By Andrew Osmond
The Wings of Honneamise, Studio Gainax’s debut film, opened in Japanese cinemas in March 1987, just over a year before Akira. While the films are very different, they share common ground; they’re both anti-establishment SF movies which could be made in lavish style, thanks to Japan’s national prosperity in the 1980s. Those were the country’s bubble years, and Honneamise and Akira splurged on bubble money to break with Japanese animation practices. They didn’t deliver franchise tie-ins or family entertainment. Instead they served up intense visions of society and humanity, sold not by merchandise but incredible screen spectacle.
Honneamise tells the story of a young man, Shiro (short for ‘Shirotsugh,’ though his nickname is handily Japanese). He lives on a world whose culture and technology differ from ours in intricate ways, in the smallest details of costumes, tableware, street lights. Shiro’s world hasn’t conquered space; its “Royal Space Force” is regarded as a pitiful place for geeks and freaks. Yet Shiro finds himself volunteering to be the world’s first astronaut, for the most adolescent of reasons – an urge to impress a beautiful woman.
The film can be read as a grandiose statement on human nature, and on humanity’s drive to rise, to fly. It can be also be seen as a self-portrait of its creators, of fanboys who were suddenly given the resources to create their own masterwork. The team who’d make Honneamise and found Gainax came together in the early 1980s. They made stunningly elaborate fan animations for the Daicon convention in Osaka, where a bunny-suited girl fights mecha, Aliens and Darth Vader.
Another important training ground was Macross in 1982 (reworked into the first arc of Robotech). Hiroyuki Yamaga, Honneamise’s future director, designed the storyboards for Macross’s title sequence, in which a jet takes off from a carrier. The image is seemingly referenced in the pre-titles prologue of Honneamise. Hideaki Anno – yes, that Anno, future creator of Evangelion – was a Macross animator, specialising in mecha and explosions. He especially loved exploding objects, tracing the paths and patterns of debris through the air. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond
This time it’s vampires. In recent years, we’ve seen civilisation ended umpteen times over, often by zombie apocalypses, but now the bloodsuckers get a turn. It makes a difference. Zombies and Titans may tear you up and eat you, but at least they don’t laugh sadistically and tell you how much they’re enjoying it. The vampires in Seraph of the End aren’t just killers, but bullying killers, which makes it much more personal.
The manga Seraph of the End is still in its early chapters as the TV show begins, but here’s how it’s looking so far. In the near future, humanity is struck by a catastrophe that wipes out nine-tenths of the population. Most of the survivors are children, including some who are taken in the aftermath by vampires and enslaved underground, their blood siphoned off for their captors. A close-knit ‘family’ of kids try to escape, and are brutally killed – with the exception of a boy, Yuichiro, who reaches the surface world and is taken in by surviving humans. Obsessed with avenging his friends, Yuchiro longs to join the fight back, in the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. Continue Reading
We're very excited for our release of the classic film, Wings of Honneamise this month beginning with the DVD version this Monday (6th April) and the Collector's Blu-ray/DVD combi version following on 27th April. The Collector's Edition version comes packed in a rigid box with a digipack to hold the discs and a booklet about the film itself.
We wanted to take a moment to highlight differences between older footage and the remastered footage that's been utilised on our release. Check out the images below to see how great this remaster looks. (We've aimed to get this as close as frame to frame as possible, but there will be slight differences in some cases.) Continue Reading
Viewster and Anime Limited Partner to Bring Flaming Hot Simulcasts to the United Kingdom, Ireland and More…!
The UK’s top premium anime content company and the worldwide online video service connecting passionate audeinces to simulcast Seraph of the End, The Heroic Legend Of Arslan and Plastic Memories day and date with broadcast in Japan
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND AND GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM – April 3, 2015 – Viewster a worldwide online video service connecting passionate audiences, Anime Anime Limited, the UK’s top premium anime content company,announced today a partnership to bring Anime Limited’s Spring 2015 lineup of anime simulcasts to the Viewster platform day and date with the broadcast in Japan. All three titles will be available in the United Kingdom and Ireland for free streaming on Viewster, with some additional European markets available for Seraph of the End and The Heroic Legend of Arslan. To watch the series, visit http://www.viewster.com or download the free mobile app in iTunes or Google Play. Continue Reading
For all of you Gundam fans out there we're happy to confirm that you can now stream the first OVA in the Gundam The Origin series, Blue-Eyed Casval, through our Vimeo-On-Demand service. Both the English language dub and Japanese with English subtitles versions are available. Please see below for all the details.
Gundam The Origin I: Blue-Eyed Casval
Available on VOD at www.vimeo.com/ondemand/
Pricing and options: