0 Items | £0.00

VIEW BASKET

Anime at the Oscars 2013

Wednesday 20th February 2013


Helen McCarthy on Japan’s chances when America makes the rules

Spirited AwayA handful of anime titles made the leap from possible to shortlist for the 85th Academy Awards list. Was this going to be anime’s first shot at animation’s Academy Awards since Spirited Away took the Oscars by storm in 2002?

Hayao Miyazaki was in there pitching again, this time teamed with his son Goro for their movie From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokurikuzara Kara.) Isamu Imakake’s The Mystical Laws (Shinpi no ho) was also listed, though most critics gave this presentation of the Happy Science religious organisation’s theories about as much chance of an Oscar as Scientology’s Battlefield Earth. In the Best Animated Short category, Katsuhiro Otomo had a strong contender in Combustible.

The excitement was premature. No anime made the nomination lists. Five American movies will fight it out for Best Animated Feature. As usual, Best Short Film (Animated) has a more eclectic list, but no Japanese titles. But before the angry tweets start flying, let’s reflect on three facts.

First, and most important, the Oscars are American. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is an American body with an American worldview. Naturally, American product concerns the Academy above all else. It celebrates excellence in foreign film, but promoting American movies is its reason for existence. Obviously outstanding foreign films get nominated, especially if, like Hayao Miyazaki and Akira Kurosawa, their directors have strong American advocates. But winning? That’s a whole other ballgame.

In 2012, Steven Spielberg’s strongly fancied Adventures of Tin Tin didn’t make the nominations, but two excellent non-American features were on the list – A Cat In Paris and Chico and Rita. The winner? Talking reptile Western Rango.

Second, the eligibility criteria exclude not just many anime but other foreign films. In 2010, Evangelion 1:0: You Are (Not) Alone didn’t qualify, having opened outside the nomination period. If eight eligible animated features haven’t been theatrically screened that year in Los Angeles County, there won’t even be a Best Animated Feature award.

MaisonThird, anime has done at least as well as most foreign animation at the Oscars. The French don’t exactly romp home every year, and the Koreans are nowhere to be seen. In 2009 Kunio Kato’s House of Small Cubes (Tsumiki no Ie) won the short animation Oscar, breaking the seven-year drought since Spirited Away beat four American contenders to take the Best Animated Feature statuette. It was, incidentally, the lowest US grossing film nominated. Koji Yamamura’s Mount Head was also nominated for Best Animated Short in 2002, losing out to Eric Armstrong’s The ChubbChubbs.

And really, the Oscars are not the be-all and end-all of a director’s career, unless you agree that an Academy Award is the only critique. So Mamoru Hosoda’s transcendentally lovely, inventive Summer Wars didn’t get a nomination? Well, Spike Lee, Robert Altman and Christopher Nolan are all still waiting for their first Best Director nod. The list of huge talents with no award is an honour roll in itself, one from which Hayao Miyazaki is now forever excluded.

MANGA UK GOSSIP

Akira (the Collector\'s Edition) Triple Play Edition (incl. Blu-ray, Dvd, Digital Copy)

£22.49
sale_tag
was £29.99
Iconic and game-changing, Akira is the definitive anime masterpiece! Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark cyberpunk classic obliterated the boundaries of Japanese animation and forced the world to look into the future. Akira’s arrival shattered traditional thinking, creating space for movies like The Matrix to be dreamed into brutal reality.

Neo-Tokyo, 2019. The city is being rebuilt post World War III when two high school drop outs, Kaneda and Tetsuo stumble across a secret government project to develop a new weapon - telekinetic humans. After Tetsuo is captured by the military and experimented on, he gains psychic abilities and learns about the existence of the project's most powerful subject, Akira. Both dangerous and destructive, Kaneda must take it upon himself to stop both Tetsuo and Akira before things get out of control and the city is destroyed once again. 
AKIRA The Collector’s Edition features both the original 1988 Streamline English dub and the 2001

Pioneer/Animaze English dub!

FEATURED RELEASE

RELATED BLOG ARTICLES

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira then and now

Helen McCarthy examines Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark Akira, then and now
1988 in Japan: Yamaha Motors won the J-League but Nissan won the Cup. Western pop divas Bananarama, Kylie and Tiffany were on TV. Japanese real estate values climbed so high that the Imperial Palace garden was worth more than the State of California, and Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward had a higher market value than Canada. The Government signed the FIRST Basel Accord, triggering a crash that wiped out half Japan’s stock market. Katsuhiro Omoto’s movie Akira premiered on 16th July.

Akira's Ancestors

Andrew Osmond on the unexpected forerunners of Neo-Tokyo
In Akira’s opening moments, a sphere of white light appears from nowhere in the centre of Tokyo, and swells to obliterate the city. Many Western critics saw the image as a symbol of the Bomb, like the earlier Japanese pop-culture icon, Godzilla. But the designer apocalypse could be taken as Akira’s own mission statement – to be a new kind of entertainment, blowing away its peers and reshaping the cinema landscape.

