By Jasper Sharp.
The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren) has just released its annual overview of the financial facts, figures and trends for the Japanese film industry for last year. For filmo-watchers, the 2018 statistics yield few surprises, but still merit further contemplation. Continue Reading
We appreciate it's been a little quiet from us to begin this year but fret not as there's plenty in the works coming from us in 2019 - with details on what you can expect arriving next week, all going well. But today we've got some exciting news about a new title that we'll be bringing to Blu-ray this year! In fact, you won't have wait long for this as it's set to arrive during the second quarter of 2019! This new acquisition being the first season of the hit series Castlevania!
Inspired by the classic video game series, Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy following the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepes himself.
SEASON ONE SYNOPSIS: "Trevor Belmont, embittered and excommunicated, finds himself drawn into a battle for the survival of Europe–a region that has brought doom upon itself by taking away the one thing its greatest monster loved."
Adapting the story of the hit game "Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse" the series written by renowned writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Astonishing X-Men) is a fantastic viewing experience for fans of the franchise and those completely new to it as well. The success of the first season on Netflix led to a second being produced and a third season also being green lit for production!
You can watch a preview of this below
Well first of all I can tell you that we'll be giving the series our traditional style Collector's Edition treatment for the Blu-ray version of this. It'll be available on Ltd Collector's Edition Blu-ray on day of release. We can't share an exact date of release with you at time of writing, but we'd say expect this to be available to add to your collection during the second quarter of the year!
While we can't show you what it will look like at this stage either - as the designs and exact contents are not 100% signed off at time of writing - if you're familiar with our Collector's Edition style releases then you'll have an idea on how it will be packaged. And we're also hoping to be able to utilise lots of art we have access to so we can include an art booklet as well. Obviously this is all pending approvals, but we wanted to give you somewhat of an idea as to what we're hoping to be able to do.
In terms of the disc, it will contain the entire first season of Castlevania (which for those unaware is 4 episodes total) and there will likely be some extra content included too. (We'll be able to confirm exact on-disc content once everything is signed off.) Also worth noting that we are authoring our own disc for this release, so we are not utilising any disc master that has been used in other English speaking territories.
As soon as details are 100% signed off we'll be able to share more details with you, but we wanted to give you a preview of what (all going well) to expect in some form.
And there you have it folks! Castlevania season 1 coming to Blu-ray during the second quarter of this year! We hope you're looking forward to this. We certainly are. As we mentioned, as soon as all the details are 100% signed off on this Season 1 release we'll be able to share more concrete information with you about this.
By Jonathan Clements.
Reading the contributor biographies for the collection Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture: From Crime-Fighting Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters, one gets the sense that this book was put together by a bunch of young, ardent scholars determined to have some fun. I see a lot of PhD candidacies and associate professorships among the writers, suggesting that many are relatively fresh-faced and ready to subvert the stuffy halls of academia. The work, however, is entertaining and thought-provoking – these are all going to be names to watch. Editors Ashley Pearson, Thomas Giddens and Kieran Tranter have assembled a fine team in order to engage with legal issues in a framework that deliberately favours Japan above more familiar superhero and comics territories in the West. Continue Reading
by Jeremy Clarke.
Part relationship drama, part love story, part comedy, part science fiction, Before We Vanish is the latest movie by Japanese auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa to hit UK Blu-ray and may be his strangest ever film. This is saying a lot for a director whose filmography includes horror movies like Pulse (2001), ghost stories like Journey to the Shore (2015) and crime movies like Creepy (2016). Before We Vanish represents the director’s first foray into science fiction. It’s an alien invasion story based on a stage play by Tomohiro Maekawa. To make it marketable for the movie trailer, towards the end he throws in a sequence of a protagonist fleeing a series of explosions as missiles rain down from the sky. Yet the basic premise doesn't fit the typical alien invasion mould at all. Continue Reading
It's been a long time coming but we're nearly at the point for a unique release that's been in the works for a long time to be available to add to your collection. That being Pigtails and Other Short Films from Production I.G, a collection of short films from the world famous studio.
Today we're going to be telling you all about what to expect from our upcoming AllTheAnime.com Exclusive Collector's Edition set - which is due to start shipping in just a few weeks time during the week commencing 25th February.
(At time of publishing) we've also got a special offer on being able to pre-order this set! Scroll on below for the details.
There's a lot to unpack here, so sit back, relax and read on below for details.
The world famous Production I.G have been involved in some of the biggest, unique and ambitious anime to ever grace a cinema or television screen including Ghost in the Shell, B: The Beginning, Eden of the East and Giovanni's Island, but they've also produced some perhaps lesser known works that give an equally unique viewing experience. This collection of short films brings together 5 works in particular for the first time to the United Kingdom.
-- Pigtails is the directorial debut of up-and-coming animator Yoshimi Itazu (Miss Hokusai, Paprika, Denno Coil).
Based on the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize-winning comic book Mitsuami no Kami-sama by Machiko Kyo, and visually inspired by Derek Jarman's garden in Dungeness -an oasis of life and beauty growing in front of a nuclear power station- the film metaphorically depicts the conflicting and unspeakable feelings that engulfed the author in the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011, and faithfully recreates the contrast between Kyo's naïve-looking designs and the story's extreme and thought-provoking twist.
