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In This Corner of the World (film)

In This Corner of the World (この世界の片隅に, Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni) is a 2016 Japanese animated wartime drama film produced by MAPPA, co-written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi,[3][4] featuring character designs by Hidenori Matsubara and music by Kotringo.[5] The film is based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Fumiyo Kōno.[6][7] It premiered in Japan on November 12, 2016.[8] Animatsu Entertainment licensed the global distribution rights of the film in June 2016.[9][10] Shout! Factory has acquired the distribution rights for North America, with a U.S. theatrical release on August 11, 2017, co-released by Funimation Films.[11]

In This Corner of the World
In This Corner of the World poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sunao Katabuchi
Produced by
Written by
Based on In This Corner of the World
by Fumiyo Kōno
Starring
Music by Kotringo
Cinematography Yūya Kumazawa
Edited by Kashiko Kimura
Production
company
Distributed by Tokyo Theatres
Release date
  • October 28, 2016 (2016-10-28) (TIFF)
  • November 12, 2016 (2016-11-12) (Japan)
Running time
129 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget ¥250 million
(US$2.2 million}[1]
Box office ¥2.5 billion
(US$22.5 million)[2]

The film is set in the 1930s-1940s in Hiroshima and Kure in Japan, roughly 10 years before and after the atomic bomb, but mainly in 1944-45. In the film, nature and traditional culture in Japan are clearly described and contrasted with the cruel and irredeemable scenes brought by the war. Though it is a fictional account, the episodes and background of the story are based on facts and real incidents researched by the production staff.[12] In the film, the lost townscape of pre-war Hiroshima, damaged by the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, is accurately revived in the scenes, following old photos, documents, and the memories of living people.[12]

Contents

PlotEdit

A young woman named Suzu, who is innocent and loves drawing, lives in a seaside town called Eba[a] in Hiroshima City. In 1944, 18-year-old Suzu, working for her grandmother's small family business of cultivating Nori (edible sea weed), is told by her parents that an unknown young man has come to propose marriage to her. The man, whose name is Shūsaku, lives in Kure City,[b] a large naval port city 15 miles away from Hiroshima City, as a navy civilian. He remembers that he and Suzu had first met during one of Suzu's childhood visits to the city. Suzu decides to marry him and moves to join Shūsaku's family in Kure. As Suzu adjusts to her new life in Kure, the threat of the Pacific War slowly begins to encroach on the daily lives of the townspeople.

As food shortages become commonplace, the government implements food rationing. Warning and evacuation preparations against U.S. air raids also begin. Suzu, as a young housewife in a Tonarigumi,[c] takes turns overseeing food distribution and attends training against air raids. Like other Japanese housewives, she makes women's trousers fit for emergency evacuation by cutting traditionally designed clothing, such as kimonos, into parts. As officially allocated food becomes scarce, Suzu looks for any way to feed her family, picking edible plants and trying recommended recipes. Suzu, maintaining her cheerful character, makes efforts to improve the living conditions and to prepare for the air bombing with her family and neighbors. The family build the air-raid shelter in the garden. Her daily lives are full of humorous and lovely episodes.

The family house of Suzu & Shūsaku is located on a hillside in the suburbs of Kure, with a view of the Japanese Naval Fleet in the harbor, including the largest battleships, Yamato and Musashi. Suzu enjoys touching nature and viewing boats moving on the sea with her niece, Harumi. One day, as Suzu draws pictures of floating warships, the military police accost her and come close to accusing her of espionage. In December 1944, a navy sailor named Tetsu comes to visit Suzu: he was a childhood friend of hers, and he has been assigned to the Japanese cruiser Aoba, which is stationed in Kure. Understanding it might be Suzu's last chance to see Tetsu alive, Shūsaku leaves them alone to talk without a chaperone. The next spring, Shūsaku is drafted by the Navy and temporarily quartered with troops in Otake City, 40 miles away from Kure.

In 1945, the U.S. begins air raids on the Japanese mainland; in Kure, U.S. naval airplanes heavily attack warships and its naval facilities. In July, urban areas of Kure are firebombed, and most of the city burns. Suzu is nearly killed by a U.S. low-level strafing run, but saved by Shūsaku. Like many other Japanese, Suzu is unable to avoid tragedy; in addition to the death of her brother Yōichi, Suzu loses her niece, Harumi, and her right hand, which she describes as an "irreplaceable" part of her body due to its dominance, when a delay-action bomb detonates very close to them. As she suffers from depression, Suzu debates returning to the relative safety of her hometown (Eba) in Hiroshima City in time for the local summer festival on August 6; when she is unable to see a doctor, however, she decides to stay an extra week in Kure. On that particular morning, Suzu, still at her marriage home in Kure, notices a bizarre light and an abrupt quake from a distance. Strangely, Hiroshima Radio Station of Japan Broadcasting Corporation goes off the air, and a towering, roiling cloud rises ominously over the mountain from the direction of Hiroshima City. Soon, Suzu learns what has occurred in Hiroshima City; a new, devastating bomb has fallen on the town, destroying countless citizens and buildings in Hiroshima City. For a while, Suzu is unable to enter or get information about her hometown.

