Oct. 6-29: Japanese anime film series announced
The Japanese anime film series opens Oct. 6 with Akira.

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9:59 a.m., Oct. 5, 2010----Seven Japanese anime films will be screened the month of October as part of a series co-sponsored by Asian Studies and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Delaware.

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All screenings, except that of My Neighbor Totoro on Oct. 29, will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 140 of Smith Hall. A flyer in PDF format is available.

The series schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, Oct. 6 -- Otomo Katsuhiro, Akira (1988). The first anime to hit American cinemas in the late 1980s, Akira combines teen angst, ESP, nuclear fallout and the most dynamic motorcycles ever seen. When Tetsuo acquires telekinetic powers, his best friend and gang boss Kaneda must save him before he makes contact with the mysterious being known only as Akira.

Wednesday, Oct. 13 -- Anno Hideaki, Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995). First four episodes. One of the most enduring “mecha” series of all time, Neon Genesis Evangelion features a young boy, Shinji Ikari, who must operate the giant mechanical fighting machine called EVA to fight Angels, strange beings that terrorize the Earth. A tour-de-force in limited animation, the series used innovative layering techniques, camera movements and sound editing that have since become industry standard. This screening features the first four episodes of the classic TV series.

Thursday, Oct. 14 -- Anno Hideaki, Neon Genesis Evangelion: End of Evangelion (1997). As its name suggests, End of Evangelion provides a conclusive final chapter to the mind-twisting complexities of the Evangelion TV series. Philosophical and psychedelic, the film plumbs Shinji Ikari's mind to reveal his deepest sexual fantasies and seek the true nature of the EVA, Angels, and the mysterious Ayanami Rei.

Monday, Oct. 18 -- Oshii Mamoru, Ghost in the Shell (1995). A main influence on The Matrix, Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk police that achieves incredible depth with limited animation technique. Major Kusanagi is a cyborg operative in “Section 9,” investigating the mysterious Puppet Master. As he freely hacks into human minds and memories across Tokyo, Kusanagi questions her own status as a sentient being.

Wednesday, Oct. 20 -- Matsumoto Leiji, Space Battleship Yamato (1977). The film of the TV series Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers in the U.S.) is a fast-paced wartime space opera, with Kodai Susumu joining the crew of the Yamato to save Earth from the evil Gamilan race. The beautiful Queen Starsha of the planet Iscandar has blueprints for a new “wave motion gun,” but will it be enough for the mission? Will Susumu have time to romance Yuki Mori before they arrive on Iscandar?

Wednesday, Oct. 27 -- Miyazaki Hayao, Spirited Away (2001). The first anime film to ever win an Academy Award (Best Animated Feature, 2002), Spirited Away combines beautiful art with a compelling and enjoyable narrative. When Chihiro follows her parents into a mystical kingdom, she is forced to work at a bath-house for native Japanese spirits, encountering witches, gods, and the terrifying No-face. Along the way Chihiro finds the true meaning of her name, her self, and the ability to stand on her own two feet.

Friday, Oct. 29 -- Miyazaki Hayao, My Neighbor Totoro (1988). This film will start earlier (6-8 p.m.) than the others to accommodate families with small children. One of Miyazaki's most beloved characters, Totoro is a tree spirit living in the grove next door to Mei and Satsuki. With their mother in hospital and father preoccupied with academic work, the girls find adventure and hope through meeting Totoro and his friends.

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