by Jeremy Clarke.
You watch a short, scary video on the VCR. Then your phone starts to ring... you have a week to show the video to someone else – or die! That’s the premise of Ring (1998), the horror film which took first Japan, then the world, by storm. It’s also the key title of the J-Horror cycle of the late 1990s and early 2000s, being even more widely seen than the likes of Pulse/Kairo. Appropriately enough for a film about a videotape which transmits like a virus, the film spawned a number of sequels and tie-ins at home prior to foreign language remakes in first South Korea as Ring/The Ring Virus/Hangul (1999) then Hollywood as The Ring (2002).
The 1998 movie was based on Koji Suzuki’s novel Ring (1991), the first part of a trilogy with Spiral/Rasen (1995) and Loop (1998). Suzuki went on to write other books based on the series: Birthday (1999), S (2012) and Tide (2013). Ring had already been filmed in Japan as the TV movie Ring: Kanzenban/Ring: The Complete Edition (1995) but it was the first cinema film three years later that turned the franchise into an international phenomenon. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue, which Anime Limited is releasing in a new “Ultimate” edition, is a slasher film, a psycho-thriller, and a riddle which may have no answer. In my book Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist, I wrote, “No matter which Kon film, you start with” – which for many fans would be Perfect Blue, Kon’s director debut in 1997 – “each takes you in and around what feels like the director’s private funhouse, a warped maze that look different depending on which entrance you choose.”
(Warning: the second half of this article has spoilers for the end of the film.)
The bad news: It's Monday.
The good news: It's new release Monday, meaning that we have another great Standard Edition Blu-ray release coming your way and available to buy right now!
FORMAT: Standard Edition Blu-ray (also available on Collector's Edition Blu-ray and Standard Edition DVD)
BBFC CERT: 15
SRP: Standard Edition Blu-ray - £34.99 | Collector's Edition Blu-ray (with bonus art book) - £79.99 | Standard Edition DVD - £29.99
LANGUAGE: English and Japanese with English subtitles
Synopsis: “An original TV anime series by acclaimed animation studio TRIGGER (Kill la Kill) and the renowned writer Mari Okada (Maquia: When the Promised Flowers Bloom, The Anthem of the Heart).
Even within the confines of the futuristic Sugomori City, Katsuhira Agata is a very unique high school boy - someone who simply cannot feel any pain whatsoever. Bullied and isolated, his world is set to shift seismically when he meets a strange girl named Noriko Sonozaki. Before he knows it, Agata has been linked to a number of his classmates as part of a group created to share any pain each of them feels via a system known as “Kiznaiver”.
Tasked with various trials by Sonozaki as they serve as guinea pigs under the Kiznaiver system, could Agata and his new comrades’ experiences be the key to their own self-discovery?”
Contents: Contains all 12 episodes of the series in English and original Japanese with English subtitles.
You can watch an official trailer for the series below:
Why not buy the series right here, right now from our own AllTheAnime.com web shop? As well as this new Blu-ray Standard Edition, you can still purchase the AllTheAnime.com shop exclusive version of our Blu-ray Collector's Edition, which features not only a 40-page art book and Collector's Edition packaging, but also a full-size 116-page deluxe art book too, showcasing a huge amount of incredible artwork from the show.
Our Standard Edition of Kiznaiver is also available from the following retailers:
You can also purchase the Collector's Edition (without our shop exclusive deluxe art book) from:
- Learn more about the series
- See a full unboxing of our Blu-ray Collector's Edition set
As well as the above, don't forget to check out last week's new release post, where we gave you details of our Amanchu Standard Edition Blu-ray release alongside a reminder of our edition of Pigtails and Other Production I.G Shorts.
In case you missed the news last week, our upcoming Ultimate Edition of Perfect Blue, featuring a brand new remaster of this classic film by directed by Satoshi Kon as well as a 384-page storyboard book, is set to arrive on 29th April is available to pre-order exclusively from Zavvi.com and our AllTheAnime.com online shop right now!
CLICK HERE to read lots of information on what top expect from this very special release, plus get a preview of the remastered film footage too!
We'll be back with another new title next Monday, so until then, take care!
By Andrew Osmond.
