Two Japanese animated films in contention for top recognition at Annie Awards

by

Staff Writer

Two Japanese animated films — one dealing with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the other about the fantastical adventures of a nap-loving high school girl — have been nominated in one of the main categories for the 45th annual Annie Awards.

“In This Corner of the World,” Sunao Katabuchi’s feature about a girl’s coming of age in prewar Hiroshima and wartime Kure, and Kenji Kamiyama’s “Napping Princess” are among the five selections in contention for the category Best Animated Feature —Independent.

In addition, Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” was nominated for both production design and writing. Winners in 35 categories will be revealed in a Feb. 3 ceremony in Los Angeles.

Dubbed the Academy Awards for animation, the Annie Awards recognize excellence in animated works released in the United States over the past year. The independent category is awarded to films that have a total theatrical distribution in the U.S. of fewer than 1,000 screens. Last year the category saw the nominations of Makoto Shinkai’s body-swapping sci-fi blockbuster “Your Name.,” Keiichi Hara’s “Miss Hokusai” and Studio Ghibli Inc.’s co-produced “The Red Turtle,” which took the prize.

The crowd-funded “In This Corner of the World,” based on Hiroshima native Fumiyo Kono’s manga of the same title, was released in November last year and saw critical and commercial success, drawing over 2 million moviegoers to date. It follows the daily life of a young woman named Suzu, who is married off to a man from the port town of Kure near Hiroshima and later faces the horrors brought by war.

The film won the Japan Academy Film Prize for Best Animation and has earned over ¥2.6 billion in the domestic box office.