Genkina Hito Previews Japanese Film/Anime Releases in the UK in 2013 Part 1 Anime

Aiko Genki Jason 2013 Preview Banner

2012 was an extraordinarily great year for Japanese film fans in the UK what with the film festivals getting awesome titles like Ai to Makoto and Key of Life as well as Third Window Films releasing a plethora of classic and new titles like the Tetsuo boxed set and Kotoko (which turned out to be a group of very popular posts for this blog) and supporting Sion Sono’s latest releases. That was just on the live-action front because Kaze have shown some gumption in acquiring the rights to the Berserk movie trilogy and even going as far as giving them a theatrical release!

What are the films we should be looking forward to in the next year? Well this is hardly an exhaustive list but I hope to give a heads up as to when some great titles are about to drop!

 Manga Entertainment UK

Wolf Children TransformManga Entertainment UK announced a plethora of awesome titles back in October at the London MCM Expo with The Wolf Children being my highlight. Am I hyped for that? Damn straight because that is an awesome title and was even my film/anime of the year! A definite purchase. I cannot praise this film enough but I will hold back for now and maybe indulge the need when I get the DVD.

The Wolf Children

  

In a story that takes place over thirteen years the theme of love between parents and children is explored. It starts when a college student named Hana falls in love with a “wolf man” named Ō kami. The two marry and have children – Yuki (snow) the older sister and Ame (rain) the younger brother. The four live quietly in a city concealing the true existence of their relationship until an incident happens and Hana decides to move to the country.

Next up in order of coolness is Blood-C.

I loved the original Blood: The Last Vampire and its sequel Blood+. Heck, I went to see the live-action movie and wore my Blood+ t-shirt to the screening, something I rarely do with anime merchandise but I was disappointed with Blood-C and wrote a dismissive review.

Blood-C's SayaIt turns out I was a bit too premature with my criticism but the first few episodes of the TV anime irritated me (and many others, it must be said) with its use of moé tropes/cuteness. Then something happened… The final episode saw enough blood and carnage raining down to make the red sea literal as it tore its face off and revealed a horrific visage of gore-streaked and flesh rending extreme violence.

Can you say “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”?

And yet I still have not watched the series but now I get a chance with the release of Blood-C and its movie sequel Blood-C: The Last Dark. 

 

Fumito Nanahara is an influential politician who rules Tokyo with an iron fist. He has introduced the Youth Ordinance Bill which enforces curfews for the young and regulates the internet. Despite this a group of young people have formed a group named SIRRUT and pan on attacking Fumito. In the course of their research they discover “Tower”, a secret organisation that is backing Fumito and conducts human experimentation. When Sirrut attempt to expose “Tower” in the Tokyo subway mysterious creatures appear. So too does Saya, a young girl who survived the horrific incident in Ukishima Province with a sword that can defeat the Old Ones.
Blood-C The Last Dark Movie PosterOld Ones? Sounds like a case of Lovecraftian horror! If so, I’m there! Blood-C: The Last Dark saw CLAMP (Cardcaptor Sakura) and Production I.G. (Patlabor) join forces with CLAMP handling the story and character designs and Production I.G. staff animating and directing. The cast includes Nana Mizuki (Fate Testarossa in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha) reprising the role of Saya Kisaragi.

Staff from the TV series mostly made a return with Jun’ichi Fujisaku and CLAMP’s Nanase Ohkawa fulfilling writing duties however, the most defining change is that series director Tsutomu Mizushima (Another) is replaced by animator Naoyoshi Shiotani (Tokyo Marble Chocolate) as director.

They are not the only titles getting released by Manga UK. Also seeing a release is Jormungand and Guilty Crown in April, Cat Planet Cuties, Aria and Hellsing Ultimate parts 1 to 8 which Manga Entertainment will release in sets sometime ‘hopefully’ in May. Manga Entertainment are “still negotiating with Kadakowa over the series Steins;Gate, my runner-up anime of the year for 2011, and that it ‘might’ be ready by May or June 2013”.

Continue reading “Genkina Hito Previews Japanese Film/Anime Releases in the UK in 2013 Part 1 Anime”

Manga Entertainment Acquire Wolf Children Rain and Snow for UK Distribution

The London MCM Expo festival is currently under-way and UK anime distributors are announcing their acquisitions and projected release dates. The big news is that Manga Entertainment has announced that they will release THE WOLF CHILDREN in the UK!!! Anime UK News, which I write for ;), broke the news of this announcement and others on Twitter just before I was going to turn my computer off and watch a Japanese slasher film. Here are the details of the upcoming releases:

The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki                                The Wolf Children Poster               

Romaji: Okami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki

Japanese Title: おおかみ こども の 雨 と 雪

Japanese Release Date: 21st July 2012

UK Release Date: 2013

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda

Writer: Mamoru Hosoda, Satoko Okudera

Starring: Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa, Yukito Nishii, Haru Kuroki, Amon Kabe, Momoka Oona, Shota Sometani, Kumiko Aso, Mitsuki Tanimura,

Mamoru Hosoda is frequently called the next “Hayao Miyazaki” and while I loved The Girl Who Leapt Through Time I was left unimpressed by Summer Wars. So unimpressed that I have yet to turn my review notes into a review despite more than a year elapsing since I last watched it… Then I went to the 56th BFI London Film Festival where The Wolf Children was screened and I loved it. I can confirm it is brilliant. So brilliant it is joint number one for my films of the year. For those wanting a bit of the brilliance at home, the film will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray and a theatrical release is also being considered. For some odd reason Ame and Yuki have been dropped from the title making it rather bland. Anyway, here’s the trailer and some more details:

 

A story of love between parents and children that takes place over thirteen starts when a university student named Hana falls in love with Ōkami who is a “wolf man”. The two marry and have children named after the weather on the day they were born – Yuki (snow) the older sister and Ame (rain) the younger brother. The four live quietly in a city concealing the true existence of their relationship until Ōkami dies and Hana decides to move to the country.

