The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 IKIRU: The Highs and Lows of Life in Japanese Cinema by Aisha Anime

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 returns to bring Japanese culture ideals to the UK and the theme this year is IKIRU: The Highs and Lows of Life in Japanese Cinema.

Spanning from 5 February to 26 March 2016 travelling around the country with some great cinematic releases to make you stop and think. Most importantly they have addressed the high demand of anime requests and are showing two this year. 

Anthem of the Heart

Anthem of the Heart

Anthem of the Heart

We follow Jun Naruse a young girl who believes her words have caused unmeasurable trouble. She is one day visited by a mysterious ‘Egg Fairy’ who casts a spell on her preventing her from speaking, stopping her from conveying her emotions. When she enters high-school, Jun is asked to join a musical – a group which turns out to be an unexpected mix of students all suffering from emotional trauma just like Jun. Through the key themes of friendship and music can will Jun be able to find her voice again?

A charming story from the creators behind the smash hit movie, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. The creative team of director Tatsuyuki Nagai, scriptwriter Mari Okada and character designer Masayoshi Tanaka return with a completely original animated film which was a huge hit upon its domestic theatrical release in late 2015, touching many hearts across Japan.

Miss Hokusai

Miss Hokusai

Miss Hokusai

A animation from the Keiichi Hara who, who's film Colors Japan Foundation screened previously. (Watch the interview with Keiichi Hara here.)  Set in early Edo period, this animation brings to life the story of O-Ei, the daughter of the ukiyo-e master, Katsushika Hokusai (globally famous for his piece The Great Wave). 

Based on the original manga Sarusuberi by Hinako Sugiura, an adaptation which Hara, a huge fan of the series, called ‘a dream come true,’ the film brings Sugiura’s comic and worldview to the big screen, creating a wonderfully detailed recreation of Edo life through combining hand-drawn 2-D with 3-D techniques. The film scooped three awards at the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, including the Satoshi Kon Award for best animated feature film.

Starting at the prestigious ICA London from 5th February - 11th February 

Find the full list of movies and anime on the Japan Foundation website.

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London MCM Expo Oct 2014: Highlights by Aisha Anime

Lolliepop Bunnie travelled from Brazil to sign at the NEO stand at London MCM expo

Lolliepop Bunnie travelled from Brazil to sign at the NEO stand at London MCM expo

Europe's biggest comic convention held twice a year specialising in sci-fi, comic book, video games, merchendise, kawaii fashion, live entertainment, celebrity panels and anime at the ExCel is reported to continue to shatter attendance records, with more than 110,000 in October.

The figures are a whooping 110,197 people came through the doors (24-26 October) compared to 101,600 at the last show in May and 88,000 in October 2013. This is possibly due to the heart throb Harry Potter hero actor Daniel Radcliffe attending in promotion of his latest horror movie 'Horns'. With his his arch nemesis Tom Felton attending Birmingham Expo later this year.

On Friday many teenagers, adults (mostly female) queued up enthusiastically in the Platinum suite (away from the general crowd which was a good idea) to see if they picked one of 200 winning raffle tickets to get to meet and receive a signed posted from Daniel himself. I was one of those lucky folks and armed with foam baseball bat and dressed in cosplay I was shocked and suprised to be able to meet the star at 5pm that day.  ll us 200 fans queued up anxiously with a few overcome in joy crying in anticipation to meet Mr Potter, now adorned with a rugged beard. A quick handshake and a quick hello and it was over. Whoever were not lucky enough to meet Daniel got the opportunity to sit through his panel before the signing.

hp no blur

Among the stars we had Shane West doing Q&A, Vic Mignonia (anime voice actor), Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham (anime voice actor), DC Douglas (anime voice actor), Dave Lewelyn(Red Dwarf), Hideo Baba (creator of Tales of game series), Jessica Nigri (cosplay star) and many more!

If you weren't queuing for the boy wonder then your sights would be averted to the female cosplay sensation - Jessica Nigri  whose queue never wavered in length. Most people queued to get selfies with the sexy Pikachu and buy personalised signed prints on both days as she dressed as Mad Moxxi and in a Poro Bikini both days with bestie and fellow cosplayer Kelly Jean.

jessica nigri

MYM stand looked after voice actors Laura Bailey, Travis Willingham, DC Douglas who you received a free autograph from if you presented the latest edition of MYM magazine. Later all free presented panels and Q&A's with their fans. DC Douglas also did a late night improv session with left people in stitches with his great saucy comments.

Shinichiro Watanabe caused a stir at the Bandai Namco booth doing free signings and even brought his own Meow mascot. Shinichirô Watanabe is known for his work on The Animatrix (2003), Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001), Samurai Champloo (2004) and his newest Space Dandy (2014). I managed to get an interview with him and he was more than happy to talk about his mish mash of genres and the importance of socialising, which will be up on Ukanifest soon.

It was also great to catch up again with Hideo Baba about Tales of Zestrina and the characters which my video interview will follow shortly. Also I got to meet part of Dimps behind Dragonball Zenoverse - Masahiro Kashino who talked about his team improving the movement of the characters in the new game and the new customization mode. As they are still testing you may unknowingly meet part of DImps playing in the game !

Find more photos here.

cute merch


For more information visit the Play Blackpool website at:   www.playblackpool.com

For more information visit the Play Blackpool website at: www.playblackpool.com

With its massive appeal at Play Expo, Cosplay will be once again returning at Replay Event’s brand new expo Play Blackpool in association with Showmasters Ltd!

With competitions running on both days of the event and some top prizes up for grabs be sure not to miss this colourful parade where fans dress up as characters from Anime, gaming, sci-fi, cartoons, comics and everything in between.

Key moments include:

·         Cosplay Competition on both days of the event – please see rules for information on how to enter.

·         Top Cosplay judges including Naurarwen, EJ Sephirayne and Van Helen!

·         Top prizes courtesy of Showmasters including signed photographs from Matt Smith, Billie Piper and Darth Vader himself Dave Prowse as well as gaming merchandise and cosplay trophies!

·         Costume repair area – All you need for those last minute fixtures.

For more information visit the Play Blackpool website at: www.playblackpool.com

Event Details:

Play Blackpool. Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre, Blackpool, UK

Date: 3rd – 4th May 2014

Ticket prices: 

General Admission --

£34.00 Face Value (Family Ticket - 2 Adults and 2 Childrens )£34.00 

General Admission - Face Value (Adult Price)£12.00 

General Admission - Face Value (Child Price)£7.00 

Weekend tickets -

Family Ticket - 2 Adults and 2 Childrens) £60.00 

Adult Price  £20.00

Child Price £12.00 

Aisha Anime