By Andrew Osmond.
It’s said that bad books make good films (and vice versa). Perfect Blue makes that case forcibly. Satoshi Kon’s film version is a landmark in animated horror, subjecting a vividly sympathetic protagonist to fiendish mind-games. But the source book is plain bad, descending into infantile guignol that’s less perverted than pre-potty trained. Going from Kon’s film to the book is like going from Psycho to Blood Feast.
Written by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, the book was originally published in 1991. More than a quarter-century later, it’s now available in English from Seven Seas Entertainment. Its English title is Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis, though its Japanese subtitle, Kanzen Hentai, can also be read as Total Pervert.
In interviews, Kon and his scriptwriter Sadayuki Murai stressed how much they changed the book. Kon never even read it; he was given a script adaptation by its author, Yoshikazu Takeuchi, which the Madhouse studio let Kon and Murai change as they wished. They were only required to use the elements of an idol singer and a stalker, and keep it a horror story. Madhouse was good at selling horror anime abroad; its Wicked City and Doomed Megalopolis were both book adaptations.
The Perfect Blue book is indeed very different from the film. True, the main character is still Mima Kirigoe, a Tokyo-based idol singer with a cutesy persona. As in the film, she’s harassed by a demented fan and stalker who’s outraged that she’s perverting her wholesome image. Certain other elements remain in the film, such as Mima doing a heavily sexualised photo-shoot, and a climactic encounter on a dark studio stage.
But so much else is vastly different. In the book, Mima is a lone singer, not part of a group. She doesn’t act in a TV series called Double Bind, and the book has none of Kon’s edifice of mirrored realities, mixing and collapsing. Mima has no mental breakdowns; she never doubts her identity, sanity or reality. There are no phantom Mimas appearing to her or anyone else. Today, the book reads like a version of Psycho without mother complexes, or a Jekyll and Hyde where the title characters are different people. Continue Reading
It's all set to be the year's biggest theatrical anime experience, and we know that many of you simply can't wait for your chance to see Mamoru Hosoda's latest film Mirai for yourselves. While the film is being screened widely across the UK, with subtitled screenings on Friday, 2nd November and English dubbed screenings on Sunday, 4th November, if you simply can't wait that long then we're thrilled to announce that the BFI London Film Festival will be the home of Mirai's UK premiere in October!
What's more, the film will head up the London Film Festival's prestigious Family Gala, wherein you'll have two opportunities to catch the film in Japanese with English subtitles.
The UK premiere of Mirai takes place on Saturday, 13th October at 3:30PM at the BFI Southbank's NFT1 cinema, while the film's second screening can be enjoyed the following day on Sunday, 14th October at 5:45PM and takes place at the BFI IMAX cinema.
Please note that tickets for both screenings go on sale to the public from 10AM on Thursday 13th September - you can find more details from the BFI themselves at the link below.
Commenting on the announcement, President of Anime Limited Andrew Partridge says:
“All of us here at Anime Limited fell in love with Mirai the moment we first saw the film. It’s a beautiful and charming work with themes that will be recognisable to anyone, and to have it premiere in the UK as the Gala film for Family at the BFI Film Festival London is a dream come true for us.”
If you haven't heard about the film yet, here are some more details for you to get you up to speed:
Ingenious and heartfelt, Mamoru Hosoda’s charming fantasy was received with a standing ovation at its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The truest definition of a family film, “Mirai” will inspire the imaginations of young and old alike.
Synopsis: "The birth of a sibling is a joyous time for many, but not for Kun. Four years old and spoilt rotten, he sees the arrival of baby sister Mirai as competition for his parents’ love. That is, until magical encounters with an older Mirai and family past, present and future send the siblings on an intimate journey through time and space, to confront Kun’s uncertain feelings and prepare him to become the big brother he needs to be."
