by Chris Perkins.
Not so long ago on this very blog, we recounted the history of Anime UK/FX –the UK’s first dedicated anime and manga magazine. It was soon joined on British newsstands by a rival named Manga Mania. This scrappy upstart would ultimately outlast its only competitor, and go on to run for some eight years, across three publishers and under several different editors.
In its original form, the magazine was the UK’s first manga anthology. Although it also featured anime and manga news, features and reviews, the majority of each issue was taken up by serialised comics. Manga Mania was launched by the UK arm of Dark Horse Comics in 1993, under founding editor Cefn Ridout, who had been working on a number of licensed tie-in titles like Aliens, Star Wars and Jurassic Park.
“I’d recently returned from Japan,” he recalls, “where I was bowled over by the oversized manga anthologies, and felt that some kind of fusion between those and what DHI was doing could work in the UK. Especially as our US parent company had hooked up with Toren Smith’s Studio Proteus to translate, reprint and publish manga for the US direct market. At the time, there was also growing interest in anime in the UK in the wake of Akira’s popularity. Manga [Entertainment] and Kiseki [Films], were promoting and distributing anime videos while anime movies and TV series pulled in the crowds at conventions.”
Ridout saw the potential in launching a title aimed at this new audience and luckily the higher-ups at Dark Horse agreed. “Our first coup was landing the rights to publish the Akira manga, using Marvel’s translation and printing film, which became the backbone of Manga Mania.” Katsuhiro Otomo’s dystopian epic went on to become the magazine’s killer app and ran from the first issue until its completion in issue 37. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
The name of Kenji Kamiyama, director of Napping Princess, is not as well-known to savvy mainstream critics as Miyazaki, Oshii or Satoshi Kon. One reason is that most of Kamiyama’s important work has been for television rather than cinema. But for anime fans, he’s been a big beast for fifteen years, for his epic stint on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and for later titles such as Eden of the East and Moribito: Guarden of the Spirit. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
Whether he likes it or not, Hirokazu Koreeda has become the ambassador of contemporary live-action Japanese film in Britain. No other Japanese live-action director has his films released in British cinemas so regularly. Koreeda brings us portraits of ordinary, contemporary Japanese people, of different ages and genders, in dramas where the strongest emotions manifest without violence or theatrics.
A quick way to annoy Koreeda and many of his admirers is to compare him to Yasujiro Ozu, another director who represented Japanese cinema overseas. Koreeda has gently protested he does not have Ozu in mind when he makes his films; he prefers citing directors like Mikio Naruse or indeed Britain’s own Ken Loach. Nonetheless, his film After the Storm brings up such obvious Ozu comparisons that Koreeda must surely be resigned to critics making them… although, according to Sight & Sound, he sighs when Ozu’s name comes up. Continue Reading
By Raz Greenberg.
Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, a cinematic adaptation of a novel by Philip K. Dick about a bounty hunter on a mission to eliminate androids, debuted in 1982 and forever changed the way we think of the future. While the dystopian cinema of the 1970s gave us its share of dirty and polluted landscapes, Blade Runner fused these landscapes with beautiful high-tech gadgets and vehicles and imposing architecture. This combination of expansive technology and poor living conditions later solidified into the science fiction subgenre known as cyberpunk – in fact, while writing the genre's seminal novel Neuromancer (1984), author William Gibson initially felt devastated watching Blade Runner, as he thought that Ridley Scott was ahead of him in shaping the futuristic world image that he had in mind for his book. Continue Reading
If our catalogue of titles is anything to go by then you know that we (Anime Ltd.) love to bring films or TV series to the UK audience that perhaps haven't had much exposure in the past or in some cases have never been released. Today we're delighted to bring an unboxing of a set that's only available through our AllTheAnime.com web shop, and is also the first time the title has been released in any English speaking territory. This being the film Princess Arete.
Before we get to the all the details about our release, just to reiterate that the Ltd Collector's Ed. Blu-ray+DVD set we're unboxing today is exclusive to our AllTheAnime.com web shop. You can order it HERE
It's worth noting that the film is being released on standard edition Blu-ray and DVD as well. You can order that version from the likes of Amazon, Zavvi, HMV Online, Anime-On-Line as well as our AllTheAnime.com web shop.
The first film directed by Sunao Katabuchi (In This Corner Of The World, Mai Mai Miracle, co-director of Kiki's Delivery Service
Animated by Studio4˚C (MIND GAME, Genius Party, Tekkonkinkreet)
Synopsis: Confined in the castle tower by her father, princess Arete spends her days watching the world outside her window. While she looks out at the common people working, the knights of the kingdom compete for her hand in marriage by searching for powerful magical items from race of long-dead sorcerers.
When a sorcerer call Boax comes to the castle, the sets about persuading the King to let him marry the princess. But secretly fears prophecy which foretells Arete ending his life - leading him to imprison her the minute she's in his castle.
Based on the 1983 story "The Clever Princess" by Diana Coles, this is the chance to see a story that fascinated Japan on the big screen.
You can watch a trailer for the film, that we have recreated using the footage from our Blu-ray release, below -
(Worth noting that the audio used in this trailer is the same as the original video we were supplied; so that's not reflective of the audio of our actual release)
Additional Notes -
Our release comes packed in a rigid case with a digipack to hold the two discs (1 x Blu-ray & 1 x DVD.) In addition to that you will find four art cards held inside the rigid case featuring imagery that invokes a variety of emotions as seen in the film.
Language: Japanese with English subtitles only (NOTE: There is no English dub for this film, which is why it's a subtitle only release.)
And now it's time photos of the finished product itself! You can click on the images below to enlarge them too. Continue Reading