DORAEMON TV series and GIOVANNI’S ISLAND Movie Set for U.S. Premiere at Anime De Summer Festival
Entertainment consortium Japan Plus Inc. (NPO) has announced that the first two episodes of the beloved and iconic children’s anime TV series DORAEMON and the critically acclaimed 2014 animated theatrical GIOVANNI’S ISLAND will both make their U.S. premiere screenings at the Aratani Theater in the Little Tokyo area of downtown Los Angeles. The free screenings are a featured part of the events and activities slated during the all-day Anime De Summer Festival taking place on the plaza grounds of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) on Saturday, July 5th.
“DORAEMON has long been such a pop cultural phenomenon in Asia and we’re grateful to be able to debut the first few episodes during the Anime De Summer Festival, before its U.S. digital cable broadcast,” said Tetsu Shiota, owner of Anime Jungle and festival sponsor. “DORAEMON’s charm is that it can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of whether one is an anime fan or not.”
“GIOVANNI’S ISLAND is an unforgettably moving film that’s drawn early, rave reviews,” remarked Japan Plus Inc. director and veteran animation industry producer Ken Duer. “We’re looking forward to sharing this exceptional movie with our summer festival attendees.”
The July 5th U.S. premiere screening of DORAEMON: GADGET CAT FROM THE FUTURE (English language dub) is scheduled for 11 am-12 pm and 3:30 pm-4:30 pm, while Giovanni’s Island (also making its English dub debut) is scheduled from 12:15 pm-2 pm and 4:45 pm-6:30 pm.
In addition to the screenings, Anime De Summer Festival will feature a dynamic live stage presentation starring Japanese action hero FUJIYAMA ICHIBAN from 10:30 am-10:45 am and 3 pm-3:15 pm. Scheduled next will be the fresh, eye-catching dance performances of RIZE, an award-winning Los Angeles-based, all-girl hip hop dance team that takes the stage from 12 pm-12:15 pm and 4:30 pm-4:45 pm.
Highlighting the family-friendly festivities will be the centerpiece attraction: the traditionally popular and highly crowd-pleasing Bon-Odori (Bon Dance) event, led by Bon Dance Specialist/Instructor Christine Inouye. Originally based on the Buddhist practice of commemorating the spirits of past ancestors with a dance of joy and appreciation during an Obon Festival, the Bon-Odori is a centuries-long, traditional folk dance that has evolved into a very unique art form of dance that is still graceful, inviting and easy enough to pick up on and participate in, regardless of age.
With that in mind, the summer festival’s Bon Dance Instructor Ms. Inouye and Taiko player Ms. Nana encourages all cosplayers, visitors adorned in summer-time yukata and kimono, and general attendees overall to participate in their free, step-by-step Bon Dance lessons from 5 pm-7 pm. Thereafter, the actual Bon-Odori Fest takes place from 7 pm-9:30 pm, which will include the Bon Dance around Yagura Tower in Little Tokyo.
“This festival’s Bon Dance will be aurally addictive with the music we have lined up and visually amazing, especially when cosplayers join in the celebration,” said Instructor Inouye. “It’s fitting, since we’ll be doing a new Doraemon-style Bon Dance accompanied with a Doraemon theme song. But ultimately, Bon dances are dances of joy, so age or looks or experience should not inhibit anyone. What matters most is that everyone has a great time.”
During all of these activities, families and visitors alike will be able to experience the delicious taste of traditional summertime festival cuisine through the various matsuri-themed food, confection and vendor booths, as well as the nontraditional, with an actual Maid Café operating on the plaza grounds of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.
Doraemon is a pet robotic cat from the 22nd century sent back in time to aid his owner’s grandfather and is also the eponymous manga series that debuted in 1969 by creator Fujiko Fujio, followed by animated series in 1973, 1979 and 2005. The best-selling manga series and the popularity of the subsequent anime series had propelled Doraemon into an internationally recognized powerhouse franchise, with Japan’s Foreign Ministry anointing the lovable cat as a special ambassador during its bid in securing the rights to host the Olympic games in Tokyo for 2020. To learn more regarding the English broadcast of DORAEMON: GADGET CAT FROM THE FUTURE, please visit doraemon.com.
About GIOVANNI’S ISLAND (ジョバンニの島, Giovanni no Shima, 2014)
Hot off garnering a Jury Distinction Award at the prestigious 2014 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, GIOVANNI’S ISLAND is an animated historical “based on true events” drama produced by one of Japan’s most illustrious animation studios, Production I.G. To learn more and to view a trailer video, please visit productionig.com.
About Fujiyama Ichiban
With its roots in tokusatsu, henshin and sentai-based superhero action shows, (For old school fans, think “Himitsu Sentai Go Ranger”; For younger fans, think “Power Rangers”) Fujiyama Ichiban is the original creation of Michi Yamato of Samurai Action Studio, featured in live action choreographed stage shows and in a bimonthly publication. To learn more, please visit fujiyamaichiban.com and also check out scifijapan.com/fujiyama-ichiban-japanese-live-action-tokusatsu-in-america/.
About Japan Plus Inc.
Japan Plus Inc. is a non-profit organization formed in January 2012, comprised of leading professionals within the entertainment industry focused on the promotion, preservation and celebration of Japan’s culture, traditions, creative arts and its global pop cultural influence. To that end, Japan Plus Inc. has formed partnerships with other companies sharing the same goals, collectively under the name Cool Japan U.S.A. Its latest collaboration is the upcoming Anime De Summer Festival. To learn more, please visit cooljapanusa.com and facebook.com/events/770877092936466.
About the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
Founded in 1971, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the United States. The mission of the JACCC is to present, perpetuate, transmit and promote Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture to diverse audiences, and to provide a center to enhance community programs. The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is the preeminent presenter of Japanese and Japanese American, and Asian American performing and visual arts nationally.