By Andrew Osmond.
Earlier this month, there was a snippet of news in the film press about the Oscars. At first glance, it seems a technicality, but it could be serious, very serious, for any fan of animation beyond Hollywood. It’s about the way the nominees for Best Animated Feature Film are chosen – the three or five names read on the stage on Oscar night, while bits of the films are shown to a global TV audience.
Until this year’s Oscars, says the Hollywood Reporter, “It’s believed that fewer than 200 of the Academy’s 7,000 members, mostly from the animation and shorts branches, have been involved in selecting the nominees in the animation feature category.” Now that will change. All of the Academy’s 7,000 members will be invited to nominate the films (although some may choose to abstain).
Will changing the voting pool change the kind of films that end up on the nominee list, and enjoy the publicity that comes from it? Think of the latest Oscars. Pixar’s massively popular Finding Dory, one of the highest-grossing cartoon films ever made, wasn’t nominated for Best Animated Feature. Meanwhile two far, far smaller films – The Red Turtle and My Life as a Courgette (aka My Life as a Zucchini) – were. Or remember when Lego Movie was “snubbed” in 2014, while Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea made the shortlist. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, the newest instalment of the Sword Art Online franchise (and the film is all-new, barring some brief flashbacks) was first announced in Japan in October 2015. Weirdly, it has already predicted the future.
In the summer of the following year, anyone in a big Tokyo park like Ueno or Yoyogi would have witnessed huge crowds of people, mostly but not exclusively youngsters, flocking from one spot to another… all looking intently at their mobile phones. They weren’t on an evening stroll. No, they were competing to catch “virtual” creatures overlaid by commercial networks across not just Tokyo but through many countries round the planet. In New York, for instance, massive crowds stampeded to Central Park in search of something called a Vaporeon.
The Pokemon Go craze is so last year, but Ordinal Scale brilliantly predicts and supersedes it. Sword Art Online fans know the earlier adventures in the series took place in immersive virtual worlds, which you “visited” through games rewiring your senses, feeding you sight, sound and other sensations. You could cross a country while fighting a hundred epic battles, but your physical body always stayed in one place. Ordinal Scale changes that. Continue Reading
Norio Shioyama, who died with his wife Tokiko in a house fire yesterday, was first and foremost an illustrator, dragged unceremoniously into the anime world by the staffing demands of the industry’s boom-time. He was born in Kumamoto, the third of seven children of a sugar wholesaler, and passed his early years in the firm belief that he was going to become a writer. It was only in his teens that he discovered a love of art, but even then it was merely a hobby for him, with weekend trips to paint local landscapes, snatched during his years as an everyday salaryman. He also developed a love of the “Sunday funnies”, cartoon strips published in a local newspaper, to which he began sending samples of his own cartoon work.
Aged 21, he moved to Tokyo to work in newspaper sales, but continued with his under-the-counter cartooning. By 1966, as Japan’s animation industry expanded to four times its pre-Astro Boy size, he found work at the studio Hatena Pro, subcontracting work on Harris’s Wind and the iconic baseball story Star of the Giants. He began as a lowly tracer, working on a glass plate above a naked light bulb. “I’d get 30 yen a frame,” he said in an interview, “and I could manage maybe 50 frames a day, so that was 1500 yen. That was good money in those days, when the average daily wage was about 700 yen, so I started to tell myself I was doing pretty well!” Continue Reading
The time is (finally) nearly here! Our Ltd Collector's Edition Blu-ray release of the film Evangelion 1.11 arrives on 24th April and today we're delighted to bring you an unboxing of this release!
Synopsis: "The stunning rebuild of the anime masterpiece is now extended and enhanced with never before seen new animation and 266 visual and audio improvements.
Tokyo-3 still stands after most of civilization was decimated in the Second Impact. Now the city endures the ceaseless onslaught of the deadly Angels, bizarre creatures bent on eradicating the human race. To combat this strange and ruthless enemy, the government agency NERV constructs a fleet of towering humanoid machines – the Evas – and Shinji Ikari is called into action, reluctantly taking his place at the controls of Eva Unit 01.
