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Ponyo finally gets US release date

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..and it’s August 14. And yes, it is just Ponyo. Miyazaki’s latest Japanese box office record smashing movie Ponyo on the cliff by the Sea has had it’s name truncated for foreign audiences, which is fair enough. I’m not going to moan. I just want to know what the UK release date is. Or at least when the Japanese Blu-ray is coming out…

More details when, as always, I get them.

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Akira (1988): Blu-ray review

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It’s very hard to underestimate the global impact of Katsuhiro Otomo’s film adaptation of his own, epic manga Akira. It broke box office records when it opened in Japan, and along with Ghibli Oscar winner Spirited Away it is probably the anime film most western ‘non-fans’ have seen. For many of my generation it is a much treasured and personally important film and, without resorting to hyperbole, one that the first viewing of was a life-changing experience, akin to watching Star Wars, 2001 or Blade Runner for the first time.

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Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai: Teaser trailer

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Anime News Network have a great scoop today – an English language teaser trailer for Oshii/Production IG‘s latest offering Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai. As reported late last year, the movie is based on the life and works of the legendary Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, author of The Book of Five Rings (五輪書, Go Rin No Sho).

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The Sky Crawlers (2008): Review

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If you’ve read this site before, or even just glanced over it’s archives, then my appreciation and admiration of director Mamoru Oshii is clearly laid out. As such it would seem not only redundant but also somewhat self indulgent to elaborate further on my love of his tense political sci-fi dramas Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor, or his low budget, live action masterpiece Avalon. Ever since his latest feature film The Sky Crawlers was first announced I have been gripped with excitement and anticipation – although, as always, resigned to the long wait us western fans must endure before we are granted an audience. This week that wait finally ended, and putting aside my deep rooted fanboy allegiances for just under two hours, I was able to sit down and see if anime’s most esteemed auteur could still deliver the goods.

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More Ghibli news: Kosaka Kitaro interview, new book and Blu-ray releases

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Lots going on at the house of Totoro this week – first off is an excellent and insightful interview with Ghibli animator and art director Kosaka Kitaro (Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, Akira, Spirited Away and Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea among many, many others) over at Ghibli World. Here’s a tasty extract:

In fact, it is evident how Miyazaki’s films, notwithstanding their highly imaginative stories, tend to present characters which are deeply human in their behavior and sensibility…

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New Miyazaki manga: details and images emerge

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Following up last month’s story on the first new Miyazaki drawn manga in several years, I’ve managed to track down some more details and a couple of images (click for larger versions). The first part of Kaze Tachinu (風立ちぬ, The Wind Rises) was published last week in Japanese hobby magazine Model Graphix, and is based on the life of Zero fighter designer Horikoshi Jiro, and is not – as some websites will try and tell you – a ‘glorification of WW2 kamikaze pilots’.

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