from the original manga, "The sadness of human nature in extreme situations, in which we struggle to survive even if we kill someone and eat the flesh", and "Is the life worth living for us in the world in which mothers kill their children and eat them?". Set in Japan in the mid 15th-century. At that time, a series of floods, droughts and famines have transformed Kyoto into a wilderness, and Japan's greatest civil war "Onin War" has brought bring many deaths. A boy named Asura struggles to survive like a beast, but he gradually gains humanity through interaction with a Buddhist monk and a young girl Wakasa. The highlights are the innovative animation technique like a moving watercolor, featuring CG in the hand-drawn style by toon shading and hatching, and vigorous, powerful action scenes. Directed by Keiichi Sato (the director of "Karas" and "Tiger & Bunny"). The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Fuse: Teppou Musume no Torimonochou (Fuse: Memoirs of a Hunter Girl)2012A feature-length anime movie (110 minutes) based on Kazuki Sakuraba's novel "Fuse: Gansaku Satomi Hakkenden (Fuse: A Fake Satomi Hakkenden)" (published by Bungeishunju in 2010). The original is a romance based on Kyokutei Bakin's book "Nansou Satomi Hakkenden (The Eight Dog Chronicles)" (published in 1814-1842), with introducing metafictional structure and the image of replicant hunting of the movie "Blade Runner". This anime movie is an adaptation of the novel, featuring a hunter girl Hamaji Ooyama, one of the characters of the novel. Set in Edo, a fictional city of waterways. The government sets a great price on the heads of "Fuse", half-human and half-dog persons who eat human souls. A masterless samurai, Dousetsu Ooyama invites his younger sister Hamaji, who had worked as a hunter in the mountains, to Edo for Fuse hunting. Hamaji comes to Edo and meets Shino, a young man with white hair and a dog mask. An entertaining historical film including violent actions and orthodox love romance, and featuring a strange worldview with a mixture of old flavor of the edo period and modernism. Directed by Masayuki Miyaji (the director of "Xam'd: Lost Memories"). The screenplay by Ichiro Okouchi. The visual images by okama. The character designer and animation director is Seiichi Hashimoto. The animation produced by TMS Entertainment.
 The Life of Guskou Budori2012A fantasy film (108 minutes) based on Kenji Miyazawa's fairy tale "Guskou Budori no Denki/The Life of Guskou Budori" (1932). Made by the main staff of "Night on the Galactic Railroad" (1985). Guskou Budori had lived a happy life with his parents and younger sister Neri in the Ihatov Wood, but he lost his family for cold weather and famine. After working at a Tegusu (silkworm gut) factory and an Oryza (paddy) field, Budori starts to work as an engineer at the Volcano Department in the Ihatov City, but cold weather strikes Ihatov again. The main characters are depicted as anthropomorphic cats, just like "Night on the Galactic Railroad". The story and worldview of this film are based on not only "The Life of Guskou Budori", but also its prototype "The Life of Pennennennennen Nenem" (about 1922), and they are linked to the world of "Night on the Galactic Railroad", so this film is not a faithful film of the original, and it has more fantastic taste than the original. The direction and screenplay by Gisaburo Sugii (director of "Night on the Galactic Railroad" and "Arashi no Yoru ni (Stormy Night)"). The original character designed by Hiroshi Masumura (author of the original manga "Night on the Galactic Railroad"). The character design and animation direction by Marisuke Eguchi (character designer and animation director of "Night on the Galactic Railroad" and "Arashi no Yoru ni"). The animation produced by Tezuka Productions. This is the second animated movie adaptation of "The Life of Guskou Budori". The first anime film (directed by Ryutaro Nakamura, produced by Animal-ya) was released in 1994.
 After School Midnighters2012A 3D CG anime film (96 minutes). The first feature-length film directed by Hitoshi Takekiyo, a filmmaker based in Fukuoka. Based on his 2007 short film "After School Midnight". A slapstick action comedy/fantasy/attraction movie set in a school at midnight. Three naughty kindergarteners, Mako, Miko and Mutsuko observed St. Clare Elementary School, and found an anatomical model "Kunstlijk" in a science room. They dressed up him mischievously. Getting furious with them, Kunstlijk made a revenge plan named "after school midnight party", with the help of his partner, skeletal specimen "Goth". Directed by Hitoshi Takekiyo. The screenplay by Yoichi Komori (writer of the manga "Limit of Love: Umizaru" original story) and Hitoshi Takekiyo. The production by Amazonlaterna, KOO-KI and Mont Blanc Pictures. Released in five Asian regions (Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea) at the same time. Officially presented at 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
 Nijiiro Hotaru: Eien no Natsuyasumi (Rainbow-Colored Fireflies: Eternal Summer Vacation)2012A feature-length anime movie (105 minutes) based on the novel with the same title (serialized in a personal website in 2004-2005) by Masayuki Kawaguchi. A nostalgic fantasy featuring a boy who is in a time slip to a village deep in the mountains in the 1970s. A sixth-grade elementary school boy Yuuta had lost his father in a traffic accident. In summer vacation, he visits a dam deep in the mountains for insect collecting, which is a place of memories with his father. He slips into a village in 1977 (before the village sank to the dam), and there he experiences another summer vacation with friends, a girl Saeko and a boy Kenzo. An impressive film which is both a nostalgic fantasy and a bittersweet love story. The images in a handmade style, featuring thick lines like brush drawing, and without use of CGs, are distinctive. Directed by Konosuke Uda (The series director of the TV anime "One Piece". The director of "One Piece the Movie: The Dead End Adventure" and "One Piece the Movie: Karakuri-Jo no Mecha-Kyohei (The Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle)"). The character designer and animation supervisor is Hisashi Mori (The animation supervisor of "Digimon Adventure: Our War Game!"). The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Pokemon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice2012See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The second movie (70 minutes) of the TV series 'Pokemon Black & White' (the Japanese title is 'Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!', aired on TV since 2010), and the 15th of Pokemon movie. The original Japanese title is "Pocket Monsters Best Wishes! the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman Keldeo". During their train journey along the mountains to Roshan, Satoshi (Ash) and his friends meet up with Keldeo, a Pokemon training under the "Swords of Justice" (Cobalion, Terrakion and Virizion). To be a member of the Swords of Justice, Keldeo throws down the gauntlet against Kyurem, the world's strongest dragon Pokemon, but Keldeo is overwhelmed by Kyurem, and Kyurem freezes the Swords of Justice. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation produced by OLM. Co-featured with a short film "Meloetta's Moonlight Serenade". The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2012. Aired under the title "Pokemon the Movie: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice" on Cartoon Network in the United States in 2012.
 Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker2012See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The sixteenth movie (110 minutes) is a detective action film featuring soccer and J. League. Conan Edogawa confronts a serial bomber who plants bombs in stadiums for J. League soccer games, and warns a private detective Kogoro Mouri about the blasts by phone. Several J.League players, such as Kazuyoshi Miura (Yokohama F.C.) and Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), appeared as supporting characters with their real names, and they themselves did character voices. Directed by Kobun Shizuno. The supervising director is Taiichiro Yamamoto. The animation production by TMS/V1 Studio. The No.9 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2012.
 Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie2012See the paragraph about "Naruto" the first movie. The ninth movie (109 minutes) of the "Naruto" TV anime series (the sixth of the second season "Naruto: Shippuden" movies). A totally new film with the planning, story and character design by the original author Masashi Kishimoto himself. A nanja battle action film with the theme of bond of family. Shortly after Naruto's birth, Naruto's father Minato Namikaze had sealed the Nine-Tails (monster) in Naruto, and he and his wife Kushina Uzumaki saved the Konoha village in exchange for their lives. Over ten years after, a masked man hunting the Nine-Tails, Madara Uchiha sends Naruto and Sakura to another world. That is an imaginary world in which the people have opposite personalities, and Naruto's parents live. The highlights are its moving story about the experience of Naruto who grew up without family, and powerful battle secne between the two Nine-Tails. Directed by Hayato Date. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: The Storm Called!: Me and the Space Princess2012See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The twentieth movie (111 minutes) is an action comedy set in the solar system, about a row over Himawari (means "sunflower" in Japanese), Shinnosuke's younger sister, between the Nohara family and aliens. Shinnosuke has a fight with Himawari, because she ate his crème caramel. Suddenly, two mysterious men appear, and Shinnosuke signs an agreement to leave her with them. They abduct the Nohara family to the Planet Himawari by UFO. In the Planet Himawari, Sunday Goronesky the Great says Himawari need to be the princesss of the planet, in order to save the Earth and the Planet Himawari in the fateful crisis. In the first half, there are some musical scenes in which aliens sing. All the 17 heroines of the past 19 movies appear in the scene in which Shinnosuke has a dream inside the space gate. Directed by Souichi Masui. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Strike Witches: The Movie2012See the paragraphs about "Strike Witches" the TV series first season. A new movie edition (97 minutes) depicting Witches' new war set in the world two months after the end of the TV series second season. In 1945, Yoshika Miyafuji had lost her magical power, and she was studying to become a doctor in Fuso Empire. She goes to Europe to study medicine as a surgeon, being attended by Sergeant Shizuka Hattori, but at that time Neuroi's disturbing behaviors are seen across Europe. The military action and aerial battle scenes with a sense of speed are vigorous and worth seeing. The fans of the TV series will enjoy this. The character designed and directed by Kazuhiro Takamura. The animation produced by AIC. The letters "To Be Continued" after the closing credits indicates there will be a sequel.
 Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage: Friends of the Future2012A feature-length movie (70 minutes) released when the ninth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series, 'Smile PreCure!' was on air. An all-star film featuring a total of twenty-eight successive Precures, but unlike the DX trilogy, it features an impressive story centering around the characters of 'Smile PreCure!' and 'Suite PreCure', and this movie's original characters. The story is a sequel to 'Pretty Cure All-Stars DX'. Set in the city of Minato Mirai in Yokohama. A junior high girl Ayumi Sakagami, who is a transfer student without any friends, meets a mystery creature. She names him "Fu-chan" and gets friendly with him, but he is a fragment of the monster "Fusion" defeated by Precures, and he tries to swallow whatever Ayumi dislikes and to eliminate Yokohama city. The ending is a CG dance part featuring twenty-eight Precures dancing with the song 'Yay! Yay! Yay!' (the ending theme of 'Smile PreCure!'). Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Smile PreCure! the Movie: Big Mismatch in a Picture Book!2012A feature-length movie (70 minutes) of 'Smile PreCure', the ninth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. An original story set in the picture-book world. The five Precures (Miyuki Hoshizora/Cure Happy, Akane Hino/Cure Sunny, Yayoi Kise/Cure Peace, Nao Midorikawa/Cure March, and Reika Aoki/Cure Beauty) meet a mystery girl Nico in the "World's Great Picture-Book Exhibition". Nico invites the Precures into the picture-book world, but it is a confused world where various fairy-tale stories such as "Cinderella", "Issun-Boshi/The Inch-High Samurai", "Journey to the West", "Urashima Taro", and "Momotaro/Peach Boy" are all jumbled up. There is a CG dance part after the closing credits. Directed by Narumi Kuroda. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Beginning2012See the paragraph about the "Tiger & Bunny" TV series. The first movie version (93 minutes) is a film based on the first and second episodes of the TV series, with new shots and a new episode in between the second and third episodes. This film tells a atory when Kotetsu and Barnaby have only just started working as a duo. If you have never seen the TV series, you can watch this as an introduction to the world of "Tiger & Bunny", because it is based on the opening part of the TV series. The climax is the new episode in the latter part, in which heroes chase a Next named Robin Baxter, who steals "Statue of Justice" (a symbol of peace of the city) and escapes into an amusement park. There are also transformation scenes of all the heroes, which were not described in the TV series. Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani (director of "The King of Braves GaoGaiGar" and "Betterman". He drew the storyboard for the first episode of the TV series). Produced by Sunrise.
Good!One Piece Film: Z2012See the paragraph about "One Piece" the first movie. The twelfth movie (108 minutes) is an original story set in "The Final Sea: The New World Saga" of the original manga. An ex-naval admiral and the leader of the "Neo Marines", Z (Zephyr) steals "Dyna Stones" (a mineral with an energy like weapons) from the naval base. He plots to eliminate all the pirates by blasting the three "End Points" (magma reservoirs) with Dyna Stones. The navy, Neo Marines and Straw Hat Pirates (Monkey D. Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Sanji, Tony Tony Chopper, Nico Robin, Franky and Brook) are engaged in a three-cornered fight to the death on the New World sea. There are lots of high points of action scenes. Highly fulfilling as a battle action film. Z is an enemy role, but it seems he is the leading player for his manly and attractive character. The general producer is the original author Eiichiro Oda. Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine. The animation production by Toei Animation. The theme songs sung by Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2013.
Good!Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion2013See the paragraph about the Puella Magi Madoka Magica TV series. The third (116 minutes) of "Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie" trilogy. A totally new film created as a sequel to the previous two films, depicting Homura Akemi's struggle to recover Madoka Kaname's existence as a human being. Set in the world after Madoka Kaname rebuilt the universe by losing her own existence as a human being and changing herself into "the Law of Cycle", a god-like being who keeps on inhibiting the birth of witches. In the city of Mitakihara, five magical girls (Madoka Kaname, Sayaka Miki, Mami Tomoe, Kyoko Sakura and Homura Akemi) fight against monsters called "Nightmares" and have full days. Feeling strange about their fights, Homura starts to investigate with Kyoko, and then Homura finds that their memories are altered and Mitakihara is an isolated area (closed space) made by a witch. The highlights are the plot rebelling the end of the TV series as a story of self-sacrifice and religious relief, and beautiful, dark images designed/directed by Gekidan Inucurry. There are lots of spectacular scenes of each characters and battle actions too. The general director is Akiyuki Shinbo. The screenplay by Gen Urobuchi. Directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto. The animation produced by Shaft. There is also the manga version (illustrated by Hanokage) which recreated the content of this film.
 Patema Inverted2013A feature-length anime film (99 minutes) created by Yasuhiro Yoshiura of Studio Rikka, following his "Time of Eve" (2008-2010). A Sci-Fi fantasy adventure set in two worlds (above the ground and underground) with gravity directions opposite to each other. After a catastrophe (people fell to the sky) caused by the failure of the experiment to change gravity into energy, the people with inverted gravity are forced to live underground. Above the ground, dictator Izamura and his security police controll the Aiga Monarchy. A boy living in Aiga, Eiji meets a girl named Patema, who falls from the underground, and they start an adventure for the secret of underground and sky. The setting is like a 2012 Canadian-French romantic science fiction film "Upside Down". Not a hard science fiction, but a classical fantasy adventure with a boy-meets-girl story, like Hayao Miyazaki's works, such as "Future Boy Conan", "Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind" and "Laputa: The Castle in the Sky". The story ends with a surprise ending. The original story, screenplay and direction by Yasuhiro Yoshiura (director of "Pale Cocoon" and "Time of Eve"). The animation produced by Asmik Ace and Studio Rikka. There are the manga version (illustrated by toi8) and novel version (written by Manabu Wakui). The prologue (4 episodes) to this film, "Patema Inverted: Beginning of the Day" was distributed from GyaO! and Nico Nico Douga in 2012.
 The Wind Rises2013An animated feature film (126 minutes) produced by Studio Ghibli, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and based on his manga "Kaze Tachinu" (serialized in "Monthly Model Graphix" in 2009-2010). The story is about the half of life of Jiro Horikoshi (1903-1982), a Japanese aeronautical engineer known for his fighter designs of World War II, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, but it is an original story also including the episodes from Tatuo Hori's novel "Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Has Risen)". Jiro Horikoshi, who respects Italian aeronautical engineer Caproni, works in design of fighter with an ambition to create beautiful aircrafts. He meets up again with Naoko Satomi during his vacation in Karuizawa (Nagano Pref.), who is a girl he met when Great Kanto earthquake occured (1923), and he finds she is under medical treatment for tuberculosis. A love romance film for adults. This film has a story including historical facts in prewar Japan, but it didn't depict war realistically. It was created by making Miyazaki's personal daydream and fondness for fighters into an aesthetic love story and fantasy romance, so there are also criticisms for its narcissism and romanticism. An animation director Hideaki Anno (known for his "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and others) acted the voice of the leading characer Jiro Horikoshi. Singer-songwriter Yumi Arai's song "Hikoki-gumo (Contrail)" is used as the theme song. The original story, screenplay and direction by Hayao Miyazaki. The animation director is Kitaro Kosaka. The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2013.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Secret Gadget Museum2013The 33rd Doraemon movie (104 minutes) and the eighth of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. An original story based on the plan by the collaboration between Fujiko Production and Shintaro Mugiwara (the author of the manga edition). A story set in the "Secret Gadget Museum" in the future world (the 22nd century), including the detective elements which come from Arthur Conan Doyle's detective novel "Sherlock Holmes" series. It has action/adventure elements, but it is comedy-oriented, and it has no evil character. A unique film out of the format of traditional Doraemon movies. A mystery man, DX the phantom thief steals a cat bell from Doraemon. Using "Sherlock Holmes Set", Nobita finds that there is a clue in the future "Secret Gadget Museum". Doraemon and his friends visit the museum, and Kurt Hartman, a boy who is a guide and a trainee gadget maker, gives them a tour of the "Secret Gadget Museum". Then, DX appears, and he steals secret gadgets from the museum one after another. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Yukiyo Teramoto. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2013.
 The Tale of the Princess Kaguya2013An animated feature film (137 minutes) Isao Takahata directed for the first time in 14 years since "My Neighbors the Yamadas" (1999). A fantasy based on "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter", considered as the oldest Japanese narrative in prose (made in 9th or 10th century). The storyline is basically faithful to the original, but it is an adaptation with its own interpretations (women's independence and preciousness of life on earth) from a contemporary view and original characters. The story is about a girl named Princess Kaguya, who was found within a radiant bamboo by a bamboo-cutter old man, and raised by him and his wife. She grows into a beautiful woman, rejects five suitors, and goes back to the moon on the night with a full moon. The highlights are its images in a hand-drawn style, like "moving tableau", with lines like sketch and pale colors like watercolor painting, making use of animator Osamu Tanabe's style totally. The original plan and direction by Isao Takahata. The screenplay by Isao Takahata and Riko Sakaguchi. The character design and animation direction by Osamu Tanabe (storyboards and animation direction of "My Neighbors the Yamadas"). Produced by Studio Ghibli. There is the novelized version by Riko Sakaguchi.
 Detective Conan: Private Eye in the Distant Sea2013See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The seventeenth movie (110 minutes) is a spy mystery set in an Aegis ship of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Created through full coordination with Ministry of Defense and the Maritime SDF. Conan Edogawa and his friends take an orientation cruise on an Aegis warship "Hotaka" at Maizuru port, Kyoto Prefecture. During the voyage, an unidentified object comes close to the ship, and self-defense official's left arm is found inside the ship. Discovering that a certain country's spy called "X" penetrates inside the ship, Conan, the cops, and self-defense officials confront the spy conspiracy. There is Ran Mouri's action scene in the middle. Directed by Kobun Shizuno. The screenplay by Takeharu Sakurai (screenplay of live-action TV dramas "Aibo" and "Ataru"). The animation production by TMS/V1 Studio. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2013.
 Pokemon the Movie: Genesect and the Legend Awakened2013See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The third and last movie (72 minutes) of the TV series 'Pokemon Black & White' (the Japanese title is 'Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes!', aired on TV in 2010-2013), and the 16th of Pokemon movie. Satoshi (Ash) and his friends visit Pokemon Hills, the latest residential facilities for Pokemons in New Tork City, and meet up with Pokemons called Genesect, who had died out 300 million years ago, but restored from their fossils and mechanically re-created by humans. Mewtwo, who is an artificially-produced Pokemon like Genesect, tries to save Genesect, but The Genesect Army attacks everything around them, regarding as their enemies, and Mewtwo is forced to fight against them. Mewtwo of this film is another individual different from one of "Pokemon the First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back" (1998). More simple and child-oriented than "Mewtwo Strikes Back". The images by using computer graphics and effects are splendid. The highlights are battle action scenes between Mewtwo and Genesect. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation produced by OLM. The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2013. Aired on Cartoon Network in the United States in 2013. A special short anime produced as a prologue to this film, "Mewtwo: Prologue to Awaking" was aired on TV in Japan before the release of the film. Co-featured with a short film "Pikachu and Eevee Friends".
