Another masterpiece from the powerhouse studio.
» January, 2014
In all forms of media, from anime through to music there are very few artists who you can confidently unwrap the box and know that you’re going to be in for a treat. Even some of the very best artists in the world have released the odd turkey, from Disney through to the Beatles, there’s the odd duffer that could put you off entirely. Fortunately the only turkey from Studio Ghibli has mostly been forgotten and even then, was better than average.
It was great anticipation when I first saw From Up on Poppy Hill at the Brighton Japan Festival a few years ago, in the pre-dubbed, subbed only form. So when the Blu Ray version was released just a few short months ago, I was very interested to see how it managed to compare not only to my memory of seeing a Ghibli film in the cinema – which is always a novelty, but also against the subtitled only version of the film that I had previously seen.
Luckily I was blown away by the quality of the Blu Ray edition of the film and moreso by how much of the film that had been lost to the sands of time. This is not to say that Form Up on Poppy Hill is forgettable, far from it! But that there’s so many twists and turns within the film that I had literally forgotten what the ending was and sat down to watch a film about Japanese highschool children fall in love. Yet, it managed to twist and turn from a highschool romance, into something somewhat political and back again.
Set a year before the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, it’s around a Japan that’s modernising, that’s moving forward into what it deems as the Twentieth Century and leaving the past behind. It’s important to remember that in 1963 there were still a lot of teenage children who were impacted by the war with Korea. Coupled with the entire mantra of modernisation and forgetting about the war crimes of the past, Japan was a country on the up and this is something that’s shown very clearly throughout the entire film. The march for progress, the goal of showing the rest of the world that Japan was a civilised country meant sacrifices – history.
The plot is primarily about a group of school children who are desperately trying to save the “Latin Quarter” where a lot of the school’s club activities take place; the building is in a state and an old wreck. In the ever moving move of progress, the school governor’s had made the decision that the Latin Quarter had to be knocked down and a new building put up in its place. Sounds like a shaky plotline for a movie, but it’s oh so much more than this. The film is really more of a social commentary on the nature of war, humans and relationship on the whole.
We follow Umi Matsuzaki, a studious and attentive young woman, who lost her father too young in the war. Each day she raises a flag to communicate with her father as she has done for many years. This gives her a unique ability as communicating by flag is not something everyone can do. Umi meets Shun Kamaza, who’s a member of the school’s newspaper club and through his antics to desperately save the Latin Quarter, develop a close friendship. Shun, an orphan is able to develop a close bond with Umi and together they try to get as much community support to try and save the clubhouse and through doing this realise that there’s a lot more to their shared past than meets the eye.
It’s very challenging to try and describe this film without giving away the story and it’s something that you should experience first hand. It’s not simply a tale about boy meets girl or the standard anime fare of the after school clubs being the centre of the world, it’s far more than that. It’s a tale of the human spirit and the depths of emotions that we can all feel living in this shared world. It’s the tenacity and unpredictability of humanity that can cause such pain, without ever intending to. This film hasn’t got the supernatural elements that many people associate with Ghibli due to the runaway successes of Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away and the ever loved, My Neighbour Totoro, but as with many of the earlier and equally brilliant Ghibli films, it’s a human tale.
I’ve seen this film in Japanese and in English, on the big screen and in Blu-Ray on the little screen and the dubbing and the subtitles are both top notch. Although some anime fans resent “celebrities” voicing characters on anime tracks, I feel that a good voice actor is a good voice actor. From Up on Poppy Hill is as enjoyable in its native Japanese as it is in English.
It’s not only a sentimental film, it’s also a beautiful one. The animation quality is top notch and it’s something that only imagine would enhance some of the earlier Ghibli films, such as Only Yesterday to new heights. The picture quality and scenery on each background and in particular the detail of the final shot is stunning.
Manga Entertainment have today confirmed that the anticipated release of Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo has unfortunately been delayed in the United Kingdom. This a knock on effect from the delay to the US release and according to Manga is entirely out of their control.
There’s been a fair few Dragon Ball series over the years, but only one of them is currently not available in the UK. Dragon Ball. That’s all about to change now that Manga UK have confirmed the date for the full Dragon Ball series to be released.
Anime Limited have today announced that the director of Patema Inverted, one of the great films on offer at last October’s Scotland Loves Anime, is to be reshown in Scotland in a few weeks time. What makes this even more exciting is that the man in question, Yasuhiro Yoshiura, wll be around in the flesh as part of a Q&A session.
Many of you may already know about this, but for those of you who don’t frequent independent London cinemas, the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, London have recently been doing a “Ghibli Thursday” event, whereby every Thursday, normally in the evenings, they’ve been showing a Ghibli film. Which is always a pleasure.
So the next showing is on the 30th and it’s going to be one of my personal favourites, Howl’s Moving Castle.
