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Anime At The Movies: Belle, Violet Evergarden and Josee, the Tiger and the Fish


Anime on the big screen is back! Distributors have been understandably cautious as audiences began to gradually return to cinemas. But with the success of vaccines programs on both sides of the Atlantic, they have got their confidence back. Demon Slayer: The Movie- Mugen Train has been released in cinemas in the US and the UK to considerable success, while GKIDS Films has begun their celebration of cinema's return.

Earlier this week GKIDS announced that they had picked up Mamoru Hosoda's latest feature Belle for cinema release in the US and Canada this coming Winter. Today this has been followed by the news that it will be coming to the UK, too. Specialist distributor Anime Limited have acquired the rights and will release the film in cinemas in UK and Ireland. No release date has been confirmed just yet, but we'll update you when we know more.

Anime Limited also announced this week that they would be bringing Kyoto Animation's feature Violet Evergarden The Movie to the big screen. The movie is the sequel to the Violet Evergarden TV series,  which originally debuted on Netflix outside of Japan.  The film is written by Reiko Yoshida, the screenwriter of A Silent Voice, Ride Your Wave and Liz And The Blue Bird, as well as the Violet Evergarden TV series. The director is Taichi Ishidate whose credits include Sound Euphonium, Beyond The Boundary and K-On. Violet Evergarden is adapted from a light novel series originally written by Kana Akatsuki. Anime Limited will release the film for one day only on July 1 in select cinemas in the UK and Ireland and will screen in Japanese with English subtitles. Find a venue near you here.

From the celebrated Oscar®-nominated director Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu, creator of Mirai, Wolf Children, Summer Wars, and more, comes a fantastical, yet beautiful and contemporary thematic story of one girl’s growth in the age of social media.

Suzu is a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters “U,” a virtual world of 5 billion members on the Internet. There, she is not Suzu anymore but Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest to become who they truly are

Anime Limited released the synopsis:

Violet Evergarden, a former child soldier turned “Auto Memory Doll” scribe, has made a name for herself writing letters that evoke the feelings her clients cannot, in pursuit of understanding the meaning behind the “I love you” spoken to her long ago. When a terminally ill boy asks her to fulfill one last request for his family, Violet must confront her own feelings of love, loss, and her past with the one who told her those cherished words in order to write one final letter

Back across the pond, Funimation have announced their next theatrical release. They will screen Josee, the Tiger and the Fish in select cinemas in the US and Canada from July 12-14. The film is described as a "heartwarming coming-of-age" story and comes from the renowned Studio Bones.

Based on a short story written by Award-winning author Seiko Tanabe, and features the relationship between Josee a gifted artist with disabilities and a scuba diver named Tsuneo Suzukawa. The couple are brought together by necessity but soon discover that they have a shared passion.

The film is directed by Kotaro Tamura, whose credits include Norigami, Michiko and Hatchin and My Hero Academia: Two Heroes. and written by Tanabe and Sayaka Kuwamura. Funimation have released the film's synopsis:

Tsuneo, an ordinary college student and avid diver, unexpectedly becomes the caretaker of a wheelchair-bound young woman in order to raise money for this dream to go diving in Mexico. This young woman, who calls herself Josee after her favorite book character, is sullen and demanding, but as Tsuneo helps Josee interact with the outside world and learns more about Josee’s unique perspective, their feelings grow into love. The two begin to support each other in ways beyond just romance.


Josee, The Tiger And The Fish was released in Japanese cinemas last year and is screening in competition at the 2021 Annecy International Film Festival. Tickets go on sale on June 18. For more information visit the film website.