30th Leeds International Film Festival 2016 Anime Line-Up Revealed!

2016 marks the 30th year for the Leeds International Film Festival and recently they have announced a whole bunch of films that will be screened across Leeds between 3rd to 17th of November 2016. Alongside these art house and cult titles are also some anime feature films; both new and old are included!

What’s in store? Let’s find out!

leeds-international-film-festival-30

Continue reading “30th Leeds International Film Festival 2016 Anime Line-Up Revealed!”

RETRO ANIME Book Gets a Kickstarter Project

Fans of retro anime may remember that the writer Roberto Bottazzi was interviewed earlier this year about his book RETRO ANIME – The Roots of Japanese Animation, a project where he attempts to list every anime produced in Japan from 1917 to 1969. This ambitious book now has a Kickstarter project launched this week with the ultimate goal of raising £30,000 by November 2nd.

The Kickstarter project aims to get the book in print both digitally and physically by the end of the year, opening up years’ worth of research into classic anime that has been overlooked or forgotten. Money put into the Kickstarter will ensure that a Japanese translator will check through every title listed, the book will be proof-read by a native English speaker and it will be printed in a high quality format. Roberto, the project’s creator, states on the Kickstarter page, “For the very first time in the western world, the whole (and forgotten) compendium of every Japanese animated work produced in the past it is to be released in a full-coloured book! This is not another boring essay, this is a complete and comprehensive index of everything made and produced until 1969, with titles, directors, durations, synopsis and screenshots, plus biographies, analysis and other chapters as well.”

The Kickstarter page states that there is also more information on: 

the origins of Japanese animation

the creation of the animation

directors’ biographies

a list of what’s available to buy on DVD

information about early TV commercials

information about the most important dates and animation companies

information about Toy Films and Paper Films

Backers can expect rewards such as an Astroboy keychain, bookmarks, and rare pins designed by the world-famous illustrator Ryohei Yanagihara (Uncle Torys). At the time of writing, the project has £150 with 28 days left to go. To find out more head to these links:

Link to the Kickstarter Project

Link to the Interview

This News Article was written by Genkinahito

Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. is the Highest Grossing Film for 2016 in Japan!

It’s official! Your Name (Kimi no Na wa.), the latest film from director Makoto Shinkai, has now become the highest grossing film for 2016 in Japan alone. The film has not only surpassed Kyoto Animation’s latest film A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi) but also Hideaki Anno’s Shin Godzilla (Shin Gojira), the latest live-action film in the Godzilla franchise.

Continue reading “Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. is the Highest Grossing Film for 2016 in Japan!”

Scotland Loves Anime 2016 Line-up Announced! Includes A Silent Voice, Kizumonogatari & More!

In a months time the next Scotland Loves Anime festival will commence and now the full line-up of titles have been revealed for Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Edinburgh is 17th-23rd October and Glasgow is 14th-16th October.

The 2016 line-up includes a couple Manga UK favourites plus many premieres for recently released films from this year!

Scotland Loves Anime 2016

Continue reading “Scotland Loves Anime 2016 Line-up Announced! Includes A Silent Voice, Kizumonogatari & More!”

BFI London Film Festival to screen Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name. in competition

Over the past few weeks it was discovered that the new film from director Makoto Shinkai will be screened at a number of theaters throughout the United Kingdom. No one knew who it was that was offering this but today some special news has appeared.

Makoto Shinkai’s newest film Your Name., also known as Kimi no Na wa., has been approved by the British Film Institute to take part in the film festival’s 60th competition in London. This will be the first Japanese animated film ever to take part in this competition.

In addition the distributor Anime Limited have acquired the theatrical rights to the film, and was responsible for providing the cinema screenings across the country. The film will be screened across numerous cinemas nationwide on 24th November, making the UK one of the first countries outside Japan to release the film in theaters. We’ll have the full list of cinemas screening the film below.

The BFI London Film Festival dates that the film will be screening at are:

Embankment Garden Cinema – 6pm on Friday 14th October
Embankment Garden Cinema – 12pm on Saturday 15th October
Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2 – 6:15pm on Sunday 16th October

The tickets for all three cinema screenings will be made available on 15th September at 10am via the BFI London’s official website.

