By Andy Hanley.
Over the course of two TV anime series and one movie, Psycho-Pass has done plenty to explore its imagined dystopian future where the Japanese populace’s mental state is constantly monitored and checked for the slightest hint of criminality. But, for all of its efforts, there is still no shortage of other elements of this fascinating, terrifying future to delve into, and that’s where “visual novel” Mandatory Happiness comes into play. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
If you have Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away to hand, look at a bit of the film about twenty minutes in. It’s after Chihiro has lost her parents, been saved and abandoned by Haku, and is descending to the bathhouse to look for the spider man Kamaji. You may remember the funny-scary scene where she hurtles down some wooden steps and smacks into a wall. However, we’re looking at what happens right after that.
If you look at Chihiro’s animation as she approaches the bottom of the stairs, her movement visibly changes. A new shot starts, and suddenly there’s a different-looking Chihiro. Her movement is looser, weirder, full of fluid mini-distortions. The girl’s striped jumper billows more; her footsteps seem quirkier, more crooked.
This “strange” animation carries on for a couple of minutes. When we get the first shots of the multi-armed Kamaji and his soot sprites, it’s not clear if they’re by the same hand (those characters are strange anyway). But the animation of little Chihiro stays in the crooked, billowing mode, while she quavers and hesitates, then ventures tentatively into Kamaji’s chamber. Her animation only switches back – becomes “Ghibli normal,” as it were – a few seconds before Kamaji reacts to her presence. Again, the switch happens in the transit from one shot (or cut, as shots are called in Japan) to the next.
You may have guessed the reason. This sequence was drawn by a very distinctive animator, called Shinya Ohira. These days, you can easily find information about Ohira and other master Japanese animators online. For example, there’s a montage of Ohira’s work on Youtube. An extract from a convention panel discussion examines his contributions to Howl’s Moving Castle and the “Kid’s Story” segment of Animatrix. We learn, for example, how one Japanese animator hands over to another relay style, as Animatrix slides from realism into Ohira’s wild expressionism. Continue Reading
In October 2015 we had the distinct honour of bringing the first-ever release of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series to the United Kingdom! Well today we have some exciting news to share with you we are delighted to announce we will be bringing the Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy to Blu-ray for the first-time in the United Kingdom on 27th March 2017! (Yes, that soon!)
This set will contain all three movies, is limited to 500 units and is exclusive to our AllTheAnime.com web shop.
These movies were designed to be a way to retell the original Mobile Suit Gundam series in a condensed way spread over the course of three films. They have previously been released on DVD in the United Kingdom, but that release has long since been out-of-print, but we are now bringing these to Blu-ray for the first-time in the United Kingdom!
A very interesting detail to note about our release is that it will contain both the 2.0 and 5.1 audio versions of the film. There is a distinct difference between the two in that the 5.1 version (also known as the "Special Edition" of the Movie Suit Gundam Movies) was recorded with a different "rearranged" soundtrack compared to the 2.0 version. So you actually two entirely different viewing experiences of the each film in this set!
The first movie uses existing footage from the series, while Movie II: Soldiers of Sorrow and Movie III: Encounters in Space utilise a mixture of new animation and original footage.
**MINOR SPOILER WARNING FOR THE SYNOPSIS BELOW**
Mobile Suit Gundam Movie I
Synopsis: "Universal Century 0079. Amuro Ray, a normal boy, finds himself the newest soldier in the war between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon when he becomes the pilot of the Federation's prototype Mobile Suit called Gundam - their greatest new hope.
Now he and the rest of the inexperienced crew of the ship White Base will have to fight for their very lives as the enemy attempts to destroy the new weapon. And Amuro comes face-to-face with the man who will become his archrival, Zeon ace pilot Char Aznable."
Mobile Suit Gundam Movie II: Soldiers of Sorrow
Synopsis: "The war rages on, and the Federation ship White Base continues to do battle with the Zeon forces as they undertake the long journey to Federation quarters in Jaburo. But turmoil from within also threatens to tear the White Base apart. One crew member must confront her past. one will desert just when the others need him most. And one will find true love, but at an alarming cost.
Will the White Base be able to make its way to the Federation headquarters at Jaburo before it's too late?"
Mobile Suit Gundam Movie III: Encounters in Space
Synopsis: "The One Year War enters the final stages. The constant fighting has weakened both sides considerably, and the Zeon forces begin taking desperate measures. Amidst a break in the fighting, Amuro meets a mysterious girl named Lahla, whom he is strongly drawn to. There is a connection there, a feeling beyond words to express. She is like him and they are both something more than human. It's Federation vs. Zeon, brother against sister are in turmoil!
