By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Coming this Friday, August 11th is In This Corner of the World to cinemas in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. On August 18th, this Japanese animated film will expand its market to major cities in both the United States and Canada. FUNimation and Shout! Factory is handling the theatrical release and to celebrate, information was passed along to press about the work director Sunao Katabuchi put forth. They may appear on the eventual video release.
A lot of the landscape around Kure and Hiroshima was tragically lost to air raids and the atomic bomb which ended World War II. Not many survivors with first-hand experience of the war are still with us. but Katabuchi met some — who were children at the time — and got their perspective. He also mentioned that this zone was your typical living quarters. He spent six years thoroughly researching the details before animation work began. He gathered accounts from people about those days and collected more than 4,000 photographs to recreate the cityscape of the 1930s and 40s.
In This Corner of the World is based on the award-winning manga by Fumiyo Kouno and is an emotionally empowering coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of WWII and it captures the resilience and triumph of the human spirit. Suzu Urano is the protagonist. When she moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima to live with her husband’s family, her life is thrown into chaos when her town is bombed during World War II. Her perseverance and courage underpin this heart-warming and inspirational tale of the everyday challenges faced by the Japanese in the midst of a violent, war-torn country. This beautiful yet poignant tale shows that even in the face of adversity and loss, people can come together and rebuild their lives.
I went to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park many years ago and have my memories of everything I saw. The outpouring of love with the many memorials — and to recall items present to fondly remember those lost — was especially powerful. The dome, to see it for real versus an animated one gave me the chills. The photo includes a few added modern structures in the background, but when comparing the location to what was there (as seen in the trailer) does let me move back in time to realize what life must have been like back then. What was there in the past is nothing like being at this park now. There were more buildings and a different sense of life.
And the thought of what people were doing before the explosion happened. Well, going to see this movie will no doubt be an experience.