A few days later, in a radio address, the Emperor of Japan announces the end of the War. Suzu, having faced countless setbacks and tragedies during the war, and had grown accustomed to the single-minded focus of keeping the family alive, is forced to accept the reality of her losses and temporarily falls into despair. Soon, the times begin to change rapidly: US occupation forces, no longer the enemy, come to Kure and provide food for its citizens. Suzu visits her grandmother Ito's family house in Kusatsu,[d] a rural town to the west of Hiroshima and out of the affected area, to see her sister Sumi, who took refuge from deserted Hiroshima and is the only survivor of Suzu's family. Sumi informs Suzu of the fate of their parents; Sumi herself has fallen seriously ill from the radiation left behind by the atomic‐bomb radiation. Shūsaku, who returns from his naval service, meets with Suzu by chance in a deserted area of Hiroshima and tells her that he has found a new job. They come across a little girl, a war (atomic bomb) orphan struggling to survive in the ruins after losing her mother, and adopt her into their home in Kure. Suzu regains her passion for life slowly, with the courage and affection of her friends and family. As the credits roll, their adopted daughter is shown growing up in Suzu & Shūsaku's family home, sewing clothes with her own hands, aided by Suzu in peaceful post-war Japan.

CastEdit

Character Japanese English[13]
Suzu Urano/Hojo (浦野 すず(北條すず), Urano Suzu (Hojo Suzu)) Non[14] Laura Post
Ava Pickard (young)
An innocent, kind-hearted girl from a seaside town called Eba in Hiroshima, who then moves to Kure after marrying Hojo Shūsaku. She loves drawing and has a knack for it. She is earnest and hardworking, and she strives to overcome the difficulties of war-torn Japan against all odds.
Shusaku Hojo (北條 周作, Hojo Shūsaku) Yoshimasa Hosoya[14] Todd Haberkorn
Suzu's husband, an earnest and quiet man. He remembers meeting Suzu in December, 1933, in the commercial area of Hiroshima, in a fantastic experience. He works as a judicial civilian officer at the military court in Kure. He gets drafted into the navy as a judicial soldier in 1945. Even after the end of the war, as he has to be in charge of the final legal works regarding Navy demolition in Otake City, he leaves Kure for months. When he returns from final naval services and back from Otake, he finds Suzu in the deserted area of Hiroshima and says to her he luckily got his new job. He loves Suzu dearly and respects her painting hobby.
San Hojo (北條 サン, Hojo San) Mayumi Shintani[14] Barbara Goodson
Suzu's mother-in-law and Shūsaku's mother. She has a gentle character, with a kind-hearted and compassionate nature.
Entaro Hojo (北條 円太郎, Hojo Entarō) Shigeru Ushiyama[14] Kirk Thornton
Suzu's father-in-law and Shūsaku's father. He works as an engineer (Aircraft engine) for Hiro Naval Arsenal. He is a calm and composed man with a serious disposition, and rarely ever gets angry. Missing after the air raids attack Hiro Naval Arsenal, however later he is found in Kure Naval hospital, safe but injured.
Keiko Kuromura (黒村 径子, Kuromura Keiko) Minori Omi[14] Kira Buckland
Suzu's sister-in-law, Shūsaku's older sister, Harumi's mother, and a widow. In her youth, Keiko was fashionable lady ("Modern girl") in 1920s, Japan. She marries a man of a watch shop owner's family in Kure. She has one son (Hisao) and one daughter(Harumi), but the husband dies of illness. When the shop closes during the war, she is forced to give up her son(Hisao) to her late husband's parents in Shimonoseki. She acts coldly towards Suzu in the beginning. She blames Suzu for the death of her daughter, but she gradually begins to warm up to her and eventually accepts Suzu as a member of the family.
Harumi Kuromura (黒村 晴美, Kuromura Harumi) Natsuki Inaba[14] Kenna Pickard
Suzu's niece and Keiko's daughter. Harumi is a little girl aged around 6. She gets along with Suzu. She is fond of seeing warships in the sea, as her brother, Hisao, who lives in Shimonoseki, told her about the ships when living together. While walking with Suzu, she is killed in a time-delayed explosion of a US bomb near Hiro Naval Arsenal.
