© Yasuhiro Yoshiura / Sakasama Film Committee 2013

17th Animation Division Excellence Award

Patema Inverted

Animated feature film

YOSHIURA Yasuhiro [Japan]


Age, a boy who lives in Aiga, a world where long ago many sinners fell from the sky and the “sky” was poisoned, is watching the skies one day just before dawn when an “upside-down girl” appears. The name of this girl, who has come from an inverted, underground world, is Patema. She clings onto a fence but seems about to fall at any moment. Age takes her hand but in doing so, the two of them fly off into the sky, Patema battling against her alarm and Age astonished at this experience beyond his imagination. But just at that very moment, Izamura, the ruler of Aiga, has heard a report of the appearance of an “inverted person” and orders his security agents to hunt for her. Beginning with this encounter between two people living in worlds with inverted skies, the story is a spectacular journey full of surprises in search of the mystery of the “reversed world”.

Reason for Award

In a complete contrast to YOSHIURA Yasuhiro’s previous work, The Time of Eve, a drama set indoors, this “girl-meets-boy” adventure story takes place in a massive world which stretches from the skies to under the earth. Constructing two inverted worlds with several contradictory axes – a communal village and an ordered city, underground and above ground, light and darkness, up and down, destruction and regeneration – the animation in Patema Inverted is superb. Though conceived as a live-action film completely in CGI, there is real meaning to the animation, such as in portraying fear when falling, the dynamics of an inverted world and feelings of floating or dropping. A quality work for younger audiences that can also stand up to adult viewing, the original film was initially a candidate for a New Face Award but, as the fruit of an up-and-coming talent already beyond what newcomers are doing, it was deemed worthy of an Excellence Award. (KOIDE Masashi)