A SILENT VOICE is celebrating its 5th anniversary with limited engagement screenings beginning on Wednesday, October 12th, at nearly 300 theatres, as part of AX Cinema Nights. Brought to you by Anime Expo, Iconic events & distributed by Eleven Arts, this partnership marks the next installment of AX Cinema Nights.
Based on the best-selling manga series by Yoshitoki Ōima, A SILENT VOICE is the poignant and moving story of Shōya Ishida, a school bully, and Shōko Nishimiya, a young girl with a hearing disability. Their story begins in sixth grade when Shōko transfers to Shōya’s elementary school and quickly finds herself bullied and isolated. Years later, the tables turn, and Shōya finds himself isolated and alone. A SILENT VOICE depicts the struggles and challenges of adolescence alongside coming of age outside the norm.
The film was produced by the acclaimed studio Kyoto Animation, directed by Naoko Yamada (K-On!, Tamako Market, ) and written by Reiko Yoshida, featuring music by Kensuke Ushio. The film grossed over $31.6 million worldwide and received a Best Animated Film nomination from the Japanese Film Academy upon its initial release in 2017.
The English dub cast includes renowned voice actors including Robbie Daymond (as Shoya Ishida), Lexi Marman Cowden (as Shoko Nishimiya), Kristen Sullivan (as Yuzuru Nishimiya), Graham Halstead (as Tomohiro Nagatsuka), Kira Buckland (as Naoka Ueno), Melissa Hope (as Miyoko Sahara), Amber Lee Connors (as Miki Kawai), Max Mittelman (as Satoshi Mashiba), Michael Sinterniklaas (as Kazuki Shimada), and Sara Cravens (as Miyoko Ishida).
AX Cinema Nights is an in-person movie event series celebrating the best new and classic anime films by bringing them to theaters across North America. Leveraging the brand power of Anime Expo, the largest Japanese culture event in North America, AX Cinema Nights brings passionate fans together for immersive and unforgettable community experiences.
Relive the experience by purchasing your tickets here.
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From acclaimed studio Production I.G, and directors Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji comes THE DEER KING.
In the aftermath of a brutal war, former soldier Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. One day, his solitary existence is upended when a pack of wild dogs carrying a deadly and incurable disease attack, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom—and its possible cure.
The Deer King is a sweeping fantasy epic that marks the directorial debut of acclaimed animator, Masashi Ando who worked with famed Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) and with directors Satoshi Kon (Paprika, “Paranoia Agent”) and Makoto Shinkai (your name.). The film is also co-directed by Masayuki Miyaji who is best known for directing the 2009 series “Xam’s: Lost Memories” and work on Studio Ghibli films such as “My Neighbors The Yamadas”.
The film is based on the original book series, by author Nahoko Uehashi. The book series has printed 2.2 million copies in Japan to date. Uehashi is one of Japan’s most well-known and popular children’s writers, and has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. She’s an associate professor at a Japanese university, and has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and studies indigenous peoples in Australia.
Uehashi’s other works, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and The Beast Player have had anime adaptations in 2007 and 2009, with The Beast Player getting a manga adaptation as well.
Currently, Uehashi’s most popular, English-translated work is The Beast Player and be purchased on Amazon.
Distributed by Gkids Films, watch THE DEER KING now playing in select theaters nationwide, find the closest theater near you, by visiting the film’s official website www.THEDEERKING.com
It’s important to note that there are two versions of the film, Decide and Glory; this review will cover Decide; there is no release date set for “Glory” as of the release of this review.
Debuting as the first CG film in the series, it serves as a bridge between the original manga series’ timeline and its sequel, which saw Ryoma leaving Japan for America for the US Open and then appearing at the All-Japan Junior Training Camp in Japan.
The film follows Ryoma Echizen, inspired by his tennis champion father Nanjirō Echizen, is determined to take his game to the next level and train in the US. But in the middle of an intense tennis battle to save his classmate Sakuno from “dangerous” villains, they somehow find themselves transported to the past, just as Ryoma’s father is about to face his final championship match at the US Open – when he was mysteriously forced to retire. Takeshi Konomi, The Prince of Tennis creator, oversaw the film’s production and wrote some of the music and lyrics for the featured songs.
Yes, this film has a few sporadic musical numbers (perhaps inspired from Musical: The Prince of Tennis) combined with its CG animation style making it feel like a Disney film or an episode of Miraculous Ladybug. Still, as sporadic musical numbers go, they are entertaining to watch. This film also makes for a great kid-friendly film and is perfect for introducing your kids to anime and The Prince of Tennis series. Although the film pays homage to the series’ comedic genre, it exaggerates, making the featured slap-stick comedy dull to older audiences. Like the original series, there is still tennis action on the court, mainly focusing on using tennis as a form of distraction; the real tennis action comes towards the end of the film with Nanjirō Echizen facing off an American character.
Throughout the film, there are major plot holes; for example, there is no explanation for the time travel nor an explanation as to why a particular character is seen in a wheelchair at the beginning but is completely fine throughout the film. These are only a few questions that seem to be unanswered; however, as mentioned above, this is only one version of the film; therefore, it’s safe to assume that any plot holes or questions may be answered in “Glory.”
