From Up On Poppy Hill (Kokurikozaka kara)

Following in his father’s footsteps, anime director Goro Miyazaki creates a charmingly nostalgic, sometimes tragic story of young love and student protest against the period of revitalization before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

From Up on Poppy Hill

The story is set in 1963 in Yokohama. Kokuriko Manor sits on a hill overlooking the harbour. A 16 year-old girl, Umi, lives in that house. Every morning she raises a signal flag facing the sea. The flag means “I pray for safe voyages”. A 17 year-old boy, Shun, always sees this flag from the sea as he rides a tugboat to school. Gradually the pair are drawn to each other but they are faced with a sudden trial. Even so, they keep going without running from facing the hardships of reality.

Key of Life

When Kondo, a wealthy contract killer accidentally hits his head in a bathhouse, an unemployed actor named Sakurai switches their locker keys. Sakurai takes on Kondo’s identity, while Kondo, who is suffering from amnesia, assumes the impoverished life of Sakuria. The reversal of fortune becomes complicated when Sakurai finds himself embroiled in a hit gone wrong, while Kondo meets the lovely Kanae, an ambitious magazine editor who is looking for a simple, honest man to be her husband. [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Dreams for Sale

After losing their restaurant in a fire, a husband and wife come up with a strange plan to rebuild their shattered finances: marrying the husband off to a series of lonely women and defrauding them.

Dreams for Sale (Yume uru futari)

After losing their restaurant in a fire, a husband and wife come up with a strange plan to rebuild their shattered finances: marrying the husband off to a series of lonely women and defrauding them.

Tales from Earthsea

Something bizarre has come over the land. The kingdom is deteriorating. People are beginning to act strange… What’s even more strange is that people are beginning to see dragons, which shouldn’t enter the world of humans. Due to all these bizarre events, Ged, a wandering wizard, is investigating the cause. During his journey, he meets Prince Arren, a young distraught teenage boy. While Arren may look like a shy young teen, he has a severe dark side, which grants him strength, hatred, ruthlessness and has no mercy, especially when it comes to protecting Teru. For the witch Kumo this is a perfect opportunity. She can use the boy’s “fears” against the very one who would help him, Ged.

Rurouni Kenshin

Former legendary assassin Kenshin Himura has now become a wandering samurai. Offerring aid & protecting those in need as atonement for his past deeds. During this time Kenshin Himura comes across and aides Kaoru Kamiya (Emi Takei). Her father opened the Kamiya Kasshin-ryu, a kendo school located in Tokyo and Kaoru is now an instructor there. Kaoru then invites Kenshin to stay at her dojo. Their relationship develops further, but Kenshin is still haunted by his violent past …

Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog

As a Labrador puppy, Quill is sent to live with a couple, Isamu and Mitsuko Nii, who work as volunteers, training guide dogs (seeing eye dogs). When he grows to an adult dog, he is taken to a guide dog school, by a friendly, yet firm trainer Satoru Tawada. Although Quill is a little slower than the other dogs at the school, he seems to have an unusual ’empathy’ and remarkable patience with his trainers. Tawada decides that Quill would be the ideal guide dog for Mitsuru Watanabe, but Wanatabe, a lonely and ill-tempered middle aged man, isn’t as enthusiastic – he would “would rather sleep than be dragged around by a dog.”. From here, the story is narrated by Wanatabe’s daughter, Mitsuko, and slowly, Wantanbe is rehabilitated, venturing into the outside world, and learning, not only to trust other humans, but the animal at his side who guides him.