 Little Witch Academia2013One of four 25-minute short anime films produced in "Animemirai2013", the project for developing young animators by Agency for Cultural Affairs (a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education). The theatrical debut work by Trigger and Yoh Yoshinari's directorial debut. A fantasy set in a magical academy. Though Atsuko Kagari (Akko) is from an ordinary family in Japan, and not from a long line of witches, she adores witch Shiny Chariot since she saw Chariot's show in her childhood, and she enters the Luna Nova Magical Academy, an European prestigious school for developing witches. Akko can't fly on a broomstick well, and her classmate and an honour student Diana Cavendish looks down on Akko, but in a training class in an underground labyrinth, Akko struggles against the assignment of treasure hunting, with her roommates and close friends, Lotte Yanson and Sucy Manbavaran. An entertaining film featuring vivid character motions and dynamic actions. Directed by Yoh Yoshinari (mechanical animation director and key animator of "Neon Genesis Evangelion", mecha designer and key animator of "Gurren Lagann", concept art of "Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt"). The animation produced by Trigger. There are also the sequel movie "Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade" (2015) and manga versions.
 Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day The Movie2013See the paragraph about Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day TV series. The movie (99 minutes) is basically an omnibus, but it is created by reconstructing important scenes of the TV series with adding new parts (past episodes not depicted in the TV series, and a sequel to the TV series), and decomposing its time series. Subtitled "Menma e no Tegami (A Letter to Menma)". One year after the summer day when Meiko (Menma) rested in peace, the five members of "The Super Peace Busters" organize "Otakiage" (a Japanese rite to burn mementos for departed souls) to burn letters from Menma and their letters to Menma, and it brings back memories with Menma for them. A film for the fans of the TV series to look back on its story and to be impressed again by it. It is hard to empathize with it for those who have never seen the TV series. The original story by the Super Peace Busters (Tatsuyuki Nagai, Mari Okada and Masayoshi Tanaka). Directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai. The screenplay by Mari Okada. The character designer and animation director is Masayoshi Tanaka. The animation produced by A-1 Pictures.
 Steins;Gate the Movie: Fuka Ryoiki no Déjà vu2013See the paragraph about the Steins;Gate TV series. The movie (89 minutes) is a totally new work about an incident following the story of the TV series (true ending) and the 25th episode (special). Through lots of altering histories and transfers between the world lines, Rintaro Okabe reached the Steins;Gate world line, in which Mayuri Shiina and Kurisu Makise can avoid death. Okabe has spent happy days with the Labo members, but in return for it, he is moved to another world. In the world without the existence of Okabe and memories about him, Kurisu is faced with a decision to regain "something missing". An extra episode depicted from the perspective of the main heroine Kurisu Makise. The script as a single movie is weak, but the TV series fans can immerse themselves in the world of "Steins;Gate" as a love story. The original story by Chiyomaru Shikura, MAGES. and Nitroplus. The general directors are Takuya Sato and Hiroshi Hamasaki. Directed by Kanji Wakabayashi. The animation produced by White Fox.
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie: Overlooking View 3D2013See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. The stereoscopic 3D conversion (49 minutes) of the 2D anime film "Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View" (2007). Created by Ufotable in association with IMAGICA. It has an atmosphere in its own way for its depth feel in the background, but the characters are flat, because it is a 3D conversion of the 2D anime including hand drawings, so it lacks stereoscopic effects as a 3D film. It depends on taste to determine whether to watch the 2D or 3D edition. The 3D project directors are Hikaru Kondo (anime producer and the president of Ufotable) Yuuichi Terao (cinematographer of Ufotable). The animation produced by Ufotable. Screened with the short film "Fate/Zero Cafe".
 Kara no Kyoukai the Movie: Future Gospel2013See the paragraph about Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 1: Overlooking View. An anime film (88 minutes) based on the novel part of "Kara no Kyoukai: Future Gospel" (published in 2008), a collection of side stories (consists of two novel episodes and three manga episodes) of "Kara no Kyoukai", the romantic novel/light novel series written by Kinoko Nasu. This film is about episodes in 1998, between Chapter 3 and 1 in chronological order, and it has also includes scenes before and since that (1996 and 2010). In August 1998, Shiki Ryougi, a girl who possesses the "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception", becomes a target of Meruka Kuramitsu, a serial bomber who has an ability to watch future. At the time, Mikiya Kokuto meets up face to face with Shizune Seo, a student of Reien Girl's Academy, who also has an ability to watch future. There is not much high point of action and it lacks coherence as a single film, but if you have already seen all the seven chapters, you can enjoy it as a side story. Directed by Tomonori Sudo. The animation produced by Ufotable. The cofeature "Kara no Kyoukai the Movie: Future Gospel extra chorus" (32 minutes) is a short film based on the manga part of "Future Gospel".
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Very Tasty! B-class Gourmet Survival!!2013See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The twenty-first movie (95 minutes) is a kid-friendly comical adventure story starring Kasukabe Defense Forces and dealing with "food" as theme. Kasukabe Defense Forces (Shinnosuke and his mates: Kazama-kun, Nene-chan, Masao-kun and Bo-chan) decide to attend "B-class Gourmet Carnival", a big event in Kasukabe, without their parents, to eat very tasty sauce yakisoba (Japanese fried noodles) cooked by "Sauce's Ken". On the way, a mystery woman asks them to bring a legendary sauce to Sauce's Ken. They head to the event site with the sauce, but they wander off into a mountain, and "A-class Gourmet Organization", an organization plotting to eliminate B-class gourmet, seeks to take the sauce away from them. There is a sequence Masaaki Yuasa did the key animation for the first time in six years. Directed by Masakazu Hashimoto. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation.
 Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage 2: Friends of the Heart2013A feature-length movie (71 minutes) released when the tenth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series, 'Dokidoki! PreCure' was on air. An all-star film featuring a total of thirty-two successive Precures, though the story focuses on guest characters (fairies) and the characters of "Smile PreCure!" and "Dokidoki! PreCure", and about half of all Precures just appears as a crowd without lines. Set in a fairy school in another world. En'en is a soppy fairy without friends, but he gets into line with a naughty fairy Gureru, because only Gureru speaks to him. Gureru finds "a shadow crystal" which reflects the shadow of mind, and Gureru's shadow comes out from the crystal. The shadow lures Precures with a "Precure party" invitation, and steals their items for transformation from them. The ending is a CG dance part featuring thirty-two Precures dancing with the song "Kono Sora no Mukou (Beyond This Sky)" (the ending theme of "Dokidoki! PreCure"). Directed by Kouji Ogawa. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods2013See the paragraph about the "Dragon Ball Z" TV series. A "Dragon Ball Z" movie (85 minutes) produced for the first time in 18 years since the previous "Dragon Ball Z the Movie: Wrath of the Dragon" (1995). An original story set in Age 778, after the end of "Majin Buu Saga", between chapters 517 and 518 of the original manga. The original creator Akira Toriyama deeply involved the production of the anime from the stage of writing script for the first time. A few years after the battle against Majin Buu, the God of Destruction "Birus" wakes up after his long slumber. Looking for the legendary warrior "Super Saiyan God", Birus and his attendant Uis visit the Planet Kaio, where Son Goku is in training. Goku challenges Birus to fight, but he is overwhelmed and defeated by Birus. Birus visits the earth, and breaks into Bulma's birthday party. The earth gets into a crisis of destruction. The highlights are action scenes featuring CGs, but this film values comical and delightful atmosphere of the original more than battle. The original work, story and character design by Akira Toriyama. Directed by Masahiro Hosoda (directed the episodes of "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters" and "Digimon Fusion"). The animation director is Tadayoshi Yamamuro (chief animator of "Dragon Ball Z" and "Digimon Frontier"). The animation produced by Toei Animation. The No.9 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2013.
 Short Peace2013An anthology of four short anime films (68 minutes in total) directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and other creators under the common theme of "Japan". The opening animation is directed by Koji Morimoto. "Tsukumo/Possessions" (screenplay and direction by Shuhei Morita) is a fantasy set in the 18th century, in which a man finds a small shrine in the mountains, and there he meets supernatural beings born of used articles (discarded umbrellas and old clothes). "Hinoyoujin/Combustible" (screenplay and direction by Katsuhiro Otomo) is a tragic love story set in the city of Edo in the 17th century, in which a daughter of a merchant family causes a big fire because of her impossible love for her childhood friend who became s firefighter. "Gambo" (directed by Hiroaki Ando) is a violent action set in Tohoku (Northeastern) region in the late 16th century, in which a white bear fights against an ogre-like monster. "Buki yo Saraba/Farewell to Weapons" (screenplay and direction by Hajime Katoki), a film based on Katsuhiro Otomo's short manga, is a military action set in near-future Tokyo, a ruined city in the desert, in which a platoon of five men in protection suits encounter a tank-type unmanned weapon. The gorgeous and spectacular images by 3-D CGs and hand-drawn 2-D animation are worth seeing. "Combustible" and "Possessions" are individually released as short films in Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Recommended to those who like omnibus animes such as "Memories" (1995) and art animations. Bandai Namco Games' "Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day" (2014) is a side-scrolling action game (for PlayStation 3) created as one of this project.
 Shashinkan (The Portrait Studio)2013A short animation (17 minutes) directed by Takashi Nakamura and produced by StudioColorido. A nostalgic film depicting the interaction between a woman and a portrait studio keeper with changing times, through the prewar and postwar eras (Meiji/Taisho/Showa Periods in Japan). In the prewar period, a married couple visits a portrait studio on the hill. Though the woman lowers her eyes with a shy look, the studio keeper takes a picture of her smile. After some time, they visit the studio again with their beloved daughter with a sulky face. A short, but impressive film filled with deep emotional feelings. The images are created in the picture-book style, including caricatured character designs and rough drawings. There is no lines and there the sound consists of only music (Schubert's piano sonatas) and faint effects. The Direction, screenplay and key animation by Takashi Nakamura ("Akira" animation director. The direcor of "A Tree of Palme" and "Fantastic Children"). The animation produced by StudioColorido. Screened with the short animation "Hinata no Aoshigure (Summer Leaf Drop in the Sun)".