Juro Urano (浦野 十郎, Urano Jūrō) Tsuyoshi Koyama[14] Michael Sorich
Suzu's father living in a seaside town called Eba in Hiroshima. He initially owns the family business cultivating Nori, but later works at a factory following the end of his business. He dies from radiation exposure several months after entering the center of Hiroshima city to look for his missing wife immediately after the atomic bombing, though not directly killed by the blast, fire, and radiation.
Kiseno Urano (浦野 キセノ, Urano Kiseno) Masumi Tsuda[14] Melodee Spevack
Suzu's mother. She goes shopping to the center of Hiroshima city in preparation for the summer festival early morning on 6th August in 1945, and goes missing after the atomic bomb falls down the central area of Hiroshima city.
Yoichi Urano (浦野 要一, Urano Yōichi) Tony Azzolino
Suzu's older brother. A naughty boy in his childhood. He is drafted in the army and sent to fight in the southern Pacific Ocean. In 1944, He is reportedly killed in action. Only a single stone is sent home in place of his remains.
Sumi Urano (浦野 すみ, Urano Sumi) Megumi Han[14] Christine Marie Cabanos
Suzu's younger sister. After Suzu's wedding, Sumi is employed as a factory worker by the Imperial Japanese Army under the National Mobilization Law of Japan. She is considered a beauty and is the subject of affection of one handsome Japanese Army officer. She survives the atomic bombing and manages to flee to her grandmother's house in Kusatsu, but falls ill from radiation exposure because she enters into the central area of Hiroshima immediately after the atomic bombing.
Ito Morita (森田イト, Morita Ito) Hisako Kyouda[14]
Suzu's grandmother who cherishes Suzu. As a child, Suzu would cross the tidelands to visit her grandmother's house in Kusatsu, and had an enjoyable time during the summer holidays. After Suzu grows up, Ito, as a skilled and aged housewife, earnestly teaches Suzu how to sew clothes. Ito's family has a small business in Kusatsu of Nori (edible sea weed) cultivation, which Suzu also works with them. As Kusatsu is well out of the danger zone of the atomic bombing, the grandmother's family home becomes a refuge for Sumi.
Tetsu Mizuhara (水原 哲, Mizuhara Tetsu) Daisuke Ono[14] Michael Chapman
Suzu's childhood friend. In his childhood, Suzu drew a picture of "Sea Waves and White Rabbits" for him, when he was very depressed by facing the death of his brother (a student at Imperial Japanese Naval Academy but he died on board ferry sunk by the high waves). Tetsu grows to love Suzu. During the war, he serves aboard the Japanese cruiser Aoba as a sailor. When he gets on-shore leave from the cruisr, he drops in Suzu & Shūsaku and asks for one night stay. The cruiser is severely damaged in a U.S. air raid, and settles on the shallow bottom of the harbor of Kure, but Tetsu survives. After the war, one day, he is alone standing along a quay to see half-sunk Aoba, not noticing Suzu passing by.
Rin Shiraki (白木リン, Shiraki Rin) Nanase Iwai[14] Karen Strassman
A pretty courtesan working in Kure with whom Suzu talks to after getting lost in the city. She had an unhappy childhood and had strange relation with Suzu. She was lost after the heavy airraid.

DevelopmentEdit

 
The characters wore monpe (ja) (woman's trouser (pants), pictured in 1937) in the winter of 1943 because it was very cold and tabi socks were not available.[15]

The project was announced in August 2012 and began crowdfunding in March 2015 to raise funds.[16] The crowdfunding was a success, with a Japanese record of 3,374 contributors and the ¥39 million raised[17] exceeding the ¥20 million goal.[18] Another crowdfunding, to send Katabuchi overseas for promotion, was started on November 22, 2016 and reached the goal of ¥10 million within eleven hours.[19]

Director Sunao Katabuchi tried to add accurate details to the backgrounds of the film, such as one shot which took over 20 revisions to get right, using aerial photographs to estimate the size of a shop and interviewing over 10 elderly residents.[15]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

