Known for its varied artistic style and its visually stark, colourful and stylized images and characters, animé, a style of cartoon animation which originated in Japan, has become increasingly popular with audiences worldwide. This May, IFC is bringing a collection of animé films to Canadian animé fans for an event that’s truly a work of art. Don’t miss the IFC AniMay Festival airing Thursday, May 4 to Sunday, May 7 with movies starting at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) each night.
IFC kicks the festival off in high animé style with the network premiere of Ninja Scroll (1993) on Thursday, May 4 at 9 p.m. ET. After a mysterious plague destroys an entire village, master swordsman Jubei must join forces with a deadly female ninja named Kagero in order to find the Shogun of the Dark, an evil autocrat with plans to take over the government. Before they can get to him, however, they must overcome his demonic henchmen, The 8 Devils of Kimon. Only then can they restore order to the land.
Trouble boils over into the 11 p.m. movie Boiling Point (1991) when the hapless Masaki gets into trouble with members of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese crime organization. Masaki’s only chance to survive is to join with a tough gangster who’s in a lot of debt with the same group.
Friday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET is the network premiere of the animé classic Ghost in the Shell (1995) where the year is 2029 and a sentient computer virus created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has defied its creators by escaping to a host body outside of the electronic net. A female cyber agent with the Internal Bureau of Investigations must race against the Ministry in order to capture the rogue virus.
Two worlds collide when on the eve of the Vietnam War, vampires infiltrate a U.S. military base located on Japanese soil during the network premiere of Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) airing Saturday, May 6 at 9 p.m. ET. An underground government organization sends in Saya, a mysterious woman who must eliminate the vampire threat and discover the origins of their demonic plague.
The animation continues at 11:30 p.m. ET with a feature length adaptation of the hit TV series Cowboy Bebop (2003). When a terrorist explosion releases a deadly virus killing over 500 people, a reward is promised for whoever captures the bomber. The bounty-hunting Bebop crew wastes no time in trying to catch the cold-blooded culprit.
Two rival companies compete to become the top destination for illicit three-dimensional manga internet porn, and send spies to infiltrate each other’s operations in the broadcast premiere of Demonlover (2002) airing Sunday, May 7 at 9 p.m. ET. This film stars Connie Neilson, Charles Berling and Chloë Sevigny.
The AniMay Festival wraps up at 11:15 p.m. ET with Memories (2003), a series of animated stories featuring everything from space travellers to a man who makes himself into a human biological weapon.
Ninja Scroll (Network Premiere) Thursday, May 4 at 9 p.m. ET
Boiling Point Thursday, May 4 at 11 p.m. ET
Ghost in the Shell (Network Premiere) Friday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET
Blood: The Last Vampire (Network Premiere) Saturday, May 6 at 9 p.m. ET
Cowboy Bebop Saturday, May 6 at 11:30 p.m. ET
Demonlover (Broadcast Premiere) Sunday, May 7 at 9 p.m. ET
Memories Sunday, May 7 at 11:15 p.m. ET