Later last month, my friends at Anime Expo invited me to play MC at Aniplex’s screening of ANOHANA: THE MOVIE at LA’s famous Downtown Independent. Truth be told, I’d never gotten to see any of the series prior to this engagement, but I could quickly see why it was another feather in the cap of NoitaminA and its innovative programming block. The energy in the audience was just markedly different from anything I'd encountered at any other anime show.
When I spoke to fans who’d lined up around the block downtown for over an hour, it was clear they had a legitimate emotional connection with this ghost story. Whether they’d lost a loved one recently, or had just gone through tough times, they were finding comfort, reassurance and, ultimately, catharsis in ANOHANA. I was focused on working the mic while I was there, but this really sunk in while I was driving home later. It was a wonderful reminder of how powerful art can be.
Not to say it was a somber affair. Not shown in the video is the moment where Aniplex’s marketing staff cues up the screening. They shouted, “Now... WHO'S READY TO CRY?!?!" to audience, and were promptly answered with enthusiastic cheers. Again, not like any other screening I've ever been to.
I also got the opportunity to interview the movie’s producer, Hiroyuki Shimizu (I'm off-screen because the room was too small). The novelty of speaking to somebody through an interpreter never really wears off.
Anyway, enjoy this all, and stay tuned to see the other AX event I rocked the mic with.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|