Preview – Summer Explorers 2019: Manga Comes To Life – Live Action Japanese Films Based on Manga, The British Library, July 27-28

Love Japanese films and passionate about manga? Then the special summer film season, Summer Explorers 2019: Manga Comes To Life – Live Action Japanese Film Based on Manga will satisfy both of those tastes with a refreshing combination of the two. Presented by The Japan Foundation and the British Library, the season will be held at the British Library from July 27-28.

Manga, or Japanese comic books, is an art medium which has enjoyed widespread popularity both at home in Japan, as well as globally abroad, for many decades now. A 4 billion dollar a year industry, manga does not just play a pivotal role in the publication media but it also provides a great source of inspiration to filmmakers and other creatives, due to its narrative nature which explores intricate storylines as well as animated characters. Action or love story, comedy or drama, manga is a mirror reflecting the realities and ideas of the Japanese society.

From over the top, offbeat narratives of psychic teenagers and upstart political wrangling in a high school environment, to spectacular battles between good and evil, and stories of tender friendships, this mini film programme aims to showcase some of the most recent and representative adaptations, demonstrating the plotlines that these illustrated publications have provided film creatives.

The programme in full:

Inuyashiki (Dir. Shinsuke Sato, 2018, 127 min, English Subtitles)

Retired salaryman Inuyashiki (Noritake Kinashi) has his life turned upside down when he is given a diagnosis of terminal cancer. After he is involved in an accident which bestows him with supernatural powers, will he use them for good or evil? Based on a manga from the author of Gantz. With introduction by Dr Rayna Denison of UEA on Saturday.

Screening on: Sat 27 July at 12:00pm and Sun 28 July at 4:40pm

Seto and Utsumi (Dir. Tatsushi Ohmori, 2016, 75 min, English Subtitles)

Despite having opposite personalities, high school students Utsumi (Sosuke Ikemastu) and Seto (Masaki Suda) are the best of friends, whiling away their days together and never running out of things to talk about. But when a girl (Ayami Nakajo) appears on the scene, will their friendship remain the same?

Screening on: Sat 27 July at 3:00pm

Teiichi: Battle of Supreme High (Dir. Akira Nagai, 2017, 118 min, English Subtitles)

Bribery, sabotage, and scandals are the order of the day in the elite Kaitei High School where an upcoming election for the next class president provides the relentlessly ambitious Teiichi (Masaki Suda) with an arena for some underhanded scheming.

Screening on: Sat 27 July at 4:45pm and Sun 28 July at 12:00pm

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (a.k.a. Psychic Kusuo) (Dir. Yuichi Fukuda, 2017, 97 min, English Subtitles)

This adaptation of Shuichi Aso’s mega-hit absurdist manga of the same title follows the life of Kusuo Saiki (Kento Yamazaki), a powerful psychic who hates attracting attention but who inexplicably finds himself resolving a variety of calamities caused by his classmates, with the use of his powers.

Screening on: Sun 28 July at 2:30pm

Ticket booking facility at the British Library website.