 Hinata no Aoshigure (Summer Leaf Drop in the Sun)2013A short animation (18 minutes) directed by Hiroyasu Ishida, known for his independent short animation "Fumiko's Confession" (2009). Ishida's theatrical debut work. A film about adolescent boy's passion for his first love, being mixed with his delusional dreams. A shy elementary school boy at forth grade, Hinata loves Shigure, a popular girl in his class, but he couldn't talk to her, and had spent his days daydreaming about her. Then, he comes to contact with her, but she is suddenly forced to transfer to another school. The highlight is the action sequence in which the leading character streaks through the sky above Tokyo. The direction and screenplay by Hiroyasu Ishida. Produced by StudioColorido. The Japanese rock band, Spitz's song "Fushigi (Mystery)" is used in this film. Screened with the short animation "Shashinkan (The Portrait Studio)".
 Star Driver the Movie2013See the paragraph about the Star Driver TV series. The movie (150 minutes) is an omnibus summarizing the TV series, with new parts (less than 10 minutes in all) in the beginning and ending. The omnibus part is produced by re-editing and rebuilding the episodes of the TV series with new bridge shots, and it focuses the drama of three central characters, Takuto Tsunashi, Wako Agemaki and Sugata Shindo, and four Shrine Maidens. The new parts depict events after the story of the TV series. In the opening scene, Takuto manipulates Tauburn and fights against Cybodies in Shinjuku, Tokyo (without backgrounder). Basically a film for fans of the TV series. It is hard to grasp for those who have never seen the TV series, but if he watches it as a simple hero robot action and drama of a teen group, he may be able to enjoy it. Directed by Takuya Igarashi. The screenplay by Yoji Enokido. The character design and animation direction by Yoshiyuki Ito. The animation produced by Bones.
 The Garden of Words2013A medium long anime movie (46 minutes) directed by Makoto Shinkai. A subtle love romance story in Tokyo today. A high school boy who wants to be a shoemaker, Takao Akizuki skips morning lessons and makes a sketch plan of shoes in a Japanese garden on every rainy day. One day he meets up with an older and mysterious woman Yukari Yukino there. Yukino doesn't speak about herself, but since then they come to have a secret meeting only on rainy days. The photographic images of landscapes like live-action films are beautiful and worth seeing. The expressions of rain and water are especially careful and sensitive. The Japanese garden in this film is modeled on Shinjuku Gyoen in Shinjuku and Shibuya, Tokyo. The two poems from Man'yoshu (collection of ancient Japanese poetry), #2513 and #2514 of volume 11 are quoted in this film. The song "Rain" (sung by Motohiro Hata) in the last sequence is a cover of Senri Oe's song. The original story, screenplay and direction by Makoto Shinkai. The animation direction and character design by Ken'ichi Tsuchiya. Produced by CoMix Wave Films. There are the manga version (illustrated by Midori Motohashi) and novel version by Makoto Shinkai.
 Hal2013A medium long anime movie (60 minutes) and the first theatrical film created by Wit Studio, demerged from Production I.G Section 6 as a subsidiary of IG Port. A romantic science fiction film depicting a miraculous love story between a human being and a robot, set in near-future Kyoto. A woman living in Kyoto, Kurumi loses her lover Hal in an airplane accident. She also loses her will to live and withdraws into the closet. The care center gives an appearance just like Hal to a humanoid robot "Q01" and sends it to Kurumi as "Robo-Hal" to provide emotional support to her. Gradually, Robo-Hal begins to understand about human beings, and Kurumi begins opening up to Robo-Hal. There is a surprise ending in the last part of the story. The highlights are its beautiful and splendid images featuring characters in shojo manga (girls' graphic novel) style and background art with sensitive computer graphics technology, and depiction of ancient Kyoto with old-world flavor. Directed by Ryotaro Makihara (storyboards and direction of each episode of "The Tatami Galaxy" and "Guilty Crown"). Screenplay by Izumi Kizara (screenplay of TV drama "Suika" and "Nobuta wo Produce"). The original character design by shojo manga artist Io Sakisaka ("Strobe Edge" and "Blue Spring Ride"). The animation produced by Wit Studio. There are the manga version (illustrated by Umi Ayase) and novel version (written by Izumi Kizara).
 Majocco Shimai no Yoyo to Nene (Magical Sisters Yoyo & Nene)2013A feature-length anime film (100 minutes) with the original story set in the modern world, based on the characters and worldview of Hirarin's manga "Noroiya Shimai (Curser Sisters)" (serialized in "Monthly Comic Ryu" in 2006-2008). A fantasy film about the adventure of a magical girl. A pair of sisters, Yoyo and Nene live in "The Magic Land" and work as "Cursers", who invoke and lift curses. One day Yoyo wanders into another world (contemporary Japan), and she meets Takahiro, a boy whose parents are turned into monsters by a mystery magical power. Takahiro asks Yoyo to recover his parents, and Yoyo and Takahiro start a strange adventure. The images (hand drawings and CGs) are exquisite and beautiful, and the characters are pretty and charming, but the settings and story are hard to understand at first sight. The screen size is CinemaScope. Directed by Takayuki Hirao (the director of "Kara no Kyoukai the Movie Chapter 5: Paradox Spiral"). The animation produced by Ufotable.
 Dokidoki! PreCure the Movie: Mana's Getting Married!!? The Dress of Hope Tied to the Future2013A feature-length movie (71 minutes) of 'Dokidoki! PreCure', the tenth season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. A story on the subject of "love handed down from past to future", depicting Precures passing between the past, present, and future. Mana Aida (Cure Heart) receives the wedding dress that her gramma and her mom have worn, and imagines wearing it someday. Then a mystery guy Matthew appears and sends Precures to the past. Mana is happy to meet her gramma and her dog Mallo again, who both had died, but Precures are gripped by their childhood nostalgia, and they are confined in their memories. The highlights are the action scene with CG characters. The ending is a CG dance part featuring Precures dancing with the song "Love Link" (the second ending theme of "Dokidoki! PreCure"). Directed by Naoyuki Ito. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie2013See the paragraph about the TV special "Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan". A theatrical anime film (107 minutes) created as a sequel to the TV special. In contrast to the TV special, this film is set in Japan, and it has a setting in which the main characters of "Lupin III" make guest appearances in the world of "Detective Conan". A mystery man named Allen Smithy takes Fujiko Mine as a hostage, and makes Lupin steal a jewel "Cherry Sapphire" from a bank in Beika City. Concurrently with it, an Italian singer Emilio Baretti comes to Japan to perform live. Conan finds that the promoter of Emilio's Japan live, Luciano Carnevale tries to make a black market deal over Cherry Sapphire with Allen Smithy, and Lupin and his gang are involved in it. There are lots of high points of action scenes, but the storyline lacks coherence and is discursive. if you haven't seen the TV special, it's hard to understand the background, because this is a sequel to the TV special. The original works by Monkey Punch and Gosho Aoyama. Directed by Hajime Kamegaki. The animation produced by TMS and Double Eagle. The No.6 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2014.
Good!Expelled from Paradise2014An entirely 3DCG-generated original anime film (104 minutes) created by the collaboration between Toei Animation and Nitroplus. A Sci-Fi action adventure set in the future world where most of humanity abandon the ground and live in the cyberworld as data. In AD 2400, the cyberworld DEVA is under a mysterious hacking attack from the ground. A DEVA investigator Angela Balzac wears her material body, and goes down to the ground with her exoskeletal powered suit "Arhan". This film lacks novelty, for it resembles the 1980s cyberpunk novels and Japanese Sci-Fi OVA (beautiful girl characters and mecha action), but can be enjoyed as an entertaining film featuring straight and classical worldview and storyline. The highlights are its dynamic images including 3DCG characters in the handdrawn 2D cell anime style, and mecha battle action sequence in the last part. The original story by Nitroplus and Toei Animation. The screenplay by Gen Urobuchi (Nitroplus. "Puella Magi Madoka Magica" series composition and screenplay). Directed by Seiji Mizushima (director of "Fullmetal Alchemist" and "Mobile Suit Gundam 00"). The animation produced by Graphinica.
 Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction2014See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The first movie (78 minutes) of the TV series "Pokémon: XY" (the Japanese title is "Pocket Monster: XY", aired on TV in 2013-), and the 17th of Pokemon movie. A film aimed at girls at an early age, featuring a lovely fairy-type Pokemon Diancie. The Jewel Pokemons live in the Ore Country of Diamond in deep underground. A big "Holly Diamond" maintains the country as the energy source, but the life of the diamond is dying. To gain the power to create "Holly Diamond" and to save her country, the princess Diancie embarks on a journey with Satoshi (Ash) and his friends in serch of the "Life Pokemon" Xerneas, but gangs of thieves and the sleeping cocoon of "Pokemon of Destruction" Yveltal stand in their way. The setting of this film is modeled on Canada (Ottawa, the Rideau Canal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and others). Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation produced by OLM (Team Kamei). The No.10 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2014. Aired on Cartoon Network in the United States in 2014. Co-featured with a short film "Pikachu, What's This Key For?".
 When Marnie Was There2014A feature-length animated movie (103 minutes) based on the young adult novel "When Marnie Was There" (1967) by Joan G. Robinson, an English author, and produced by Studio Ghibli. An adaptation set in the present day Hokkaido, Japan. A fantasy drama on an exchange between a lonely girl Anna and a mysterious girl Marnie. Anna Sasaki is a 12-year-old (seventh grade) girl with a closed heart, who lives in Sapporo with non-biological parents. She stays with relatives of her foster mother in a village on the sea during summer vacation for medical treatment for asthma. In the village, she finds a mysterious girl Marnie in a deserted house in marshes, and they are linked in a secret friendship. A film with a sober atmosphere and a flavor like World Masterpiece Theater series, such as "Anne of Green Gables". The setting of this film is modeled on wetlands in Hokkaido, such as Kushiro, Nemuro and Akkeshi. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (director of "The Borrower Arrietty"). The animation direction by Masashi Ando (animation director of "Spirited Away"). The screenplay by Keiko Niwa, Masashi Ando and Hiromasa Yonebayashi. The theme song by Priscilla Ahn, an American singer-songwriter. An arrangement of Tárrega's "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" is used as an inserted song. The No.9 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2014.
