The 71st Mainichi Film Award ceremony took place in the Muya Kawasaki Symphony Hall on February 15, 2017. Makoto Shinkai was awarded ‘Best Animated Film’ for Kimi no na wa (Your Name). The Ofuji Noburo award was given to Sunao Katabuchi for his animated movie Kono Sekai no Katasumi Ni (In a Corner of This World). The movie was also awarded ‘Best Japanese Animated Movie’ and ‘Best Music’. Non, the voice actress of the main heroine Suzu, and the theme song performer Kotringo also appeared on stage.
Katabuchi said: ‘Last year I was part of the judging panel, so I want to tell my past self about this situation. I am very thankful that everybody came to see the finished product and approved of it.’ Non said with a smile: ‘I am happy that so many people came to see the movie. I think that Director Katabuchi is a really cool and pure person, because he keeps following his dream without stopping.’
Kotringo played her piano piece Kanashikute yari kirenai while scenes of the movie were playing. The hall was spellbound by the emotional atmosphere.
Kimi no Na wa received two awards, ‘Best Animated Film’ and ‘TsutayaxFilmarks Popularity Award’ in the category ‘Japanese Movie.’ When asked about the still-growing box office sales, Director Shinkai said: ‘Recently I wanted to do something that is not only a movie, but something that has many different things to enjoy. Something that if you go watch it, will somehow feel like a kind of communication. I wanted to make a movie that has no gaps, where there is no time to look at your smartphone or check social media sites.’
At the 59th Mainichi Film Awards in 2004, Shinkai had received the award for ‘Best Animated Film’ for his work Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days), and when he was asked about his feelings at that time, he replied, ‘Back then I wondered why I had received such a big award, but having made a movie that deserved an award made me work harder.’
In addition, the general director of Shin Godzilla, Hideaki Anno, received his first triple crown for Shin Godzilla (Godzilla: Resurgence) for ‘Movie of the Year.’ Director Shinji Higuchi, supporting actress Mikako Ichikawa, and even Godzilla himself were at the venue to entertain the audience.
The Special Honor Award was given to Tetsuo Shimamura, who helped with the production of the special visual effects of Shin Godzilla. Disney Studios were awarded the ‘TsutayaxFilmarks Popularity Award’ in the ‘Foreign Movie’ category for Zootopia.
Mainichi Shimbun president Yutaka Asahina commented, ‘I get the impression that 2016 was overtaken by anime and special effects’ since Kimi no Na wa is now the second-highest ranking domestic movie of all time in Japan.
The Mainichi Film Awards are sponsored by Mainichi Shimbun and Sports Nippon Shimbun. They not only award the best works and actors, but also have awards for best art, best lighting, best sound and they award a wide variety of works like documentaries, animations, and more.