Anima?t kicks off with Tekkonkinkreet: the animated technovision of a retro-futuristic cosmopolis, according to Michael Arias
The Sitges Fantasy Film Festival's program always reserves a privileged place for animated cinema. Anima't, one of the parallel sections dedicated to this genre and that has grown the most during the last editions, is today a mini-festival in itself; accommodating proposals that combine the leading animated referents, and possibly the works with the greatest visionary depth in the entire competition. Anima't arrives this year more amazing than ever: the section's opening with the animated debut of Michael Arias (part of Dream Quest Images' digital effects team and videogame developer for SEGA-Japan), is an irrefutable example.
Tekkonkinkreet is the new reformulation of the metropolis understood as a devouring jungle, called Treasure Town, permanently flirting with the metaphoric globalizing mushroom where trash and technology live together parellelly, and whose synergies compel its small protagonists to proclaim themselves superheroes, at the same time as they struggle to make room for themselves in a landscape of metal bits and pieces. The traditional Japanese anime techniques are merged here with cutting-edge 3D technology to endow this movie with a unique visual style.
Manga and anime are products that, despite being consumed by a minority sector, actively contribute to the creation of socio-cultural identities among its consumers. In this vein, the reflection made by Jordi Sánchez-Navarro, the Anima't section programmer, in the study The Beginning of the End; tendencies and Effectives of New Japanese cinema (Paidós Comunicación), is interesting when he relates the popular consumption of manga and anime to a form of radical opposition to the powers that be, discrediting the stance of many critics consider the popular audience to be 'mass' and that is so typical of elitist critics. Because of the hegemony of this model of critique or study on occasion they pass over, with little relevance, great works that, considered to be on the edge of good canonical taste, construct a more eloquent, productive discourse to tackle the analysis and comprehension of a concrete cultural period.
In recent years, titles like Millennium Actress by Satoshi Kon, Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2 by Mamoru Oshii or Spirited Away, by master Hayao Miyazaki, have occupied a deserved place among the Festival's list of award-winners, in representation of animated cinema and its hegemonic position in the arts, in the process of a comprehension and effective analysis of contemporary fantasy film.