 Detective Conan: Dimensional Sniper2014See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The eighteenth movie (110 minutes) is a mystery action about a series of sniper shooting. A murder case by an untra-long-range rifle shot occurrs at the 635-metre tall Thoto Bell Tree Tower. Conan Edogawa, Masumi Sera (high-school girl detective), Japanese police, and FBI begin an investigation of the case, and they find ex-snipers of "Navy SEALs" (the U.S. Navy's special operations force) involved in the case. A spectacle film with lots of dangerous action sequences. Directed by Kobun Shizuno. The animation production by TMS/V1 Studio. The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2014.
 Doraemon: New Nobita's Great Demon -Peko and the Exploration Party of Five-2014The 34th Doraemon movie (109 minutes) and the ninth of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. A remake of the 1982 movie "Doraemon: Nobita and the Haunts of Evil". It has the settings and storyline basically true to the original, and it has no major alterations or additional characters. The character designs and background art are created in the same style as the TV series. In search of a mystery big stone god, Nobita and his friends explore the jungle of central Africa, with Peko, a stray dog, and they find an kingdom of dogs, who had independently evolved and developed science. The kingdom is dominated by an evil minister Daburanda, who plots to conquer the world. To restore the kingdom, Nobita and his friends fight a battle against Daburanda. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Shinnosuke Yakuwa. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.8 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2014.
 Stand by Me Doraemon2014A 3D CG anime film (95 minutes) based on the manga "Doraemon" (serialized in Shogakukan's learning magazines and others in 1969-1996) by Fujio F. Fujiko. The second 3D CG film produced by Shirogumi, following "Friends: Mononoke Jima no Naki (Friends: Naki of Monster Island)" (2011). The plot is like an omnibus, piecing together seven memorable short stories of the original manga (the first episode "All the Way from the Future Land", "Shizu-chan in the Egg", "Goodbye Shizu-chan", "A Romance in the Snow Mountain", "Nobita's the Night Before a Wedding", "Goodbye Doraemon", and "Doraemon Returns"), which are about the meeting and parting between Nobita and Doraemon, and the love story between Nobita and Shizuka. The character figures and direction are completely out of touch with the original manga, but a good stereoscopic 3D film created by a wide range of techniques, such as synthesis of CGs and live-action miniature images, subsurface scattering, and global illumination. The two flight scenes of Nobita with Take-copter (Hopter), set in the present day (the mid-1970s) and the future (the 22nd century), are stereoscopic and worth seeing. Directed by Ryuichi Yagi and Takashi Yamazaki. Produced by Shirogumi, Robot and Shin-Ei Animation. Released in both 2D and 3D. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2014.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Serious Battle! Robot Dad Strikes Back2014See the paragraph about the Crayon Shin-chan the first movie. The twenty-second movie (97 minutes) is an action adventure focusing Shinnosuke's father Hiroshi Nohara, and dealing with the bond between father and his family in modern times. An excellent entertainment film including foolish and touching elements, can be enjoyed by both adults and children. Hiroshi does a free trial of a beauty salon, but he comes home with his body remodeled into a robot. Thats is a conspiracy by "Chichi Yure Doumei (The Association of Fathers)", an organization plotting to restore fatherliness. Chichi Yure Doumei manipulates robotized Hiroshi into starting "The Father Revolution", and Kasukabe is about to collapse, but Hiroshi battles against the conspiracy to save his family. Directed by Wataru Takahashi. The screenplay by Kazuki Nakashima (the series composition of "Gurren Lagann"). Masaaki Yuasa participated in storyboards and animation (the battle of giant Hiroshi robot). Produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Ajia-do). The No.16 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2014.
 Giovanni's Island2014An animated feature film (102 minutes) created by Production I.G. A historical drama based on the singular fact that Japanese and Russians had lived together in Kuril Islands (Iturup Island, Kunashir Island, Shikotan Island and Habomai Islands) during about three years just after the end of WWII. The storyline is modeled on an ex-Shikotan resident Hiroshi Tokuno's real experience. In 1945, Seno Brothers, Junpei (10 years old) and Kanta (7 years old) lived with their father (leader of the islands' guards) and grandfather (fisher) on Shikotan Island. After Japan's defeat in the war, the Soviet military occupies the island, and the island people are deprived of their houses, but their children interact with the children of Soviet military personnel, and Junpei has a little crush on a Russian girl Tanya. After that, Junpei's father is sent to a camp in Siberia, and island people including Junpei's family are transferred to camps in Sakhalin by ship for repatriation. A story depicting family and brother's drama in a harsh condition from children's point of view. This is also an aesthetic fantasy film featuring Kenji Miyazawa's fairy story "Night on the Galactic Railroad" (favorite of Seno family) as a motif. There are several fantastical scenes with galactic railroad. The planning and production by Japan Association of Music Enterprises (JAME). The original story by Shigemichi Sugita (director of TV drama "Kita no Kunikara" series). Screenplay by Shigemichi Sugita and Yoshiki Sakurai ("Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" screenplay). The character design and animation direction by Nobutake Ito (character designer and chief animation director of "The Tatami Galaxy"). Directed by Mizuho Nishikubo (director of "Video Girl Ai" and "Atagoal: Cat's Magical Forest"). The animation produced by Production I.G. There is also the novel version by Shigemichi Sugita.
 Tiger & Bunny the Movie: The Rising2014See the paragraph about the "Tiger & Bunny" TV series. The second movie (100 minutes) is an entirely new film about the story after the TV series. After the Maverick case, Kotetsu and Barnaby work to solve cases as heroes of the secondary league. The the owner of Apollon Media, Mark Schneider reinstates Barnaby as a hero of the premier league, and makes Barnaby form a duo with a new hero Golden Ryan (Ryan Goldsmith). Kotetsu is fired by Schneider, and he becomes a taxi driver. Then, in Sternbild, there is a series of strange cases suggestive of retributions from the legendary goddess. This film centers on action rather than drama. Each hero has his big scene in action sequence, and the highlight is the group battle action of the latter part in which all work together to combat the enemy. Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani. Produced by Sunrise.
 Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary2014See the paragraph about the "Saint Seiya" TV series. The sixth movie (93 minutes) and an entirely CG-generated anime film based on "Sanctuary Zodiac Chapter (Gold Saint Chapter)", the most popular one in the original manga and TV anime. A 16-year-old girl with a mystic power, Saori Kido finds she is the incarnation of Athena, the goddess of war. But the pope, the ruler of the Sanctuary (the head temple of Saints) calls Saori "a rebel pretending to be Athena" and tries to kill her. To save Saori, the warriors to guard the goddess Athena, five Bronze Saints (Seiya and his peers) go to the Sanctuary, and fight against the strongest Gold Saints. The images blending manga/anime-like expressions into motion capture-based photorealistic CGs are unique. Though its character and story are quite different to the original manga, can be watched as a fantasy action film including the element of hot-blooded battle of the orginal. The original author and executive producer is Masami Kurumada. Directed by Keiichi Sato (director of "Karas" and "Tiger & Bunny"). Produced by Toei Animation.
 Lupin the IIIrd: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone2014A film (two parts. 51 minutes) created as the second of the spin-off "Lupin the Third" series, which respects Monkey Punch's original manga and backs to the basics, following the previous TV series "Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine". Set in Europe in the Cold War era, in around the late 1960s and early 1970s, this film features a solitary gunman Daisuke Jigen and depicts a new episode in which he and Lupin became partners. Lupin and Jigen infiltrate East Doroa to capture the secret treasure "Little Comet". They steal "Little Comet", but they are shot by a sniper. They find a hit-man Yael Okuzaki tries to kill Jigen. Like the previous "Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine", a film for adult viewers who like the original manga and the first TV series, featuring stylish images and hard-boiled violence action. Direction, character/mecha designs, animation direction by Takeshi Koike (character designer and animation director of "Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine"). The animation produced by Telecom Animation Film.
 Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage 3: Eternal Friends2014A feature-length movie (71 minutes) released when the eleventh season of the TV anime "Pretty Cure/PreCure" series, "HappinessCharge PreCure!" was on air. A film for the 10th anniversary of "PreCure" series, and the last of "New Stage" series. An all-star film featuring a total of thirty-six successive Precures, including Megumi Aino/Cure Lovely, Hime Shirayuki/Cure Princess and Yuko Omori/Cure Honey of "HappinessCharge PreCure!", and also featuring Ayumi Sakagami/Cure Echo, the central character of "New Stage", and fairies Gureru and En'en who appeared in "New Stage 2". Looking for new Precures Megumi and Hime, Gureru and En'en go to Mana and other "Dokidoki! PreCure" members. Then, there is an incident that children are trapped within the dream world and keep on sleeping. Megumi also sleeps deeply and doesn't wake up. Hime, Mana and her friends go into the dream world. There are a dream fairy (Baku, a creature who devour dreams) Yumeta (ex-student of Fairy School and a friend of Gureru and En'en) and his mother there, and Yumeta's mother throws Precures out of the dream world. The group battle action scenes are worth seeing. The ending is a CG dance part featuring thirty-five Precures dancing with the song "PreCure Memory" (the ending theme of "HappinessCharge PreCure!"). Directed by Kouji Ogawa. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 HappinessCharge PreCure! the Movie: The Ballerina of the Land of Dolls2014A feature-length movie (71 minutes) of "HappinessCharge PreCure!", the eleventh season of the TV anime 'Pretty Cure/PreCure' series. This film deals with serious subjects such as the problem of egoism to pursue happiness and courage to stand up against harsh reality. When Megumi Aino (Cure Lovely) and her friends put on a puppet play at daycare, a ballerina doll named Tsumugi gets talking and says "pleased save our kingdom". Tsumugi takes them to the Doll Kngdom where pretty dolls live, but a mystery man Black Fang attacks the kingdom with black threads, and captures Tsumugi. The four Precures (Megumi, Hime Shirayuki/Cure Princess, Yuko Omori/Cure Honey and Iona Hikawa/Cure Fortune) find a sad secret behind the kingdom, and battle against Black Fang to save Tsumugi. The drawing and direction are elaborate. An unofficial mascot character of the city of Funabashi, Chiba, Funassyi appears as a guest character. The ending is a CG dance part with the second ending theme of TV series, "Party Has Come". Directed by Chiaki Kon (director of "Higurashi When They Cry"). The animation director is Kazuhiro Ota (character designer and animation director of "Pani Poni Dash!" and "Negima!?"). The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Harmonie2014One of four 25-minute short anime films produced in "Animemirai2014", the project for developing young animators by Agency for Cultural Affairs (a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education). Created by Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Studio Rikka) and Ultra Super Pictures. This film consists of two sequences, the real world mainly set in a high school classroom, and a fantastical dream world. Talking about last night's anime with classmates during a recess, that's the world of Akio Honjo, a high school boy, and he have thought that his world never overlap with the colorful world of Juri Makina, a girl who always smiles surrounded by her friends. But he comes to touch her world through a beautiful song from her mobile. The realistic and challenging drawings of classroom scenes, focusing on its noisy ambience and detailed description of daily performances, are worth seeing. Released at the theater with other three works in 2014 for a limited time. The original story, screenplay, direction, storyboards, cinematography, and editing by Yasuhiro Yoshiura (director of "Time of Eve" and "Patema Inverted"). The character design and animation direction by Atsushi Ikariya (the character designer and animation supervisor of "The Devil Is a Part-Timer!"). The animation produced by Ultra Super Pictures.
