Hello dear readers and welcome to a special post here on Shoot the Rookie. Today I will be celebrating the best anime film festival in the world – Scotland Loves Anime! I’ll be giving you a rundown of every film I’ve seen at the event over the years, so come join me and see what gems you find to add to your watch list!
Scotland Loves Anime is an annual film festival based in the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow that shows a selection of the best (and occasionally worst) anime films around. It features a wide variety of genres and embraces both classics and brand new films, including a bunch of UK and European premieres as well as hosting some of the best known names in anime for Q&A’s.
This year’s festival kicks off in Glasgow on October 1st and I am super excited to be going along once again after being so sad about the cancellation of the physical event in 2020. This will be the ninth time I’ve been to the festival and there are some very exciting films on show this year, so if any of you are in the vicinity make sure you take a look at Scotland Loves Anime 2021 for details!
I will be writing a review of this year’s event, but to celebrate the return of the festival I wanted to highlight all the films I’ve seen there previously to show what a wide range of films they show. There are about fourty-five films in this list, so I’m going to keep my thoughts on each one brief. I’ve put the list in chronological order and have included a picture of the film that was my favourite in each year. Have a scroll through and see what you think!
Trigun: Badlands Rumble
Guns, insurance and the humanoid typhoon. Best enjoyed, as described by the director himself who was in attendance, with popcorn and a beer.
Tekken Blood Vengeance
Mind-bendingly confusing and not in a good way. At least I got to wear 3D glasses!
Bayonetta: Bloody Fate
Faithful retelling of the story of the first Bayonetta game. Beautiful animation.
Fantastically interesting film and one of the best ever Scotland Loves Anime experiences as it was a showing in a tiny screen specially for season pass holders.
Attack on Titan, Part 1
Oh dear god this was dreadful. Being there was fun though.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F
Totally awesome bombastic nonsense. Memorably introduced by Jonathan Clements reading a one-star review of the film from The Guardian newspaper.
Beautiful and fascinating with an uncomfortable edge, definitely worth a watch if you’re looking for something cultural.
Boruto: Naruto the Movie
Very fun and had a fun audience too. My first experience of Naruto.
The Case of Hana & Alice
This is a fantastic high school mystery that I didn’t fully understand until I’d watched it for a second time.
Empire of Corpses
First half: fascinating and astonishingly beautiful. Second half: convoluted nonsense that made no sense.
Attack on Titan, Part 2
Unlike with part 1, it wasn’t even fun being there.
Belladonna of Sadness
1970’s psychedelic art-house film which was incredibly uncomfortable to watch.
Being only five minutes long didn’t make this old film any less terrifying.
Momotaro, Sacred Sailors
1940’s propaganda film where all the characters are animals. Culturally interesting if nothing else.
Interesting short featuring talking household utensils with a very desolate ending. You will never look at balloons the same again.
Kizumonogatari, Parts 1&2
Inappropriate use of the word ‘dramaturgy’.
Anthem of the Heart
Really good high school flick in which a talking egg plays a prominent role.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
This was the year the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) was undergoing renovations and this film really fit with the apocalyptic setting.
2016’s secret film and the last film of that year’s festival. Safe to say 2016 went out on a jubilant high with this classic which at the time was brand new.
Tokyo Ghoul (Live Action)
Over the top but not so bad. I enjoyed how much coffee was featured but not so much the intense violence.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Fantastic horror film with a cool art style. Took a while to get used to it being an American dub instead of subtitled though.
Lu Over the Wall
Boy falls in love with a fish girl. Or something.
Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution, Movie 1
Too much text but great music. Not sure the Eureka Seven fans enjoyed it but I did and was interested to learn in the director’s Q&A that the lead character was named after a Trainspotting character.
Kizumonogatari, Part 3
Better than the first two parts but still ugh.
The Dragon Dentist
Highly forgettable film with a military feel but where the military have dragon dentists.
I usually love high school anime… but this one is rubbish.
I think this was about racing on venus. I don’t really remember because it was one of the dullest things I’ve ever seen.
Decent horror short where some fairly normal young people go to a factory and get eaten by zombies. I think.
Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Film 1: December Sky
Surprisingly good sci-fi drama, particularly if you really like jazz.
Cyber City Oedo 808
I take back what I said about dubs. This film and its dub are humanity’s highest achievement.
My Hero Academia: The Two Heroes
What a blast seeing this in a full cinema. Super fun My Hero film made even better by the cosplayers in the audience.
B: The Beginning
I think this was three episodes of a series rather than a film, but despite enjoying it at the time I don’t remember much about it. It may have featured a mass poisoning.
Thinking back, this film still makes no sense to me and I’m sure something about it (possibly something fan-service related) made me uncomfortable.
Fate/Stay Night – Heavens Feel, Movie 1: Presage Flower
Erm… I don’t really remember this but feel like I enjoyed it at the time. Maybe it has alternative realities or something? Dunno!
I kinda hate this film and its traditional representation of family.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
Possibly my favourite high school based anime film but if I’d known what it was about I would definitely have had tissues on hand.
Ride Your Wave
I didn’t particularly enjoy this odd surf-based romance at the time, but every time I see a picture from it now I feel intensely sad.
Fast and furious racing film that’s a bit of a blur to me now. It is possible that that is what it’s supposed to be like.
Weathering With You
Dark and compelling slice of life with a fantasy twist and environmental message.
The Relative Worlds
Odd animation style with a pretty cool story and characters. This one definitely featured alternative realities. I think.
The Girl from the Other Side
Really atmospheric short film with strong Ancient Magus Bride vibes.
An odd one mostly set in a fantasy world. Neither good nor bad but does feature giant fluffy sheep.
The best anime film ever made and one of the most enjoyable cinema experiences I’ve ever had due to the sheer joy in the audience. This film is a good opportunity to open your mind to the many joys of anime.
One Piece Stampede
The worst anime film ever made and one of the least enjoyable cinema experiences I’ve ever had due to the sheer boredom in the audience. This film was a good opportunity to get to know the lovely staff in the cinema bar.
Children of the Sea
Extremely difficult to follow story with lots of lovely animated sea creatures.
…and that is that! Although there was an extensive online offering in 2020 I’ve decided not to include those films here, but I do want to give special mentions to both Lupin III and Love Live! for making the 2020 event as much fun as was possible in the circumstances. Before I go I just want to say a huge thank you to the Loves Animation team for their incredible work over the years and I guess I’ll see you at the GFT, and this year for the first time, at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.
So what do you think? Are any of your favourite films featured here? Would you contemplate making the trip one year for Scotland Loves Anime? Let me know your thoughts below and don’t forget to join me next time for more anime and video game writings!
Thanks for reading,