The film on its opening weekend opened at #10 at the Japanese box office, debuting in 63 theaters across Japan and grossed a total of ¥47 million from 32,032 admissions.[20] As of March 25, 2017, the film has grossed a total of over ¥2.5 billion from 1.9 million admissions.[21]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, In This Corner of the World has a 98% rating based on 60 reviews, with a rating average of 7.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "In This Corner of the World offers a unique ground-level perspective on an oft-dramatized period in history, further distinguished by beautiful hand-drawn animation."[22] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100 based on 21 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[23] On AlloCiné, the film has an average score of 4.3/5 based on 20 critics, ranked in the 10th place among the films produced in 2016.[24][25]

Sarah Ward of Screen International praised the film's visual aesthetic and screenplay as "involving and entrancing." In her review, Ward concludes: "[In This Corner of the World] is a beautiful, heart-swelling animated movie, to be certain, but it's also one that knows that such picturesque sights and pleasant sensations are only part of the equation.[26] In a review for TheWrap, Dan Callahan found In This Corner of the World to be "beautiful but erratic", disapproving the screenplay but opining that the film "is bound to bring a smile to the face."[27]

AccoladesEdit

In This Corner of the World won the 40th Japan Academy Film Prize for Best Animated Film, the 90th Kinema Junpo Best 10 Award for Best Japanese Film as the second-ever animated film, and the Jury Award at the 41st Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and was nominated for the 45th Annie Award for Best Animated Feature-Independent.

Sunao Katabuchi won the Award of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Film Category at the 67th Art Encouragement Prize, the 59th Blue Ribbon Award for Best Director as the first-ever animated film director, and the 90th Kinema Junpo Best 10 Award for Best Japanese Film Director as the first-ever animated film director.

The 65th Kikuchi Kan Prize was awarded to the team of In This Corner of the World including participants of the crowdfunding.

List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Recipients Result Ref.
2016 3rd Hiroshima International Film Festival Hiroshima Peace Film Award In This Corner of the World Won [28][29]
41st Hochi Film Award Best Picture In This Corner of the World Nominated [30]
Best Director Sunao Katabuchi Nominated
Selection of movies by MEXT Special Selection In This Corner of the World Won [31]
38th Yokohama Film Festival Best Film In This Corner of the World Won [32]
Special Jury Prize Non Won
WOWOW Plast Best Films in 2016 In This Corner of the World 1st [33]
Japan Film PEN Club Best 5 Best 5 Japanese Films in 2016 In This Corner of the World 2nd [34]
2017 31th Takasaki Film Festival Horizont Award Sunao Katabuchi, Non Won [35]
90th Kinema Junpo Best 10 Award Best Japanese Film In This Corner of the World Won [36][37][38]
Best Japanese Film Director Sunao Katabuchi Won
Best Japanese Film by Reader's Choice In This Corner of the World Won
Best Japanese Film Director by Reader's Choice Sunao Katabuchi Won
PIA Movie Life Audience Award 2016 Best 10 Films In This Corner of the World 3rd [39][40]
71st Mainichi Film Awards Best Film In This Corner of the World Nominated [41][42]
Excellent Film (2nd Best Film) In This Corner of the World Won
Best Animation Film In This Corner of the World Nominated
Ōfuji Noburō Award In This Corner of the World Won
Best Director Sunao Katabuchi Nominated
Best Actress Non Nominated
Best Music Kotringo Won
Eiga Geijutsu (Movie Art Magazine) Best & Worst 10 Award Best 10 Japanese Films In This Corner of the World 1st [43]
Eiga Hi-Ho (Movie Treasure Magazine) Movie Awards 2016 Best 10 Films In This Corner of the World 2nd [44]
Hi-Ho Best Girls in 2016 Non 1st
26th Tokyo Sports Film Award Best Film In This Corner of the World Won [45]
Best Actress Non Nominated
59th Blue Ribbon Awards Best Film In This Corner of the World Nominated [46][47]
Best Director Sunao Katabuchi Won
eAT 2017 in KANAZAWA Grand Prize Sunao Katabuchi Won [48][49][50]
Best 10 Cinemas in Sapporo 2016 Best 10 Japanese Films In This Corner of the World 1st [51]
Best Director Sunao Katabuchi Won
Best Animated Film In This Corner of the World Won
Special Award Non Won
Osaka Cinema Festival 2017 Best 10 Japanese Films In This Corner of the World 1st [52][53]
Best Music Kotringo Won
21st Japan Internet Movie Awards Best Film In This Corner of the World Won [54][55][56]
Best Director Sunao Katabuchi Won
Best Animation In This Corner of the World Won
Best Attached In This Corner of the World Won
Best Actress Non Won
Best Impact Sunao Katabuchi, Non Won
coco Award 2016 Best Movies in 2016 In This Corner of the World 2nd [57]
National Liaison Committee of Movie Appreciation Awards 2016 Best Japanese Films In This Corner of the World 1st [58]
Best Director Sunao Katabuchi Won
Best Actress Non Won
40th Japan Academy Prize Excellent Animation of the Year In This Corner of the World Won [59][60][61]
Best Animation of the Year In This Corner of the World Won
Outstanding Achievement in Music Kotringo Won
67th Art Encouragement Prize by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Film category Sunao Katabuchi Won [62]
22nd AMD Award Excellent Contents Taro Maki Won [63][64]
11th Seiyu Awards Special Award Non Won [65][66]
Best Supporting Actress Megumi Han Won
59th Culture of Child Welfare Award Film/Media category Production committee of In This Corner of the World Won [67]
41st SIGNIS JAPAN Movie Award Best Film In This Corner of the World Won [68][69]
36th Fujimoto Awards Special Prize Masao Maruyama, Taro Maki Won [70]
34th Encouragement of Reconstruction of Japanese Cinema Award Japanese Film Peace Award In This Corner of the World Won [71]
The Japan Society for Animation Studies Award 2017 Special Award Sunao Katabuchi Won [72][73]
Commendation by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs International Art Category Sunao Katabuchi Won [74]
23rd Miyazaki Film Festival Best Animation In This Corner of the World Won [75]
16th Sense of Gender Awards Award of "Beyond Time" In This Corner of the World (Manga & Film) Won [76]
ASIAGRAPH 2017 Tsumugi Award (Creativity Award) Sunao Katabuchi, Taro Maki Won [77]
65th Kikuchi Kan Prize Team of In This Corner of the World Won [78]
25th KINEKO International Children's Film Festival Grand Prize in Japanese Film Category In This Corner of the World Won [79]
14th Navarra Anime Festival Audience Award In This Corner of the World Won [80][81]
24th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film Special Mention for Feature Film In This Corner of the World Won [82]
19th Future Film Festival Platinum Grand Prize In This Corner of the World Nominated [83]
27th Animafest Zagreb Best Feature Film In This Corner of the World Nominated [84]
41st Annecy International Animated Film Festival Jury Award for Feature Film In This Corner of the World Won [85][86][87]
23rd Los Angeles Film Festival World Fiction Award In This Corner of the World Nominated [88][89]
6th Toronto Japanese Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Best Film In This Corner of the World Won [90]
71st Edinburgh International Film Festival Best International Feature Film In This Corner of the World Nominated [91]
66th Melbourne International Film Festival Audience Award for Feature Film In This Corner of the World Nominated [92][93][94]
19th Bucheon International Animation Festival Grand Prize for Feature Film In This Corner of the World Won [95]
15th Anilogue International Animation Festival Jury Special Mention for Feature Film In This Corner of the World Won [96][97]
45th Annie Awards Best Animated Feature - Independent In This Corner of the World Pending [98]

