According to on-line store CD Japan, Miyazaki’s latest Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is being released on DVD (and VHS, charmingly) on July 3rd, with the DVD also including an English subtitle track. Excellent news for European importers, and those in the US with region-free players.
..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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
…in Japan of course. Although director Michael Arias was born in the US, he’s been living in Tokyo for over 15 years, and Heaven’s Door is again shot completely in Japanese. I was impressed with Arias’ intelligence and attitude after watching the extras on the Tekkon Kinkreet Blu-ray, so look forward to seeing this at some point in the future. The Daily Yomiuri has the details:
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.
Some interesting news that could feasibly affect the future of
Japan’s the world’s greatest animation studio – Ghibli colour designer Michiyo Yasuda retired last week. Responsible for picking the palettes of just about all of the studio’s output for the last 20+ years and a close personal friend of Miyazaki and Takahata, Yasuda-san has obviously been a massive and important player in the creation of the Ghibli look.
Not that I expected him to win, especially in the year that Academy darlings Pixar released what is arguably their finest work to date, but I have to say I was surprised and disappointed he didn’t even get a nod when the nominations were announced today. It’s especially confusing when only three films where put forward, and one of them was the decidedly average Kung Fu Panda (I haven’t seen Bolt, and can’t honestly say I’m that bothered either).