JEONJU International Film Festival 2022
Maki Kimura, Naoya Takahashi
Tasuku Emoto, Tomoya Nakamura, Machiko Ono, Riho Yoshioka
Toei Company, Ltd.
The anime industry of Japan is enormous, with 200 new TV shows and two trillion yen in revenue each year. For seven years, soft-spoken yet strong-willed Hitomi Saito has climbed the ranks, and is set to direct a series for the first time. At the same moment, the difficult but undeniably brilliant director Chiharu Oji is set to make his big comeback after almost a decade. The hit series that made Oji famous is what inspired Saito to jump into the anime field, and her goal is to match, and even surpass, his success and relevance. Her chance has arrived. Their two programs are both scheduled to debut in the same prime-time Saturday slot, and after Saito challenges her rival on stage at an anime convention, the two production teams each set out to outdo one another, because there can only be one number-one!
A heartfelt and hilarious comedy-drama about making it to the top without compromising one’s vision, ANIME SUPREMACY! is the second feature film from director Kohei Yoshino, who worked in the CG department of Makoto Shinkai’s YOUR NAME. That experience likely helped him match original novelist Mizuki Tsujimura’s detailed and convincing examination of just how anime gets made—the pressures from the producers, the deadlines and difficulties, the myriad technical tasks that each contribute to the success or failure of the final product. There’s a similar verisimilitude in the performances of the cast, led by Riho Yoshioka of LOUDER!: CAN'T HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SINGIN', WIMP, and Tomoya Nakamura, co-star of the forthcoming KAMEN RIDER BLACK SUN TV series. Whichever anime reigns supreme at the end, the audience is the real winner. – Rupert Bottenberg