The film’s plot synopsis:

Your Name is the story of a teenage boy and girl who have
never met, but who start to magically swap minds and live
each other’s lives. Mitsuha, a teenage girl student, lives in a
small mountain town, but longs for the bright lights of Tokyo far away. Then she is astonished to wake one morning in the body of Taki, a teenage Tokyo schoolboy – who in turn wakes up in Mitsuha’s body!

Switching back and forth between two lives, locations and
genders, Mitsuha and Taki must cope with their fantastic
shared situation. At first they are outraged and mortified by
what’s happening, but soon they start enjoying their double
lives, though they never meet directly. Eventually, though,
one of the youngsters will learn the devastating truth behind what’s happening…

Your Name 2

Your Name. was first screened at Anime Expo 2016 in North America back in July followed by Japan’s first theatrical release in August. Your Name. has also topped the Japanese box office charts, earning 1,277,960,000 Yen (about £932,000) in three days since opening plus selling over 688,000 tickets. The film’s original novel has also topped the sales as well as the original soundtrack from Japanese rock band RADWIMPS on the Oricon weekly album chart.

Staff and cast for the film also includes Animation Director Masashi Ando (Spirited Away, When Marnie Was There), Character Designer Masayoshi Tanaka (The Anthem of the Heart), Actor Ryonosuke Kamiki (Summer Wars) voicing the main male character Taki, and Actress Mone Kamishiraishi (live-action Chihayafuru films) voicing the main female character Mitsuha Miyamizu.

Makoto Shinkai is known for his directorial works on Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices (released in the UK as Journey to Agartha) and The Garden of Words in addition to a number of short films including She and Her Cat and Cross Road. The director was also involved with the popular ef ~ A Fairy Tale of the Two franchise.

Anime Limited will soon be releasing the director’s first two films (Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days) on Blu-ray later this year, and have already released his previous instalment The Garden of Words on Blu-ray also. Manga Entertainment have released 5 Centimeters per Second on DVD and Kaze UK have released Journey to Agartha on Blu-ray.

The cinemas that Your Name. will be made available on 24th November are as follows:

Showcase Cinemas
Bluewater Cinema de Lux
Bristol Avonmeads
Bristol Cinema de Lux
Cardiff Nantgarw
Coventry
Derby Cinema de Lux
Dudley
Glasgow
Leeds Cinema de Lux
Leicester Cinema de Lux
Liverpool
Manchester
Newham
Nottingham Cinema de Lux
Paisley
Peterborough
Reading Cinema de Lux
Teeside
Walsall

Vue Cinemas
Basingstoke Festival Place
Cambridge
Cheshire Oaks
Croydon Grant’s
Exeter
Finchley Road (O2 Centre)
Gateshead Trinity Square
Hull Princes Quay
Inverness
Islington
London – Finchley Road (O2 Centre)
London – Islington
London – Wood Green
Manchester Lowry
Northampton
Norwich
Plymouth
Portsmouth
Sheffield
Stirling
Swansea
Westfield Stratford City
Wood Green
York

KOTATSU JAPANESE ANIMATION FESTIVAL 2016

KOTATSU JAPANESE ANIMATION FESTIVAL 2016

Chapter – 24th & 25th September 2016

Box Office: +44 (0)29 2030 4400 email: enquiry@chapter.org

 Aberystwyth Arts Centre – 15th October 2016

Box Office: 01970 62 32 32 email: artstaff@aber.ac.uk

The Largest Festival of Japanese Animation in Wales Announces Dates, Locations and Select Confirmed Films for 6th Annual Instalment

The Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival returns to Wales for its sixth year. Events kick off in Cardiff at Chapter Arts on September 24th before moving to Aberystwyth. Audiences at each venue will be able to enjoy a programme made up of the latest and very best in anime both mainstream and independent as well as a plethora of cultural activities related to Japan. This year’s line-up of films proves once again that Japan is the home to some of the best animation in the world and Japanese artists continue to make daring and experimental works that go beyond 3D CGI Hollywood movies.

