22nd Animation Division Excellence Award
Animated feature film
ISHIDA Hiroyasu ［Japan］
1 h. 58 min.
© 2018 Tomihiko Morimi, KADOKAWA / Penguin Highway Production Committee
Reason for Award
A large number of the works submitted at this year’s Japan Media Arts Festival feature strong and energetic female characters. Penguin Highway is one of these works. Take for instance One-e-san who has an impressive presence with her breasts, which captivate the boy. Hamamoto-san, who is depicted as the female version of the protagonist, also holds her ground as an important character that highlights the personality of the prepubescent boy. The character design and personalities feel somewhat stereotypical, but the interactions woven by the characters are delightful, and create a fresh and sparkling ambience in this young adult SF animation. The film skips over any theoretical arguments, so it is easy to get into it. The parts that form the main theme are not forced upon the audience, but rather entrusted to it. Personally, I also liked the emphasis on the lively and energetic depiction of the penguins. I believe that after watching this film, the audience will leave the theater feeling refreshed and exhilarated. But I think that if Aoyama-kun had been a classmate of mine, I would have argued with him. (UDA Konosuke)