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Excellence Award

Mai Mai Miracle

KATABUCHI Sunao

Animated feature film [Japan]

Mai Mai Miracle is an animated movie of novel: Mai Mai Shinko by Akutagawa Award-winning novelist TAKAGI Nobuko, which is a novel based on the author's childhood. Set in Kokuga area, Hofu City of Yamaguchi Prefecture during the decade of 1955 to 1964, the film tells the story of a susceptible third grader, Shinko, who often gives thought to the city from 1,000 years back. The story focuses on how Shinko lives fully every day in abundant nature, and grows up slowly with her friends, sometimes going through bitter experiences.
(94 min.)

© 2009 Nobuko Takagi / MAGAZINE HOUSE / "MAIMAISHINKO"film. Committee

Profile

KATABUCHI Sunao

Japan

Born in Osaka, 1960. He graduated from the Department of Cinema, College of Art of Nihon University. He served as the scriptwriter and assistant director for the TV animation series Meitantei Holmes (Sherlock Hound), which MIYAZAKI Hayao took part in. In 1989, he was the assistant director for Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service) directed by MIYAZAKI Hayao. He made his debut as a feature animation film director in 2001 with Arete Hime (Princess Arete). In 2006, he served as the director, series composition and scriptwriter of the TV animation series, BLACK LAGOON.

( 2010 )

Award Reason

The act of "imagination" brings together the past and the present
This is a legitimate successor to the animated children's movies that have continuously existed over the years.
While it utilizes a traditional technique, the director chose to adopt a perspective that is truly unique.
A rural landscape of Hofu in Yamaguchi Prefecture 55 years ago and a city that existed in the same spot 1,000 years ago, as well as the history of this location, are all depicted as if they exist at the same time. For children, the past is not something that goes away.
Their imagination travels between the present and the past, and bring "miracles" to both the present and the past.
Much like such children, the members of the production staff first conducted a thorough research, and based on this, attempted to use their imagination to recreate the landscapes and children that actually existed. This is how the hollowness found in man-made things gets filled. It is a film that, by successfully and thoroughly depicting the essence of child-like qualities through a unique, rich expressiveness, revives the role of animation created for children.

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