Reasons why the 2021 theatrical animation was a good selection

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2021 is just around the corner. Many anime works were broadcast, screened, and distributed. What kind of remarkable work was there, and what kind of movement was there to predict the future of the anime world?-Ryota Fujitsu, an anime critic, and Jiromaru, the editor-in-chief of Animage Plus, look back on the anime scene of 2022. We will post a dialogue that talks about expectations for the year all three times.
In the first installment, we explored the reasons why this year’s theatrical animation works were all good and the appeal of each work.

Editor-in-chief: In looking back on the 2021 anime scene, Mr. Fujitsu gave us some keywords. First of all, “a rich feature film.” Is this a theater animation?

Fujitsu: Yes, I feel like I’m exhausted with those words.

Editor-in-chief: Certainly, I have the impression that a variety of masterpieces have been released in succession.

Fujitsu: To tell you a little big story, I think 2012 was a significant watershed for theatrical animation. The reason is that that year’s theater box office record exceeded 40 billion yen without Studio Ghibli’s works. This year was the release year of “ONE PIECE FILM Z” and “Wolf Children’s Rain and Snow,” and the point is that there were hits of over 5 billion yen other than Ghibli. Then in 2016, “Your name. ], And I feel that the level of box office performance of animated films has risen further due to the accumulation of such circumstances.

If you go further, you can see the sprout that led to the hit in 2012 in 2009. First of all, Mamoru Hosoda, a creator, got a lot of attention in “Summer Wars.” And a big hit of “ONE PIECE FILM STRONG WORLD.” This will establish a new line by redrawing the lead wire from the original series that had become a standard and lead to the movie version of “Dragon Ball.” In that sense, the movie version of “Detective Conan” returned to the 3 billion yen level again in 2009. By around 2014, the results further improved, and it has become a popular series.

This is a digression, but the big hit of the movie “Detective Conan” series is “Your Name. 』Hit …… I think that it led to the reach of the director Makoto Shinkai work to the general public.

Editor-in-chief: Where did that come from?

Fujitsu: “Your Name.” In “Detective Conan: The Nightmare of Pure Black.” ], It seems that the number of views of the preview video on the web has increased significantly. Perhaps the non-core junior and senior high school students who came to see “Conan” investigated “What is this?”
Furthermore, from that time on, creators in their 30s and 40s were able to make more and more movies, and that kind of accumulation would eventually lead to a sense of variety in the theater works of 2021. Also, the big hits of “Shin Evangelion Theatrical Version” and “Dragon and Belle Princess” were added.

Editor-in-chief By the way, what work did Mr. Fujitsu pay particular attention to this year?

Fujitsu: I’m in trouble because there are too many of them. Suffice it to say, “Fortune Favors Lady” and “Movie-loving Pompo-san” released around June, and “Words Bubble Up Like a Cider.” These three are independent animated films with different styles, but they are all interesting.

Editor-in-chief June was a difficult time for the release because of the state of emergency.

Fujitsu: That’s right, so it was pretty tricky for the box office. In particular, “Cider” was initially scheduled to be released in May last year, but it was postponed repeatedly. But I think that the impression of the work would have changed considerably if it had been released as originally planned.

The editor-in-chief’s work has a sense of city pop.

Fujitsu: That’s right. On the contrary, it can be said that it suits the times, but if the boom had not penetrated so far last year, it might have been taken with a rather sharp impression.

Editor-in-chief: Since last year, theatrical works have been influenced by the various influences of Corona. I have the impression that “Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway of the Flash” in June was finally released after repeated changes to the last minute.

Fujitsu: In that sense, I think “Shin Evangelion Theatrical Version” was released at great timing. When the state of emergency was declared, Dawn and I suddenly.

Editor-in-chief Moreover, the screening ended before the next wave came.

Fujitsu: It’s not something you can aim for, but I think the decisions of the people involved were addicted to it. In addition, “Shin Eva” and “Dragon and Belle Princess” are high-expected movies from the beginning. In a sense, I believe that you have persuaded the audience with your power skills. Perhaps what is required of significant work is not enough to be “smart.” I thought it was a feeling of aiming in all directions and shooting with ample ammunition.

Editor-in-chief: “Shin Eva,” which set such a record, did not overwhelm the work power and put a lot of effort into developing the attendee benefits.

Fujitsu: Perhaps you had set a goal of 8 billion yen in revenue for “Shin Godzilla.” Even in the stage greetings of all the directors, he said, “I want to go 10 billion, so thank you.”

Editor-in-chief: It’s the first time in the series to hold a stage greeting in the first place.

Fujitsu: It’s a rare opportunity with all the cast and staff.

The editor-in-chief, Hideaki Anno, was on the stage, and I felt a certain sense of urgency.

Fujitsu: In the old days, the movie’s first day was everything, but it has changed since the theater became a cinema complex. When fixed fans are attached, and long-run screenings become possible, “middle push” like this stage greeting and staff talk/cast talk is becoming critical. After that, with highly entertaining screenings such as 4DX and Dolby Cinema, the style of enjoying one movie over and over again has become established.

Editor-in-chief: Recently, “Sing a Bit of Harvest” is the movie version of “Wakaokami is an elementary school student! I feel that the movement is similar to that of the fact that it is getting a lot of attention.

Fujitsu: Yes, even though the initial velocity was strict, it spread with the word of mouth of the core fans and entered the flow of the long run. This is my selfish imagination, but looking at some examples, I don’t think the promotion is terrible. Still, there is a gap between the elements the viewer is promoting and the elements that I find interesting. If there is, I think that word of mouth will occur saying, “This is interesting!”.

In addition to “Shin Eva,” “EUREKA / Symphonic Psalm Eureka Seven High Evolution,” “Fafner in the Azure THE BEYOND” episodes 10-12, “Gintama THE FINAL,” “Knights of Sidonia Atsumuguhoshi,” etc. It is also a feature of this year that works with a sense of separation in the series are lined up.

Ryota Fujitsu
He was born in 1968—anime critic. After working as a newspaper reporter and editorial department for weekly magazines, he became a freelance writer. He writes mainly for anime and manga magazines. His recent books are “Anime and War” (Nihon Hyoronsha) and “On the Outline Theme, Writer, and Method of Anime” (Seidosha).

Jiromaru Shinya
He was born in 1968. He joined Tokuma Shoten in 1991, worked in the editorial department of monthly and weekly magazines, and became the editor-in-chief of Animage Plus from 2020.

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