Five films to see at Scotland Loves Anime 2021

Scotland Loves Anime returns with the very best of Japanese animation, new and old. We pick out some of the highlights, from a cyber-fairytale riffing on Beauty and the Beast to a goofy espionage caper

Feature by Jamie Dunn | 24 Sep 2021
  • Belle, Scotland Loves Anime


Mamoru Hosoda might be the most exciting voice in Japanese animation right now. With films like Wolf Children and Mirai, he’s certainly proven himself one of the form’s most inventive and emotionally sensitive directors. Hosoda’s eagerly-awaited new film is Belle, a curious cyber-fairytale riffing on Beauty and the Beast, which follows a grieving teen girl who channels her emotions into a glittering virtual universe where her avatar is a music idol. 16 Oct, Filmhouse

The Deer King

Some ex-Studio Ghibli talent is involved in The Deer King, namely ​​co-directors Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji, who’ve conjured up a visually sumptuous epic worthy of their mentor, Hayao Miyazaki. This might be a lush fantasy film set in a mystical kingdom, but there are plenty of real-world parallels too, from The Deer King’s environmental themes to its plot concerned with a deadly pandemic sweeping through the countryside. 3 Oct, GFT; 17 Oct, Filmhouse

The End of Evangelion

This rare chance to see the final chapter of the Neon Genesis Evangelion saga on the big screen should be jumped at. As in that groundbreaking 90s anime series, expect jaw-dropping battles between giant organic robots controlled by troubled adolescents and beautiful, terrifying, god-like creatures called ‘Angels’, combined with avant-garde sequences taking us inside the dark recesses of its characters’ minds. 17 Oct, Filmhouse

Lupin III: The First

Lupin, the legendary gentleman thief, is having a bit of a moment. The French, live-action Lupin series starring Omar Sy proved immensely popular when it debuted on Netflix earlier this year, and now Takashi Yamazaki brings us a 3D animation featuring this dashing daredevil. One reviewer described this new adventure as “Looney Tunes by way of Ocean’s Eleven”, which is recommendation enough for us. 1 Oct, GFT; 11 Oct, Filmhouse

On-Gaku: Our Sound

A trio of high-school ne’er-do-wells decide to start a band, despite having no musical talent, in this charmingly loosey-goosey comedy. The animation, made on a shoestring over seven years by first-time director Kenji Iwaisawa, is similarly freewheeling, blending rotoscope animation, hand-drawn characters, and painted backgrounds. It’s a skew-whiff delight. 12 Oct, Filmhouse

Scotland Loves Anime takes place 1-3 Oct at Glasgow Film Theatre and 11-17 Oct at Filmhouse in Edinburgh. View the full programme at