Award-winning Works
Animation Division

Grand Prize

Excellence Award

New Face Award

Jury Selections


  • UDA Kounosuke
    Animation Director
    Ensuring Ex- pressiveness in Animated Films
    This is the first year that I have participated in the festi- val as a juror, so I cannot make simple comparisons, but my frank opinion after screening the submitted works is that overall there is a sense of decadence. This is because many of the works had a motif of loneliness and despair, and there were a few works that had ended without leaving any hope at all. I'm not sure whether this mirrors a society that senses a restlessness in the air. Representational art reflects the atmosphere of its time, and while it is fine to reflect trends, even the settings resembled each other, and I was left feeling dissatis- fied with the diversity of the works. I'd like to see these works take a wider range of starting points.In this regard, In This Corner of the World was bril- liant. The viewer's own experience will change the way in which he/she perceives this film, but I think that this was done on purpose. Despite this, all viewers will ar- rive at the same main theme. The same can be said for Night is Short, Walk on Girl. It did not win an award because it was directed by the same director as Lu over the wall, but it is an impressive film with a wide entry point but narrow depth.I also felt that many of the animated films relied on their pictures, perhaps because the sophistication of digital technology in recent years has enabled artists to create pretty pictures and powerful cuts. This is not just the case with the entrants in this festival, nor the case with the latest animated films. I include myself in this remonstration, but I am always worried that the expres- sive ability of animation overall is declining every year.For this reason, I was happy to see works such as The Great Passage, MADE IN ABYSS, and Your Voice -KIMIKOE-, which are conventional animated films with tight productions. I was also drawn to works such as Colorful Ninja Iromaki, which are aimed at children but are quite strong. COCOLORS, which depicts its drama without ever showing the characters' expressions, was also impressive. I hope that works like these will gain an even wider audience. It is with that hope that I recom- mended these films.
  • KIFUNE Tokumitsu
    Animation Artist and Representative, IKIF+ and Professor, Tokyo Zokei University
    Works Only Possible with Animation
    An animated film's craftsmanship is determined by a combination of various elements, including its scenario, editing, background, music, audio, drawing, filming, and voice production. A large polygonal area in which these elements make up the sides will be a master- piece. No matter how much one element may stick out, the area of the polygon would not increase much. Even an animation with little movement can be a masterpiece if the scenario and other elements are good. However, I believe that movement is very important to deliver a masterpiece representative of animation's potential. All of the works that won awards this year have impressive movement, which I was very pleased to see.The two films that won the grand prize certainly de- served this accolade.In This Corner of the World skillfully evoked the taste of the original manga in the animation, and exhaus- tive research gave the visuals a depth. The characters' movements are also expressed with great care.Lu over the wall highlights the new efforts and exper- iments typical of this director, and he also made good use if digital techniques to augment the action.Harmonia feat. Makoto made me realize that this is exactly the kind of animation I want to see. Nega- tive Space is a masterpiece of stop-motion animation, structured with no gaps. Digital animation centering on 3DCG tends to become quickly obsolete as skills progress, but I believe that COCOLORS, created using digital techniques reminiscent of handwork done with brush and paint, will still be with us ten years from now.There was a good balance in this year's works. We had fantastic full-length films, and impressive short films in a range of areas, and there were also mid-length animated features for television and original produc- tions well worth seeing. Many of the films that did not receive awards were very interesting. I was somewhat used to the process this year, and I regret that I wasn't a little more selfish, but the screening process this year was truly delightful and allowed enough time for enjoy- ment.
  • NISHIKUBO Mizuho
    Visual Director
    The Appeal of Standard Craftsmanship
