DCA Archive

Giovanni's Island
(Jobanni no shima)

Mizuho Nishikubo

Based on true events, this animated feature is a moving story of enduring cross-cultural friendship among children in the aftermath of World War II.

Brothers Junpei (10) and Kanta (7) live happily with their father on a tiny island off the northern coastline of Japan, mostly unaware of the ongoing global conflict. At the end of the war, however, all their lives are thrown into chaos when the Russian army arrives and takes over the island – and Tanya, daughter of the army commander, moves in next door. What follows is an emotional story of love and loss as the children are caught in historical events much bigger than they are, and over which they have absolutely no control.

Vibrant hand-drawn animation, an emotive score and an element of the fantastical all contribute to the telling of a powerful story. Beautiful and sad at the same time, the film presents the horrors of war through the eyes of children, as they see the devastating impact on their own family and friends. We are once again indebted to our friends at Scotland Loves Anime for giving us access to this award-winning example of the finest in contemporary Japanese anime.