The time is nearly here as Mobile Suit Gundam Part 2 arrives on Blu-ray this coming Monday (8th February.) As we've talked about in the past, the first 1000 units of this across all UK retailers will come with a Limited Edition Artbook too. A reminder only the version that will be available on day on release is the one with the artbook. It will not be possible to buy this without the book on day release of release.
If you want to catchup on how Part 1 turned out, you can find the details HERE.
And before we go any further a reminder that Mobile Suit Gundam Part 2 can be pre-ordered right now from the likes of Amazon UK, Zavvi, Base and our own web shop. And once again, no matter where you pre-order this it will come with the art book.
Synopsis: The epic conclusion of the original Mobile Suit Gundam series comes to the UK for the first time ever, and on Blu-ray too!
The White Base is the target of constant attacks by Zeon, and Amuro and the others have officially become soldiers of the Earth Federation Forces. They return to space to fight in the final campaign, and here Amuro meets the mysterious and beautiful Lalah Sune.
As the war builds to its conclusion, the final battle pits Federation against Zeon, brother against sister, and Newtype against Newtype. The Federation is weakened! Zeon is in turmoil! Will the Zeon fortress of A Baoa Qu stand or fall? It all ends here!
As was the case with our release of Part 1, Part 2 comes in an amaray case with two Blu-ray discs inside containing the second half of the series. Our release includes both the English and original Japanese audio with English subtitles.
~ As was the case with Part 1, a reminder that this is a remastered release of a series first broadcast in the 1970s
With any anime we are delighted to see when it’s possible to have a series or film showcased in the best quality quality and HD remasters are something we’re big fans of, but Mobile Suit Gundam is a slightly different animal. Most HD remasters that made it to the UK have been of far more recent properties, for example a series that was made in the last 15-20 years, but the original Mobile Suit Gundam first aired on Japanese television back in April of 1979. The style of animation has developed so much in the decades following Mobile Suit Gundam that for a first time viewer it can almost be a sort culture shock. Also the way animation was preserved back in the 70s was far different to how it done today.
~ The original Mobile Suit Gundam series was NOT animated in 16:9
As the original Mobile Suit Gundam aired in the late 70s, this series was not animated in widescreen (16:9). This means that when watching the series will be pillarboxed, meaning it will be displayed with black bars at the side of the screen to retain the original aspect ratio (4:3) rather than stretching the image or using other techniques to make it into widescreen.
We appreciate there are a generation of fans who might not be as aware of this fact so we like to make mention of it. Pillarboxing was also utilised for our release of Cowboy Bebop and is also the case for the Season 1 and Season 2: Fumoffu episodes of Full Metal Panic in our Ultimate Edition release.
Meghan Ellis on the shortlist for this year’s Cartoon Grand Prize.
Those responsible for adapting manga into anime or live-action must keep a close eye on the Manga Taisho nominations. Known in English as the Cartoon Grand Prize, only manga with 8 or less collected volumes are eligible for release, placing emphasis on quality of work over quantity. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of manga accolades, this prize stands out from the crowd of prestigious titles available – including the Shogakukan Manga Award and Kodansha Manga Award – due to the unusual nature of its executive committee and selection process. Instead of being curated by the publishers themselves, the Manga Taisho nominations are chosen by bookstore clerks from across Japan. This makes it the award chosen by the people with their finger closest to the Japanese public’s manga-reading pulse.
Eleven titles have been nominated for the ninth annual Manga Taisho Award. 2016’s nominated titles are:
Fans of Princess Jellyfish will no doubt recognise creator Akiko Higashimura in this year’s line-up, while the other nominees are likely to be cautiously hopeful of ousting the six-time nominee, who won in 2015 with her autobiographical Kakukaku Shikajika. But, it’s by no means a sure victory for the legendary creator of girls manga. A strong contender for the winning title is Kei Sanbe’s fantasy thriller Nobody But Me in Town, nominated in 2014, 2015 and now 2016. With an anime adaptation airing this season bound to increase the source work’s popularity even further, this darkly gripping manga could potentially edge out Higashimura’s entry: Tokyo Codliver-girl (above), a tale of marriage, encroaching middle age and the Olympics (a strange melting pot of themes for sure).
Ryoko Kui's tongue-in-cheek Dungeon Fodder (left), in which a party of adventurers attempt to combine sorcerous adventure with handy recipes for cooking fantasy creatures, seems unfortunately like an outside contender, at least this year. Past winners show that perseverance could be the key to success: March Comes in Like a Lion (2009 & 2011), Umimachi Diary (2008 & 2013), and A Bride’s Story (2013 & 2014) were all nominated more than once before they went on to receive the prize. In the case of Akimi Yoshida’s Umimachi Diary, it was 5 years before the manga received the prize, with live action film adaptation Our Little Sister announced the following year to much fanfare both at home and internationally.
Another front-runner is The Town Where Only I am Missing, a.k.a. Erased, by Kei Sanbe. Also adapted into an anime (just announced as forthcoming from Anime Ltd), it features a manga artist with the power to jump across time, who inadvertently sends himself back to his elementary school days in an effort to prevent the death of his mother.
