11th Animation Division Grand Prize
Summer Days with Coo
Animated feature film [Japan]
Coo, a child of kappa whom an elementary school kid Koichi accidentally found and brought home. One day, in order to search for other kappas, Koichi and Coo set off on a journey to Tono where the kappa legend is still told. Through the friendship between Koichi and Coo, director HARA Keiichi’s work depicts humanness and ugliness, the scary side and distortion of human society, and the importance of family with brilliant scripting and direction.
Reason for Award
I thoroughly appreciate the mastership and brilliant scripting and direction of the director HARA Keiichi who aptly depicted humanness, the ugly side and small-mindedness of human nature, as well as the scary side and distortion of human society, and arrogance of mass media through Coo, a child of the legendary kappa, who was awakened from a stone which a boy, Koichi, had picked up along a riverside. Even though the kappa is a familiar legend for Japanese people, it is good that the character of Coo is so cute and is represented as a child with an old-fashioned mind who will not forget a “favor” once it is received. The story involves current social problems such as Coo’s feelings for his father who was killed by human beings and the background of Ossan, the family dog of Koichi who lost his life while trying to get Coo out of the TV station and it evokes a tear. A masterpiece of animated feature films, it is a culmination of the great films he has kept producing and the experiments he has kept placing with Crayon Shinchan.