It looks like Bandai have put a lot of time in and money into the imminent Akira Blu-ray, hopefully putting to rest the fears of fans worldwide that it might be yet another quick transfer. According to Blu-ray.com, although the film had a full restoration for it’s 2001 DVD release, no punches have been pulled for it’s 20th anniversary, with the focus being moved onto remastering the score and soundtrack:
As you have probably already guessed from the title, Sword of the Stranger is a Samurai action (or chanbara チャンバラ) movie, and the feature film debut of Masahiro Ando, who’s previous directorial work includes the TV series Canaan as well as being a key animator on projects such as Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in The Shell and Planetes. It’s an impressive CV, no doubt about it, and one that means expectations from both the industry and fans are high.
Here we go – the final set of art books I picked up in Tokyo, and by far my favourite purchases from there.
Some of you might remember my concern back in June when I first reported on Production IG’s planned visual update to Oshii’s 1995 classic Ghost in the Shell. Well, the Blu-ray of GiTS 2.0 (not to be confused with GiTS 2: Innocence, which will also be referred to a lot in this piece) hit Japanese stores a few weeks ago, and via sources that I’m not at liberty to identify I have managed to get my hands on a preview copy – months before the (still yet to be confirmed) UK release. So it was that I found myself, on the first morning of 2009, sitting down to watch one of my favourite movies of all time again, but instead of being filled with the usual satisfying feeling of anticipation, I was gripped with something nearer to dread.
Some of the coolest things I picked up in Tokyo were a trio of Katsuhiro Otomo art books – although sadly they weren’t for me, intended instead for my favourite Otomo-san obsessive Al T. Shame, as I would have liked to have spent some quality time with these beauties. Luckily though, I was able to grab a few shots before I let him get his grubby paws all over them.
Despite having been
boringly safely back in the UK for over a month now, I’m still only just managing to mentally process everything we saw and experienced in Tokyo. A major highlight for us, in fact one of the main reasons for going in the first place, was our trip to the Studio Ghibli Museum in the suburb of Mitaka.
Look, I know what you come here for. Really. I mean, I’m sure you’ve been enjoying reading about the last few days exploring Tokyo’s ancient monuments and culture, but I know what you’re thinking.
Where the fuck is the anime and the toys, Tim?
Well, my friends, let me put you out of your misery.
Now I have to admit to a complete lack of any knowledge or experience of the Little Nemo children’s stories…apparently popular in the US, as far as I’m aware they never made any real impact on this side of the Atlantic. But I’m suddenly a little interested now, after finding out that Studio Ghibli nearly made a feature film based on the characters in the 1980s, to have been directed by the late Yoshifumi Kondo. The project never surfaced – at least not from Ghibli – but now some footage has been uncovered and dumped onto YouTube. Get ready for a little slice of classic, if low-res, Miyazaki-esque flying sequence action.
I finally got to sit down and watch Michael Aris’ ‘Tekkon Kinkreet’ on Blu-Ray this weekend. Coming to the movie completely cold – not having read Taiyō Matsumoto’s original manga, and knowing little about the production’s genesis, I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t until I sat down to start writing this review and did a little bit of background research online that I discovered the fanboy shit-storm surrounding the film’s release.