Hello dear readers and welcome to part two of my Scotland Loves Anime 2021 review. This time I’m looking at the three films I went to see at the Edinburgh leg of the festival, so why not join me to learn about some cool new anime films that you might just want to check out yourself!
As you may know if you’ve visited my blog before, I am a regular attendee at the Glasgow leg of Scotland Loves Anime, and I have already published my review of the eight films I saw there this year. Those eight films were also showing in Edinburgh, but in addition there were a few Edinburgh-only films (Boo! Hiss!), so I took the opportunity to spend a weekend in the Scottish capital and check out three of those additional films.
Although I’ve been a regular visitor to Edinburgh my whole life, I’d never been to the Edinburgh leg of Scotland Loves Anime before and I have to say it was a wonderful experience. The Filmhouse is an excellent, old-school cinema and to my delight it also has an excellent cafe bar to hang out in between films. Although my heart will always belong to the Glasgow Film Theatre, I definitely recommend checking out The Filmhouse if you should happen to visit Edinburgh.
If you read my review of the Glasgow leg, you may remember the wonderful four word reviews written by Sebg2258. I know a few of you enjoyed them so you will be pleased to hear that Seb makes his return here, with four-word reviews for each of the films alongside my slightly longer takes.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the films!
Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna
“Digital Destiny Sweet Sorrow”SEB’S FOUR WORD REVIEW
This film was the whole reason for me attending the Edinburgh leg and I was not disappointed. I have been a Digimon fan for more than twenty years and as a teen it was massively important to me. I had pictures all over my wall, I wrote and read fanfic, basically I was obsessed. Why am I telling you this? Well this film rounds off the arc of the original set of characters from the Digimon series and so for me it was almost rounding off a part of my life as well.
It is brave film in that it seems to be meant for people like me who grew up with the series rather than trying to attract new fans. What this results in is an emotional rollercoaster that is both nostalgic and forward looking. As you’d expect from Digimon it is action packed and visually impressive, but the real draw of Digimon for me was always the characters and I absolutely love how they handled the way the characters’ relationships and personalities changed as they grew older. You kind of know what is coming from pretty early on, but by the time the story reached its conclusion I was bawling my eyes out, and I wasn’t the only one. I will never forget those characters and what they mean to me and I can’t express my gratitude enough for having the opportunity to experience this in a cinema alongside other fans of the series.
Over the Sky
“Astral Projection Bohemian Rhapsody”SEB’S FOUR WORD REVIEW
WOW! What on earth was that? This is one of the strangest films I have ever seen. On the one hand the protagonist’s story was one I felt deeply as I share many of her feelings. On the other hand… what even is this film? Is it so bad it’s good? Is it a work of genius? Is it absolutely dreadful? I can’t answer these questions but I will say that I loved it even if no one else in the cinema did.
It gets all the heavy emotional moments so wrong that you can’t help but laugh out loud. It isn’t a comedy (at least I don’t think it is) but the audience were practically rolling in the aisles throughout. It starts off pretty mundane but soon goes off the rails (literally, I think) into complete madness and absurdity and never really gets to whatever point it was trying to make. As a point of interest, there was a recorded Q&A with the director afterwards and he may now be my favourite person. Even if you hate the film, try watching the Q&A and not falling in love with his exuberance!
“Gutsy Internet Princess Captivates”SEB’S FOUR WORD REVIEW
I’d heard big things about this Oscar-tipped film so I figured it would have to work extra hard to impress me, but it managed to do that and more. In fact, the most disappointing thing about Belle is that it could have been a five star, ten out of ten film, but just gets a few little things wrong. It is visually stunning. Like, absolutely stunning, and from the start it is musically stunning too. It is a film with music at its heart and wow did it get that part right. It won me over immediately with the opening song which has made it straight into my anime playlist.
The characters and overall story are also excellent and I loved the way it portrayed both the good and bad aspects of social media. For me however it is held back by a couple of things. Firstly, it is unnecessarily long. It tries to fit in things which add nothing and dwells too long on certain parts. Also, as the director made clear in his Q&A, Disney is a big influence on this film, but for me as someone who doesn’t like Disney this is too obvious and the film is much better when it is at its most original. Really though this is just me nitpicking. It is a wonderful film and although I don’t think it will, I hope it wins that Oscar.
And that is pretty much it for Scotland Loves Anime 2021, although I would definitely recommend checking out the online film offering which has a fantastic line-up for very little cash! It has been an absolute pleasure being back at Scotland Loves Anime after last year being cancelled and it was one of the strongest years I’ve been to in terms of the films being shown. The one thing that really stood out for me was how each film divided opinion and encouraged interesting discussions between anime fans. I hope you’ve enjoyed my coverage of the event and I hope to see some of you at future editions of the festival!
So what do you think? Do you think you’ll be checking out any of these films? Perhaps you have seen them as well and have your own opinions? Maybe you’re considering getting tickets for Scotland Loves Anime 2022? Let me know below in comments and don’t forget to join me next time for more thoughts on anime and video games!
Thanks for reading,
All pictures stolen from Loves Animation