Day 1 – 2017: The Year of Anime in Theaters

In 2015 I went to 0 anime movies in theaters. It’s not that there weren’t any – there were, but they were few in number and weren’t at many theaters, making it hard to justify going.

In 2016 I went to 2 anime movies in theaters. These movies were Kizumonogatari parts 1 and 2. I had a hard time resisting these, given that I’d been waiting for them for years and they were in a lot more theaters making it much easier to attend.

This year I went to 6 anime movies in theaters. These movies were Kizumonogatari 3, One Piece Gold, Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, Your Name, Pokemon: I Choose You, and Heaven’s Feel: Presage Flower. I missed In This Corner of the World and A Silent Voice, both of which I had the opportunity to watch, so it’s no fault but my own. Were I interested in the series, I would’ve been able to see the No Game No Life movie as well.

Additionally, I made the choice to catch the first three episodes of the Ancient Magus’ Bride at a theater screening. If I was more than a casual fan, I could’ve seen Love Live screenings at theaters as well. Hell, if I lived in the UK I would’ve gotten to see Yuasa’s movies in theaters.

This is a big shift from when I started participating in anime fandom. I’m sure that, at one point, anime movies showing up in Western theaters was normal. I know the early Pokemon movies had very wide releases and I have to assume that works like Akira and Ghost in the Shell made it into theaters. But those works came out before my time; I’ve certainly never been in a position like this before now.

It’s such a nice thing to know that you might be able to see the movies you want without waiting 6 or more months for the BDs to release, followed by the wait for someone to sub them. It’s so nice to know that you can just go watch a movie only 2 or 3 months after Japanese fans got the same privilege. It was such a pain to see a bunch of cool looking movies, totally unable to see them soon. It’s so nice to be able to watch anime in a theater, undisturbed by the constant urge I feel to check twitter or my blog when I’m at home.

Things still aren’t perfect. These companies aren’t necessarily doing the best job at advertising these movies, especially onese which have a serious shot at success if they get a wide release. Films like Your Name and A Silent Voice came out far later than they should’ve; the fact that I was able to watch the latter’s BD rips beforehand is ultimately the reason I didn’t prioritize going and it wouldn’t have happened if they had been quicker. I didn’t have to watch fansubs, but given that it wasn’t confirmed for an American release until after I watched it, I’m not upset with my decision.

But I’m really just so happy that I get to experience anime in theaters at all. We live in a time where movies are becoming a more and more frequent way to produce anime, absent many of the structural issues faced by TV shows, so it’s a big thing that we in the West are seeing increased access to these works. I only hope the situation can continue to improve as time goes on. At least I know I’ll get to see the other Fate movies.


One thought on “Day 1 – 2017: The Year of Anime in Theaters

  1. Based on part 1 of Heaven’s Feel do you think we got a better adaptation than UBW, or the same adaptation issues are present?


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