Giovanni's Island (ジョバンニの島, Joban'ni no Shima) is a 2014 Japanese anime drama film directed by Mizuho Nishikubo and produced by Production I.G and co-produced and presented by the Japan Association of Music Enterprises. The film was released on February 22, 2014 in Japan and North America on March 22, 2014 in New York International Children's Film Festival.
|Directed by||Mizuho Nishikubo|
|Story by||Shigemichi Sugita|
|Music by||Masashi Sada|
|Edited by||Junichi Uematsu|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
The story follows two brothers, Junpei and Kanta, who live on the island of Shikotan, weeks before the end of World War II, on August 15, 1945, Soviet soldiers land on Shikotan and occupy the island. Junpei and Kanta, who live with their grandfather, a fisherman, and their father, the head of the firefighting force of the village, are forced to move to the stables while the Russian commander's family, among them the commander's daughter Tanya, move into the main house. At school, Russian children occupy half the building, and Tanya and the other Russian kids begin to mingle with the Japanese children at recess. After a playground jostle makes Junpei bump into Tanya, they become friends and the two brothers are subsequently invited to Tanya's house for dinner. The brothers' uncle, Hideo, asks Junpei to light signal fires at night so that he can make trips to the main island for rations as they are running low on rice. Meanwhile, their father, Tatsuo, with the help of their school teacher, Sawako, secretly supplies the rest of the village with foodstuff from the Dawn Corps' emergency stores. When Hideo finds out about this, he tries to smuggle the food to sell outside the island, but gets caught instead. Tatsuo rushes to the cave where the Dawn Corps' supplies are kept and gets arrested.
On September 25, 1947, the Japanese on the island are made to assemble at the harbour to be sent back to the mainland. Junpei and Kanta set out with Sawako, while their grandfather chooses to stay behind, determined to spend his last moments on the sea. The three are reunited with Hideo while boarding the ship, and arrive at an internment camp at Maoka, in western Karafuto, a few days later, where they wait for the ship that will take them back to Japan. Hideo finds out that Tatsuo is alive and at another internment camp on the other side of the mountains "just a stone's throw away". Kanta, taking his words literally, sets out to meet his father, aided by Junpei. Sawako and Hideo track the two down the next day, and to Hideo's surprise, Sawako decides to visit Tatsuo's camp as well. The four of them drive to a pillbox where they spend the night, but in the morning they spot Soviet soldiers who've managed to track them down, and Hideo runs ahead as a decoy while Sawako and the children make their escape.
The trio are able to make their way to the internment camp holding Tatsuo, where they have a tearful farewell, with Tatsuo promising he'll find a way to reunite with them no matter what. However, as they try to return, Kanta suddenly falls extremely ill and they are caught by the camp guards. The warden arranges for the trio to be sent back to the harbor by truck, but Kanta succumbs to his illness en route. Junpei and Sawako reunite with Hideo at the harbor where they line up to board the ship back to Japan. Junpei keeps talking to Kanta about the story of the "Night on the Galactic Railroad" to fool the guards into thinking Kanta is still alive so they won't dispose of his body. As he talks, Junpei has a vision of Kanta's spirit riding a ghostly train up into the stars.
56 years later, Sawako and Junpei return to Shikotan and pay their respects at Tatsuo and Kanta's graves. Junpei's school holds a graduation ceremony for those who never managed to have it, and a blonde girl, Tanya's granddaughter, approaches Junpei at dinner. She hands him a notebook, containing one of Junpei's sketches of Tanya, and Junpei gives her his old copy of "Night on the Galactic Railroad" in return. Junpei is saddened to learn that Tanya had died a year earlier. The Russian hosts then begin to play music and the partygoers, both Russian and Japanese, begin to dance. Tanya's granddaughter invites Junpei to dance with her, and the scene morphs to the spirits of Shikotan's original residents dancing with each other among the stars.
- Masachika Ichimura as Tatsuo Senō (瀬能 辰夫 Senō Tatsuo)
- Yukie Nakama as Sawako (佐和子)
- Kanako Yanagihara as Micchan (みっちゃん Mitchan)
- Yūsuke Santamaria as Hideo (英夫)
- Kōta Yokoyama as Junpei Senō (瀬能 純平 Senō Junpei)
- Junya Taniai as Kanta Senō (瀬能 寛太 Senō Kanta)
- Polina Ilyushenko as Tanya (ターニャ Tānya)
- Saburo Kitajima as Genzō Senō (瀬能 源三 Senō Genzō)
- Hiroshi Inuzuka as Chief
- Kaoru Yachigusa as Sawako (Present)
- Tatsuya Nakadai as Junpei Senō (Present)
- 17th New York International Children's Film Festival (2014) / Official Competition
- 21st Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (2014) / AniMovie Competition
- 54th Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth (2014) / Official Selection
- 38th Annecy International Animated Film Festival (2014) / Official Competition
- 36th Moscow International Film Festival (2014) / Official Selection
- 18th Fantasia International Film Festival (2014) / Official Selection
- 18th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (2014) / Official Selection
- 62nd Melbourne International Film Festival (2014) / Official Selection
- 22nd Tokyo Kinder Film Festival (2014) / Official Competition
- 4th Sakhalin International Film Festival (2014) / Closing Film
- 13th Nueva Mirada Film Festival (2014) / Official Competition
- 46th Sitges Film Festival (2014) / Official Competition
- 38th Portland International Film Festival (2015) / Official Selection
- 13th Imaginaria Film Festival (2015) / Official Selection
- Jury Distinction, 38th Annecy Animation Film Festival (2014)
- Satoshi Kon Award, 18th Fantasia Film Festival (2014)
- Audience Award, 18th Fantasia Film Festival (2014)
- Jury Special Mention, 13th Nueva Mirada (2014)
- Jury Award, 5th Scotland Loves Animation (2014)
- Children's Jury Prize, 31st Chicago Int'l Children's Film Festival (2014)
- Adult Jury Prize, 31st Chicago Int'l Children's Film Festival (2014)
- Excellence Award, 18th Japan Media Arts Festival (2014)
- Best Animation Film, 69th Mainichi Film Awards (2014)
- Jury Award, 13th Imaginaria Film Festival (2015)
- Animation of the Year, 38th Japan Academy Film Prize.
- "Full Trailer for I.G's Hand-Drawn Anime Film Giovanni's Island Posted". Anime News Network. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- "NY Int'l Children's Film Fest to Host Giovanni's Island International Premiere". Anime News Network. February 19, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
- "Giovanni's Island is Best Animated Film at the 69th Mainichi Film Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved 9 May 2016.