By Andrew Osmond.
Martian Successor Nadesico is an epic space opera, running 26 parts and the better part of ten hours. It’s also a farcical comedy, targeted knowingly at fans of epic space opera. Its trick – which defies physics in ways to give any Scot spaceship engineer conniptions – is to continually have its cake and eat it. It wears its decades-long anime heritage proudly, yet it’s very much of its moment, the mid-1990s. Nadesico came out just before two American fantasy hits would do much the same as it had done first: Galaxy Quest in cinemas and Buffy the Vampire Slayer on television. More on them later. Continue Reading
By Andrew Osmond.
The manga My Brother’s Husband is a family drama, like some of the best-known Japanese films. Like Tokyo Story, it centres on an absence, a family member who’s died, and on characters bonding round the missing person. Like many Kore-eda films (and Hosoda’s The Wolf Children), it’s about an alternative family, not yet accepted by mainstream Japanese society, yet with its strength and authenticity. The manga depicts two men; a divorced Japanese man, and a bereaved Canadian who’d married the Japanese man’s twin brother.
“The (Japanese) protagonist is Yaichi, who’s a single father and has a daughter called Kana,” explains the manga’s creator Gengoroh Tagame during a talk at Japan House London. “One day a big Canadian man called Mike arrives. Mike was married to Yaichi’s brother Ryoji, who died in Canada. So Mike decides to visit his deceased husband’s family in Japan, and that’s how he arrives at Yaichi’s house. Yaichi, who didn’t know about this visit, is very confused, while Kana is excited, and that’s where it all starts.”
It’s impossible not to be charmed by the two-volume manga, available in English from Blackfriars in hardback and Kindle editions. It’s a story of connection and learning, of a central male relationship that’s not romantic but still deeply emotional, due to the deceased person linking the men’s lives. Although Yaichi is our viewpoint, one supporting characters is a teenage boy scared by his own sexuality, and his story will resonate with many readers his age. Continue Reading
If you were lucky enough to join us this past weekend at MCM London Comic Con, you might have already glimpsed a peek of our Blu-ray Collector's Edition release of Silver Spoon Season 1. Regardless, now that the final product is ready and has landed on our proverbial doorstep, we can now unwrap it and revel in all of its finery! Whether you've already pre-ordered your copy prior to its release next Monday (3rd June 2019) or are still planning to do so, we wanted to give you a proper look at our release of this long-awaited and frankly quite marvellous show from the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist.
First though, let's start with a recap of what the show is all about, before we move on to the real meat of our unboxing.
Original Creator: Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Director (Season 1): Tomohiko Ito (ERASED, Sword Art Online)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Synopsis: “The only reason why Yugo Hachiken decided to attend the Oezo Agricultural High School (a.k.a Ezono) was simply because the school had a dormitory. Entering Ezono was a way for Yugo to run away from the stifling academic pressures in the city, however, it didn’t take long for him to realize that life is not that simple.
Yugo is soon forced to face more hurdles in his new environment surrounded by all the farm animals and the magnificent Mother Nature. He also begins feeling a different kind of pressure as he deals with his classmates who, unlike him, all have a clear view of what they want for their futures. Even so, as Yugo overcomes one challenge after another at Ezono and deepens his bonds with his classmates, he begins to grow stronger both physically and mentally.
This is a coming-of age story filled with sweat, tears, and literally a lot of dirt!”
Here’s a quick trailer for you:
No more horsing around or milking the situation, let's get our first glimpse at this Collector's Edition!
As you can see, following our traditional Collector’s Edition style this first season comes packaged in a rigid case, inside of which is Digipak to house the two BD-50 Blu-ray discs. Additionally, this edition comes complete with a series of five art cards as well as an A3 sized poster!
In terms of what's on those two Blu-rays, across the discs you’ll find the entire first season (totalling 11 episodes), with episodes 1-6 on the first disc and episode 7-11 on the second. It’s worth noting that the entire series was never dubbed into English, so this is a subtitle-only release, in Japanese stereo LPCM audio with English subtitles.
Additionally to the series itself, you also get some promotional videos for the series plus textless opening and ending title sequences as extras across both discs.
Why not order your copy of Silver Spoon Season 1 right now from our very own AllTheAnime.com web shop? You can do so via the link below:
Alternatively, this Collector's Edition can also be found at a number of other retailers, including:
Okay... at last! The part that you're actually here for. Let's get inside that box! (You can can click on the images below to enlarge them to get a better look)
So there you have it - we hope you're as excited to finally be able to own Silver Spoon's first season on Blu-ray as we are to bring you the opportunity! Don't forget, we're the first English-speaking distributor to bring you this series on Blu-ray, so we're sure you'll agree that it's been worth the wait!
Now that the unboxing is done, I can put away my "Big Book O' Farm Puns", and harvest the satisfaction of a job well done.
Until next time, take care!
~ Andy H
By Jonathan Clements.
Maquia weaves at her loom; she dyes the Hibiol cloth; she hangs the sheets to dry in the tall halls of her people, the elfin Iolf race. She’s not as assertive or brave as Leilia, the girl she idolises, but that probably explains why Leilia, not her, has attracted the attention of Clear, a local boy. Maquia watches them in a secret midnight tryst, lit by the firefly-like pollen of magical flowers, and wishes for such a life for herself.
Instead, she is whisked away from everything she holds dear. Dragon-riding bandits attack her village, intent on dragging away the women. Legend has it that Iolf girls never age, making them valuable prizes. But Maquia escapes the fate of her fellow villagers, dragged into the sky on a rogue dragon and dumped in a faraway forest with no friends.
Maquia has been warned about the outside world. There is a price for the Iolf’s immortality, and it is that they are forbidden from finding love in the outside world. Instead, they are supposed to stay at their looms all their lives, weaving the Hibiol (“Cloth of Days”) a fabric that preserves memories. When Maquia finds an orphaned baby, however, she is unable to leave it to die. She takes him into her care, naming him Erial, and tries to raise him herself, initially untroubled by the fact that he will age at a human rate, whereas she never will.
We’ve been here before. This is the forbidden love of The Little Mermaid and the time abyss of the Japanese folktale Urashima Taro. However, Mari Okada’s directorial debut, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms, confounds the expectations of its audience by focussing not on romance, but on a different kind of love. In a throwaway scene on a rainy night, Maquia says the same words to Erial that Andy’s mother says to her grown-up little boy in the tear-jerking Toy Story 3 – “I wish you could stay like this forever.” Continue Reading
By Meghan Ellis.
Do you lie awake at night worrying about the ethics of agricultural practices in the 21st Century? If that doesn’t sound like you, watch Silver Spoon, a slice-of-life anime based on the manga by Hiromu Arakawa of Fullmetal Alchemist fame. Set in rural Hokkaido at Oezo Agricultural High School, you’d be hard pressed to watch the first episode without starting to think about where your food comes from, and how it gets to your plate. On the surface, the battery hens and rotary milkers of Silver Spoon may seem like a far cry from the dangerous world of alchemy and intrigue we know and love from FMA; but swap Ed and Al’s dire consequences for protagonist Hachiken’s difficult choices and it’s a surprisingly similar setting. Continue Reading