The Manga Taisho committee famously bases its nominations on interactions with customers, as well as members’ personal preferences and whatever is actually selling in their stores. In other words, they look beyond what’s “artsy” and critic-pleasing to what’s popular with discerning manga fans across the country. And for those hunting for new anime and film ideas, what’s a surer bet for adaptation than a series with an established fan-base? Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan was nominated in 2011, and springs to mind as an example of how popular such manga can become with the right attention.
Not to say that all Manga Taisho nominations are suitable for adaptation, nor do all of the creators want their work to be adapted. Kiyohiko Azuma, creator of Yotsuba&! (nominated in 2008), famously shut down rumours after the Manga Taisho 2008 nominees were announced that he was considering an anime adaptation, stating that it would be impossible to present the idiosyncrasies of his manga on-screen. And surely something of the beauty of the Silk Road romance A Bride’s Story (2014) would be lost in the attempt: the intricate embroidery and traditional carving that Kaoru Mori delights in drawing would be nearly impossible to replicate in animated or live-action form.
Whether or not they’re already being courted for adaptation, this year’s crop of contenders looks like it could be a close call. We’ll just have to wait until the awards ceremony in March to see whether Akiko Higashimura can hold onto her crown and become the first person to win the award twice.
We’re at end of the week and with that it’s time to bring some news as today we (Anime Limited) are happy to announce a series currently airing this Winter 2016 season, ERASED, is the latest edition to the our catalogue of titles and one we will be bringing to the UK in the future.
Synopsis: Satoru Fujinuma is a young manga artist struggling to make a name for himself following his debut. But, that was not the only thing in his life that Satoru was feeling frustrated about…he was also living with a strange condition only he was able to experience. - REVIVAL A strange phenomenon where one is transferred back to the moment right before something life-threatening occurs. This continues to happen until the cause of the threat is erased. It is as if somebody is forcing Satoru to stop it from happening.
“Let’s not beat around the bush, I think this show is amazing” says Andrew Partridge, president of Anime Limited. "The story is top notch and doing complete justice to the source material. Also the director, Tomohiko Ito (Sword Art Online, Silver Spoon) is on top of his game. I don’t often hype up shows like this but as things stand this is easily one of my personal top two shows for this winter season and already a candidate for show of the year.”
We look forward to sharing details of our home video release with you in the future.
if you’ve not watched the series yet it’s currently simulcasting to the UK at Crunchyroll, with 4 episodes having aired to date.
Keep an eye out as we’ll have some more news to share with you soon.
Jonathan Clements on the bistromathics of manga.
Casey Brienza’s Manga in America: Transnational Book Publishing and the Domestication of Japanese Comics reveals an ultra-modern publishing industry, exploiting the bleeding edge of digital ingestion and yet staffed by scattered freelance peons, some of whom literally sift through dumpsters for their dinner. Or is it, perhaps, a consensual hallucination of Cool Japan, which is actually “little more than ad copy to allow public funds to go to advertising companies”? Anonymous interviewees pack her pages as she tracks down everybody from the bloviating big boss to the over-worked, under-appreciated translator in pyjamas. The picture she paints is of a business in constant crisis, where, to steal a phrase, nobody knows anything.
Brienza acknowledges the awful poison at the heart of the American manga industry, which is that it was colonised some 15 years ago by snake-oil salesmen and carpet-baggers determined to slap the word manga on anything that they did, out of a cynical desire to clamber aboard a bandwagon that promised, at the time, “double-digit growth.” As I have pointed out on many previous occasions, this didn’t just confuse everybody as to what manga actually was, but also corrupted much of the available data. A manga is a Japanese comic, anybody who says otherwise is selling something. Continue Reading
By Jasper Sharp.
Just a few stops to the west on the Sagano line from Kyoto lies the suburb of Uzumasa, an entertaining but curiously overlooked destination for tourists with more than a passing interest in Japan’s pop-cultural heritage. It is the site of Toei Kyoto Studio Park, commonly referred to by the locals as “Eiga Mura”, or the “Movie Village”, a theme park devoted to the world of jidai-geki (historical dramas set during the heyday of the samurai).
Since the mid-1970s, visitors have been allowed to wander around its long-standing Edo-style sets, which for almost a hundred years have provided a historically-accurate backdrop to the swashbuckling action of some of Japan’s best-loved cinema and more recently TV. Opened by Nikkatsu in 1927, just a few years after the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 temporarily prompted a mass migration of the major film companies from Tokyo to Kyoto, it was initially used for such classics as the final instalment of Daisuke Ito’s pioneering silent serial Chuji’s Travel Diary (1927) and other equally wonderful titles from this director such as Blood-Spattered at Takadanobaba (1928). A historical split soon emerged, with the old capital remaining as the base of production for those working with traditional feudal fare, while new studios, subsequently re-established in the Kanto area around Tokyo, predominantly dedicated their facilities to modern dramas. Continue Reading