 Yo-Kai Watch the Movie: The Secret is Created, Nyan!2014"Yo-Kai Watch" is a role-playing video gamesoft for the Nintendo 3DS (released since 2013) developed by Level-5, and a cross media project of manga, game, anime, toy and others. In Japan, it had started a boom mainly among elementary schoolers in 2014 after the starts of the TV anime broadcast and toy sales. The manga version by Noriyuki Konishi is serialized in "Monthly CoroCoro Comic" since 2012. The first movie (96 minutes) of the TV anime series "Yo-Kai Watch" is based on the story of the gamesoft "Yo-Kai Watch 2: Ganso/Honke/Shin'nuchi", which depicts the secret story of the birth of the world's first Yo-Kai Watch (Type Zero). A comical Yo-Kai battle action film for children, dealing with friendship as a theme. A boy in the fifth grade, Keita Amano got "Yo-Kai Watch", which makes it possible to see Yo-Kai (Japanese monsters), from Yo-Kai butler Whisper, but one night Keita's Yo-Kai Watch vanished. Looking for a clue about it, Keita goes to the Kemamoto Village, which is his grandma's home area, and meets a Yo-Kai named Fuyunyan. To get back Yo-Kai Watch, Keita goes to the world 60 years ago by time-warping, with Whisper, a cat Yo-Kai and his housemate Jibanyan, and Fuyunyan. The hero manga appeared in this film, "Guts Kamen" is modeled on the TV show "Gekko Kamen/Moonlight Mask". Directed by Shigeharu Takahashi and Shinji Ushiro. The animation produced by OLM (TEAM INOUE). The No.1 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015.
 The Last: Naruto the Movie2014See the paragraph about "Naruto" the first movie. The tenth movie (112 minutes) of the "Naruto" TV anime series. A ninja battle action film on the episode between the 699th and 700th (last) episodes of the original manga. A love story about the relationship between Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuga. Two years after the Fourth Shinobi World War. Hinata set her affections on Naruto since she was a child, but she still can't express her feeling to him. Then, a mystery man Toneri appears, and he abducts Hinata's sister Hanabi. Meanwhile, the moon comes close to the earth, and the human race is threatened with annihilation. Naruto, Hinata, Sakura, Shikamaru and Sai trace Hanabi, and come to a mystery underground space. They find Toneri's plan to destroy humans on the earth. The drawings are excellent. The fans of original manga may feel uncomfortable with its storyline, because it has something sudden and inconsistent with the settings of the original manga. The original story, character design, and story supervision by Masashi Kishimoto. Directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot.
 Psycho-Pass: The Movie2015See the paragraph about "Psycho-Pass" the TV series first season. A totally new movie edition (113 minutes). An episode after the second season in chronological order, but it is a sequel to the story about Shinya Kogami in the first season. A political drama depicting bloody conflicts between a military dictatorship and anti-establishment forces (pro-democracy movement) on the background of Sibyl System's strategem. A battle action movie with lots of realistic military (shooting/tank/drone) actions and fighting actions. In 2116, about four years after Akane Tsunemori was assigned to the Public Safety Bureau's Criminal Investigation Division, the Japanese government starts exporting Sibyl System and drones to the world. SEAUn (Southeast Asia Union), which is in a long civil war, experimentally introduces Sibyl System to the capital floating city Shambala Float. Akane Tsunemori faces terrorists who slipped into Japan, and finds Shinya Kogami, who is involved in SEAUn's anti-establishment forces, behind them. She goes to Shambala Float alone to investigate Kogami. The general director is Katsuyuki Motohiro. Directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani. The original story by Gen Urobuchi. The animation produced by Production I.G.
 The Boy and the Beast2015The director Mamoru Hosoda's third original feature-length anime movie (119 minutes), following "Wolf Children Ame and Yuki". A fantasy/action adventure depicting a peculiar master-disciple relationship between a boy and a beast (therianthrope), set in another world and the human world (Shibuya, Tokyo today). A 9-year-old orphan boy Kyuta (birth name: Ren) gets lost in the "Beast Kingdom", a city which beasts live in, and meets Kumatetsu, a powerful, but boorish martial artist without disciples. Kyuta becomes Kumatetsu's disciple. Through the days of living together and training, they grow and deepen the bond with each other, like a parent and his child. At the age 17, Kyuta happens to back to Shibuya and meets a high school girl Kaede, and then he begins to seek a world he should live in. Though this film has a problem of the idealized parent-child relationship, just like the previous "Wolf Children", it can be enjoyed as an entertainment film for all ages. Too much descriptive lines. The original story, screenplay and direction by Mamoru Hosoda. The planning and production by Studio Chizu. The No.2 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015.
 The Case of Hana & Alice2015A feature-length anime movie (99 minutes) created as a prequel to the live-action films "Hana and Alice" (short films distributed on the Net in 2003, and a feature film released in 2004) directed by Shunji Iwai. His directorial debut of feature-length anime work. A youth drama depicting an episode of an encounter between two girls (leading characters), Hana and Alice. The voices of the characters are performed by actors of the live-action versions, Yu Aoi, Anne Suzuki and others. A junior high-school girl in the third grade, Tetsuko Arisugawa (Alice) transfers to Ishinomori Academy Junior High School, and hears a rumor that "Yuda was killed by four Yudas" in her class (3-2) a year ago. Alice and Hana Arai, who is Alice's classmate living in the neighboring house and a stay-at-home girl, embark on an adventure to solve the mystery of the case. A film about a childish small case without any incident and dramatic event, like a comical buddy movie. The highlights are its characteristic images, featuring the techniques of rotoscoping (tracing of live-action images) and pre-scoring (recording the sounds before drawing pictures), direction in the live-action film style, 3DCG, and background in the watercolor painting style. The original story, screenplay and direction by Shunji Iwai (the director of "Love Letter" and "Swallowtail"). There are also the novelized (written by Otsuichi) and webcomic (illustrated by dowmansayman) versions.
 The Anthem of the Heart2015An original anime movie (119 minutes) by the main staff of "Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day" (2011, 2013). Subtitled "Beautiful Word Beautiful World". An emotional, cathartic youth drama and a bittersweet love story dealing with the universal themes of "fear of hurting people and breaking relationship through words" and "emotion that can only be expressed through music (song) or story". The scene settings are modeled on Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture in common with "Anohana". A high school girl in second grade, Jun Naruse has a childhood trauma of her experience that her words caused the divorce of her parents. If she says something, she will have a stomachache, and she can only communicate with others through textersation. One day she and other three classmates are appointed as the committee members of the community event. She finds when she is singing she has no stomachache. She and one of the committee members, Takumi Sakagami (a member of the Study Group of Computer Music) propose performing a musical with the story she wrote based on her experience. The students in the class work as a unit to make the musical a success. The melodies of the English folk song "Greensleeves", Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 (Pathetique), "Over the Rainbow" (a song for the movie "The Wizard of Oz") and other songs are used in the musical scenes with the original lyrics. The original story by the Super Peace Busters (Tatsuyuki Nagai, Mari Okada and Masayoshi Tanaka). Directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai. The screenplay by Mari Okada. The character designer and animation director is Masayoshi Tanaka. The animation produced by A-1 Pictures. There are also the manga and novel versions.
 Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade2015See the paragraph about "Little Witch Academia". A film (56 minutes) produced as the sequel to the short animation "Little Witch Academia", through the crowdfunding via Kickstarter, an American public-benefit corporation. The six troublemakers of Luna Nova Magical Academy, Akko, Lotte, Sucy, Amanda, Constanze and Jasminka are forced to participate in the parade replicating the history of witch-hunt in the annual festival as a punishment. Akko makes the "Happy Time Project" plan to make the parade happy. Like the previous work, the highlights are its dynamic images emphasizing the primary amusingness of animation. An entertainment film which can be enjoyed by expanded audience of any age and nationality. Premiered at Anime Expo 2015 in Los Angeles, the US. Released with "Little Witch Academia" in Japanese theaters on October 2015 for only two weeks. The direction, character design and animation direction by Yoh Yoshinari. The animation produced by Trigger.
 Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai2015A feature-length anime movie (90 minutes) based on Hinako Sugiura's historical manga "Sarusuberi" (means "Crape Myrtle". Serialized in "Weekly Manga Sunday" in 1983-1987). The original manga is a series of short stories centering on Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and other Ukiyo-e artists and depicting the people's lives and manners in Edo. This film features O-ei (Katsushika Oi), a daughter of Hokusai, as the leading character. Set in 1814 in Edo. A 23rd-year-old Ukiyo-e artist, O-ei lives with her father Hokusai and a freeloader Zenjiro Ikeda, and spends her days painting. The film depicts episodes around her, such as troubles about apparition, her awkward romance, and her interaction with her younger sister O-nao, who lives separately from them. The film consists of a series of episodes taken from the original, and it has no big storyline, but it has elaborately crafted images and filled with a subtle sentiment. Directed by Keiichi Hara. The animation produced by Production I.G.
