24th Animation Division Critiques
Sentiments, Speech, and Images That Resonate in the Digital Age
In terms of creativity and production, the spread of the novel coronavirus made 2020 a taxing year. I would like to express my gratitude to those who submitted their works amid such hardship. Further, it was my great fortune to encounter such a wonderful array of works. In my critique last year, I mentioned the unique difficulty of judging a TV series, which tells a story over an extended period of time and different episodes of which may merit different feedback. This doesn't happen with feature films or animated shorts. That the animated series Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! won the Grand Prize this year is not only delightful for me to see, it's also groundbreaking. We've witnessed an increase in long-form animation distributed by Netflix and other platforms. Works like A Whisker Away and JAPAN SINKS : 2020 have ambitious, exciting stories, they are produced for a platform outside the framework of movies and TV series, and they come with subtitles in multiple languages for simultaneous international distribution. Animated works tailored for music videos released online are now on the rise, like the Social Impact Award-winning Haze Haseru Haterumade and the Jury Selection Mela! Viewers can enjoy these works comfortably on their smartphone screens, and I have high hopes for how such works develop on screens of size and mobility vastly different from movies and TV. We had an excellent array of female protagonists as well. Excellence Award-winning works Violet Evergarden: the Movie, A Whisker Away, and MARONA'S FANTASTIC TALE illustrate the difficulty of conveying one's feelings to loved ones and the importance of those feelings. The mark of Emi delicately depicts a girl in the throes of young, queer love, with her emotional turmoil impressively conveyed in the pencil drawings on screen. A fellow winner of the New Face Award, À la mer poussière uses felt dolls to convey a mother's sorrow and her children's loneliness to an almost frighteningly beautiful effect. All of them were worth watching twice.