Hosoda has been aided with scripting duties by Satoko Okudera who has worked on major anime movies like Summer WarsMiyori’s ForestThe Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and The Princess and the Pilot. Legendary character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, FLCL, Evangelion) is acting as character designer here. Madhouse Studio (Paranoia Agent, Black Lagoon, Millennium Actress, Perfect Blue, Master Keaon, Dennō Coil) is co-producing the animation. The voice actors involved come from the world of live action movies. Hana is voiced by the actress Aoi Miyazaki who starred in Shinji Aoyama’s 2000 film Eureka (she does have experience in anime after voicing Tula in Origin: Spirits of the Past)Ōkami is voiced by Takao Osawa (All About Lily Chou-Chou), Yuki is voiced by Haru Kuroki, and Ame is voiced by Yukito Nishii (Confessions). Other notable names include Momoka Oona (Mitsuko Delivers) who plays an even younger version of Yuki, Amon Kabe(Tada’s Do-it-All House) who plays an even younger version of Ame, Shota Sometani (HimizuSadako 3DIsn’t Anyone live?), Mitsuki Tanimura (13 Assassins), and Kumiko Aso (Pulse).

Continue reading “Manga Entertainment Acquire Wolf Children Rain and Snow for UK Distribution”

Scotland Loves Anime 2012 Line-Up

Scotland Loves Anime LogoScotland Loves Anime announced their line-up of titles and it includes some of the newest anime films to premiere in Japanese cinemas this year. The festival is split up between two locations over two weeks. Glasgow goes first from 12th – 14th October and that is followed up by Edinburgh from the 19th to the 21st October. The films include major titles like The Wolf Children Rain and Snow, Nerawareta Gakuen, Gyo, and the live-action Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. There is also talk of a mystery film which will be shown which sounds intriguing. There are also lectures and other cultural events but the main draw will definitely be the films.

Anyway… the line-ups for both locations look the same and I will detail the films below but here is a quick guide:

Glasgow 12th – 14th October

Afterschool Midnighters

Anime Mirai Project

BERSERK: MOVIE 1 – The Egg of The King

Blood-C The Last Dark

Gyo – Tokyo Fish Attack

K-On! Movie

Ninja Scrolls – HD

Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney
Edinburgh 19th to the 21st October

Afterschool Midnighters

Anime Mirai Project

BERSERK: MOVIE 1 – The Egg of The King

BERSERK MOVIE 2 – THE BATTLE FOR DOLDREY

Blood-C The Last Dark

Nerawareta Gakuen

Ninja Scrolls – HD

Wolf Children

Here is some information on the films:

After School MidnightersAfter School Midnighters Poster

Running Time: 100 mins.

Director: Hitoshi Takekiyo

Writer: Yōichi Komori

Starring: Hiromasa Taguchi (Goth), Haruka Tomatsu (Mako), Kouichi Yamadera (Kunstlijk), Sakiko Uran (Miko), Minako Kotobuki (Mutsuko), Chafurin (Bach), Hiroshi Yanaka (Mozart), Dai Matsumoto (Beethoven), Hozumi Goda (Schubert)

The CGI film After School Midnighters is directed by Hitoshi Takekiyo who was behind the 2007 short which inspired this. It has been submitted for an Oscar in the best animated feature category. It stars the following seiyuu: Hiromasa Taguchi (Father in Kaasan), Haruka Tomatsu (Yunyun in CANAAN, Asuna in Sword Art Online), Minako Kotobuki (Yūko in A-Channel, Hamaji in Fuse: A Gun Girl’s Detective Story) and Kouichi Yamadera (Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop).

 

When midnight arrives a human anatomical model maed Kunstlijk (Yamadera) comes to life in a school science classroom and goes on to have fun with a skeleton named Goth (Taguchi).

  Continue reading “Scotland Loves Anime 2012 Line-Up”

Blood-C: The Last Dark Web Trailer

Film distributor Shochiku began streaming a web trailer for the forthcoming big screen title Blood-C: The Last Dark, the movie that aims to build on the groundwork laid down by my least favourite TV anime of last year Blood-C.

Synopsis

Fumito Nanahara is an influential politician who rules Tokyo with an iron fist. He has introduced the Youth Ordinance Bill which enforces curfews for the young and regulates the internet. Despite this a group of young people have formed a group named SIRRUT and pan on attacking Fumito. In the course of their research they discover “Tower”, a secret organisation that is backing Fumito and conducts human experimentation. When Sirrut attempt to expose “Tower” in the Tokyo subway mysterious creatures appear. So too does Saya, a young girl who survived the horrific incident in Ukishima Province with a sword that can defeat the Old Ones.

While the story does not leave me too enthused the trailer is packed with blood, gore, and monster slaying and looks more like the Blood franchise than the TV series did.

Continue reading “Blood-C: The Last Dark Web Trailer”