Children Who Chase Lost Voices (“Hoshi o Ou Kodomo”, lit “Children Who Chase Stars”)
A 2011 Japanese anime film created and directed by Makoto Shinkai, Children Who Chase Lost Voices is about a young girl named Asuna who had to mature quickly after the death of her father. With her mother working long shifts at the hospital, Asuna spends most her lonely days listening to music from the radio given to her by her late father. One day, she got more than just the magical music when listening in. After listening to a mysterious song, Asuna is taken a world of strange creatures alongside Shun, and her substitute teacher Mir Morisaki to the Land of Agartha, a place that could possibly bring the dead back to life. Mangako: Anime Club will be viewing this title on April 25th in the Gallery!
Summer Wars is a 2009 animated science fiction film directed by Mamoru Hosoda, animated by Madhouse and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It has won many International Film Awards and Prizes and was even submitted as Best Animated Feature for the 83rd Academy Awards. The story revolves around Kenji Koiso, an eleventh-grade math genius who’s a bit too shy for his own good. Whilst posing as the fiancé to his crush, Natsuki, at her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday, he cracks a mathematical code that ends up helping someone hack into the OZ infrastructure, a system that controls much of the world’s finances and daily life activities. Now he must repair the damage done to this virtual world and stop the hacker from causing further damage.
Millennium Actress (“Sennen Joyu”)
Another film animated by Madhouse, Millennium Actress, is a 2001 animated film by director Satoshi Kon. When a studio is being torn down, Genya Tachibana searches for the star actress and interviews her for his documentary. During the interview the actress Chiyoko Fujiwara draws in both Genya and the cameraman into the story of her life, where cinema and real life is oft blurred. Based on the life of Setsuko Hara.
Steamboy, co-written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo(Akira, 1988), is a steampunk animated film from 2004. In the middle of the 19th century, Ray is a young boy inventor living in the U.K. In this alternate timeline, Europe is riddled with many steampunk-themed technologies. Right before the first World Expo, an invention called the “Steam Ball” arrives at the doorstop of Ray’s grandfather Lloyd in the U.S. The “Steam Ball” turns out to be an engine toting immense power, attracting the unwanted attention of the O’Hara foundation, who wants it for their nefarious plans.