Los Angeles Anime Film Festival 2018

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Festivals are not easy to run and maintain. The theater landscape is saturated with various film festivals and audiences have so many to choose from.  Although Anime has become more and more mainstream, it’s still a niche genre with a limited audience. Only those who love Anime or interested in Anime would attend a film festival. So it with great happiness to see that the Los Angeles Anime Film Festival 2018 has returned for a second year.

The festival opened the weekend with the North American premiere of LOVE, CHUNIBYOL, AND OTHER DELUSIONS. Before the line of patient fans would claim their seats at the Regal Live theater in downtown LA, the lobby was bustling with the red carpet.

The red carpet was an ongoing sea of voice actor talents and legends.  Their voices may be well know but it was hard to recognize who they were until they introduced themselves!

The talent that walked the red carpet:

  • Ally Vega and Chlore Flores (Woke Weebs website)
  • Hazuki Kato (Grisse)
  • Mariko Wordell (I am the Night)
  • Marcy Edwards ( Flur: Blades of the Universe)
  • Kaiji  Tang ( Detective Pikachu)
  • Erick Scott Kimmer ( Toradora!)
  • Bryce Papenbrook (Sword Art Online)
  • David Vincent ( Bleach)
  • Stephanie Sheh (Sailor Moon)
  • Yuki Matsuzaki (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
  • Zach Aguilar (One Punch Man)
  • Sandy Fox (Sailor Moon)
  • Chris Patton (Full Metal Alchemist)
  • Sara Craven (A Silent Voice)
  • Philece Sampler (Digimon)
  • Jeff Nimoy (Digimon)
  • Lee Lang (Digimon

 

This was the first I had heard of LOVE, CHUNIBYOL AND OTHER DELUSIONS so I went  in completely blind. I was not aware of what genre this was or that it was based of an anime series until the last moment.  After watching the movie, it can be described as adorable, eccentric, and pretty romantic. It was surprisingly at a slower pace than I expected but I still enjoyed it

Just as expected, many of the references went soaring over my head. Only the audiences reaction cued me in that I was missing things. It was not a difficult movie to follow but it was to fully appreciate it. The movie depends on the viewer being familiar with the series to fully comprehend the weight of the story plots. There was enough of a narrative that the gist of the story was understood but I did not fully connect to it. It was enough for me to be genuinely curious about the series.

Most of the other films showcased during the festival were stand along movies. Although even some of the stand along movies left me confused. The other anime film that I caught over the week was K THE SEVEN STORIES. Three of the seven movies were played. The only thing I caught was this was an urban high fantasy series involving a kings with powers that could destroy a series. With just seeing the first three movies, it’s barely enough to offer a suggestion on whether it’s worth catching. It’s stylish but pretty confusing.

The festival is still in its baby steps in growing the festival. Even though there were technical hiccups (i.e., the screen freezing) , the festival does curate an interesting batch of anime films.It was a good mix of classics (MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS), new movies (YOUR NAME), and niche films (THE NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL).  Despite my frustrations, I just happened to choose the films that were based off of series.

There’s always the Third LA Anime Film Festival to look forward to of course!

 

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