Anthem of the Heart Image 1

With two venues holding the event there are different programmes available. This one covers Chapter Arts which takes place over two days and features workshops, musical performances and a marketplace.

Saturday 24th

10:30 AM Miss Hokusai

Japan/2015/90 mins/PG. Dir: Keiichi Hara. With Anne Watanabe, Yutaka Matsushige, Shion Shimizu.

 There are several feature films announced so far with Keiichi Hara (Colorful) providing the festival with a strong opening film, Miss Hokusai, an award-winning anime that has featured at many international film festivals. Audiences will be treated to great historical accuracy as they are taken back to 19th Century Japan to get a glimpse of the life of the daughter of Katsushika Hokusai as she trains to be an artist and experiences life in a gorgeously recreated historical setting.

Miss Hokusai Image 1

O-Ei is the third daughter of Katsushika Hokusai, the most sought after artist in Japan and the man who would inspire the French Impressionists. O-Ei helps her father with his art and very often she paints instead of him when not making art of her own. This is the untold story of O-Ei, a free-spirited woman overshadowed by her larger-than-life father, who tries to perfect her own art in Edo period Japan, a place which is teeming with peasants, samurai, merchants, nobles, artists, courtesans, and perhaps even supernatural things.

 12:50 The Murder Case of Hana & Alice  

Japan/2014/110 mins/PG. Dir: Shunji Iwai. With: Yu Aoi, Anne Suzuki, Ryou Kazuji.

The next film is a thoroughly contemporary tale of two girls bonding over the world’s smallest murder case. Newly arrived in small-town suburbia with her divorced mother, school girl Tetsuko Arisugawa (‘Alice’ for short) finds herself the victim of bullying by her classmates and seeks solace through dance. She soon learns of an urban myth about a mysteriously vanished former student called Yuda (Japanese for ‘Judas’) who was allegedly murdered by four of his classmates. Hana, a reclusive girl who lives in a house next door, seems to hold the key to the mystery, and together the pair soon embark on a wild and unpredictable series of suburban escapades.

The Case of Hana and Alice Image 1

The Murder Case of Hana and Alice is the prequel movie to the much beloved coming-of-age live-action drama Hana and Alice. Written and directed by Shunji Iwai, one of the most gifted directors working in contemporary Japanese cinema, this animated film was shot with the original actors but with rotoscoping utilised to ensure that movements and looks are fluid and original which makes the comedy and the touching relationship between the two titular girls feel so lifelike and charming.

A children’s workshop run by the artist Asuka Bochenska Tanaka which is dedicated to teaching the art of drawing manga will take place allowing kids the chance to create their own comic books and get closer to the art form they love.

 17:30 Music

Japanese musician Kina Miyamoto will play a special concert combining a special short film and her piano composition.

18:20 Genius Party

Japan/2007/124 mins/PG/Dir: Shoji Kawamori, Shinichiro Watanabe, Masaaki Yuasa. With: Rinko Kikuchi, Tomoko Kaneda, Yuya Yagira.

Genius Party is a diverse anthology of visually spectacular films from some of the leading names in contemporary Japanese animation like Masaaki Yuasa (Ping-Pong: The Animation, The Tatami Galaxy) and Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo). With multiple talents with strong visions and tales as diverse as a girl who summons a boy to her dimension making her own explode, the existential drama of a salaryman trapped in an endless cycle of work, and a boy who finds a device who can make his own drawings come to life just in time for an alien invasion.

Genius Party Image 1

There will be a number of short films from independent and student animators that will showcase the inventiveness and originality that thrive in Japan. Oldman and Youngman, SPOON, I Wanna be Your Friend will be screened around the film Genius Party which is itself an anthology film made up of many shorts from creative talents.

20:50 Psycho-Pass The Movie

Japan/2015/120 mins/15/Dir: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Naoyoshi Shiotani. With: Kana Hanazawa, Ayane Sakura, Tomokazu Seki.

