Anime at the Modern 2023

Children of the Sea

Anime at the Modern, presented August 4 through 6, celebrates the Japanese anime genre with a full weekend of films and activities. In addition to visually stunning and imaginative films, this year we are excited to host a cosplay contest during our First Friday event on August 4. The Modern Shop will have popular Japanese snacks and candy, along with exclusive merchandise for purchase. Guests can enjoy the galleries and view our special exhibition, Robert Motherwell: Pure Painting. You can also make reservations at Café Modern for some delightful eats before or after the films. 

All film screenings will be held in the Modern's auditorium. Tickets are $10; $8 for Modern members; and $7 for Reel People members. Cinephiles who plan to enjoy the weekend’s entire selection of films will receive a discount for pre-purchasing all of their tickets at once. Tickets are available online or by visiting the museum’s admission desk. 

All films were chosen with the guidance of anime and manga expert Dr. Marc Hairston, who will introduce the films and be available for Q&A.

Dr. Marc Hairston, Research Scientist at University of Texas at Dallas, researches space weather using the Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamic Investigation (CINDI), a satellite that studies how the motions of neutral gasses and charged particles are related. Dr. Hairston is also interested in the scholarly study of anime and manga and is on the board of editors of Mechademia, the first English-language academic journal addressing these topics. He regularly teaches courses at the University of Texas at Dallas examining the themes of science fiction and fantasy in anime and manga, specifically focusing on individual anime creators such as Hayao Miyazaki, Makoto Shinkai, Mamoru Hosoda, and Isao Takahata. For the past several summers, Dr. Hairston has enjoyed bringing new classic anime films to his hometown of Fort Worth through Anime at the Modern.  



Friday, August 4
4 pm 
Children of the Sea
Tomboy Ruka is facing a boring summer, and decides to spend it at the coastal aquarium where her father works. There she discovers the aquarium is caring for two orphan brothers, Umi and Sora, who were found in the ocean being raised by dugongs. As she befriends them Ruka discovers the two boys have a mysterious connection to the sea and have some knowledge of the strange events the scientists at the aquarium are studying. Director Ayumu Watanabe (Komi Can’t Communicate, Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko) and character designer and animation director Kenichi Konishi (The Deer King, Whisper of the Heart, Ponyo) have created an amazing visual feast showing the power of the natural world.
111 minutes

5–8 pm
First Friday at the Modern
The Modern and Café Modern team up to bring you Japanese-inspired bites, drink specials, and music by D Magazine's "DJ of the Year" DJ Boyblk in the museum's Grand Lobby. Invite friends and enjoy a unique opportunity to experience the Modern in the evening.

Café Modern and Executive Chef Jett Mora will be serving the following dishes in the lobby: Korokke (deep fried potato cakes with yum yum sauce), Gyudon (beef rice bowls), Yakisoba (vegetarian stir fry noodles), and Kakigori (Japanese style shaved ice using assorted house made syrups). Specialty drinks along with beer and wine will be available at the cash bar, with happy hour selections.

Gallery admission is free for everyone on Fridays! A complimentary docent-led, 20-minute tour is available at 7 pm.

Modern members and visitors will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to Modern by Moonlight: Otsukimi Festival (September 16) onsite at First Friday.

6:30 pm
Cosplay Contest

Judges Victoria Bane and The Geeky Seamstress will award prizes for:
Best Handmade Costume, Best Performance, Best Overall
There is no pre-registration. Cosplayers should arrive at least 30 minutes before the contest begins. Rules and regulations apply.
Rules for participation available here.

Victoria Bane is a DFW-based cosplayer with 21 years of experience creating costumes, foam-smithing, and prop-making with a specialty in wig styling! Always focused on honing each new skill she learns as well as improving upon old ideas, Victoria is eager to share the knowledge she’s picked up on her cosplay Journey! Instagram: @vickiebane, TikTok:, Youtube:

The Geeky Seamstress is an award-winning craftsperson, cosplayer, and theater graduate student based in Dallas-Fort Worth. Cosplaying since 2012, she has made dozens of projects spanning across all genres, with an emphasis on spandex, corsetry, and high-quality craftsmanship. A librarian by trade, the Geeky Seamstress enjoys documenting her builds and writing tutorials on cosplay when she’s not working on commissions or her next project. She can be found on most major social media platforms as @thegeekyseamstress. 

7:30 pm
Weathering with You
The hit anime from Makoto Shinkai (Your Name, Suzume), Weathering with You follows teenage runaway Hodaka, who has fled to a near-future Tokyo where climate change threatens the city with near-constant rain and flooding. There he meets Hina, a teenage girl who helps him out. But Hina is a “weather girl,” someone who possesses the legendary and mysterious ability to change the weather and make the sky clear. As they put her talents to work, they find they may be able to save Tokyo from its watery fate. But are they willing to pay the price?
112 minutes, PG-13


Saturday, August 5 

2 pm  
Goodbye, Don Glees!

Atsuko Ishizuka follows up her touching anime series A Place Further Than the Universe with another earnest and deeply personal story of growing up. Toto, Roma, and Drop are a trio of 15-year-old boys in rural Japan who make up a club they call “Don Gless.” During their last summer before high school, they set out to have one last adventure that widens their horizons and leads them to a discovery that will take them “to the edge of the world”.
95 minutes, PG

5 pm  
The First Slam Dunk
A worldwide phenomenon since it started as a manga serial in 1990 and was adapted subsequently into several anime series and films, The First Slam Dunk is a sports drama following the players on the Shohoku High School basketball team. Despite the title, the film adapts the manga series’ final game between Shohoku and their rival school, Sanno Industry High. Along the way the film tells the backstory of the players and how they reached this crucial point in their lives. A runaway hit in Japan, anime doesn’t get more exciting than this.

124 minutes, PG-13


Sunday, August 6

Giovanni’s Island

Giovanni’s Island tells the story of the Russian occupation of the island of Shikotan at the end of World War II, as seen through the eyes of two elementary-school-age children, brothers Junpei and Kanta. With their world turned upside down, the two boys make sense of their new life, navigating school, family, and making friends with the children of Russian soldiers and staff. All the while, the boys try to explain their circumstances by using scenes from their favorite book: Kenji Miyazawa’s fantasy, Night on the Galactic Railroad. This is a heartbreaking and magical tale of the loss of innocence and ultimate redemption.
102 minutes

3 pm
Lonely Castle in the Mirror
Middle schooler Kokoro has been bullied so badly by her classmates that she cannot bring herself to return to school. But, when the mirror in her room starts glowing, she finds herself pulled into a fantasy castle with six other middle schoolers, all of them unable to face their classrooms.  Meeting every day in this other-worldly castle, these wounded loners form an unlikely band of comrades and face new mysteries: What is this fantastic castle? Who is the “wolf queen,” the masked girl who runs it? Given a one-year deadline, the children must find a key that will grant any wish they desire—but only for one of them. Based on Mizuki Tsujimura’s bestselling novel, Lonely Castle in the Mirror is an uplifting tale of the pain and hope of adolescence.

116 minutes, PG-13