LA EigaFest 2012, a Japanese film festival held in Los Angeles, revealed on Monday that it will host the North American premiere of the live-action Rurouni Kenshin film on its opening night. Director Keishi Ōtomo will make an appearance at the film festival's red carpet and opening ceremony. The film festival is set to run from December 14 to December 16.
The festival will also feature Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children anime film, Hideki Takeuchi's live-action film adaptation of Mari Yamazaki's Thermae Romae manga, and Mika Ninagawa's live-action film adaptation of Kyoko Okazaki's Helter Skelter manga. The Floating Castle, Kirishima Thing, Rakugo Eiga, and many short films will round out the lineup.
The LA Eiga Fest debuted in 2011 with sponsorship from Los Angeles's Japan Film Society. This will be the festival's second year.
The original manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki ran from 1994 to 1999 in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. An anime series aired in Japan from 1996 to 1998 and spawned several anime film and video projects. Viz Media publishes the manga in North America, while Media Blasters released the anime.
Wolf Children is being screened at other film festivals around the world, and it won the award for Best Animated Feature at the 45th annual Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival in Spain. Wolf Children Ame and Yuki's story covers 13 years and begins with a 19-year-old college student named Hana who encounters and falls in "fairy tale-like" love with a "wolf man." After marrying the wolf man, Hana gives birth and raises two Wolf Children — an older sister named Yuki ("snow") who was born on a snowy day, and a younger brother named Ame ("rain") who was born on a rainy day. When the wolf man suddenly dies, Hana decides to move to a rural town far removed from the city. Funimation will release the film theatrically and on home video in North America next year.
Thermae Romae follows Lucius Modestus (Abe), an architect who designs bath-houses in ancient Rome. One day he is sucked into modern-day Japan via a bathhouse. Able to travel back and forth in between worlds, Lucius uses Japanese ideas to improve the Roman baths he builds in the past.