University of Pittsburgh
January 24, 2013

Anime Film Series to Be Hosted by Pitt

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Fans of Japanese animated films, or “anime,” will have plenty of sagas to entertain them this February. The Pittsburgh Anime Film Series—organized by Charles Exley, Pitt professor of Japanese literature and film—is coming to the University of Pittsburgh, with film screenings throughout the month as well as lectures and an exhibition of original artwork at Pittsburgh’s cartoon museum, the ToonSeum.

Featuring anime examples of genres ranging from romance to science fiction and themes both classic and contemporary, the Pittsburgh Anime Film Series will showcase the broad spectrum of the Japanese art of anime. All films will be shown in Japanese with English subtitles. A schedule of events, all open to the public, follows.

Tuesday, Feb. 5
Akira (1988) and lecture
7 p.m.
The ToonSeum, 945 Liberty Avenue, Downtown

A landmark in Japanese anime, Akira is set in Neo-Tokyo in the year 2019 and follows a biker with psychic powers. The film is being screened in conjunction with a special exhibition of original production art from the film, running throughout February at the ToonSeum. The screening will be followed by a lecture on Akira by film writer Joe Peacock, owner of a number of the pieces on display in the exhibition. The film screening is free with museum admission. (Suggested admission: $5.)

Monday, Feb. 11
5 Centimeters per Second (2007)
7 p.m.
Frick Fine Arts Building

Hailed by critics and audiences for its beauty and innovation, 5 Centimeters per Second tells the bittersweet story of two young students, painting a stunning picture of young love, loss, and hope. Free.

Monday, Feb. 18
Memories (1995)
7 p.m.
McConomy Hall Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University

Memories includes three science fiction stories. In “Magnetic Rose,” an abandoned spaceship contains a world created by one woman’s memories; a young lab assistant accidentally transforms himself into a human biological weapon in “Stink Bomb”; and “Cannon Fodder” depicts a city whose entire purpose is firing cannons at an unseen enemy. Free. 

Monday, Feb. 25
Summer Wars (2009)
7 p.m.
Frick Fine Arts Building
In Summer Wars, two teenagers fight a computer program run amok in the virtual game world of OZ. Free.

Thursday, Feb. 28
Lecture: “Relational Visuality; or, What’s the Point of Studying Anime?”
7 p.m.
Frick Fine Arts Building

The series concludes with a special lecture by Steven Ridgely, associate professor of Japanese literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Free. 

The Pittsburgh Anime Film Series is sponsored by the University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, the University’s Asian Studies Center, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation and Mitsubishi Endowments, Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Modern Languages, and the ToonSeum. Visit for more information.