There is a general perception that manga comics mostly contain fantastical stories about young people with magical powers who battle evil in colourful costumes or dark tales of brooding teens dealing with the supernatural. Although those comprise a large portion of the narratives available, there is another variety consisting of thoughtful dramas, often historically based, that chronicle the lives of ordinary people. These have served as the source for several celebrated Japanese animated films, the latest of which is titled In This Corner of the World
Based on Kumiuo Kōno’s acclaimed manga of the same name, the film is set during World War II and directed by Sunao Katabuchi who previously worked at Studio Ghibli
and served as assistant director on Kiki’s Delivery Service
. Although the trailer doesn’t reveal much about the narrative, it’s centred on a young woman named Suzu who grew up in Hiroshima
before the bombing and enters into an arranged marriage that takes her to a nearby town. Scenes of war planes, air raids and a bright explosion are juxtaposed with resilient images of family, love and nature mixed with elements traditional Japanese culture.
While the trailer does not reveal much about the story, it does provide a sneak peek of the stunning hand drawn imagery that will populate the 128-minute feature. Filmmakers reportedly did extensive research to make sure the townscapes and real incidents integrated into the fictional story are as accurate as possible. The war appears to be just a setting for this tale, which focuses on Suzu’s life and her efforts to care for and ensure the comfort of those around her during a period of turmoil and uncertainty. The film was produced after a successful crowdfunding campaign that set a Japanese record for contributions and is expected to be released in select North American theatres later in 2017.