 Detective Conan: Sunflowers of Inferno2015See the paragraph about 'Detective Conan' the first movie. The nineteenth movie (112 minutes) is a mystery action on the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh's real paintings, "Sunflowers" series. The consultant of Suzuki zaibatsu, Jirokichi Suzuki plans to collect all the seven "Sunflowers", including the reproduction of the second one believed to be destroyed by fire in bombing of Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture in WWII, and to run an exhibition of them in Japan, but Kid the Master Thief appears and has designs on them. Conan challenges to solve the mystery of the real culprit behind Kid. This film puts weight on action and suspense rather than mystery. Directed by Kobun Shizuno. The animation production by TMS/V1 Studio. The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015. There is also the manga version by Shintaro Mugiwara.
 Doraemon: Nobita's Space Heroes2015The 35th Doraemon movie (101 minutes) and the tenth of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. An original story depicting Doraemon and his party as heroes fighting against space pirates. A film for young children with lots of comical actions, and it has relatively little element of adventure, suspense and fighting. Adoring a hero TV program, Nobita and his friends start filming a full-scale space hero movie starring themselves as "Galaxy Defense Forces", with using Doraemon's secret gadget "Film Director Robot" (the director Burger). Aron, the sheriff of the Planet Pokkuru, who had made an emergency landing on the Earth, mistakes them for real heroes, and asks them to save his planet from the invasion by space pirates led by Ikaros. The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Yoshihiro Osugi. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015.
 Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages2015See the paragraph about the Pokemon the first movie. The second movie (78 minutes) of the TV series "Pokémon: XY" (the Japanese title is "Pocket Monster: XY", aired on TV in 2013-), and the 18th of Pokemon movie. An action adventure film aimed at children, featuring a naughty and lovely Pokemon Hoopa. On the way to the Desert City in the desert, Satoshi (Ash) and his friends meet Hoopa, a Pokemon who can takes everything from his magical rings, and Mary, a girl who takes care of Hoopa. They meet Mary's brother Barza with the "Prison Bottle" in the city, but the shadow ejected from the bottle changes Hoopa into a giant Pokemon in his true form. The city in this film is modeled on Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation produced by OLM (Team Kamei). Screened with a short film "Pikachu and the Pokemon Band". The No.12 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: My Moving Story! Cactus Large Attack!2015The twenty-third movie (104 minutes). It consists of two parts, the first is a short story about the Nohara Family's moving, the second is a story about an attack of carnivorous plants in Mexico. Shinnosuke's father, Hiroshi is ordered to transfer to Mexico to collect the fruit of cactus. The Nohara family moves from Kasukabe to town of Mardequellyovaca, Mexico, but man-eating, walking plants "Killer Cactus" attack the town. To save the town, the Nohara family and their neighbors work together to fight against Killer Cactus. The second part is worth seeing, for it is a comical and thrilling survival adventure in the invasion Sci-Fi/disaster film style. Directed by Masakazu Hashimoto. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.16 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015.
 Boruto: Naruto the Movie2015The eleventh anime movie (95 minutes) based on the manga "Naruto" (serialized in "Weekly Shonen Jump" in 1999-2014) by Masashi Kishimoto, depicting the story of a new era after the last episode of the original manga, focusing on the son of Naruto Uzumaki, Boruto Uzumaki. A ninja battle action film, including actions putting more emphasis on taijutsu (martial arts) than ninjutsu, and a touching story with the theme of bond between father and son. The drawings are excellent. Over a decade after the Fourth Shinobi World War, Naruto Uzumaki is very busy with his work as the Seventh Hokage of Konoha. In the face of "Chunin Selective Exam", Boruto Uzumaki spends all his time training with his teammates, Sarada Uchiha (Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno's daughter) and Mitsuki (a mysterious ninja). Boruto hates Naruto who has no time with his family, and he becomes an apprentice with Sasuke, Naruto's ex-rival. The original story, screenplay, character design and executive production by Masashi Kishimoto. Directed by Hiroyuki Yamashita. The animation produced by Studio Pierrot. The No.11 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015.
 The Empire of Corpses2015A feature-length anime film (119 minutes) based on the sci-fi novel "The Empire of Corpses". The first of the animated movie series (projected by noitaminA) based on the novels by science-fiction writer Project Itoh. The original was Itoh's last and unfinished work. After Itoh's death, writer Toh Enjoe wrote the rest and it was published in 2012. A steampunk sci-fi set in the world in the late 19th century in which the "dead-resuscitating technology" is developed and corpses are used as labors. A medical student in London, John H. Watson makes hid dead friend Friday into a corpse. To revive Friday's soul, Watson makes an adventurous journey over Afghanistan, Japan and the United States, with a British army captain Burnaby and a gynoid Hadaly, in search of Dr. Frankenstein's notes including soul-resuscitating technology. An adaptation based on the setting of friendship between Watson and Friday (which didn't exist in the original). A film with an attractive worldview and beautiful images, but its story are hard to understand at first sight, and it lacks catharsis as a film because it consists of a row of episodes. There are grotesque descriptions like zombie films in several scenes. Directed by Ryotaro Makihara (the director of "Hal"). The animation produced by Wit Studio.
 Harmony2015A feature-length anime film (119 minutes) based on a speculative dystopia sci-fi novel "Harmony" (published in 2008) by Project Itoh. The second of the animated movie series (projected by noitaminA) based on the novels by Project Itoh. The original won the 2009 Japan SF Grand Prize and the 2010 Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation. Set in a highly developed medical society controlled by "lifeism", the idea that the human body is regarded as public resource. The people are forced to be healthy, with the health-monitoring system embedded in their bodies. WHO's Spiral Inspector General, Tuan Kirie investigates a global suicide event, and she feels the existence of Miach Mihie behind the case, who is her special friend at highschool and a girl who had suicided herself. An adaptation focusing the love-hate relationship between Tuan and Miach, with adding the element of "Yuri" (love between women). Beautiful images by using 2-D hand-drawn anime and 3-D CGs. There are several shocking bloody (suicide) scenes. Directed by Takashi Nakamura ("Akira" animation director. The direcor of "A Tree of Palme" and "Fantastic Children") and Michael Arias ("Tekkonkinkreet" director). The animation produced by Studio 4°C.
Good!Girls und Panzer der Film2015See the paragraph about "Girls und Panzer" TV series. A totally new film (119 minutes) depicting an extra episode after the story of the TV series. Oarai Girls High School and Chihatan Academy were combined in an exhibition match of Senshado (tank battle) against the combined team of St. Gloriana Girls Academy and Pravda High School. The Senshado players deepened the friendship with each other through the match, but Oarai Girls faces with the crisis of closing the school again. Oarai Girls assembles a mixed team with the reinforcements from other schools (former opponents), and fights an existential war (an annihilation warfare) against a select team of universities. The highlights are its crazy and spectacular tank battle actions in the latter half, including gimmicks, such as the emergence of Karl-Gerät (World War II German self-propelled artillery) and battles in an old amusement park site. The soundtrack is recorded in 5.1 channel surround. An amusement attraction-typed and experience-based film, which elicits its effect by screening with the special sound system or 4DX in theater, and watching with the surround system at home. Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. The animation produced by Actas.
 Typhoon Noruda2015A short animation (26 minutes and 13 seconds) produced by StudioColorido. The theatrical debut work directed by Yojiro Arai (ex-Studio Ghibli animator. The character designer and animation director of "Hinata no Aoshigure"). A youth fantasy drama about the friendship between the two boys. Set in an isolated island, a junior high school, the day before the cultural festival. Shuichi Azuma exchange blows with his close friend Kenta Saijo, because he stopped playing baseball. Azuma meets Noruda, a mystery girl with red eyes, and she says, "When the vortex of the earth, the vortex of the sky, and me are connected in one, this planet will be reborn". At the time, the most powerful typhoon on record is striking the school. This work is not enough as a film, because it is short and its scenario is weak, but its dynamic images are worth seeing, for they are created by using the advanced digital drawing technique, and they also include textures in the hand drawing style. The character designer and animation director is Hiroyasu Ishida (the director of "Fumiko's Confession" and "Hinata no Aoshigure").
 Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F'2015See the paragraph about the "Dragon Ball Z" TV series. A movie (94 minutes) created as a sequel to the previous "Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods" (2013). The original author Akira Toriyama wrote the screenplay by himself for the first time. Toriyama said the title and scenario were inspired by rock band Maximum the Hormone's "F", a song about Freeza (inserted in this film as a battle song). After the batte between Son Goku and the God of Destruction "Birus", the remaining survivors of Freeza troops resurrect Freeza, who had been defeated by Goku and Trunks, by using Dragon Ball. To exact revenge on Goku, Freeza invades the Earrth with his troops. Son Gohan, Piccolo, Kuririn, Tenshinhan, Kame-Sennin and Jaco (the leading character of Akira Toriyama's manga "Jaco the Galactic Patrolman") fight aginst the soldiers of Freeza troops. Goku and Vegeta confront Freeza. The images of battle action with CGs are worth seeing, but there isn't so much excitement on the story as the old series. The original work, screenplay and character design by Akira Toriyama. Directed by Tadayoshi Yamamuro. The animation produced by Toei Animation. The theme song "Z no Chikai (Pledge of Z)" is a single by idol group Momoiro Clover Z. Besides the standard 2D edition, the digital 3D edition was also released. The No.6 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2015.
 Pretty Cure All Stars: Spring Carnival♪2015A feature-length movie (74 minutes) released when the twelfth season of the TV anime "Pretty Cure/PreCure" series, "Go! Princess PreCure" was on air. An all-star film featuring a total of forty successive Precures. A film in the composition like a music program on TV and a music video collection, featuring CG dances of ten Precure groups with the opening or ending theme of each TV series, and including the musical elements too. The kingdom of song and dance, Harmonia invites Precures to the "Spring Carnival". The three Go! Princess Precures, Haruka Haruno/Cure Flora, Minami Kaido/Cure Mermaid, Kirara Amanogawa/Cure Twinkle are impressed by senior Precures' songs and dances, and they are also going to appear on stage, but the MC duo, Odoren and Utaren are phantom thieves who took over Harmonia, and they rob transformation items from all the Precures. The comedy duo Oriental Radio appears as guest voice actors. In the live-action footage with the closing credits, the idol group Morning Musume '15 sing the original theme song "Imakokokara (From Here Now)", and children in the cities in Japan dance with Precure living dolls. Directed by Junji Shimizu. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Yo-kai Watch the Movie: Enma Daiou to Itsutsu no Monogatari da Nyan! (The Great King Enma and the Five Tales, Meow!)2015See the paragraph about "Yo-kai Watch" the first movie. The second movie (100 minutes) is a comical action adventure with heartwarming episodes focusing on the bond between humans and Yo-kai. An omnibus film consisting of five episodes. The first four episodes ("Keita Turned Into a Yo-kai", "Jibanyan's Brilliant Strategy", "Komasan Returns Home" and "Usapyon's Merry Christmas") converge on the main story in the fifth and last episode "Let's Go to the Yo-kai World", in which Nurarihyon (the head of the Yo-kai Council) enjoins Yo-kai from interacting with humans. To take back the bond between humans and Yo-kai, Jibanyan, Fuyunyan, Usapyon, Komasan, Whisper, Keita Amano and Inaho Misora (the heroine in the game "Yo-Kai Watch 3" and the TV anime series) go to the Great King Enma in the Yo-kai World. Directed by Shigeharu Takahashi and Shinji Ushiro. The animation produced by OLM (TEAM KOITABASHI & INOUE). The No.4 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2016.
