By Andrew Osmond.
In Britain and America, time-travel is often the pretext for a big story, and doubly so in animation. After all, T-Rexes or Terminators aren’t more expensive to animate than present-day Japan. And yet, anime often goes for the small time-travel tale. Think of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, a story with no cosmic disasters or flying cars, just a girl hopping around a few hours or days. Or take a series like Steins;Gate – it gets “big” eventually, but much of it takes place in one unglamorous room in Akihabara, where oddball characters do silly experiments with microwaved bananas.
Fireworks is another “small” film, though its final scenes have playful suggestions of a realm where scale is meaningless; as tiny as a droplet, as vast as a galaxy. For a large part, though, it’s another film about oddballs mucking around. These oddballs are middle-school kids, in a town by the sea called Moshimo (a Japanese name that can be read as “What if?”) At first, we mostly see a band of boys; they race to school on bikes and skateboards, ogle girls shamelessly, and argue about such matters as whether fireworks look flat or round when you see them from the side. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
The Shower is a 48-minute Korean animated film screening this coming Saturday (3rd November) as part of the London Korean Film Festival. The venue is the Phoenix Cinema at noon, and tickets are available here. It depicts an encounter between two young children, a boy and girl teetering on adolescence in a country setting that brims with potential. Yet the film will draw very different responses from different audiences.
Readers of this blog will be reminded strongly of classic anime; most obviously Ghibli films like My Neihgbour Totoro, but also Sunao Katabuchi’s Mai Mai Miracle and even the work of Makoto Shinkai. Korean viewers, meanwhile, will mostly sit down to the film knowing very well where the tale leads. For The Shower is based on a celebrated 1959 short story by Hwang sun-woon (1915-2000), which has long been a set book in South Korean schools. For a British equivalent, you might compare it to an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, in that everyone knows the basic journey; it’s only the details that change. Continue Reading
The doors have closed, the stalls have been packed away and another MCM London Comic Con is in the books. First of all a big thank you to everyone who visited out stalls and exhibition spaces and/or attended any panels and signing sessions; we hope you had a wonderful time.
Over the weekend we held two All The Anime panels; one on Friday and the other earlier today (Sunday 28th October.) We're just going to do a quick roundup of what we announced for you -
First of all, a few titles that chances are if you attended the recent Scotland Loves Anime Film Festival you may have heard about through the grapevine:
Cyber City Odeo 808 - You read this right you old school fans out there! We're releasing this classic 3-part OVA that never made the jump from VHS here in the UK as a remastered Blu-ray that will include the original English dub and original English soundtrack versions of the film (aka, the old Manga UK dub.)
Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade - It's a film we know a lot of you love, and we're delighted to bring this classic film to Blu-ray. You may not know, but this was written by Mamoru Oshii (director of Ghost in the Shell, creator of Blood: The Last Vampire) and was directed by the same man who directed the hit film A Letter To Momo, though this earlier work of Hiroyuki Okiyura is very much not a family film and definitely one for fans of darker and grittier anime to keep an eye on.
Calamity of a Zombie Girl - A horror film from the world famous studio Gonzo (Full Metal Panic, Afro Samurai) that had its UK premiere at the Scotland Loves Anime Film Festival earlier this month will be coming to home video from us in the future! If you're someone that enjoys a good bit of action, violence that also happens to feature zombies too, this is one for you!
Worth noting that there's no set time frame on when you'll hear more about the titles above at this point in time, but please know as soon as we have news to share on any of these we'll be sure to make it known. Hopefully you won't have to wait too long.
We're also happy to the confirm the now currently airing season, "Alicization", plus the recent spin-off season, "Gun Gale Online", of the Sword Art Online franchise will be receiving home video releases from us the future!
Again, we're unable to confirm any specifics at this time, but suffice to say it'll likely be a while before there is any news we can share on these; especially as season 3 has only just started airing. But at least you know that they will be coming in the future.
Persona5 The Day Breakers - Following our announcement back in May that we'll be bringing the recent Persona5 series to home video in the future, a number of you expressed interest as to whether that would extend to The Daybreakers special episode that originally launched in conjunction of the Japanese release of the Persona5 game. We're happy to confirm that this will also be getting a UK release, but we're unable to confirm any specifics at this time on how and/or when that may be.
Magic Knight Rayearth - Some of you old school fans out there may remember this anime, as part of the franchise (under the name "Rayearth" - which was a condensed version of the original TV series) saw a UK release a long, long time ago. But we're going to be bringing the complete 1994 TV series (49 episodes) of Magic Knight Rayearth to home video in the near future!
Again (and I appreciate I may sound like a broken record at this point), no specific details to share at this time, but once we can we'll make it known.
Bartender - Chances are many of you reading won't be aware of this series at all, but it's very a much a passion project and something we're delighted to be giving it's first English language home video release! That's right, no other English speaking territory has released this series before. As we talked about at MCM, we love being able to bring some unique or different anime to the UK and Bartender is no different! And this series about a bartender helping to solve people's problems through conversation and alcohol is one we're sure a lot of you are going to enjoy! We'll be sure to bring you more information about this as soon as we can.
Welcome To The Ballroom - From Production I.G, the studio that brought you Ghost in the Shell and many others, and directed by Yoshimi Itazu (Pigtails) comes a show that focuses on a hopeless student who is about as average as anything getting pulled into the world of ballroom dancing. It’s a show that’ll strut its stuff and move in ways Strictly would be proud of, so be sure to keep an eye for details on our release in the coming months!
Megalo Box - If you listened to the recent season of episodes of our All The Anime Podcast, you'll know we loved watching Megalo Box as it was airing earlier this year and we're delighted to say that we'll be bringing it to home video in the future! The series that celebrates a milestone anniversary for the Ashita no Joe franchise is one that brings a unique art style combined with great storytelling and some stunning action to boot, or to 'box' I should say given it's about boxing! Definitely one to keep on your radar for when we have details that we can share.
And that's what we announced over the MCM weekend! We hope you're excited for these and you can expect updates on a variety of other titles in our pipeline soon as well.
by Andy Hanley.
If you want to make a particular generation of anime fans feel old, remind them that the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime is ten years old in 2016. In fact, the show’s broadcast marks an important era in the recent history of the anime industry – the series was a breakout hit for studio Kyoto Animation, its success brought about a slew of similar “light novel” adaptations looking to reap similar rewards that continues to this day, and the show’s subsequent western release came at the peak of an industry bubble which burst soon afterwards.
Looking to capitalise on the success of Haruhi and the boom in interest it had wrought, Kyoto Animation turned to a four-panel comedy manga from author Kagami Yoshimizu, birthing another anime sensation whose reverberations are still felt throughout the industry. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
The Tokyo International Film Festival has held an early screening of the newest PSYCHO-PASS anime; well, two-thirds of it at least. PSYCHO-PASS: Sinners of the System represents the return of the dystopic franchise following the 2015 film. The new anime is a trio of films, telling new stories in the PSYCHO-PASS world and revisiting characters other than the lead duo of Tsunemori and Kogami. Continue Reading