Japanese Animation Film Fest in Islamabad

By posing the question, “Have you ever wished to go back to the past to change the future?” the Japanese Ambassador Mr. Hiroshi Oe generated a special interest among the audience at the Japanese Animation Film Festival held at the National Council of the Arts, Islamabad.

Interestingly enough the theme of the first animated film “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” was about time travel, a subject that has thrilled the imaginations of not only fiction writers and filmmakers but also millions of minds.

“The key message of the film is that ‘time waits no one’ and the film teaches us that we must live every second of our lives because each second counts” said Mr. Hiroshi Oe, speaking before the screening of the animation films with English subtitles.

Although Japanese Anime cartoons such as Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Doraemon, and Naruto are quite popular in Pakistan, especially among children, but this was the first time that the Japanese Animation Film Festival is being held in Pakistan. The festival, organized by the Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the Pakistan National Council of the Arts kicked off on Thursday evening and was inaugurated by the Japanese ambassador.

“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, the first film shown at the festival, is a science fiction Anime (Japanese animated cartoon) directed by Mamoru Hosoda which was released in 2006. The film has won numerous awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.

The film tells the story of a teenage girl Makoto Konno who finds that she can leap through time towards past. With her newfound power, the girl tries to use it to her advantage such as improving her grades and preventing failures. But she soon learns that interfering with time can lead to some rather disturbing consequences and eventually, she uses her power to shape her future as well friends’ as she realizes the worth of time.

Japanese animation films, usually referred as Anime, are different from traditional animation films in terms of story lines and drawings. Japanese Anime is known for its unique artistic style and deep emotional stories and the themes of Anime aim to target both young and adult audiences. The current film festival is an incredible opportunity for Pakistanis to witness various aspects of the Japanese lifestyle, culture and society. Other anime films to be screened at the festival include ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Summer Days with Coo’.

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