During the four days of anime’s biggest convention, new adaptations, series news and general franchise announcements get so much attention. Although the most popular franchises in anime have deserved their place, it is worth taking a look at the new original projects that are making a splash in the anime industry. To help with that, the independent animation distributor GKIDS Anime Expo arrived to showcase two new feature films.
The two films, Goodbye, Don-Glees, and Summer ghost, ended up being two interesting companion pieces that explore both the fleeting and youthful bonds of adolescence across time and space. By watching the relationship and atmosphere of these films with exclusive North American premiere screenings, the intensity and shots of Anime Expo were added a short, transcendent respite from the rush of the crowd.
Goodbye, Don-Glees: A film about the nostalgic magic of adolescence
Premiere Friday 1. July at the Regal Theater in downtown Los Angeles, Goodbye, Don-Glees is a growing drama directed by Atsuko Ishizuka. Centered around three maladapted youth, the film encapsulates the essence of small-town life within all aspects of hot summer adventures. Given that “Don-Glees” (“the acorns”) ventures into the woods in an attempt to secure innocence against allegations of starting a forest fire, the film avoids the usual film trend by focusing on the characters’ broader environment in favor for calm, intimate character studies and interactions.
The film uses a mix of 2D animation, and at times slightly noticeable CGI vehicles and action movements. Animated by Madhouse, the film’s visual strengths are most evident in the lush, woody background art and underrated character studies. GKIDS is set for a cinema premiere of Goodbye, Don-Glees later in 2022. For more information on the film, visit the GKIDS website.
Summer ghost: A film about relationships stronger than death
In a premiere on Sunday, July 3, inside the main convention center in LA, the “card feature” will be shown Summer ghost imprisoned a large ongoing crowd. From the renowned, highly stylized illustrated “loundraw” Summer ghost is a supernatural drama that focuses on a teenager who feels compelled to unlock – literally – the secrets of a local urban legend. When a “summer ghost” begins to talk to him about the tragedy of her life and death, the main character Toyoma embarks on a mission that will eventually set her soul free and enable him to gain a new perspective on life.
Draws inspiration from one of Loundraw’s own illustrations, Summer ghost mixes modern anime sensibilities with instances of a thick, expressionist style that compliments the psychological drama of the plot. In just about forty minutes, the film’s strength lies in the brevity with which it gives a window into the character fears, and finally offers a gripping message of resilience and friendship. Summer ghost be prepared for a limited theater program as well as digital distribution in 2022; learn more about it on the GKIDS website.
As all the new events and announcements abound at this year’s Anime Expo, GameRant is pleased to present full coverage of all the major announcements, screenings, events and fandoms. For full coverage of the event, stay tuned to the GameRants anime section.
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