 Go! Princess Precure the Movie: Go! Go!! Splendid Triple Feature!!!2015A feature-length movie (75 minutes) of "Go! Princess PreCure", the twelfth season of the TV anime "PreCure" series. The nineteenth "PreCure" movie. An omnibus film which consists of three parts: a silent, cartoonish and fully CG animated short "Cure Flora and the Mischievous Mirror" (five minutes. Directed by Yukio Kaizawa) featuring Cure Flora as a SD (super deformed. small figure) character, a long part "The Pumpkin Kingdom's Treasure" (50 minutes. Directed by Akifumi Zako) by hand drawing in common with the TV series, and a fully CG animated medium-length part "Precure and Refi's Wonder Night!" (20 minutes. Directed by Hiroshi Miyamoto) featuring an action-oriented story. A film for younger children, but the images including flexible-textured CG animation in the hand-drawn 2D anime style are ambitious. The animation produced by Toei Animation.
 Mushishi Special Chapter: Bell Droplets2015See the paragraph about "Mushishi -Next Passage-". The last episode (46 minutes) of the TV series second season "Mushishi -Next Passage-" (2014). Not aired on TV, and released in theaters with the special chapter "Path of Thorns" (previously aired on TV). Based on the last episode of the original manga's serialization. Ginko meets Kaya, a girl with grasses on her body, in a mountain. She is an existence selected as "Nushi" (the Master), who controls the spirits of the mountain on the Komyakusuji (the Light Vein), even as she is a human. Her brother Yoshiro keeps looking for his missing younger sister. Yoshiro finds Kaya, who almost loses her memory as a human, and he brings her back home. Therefore something extraordinary happens in the mountain. Directed by Hiroshi Nagahama. The animation produced by Animation Studio Art Land.
 Doukyusei (Classmates)2016An anime film (60 minutes) based on Asumiko Nakamura's manga "Doukyusei (Classmates)" (serialized in the BL (boys' love) manga anthology magazine "Opera" in 2006-2007). The original work is a popular BL manga and a refreshing pure love story depicting two high school boys in a slow-tempo love with their delicately wavering feelings. In this film, the four episodes ("Summer", "Autumn", "A complex fool and a simplex fool" and "The second summer") selected from the orginal (five episodes) are animated faithfully and carefully. Hikaru Kusakabe, who plays guitar in his band with his friends, and Licht Sajo, who is an honor student with eye glasses, are classmates in an all-male school, but they have hardly talked to each other. They come to talk because of their training for singing for chorus festival, and they begin a secret relationship. The highlights are its graceful images with soft lines respecting the style of the original manga. It includes lots of kiss scenes, but it has no explicit sexual scenes. Directed by Shoko Nakamura. The animation produced by A-1 Pictures. There are also the sequel manga and drama CDs.
 Garakowa: Restore the World2016An anime film (67 minutes) produced by Pony Canyon and A-1 Pictures. Based on "D.backup", the original work of scenario and illustration by the creative duo "Physics Point" (Otono Shimura and Suyuli Hiraume). The original work won the grand prize in Pony Canyon's Anime-ka Taisho (Anime Adaptation Award) in 2013. A post-apocalyptic/dystopia sci-fi fantasy on simulated reality, featuring beautiful girl characters and the elements of Japanese tear-jerker video games. The original Japanese title means "Vitreous Flower & Destroy the World". Set in the world after the annihilation of the human race. In a virtual space called the "Box of Wisdom", two girls, who are antivirus programs, Dual and Dorothy battle against the enemy, viruses encroaching the world. One day they save a girl from being attacked by a virus. She calls herself "Remo" and she had lost most of her memories. The screenplay by Fumihiko Shimo (script supervisor of "Air", "Kanon", "Clannad"). The original character design by Kantoku (illustrator of "The "Hentai" Prince and the Stony Cat"). Directed by Masashi Ishihama (director of "From the New World"). The animation produced by A-1 Pictures.
 Crayon Shin-chan the Movie: Fast Asleep! Dreaming World Big Assault2016The twenty-fourth movie (97 minutes). A story set in the dream world, depicting the Kasukabe Defense Forces and the Nohala Family fighting against a nightmare trouble. One day the people in Kasukabe come to be able to have dreams they want in their sleep, after haveing a strange dream in which a giant fish swallows them. The people enjoy having their own distinctive dream in the dream world, but the world gradually changes into a nightmare world. Shinnosuke Nohara and Kasukabe Defense Forces members let Saki Nubatama, a girl who moves in Kasukabe, join the group, and they go into the dream world to explore the cause of the nightmare. Directed by Wataru Takahashi. The screenplay by Gekidan Hitori (a comedian, novelist and film director) and Wataru Takahashi. Produced by Shin-Ei Animation. The No.13 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2016.
 Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare2016The twentieth movie (112 minutes) is a spy action depicting Conan Edogawa and the Detective Boys who become involved in the battles between the Black Organization, the Japanese public security police and FBI. A mystery woman steals confidential information from the National Police Agency and flees. Toru Amuro (public security police) and Shuichi Akai (FBI) chase her by car, but let her get away. Conan and the Detective Boys happen to meet her at the Touto Aquarium, but she had lost all her memory. Conan and Ai Haibara try to determine her identity, and they become convinced that she is involved in the Black Organization. This film lacks detective elements, but can be enjoyed as a roller-coaster movie, for it features lots of action scenes (car chase, gun battle and fight), and it has a suspenseful and spectacular action sequence set in a big Ferris wheel, like a disaster film, in the end of the movie. Directed by Kobun Shizuno. The animation production by TMS/V1 Studio. The No.3 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2016.
 One Piece Film: Gold2016The thirteenth movie (120 minutes) is an action adventure depicting a fight aginst a man of great wealth who manipulates gold at will and controls people by the power of money. Screened in 2D, 3D, 4DX and MX4D. The Straw Hats visit the world's largest entertainment city "Gran Tesoro" (a giant golden ship), and they make lots of money in gambling. The city is under the absolute control of the owner "The Emperor of Gold" Gild Tesoro. Tesoro entraps them, and they lose all their money. Its plot (the Straw Hats defeat an enemy) is same as usual, but it is a film like an amusement attraction, featuring stereoscopic, spectacular images and team battles in which all the Straw Hats play important roles. The original story and general production by Eiichiro Oda. Directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto (the third series director of the TV series). The animation production by Toei Animation. The No.5 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2016.
 Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 20162016The 36th Doraemon movie (104 minutes) and the eleventh of the second season (since 2005) of the second TV series. A remake of the 1989 movie "Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan". A Sci-Fi action adventure set in Japan and the Chinese continent 70 thousand years ago. Nobita, Doraemon, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian run away from home to Japan 70 thousand years ago by riding a time machine, and they start building a utopia. They meet a boy named Kukuru, who came from Hikari (light) tribe in the Chinese continent, and Hikari tribe has been attacked by the King of Spirits "Giga Zombie" and violent Kurayami (darkness) tribe. Nobita and his friends go to the Chinese continent to save Hikari tribe. The storyline is basically true to the old film, but it has much more description of characters' feelings than the old film. A high-quality finished work as a remake. The highlights are its last sequence including the last battle which were not in the old film. The three time patrolmen who appear in the last are modeled on the characters of Fujio F. Fujiko's Sci-Fi manga "Time Patrol Bon". The original story by Fujio F. Fujiko. Directed by Shinnosuke Yakuwa. The animation produced by Shin-Ei Animation (cooperated by Vega Entertainment). The No.7 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2016.
 Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel2016The third movie (95 minutes) of the TV series "Pokémon: XY" (2013-2016), and the 19th of Pokemon movie. An action adventure set in a mechanical city, the Azoth Kingdom. Satoshi (Ash) and his friends meet a steam Pokemon Volcanion and an artificial Pokemon Magearna. Volcanion and Magearna had lived in the Nebel Plateau with Pokemon harmed by humans. An evil minister of the kingdom, Jarvis abducts Magearna to rule over the kingdom by using her power. Volcanion has no trust in humans at first, but he cultivates friendship with Satoshi little by little, and he seeks to save Magearna in cooperation with Satoshi and his friends. A relatively good Pokemon movie including a typical but classical story with a sharp contrast between good and bad, beautiful images with lots of CGs, and dynamic battle actions. Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama. The animation produced by OLM (Team Kamei). The No.14 at the box-office of domestic movies in Japan in 2016.
 Pretty Cure All Stars: Singing With Everyone♪ Miraculous Magic!2016The twentieth Precure movie (70 minutes) released when the thirteenth season of the TV anime "Precure" series, "Maho Girls PreCure!" was on air. An all-star film featuring a total of 44 Precures. Mirai Asahina (Cure Miracle) and Liko Izayoi (Cure Magical) come to the No Magic Realm (human world) looking for a clue to being good Precures, but a witch Sorciere and her underling Trauma incarcerate Precures to get "Precure's Tears". Mirai and Liko are sent to another world by Sorciere and they are separated. The highlights are its idea of full-scale musical form, featuring characters dancing and singing the lines and songs (rare as anime), and collective battle action sequences with using CGs. The ending is a CG dance part featuring 44 Precures singing and dancing. The musical produced and lyrics written by Yukinojo Mori. Directed by Yutaka Tsuchida. The animation produced by Toei Animation.




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