This Year’s Special Animation Program: Mobile Suit Gundam. The First-Ever Major Screening Occasion to Showcase the Monumental Works!
Following the last year’s special screenings of “The World of Hideaki Anno” which gained huge popularity, this year, the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) will continue to focus on Japanese animation, presenting a special program of “Mobile Suit Gundam”, a monumental work of robot animation.
This will be the first-ever major screening occasion to showcase the Gundam franchise as well as the first time in TIFF history that the festival will present special screening of animated works specific to a single series.
It is nearly 35 years since the theatrical version of Mobile Suit Gundam was released. Numerous works, whose creators have publicly stated they were influenced by Gundam, have been worldwide big hits. One such work, the Guillermo del Toro-directed Pacific Rim, remains fresh in audiences’ minds, and thus the influence of Gundam continues to reverberate throughout the world.
In addition to screening the memorable first theatrical–released film and the legend, Mobile Suit Gundam directed by Yoshiyuki TOMINO, the festival plans to screen a few dozen works of TV series episodes, other films released in theaters, and shorts that have very rarely appeared on the big screen. Befitting the first–ever major screening of Gundam, the franchise’s creators–ranging from those in its early days to those of its latest installments–will appear on stage. Several other special events that would only be possible at this festival will be held.
Recently, creative works that are uniquely Japanese–as well as Japanese culture overall–have been the subject of much attention. Gundam is the grandfather of the animated robot genre that Japan is proud to have offered to the world. Through the presentation of this special animation program–which continues to have a profound effect on the way people in Japan perceive the future and outer space–the Tokyo International Film Festival will show the world the diversity that exists within Japanese culture and help to popularize the rich and complex charm of the country worldwide.
The festival has arranged a variety of events to allow as many visitors as possible to attend. These events will transform Tokyo into a place for celebrating film and culture!
The first work in the Gundam franchise, Mobile Suit Gundam, is set in the “Universal Century,” when overpopulation has forced part of humanity to immigrate from Earth to Space. During a war for independence declared against the Earth Federation by the nation of space migrants, the “Principality of Zeon,” a young boy, Amuro Ray, pilots the Federation’s new weapon–the Gundam—and grows up in the heat of battle. The series features numerous characters with unique personalities, including Char of the Zeon army, who goes by the nom de guerre “The Red Comet.” The famous lines said by these characters sparked conversations throughout Japan.
This animated TV series began broadcasting in April 1979. The show created a minor sensation, which transformed into a social phenomenon with the 1980 release of “Gunpla”–plastic models based on the franchise–and a trilogy of theatrical films from 1981. The appeal of Mobile Suit Gundam–the realistic near-future SF setting; the scenes of the human–piloted, humanoid-shaped “Mobile Suits” fighting; and a layered wartime human drama–enraptured countless fans, turning existing perceptions of animated works about robots on their head.
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