With the release of the Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning collector's edition upon us (March 17th), I thought I'd take a little time out to offer my thoughts and review of the film as someone who comes from a zero-knowledge about Tiger and Bunny standpoint. Stick with me kids, it's ok - I put the words together pretty well sometimes. If you are brand new to Tiger and Bunny or heard about it but haven't watched the show, this is the post for you!
Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning is a film that introduces the world of Tiger and Bunny the series, and succinctly rounds up the first few episodes all the while throwing in a bunch of new story lines making it interesting, engaging and fun for both fans of the show and newbies (as I was when I checked it out). We are stylistically introduced to a world in which superheroes are sponsored, corporations are in charge and fighting crime is televised in a competition-cum-reality show. It's a crazy mixed up world where a (relatively) ageing superhero (Tiger) is just trying to stay afloat in the competitive world of sponsors, heroing and public support or rather, popularity. He's a bit tired, bit worn out and enjoys fairly mediocre success but, as with everything, it must all come to an end - his setup begins to look to be on shaky ground. His shaky ground is made even shakier thanks to a merger and the arrival of a young, sponsor-less yet ever so flash upstart (Bunny). Through a series of events that I won't go into, they are teamed up as a pair of crime fighting superheroes - but things don't go so smoothly.
The film itself, especially coming from someone who's never seen the series, is a fun enjoyable romp of a film that introduces the world and the characters pretty well. You get sucked into the story and gain a pretty decent understanding of character motivations, capabilities, depths and emotions. You can definitely tell it's setting up for a sequel (and the eagle eyed of you would have noticed that we have indeed licensed the second film, Tiger and Bunny: The Rising), but it doesn't feel like it's to its detriment - or that it's filler content. Instead, it feels like a film that stands on its own - with its own story and adventures, it's a good, fun way to spend 90mins. So, is Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning worth watching - say all your T&B fans and newbies alike? Well, I think so - I mean, I didn't feel like I've missed out on anything by not having seen the series. It's a good, fun crime caper of a film and has some pretty solid animation. I especially enjoyed the cynical commentary on the role of corporations and sponsors in what is now daily life - how the ethics and aesthetics of reality shows and the desperate chase for ratings have permeated every aspect of our lives. Crime fighting and superheroing are no longer noble pursuits but have fallen prey to this beast hungry for attention and ratings. Sure it's cynical, but it is also an interesting reflection of where we are as humans in our 24 hour news cycle/entertainment consumption.
Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning is available for pre-order on Amazon at the moment. It's a combi-pack Collector's Edition release so get it while it's hot!
Glasgow, UK March 7, 2014 - Anime Limited are thrilled to announce the acquisition of the popular series Kill la Kill for home video in the UK.
Ryuko Matoi is a vagrant school girl traveling from place to place searching for clues to the truth behind her father’s death—the “woman with the scissor blade.” The journey has led Ryuko to Honnouji Academy. Honnouji Academy—where an elite group of students is granted superhuman powers by their special uniforms called the “Goku uniform.” With the power of the uniform, the student body president, Satsuki Kiryuin rules the students with unquestioned power and fear. Satsuki holds the secret to the “scissor blade” and Ryuko confronts Satsuki to gain information but was their encounter a mere coincidence or fate? The clash between the two will soon consume the whole academy!
A popular hit in the Winter 2014 season, Kill la Kill has taken the UK by storm. From Studio Trigger and the people behind Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill will be released on home video in Q4 2014. The release will come in multiple parts, however details are still being discussed and agreed at this point.
Andrew Partridge, president of Anime Limited says: 'Kill la Kill has been a complete joy to watch this season! We are huge fans here at HQ and we're very happy to be able to release it here in the UK. Look out for some pretty cool things to come with our release in Q4'
Kill la Kill is currently streaming on Wakanim.co.uk every week and will shortly be available for Download to Own.
March 3rd, 2014 - Anime Limited is very pleased to announce it has acquired the rights to Attack on Titan's original soundtrack for immediate distribution on digital channels with a physical CD release coming in Summer 2014.