The rest of the announced season is as follows:
It’s important to note that these are the subtitled versions of the films, so there’s no English dubs for the purists out there.
For more information, you can visit the Prince Charles Cinema here.
So the past week was fairly dead on the news front. This week will hopefully be very different and to start this off, it’s this weeks anime retail releases. One of them is an old classic and the other is very on trend with dead things…
So, the two shows out this week are:
It’s officially marketed on Amazon.co.uk as:
All eleven episodes from the second series of the Japanese anime that follows the complicated adventures of an everyday schoolboy zombie. In this season, zombie Ayumu Aikawa (voice of Austin Tindle) and his friends must defeat a cute but powerful new enemy. The episodes are: ‘Yes, Thank You for the Encore’, ‘Yes, I’m Now Making a Magical Transformation Again!’, ‘Aah, Farewell to Me’, ‘Yo! That’s Some Friendly You-nity!’, ‘No, Get Lost, Good Sir’, ‘Yes, It Goes Around Every Year’, ‘No Way, We Were Winning!’, ‘Mm-hmm, Teacher Is the Greatest!’, ‘Whoo, a Mixer With Kyoko’, ‘Ah, My Darling Is a Ne’er-Do-Well’, ‘Still, That’s Fine’ and ‘Yes, It Fits My Size’.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s a trailer:
It’s officially marketed on Amazon.co.uk as:
All 34 episodes from the first series of the Japanese anime continuing the adventures of Goku (voice of Masako Nozawa) and his search for the elusive dragon balls. The episodes are: ‘A Devastating Wish’, ‘Pan Blasts Off’, ‘Terror On Imecka’, ‘The Most Wanted List’, ‘Goku Vs. Ledgic’, ‘Like Pulling Teeth’, ‘Trunks, the Bride’, ‘Whisker Power’, ‘Lord Luud’, ‘Dance and Attack’, ‘Lord Luud’s Curse’, ‘The Last Oracle of Luud’, ‘The Man Behind the Curtain’, ‘The Battle Within’, ‘Beginning of the End’, ‘Giru’s Checkered Past’, ‘Pan’s Gambit’, ‘Unexpected Power’, ‘A General Uprising’, ‘The Source of Rilldo’s Power’, ‘A Secret Revealed’, ‘The Baby Secret’, ‘Hidden Danger’, ‘Discovering the Truth’, ‘Baby’s Arrival’, ‘Saiyan Hunting’, ‘The Attack On Vegeta’, ‘A Worldwide Problem’, ‘The Fall of the Saiyans’, ‘The Game After Life’, ‘Collapse from Within’, ‘The Return of Uub’, ‘The Tail’s Tale’ and ‘Back in the Game’.
For those who’ve not seen Dragon Ball GT, here’s the trailer:
So getting back to the good old release schedules. This week’s anime release schedule is on the low side, but then it is only the second full week of anime retail releases for the year and let’s face it, no one has any money at this point in the month after Christmas anyway.
So the two releases this week are…
From our friends over at MVM Films. We’re technically seeing one show released, but on both Blu Ray and standard DVD. The show in question is Nisemonogatari Part 2 and will be available to purchase as of today.
Title: Nisemonogatari Part 2
Formats: Blu Ray and DVD
It’s officially marketed on Amazon.co.uk as:
While Karen Araragi (voice of Eri Kitamura) has recovered after being poisoned, her sister Tsukihi (Yuka Iguchi) faces her own troubles. But people are beginning to grow suspicious of the girls’ supernatural abilities and their brother, Koyomi (Hiroshi Kamiya), does what he can to protect them.
RRP DVD: £19.99
RRP Blu Ray: £24.99
Amazon.co.uk DVD – £12.96 – click here to purchase
Amazon.co.uk Blu Ray – £14.78 – click here to purchase
For those who aren’t sure, here’s an untranslated trailer:
So that’s it for this week. Have you preordered or just bought this show? Let us know in the comments.
Since the advent of legal anime streaming, there’s been a plethora of attempts to try and monetise the solution. One of those attempts is from Japanese streamer, Daisuki.net who have today confirmed that we’ll be getting one of their three announced shows this season.
So the three titles announced are Nisekoi, World Conquest: Zvezda Plot and Buddy Complex. The one that we’re getting – Buddy Complex.
Buddy Complex is essentially another high school mecha show, where a giant robot attacks the city where high school student: Aoba, is saved by a classmate piloting her own giant robot. After accepting an office to be part of an alliance, Aoba is in the middle of robot warfare. The series is created by SUNRISE studios, who brought us Cowboy Bebop, Outlar Star, Code Geass and Escaflowne – so they’ve got pretty good mecha credentials.
With Escaflowne being re-released later this year, viewers will be able to compare how far the genre has moved or if Escaflowne is still outranking a lot of modern shows.