    This year's feature animation seems to fit more eas- ily into the standard framework than last year's works. The works we judged this year reaffirmed the positive aspects of standard craftsmanship, such as the film In This Corner of the World and the TV animation The Great Passage.In particular, In This Corner of the World used or- thodox methods to quietly depict the life of its main character, giving the movie a universal flavor. The sim- ple film production and the voice performance for the main character by Non also fit the work perfectly.The other Grand Prize winner, Lu over the wall, was quite a contrast. The dramatic story line and vibrant characters, music that harnessed the story, and unique flashback scenes make for a film that packs in a full range of interesting elements that is only possible in animation.The two Excellent Award winners that I would most like to recommend this year are Harmonia feat. Makoto and COCOLORS.Harmonia feat. Makoto artfully integrates a free- wheeling concept with the music and demonstrates the remarkable feats possible with animation. The images that bounce out of the screen and the beautiful coloring make for a film full of life.COCOLORS is particularly impressive for its ex- pression, making full use of computer graphics and its contemporary themes. The film's use of characters whose faces we cannot see to depict a sense of gloom and the subsequent release from this despair, using pictures to show a world with no color, the realistic movements of the characters, and the consist outlines of the drawing really made me hopeful for future CG works.I was also very happy with From the Same Thread, which skillfully combines images of thread with sound, and O Matko!, which uses line drawings and shade to express the complex relationship between parent and child. I was also impressed with the boldness of the short film Ugly, which was memorable for its unique form depicted using stray cats and its fascinating world view.
  • YOKOTA Masao
    MD and Ph.D., Professor, Nihon University
    Animated Films Show Japanese Reality Today
    The full-length animated films eligible for this award were all rewarding. As it was difficult to decide between In This Corner of the World and Lu over the wall, the Grand Prize was given to both films. Director YUASA Masaaki also listed in the Jury Selections for Night is Short, Walk on Girl. It is quite unusual for a single direc- tor to be named for both the Grand Prize and the Jury Selections for two full-length films in the same year.The two Grand Prize works appear to be complete opposites, but they both address issues faced by con- temporary society. The main character in In This Corner of the World is often absentminded and makes mistakes repeatedly. In other words, real life lacks reality for her. The young boy in Lu over the wall feels isolated from the world around him, and also finds little sense of reality in daily life. As these main characters begin to interact with other people, they gradually become more alive, and ultimately quite vibrant, as their sense of reality is restored. This process of restoring a sense of reality is evoked by the action in the animation.Sound! Euphonium The Movie -May the melody reach you! and Your Voice -KIMIKOE- were selected for the Jury Selections for full-length animated films. I found it very interesting that both of their Japanese titles included the word "todoketai" ("I want to send"), suggesting that they are sending something they want to send through the animation. The characters' constrained emotions are gradually released as they interact with others, creating close bonds with other people. The films depict an impatience at being unable to convey one's feelings that is different from the lack of reality in the Grand Prize works. This same impatience is shared by Night is Short, Walk on Girl.Female characters play the central role in all of the aforementioned films. Their individuality really stands out, and their capacity for empathy gives the films an edge. I get the sense that women's sensibilities are re- ally becoming a major theme in animation. I see a similar trend in the short animation Harmonia feat. Makoto.That said, there were also films such as BLAME!, which describes the reality of war by the marks of wounds left on combat uniforms. COCOLORS depicts a world in which people can only survive deep under- ground in protective clothing, and the material of their clothing represents who they are. It is almost as if the attractiveness we usually associate with faces and their expressions has been transferred in these films to the appeal of the material of their clothing, trying to depict individuality by the things they wear.The short animated film Negative Space focuses entirely on the most efficient way of packing clothes in a bag, with an interest in what we wear. The puppet animation Toutes les poupées ne pleurent pas depicts the destruction of the puppets followed by their re- placement. In this way, the individuality of the puppets is suddenly stripped away. This is the same concept as changing one's clothes.In JUNK HEAD, another puppet animation, the face rather than the clothes are changed. These films seem to be saying that, not that individuality is formed by individuals, but that individuality can be found in a gath- ering of replaceable items, as with the replacement of clothing and faces and changes to the bodies.Japan's full-length animated films want to send messages about people's feelings, in contrast to the short-length animated films, which depict worlds in which individuals possessed of their own feelings are actually made up of replaceable parts. I think this reflects both sides of the essential nature of Japan's emotional world. Toutes les poupées ne pleurent pas is a foreign work, so it might not be appropriate to say that it speaks of Japan's unique nature, but we can find commonalities in the way in which the body is handled.