The Impact of Akira

Andrew Osmond reviews the reviews from 20 years ago.
On its explosive arrival in the West, Akira crossed the Pacific to catch the generation that grew up on the films of Spielberg and Lucas; it was also the generation that read adult superhero strips such as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Akira, though, offered the shock-and-awe widescreen violence akin to that of enfant terrible live-action director, Paul Verhoeven. For example, both Akira and Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987) have a gory money-shot scene in their early minutes, in which a luckless bit-part player is graphically torn apart by a hail of bullets. Unsurprisingly, such imagery excited reviewers.

Akira 25th Anniversary Screenings

Your chance to see it in the cinema in the UK
Neo-Tokyo is about to E.X.P.L.O.D.E. Katsuhiro Otomo’s debut animated feature AKIRA had its Japanese premiere on 16th July 1988. We are very proud to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of what is undoubtedly, one of the most celebrated animated movies of all time. Voted by Empire readers as one of the top 100 best films ever and cited by everyone from James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Daft Punk and Kanye West as a massive influence on their work, AKIRA kick-started the anime business all over the world, opening the doors for everything from Pokémon to Princess Mononoke.

The Art of Akira

Joe Peacock tracks down the original images from the anime classic
Watching Akira for the first time provokes a universal reaction of awe. And justifiably so: there’s often an overwhelming sense among audiences that this animated film is unlike any other they’ve ever seen. Casual viewers won’t be able to put their finger on it; they just know that Akira is visually striking. Art and illustration aficionados appreciate the intricacy of individual scenes, sometimes pausing the film to appreciate the detail in a particular frame.

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira then and now

Helen McCarthy examines Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark Akira, then and now
1988 in Japan: Yamaha Motors won the J-League but Nissan won the Cup. Western pop divas Bananarama, Kylie and Tiffany were on TV. Japanese real estate values climbed so high that the Imperial Palace garden was worth more than the State of California, and Tokyo’s Chiyoda ward had a higher market value than Canada. The Government signed the FIRST Basel Accord, triggering a crash that wiped out half Japan’s stock market. Katsuhiro Omoto’s movie Akira premiered on 16th July.

RECENT FEATURED POSTS

Anime at the Oscars 2014

Andrew Osmond on Japan's chances at this year's Academy Awards
There are two anime among this year’s Oscar nominees: Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, competing for Best Animated Feature, and Shuhei Morita’s Possessions, vying for Best Animated Short. To date, there has been only one Japanese winner in each category. Miyazaki’s Spirited Away was the winning feature in 2002; Kunio Kato’s La Maison en Petits Cubes won Best Animated Short Film in 2008. What are the new films’ chances?

Spyair: Back with the Best

Tom Smith on the return of one of anime's most popular rock bands
So where do the guys go from here? On their biggest domestic tour, that’s where! At least that was the plan, but halfway through the mostly soldout schedule, vocalist IKE suddenly takes to Twitter to make an announcement that would shock everyone, including his bandmates. The message simply stated; “I will leave SPYAIR”.

High School DxD vs RIN

Andrew Osmond says if you liked that, you might like this…
“Sometimes you are thrown complete curveballs. So you will think that you are watching a series about a bunch of schoolchildren fighting aliens... and then one of them will stick their finger up another one's bum..."

Jormungand

This Koko is no clown
Opening with a running fight down a freeway where anti-tank missiles and heavy vehicles are tossed around like party favours, the first episode never lets up, setting a standard that the show maintains throughout.

Wolf Children and Families

In search of Mamoru Hosoda’s family ties
The Wolf Children is a family film about a family. This may help explain while Mamoru Hosoda’s movie was a hit in Japan, something that’s very unusual for a standalone cartoon film not linked to an entrenched brand. A well-rounded portrait of a family offers many ways in for different generations. The Wolf Children is the story of an unassuming ‘ordinary’ mum who must find reserves of superhuman strength; of a rambunctious girl and a troubled boy, each with different relationships to their animal sides; of a magic, mythic love between a human woman and a gentle werewolf; and of everyday, practical living away from city lights and mod-cons.

Gareth Edwards: From Factory Farm to Godzilla

The director’s path from Sci-Fi London to Hollywood
“We pulled all our favourite moments from Akira and had this library of reference, so whenever we got stuck, or we ever felt like a sequence wasn’t inspired enough, or we didn’t know exactly how to give it that edge to made it feel as epic as we could, we would always thumb through the Akira imagery and suddenly get a wave of excitement or a new direction.”
Sushi Noms sent us an AmaiBox GIGA which definitely lived up to its name… The choice was pretty overwhelming!
The Comic Artist and His Assistants follows the adventures of a very perverted comic artist, Aito Yuuki. To celebrate the show's UK release, we decided to take a look at our favourite perverts from the anime world.
Contact Us   |   Refund Policy   |   Delivery Times   |   Privacy statement   |   Terms & Conditions
Please note your card statement will show billing by MVM. Anime at the Oscars 2013 from the UK's best Anime Blog.