The soundtrack, composed by Hiroyuki Sawano (Gundam Unicorn, Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown) is available now on all good digital stores including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
The soundtrack features 16 track from the hit TV series, Attack on Titan, where the last remnants of humanity were forced to retreat behind the towering walls of a fortified city to escape the massive, man-eating Titans that roam the land outside their fortress.
Only the heroic members of the Scouting Legion dared to stray beyond the safety of the walls - but even those brave warriors seldom return alive. Those within the city clung to the illusion of a peaceful existence until the day that dream was shattered and their slim chance at survival was reduced to one horrifying choice: kill - or be devoured!
Track listing remains identical to the Japanese release:
A couple weekends ago, Patema Inverted and Time of Eve writer/director Yasuhiro Yoshiura popped along to Scotland for a wee visit and a screening of Patema Inverted at the Filmhouse cinema in Edinburgh. Oddly enough, the weather that Saturday was pretty good as everyone settled in for the screening and subsequent Q & A session afterwards. There was a great showing on Saturday afternoon - especially considering the majority of the audience had already seen the film at the Scotland Loves Anime film festival in October. There was also a handy little signing session in the Filmhouse cafe for fans of Yoshiura-san and his work. I even spied a Time of Eve coffee canister from the Kickstarter being signed! Very cool.
After the screening, we all settled into the Q&A session, headed up by Andrew Partridge - he started off with some questions and opened it up to the audience. There were some seriously well thought out questions from the audience, and I took as many notes as I could in order to share some of the interesting answers with all you who couldn't make it. So kick back, relax and read what the man himself had to say about Patema Inverted! Below are some of the questions and answers given - paraphrased as I was taking notes.
One of the earliest questions from Andrew was: where did the idea for Patema Inverted come from? To answer, the director reminisced about his childhood staring up at the sky and imagining, wondering what it would be like if the sky above really wasn't the sky. What if he was on the 'ceiling' relative to the sky and ground? That's where the idea came from - a childhood fancy that stuck with him to this day.
In terms of the film, for those who have seen it, it deals with a lot of complexity - not only with the story itself but also with the use of gravity. There are rules to gravity applied in the film, how did he manage to keep it all straight? On this point the director was clear, despite the complexity of the story and the narrative, it was important to make the rules with regards to gravity very simple. That way, that thread stays neat throughout the film.
A huge part of the film is the sound design - I'm not sure if many are aware of this but the man in charge of said sound design is Akira Yamaoka, the man behind many an eerie feeling in games such as Silent Hill. Was this Yamaoka's first foray into film and what was it like working with him? Akira Yamaoka has actually worked on other feature films before taking part in Patema Inverted. In fact, he was in charge of the sound design for Silent Hill, the film! Hot tip for those of you viewing: the siren in Patema Inverted is the same siren sound in Silent Hill - pretty cool, huh?
If you've seen the film, or read anything about it, you'll be aware of the fact that there is a lot of Esperanto usage in the film - the text, songs etc. Which is a rather unusual direction for a film, especially a modern anime, to take. Why Esperanto? Why a practically dead language that no one in the audience will understand or appreciate? As with everything Yoshiura-san does, there is a very good reason behind the decision. Using Esperanto, a language that is pretty much dead despite best efforts to re-ignite popularity and interest, was a creative decision: it highlights the fact that the truth is long buried and practically lost - unattainable to the current inhabitants of both the underground and overground worlds. It represents hidden truth and a lost world. Esperanto seemed ideal for this.
One of the first questions from the audience was a bit of a belter if I'm honest. He pointed out the fact that there is an incredible amount of detail in the film - so much attention is paid to even the smallest detail. It's certainly one of the main reasons to watch it on the big screen - and definitely watch more than once! Did Yoshiura-san ever think that maybe there was just too much detail in the film? To which Yoshiura-san laughed (seriously, this movie has an insane amount of detail in it! - Ed) and pointed out his own personal motto: the spirit of the film is in the detail. Too much detail is just the right amount of detail - it helps the film come across to people.
