In memory of the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 71 years ago on August 6th, 1945, the official website of the anime film based on Fumiyo Kono’s award-winning manga In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni) confirmed its Japanese release date on Saturday. Set to be screened at Theater Shinjuku, Euro Space in Tokyo and more cinemas across the country, the film will premiere on November 12th, 2016.
The UK and Ireland’s own anime producers and distributors Animatsu Entertainment are extending their reach to the rest of the world with this film, as they’ve secured global distribution rights to the powerfully poignant coming-of-age wartime tale. This feature, as yet still incomplete, had its first introduction from Animatsu at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market, sharing a first look at the manga-inspired tale in the festival’s Works in Progress program.
Produced by GENCO with animation studio MAPPA, In This Corner of the World is written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi. Katabuchi began his career working closely with Hayao Miyazaki before directing his own projects, which include the acclaimed animation Mai Mai Miracle.
The film tells the story of the adolescent Suzu, who in 1944 moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima to live with her husband’s family. Suzu’s life is thrown into chaos when her town is bombed during World War II. Her perseverance and courage, however, underpin this heart-warming and inspirational tale of the everyday challenges faced by the Japanese in the midst of a violent, war-torn country. Animatsu Entertainment Chief Opearting Officer Jerome Mazandarini said “There have been previous anime films set around the devastation in Hiroshima, but none with the ultimately uplifting and positive message of In This Corner of the World.”
GENCO president and producer Taro Maki also expressed that this production “is not a typical war movie: the town is so beautifully recreated and the characters are so wonderfully achieved that the focus is on the art that is imbued in daily life itself.” He went on to say, “While it is of course heart-breaking to behold the before and after scenes, the willpower that normal people muster in the name of love and caring is what really stands out.”
The film was partly funded by a successful crowdfunding effort, providing essential resources for its production. The campaign ultimately raised 39 million yen (approximately £260,000), almost doubling up on the goal the campaign originally set.