Manga-jima: The Island of Cartoonist
Director: Fumio MORIYA
Cast: Shingo MIZUSAWA / Yuya MATSU-URA / Shohei UNO / Yasushi MASAOKA / Yota KAWASE
Genre: Fantasy / Drama
[2016 / Color / HD / 5.1ch / 107 min. / Japanese with English subtitles]
Official Selection - Hong Kong International Film Festival 2017
Five unpopular cartoonists live in an isolated island, called Manga-jima, somewhere in Japan on the Pacific Ocean. Nagasawa and Moriyoshi was forced to leave their apartment because they couldn’t pay the rent, and arrived at the island a few years ago. They finish their new cartoon at last, called a ship with flare from an island nearby, and depart for Tokyo to sell their cartoon.
What awaits them is the death of a legendary cartoonist, Mushio Kezuka. All cartoonists in the island were attracted by Kezuka, because he once lived in the island together, came out of his slump, and became a leading cartoonist again. Nagasawa and Moriyoshi get a chance to challenge for serial publication of their cartoon on condition that they would bury the body of Kezuka. They fly back to the island. Nagasawa devotes himself to drawing cartoon, but Moriyoshi doesn’t draw at all.
One day, Nagasawa’s idea for his cartoon was stolen by a cartoonist Kobayashi. Nagasawa is forced to create a new cartoon, which makes him get irritated. He finishes his work at last and sends a flare to call a ship for Tokyo. Usually, Choheimaru, a ship of a nearby island comes in an hour after sending a flare, but never appears this time. One day passes, two days pass, and a week passes. They use all papers, ink, and food which they brought from Tokyo. They suffer from hunger, fight against the temptation of cannibalism and get into a panic. All they have is the passion and craziness for cartoons. "At the place nobody knows, we're doing the things nobody understands." Is there a bright future waiting for the five middle-aged cartoonists, who decided to devote their lives for drawing cartoons?