We've all been told to follow our dreams at some point, but that can be easier said than done when the world deals us a bad hand. However, we can learn to understand and inspire each other with Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, a heartwarming anime take on the classic short story by award-winning author Seiko Tanabe, which Anime Limited is delighted to announce they are bringing exclusively to selected cinemas in the UK & Ireland from 11th August 2021.
Insisting on being called "Josee", a character from her favourite book, Kumiko Yamamura is stubborn, unruly, and not even her thick Osakan accent can hide the sharpness of her tongue. However, she's also trapped in a home ill-prepared for her disabilities and hidden away from a world she’s been told is full of hostile "tigers". When she literally falls into the arms of aspirational college student Tsuneo Suzukawa, however, the two start to see the world and what they want from it in a whole new light in this uplifting romance that's a refreshing change of pace for a studio mostly known for action anime like the UK box office smash-hit My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising.
Whilst the 1984 short story by Akutagawa Prize-winning author Seiko Tanabe is no stranger to being adapted for the big screen, this new interpretation by first-time feature director Kotaru Tamura makes the case for animation by fully utilising the medium’s creative power and freedom to bring Josee's vivid imagination to life like never before as we picture her swimming through the vast open seas with schools of tropical fish as a majestic mermaid. Even in the film's reality, the visual expressiveness that many have come to love from anime allows us to feel every excited smile, frustrated tear, and embarrassed blush on Josee's face, bringing us closer to one of the more feisty and fun anime heroines in recent years.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish has made a splash around the world, with it being selected to close the 25th Busan International Film Festival, and screening in competition at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Back home in Japan, the film also earned nominations at both the 75th Mainichi Film Awards and the 44th Japan Academy Film Prize. Watch the trailer at the link above.