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Highlights of the Scotland Loves Anime 2013 festival

Five reasons to visit the Glasgow and Edinburgh showcase of the latest Japanese animation

Highlights of the Scotland Loves Anime 2013 festival

The Life of Guskō Budori

1. It’s anime on your doorstep
The Scotland Loves Anime festival returns for its fourth year with a broad selection of Japanese animation. Visiting both Edinburgh's Filmhouse and the GFT, the festival provides one of the few chances to see anime on the big screen in Scotland. Plus, all the films are subtitled in English for the Japanese-impaired.

2. There are animated cats
In The Life of Guskō Budori, an adorably-drawn cast of kitties is employed to tell the tale of a young tom in search of his family. Director Gisaburō Sugii worked on everything from Astro Boy (the 1960s TV show that helped define anime as a genre) to 1994's animated Street Fighter II film, and this child-friendly offering is cute enough to rival Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro.

GFT, Glasgow, Sun 13 Oct; Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 18 Oct.

3. It’s a chance to try something new
Speaking of Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki – the creative mind behind the studio's superb Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro and Howl's Moving Castle – has announced his retirement. Now may be a wise time to scout for a new favourite anime-maker among the many this festival has to offer.

4. Meet the filmmakers
Perhaps Makoto Shinkai could fulfil that role as he adds to his oeuvre with The Garden of Words. Featuring absolutely stunning artwork, the film is about a teenage boy who skips school to design shoes and meets an intriguing girl in the park. Shinkai will be participating in a Q&A session after the film.

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Thu 17 Oct.

5. Discover a cult classic
Definitely one for the adults, Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue is a psychological thriller following the life of a pop singer who decides to become an actress, somewhat to the displeasure of her stalker Me-Mania. If we tell you that this was an alleged influence on Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, that gives some clues as to how the plot will unfold.

GFT, Glasgow, Fri 11 Oct; Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Sat 19 Oct.

Scotland Loves Anime, Fri 11–Sun 13 Oct; GFT, Glasgow; Mon 14–Sun 20 Oct, Filmhouse, Edinburgh.

Scotland Loves Anime

One for lovers of Japanese animated cinema, the festival showcases the latest Japanese animation with experts on hand to provide behind-the-scenes information.

Perfect Blue

  • 1997
  • Japan
  • 81 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Satoshi Kon
  • Cast: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji

A retired pop singer turned actress' sense of reality is shaken when she is stalked by an obsessed fan and seemingly a ghost of her past.

The Life of Guskou Budori (Guskô Budori no Denki)

  • 2012
  • Japan
  • 106 min
  • Directed by: Gisaburō Sugii
  • Cast: Akira Emoto, Ryûzô Hayashi, Shozo Hayashiya

A young man is forced onto a life-long journey through the land of Ihatov, ending with his work as a geologist at a volcano.

Garden of Words (Koto no ha no niwa)

  • 2013
  • Japan
  • 46 min
  • Directed by: Makoto Shinkai
  • Cast: Miyu Irino, Kana Hanazawa, Fumi Hirano

A young student, training to become a shoemaker, skips school and sketches shoes in a Japanese-style garden. He meets a mysterious woman who is older than him. The two start to see each other again and again, but only on rainy days.

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