The Anime Society of St. Charles will mark its first anniversary with showings of Japanese animated films on two nights.
Films from that country were chosen because they are so popular with animation fans these days, explains Chuck Lovelace, co-chairman of the society.
Most of the characters have oversized eyes and use lots of facial expressions.
"Their characters express a lot of emotion without speaking," he said.
The mini-film festivals will be at 6 p.m. on May 14 and May 28 at the St. Peters Cultural Arts Center, Mexico Road and Venture Drive.
There is no cost, and the showings are open to all age groups.
"It appeals to both the young and adults," said Lovelace.
Anyone thinking cartoons are just for kids need only look to Japan, he says.
"Animated shows make up 38 percent of Japanese television, and most occupy the 7 to 9 p.m. time slots," Lovelace said.
Japanese producers seldom make an animated show unless its predecessor, a comic book, was successful, he adds.
"A scrutiny of any subway will almost always yield some comic book-reading businessmen," Lovelace said.
On May 14, the society will show about eight episodes of "Ramna 1/2," a Japanese series about a panda that turns into a human when it gets wet.
On May 28, the festival will focus on Project A-ko, a comedy in Japan about the adventures of some schoolgirls, including one who is a superhero from outerspace.
In the United States, animation is growing in popularity thanks to such successes as television's "The Simpsons" and Disney's recent animated movies, such as "Aladdin."
"As people watch those, they're getting an interest in other types of animation you don't see on TV," said Lovelace. …