By Tom Smith.
When two worlds collide, it’s down to the badass crime fighting squad Libra to restore order. They’re faced with taking down all host of supernatural nasties, fiends and pesky terrorists that have suddenly started to pop up following the emergence of an interdimensional portal above New York.
It doesn’t always have to result in chaos when two opposites clash – interdimensional or not – but hey, Blood Blockade Battlefront wouldn’t be half as fun if New York was invaded by super cuddly friendship monsters from Mars. Japanese stadium rockers BUMP OF CHICKEN are one such example of when this happens without things blowing up, people being eaten or the world turning to chaos. Responsible for the series’ opening theme song “Hello, world!”, they manage to combine being one of Japan’s most popular contemporary rock bands (that song’s music video has had over 18 million hits on YouTube!) while also having one of the daftest names in Japanese music. And yes, I am aware of the bands My Hair Is Bad, Ketchup Mania and Mongoose Hell Lazers. Continue Reading
It was a big weekend for Anime Limited this past weekend as we had some big news to share at the MCM Manchester Comic Con and Amecon events. If you weren't at either it's time to bring you up to speed on what we announced over the weekend, and bring you the latest on Funimation titles as well.
~ First of all, a big thanks to everyone who came to our stalls and panels at MCM Manchester Comic Con and Amecon past weekend. It was great to speak to so many of you over the weekend. We had a great time at both shows. For those wondering what our next event will be, it will be MCM Scotland Comic Con in Glasgow at the end of September. We'll have details on what to expect from us at the event we get closer to it. Stay tuned accordingly.
~ So let's cut to the chase, we had some big news to share this past weekend. Here's what you need to know:
Escaflowne Ultimate Edition details revealed!
Perhaps the biggest news we shared over the weekend was what we have planned for our Ultimate Edition set of Escaflowne, due for release in December. You can read all about this in great detail HERE, but the short version is there's a heck of a lot we're including in our release including the 3-disc original soundtrack by Yoko Kanno!
We're also having an Early-Bird Pre-Order special offer on this at our web shop! CLICK HERE for the details.
Pigtails to be released as part of Production I.G shorts collection
The next piece of news is that we're going to be releasing the short film from Production I.G, Pigtails. This 30 minute short is an adaptation of a manga that won the New Artist Prize art the 18th Annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prizes in 2014. The story is set in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster. The original manga by Machiko Kyo was a reflection of her personal feelings towards the events that happened in March of 2011.
Pigtails features an all-star team coming together to bring you this very unique project including animator Toshiyuki Inoue (A Letter To Momo, Paprika, The Boy and the Beast), Studio Ghibli veteran Megumi Kagawa (Porco Rosso, Spirited Away) and background artist Hiroshi Ono (Miss Hokusai, A Letter To Momo, Wolf Children.)
The short is directed by Yoshimi Itazu, who has previously worked on the likes of Miss Hokusai as character designer and supervising animator, and was also key animator on Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises. This is his directorial debut and we're delighted to be able to bring this to the UK as part of a collection of short films from Production I.G that will also include Kick-Heart and Oval x Over. It should also be noted Oval x Over has never been released outside of Japan.
You can watch a trailer for Pigtails this below. Continue Reading
By Chris Perkins.
Anime has had a long love affair with western literature. Since the early days of television, anime studios have adapted beloved stories from Europe and the Americas. Many of them were part of the long-running World Masterpiece Theatre strand which included such classics as Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Tom Sawyer. But for every straightforward adaptation, there are also anime that take a classic tale as their inspiration for their own, entirely different direction. This approach has brought us the concept of the sci-fi or fantasy adaptation, where an unlikely story is transformed into a whole new genre. After all, what story couldn’t be improved by the addition of spaceships, lasers and of course, giant robots? Continue Reading
Since we first announced we would be bringing the classic series The Vision of Escaflowne to Blu-ray for the first-time in the UK it’s been a very long wait because of some very interesting details that emerged. These are details we’ve referenced in past blogs posts and podcasts of ours including the fact there are Director’s Cut versions of episodes and a new English language dub being produced by Funimation, all of these factors have meant it’s been longer than we had hoped to share details of what to expect in our Ultimate Edition release of this. But the time for waiting is done!
Announced earlier today (Saturday 30th July) during our AllTheAnime panel at MCM Manchester Comic Con we revealed what to expect in our Escaflowne Ultimate Edition Blu-ray set coming later this year, tentatively schedule for December 2016, but it could be earlier than that.
But for those who might not be aware as to what Escaflowne is, here's a quick summary for you.
Synopsis (TV Series): Hitomi Kanzaki is a typical high school girl, with typical problems, but when a vision of a young man battling a dragon becomes a reality, her life changes forever. Drawn into a strange vortex with the swordsman, Van, Hitomi is thrust into the strange world of Gaea.
Van must learn to master the suit of armor, Escaflowne, before he and Hitomi are crushed by the ambitions of the Empire of Zaibach. Van and Hitomi will encounter both allies and enemies in an effort to unlock the secrets within Escaflowne, and Hitomi's heart, stirred by love and adventure, will, at times ache with sorrow. But why was she sent to this world? Find out in a classic tale of fantasy and adventure!