Living a life of loneliness and questioning his existence, Shinji struggles to accept responsibility for mankind’s battle for survival in this visually striking rebuild of one of the most important anime of all time. Shinji will fight the Angels alongside the only person who might understand his plight – Rei Ayanami, the elusive and frail pilot of Eva Unit 00. In this film experience not to be missed, Shinji and Rei will struggle to learn a simple truth: when carrying the burden of humanity’s survival on your shoulders, you are not alone."
You can watch the trailer for this film below -
Our release comes packed inside a rigid case with a digipack to hold the two discs (1 x Blu-ray and 1 x DVD). Also included are art cards and a booklet that goes into details about the film itself.
On the discs themselves you get:
~ The main feature "Evangelion 1.11" in both English and Japanese with subtitles. Both audio options are in Dolby TrueHD: 6.1 on the Blu-ray and DVD discs.
~ Extras content is exclusive to the Blu-ray discs and you get Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0 "Shiro Sagisu Version" and "Joseph-Maurice Ravel Version", Angel of Doom Promotional Music Video, News Flashes, Movie Previews "Beautiful World Version 2", Beautiful World Version 2A" and "Beautiful World Version 2B".
And now onto photos of the finished product. You can click on these to enlarge them too if you want. Continue Reading
It's time for your next edition of the Newswire~! Has been a little over two weeks since the last one, so there are a few things to tell you about and update you on. Read on below.
~ Can you believe we're are one week away from Sword Art Online The Movie Ordinal Scale from being in cinemas across UK & Ireland! If you haven't already, get hyped and book your tickets at saothemovie.co.uk
~ In case you missed it yesterday, we announced that we're bringing the upcoming movie Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry to cinemas in UK & Ireland! You'll be able to catch the film with exclusive preview screenings on May 17th and then further select screenings on May 19th. You can read more about this HERE and book your tickets today at fairytailthemovie.co.uk
~ In more cinema related news, late last week we announced we'll be bringing the the upcoming trilogy of films Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution to cinemas in UK & Ireland! You can read about this HERE.
~ The spring season of anime is officially underway and on Monday we announced that we have licensed the series Anonymous Noise! Fans in UK, Ireland and Scandinavia can watch the first episode right now exclusively at Crunchyroll.com. Read more about this in our announcement HERE.
~ First of all our most recent releases are Persona 3: Movie #2 Midsummer Knight's Dream on standard DVD and Ltd Collector's Edition Blu-ray+DVD set, and the standard Blu-ray collection of the series Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
In case you missed it check out our full unboxing of Persona 3 Movie #2 HERE.
~ Looking ahead, our next release arrives in a few weeks time on 24th April! That day will (finally) see the release of our Evangelion 1.11 on Ltd Collector's Edition Blu-ray+DVD set! We're hoping to be able to bring you an unboxing of this within the next week for you so be on the lookout for that. In case you need a refresher on the film, check out the trailer below.
~ So, let's move onto release dates. For those of you that have been keeping track of new release schedule page (do give the end our last Newswire HERE a read in case you missed it), you will have noticed a couple of release date changes. To highlight those individually -
--- Escaflowne on DVD will be coming on 8th May. Simple reason for this is due to a delay in approvals on the artwork for this release.
--- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Part 2 has shifted, but only by a couple of weeks to 8th May. The reason for this was a delay in BBFC certification. At this point it's literally on the BBFC certification that holding things up.
On the subject of Zeta Gundam Part 2, we know a lot of you have been wondering when you can order from our web shop and I'm happy to confirm you can do so right now!
~AllTheAnime.com Early-Bird Pre-order offer~
Until 5pm on Wednesday 19th April 2017 pre-order Zeta Gundam Part 2 on Blu-ray from our web shop for £34.99 (regular price will be £44.99)
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