Lonely Castle in the Mirror, which will play in Annecy’s main competition next month, will get a limited U.S. theatrical release from GKIDS on June 21 and 22.
- The film is directed by Keiichi Hara, a regular on the international festival circuit who won the audience award and received a special distinction at Annecy in 2011 with Colorful (2010). His films Summer Days with Coo and Kureyon Shinchan: Arashi o Yobu: Appare! Sengoku Daikassen (2002) each won Tokyo Anime awards, and in 2015 his film Miss Hokusai won the Prix Publique audience award, Satoshi Kon Award, and Séquences Award at the Fantasia Film Festival.
- Lonely Castle in the Mirror debuted in Japan last December before getting its international premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival a month later.
- Animation for Lonely Castle in the Mirror was handled by A-1 Pictures. Keigo Sasaki served as chief animation director and oversaw character designs, Ilya Kuvshinov handled the visual concept and design for the film’s castle, and Harumi Fuuki composed the film’s original score.
- Lonely Castle in the Mirror is adapted by screenwriter Miho Maruo from the popular Japanese novel of the same name by Mizuki Tsujimura.
- Synopsis: Shy outcast Kokoro has been avoiding school for weeks when she discovers a portal in her bedroom mirror. She reaches through and finds herself transported to an enchanting castle where she is joined by six other students. When a girl in a wolf mask explains that they have been invited to play a game, the teens must work together to uncover the mysterious connection that unites them. However, anyone who breaks the rules will be eaten by a wolf.
Cartoon Brew’s View: Those interested in catching the film on the big screen will only be able to do so on a Wednesday or Thursday. A two weekday window for an indie anime title probably won’t translate into big box office bucks, but the fact that prestige international films are getting any theatrical release is good news and we’d love to see more of it.