Good things come to those who wait, and fans of Gege Akutami’s award winning anime series ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ (it recently bagged the ‘Anime of the Year’ award in the TV series category at the 2022 Tokyo Anime Festival) know this. After a six month state of limbo since the release of its prequel movie ‘Jujutsu Kaisen 0’ -it was initially released December 2021 in Japan and March 2022 in the United States, the film was finally confirmed to be released in the Philippines on June 22, 2022. Fans have long waited for updates on a date for release (I have even done my own share of pestering for news on the film’s release, ‘Hello po SM Cinema!’).
There have always been anime films, since I was young, I could remember YuYu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter) having one, and it was even dubbed in Tagalog and released in theaters. I distinctly remember saving the newspaper clipping where it showed that the ‘Ghost Fighter Movie’ was being shown in cinemas. Yes, I’m that old, I remember what it was like reading newspapers.
I remember watching the ‘Sailor Moon R’ movie on VHS tape. As I grew up I came to understand that there are anime movies, along with seasons, and OVA (Original Video Animation) releases. Over the years, anime films have had local releases, albeit in smaller more dedicated showings like fan screenings.
Like the rest of the film distribution industry, which was greatly affected by the Corona virus pandemic, anime films being released here, also took a hit. The highly anticipated Kimetsu No Yaiba: Mugen Train which was released in the midst of the pandemic, still managed to break box office records and was even able to dethrone ‘Spirited Away’ to become the highest-grossing anime film worldwide with $440.15 million. I regret not seeing Mugen Train in the cinemas.
With the Philippines having one of the longest lockdowns, and in turn local cinemas opening later than its international counterparts, Mugen Train could have had more screenings and viewings locally. The film still managed to hold a fan screening and have a limited local release.
Now that the economy is slowly going back to normal and movies are having a more regular screening schedule, it’s really good to see a successful fan screening, like what transpired last Saturday, June 18 at IMAX SM Megamall for Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
Music and lights greeted fans who came to see the movie, and definitely added to the festivities. Of course, it was music from the Jujutsu Kaisen series that was being played. And as a fan, it was just a real treat, to get to sing and dance to the songs, while in line to buy popcorn.
Some fans came in cosplay, dressing up as their favorite characters from the series. SM Cinema and the film’s distributor, Viewer’s Choice Philippines awarded the top three in cosplay with official Jujutsu Kaisen merchandise.
Speaking of merchandise, fans who went to the special fan screening, not only got to see the film earlier, and in IMAX but also got to take home official merchandise from Hong Kong!
There was a photobooth so fans could capture their memories from the screening.
From what I can see, the entirety of the IMAX theater was filled. Fans cheered and squealed at all the right moments during the film. And can I just say that it was such a pleasure to watch the film on IMAX, that huge screen really showcased the beauty of the animation. You could really appreciate those fight scenes on the big screens. And the sound! To hear the background music, excellent voice acting and songs through IMAX’s immersive speakers was also a delight. I guess I should stop myself as this is already veering to reviewing the film. I already have a mini review out (check it on the Team PCheng Facebook page). I will try and work on a full review for the film also. So make sure to follow my socials!
Since we are in the topic of anime films being released in the Philippines, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will also be having a local theatrical release! Check out the blog post for more details!
Jujutsu Kaisen 0 will have its regular screening starting June 22 and will also be available to view on IMAX. Make sure to check the SM Cinema and Viewer’s Choice Philippines pages for more details.