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Adapted from Hiromu Arakawa's (creator of Fullmetal Alchemist) manga, this is the epic story of a man destined to rule a kingdom ... but first he must reclaim it. Arslan is the young prince of Pars who, at age 14, loses everything as his beloved homeland goes up in flames. Escaping the destruction, Prince Arslan gathers a group of five extraordinary people—a warrior, a priestess, a trickster, an artist and his attendant, to help him fight against the Lusitanian invaders—300,000 strong—lead by the mysterious Lord Silver Mask ... who has also laid claim to the throne. Let's hear it for freedom fighters!
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After a deadly virus ravages Earth, killing every human over the age of 13, society collapses. Soon, vampires emerge from hiding, enslaving mankind in a vast underground prison-city. Enter Hyakuya Yuuichiro—your typical hot blooded rule-breaking teen. Yuichiro has enlisted in the “The Moon Demon Company”, a Vampire Extermination Unit of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. His friend Mikaela uses his connection with powerful vampire Lord Ferid to pass information to Yuichiro that will help him discover that there is still life in the human world. Filled with action, conflict and fight scenes, this is a bloody good time, indeed!
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