The Center for East Asian Studies‘ annual February Film Series showcases four feature-length anime films over the course of February. The 2019 theme, “Anime Apocalypse: The Fall of the City,” explores the catastrophic end of urban establishments in four animated films: AKIRA, Patlabor 2: The Movie, Summer Wars, and Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle. Each imagines the destruction of Tokyo in the near or distant future and the heroic men and women who struggle to preserve the structure of urban life. All films will be shown at Annenberg Hall, Room 111 beginning at 7 PM. This event is free and open to the public.
- February 6: AKIRA, directed by Ôtomo Katsuhiro, 1988
- Kaneda is a bike gang leader whose close friend Tetsuo gets involved in a government secret project known as Akira. On his way to save Tetsuo, Kaneda runs into a group of anti-government activists, greedy politicians, irresponsible scientists and a powerful military leader. The confrontation sparks off Tetsuo’s supernatural power leading to bloody death, a coup attempt and the final battle in Tokyo Olympiad where Akira’s secrets were buried 30 years ago.
- February 13: Patlabor 2: The Movie, directed by Oshii Mamoru, 1993
- A Japanese police unit who use giant anthropomorphic robots (called Labors) is caught up in a political struggle between the civilian authorities and the military when a terrorist act is blamed on an Air Force jet. With the aid of a government agent, the team gets close to a terrorist leader to stop things from going out of control when after the military is impelled to impose martial law.
- February 20: Summer Wars, directed by Hosoda Mamoru, 2009
- Kenji Koiso, an eleventh grade math genius, agrees to take a summer job at the Nagano hometown of his crush, Natuski. When he arrives, he finds that her family have reunited to celebrate the 90th birthday of the family matriarch. His job is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiancé. Meanwhile, his attempt to solve a mathematical equation causes a parallel world’s collision with earth.
- February 27: Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle, directed by Seshita Hiroyuki and Shizuno Kôbun, 2018
- Following their crushing defeat at the hands of Godzilla Earth, Haruo Sakaki and his allies encounter a mysterious aboriginal tribe descended from the humans left behind on Earth 20,000 years ago, and uncover a mechanized city-sized fortress formed from the long-lost anti-Godzilla weapon Mechagodzilla.