Illustration for article titled Scotland Loves Anime: Aberdeen: 24th-29th January 2020

This is a statement of intent. Up here in the frozen north of Scotland we only rarely get the chance to experience anime on the big screen. The nearest annual film festival is Scotland Loves Anime every October at the Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Filmhouse. Due to family illness I was unable to attend this year’s screenings, and I was sorely disappointed to miss out on a stellar selection of films.

I rejoiced when ANN announced that some of these movies would be shown much closer to home at a mini Scotland Loves Anime season at my local independent cinema - The Belmont Filmhouse. The following synopses are taken from the SLA website and I’ll post a review after I’ve seen each one.


Weathering With You: Friday January 24th 6:10pm, 114 mins, BBFC 12A

The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine.

Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky…

I’m particularly hyped for this one. Unfortunately I can’t make the timing of this screening. Just as well it’s showing the following Thursday at the local Cineworld chain cinema, so my write-up will be delayed until at least 30th Jan.


Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System: Saturday January 25th 2:15pm, 180mins, BBFC 15

Prepare yourself for the third season of Psycho-Pass, with these three tales which mesh into the world of the SIBYL system, further exploring the world and characters of this popular franchise from Production I.G.


Season 3 has already been shown in its entirety on Amazon Prime Video during the Autumn 2019 season. I’d never seen this show, so this weekend I’ve been binge-watching the extended edition of season 1 on Funimation NOW (still the worst streaming service known to man, at least it works... sometimes). It seems that 5 hours of constant grim dystopian future-noir makes one feel mentally unwell. Who’d have thought it? I’ve been advised to avoid season 2 and skip to the movie that precedes this release, then watch the Sinners of the System trilogy and then watch Season 3. Ok. Sounds like a plan.

Children of the Sea: Sunday January 26th 6:15pm, 111 mins, BBFC 15

When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.


Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.

Based on the 5-volume manga released over a decade ago in English by Viz Media, I know very little about this. The trailer looks pretty though.


Promare: Monday January 27th 8:15pm, 111 mins, BBFC 15

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.

I’ve already seen this, so I can take a day off. Read my review of this fantastic, neon pink sherbet explosion of a film here.


Birthday Wonderland: Tuesday January 28th 6:10pm, 115 mins, BBFC PG

Akane Uesugi is a shy 6th grader who has trouble telling other people how she feels.
The day before her birthday, her mother, Midori, sends her on an errand: to go get her birthday present from her free-spirited Aunt Chi’s antique shop. But a strange man named Hippocrates the Alchemist, who calls her the “Green Goddess”, together with Pipo the fairy, takes her on a journey to “The World Beyond” from a door in the basement.
There, the water has dried up and the trees are losing their color. Can she save it with the help of her free-spirited Aunt Chi, the stern Hippocrates, and his apprentice Pipo?


Directed by Keiichi Hara whose earlier film Miss Hokusai I reviewed here, this looks to be a whimsical and colourful family film.

Ride Your Wave: Wednesday January 29th 6:05pm, 94 mins, BBFC 12

Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love.


Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as soon as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato’s sudden reappearance?

Masaki Yuasa certainly seems to be director of the moment, after 2018’s Netflix exclusive Devilman Crybaby was spectacularly successful. He’s known for less disturbing but no less intense, kinetic shows like the currently airing Winter 2020 season’s Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, his upcoming adaptation of famous novel Japan Sinks and his beloved series The Tatami Galaxy and its related movie The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl. His signature style is loose and fluid, with an atypical anime aesthetic that proves both divisive and enthralling. I’m really looking forwards to seeing this on the big screen.


Should you wish a trip to Aberdeen to see any of these films, seats can still be booked via the official website.


See you again soon with my first impressions of Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System.

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