Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ANIME NEWS: Lost masterpiece 'Anne of Green Gables' anime opens nationwide


Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The animation film "Anne of Green Gables" opened in Japan on July 17. It was re-edited in 1989 from the first six episodes of the 50-episode animated series "Akage no An" (Anne of Green Gables) that were broadcast in Japan in 1979.

The re-editing was done by series director Isao Takahata. In addition, luminaries of Japanese animation, such as Hayao Miyazaki on screen layout, Yoshifumi Kondo as animation director and Masahiro Ioka as art director, also took part in making the series.

This re-edited version, however, was not officially released at theaters when created in 1989. It has since been regarded as a "lost masterpiece." After more than 20 years, the film is making a comeback as part of the Ghibli Museum Library series.

To commemorate its release, a special preview was held at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo on July 12. Canada's Prince Edward Island province was home to "Anne of Green Gables" author Lucy Maud Montgomery and also the setting for the novel. Moreover, Canada is noted for promoting animations, videogames and other creative industries.

At the preview, director Takahata spoke to the audience, sharing stories behind the production and of his relationship with Canada. He recalled that when the plan to turn "Anne" into an animation came up, he wondered how it could be done, since his prior anime works, "Heidi a Girl of the Alps" and "Marco: From the Apennines to the Andes," were about young children, while "Anne of Green Gables" focuses on a teenage girl and had a lot of dialogue.

He reminisced about the original novel and his visit to its location prior to producing the series. "Anne of Green Gables" appears to hold a special place in Takahata's heart and he cannot say enough about it.

As this remarkable film adaptation attests, "Anne of Green Gables" is a classic novel that stands the test of time.