Both Shout! Factory and Funimation have announced that the critically acclaimed anime movie In This Corner of the World will receive a limited U.S. theatrical release this August.
Based on the original manga by Fumiyo Kōno, it deals with the life of a young Japanese woman called Suzu during the outbreak and aftermath of World War 2. It’s a very sweet and beautiful story and its subsequent anime adaptation has been a huge success.
Directed by Sunao Katabuchi, who also worked on anime such as Kiki’s Delivery Service and Black Lagoon, the movie has a feel of hand painted craftsmanship to it. Released last year in Japan, it was somewhat eclipsed by the blockbuster anime Your Name but In This Corner of the World still went on to do very well, not only in terms of its box office but also its glowing critical response.
The latter is something that I have repeatedly come across in my various interviews with people in the anime industry in Japan, with Yoshiyuki Tomino’s comments being some of the most notable:
I always wanted to be a novelist and I took on that challenge with the Wings of Rean. As a result of this though, I felt that I couldn't be a novelist or a real writer of drama. I felt a sense of failure. The cause of this failure was that I couldn't find a proper way to dramatize fantasy. There must be a way to do it but I couldn't find one. While the beginning and end of the story was good, the middle really wasn't. As a result of this I was unable to make it a successful work. Likewise with my later creative output, I still feel I was unable to make it work.
The reason I couldn't do it was that I wanted to showcase something imaginary in the real world. I didn't have the means within myself to do it. Interestingly, I found an answer to this pursuit recently. The answer was that within realism you instead input something imaginary. So it was the other way around from what I tried to do. This approach was exemplified in a recent film called In This Corner of the World.