April 19 is “Map Day”.
It was established to commemorate the day that Inou Tadataka, who made the first full-scale map in Japan, left Edo to survey the present Hokkaidou region.
When anime fans think about maps, the first thing that come to mind is the anime production company Studio Chizu, isn't it? (“chizu” means map).
Studio Chizu was founded in 2011 by director Hosoda Mamoru and producer Saitou Yuuichirou. Films directed by Hosoda through the studio include so far, “Wolf Children”, “The Boy and the Beast”, and “Mirai”.
Director Hosoda has been working on a variety of titles since his time at Toei Animation and has attracted many fans. Among his works, which is the most loved one by the Anime!Anime! readers?
Here at Anime!Anime!, we conducted a reader survey asking, “Which is your favorite film directed by Hosoda Mamoru?”. During the survey period between Apr. 8 to Apr. 15, a total of 131 responses were received.
There were more female respondents with the gender ratio being 40% male and 60% female. The age group was about 35% for those under the age of 19, and about 40% for those in their 20s, mainly focusing on youngsters.
■”Summer Wars”, the first original feature film, is on top
The 1st place goes to “Summer Wars” with an approval rating of about 35%.
“Summer Wars” is an animated movie released in Aug. 2009. It follows the story of the protagonist, Koiso Kenji, a sophomore in high school, who visits the home of the great-grandmother of Shinohara Natsuki, a senior who he admires, and confronts an incident that occurred in the virtual world of OZ with her large family.
Readers left some comments such as, “I love how Kenji is well accepted by Natsuki's family, and how the family comes together to face the crisis! It's also fun to imagine the aftermath of Kenji and the others”, and “A masterpiece that won't fade away even after all these years. The last line, 'Yoroshiku Onegaishimaaaasu', has become very famous”.
Some fans also praised OZ the setting of the story, saying, “The world of OZ is becoming more and more real…! It's a wonderful work that makes you think about bonds in today's network society”, and “I can feel the bonds between people through the Internet”.
The 2nd place goes to “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” with an approval rating of about 20%.
“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” was released in Jul. 2006. Based on a long-selling novel by Tsutsui Yasutaka, it depicts the events of a summer in the life of Konno Makoto, a second-year high school student.
It has become a popular coming-of-age film among the fans; “It's interesting no matter how many times you watch it. The way how the passage of time and the friendship have been portrayed in the film is the best”, and “When I think about director Hosoda, I get an emotional feeling. The last line of the film also touched my heart”. Some readers commented about the time when the film was getting popular by word of mouth, “I'm still proud to say that I watched it at Theatre Shinjuku when it was not yet crowded during the opening week”.
The 3rd place goes to “Wolf Children” with an approval rating of about 15 %.
“Wolf Children” was released in Jul. 2012. It follows the story of a college student named Hana who meets a “wolfman” with whom she has two children, Yuki and Ame.
Fans left their comments such as, “I was touched by Hana's deep love for Ame and Yuki”, “I might cry by just thinking about the growth of Ame and Yuki, their complication of being a 'wolf child', and the hardship of Hana as a mother”, “It's a wonderful work that touched my heart to see the way the children live their different life”.
■Let's introduce other comments!
“Digimon Adventure the Movie: Children's War Game!”, “The story has been made very definite and clear in only 40 minutes. The battle scenes are also impressive”, and “It's a masterpiece that I enjoy because it was ahead of its time even though it was made when the Internet wasn't so popular yet”.
“The Boy and the Beast”, “I cried when saw clumsy but lovely Kumatetsu”, and “Watching Kumatetsu and Kyuuta grow up together gave me a lot of energy and courage”.
There were also some votes for the latest film”Mirai”, “Watching Kun-chan reminded me of my childhood, and I was very moved by the fact that I was able to be present at the moment when I became independent for the first time as a person through the film”.
[Which is your favorite film directed by Hosoda Mamoru?]
1. “Summer Wars”
2. “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”
3. “Wolf Children”
4. “Digimon Adventure the Movie: Children's War Game!”
5. “The Boy and the Beast”
7. “Digimon Adventure”
8. “One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island”
(Response period: from Apr. 8 to Apr. 15, 2020)
* The questionnaire is part of an attitude survey related to the interest of the readers towards the current anime works and characters. Regarding the results, there is no intention to determine any kind of relative merit of any character or production. We hope that this article will be an opportunity for you to get to know new works and characters, and also deepen your understanding and interest in them.