The final battle will determine the outcome of the war."
This AllTheAnime.com Exclusive Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy Blu-ray set will be released on 27th March and is limited to 500 units only.
The comes in a rigid case and inside that you will find three amaray cases, one for each Mobile Suit Gundam Movie.
Also worth noting from the outset that these films are in Japanese with English subtitles only. There is no English language audio for these films.
Check out the visual of our this AllTheAnime.com Exclusive set below -
Until Thursday 16th March 2017 pre-order for this set for only £24.99 (regular price £34.99).
---- How many of these sets are being produced?
There are 500 units in total. So once it's sold out it will no longer be available.
---- Will I be able to purchase this elsewhere?
Excluding any events that we, Anime Limited / AllTheAnime exhibit at, this product is currently exclusive to AllTheAnime.com. This may change in the future, but at this stage it's too early to tell. We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to purchase this product, but as it is only 500 units being produced - which is not a lot at all in the grand scheme of things, we want to be able to manage the distribution of this ourselves, at least to start with.
---- What's the regular price of this set?
The regular price is £34.99. But for the period of our early-bird offer you can order it for £24.99.
---- Is there English audio like there was for the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series Blu-ray you previously released?
No. Though there was an English language audio option on our release of the Mobile Suit Gundam TV series, these films are only in Japanese with English subtitles.
---- You haven't mentioned previously this would be coming. Is there a reason why you've only decided to announce this now?
Yes. Originally these were not scheduled to be part of our partnership with Sunrise to release, but there was a unique opportunity to bring these films over and we decided it would be great if we could!
But taking into account the unique nature of this release, we really want to cut down the lead time on us being able to announce upcoming titles and then the product being in your hands. We've been working on this behind the scenes for a while, but with everything being signed off, locked in and now in off to production, today is the perfect time to announce this. And best of all with you can now order this knowing it's due by the end of this month!
---- Will these movies be available in any way at a later date, assuming this set sells out?
Quite possibly, yes. But at this stage it's too early to say. But it this were to happen it wouldn't be presented in the same way as this set exclusive to our site is.
---- As these movies are quite old, how they be displayed?
When these movies were made it was before 16x9 became standard for anime. As such is was animated for viewing on older 4:3 ratio televisions. To retain its originally intended video size, black bars will appear at the sides of televisions when viewing the movies.
And there you have it! The Mobile Suit Gundam Movie Trilogy coming to Blu-ray, exclusive to AllTheAnime.com, from 27th March. We hope you're looking forward to this but if you have any questions please do feel free to ask in the comments below or through our Facebook / Twitter pages.
By Roxy Simons.
Ichie Minami (Miki Nakatani) doesn’t want anything to change. She’s determined to keep everything in her grandmother’s dress shop the way it was when the old lady was alive. The room looks the same, the clothes are all made from designs made years before, and she still uses the traditional pedal sewing machine. People say she’s starting to look like her grandmother, and she’s happy to be compared in such a way.
In contrast to the fashionable outfits that Ichie sees young girls wear on the streets, Ichie’s creations are as stuck in the past as she is, but Fuji (Takahiro Miura) is determined to see her create her own clothing line. He’ll do anything to get her to agree to sell the clothes in his department store, including sitting in Ichie’s shop for hours eating mochi balls until the fashionista actually notices him, but Ichie is equally as determined not to change. As time goes by, though, his reasoning starts to make sense to her, and this leads Ichie to re-evaluate everything she believes in. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
Magic schools won’t go out of fashion in anime for a while yet. Harry Potter surely helped the proliferation of ‘magic school’ anime, and Absolute Duo tips its hat back towards England. One of its school’s main features is a massive clock tower that’s the spitting image of Big Ben, while the support cast includes an English girl called Lilith Bristol, with a love for tea and a girl butler. Okay, so that’s not a name you’ll find on many school registers, but it’s no more contrived than, say, Motoko Kusanagi in Japan.
Absolute Duo is set in a version of Japan, though it’s a fantasy mash-up where the main action takes place in a modern-seeming world, with monorails and shopping malls, while the hero’s flashbacks look more like a samurai drama. As usual with these stories, we start with the hero’s enrolment, as schoolboy Thor, or Tor, arrives at Koryo Academy High School in a shower of cherry blossoms. This is a school with a special curriculum – it teaches martial arts skills to a minority of youngsters who are capable of receiving a device called a “Lukifer.” Continue Reading