Just out on Netfix, Love Death & Robots isn’t an anime series, but it takes Western adult animation down paths blazed by anime decades ago. It’s an anthology, with eighteen short episodes, mostly between ten and fifteen minutes each. Unlike Black Mirror, there’s no linking theme or style in stories which mix SF, fantasy and horror. You’ll find mecha and space travel, but also werewolves, vampires and fox spirits. Continue Reading
Hello one and all! It's been a long time since we brought it up in conversation and we know a lot of you have been eagerly awaiting details on our Ultimate Edition of Satoshi Kon's classic film, Perfect Blue. Well, today is the day you've been waiting for, as we've got a whole lot of information to share with you. Oh, and you can even go and pre-order the product right now!
However, let's not get ahead of ourselves, so read on below for all the details.
Synopsis: "Mima Kirigoe is ready to leave her career as a pop idol behind and forge ahead towards a bright new future as an actress. However, casting aside her former image proves to be far more difficult than she imagined, and the murky world of show business threatens to drag her into the depths of despair.
As the strains of her new career path take their toll, and a menacing presence from her pop star past lurks in the background, is Mima able to keep a firm grasp on the things that define her? And as delusions, fiction and reality blend together in her mind, just what is it that defines her anyway?"
We've released Perfect Blue in the past on Blu-ray - in fact it was one of the very first titles we (Anime Limited) released way back in 2014 - but this Blu-ray is different as it's a brand new remaster of the film! This remaster - which you won't have seen in any cinema or other home video release before - improves on the overall visual quality of the film, giving you a new viewing experience that really show off its direction and composition as is befitting of such an important film.
Now, we appreciate that us telling you this is all well and good. But ultimately (no pun intended) you'll want to see some of the footage in action. Check out the below video, which is a side-by-side comparison of a past version of the film (displayed on the right) next to this new remaster (on the left). The clip being shown here features the film's English dub, but obviously our release also contains the English subtitled version with Japanese audio too; more on that in a minute. But for now, check out the video below:
Our Ultimate Edition set is without a doubt the most definitive release of Perfect Blue, and one that celebrates the legacy of director Satoshi Kon in a way that has never been experienced in the western world. Here's a piece-by-piece breakdown of what you get:
As we talked about above, you will get this brand new remaster of the film on Blu-ray! Language options include the English dub of the film (in 5.1 audio), the original Japanese mono audio and a brand new Japanese 5.1 audio option! Of course you also get English subtitle options to accompany the Japanese audio, and a "Song & Signs" track to accompany the English audio.
But that's not all, oh no no no! We've got loads of extras for you!
First up, to help the definitive nature of this release, we've included the on-disc extras you will have seen in our past release of Perfect Blue, because it seems silly not to include them quite frankly. To remind folks of what they are:
But that's not all, as we're including a selection of lectures by Satoshi Kon, the director of the film! It's your chance to see the Satoshi Kon talk about his directorial intent for selected scenes from the film, even adding in some anecdotes and tidbits of information about them that you may never have thought of and more! But to be clear, these lectures are really entertaining - it's a great time capsule into the past to see the man clearly in his element talking to people about his work in a very entertaining and engaging way. The three lectures included are:
We're not just saying this, but we're sure you're going to get a kick out of watching these, and learn something new about the film in the process!
If that wasn't enough, again adding to the definitive nature of this release, we've even included the original standard definition version of the film (in Japanese mono with English subtitles), the English version of the song "Angel of Your Heart" and our very own UK trailer on the disc as well!
And we've barely even started, as that's just the disc! There's still more to talk about...
We're included a 48-page soft cover A4 sized book (pictured right) that will show you artwork, layouts, rough sketches, character designs and also comments and notes taken from series of lectures in Japan featuring Satoshi Kon that add more great information about the film.
The book includes some fascinating imagery and insight into the film. This book has been translated into English and has never received a release outside of Japan!
Now, we come to something we are incredibly proud we have the opportunity to bring to the west for this Ultimate Edition release, the Perfect Blue Storyboard Collection (pictured left). This book is literally the entire film in storyboard form! You'll get to see how the film was mapped out in its entirety by the director, and you could even watch the film and use this book as a reference guide at the same time if you wanted. Additionally, you can even see in an untouched form the vast array of notes in Japanese from director Satoshi Kon himself throughout the book.
This collection of storyboards was originally released in Japan across three A4 books, but we've combined them all into a beautiful, mammoth, 384-page hard cover A4 sized book! This includes storyboards for the entire film as we mentioned, as well as some deleted scenes, too!