Overall, the film lives up to The Prince of Tennis legacy; it’s a unique take on ThePrince of Tennis series and its characters and a concrete bridge between the US Open and U-17 Training camp gap. It’s a fun-packed, family-friendly film that will capture both old and new fans.
Experience the newest addition to The Prince of Tennis series and purchase your tickets HERE.
GKIDS and Fathom Events continue their partnership into 2022 with the release of Pompo The Cinephilefeature film on April 27 and 28. POMPO THE CINEPHILE will play in select cinemas nationwide on Wednesday, April 27th (Japanese ver) and Thursday, April 28th (English dubbed).
In addition to the full feature, audiences will view a special introduction from director Takayuki Hirao, exclusive to the Fathom Events screenings. Fan preview events will be followed by a limited theatrical release in select markets nationwide by GKIDS starting April 29th.
Known for God Eater (Anime seires) & The Garden of Sinners, Takayuki Hiraoreturns to the director’s chair with production from the all-new studio CLAP. POMPO THE CINEPHILE was domestically released on June 4, 2021, and swiftly became an indie hit.
The film is an adaptation of Shogo Sugitani’s manga of the same name. The series was published on pixiv Comic website and later, collected in six tankōbon volumes. In July 2018, Sugitani release a spin off titled Fran: The Cinéphile (映画大好きフランちゃん, Eiga Daisuki Fran-chan.
Pompo is a talented and gutsy producer in “Nyallywood,” the movie-making capital of the world. Although she’s known for B-movies, one day Pompo tells her movie-loving but apprehensive assistant Gene that he will direct her next script: a delicate drama about an aging and tormented creative genius, starring the legendary and Brando-esque actor Martin Braddock, and a young actress seeking her first break. But when the production heads towards chaos, can Gene rise to Pompo’s challenge, and succeed as a first-time director?
Pompo the Cinephile is a rollicking, exuberant ode to the power of the movies, and the joys and heartbreak of the creative process, as a new director and his team devote their lives to the pursuit of a “masterpiece.”
The Lupin the 3rd franchise created by Monkey Punch began in 1967 and has spanned a variety of manga, TV series, games, a theme park ride, and musical adaptations. It featured acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki in his first feature film debut with The Castle of Cagliostro in 1979. The Lupin the 3rd: The First is a highly anticipated film that marks the VERY first installment in CGI for the lauded animated franchise. In recent news, the upcoming English language dub film will feature the voices of
Lupin III – Tony Oliver Daisuke Jigen – Richard Epcar Goemon Ishikawa – Lex Lang Fujiko Mine – Michelle Ruff Koichi Zenigata – Doug Erholtz Laetitia – Laurie C. Hymes Lambert – J. David Brimmer Gerard – Paul Guyet
From 2D to CGI 3D
“I’ve been looking forward to seeing Lupin III in 3DCG for a long time now. I saw the characters and story, and it looks like this new Lupin is going to have a whole new feeling to him. It’s exciting just imagining how the movie is going to turn out.”
-MONKEY PUNCH (OCT. ‘18)
An excerpt from Gkids’ Interview with LUPIN III: THE FIRST director Takashi Yamazaki:
As soon as the project began in September 2015, the 3DCG Lupin character designs were also developed. Lupin has different characteristics between the TV series and the specials, and likewise, various options were considered for this movie.
First, several character designers and concept artists were hired to develop about 30 different designs of Lupin in 2D. The Staff cast voted on the three most popular designs. Those were further improved until the final design was completed. Once Lupin was finalized, developing Daisuke Jigen, Goemon Ishikawa, and Inspector Zenigata was relatively easy by applying the same style.
However, Fujiko Mine proved to be difficult. She was portrayed as a provocative lady in the TV specials with eyes slanting upwards, whereas she was cute and playful with eyes slanting down in the series. Her characteristics changed according to the staff. After many discussions about which direction to go and whether she should be slim or voluptuous, the production team decided on the current design.
Building 3D models based on 2D concepts turned out to be challenging since small details make or break Lupin’s likeness. Two dedicated 3D modelers were building digital maquettes in ZBrush for the main characters. What resulted were completely different models, and it was hard to believe that they came from the same concept art. In the end, the one chosen was the model that was most expressive in CG animation. Attention to small details such as the sideburns and jawline were considered to finalize the 3D models.
The new characters Laetitia, Lambert, and Gerard were developed based on Director Yamazaki’s rough sketches. Lambert’s 3D model was almost entirely developed from Director Yamazaki’s sketch. Gerard’s design was less straightforward. Ultimately, the character drawn in the animatics turned out to be well-received, so the model was developed from that design.
What is great about 3DCG is its rich texture. The slick texture of Lupin’s leather jacket was made possible because of the medium. There were more than 10 different outfits designed for Fujiko and Director Yamazaki mentioned that it was like an upscale costume fitting. However, because of the budget, only a couple of outfits were developed. Fans can enjoy the carefully selected outfits in the film.
