Scotland Loves Anime 2022

Hello dear readers and welcome to Shoot the Rookie. I’m a bit late with this, but today is my annual review post for the anime film festival Scotland Loves Anime that took place in Glasgow and Edinburgh in October, so come join me for mini reviews of all eleven films I watched!

Regular readers will be aware that I attend Scotland Loves Anime every year. It is one of my annual highlights and I was super pleased to see the cinemas busier this year than they were in 2021. This year I saw all eight films in Glasgow and a further three in Edinburgh. The films were an excellent mix of genres and styles and as usual there was a large number of European Premieres in the line-up, and even a World Premiere this time around.

That said, it has not been all good news for the festival, as in the run up to the event the Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh, which usually hosts the event, closed down suddenly. This is an immense loss to the Festival and the city and my heart goes out to the staff and those who regularly attended the cinema. After what must have been an absolute mad scramble for the Loves Animation team, a new venue – The Cameo – was secured and the festival could go ahead as planned.

Eleven films is a lot of anime, but I’ve done my best to concisely review each one, and hopefully that will help you decide which ones are worth catching when they come to a cinema near you!


Mobile Suit Gundam: Cucuruz Doan’s Island

This was only my second experience of the Gundam series, and it was entirely different (and probably less good) than the first, but overall this was a pretty decent film with a good mix of action and heart. The characters weren’t all that compelling and it was nothing special to look at (unless you are particularly in to Gundams), but it kept my interest and made me smile, so I’m glad to have seen it. It also has an interesting history in terms of the series so if you’re already a fan I’d recommend checking it out.

Pix’s Rating: 6/10


I’ve already written about Inu-Oh as I’d seen it before, but relished the chance to see it with the Scotland Loves Anime audience and a live q&a with director Masaaki Yuasa! This film combines two of my favourite things – history and music – in stunning style, but more than that, the two main characters are compelling, and quite unexpectedly the relationship between them is one of my favourite parts of the film. It is a highly unusual watch, but it is executed brilliantly and for me it is Masaaki Yuasa’s best film to date.

Pix’s Rating: 8/10

Blue Thermal

I’m a sucker for anime about school or college clubs, so Blue Thermal started off strongly for me as our protagonist ends up joining her college’s Gliding Club. However, although an enjoyable watch, it didn’t quite hit the heights it could have done. I loved the gliding sequences but felt there was a confusion in what they really wanted the film to be about, as it flitted between the various character relationships. Still, it was a very pretty film with some funny and touching moments.

Pix’s Rating: 7/10

Re:cycle of the Penguindrum – Film 1

With no prior knowledge of the Penguindrum world, this one was a bit weird, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. A mix of flashbacks from the original series and new material, it tells the tale of two brothers who’s dying sister has her life extended by a penguin hat. Or something. It also features a variety of morally ambiguous penguins, questionable outfits and gets dark pretty quickly. It is weird as anything and I certainly didn’t follow all of it, but I would be curious to see the second film to see where it is going to end up!

Pix’s Rating: 6/10

The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes

Although you could call this a teen romance or a supernatural drama, for me this excellent film was more of an exploration of human feelings and choices. The two lead characters were interesting and their relationship had some sweet elements, but in the end what was or what could have been between them is a backdrop to their own personal goals and the lengths they will go to in order to achieve them. This results in a powerful film who’s message really hit home for me.

Pix’s Rating: 8/10

Break of Dawn

A visually stunning near future sci-fi, this film had the potential to be excellent, and whilst I did enjoy it I think it could have been so much better. I liked the future vision of the world and the development of the human relationship with AI’s. I also liked the story of an alien trying to get home, however it was let down by its lack of meaningful character development and relationship building and included a few poorly judged scenes that disrupted the flow of the film.

Pix’s Rating: 5/10

EVANGELION: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time

So this was my first experience of Evangelion, and whilst it wasn’t terrible, I think it will probably be my last. It is barely fair reviewing something with so much history when I’m not really aware of any of it, but I did enjoy the first 45 minutes or so, but it lost me soon after and I was never really able to pick up the story again. The big battle scenes seemed well done, but there are very few films that can engage me for such a long run time, and sadly this wasn’t one of them.

Pix’s Rating: 5/10

Goodbye, Don Glees!

Winner of both the audience and jury awards at Scotland Loves Anime this year, this is a very enjoyable film with a good mix of fun and feelings in its exploration of friendship and growing up. This is a film I think most people will enjoy, but for me it lacked a bit of the wow factor I’d perhaps expected from it and the characters didn’t really grab me. It is a fun film nonetheless with an unexpectedly cool ending.

Pix’s Rating: 7/10


Hula Fulla Dance

This is pretty much everything I want from a film. When in the introduction Andrew Partridge described it as Love Live but for Hula dancing, I silently rejoiced as what could possibly be better than that? Failure and triumph, sadness and joy, past and future, it is fulla (sorry) standard ideas, but ones that never seem to get old for me. Add to that a likeable cast and a whole lot of silliness and you’ve got something that I will watch again and again!

Pix’s Rating: 8/10

Garden of Remembrance

Being less than 20 minutes long, there certainly wasn’t a chance to get bored during the World Premiere of Naoko Yamada’s latest work. I found this a fascinating film. It is almost as if you are not supposed to get it all the first time you watch it. I really enjoyed the art style, with lots of swirling colours and I liked the importance placed on the music. It didn’t hit me emotionally the way it did some of the people sitting around me but it is a beautiful film exploring a difficult part of the human experience.

Pix’s Rating: 7/10

Her Blue Sky

The final film I watched at the event was another one that was right up my street. Exploring relationships, responsibility and the passage of time, it is a very entertaining film with characters that I felt really stood out. It wasn’t as focused on music as I’d expected and it perhaps ended without really wrapping up all the things it had explored, but this is an excellently made film which kept me compelled throughout.

Pix’s Rating: 8/10

So there we have it! My review of all the films I saw at Scotland Loves Anime 2022! But what did you think? Have you seen any of these films? Maybe some of them sound interesting to you? Let me know your thoughts below in comments and don’t forget to join me next time for more anime and video game natterings!

Thanks for reading,

Pix1001 x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: