19th Animation Division New Face Award
Animated feature film
ARAI Yojiro [Japan]
On a remote island, junior high school students prepare for their upcoming culture festival. Best friends SAIJO Kenta and AZUMA Shuichi have recently fallen out after AZUMA quit baseball, which the boys had played together ever since they were younger. Then, one day Shuichi meets Noruda, a mysterious girl with red eyes, whose arrival coincides with a typhoon. Due to the typhoon – the largest ever recorded – they have to spend a night in the school. Through encountering and then separating with Noruda, AZUMA is forced earnestly to confront anew who he is as well as his relationship to the best friend SAIJO. The characters are vividly depicted in this animation, with its vaguely nostalgic backgrounds and uplifting direction. While the production achieved enhanced efficiency by using digital tools, the film also attempts to retain a hand-drawn texture.