Sailor Moon, good old, Sailor Moon, it’s been around for longer than some of the people reading this very post. As part of a celebration of the shows age, there will be a new anime released as part of the Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Project and it’s now been confirmed for a worldwide streaming release.
Anime Limited announced some of their shows for 2014 broadly a few days ago, but they’ve today confirmed in far more detail some of their shows for this year and also hinted at a Kickstarter project that may cause a lot of interest in the fandom and announced that there’s 17 new licenses to be confirmed this year.
Crunchyroll have today confirmed another new show that’s going to be available for streaming within the next week for UK users and this time it’s coming from the back of the people who did Kite and Megazone 23 Part II.
Yes, it’s a show about wizards that also happen to be lawyers – will it work? That’s for you to decide.
Wizard Barristers – available from 12 January 2014 at 1900 UK time and will be available for free members a week later.
It’s officially marketed as:
Wizard Barristers takes place in the near future of 2018, where wizards and humans live side-by-side in Tokyo. While police continue to protect the rest of society, wizards are tried according to magical laws in special courts defended by wizard barristers. Cecile Sudo has just become the youngest wizard barrister at age 17, and begins work at the Butterfly Law Offices. However, unbeknownst to her, she has tremendous magical potential…
So that’s more than one a day so far for the UK, which is good news; however, there’s a whole host of shows we’ve missed out on so far. Is there anything that you’re hoping they pick up? Let us know.
In the recent past, Manga UK have been holding a series of social media events which they have timed to be around the time of a release of a major movie on DVD and Blu-Ray. The two previously have been Naruto Shippuden The Movie: The Will of Fire, which I’m sure is a big release to some fans and K-ON! The Movie, which is a huge release for lots of people. This time around, they’re planning on doing the watch-a-thon for Wolf Children.
For Manga, a watch-a-thon is essentially everyone live tweeting along whilst they watch the film as a collective, all united by a single #hashtag. Wolf Children may have come out on the 23 December 2013; but Christmas is a challenging time for many people so Manga have scheduled this even on Wednesday, or tomorrow. The 8th Januaruy 2014.
So if you want to participate in this even, you need to be around tomorrow from 1900 (7pm) and get ready to talk about Wolf Children using the hashtag #WolfChildren, with an approximate start time of 1930.
So, are you planning on live tweeting along to this alongside hundreds of fans from across the country? Let us know in the comments or on our own Twitter feed on @NewsAnime and make sure you let @MangaUK know as well!
One of the newer distributors in the United Kingdom, Anime Limited, have today confirmed that there will be seven new titles in the first quarter of 2014 and one of those will be a theatrical release, so some of the indie cinemas in the country may be graced with new anime films.
The seven new titles are:
- Outlaw Star
- Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning the movie
- Garden of Words
- Nerima Daikon Brothers
- Gurren Lagann Collector’s Edition
- A Letter to Momo – theatrical release
Anime Limited have also confirmed that 009 RE:CYBORN as been delayed due to the English dub of the film and the current status is unknown, but being worked on. The Place Promised in Our Early Days and Voices of a Distant Star which was due out in October 2013 has been pushed back again as there are issues with the English language asset for the films and it stuck somewhere else and not with Sentai Filmworks.
They’ve also confirmed that in conjunction with Wakanim.co.uk that Space Dandy! is now out and streaming as of the 6th January at 1530 and is being simulcasted with both a sub and a dub for those who have a preference.
For those that don’t know, Wakanim.co.uk is the latest streaming site in the UK and has deals with Anime Limited to broadcast certain shows. It works as a pay per view model, but with a free trial for certain episodes and shows. If you pay, you can also download the file DRM free, which is where it’s different from everyone else in the anime world at the moment.
You can read their blog post from Anime Limited here.
Today Crunchyroll have announced that they have confirmed another two shows for broadcast in the United Kingdom. This continues on from their announcement yesterday at Oneechan Ga Kita and Magical Warfare will be aired.
Z/X Ignition – available from the 9 Januaruy 2014 at 1750 UK time and will be avaialble to free members a week later.
Officially marketed as:
“In the not-so-distant future, five portals suddenly appeared acting as gateways to alternative worlds. However, these five worlds are actually the same world, but in different timelines. As the situation becomes increasingly dire, the inhabitants of each world will stop at nothing to ensure the survival of their own timeline, even at the expense of the other timelines. The key to survival lies in one card-shaped device…”
Wake Up, Girls! – available from 10 January 2014 at 173 UK time and is currently not be available to free members in the UK.
Officially marketed as:
Wake Up, Girls! takes place in the Sendai, Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region. A tiny production company, Green leaves Entertainment, which once managed the careers of talents such as magicians, models, and other entertainers is now on the verge of going out of business when their last talent quits. In an effort to save the company, the president decides to produce an idol group and sends manager Kouhei Matsuda out to scout raw talent, where he has a fateful encounter with a certain girl…
We now just need to wait and see what else Crunchyroll has up their sleeves…