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Kotatsu Festival returns to Cardiff and Abersytwyth

Kotatsu Festival returns to Cardiff and Abersytwyth
Alex Jones
Author: Alex Jones

Alex has been writing for UK Anime Network since 2014, and has been raised on a nutritional diet of anime, giant robots and spandex-wearing superheroes.


Kotatsu, Wales' annual Japanese Animation Festival, returns in October to celebrate its 10th anniversary. As usual the festival will take place over two weekends in both Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre and Aberystwyth Arts Centre - offering Welsh anime fans the chance to check out some of the latest film releases as well as experience stop-motion work rarely seen outside of Japan.

The Cardiff programme kicks off on Friday 4th October at 18:00 with the hotly anticipated Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection. The final instalment in the recent Code Geass film trilogy, Lelouch of the Resurrection is an all-new story following on from the original show - which itself was adapted into the first two parts of this trilogy. The screening is followed a welcome reception to officially launch the festival, as well as an anime-themed disco hosted by DJ Ryojin.

The 2019 film line-up also includes heavy-hitters such as Keichii Hara's Birthday Wonderland, renowned studio Gonzo's original net animation Calamity of a Zombie Girl and surreal sci-fi Penguin Highway. Code Geass isn't the only popular television series with a film outing on show either - fans can revisit Gekko State with Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution, return to Usagiyama Shopping District with Kyoto Animation's Tamako Love Story and get an alternate take on the Holy Grail War in Fate/Stay Night: Heaven's Feel Part 1. Of course being the 10th anniversary it would be remiss to go without bringing back an old favourite, so the Cardiff weekend will close out with Naoko Yamada's A Silent Voice - previously screened in 2017 to thunderous applause.

While Aberystwyth will sadly be missing out on Calamity of a Zombie Girl and A Silent Voice, attendees in West Wales can look forward to a slice of history with Miss Hokusai, which tells the story of real-life Edo period Ukiyo-e artist Katsuhika Ōi.

This year's special guests are the award-winning director and stop motion animator Takeshi Yashiro and his producer Satoshi Akutsu, who will be giving a talk about their careers in animation on Saturday. During this masterclass Yashiro will also present some of his films, including his most recent work Gon, The Little Fox. The following day Yashiro will then be running a stop-motion workshop from 11:00 until 16:00, where he will teach the essence of stop-motion as well as give attendees the unique chance to animate using the actual puppets Yashiro uses in his works. Previous years' masterclasses (helmed by other stop-motion maestros such as Professor Yuichi Ito, Tsuneo Goda and Hirokazu Minegishi) have proven extremely popular, with budding stop-motion animators getting first-hand guidance from the experts themselves. Book now to avoid disappointment!

As usual the festival will also include a raffle to win several Japanese-themed prizes, as well as a marketplace in the centre foyer where a number of anime and kawaii goods will be on sale.

The full schedule for the Cardiff weekend is as follows:

Friday 4th October
18:00 Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection
20:00 Reception and Anime-Themed Disco

Saturday 5th October
11:00 Birthday Wonderland
13:30 Masterclass with special guests Takeshi Yashiro and Satoshi Akutsu
15:00 Signing Event
16:00 Tamako Love Story
18:00 Fate/Stay Night - Heaven's Feel Part 1
20:30 Calamity of a Zombie Girl

Sunday 6th October
11:00 Penguin Highway
11:00 Stop Motion workshop with Takeshi Yashiro
14:00 Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 1
16:30 Raffle Draw
17:30 A Silent Voice

Full festival passes (excluding the Stop Motion workshop) cost £45/£35 for concessions, however individual tickets for each of the films are also available. Stop Motion workshop tickets are priced £27 each, and can be booked via info@kotatsufestival.com

Meanwhile the full schedule for the Aberystwyth weekend is;

Saturday 19th October
10:00 Penguin Highway
12:30 Birthday Wonderland
15:15 Miss Hokusai
17:15 Fate/Stay Night - Heaven's Feel Part 1
19:45 Raffle Draw

Sunday 20th October
14:00 Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 1
16:00 Tamako Love Story
17:30 Raffle Draw and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection

Full festival passes are £42/£35 for concessions, with individual tickets for each of the films are also available.

UK Anime Network will be in attendance at the Cardiff weekend, so look forward to a full report of the event soon. Hope to see you there!

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