Special thanks to GKids for interviewing the film Director Takashi Yamazaki, and providing us with the said interview. For those interested in reading the entire interview please do so here (Lupin III: The First Press Kit PDF).
Follow the iconic “gentleman thief” as Lupin III returns in an action-packed, continent-spanning adventure, as Lupin III and his colorful underworld companions race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich. The gang undertakes trap-filled tombs, aerial escapades, and daring prison escapes with the trademark wit and visual finesse that has made LUPIN THE 3RD one of the most storied animation franchises in the world, in a thrilling new caper that is sure to delight fans old and new. Watch the trailer below!
Follow Lupin at these official social media links:
PROMARE marks the very first feature film from Studio TRIGGER, founded by former studio Gainax animator and director Hiroyuki Imaishi. Imaishi credits include the award-winning TV series GURREN LAGANN and critically acclaimed KILL la KILL.
FORBES.COM (CREDIT: OLLIE BARDER)
GKIDS and Fathom Events bring PROMARE to U.S. theaters nationwide for special event screenings on September 17th and 19th, followed by a theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles on September 20, 2019. For more information and to purchase movie tickets, visit their PROMARE’s ticket website here.
GKIDS has announced the English voice cast for PROMARE. The film will feature the voices of Billy Kametz (NEON GENESIS Series), Johnny Yong Bosch (BLEACH, AKIRA, MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS), Crispin Freeman (MIRAI), and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld (POKEMON, YU-GI-OH!), among others.
English Voice Cast
Billy Kametz – Galo Thymos Johnny Yong Bosch – Lio Fotia Crispin Freeman – Kray Foresight Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld — Aina Ardebit Neil Kaplan — Vulcan Haestus Erica Lindbeck — Heris Ardebit Kari Wahlgren — Lucia Fex Steve Blum — Ignis Ex Mike Pollock — Deus Prometh John Bentley — Varys Truss Billy Bob Thompson — Remi Puguna Matt Mercer — Gueira Yuri Lowenthal –Meis Melissa Fahn — Biar Colossus
PROMARE Synopsis is as follows:
Thirty years has passed since the appearance of Burnish, a race of flame-wielding mutant beings, who destroyed half of the world with fire. When a new group of aggressive mutants calling themselves “Mad Burnish” appears, the epic battle between Galo Thymos, a new member of the anti-Burnish rescue team “Burning Rescue,” and Lio Fotia, the leader of “Mad Burnish” begins. PROMARE uses a bold cel-shaded visual style to tell a blistering action-adventure story and is the spiritual successor to many of director Hiroyuki Imaishi’s former works.
On March 15, 2019, Sentai Filmworks hosted the Los Angeles red carpet premiere of the dark fantasy and adventure anime film MADE IN ABYSS: Journey’s Dawn at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 14. Journey’s Dawn is the first film in the two-part MADE IN ABYSS compendium.
In attendance was the talented and famed anime director Masayuki Kojima, composer Kevin Penkin, music producer Hiromitsu Iijima and producer Shimpei Yamashita.
Made In Abyss television series took audiences by surprise and garnered ecstatic reviews with its disarming facade that shrouded a dark masterpiece and although the film is a compilation of the series’s episodes, however, it features brand new scenes by Kojima & Yamashita.
We spoke with Made In Abyss film director Masayuki Kojima & the film’s music composer, Kevin Penkin during the red carpet premiere:
The enigmatic Abyss is an unforgiving and deadly place. Despite the dangers, it still captures the imagination of explorers such as Riko who wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and trains hard to become a Cave Raider. One day, she receives news that her mother died in the Abyss, yet a mysterious note tells Riko that her mother may still be alive. Vowing to uncover the truth about her mother’s fate, Riko embarks on a journey with a humanoid robot boy name Reg. Together, they will discover if they have what it takes to survive where so many others have perished.
Photo gallery from Sentai Filmworks’ Los Angeles red carpet premiere of MADE IN ABYSS: Journey’s Dawn at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 14
The Kitsune Network would like to thank the wonderful and talented people of Sentai Filmworks & Rogers & Cowan.
AniFest is a yearly anime convention and festival dedicated to celebrating the arts and culture of Japanese animation. Cosplayers, vendors, partners, sponsors, performers, and event producers all come together in one day to bring you the best that an anime convention has to offer, but without the high price!
There’ll plenty of activities to part take during this 8-hour event such as Anisong Dance Festival Event, AniFest Cosplay Showcase, Itasha Anime Car Showcase, Pine Wind Japanese Garden Experience & more. (See their official schedule here for more information). All this and more at AniFest! Held at the Torrence Cultural Arts Center in Torrence, CA on March 23rd 2019, in just 16 days!
Gallery Nucleus held a special exhibition in honour of Mamoru Hosoda works, featuring artwork from his various filmed such as Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and more recently, Mirai.
Check out Hosoda’s inspiration for drawing here. Brought to you by GKIDS Films.