-- Kick-Heart is a creative effort by award-winning Japanese animator Masaaki Yuasa (Lu Over the Wall, Night is Short, Walk on Girl), produced by an international team of professionals under the umbrella of Production I.G, and financed through the Kick Starter crowd-founding system.
Synopsis: Kick-Heart is a love story between Romeo, a successful pro-wrestler, and Juliet, a nun who lives a secret double-life as a female pro-wrestler. Romeo's secret is that he enjoys taking a beating in the ring, while Juliet feels invigorated when facing her opponents as a wrestler. When the two meet in the ring, the fireworks fly. Their story is set in the colourful backdrop of the professional wrestling world. Will Juliet reveal her true identity to the one she loves? Will Romeo be able to share his secret to the world?
-- Li'l Spider Girl (aka: Wasurenagumo) is one of the four segments from the 2012 Anime Mirai ("the future of animation"), a collective project created by four Japanese animation studios selected by the Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) under the patronage of Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs for the purpose of training young animators on-the-job. Anime Mirai debuted theatrically on March 24th, 2012.
Synopsis: Everything started from an old book telling the story of an expert yin-yang master who defeated a giant spider in ancient times. Antique book dealer Amane Suzuri, who is trying to sell the book in order to pay the rent, would have never imagined that after reading this story to Mizuki, the building owner's young nephew, he could find himself face-to-face with a scared, twenty-centimeter-tall, eight-legged baby arachnid girl. And she's the sweetest thing in the world... or not?
-- Created as part of the Young Animators Fostering Project in 2010, Drawer Hobs marked the directorial debut of Kazuchika Kise (who would go onto to be the chief director of Ghost in the Shell Arise and it's sequel film,) has worked on various anime as an animator, including being animation director on your name., Blood: The Last Vampire and Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone. The project saw all key animators being staff with less than five years experience, and also saw people who had worked on the likes of Angel Beats, Ghost in the Shell, Oblivion Island and Jin-Roh heavily involved as well.
Synopsis: Noeru is a young woman with an uninteresting job who lives alone in an ageing apartment in a big city. One day, without notice, her mother sends her an old and bulky chest of drawers. Not exactly the most welcome piece of furniture for Noeru's small room!
That night, as Noeru comes back from work, she finds a chubby little boy sitting on the floor and peacefully munching a pack of rice crackers. The next morning, she wakes up at the delicious smell of breakfast waiting for her on the table... but she does not recall of having cooked any! And isn't the kitchen all clean and tidy instead of the usual mess? And aren't there two weird kids in her room now?
Noeru has just met the drawer hobs... but who are they, and why on earth are they in her apartment, anyway?
-- The masterminds behind the outrageous anime Dead Leaves, Hiroyuki Imaishi and Imaitoonz, have teamed up once again in 2005 to create Oval x Over, pronounced Oval Over, a promotional animation for the Bridgestone Indy Japan 300 Mile race. Composed of three 3-minute shorts, it is an experiment to portray Indy car racing with animation and music. The narrative style itself is a straight, over-the-top parody of the sports anime classics of the '70s, and cleverly mixes a professional-style live commentary of the race with flashbacks regarding the three main characters' past, with both dramatic and hilarious results. The animation staff also created the music video for the official song Over Top, performed by legendary singer Maki Oguro.
Synopsis: Burn is eager to defeat the champion, Earth, to overcome some past trauma. The glamorous Gravis is also after the championship. And there is Earth, the champion himself, who is waiting to face a challenger capable of defeating him.
Each pilot skillfully exploits a variety of difficult driving techniques, and they run neck and neck in this car-action-filled animation. In fact, the three racers' destiny is bound by an accident occurred five years before...
As we mentioned earlier, this will be available as an AllTheAnime.com Exclusive Ltd Collector's Edition Blu-ray/DVD set with shipping of orders due to commence from week commencing 25th February! We've been able to include some fantastic extra material in this release which you can read about below -
First of all, as some of you may be wondering, this Collector's Edition set is the same height as our traditional Collector's Edition sets. It'll come packed in a rigid case and inside that you will find a digipack containing both the Blu-ray and DVD discs. In addition to that are two books!
On the disc themselves you'll find each short film (as noted above). Each film is in Japanese with English subtitles only. (No English dub has been created for any of these.) You'll also find some promotional videos for some of the shorts as extras too.
As I mentioned, there are two books included. First of all we have a 156-page Pigtails Storyboard book! This is something we're absolutely delighted that can be include as it's contains the whole story board of the film with comments from director Yoshimi Itazu translated into English! It's a truly unique companion to a short film that adds an even deeper level of depth and understanding about the overall production of this short film when you factor in the information that's included in the other book. Speaking of which...
The second book included in this set is 140-page Material Archive Book! This book is divided into 6 sections, five of them on each short film included in this release. The sections and contents of each being -
All of this over the 140 pages!
As we've mentioned a few times, this Ltd Collector's Edition set is available exclusively from our AllTheAnime.com online store. And we're happy to announced that following an offer that originally was a special one-day offer as part of sales during December last year, we're giving people the opportunity to pre-order this set for a special price until Thursday 14th February! Visit the link below for details.
We also want to make a note that we appreciate this Collector's Edition set may not be for everyone, so we can confirm a standard Blu-ray/DVD combi will be getting released on 25th March 2019.
And that concludes this preview of our AllTheAnime.com Exclusive Collector's Edition set of Pigtails and Other Short Stories from Production I.G. We hope you're looking forward to adding this unique collection of short films to your collection!