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ Eba was a small fishing town, located in a delta area in the south of Hiroshima City. It was known for cultivation of Nori (edible sea weed) and oysters. But in 1943, the fishing business almost ended because a military factory was founded on newly reclaimed land to the south of Eba. In 1945, Eba was affected by the atomic bombing and many people were killed or injured. Not all areas were burnt down and there were survivors, as it was around 3km from the center of the bombing. After the war, the factory, a civil industry factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, continues to manufacture machinery and transportation equipment. The town name, Eba, remains now in Naka-ku, Hiroshima.
  2. ^ Kure, a large port city, is located within an hour by local train from Hiroshima. The port faces the Seto Inland Sea and was widely known as the largest military base of Imperial Japanese Navy. After the War, Kure had been also known for the a civil shipbuilding factory of IHI Corporation.
  3. ^ Tonarigumi, a neighborhood association offering mutual assistance that was voluntarily organized in Japanese history. This system was mandated all over Japan by the Japanese government in 1940 in order to control society more under the war regime.
  4. ^ Kusatsu was a small and fishing town, located to the west of Hiroshima. As it was out of the delta of Hiroshima City, Kusatsu was not affected by the atomic bombing and the people were safe. The town name, Kusatsu, remains now in Nishi-ku, Hiroshima. Just in case, both Kusatsu, Gunma and Kusatsu, Shiga are not this place.
References
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  3. ^ "To All The Corners Of The World Anime Film's Teaser Streamed". Anime News Network. August 1, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2016. 
  4. ^ Schilling, Mark (November 29, 2016). "Japan Box Office: 'Fantastic Beasts' Bows at No. 1". Variety. Retrieved November 30, 2016. 
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