Animating Hiroshima’s War-Torn Corner of the World

An assistant director on Hayao Miyazaki’s sublime, stunning Kiki’s Delivery Service — a family-wide favorite here at Camp Morphizm — Sunao Katabuchi has since made his name well-known in anime film and television. But his impressive new film, the award-winning Hiroshima epic, In This Corner of the World, might make him a household name worldwide.

I recently spoke at length with director Katabuchi about those films and more, which you soon can read over at Cartoon Brew. But now would be a good time to catch up with In This Corner of the World, a painstakingly researched examination of Japanese life during wartime, before it makes waves stateside later this summer.

An empowering coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of World War II, In This Corner of the World is a captivating story about the resilience and triumph of the human spirit. Based on the award-winning Japanese manga by Fumiyo Kouno, In This Corner of the World is written and directed by Sunao Katabuchi and produced by GENCO and Japanese animation studio MAPPA. Bolstered by emotionally resonant storytelling and exquisite hand-drawn animation, this acclaimed animated feature recently won the coveted Animation of the Year award at this year’s 40th Japan Academy award and Jury Prize at ANNECY 2017.

The award-winning story of In This Corner of the World follows a young lady named Suzu Urano, who in 1944 moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima to live with her husband’s family. Suzu’s life is thrown into chaos when her town is bombed during World War II. Her perseverance and courage underpin this heart-warming and inspirational tale of the everyday challenges faced by the Japanese in the midst of a violent, war-torn country. This beautiful yet poignant tale shows that even in the face of adversity and loss, people can come together and rebuild their lives.

Film director Sunao Katabuchi began his career working closely with Hayao Miyazaki before directing his own animated films, including Katabuchi’s acclaimed animated features Mai Mai Miracle and Princess Arete.

Animated feature In This Corner of the World opens this August in select U.S. cinemas nationwide. The film is rated PG-13 and has a run time of 129 minutes. For more information about In This Corner of the World, please visit InThisCorneroftheWorld.com.