Another interesting question was raised by an audience member questioning the apparent theme of subversive politics - was this the main idea when Yoshiura went into making the film? It didn't start out with any kind of agenda, says Yoshiura. It started out as an adventure story that was meant to be engaging, interesting and exciting. But stories and attitudes evolve over time and over the time it took to make this film, the story itself and grown incredibly.
A final, and I think most interesting question came from yet another audience member who pointed out that Yohsiura-san's characters in Patema Inverted and in Time of Eve tend to suffer from fundamental differences. That is, the two main characters are so fundamentally different they either literally come from different worlds or are human and android. These characters tend to have to find a way of working and living together to bring about a story - which is a great theme to have in a film. Will this theme carry on into the new project, Harmony?
Yoshiura-san's wry smile at this point pretty much gave a lot away. The whole fundamental difference between characters was not intentional - at least not from the start and not a theme that necessarily will mark works, he pointed out. But yes, these two projects are great examples of stories involving different people learning to communicate and work together. It's admirable. Harmony doesn't necessarily follow this theme - it's a bit different. It's more bitter - and it's a 25 minute short.
With that, the Q&A was drawn to a close. Yoshiura-san was then escorted off with his awesome Scotland Loves Anime festival prize of some pretty neat whisky to the Filmhouse cafe for a signing session.
All in all, it was a pretty fantastic screening with a very interesting audience! Great questions were asked and answered - the team from Japan were also pleased to see so many families in the audience as well. If you were one of the many in attendance, thanks for showing up! If you are not Scotland/Edinburgh-based, you still may yet get a chance to see the film in cinematic glory in a theatre near you.
Patema Inverted will be in select cinemas from May 2nd across the UK. Dates and venues are still to be confirmed but you can keep up to date on our Facebook page, Twitter or via the Patema UK website.
We've had a few questions in the last 24 hours over our Kickstarter so I figured we'd cover a few of them here so folks have a centralised hub while we wait for it to launch.
#1: WHERE CAN WE SEE THE KICKSTARTER? YOU DIDN'T LINK TO IT.
The honest point is - we missed that the submission process doesn't actually make the project go live so we'd left that to the last moment. Our bad on that one and of course we're not asking for money until you get a chance to see the pitch in a bit more detail!
#2: CAN WE HAVE A SNEAK PEEK AT THE KICKSTARTER TO GIVE SOME FEEDBACK?
Sure! While we wait we're happy to show you a bit of what we have in store for folks - you can view the preview link here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alltheanime/1966076526?token=3bc1557d
Play nice folks, constructive feedback is good but don't let it degenerate into dubs vs subs or such!
#3: WHY DO A KICKSTARTER? SURELY RELEASING IT AS NORMAL WOULD BE GOOD?
If it were just the UK, sure. But I'm not one to sit still and since the US rights were still available, we were able to negotiate a good deal to take those on board too - the catch-22 being the risks are a lot higher of course. As a UK-based company Kickstarter is a good way to build interest and make releasing this property viable in a territory we wouldn't normally release in whilst maintaining the quality of release UK fans have become used to.
Without a Kickstarter at best all we could do is a subtitled DVD and BD in standard amaray packaging, with this we have the potential to do some really cool things so it seemed a bit of a no-brainer really
#4: STRETCH GOALS! WILL YOU DO A DUB? WILL YOU DO A COMMENTARY TRACK WHERE ANDREW DRINKS A LOT AND CRIES TO THE KEY OF CARELESS WHISPER?
Probably not the latter*, but of course a dub is on our radar! We're firm believers in not talking stretch goals 'til you've made your baseline though :). So as soon as that point is passed we'll get on talking about what stretches we've got planned and we'll try to get you, the backers, to have a say in that as part of crowd producing!
I think the above summarises most of the points floating around but we'll post more to the Kickstarter itself as soon as it goes live! Watch this space!