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New Anime!: Now You Won't Have to Search the Far Corners of the Video Store for Anime's Best 

Wednesday, Jan 7 2015

The exclamation point is theirs, but it's appropriate, as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' festival features two of last year's best anime films, particularly Yasuhiro Yoshiura's breathtaking Patema Inverted. 14-year-old Patema is growing up in an underground society. Flouting repeated warnings not to venture into a particularly spooky area called the Danger Zone, she falls into a pit and flies up into the surface world, where she discovers that gravity works in reverse for her people. All movies are best seen on a big screen, of course, but some are best-ier than others, and Patema Inverted is one of the latter. Also benefiting from being projected on the YBCA's 11-foot-by-16-foot screen is Isao Takahata's beautiful, hand-drawn The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, in which an elderly bamboo cutter (James Caan) finds a tiny infant girl inside a glowing stalk. She grows at a substantially accelerated rate, eventually becoming the pretty tomboy Kaguya (Chloë Grace Moretz), who wants nothing more than to play in the woods with the local children — but her parents have other plans for her. Also playing is Kôji Masunari and Masaaki Yuasa's totes-nutball Welcome to the Space Show, as well as Mami Sunada's documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a rare peek inside anime powerhouse Studio Ghibli.


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Sherilyn Connelly


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