Evan Burkey

Weeaboo Wednesday: We Need More Movies!

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I recently had the chance to see both Summer Wars and Evangelion 2.0: You Are (Not) Alone in movie theaters, and I’ll be the first to say that we need more anime films in American theaters!

Last month, around the United States, select theaters ran showings of two new anime films that I had been dying to see: Summer Wars, the new film from Hosuda Mamoru (The Girl Who Lept Through Time, an absolute must see film), and Evangelion 2.0: You Are (Not) Alone, which needs no introduction. Funimation licensed and released both movies on a limited run, and I’m lucky enough to live in a city that has independent movie theaters willing to pick up anime films. The opportunity to view Asian cinema is limited in general, especially for those outside of a big city, but thankfully both films came to Portland.

But I’m not here to brag to you. Even though I had already seen fansubbed releases of both films, I was very excited to see them on the big screen. I know with 60″+ televisions and 7.1 surround sound, some people don’t even go to movie theaters anymore; heck, you’ve got most the equipment there at home. Why would you? Maybe I’m a snob/geek/hipster (oh god please not that), but I love going to the movie theater. Whether the big 11 screen megaplex down the street, or the independent theater in the shady part of town, I’m always a sucker for seeing films in a theater. It’s just part of the experience, that you’re going somewhere to see a film instead of plopping down on the couch. The experience is even better if they serve food and beer, as is the trend these days.

Anyway, back to anime. The opportunities are limited, and I don’t know if these limited film runs are very profitable, but seeing anime on a big theater screen is a fantastic experience. Both Summer Wars and Eva 2.0 are very highly detailed films, both in terms of animation and the amount of action happening on the screen. A 1080p television displays this just fine, but on a 10 foot screen, the animation comes to life.

Hopefully this is a new trend that we see in the future. Though anime film releases in the states are few and far between, I’d love to see The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya or Macross Frontier: The False Songstress on the big screen in the near future. Unfortunately, Funimation is the only company I’ve seen that does this kind of release, at least in the last few years, so here’s hoping that other companies hop on this opportunity. If you’d like to check out Eva 2.0, it’s still running in a few theaters. You can check it out at Funimation’s Evangelion website.I’m curious, did any of you see these films in the theater? If so, what did you think?

And as a complete aside to our readers from the Pacific Northwest, the Portland International Film Festival is showing some Japanese films in the coming weeks that are pretty awesome. The two I’m most excited to see are Mutant Girls Squad and Outrage. You can check the PIFF out at their website.

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