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6/16/2022 • 4 min read
Anime movies have been extremely popular for years, and Western fandom for anime continues to grow. Anime influences countless creators in the US, and fan interest means that more and more anime movies are playing in US movie theatres — and a lot more quickly, following their Japanese premieres, than they used to.
FRUITS BASKET: PRELUDE leads the current roster of anime movies coming to US movie theatres. There’s a little something for everyone in the 2022 anime landscape. Here are some of the most anticipated anime titles hitting theaters this year.
Following 2019’s successful remake of the anime series FRUITS BASKET, this film is an omnibus collection that fills out important character backstory and also gives fans new scenes that follow the most recent anime season. Before there was Tohru and Kyo – there was Katsuya and Kyoko. Discover the turbulent beginning of Tohru’s mom’s dark past, and the man who breathed new hope into her. Watch the evolution of their love story and the birth of the Honda family, as this chapter completes the full adaptation of the heartwarming Fruits Basket story.
Opens on June 25 in English subtitled and English dubbed versions.
It is the year 2059. Following the near destruction of the human race 50 years prior, humankind has embarked upon an interstellar emigration project. The Macross Frontier fleet is on its way towards the center of the galaxy when it encounters a hostile alien species known as the Vajra. A concert by touring popstar Sheryl Nome becomes ground zero of an attack where both flight school trainee Alto Saotome and aspiring singer Ranka Lee are caught up in the chaos. Shocked by the experience, Alto resolves to join a private military contractor, the Strategic Military Services (S.M.S.) to protect his friends and soon finds himself piloting the latest state-of-the-art variable fighter, the VF-25 Messiah. All the while, with both Alto and Sheryl’s encouragement, Ranka begins the rigorous pursuit of becoming an idol singer. As a budding love triangle starts to bloom between the three, suspicions are raised as to what the Vajra’s actual objective is and who is really behind the attacks. When Sheryl learns that her home, the Macross Galaxy fleet, has been attacked, she calls the S.M.S. into action and Macross Frontier becomes the stage for an epic showdown!
Opens on June 16 in Japanese with English subtitles.
Haru is walking home after a dreary day of school when she spies a cat with a small gift box in its mouth crossing a busy street, and she jumps in front of traffic to save the cat from an oncoming truck. To her amazement, the cat gets up on its hind legs, brushes itself off, and thanks her very politely. But things take an even stranger turn when later than night, the King of Cats shows up at her doorstep in a feline motorcade. He showers Haru with gifts, and decrees that she shall marry the Prince and come live in the Kingdom of Cats! Featuring the voice talents of Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, Tim Curry, Kristen Bell, and Judy Greer.
Plays on June 26 and 27 in English subtitled and English dubbed versions.
In the aftermath of the events of The False Songstress, Sheryl Nome remains aboard the Macross Frontier as her health begins to rapidly deteriorate. Meanwhile, Ranka Lee has become a singing sensation in her own right and prepares for her debut concert just as a joint military operation to hunt down the Vajra Queen gets underway. After losing his VF-25 variable fighter as a result of the skirmish, Alto Saotome is hospitalized and the two songstresses rush to his side. Just as their love triangle is about to reach its climax, the architects behind the Vajra attacks are uncovered and Sheryl finds herself behind bars, accused of treason. It’s now a race against time for Ranka and the Strategic Military Services (S.M.S.) to rescue their friend and stop the real conspirators controlling the Vajra, all while trying to protect their alien homeworld. The climactic finale of emotions, music and mecha action comes to a close as Alto must face one of the most important choices of his life.
Opens on June 30 in Japanese with English subtitles.
In the aftermath of a brutal war, former soldier Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. One day, his solitary existence is upended when a pack of wild dogs carrying a deadly and incurable disease attack, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom—and its possible cure. The Deer King is a sweeping fantasy epic that marks the directing debut of Masashi Ando, whose work on such landmark films as Spirited Away, Paprika, and Your Name. helped shape the world of modern animation.
Opens on July 13 in English subtitled and July 14 in English dubbed versions.
The glittering Gran Tesoro, a city of entertainment beyond the laws of the government, is a sanctuary for the world’s most infamous pirates, Marines, and filthy rich millionaires. Drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot, Captain Luffy and his crew sail straight for the gold. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful king whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for the Straw Hats and the New World alike.
Opens on July 24 in English subtitled and English dubbed versions.
Celebrate this beloved coming-of-age story from the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, about a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is a tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and fly off into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her new journey with her sarcastic black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a seaside village, where her unique skills make her an instant sensation. Don’t miss this delightfully imaginative and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world, featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, Phil Hartman, and Debbie Reynolds.
Plays on July 31 and August 1 and 3 in English subtitled and English dubbed versions.
Born with unique physical features, Ino-Oh must wear a mask so as to not horrify passersby. However, one day Inu-Oh meets a blind biwa player named Tomona, and he discovers an incredible talent he never knew he had.
Opens on August 12.
The latest film installment of the timeless "Dragon Ball" series features the return of the nefarious Red Ribbon Army. It focuses on Goku’s eldest son, Gohan, alongside Goku’s former enemy Piccolo.
Opens on August 19.
It’s 1982, and Taeko (Daisy Ridley) is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her relatives in the countryside, and as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys. At the station she is met by young farmer Toshio (Dev Patel), and the encounters with him begin to reconnect her to forgotten longings. In lyrical switches between the present and the past, Taeko contemplates the arc of her life, and wonders if she has been true to the dreams of her childhood self. From Academy Award®-nominated director Isao Takahata (The Tale of Princess Kaguya) and general producer Hayao Miyazaki, Only Yesterday is a critically-acclaimed masterpiece of time and tone, rich with humor and stirring emotion, and beautifully animated by one of the world’s most revered animation studios.
Plays on August 28 and 29 in English subtitled and English dubbed versions.
From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, comes the Academy Award®- nominated fantasy adventure for the whole family. Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a curse on Sophie and turns her into a 90-year-old woman. On a quest to break the spell, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and into a new life of wonder and adventure. But as the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, Sophie finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. Featuring the voice talents of Lauren Bacall, Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Blythe Danner, Emily Mortimer and Jean Simmons.
Plays on September 25, 26 and 28 in English subtitled and English dubbed versions.
Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature, Hayao Miyazaki’s wondrous fantasy adventure is a dazzling masterpiece from one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation. Chihiro’s family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.
Plays on October 31 and November 1 and 2 in English subtitled and English dubbed versions.
All images courtesy of Funimation.
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