If you can't make it to either of these gala screenings of the film, then don't fret - as mentioned above you'll be able to watch the film across the country just a few weeks after the UK premiere on November 2nd (with English subtitles) or November 4th (with an English dub) - all of the details and ticket booking links you need can be found on the official Mirai web site.
Whether you can make it to the gala screenings at the BFI or are planning to enjoy the film in November, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this incredible film from Mamoru Hosoda, and we simply can't wait for all of you to see it! We'll also have more exciting news relating to Mamoru Hosoda over the coming weeks, so stay tuned...
Until next time, take care!
By Raz Greenberg.
Based on Akane Shimizu’s original manga, David Production’s Cells at Work! quickly became one of the highlights of the current anime season, especially due to its innovative concept: portraying the cells within the human body as anthropomorphised characters, with a particular emphasis given to the daring deliveries of oxygen by the red blood cells under the threat of invading bacteria, and the struggle of the white blood cells against the bacteria, all while teaching the readers some basic concepts of human biology.
The idea of animating the inner work the human body using anthropomorphized characters is not new; the most famous example is of course Pixar’s Inside Out, and those with affinity for bad movies might remember the Farrelly brothers’ 2001 live action/animation hybrid feature Osmosis Jones. Long before both films, however, there was Il était une fois... la vie (Once Upon a Time… Life), a French 1987 television series with a Japanese touch, produced by Albert Barillé. Continue Reading
Thus far, 2018 has seen streaming juggernaut Netflix bring a number of new "Netflix Original" anime titles to their streaming platform. This March saw a show that we're particularly excited about arrive on the service, as B: The Beginning was made available in full for all and sundry to view. How excited were we by the series? Excited enough to acquire the rights to release the show on home video in the UK and Ireland - news that we're very proud to share with you today!
This all-new, original series comes courtesy of renowned studio Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell, Psycho-Pass) and is directed by Kazuto Nakazawa (Parasite Dolls). Music is composed by Yoshihiro Ike (Blood: The Last Vampire, Tiger & Bunny, Project Itoh trilogy), and the theme tune to the series is provided by none other than former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman!
Synopsis: "The Royal City of Cremona's beautiful archipelago is darkened by the shadow of a brutal serial killer, known only as 'Killer B' due to the distinctive calling card he leaves at the scene of his crimes.
With the royal police force struggling to hunt down Killer B, they turn to the enigmatic and eccentric detective Keith Flick to unlock the secrets of this case. However, the returning detective arrives with no shortage of baggage of his own, and the truth behind the murders drags him and his colleagues into a dangerous, conspiratorial world that is stranger than any of them could have imagined.
But is Keith Flick's brilliant mind alone enough to catch the killer? In the brash and outspoken young detective Lily Hoshina, he may have met his equal and seeded the origins of an unlikely partnership..."
For a better look at B: The Beginning, take a look at this English-subtitled trailer released by Netflix:
Our current - very provisional - plan is to release B: The Beginning on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray in 2019, so bear in mind that this is a tentative schedule and it’ll be a while before you hear any more news from us on this title. That said, you can expect some more exciting UK-related news for fans of the series very soon indeed...
Needless to say we don't have any further details on the precise contents of our release to share at this time, but we'll be sure to update you closer to that release date as our exact plans are cemented. For now though, Netflix UK subscribers can watch the entire series - complete with both Japanese and English audio and English subtitles amongst the language options available - so why not jump into the show and enjoy the ride?
Now that we've hopefully spiced up the beginning of your week, take care until next time!
~ Andy H
By Andrew Osmond.
As anime fans have probably guessed, the “real” world is a thin veneer over a realm of horrid demon monsters ready to gobble us up. Our only protectors are exorcists who go into daily battle on our behalf, wielding spells and charms as their armour. Twin Star Exorcists focuses on a young boy and girl, both exceptionally talented, but with very dark traumas in their pasts. Similar in many ways, the boy and girl madden and frustrate each other in rom-com style. Continue Reading