In addition to the TV series, of which the broadcast version has been previously released in the UK on DVD but is currently out-of-print, there was a also a movie, Escaflowne: The Movie, that acted as an alternate retelling of the story.
The movie has never been released in the UK before and as we've mentioned previously, we're bringing this to the UK as well!
Synopsis (Escaflowne: The Movie): Hitomi Kanzaki is in a very depressed mood. She only wants to sleep and fade away. Her misery summons Lord Folken who sends her to Gaea. The people of Gaea think she is the Wing Goddess, who can call upon the legendary Dragon Armor called Escaflowne. On Gaea, King Van, the sole survior of the White Dragon Clan, is also in a depressed state. Swearing an oath to get his revenge on the Black Dragon Clan that oblierated Van's kingdom, he lives by the sword. Now that the Wing Goddess has finally appeared, she posseses Gaea's world fate in her heart. Escaflowne will either lead Gaea to peace or total ruin.
So with the above in mind, here's what you can expect in our Ultimate Edition set:
- For the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, the complete TV series (26 episodes), Broadcast Version of The Vision of Escaflowne. Presented with the original Japanese language audio with English subtitles as well as the original Bandai English dub and the 2016 Funimation produced English dub.
-- On Disc extras for TV series: Title-free Opening, Title-free Endings, Music Videos, Video Game Cutscenes, Club Escaflowne interviews with: Cast: Maaya Sakamoto, Ikue Ohtani, Joji Nakata, Cast: Shinichiro Miki, Mayumi Iizuka, Minami Takayama, Staff: Hirotoshi Sano, Hiroshi Ousaka, Kimitoshi Yamane, Staff: Shoji Kawamori, Kazuki Akane
- For the first-time ever in the UK, Escaflowne: The Movie. Presented with the Original Japanese language audio with English subtitles as well as the original Bandai English dub and the new 2016 Funimation produced English dub.
-- On Disc extras for Movie: “Escaflowne: The Movie" Special Program & Roundtable Discussion, Japanese Theatrical Trailer, Japanese TV Spot, English Teaser, English Theatrical Trailer, Anime Expo 2000 Premiere Interviews and Concert, Anime Expo 2000 Premiere Footage & Panel
- For the first-time ever in the UK, director's cut version of episodes (6 total) from the TV series The Vision of Escaflowne. Presented with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the new 2016 Funimation produced English language dub. As a note, the Director's cut versions are of episodes 1-4, 6 & 7 only.
- For the first-time ever in the UK, Escaflowne original soundtrack audio CDs 1, 2, & 3. Yes you read that correctly, we are including not one but three soundtrack CDs in our release!
- And as if all of the above was enough there's also 144-page art book exclusive to this Ultimate Edition set too.
A must have for any fan of the Escaflowne franchise! Limited to 1000 units only!
From now (1pm on Saturday 30th July) until Tuesday 5th September we're having a special offer where you can pre-order our Escaflowne Ultimate Edition set for £90.00
(The SRP of this £149.99)
Since we published this information over the weekend we've had questions come in about the language options for the TV series specifically. These questions relate to the fact that the new Funimation dub only applies to the Director's Cut version. We've correlated the most frequently asked questions and you can read about this below:
- The original Bandai English language dub was the English audio that was included in now out-of-print original UK DVD release of the series by Beez Entertainment. So whenever we refer to the Bandai dub, that is what we're referring to.
The new Funimation produced English dub was successfully funded by a Kickstarter campaign, run by Funimation, in the U.S.A. earlier this year.
- The Director's Cut version of the series has never been released in English before. Because of this there was never an English language dub produced for this version of the show. This is primarily where the differences come into play as there are differences in the two versions. It's not as simple as re-syncing the original English audio to match the picture. There is content that was never present in the original broadcast version.
- In all honesty, the main difference only applies if you're wanting to watch the TV series with English audio.
If you're planning to watch the series with the original Bandai English dub, this audio option will be available on the Broadcast versions of the episodes. So the entire series as you remember it from before. This version of the dub does not apply to any episode where there is a Director's Cut version.
If you're wanting to play the series with the new Funimation produced English language dub, this option will only be present in the Director's Cut version of the series.
- Simple answer: it's not. The film is exactly the same as it always has been. This has never been released in the UK before, and will come with the original Japanese audio with subtitles, the original Bandai English dub and the new Funimation produced English dub.
We hope you're as excited about this as we are!
UPDATE - 16:00 ON MONDAY 1ST AUGUST
- Language options F.A.Q added.
By Andrew Osmond.
The guests at this year's London Anime and Gaming Con included animator Aya Suzuki, who has worked on a remarkable list of productions. Following a four year stint on Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, she worked on Satoshi Kon’s unfinished last film The Dream Machine, Mamoru Hosoda’s Wolf Children, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, Fuminori Kizaki’s Bayonetta: Bloody Fate and Masaaki Yuasa’s Ping Pong. She’s also consulted studios such as WIT and Trigger on how to upgrade their paper-based practices for the digital age.
Here she talks about them all, plus her stint on the Madhouse film Death Billiards, the basis for the series Death Parade. Continue Reading