Satoshi Kon and his work is something that is treasured immeasurably by those who worked with him and those who continue to preserve his work. This collection has never been released outside of Japan and we are truly honoured to be able to include this in our Ultimate Edition. We know it's something that people looking through it will have a great time exploring as well.
And as if that wasn't enough already, we're even including the CD soundtrack to the film! That's right, you can listen to the music from the film at your leisure whenever you want. The track listing on this CD is as follows:
Given the contents involved, the two books will be stored inside a rigid slipcase. (And to confirm, as the two books are A4 sized, the the rigid case is A4 as well.) The two discs (the Blu-ray and CD) will be stored inside the storyboard book itself. There's a holder for the discs on the inner side of the front and back covers. The holders have been constructed to be part of the book itself, rather than an additional part attached to the book, to ensure that everything is stored safely and securely.
You can see how the front (pictured left) and back (pictured right) of the rigid case look in the two images we have here.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is what will be included in our Perfect Blue Ultimate Edition release! We know some of you may have some questions about what we've revealed above, so make sure to you scroll down to the end of this post as we have an FAQ that will likely answer some (and hopefully all!) of those questions.
Now for another crucial bit of information. First of all the release date. We're happy to confirm that this Ultimate Edition will be released on Monday, 29th April 2019.
When it comes to price, given the nature of the contents, the SRP of this Perfect Blue Ultimate Edition is £99.99. At this time, the product will be exclusive to our own AllTheAnime.com store, as well as our friends and partners at Zavvi, who will also be offering this set for pre-order and purchase.
With that information in hand, we can reveal that pre-orders for this Perfect Blue Ultimate Edition are open right now!! What's more, we're selling this title at a reduced price of £89.99 - a price available to you regardless of which retailer you'd prefer to order the product at.
Chance are there'll be some questions you have above all the information we've mentioned above, so here's a handy Frequently Asked Questions section for you.
-- What are the language options for the new remaster of the film?
Audio: English 5.1, Japanese mono and the new Japanese 5.1 mix.
-- Has this new remaster of the film altered the aspect ratio?
No, this has been retained from its original theatrical presentation.
-- Will a DVD be included in this release?
No, this release of the film will be Blu-ray only.
-- How heavy is the entire product?
It'll weigh approximately 2.5kg
-- What are the dimensions of the product?
The rigid case (within which the contents reside) is approximately 21cm width x 30cm height x 4.5cm deep.
-- Will the remaster of the film be released separately by you?
At the time of writing, there are no plans for this.
-- Why is the Storyboard book not translated into English?
While we originally announced our intention to translate this book fully into English, as we mentioned earlier in this post the people who worked with Satoshi Kon along with those who are preserving his work want to take the utmost care when it comes to any of his works. Because they quite rightly want to project his legacy, it was decided that no changes were allowed to be made to the text and comments written by the director himself, and in turn no translation of the book was permitted. However, we still feel that this book is an immensely valuable addition to appreciating the film that fans of anime, and Mr. Kon's work, will love and appreciate.
-- Why no soundtrack on vinyl?
Two main reasons: the first being that it's already been released elsewhere and is not available for us to release. The second being that you can't fit a record inside the book. 😉
-- Will the CD soundtrack be available separately?
No. The reason being that this soundtrack CD has been licensed to be included in this Ultimate Edition release specifically.
-- How many units of this Ultimate Edition are being produced?
1000 units of this Ultimate Edition are being created.
-- But I only want to buy the books?
At this time we can say there are plans afoot to release the books without the discs included at some point in the future, but we have no other details we can share on that at this time. That said, as we've mentioned this is a brand-new remaster of the film that's not been included in any previous release, and it does include extras unavailable on our previous Blu-ray release.
-- Do you plan to screen the new remaster in cinemas?
There are no plans as things stand, but if that were to change we'll be sure to make it known.
-- What region is the Blu-ray?
The Blu-ray is locked to Region B.
-- Will this Ultimate Edition be exclusive to any one retailer?
At the time of writing, this edition is exclusive to both the AllTheAnime.com online store, and Zavvi.com.
So, now you've seen how it looks and the vast amount of content it has to offer, how are you feeling about our Perfect Blue Ultimate Edition? If you're as excited about it as we are, then be sure to let us know, and don't forget that you can pre-order it this very second in advance of its 29th April 2019 release date!
Until next time, take care.
~ Jeremy and Andy