As the year comes to a close, feature films are what is officially known as "Oscar season." This season notes that films are attempting to qualify for illustrious awards and praise.
But as competitive as the Academy Awards are every year, it's still a great sign for a film to be qualified for one, it's especially great when anime films inch close to that golden prize. This year, two of the them have made it closer to success.
The Academy Awards have sent out a list to press (and Academy voters, which include many Hollywood insiders) to remind them which productions are eligible for Best Feature in the 90th Academy Awards show, and two anime features are a part of that list: Naoko Yamada's A Silent Voice and Sunao Kotabushi's In This Corner of the World.
This will undoubtedly be great news for anime fans as last year's biggest contender, Makoto Shinkai's Your Name, didn't quite qualify for the final award nominees. But although this is one step closer, it is still far and away from the finish line. Although the two films are deemed eligible, they still have to be looked at with a closer lens and voted on to be even considered for a nomination.
The eligibility also means that they could qualify for other awards such as Best Animated Feature or Best Foreign Film, though if an anime film does make it into the Academy Awards' nominees, it'll most likely be for animation. There may be strong competition for the final Best Picture nomination slots, but these two films have a strong chance at making it.
A Silent Voice: The Movie is a feature length anime film based on Yoshitoko Oima's manga of the same name. Produced by Kyoto Animation, directed by Naoko Yamada, and written by Reiko Yoshida, the film follows a boy named Shoya who bullies his deaf classmate, Shoko, in elementary school. After the bullying goes south, he's ostracized by his classmates and grows up isolated and angry at the rest of the world. Years later, he runs into Shoko and the two slowly try to recover from their dark past and build toward a brighter future.
In This Corner of the World is a film produced by MAPPA, and based on Fumiyo Kono's manga of the same name. Written and directed by Hidenori Matsubara, the film follows a woman named Suzu, who lives in a pre-war (and atomic bomb) Hiroshima. After she's proposed to be a naval officer named Shusaku. After remembering their childhood together, she goes to live with Shusaku and tries to adjust to life as the Pacific War draws near.
The 90th Academy Awards will take place on March 4, 2018.