By Andrew Osmond
Giovanni’s Island is a story of cultures meeting, a meeting caused by war, accompanied by hardship, and yet also a source of new friendships, communities and love. It starts in 1945, as the inhabitants of a small Japanese island hear a radio broadcast of Emperor Hirohito, announcing their nation’s surrender. Soon Soviet boats arrive, disgorging soldiers who march into their streets, their homes, their school.
We see all this through the eyes of two kids, tearaway brothers Junpei and Kanta, who are initially terrified by the invasion. But as the months pass, they begin acclimatising to life with people who may be their occupiers, but who are also their new neighbours. “Even in the middle of war, even in all this confrontation, there were still people getting along with one another,” says director Mizuho Nishikubo.
Comparing Giovanni to Grave of the Fireflies, another wartime anime, Nishikubo said that Takahata’s work was intimate, interior, while Giovanni is outward-directed. The child’s eye-view means that the characters are not simply divided into heroes and villains, aggressors and victims. There’s a pointed scene with a South Korean woman who’s been forcibly displaced from her homeland, thanks to Japan. “If we weren’t talking about kids, I wouldn’t feel the least bit obligated to help a bunch of Japs.”
In a change from what we were planning to post today, we've just had details of the sales charts for February 2015 come through so we thought it was a perfect time to give you the most up-to-date information! Continue Reading
UPDATE - 16TH DECEMBER 2015: The replacement scheme will be ending on Thursday 31st March 2016. After that date no more applications will be accepted.
Today we are happy to announce a disc replacement programme for our Durarara!! Blu-ray Collector's Edition set. Please take time to read all of the details below. Continue Reading
By Anthony Thomas
Durarara!! series one followed the crazy misadventures that can be found in the back streets of Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district (from kidnapping gangs to headless bikers!). Series two, entitled Durarara!! x 2 Shou, takes place six months after all that madness, and sees things return to relative normality. But things can only remain calm for so long, and gradually the chaos we came to love makes a return.
One band also currently causing chaos in Japan is series two openers OKAMOTO’S. They’re no strangers to Ikebukuro, performing there countless times. They even formed their radical, shaggy-haired rock band a few miles down the road in a part of Tokyo that’s home to many more crazy stories and urban legends; Shinjuku, setting for the Yakuza games and loads of Japanese crime films.
OKAMOTO’S are good boys, though – no dodgy dealings or headless guitarists between them. After all, they have had no less than THREE songs featured in Naruto so far, hardly a series known for its gritty portrayal of Japan’s underworld (mind you, I wouldn’t fancy meeting Orochimaru down a dark alley).
This week we bring you confirmation on a few release dates, publish the dates of events we'll be at in some capacity this year, and touch on a few details you may have missed over the last week. Continue Reading