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NYAF 2011 – This Boy Can Fight Aliens premiere

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After watching Shinkai Makoto-sensei’s film Voices of a Distant Star at 15 years old, Yamamoto Soubi-san was inspired to become an animator. Since Shinkai-sensei was able to write, direct, create and animate his own film, she was going to do the same. At 21 years old, she finished Kono Danshi, Uchiu-jin to Tatakaemasu (This Boy Can Fight Aliens. Comix who debuted Shinkai-sensei’s first film opened the doors for Yamamoto-san.

Aliens attack the Earth everyday, at a particular spot, at a particular time. Kakashi, a young boy with amnesia fights because that is the only thing he could do. Living a mostly peaceful life (with sudden alien attacks) with his best friend, Arikawa and caretaker Shiro. Both are part of the Special Alien division to address the issue and it seems Arikawa was the one who found him, some months ago. Why do the aliens attack? Why can’t Kakashi remember his past? Why does he have a cellphone that doesn’t work?

The animation is fanciful, bright and energetic. ANN’s report makes a good analogy on the art. “This Boy Can Fight the Aliens resembles a manga brought to cartoonish life.” The artwork is fluid with large expressions and a style that reminds me of BL mangaka, Monchi Kaori-sensei. The audience is quick to point out that the anime itself contain hints of BL at times. (Not a surprise since Yamamoto-san worked on doujin BL games.) Afterall, Arikawa is a big part of Kakashi’s life and the attention quickly turns to their relationship.

Though the story starts off bright and happy, hints are dropped that not all is as it seems and the uncertainty threatens to tear everything apart. Thought the animation stay bright, the use of color and darkness is a contrast that reflects Kakashi’s thoughts and heart. Loneliness is a theme as is friendship and truth. As one who inspired Yamamoto-san, there are hints of Shinkai-sensei’s influence. A common motif in his films, the cellphone comes into play.

The seiyuu all sound familiar and upon seeing the credits, I understood why. Kakashi is voiced by none other than Kimura Ryohei (Takizawa Akira, Eden of the East) with Toyonaga Toshiyuki (Ryugamine Mikado, Durarara!!) as Arikawa. Shiro is Hirakawa Daisuke who was Aozora Hayato (Starry Sky,) and Hiroto in the BL anime Tyrant Falls in Love. All very appropriate choices as I lost myself listening to them. The music is by Shikata Akiko and the song they used was beautiful.

No spoilers except that I love how it ended. *coughBLcough* The audience was screaming too…but there was no kissing. That would have been too much. ^_^ An inspirational new film from a new an upcoming creator. I look forward to her other works! The dvd will be released in November in Japan. With it being subbed already in the US, I’m hoping for a stateside release as well.

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