The first day ends with Psycho-Pass the Movie, directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro and Naoyoshi Shiotani and animated by Production I.G. It is the continuation of their massively popular sci-fi tale of a world where people are highly regulated by a computer system which constantly monitors their psychological states. Expect great action and heavy philosophising in the vein of Philip K. Dick in this exciting sci-fi action tale.

Psycho Pass Image 1

The year is 2116 and Japan has become the safest country on the planet due to the Sibyl System, technology which monitors the mental stability of every citizen who is registered. The Japanese government wants to export the Sibyl System throughout the world but terrorists slip into Japan to halt these plans and attack from within. Akane Tsunemori, a leading police officer must stop the violence before it topples the country. 

Sunday 25th

11:00 Anthem of the Heart

Japan/2016/119 mins/PG. Dir: Tatsuyuki Nagai. With: Inori Minase, Kouki Uchiyama, Sora Amamiya.

The second day begins with Anthem of the Heart, a touching drama directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and written by Mari Okada, two people who specialise in dramas. In this sensitively crafted tale a young girl named Jun must overcome a childhood trauma that has literally locked away her voice and work together with fellow students to make a school play. Things will be difficult since each student has problems of their own but perhaps these difficulties will aid Jun in growing as a person. Audiences get to watch what happens in this movingly told and beautiful-looking film which has charmed many people worldwide.

Anthem of the Heart Image 2

Jun was once a happy girl but her family broke up after she carelessly uttered some words and she believed she was to blame. After that incident the ‘egg fairy’ appeared in front of her and sealed away her ability to talk in order to stop her from hurting anybody else. Since this traumatic experience, Jun only communicates through e-mail messages on her phone. She has reached the second year of high school like this but things change when Jun is appointed to play the main lead in a musical whose cast all suffer emotional trauma like Jun. Friendship creates bonds and Jun may find her voice again.

The artist Asuka Bochenska Tanaka will run a workshop dedicated to teaching the art of drawing manga to children. This will allow kids the chance to create their own comic books and get closer to one of the art forms they love.

The festival then ends with a one-two punch from two of the sci-fi infused tales of Project Itoh. Empire of Corpses and Harmony form two-thirds of an ambitious triptych of novels that the writer Satoshi Itoh crafted just before his tragic death at the age of 34 due to cancer, something that informed his writing. 

15:15 Harmony

Japan/2015/120 mins/12a. Dir: Michael Arias, Takashi Nakamura. With: Miyuki Sawashiro, Akio Ohtsuka, Reina Ueda.

Following a massive nuclear war humanity has rebuilt itself and utopia has finally been achieved thanks to medical nanotechnology and government surveillance but this perfect world of totalitarian kindness and super-medicine has its enemies. Tuan Kirie once tried to commit suicide to escape this new society but now she is a disaffected agent for the World Health Organization trying to escape her doubts through work but she is forced to face her past as she tracks a terrorist who may be a friend who she thought was dead. With deep philosophical themes and gorgeous imagery there is plenty for audiences to analyse and enjoy.

Harmony Image 1

17:45 Empire of Corpses

Japan/2015/120 mins/15/Dir: Ryuotarou Makihara. With Yoshimasa Hosoya, Akio Ohtsuka, Kana Hanazawa.

It is the 19th Century and “corpse reanimation technology” has revolutionised the British Empire but trouble is brewing as foreign empires seek to surpass this science. Brilliant medical student John Watson is recruited by the British government to search for the legendary writings of Victor Frankenstein which allegedly detail the technology behind a more sophisticated reanimated corpse – the original – that could speak and even had free will. Accompanied by Friday, a corpse which records all his activities, Watson will go on a globe-trotting mission, fighting foreign agents for those papers.

Empire of Corpses Image 1

Empire of Corpses is a rip-roaring alternate history adventure made up of equal parts horror and action, this is a fine ending to a festival with many different contrasting stories and styles.

Running alongside the film screenings are a series of Japanese-themed events such as a special music performance and a Japanese market place which sells things such as food, model kits, video games and manga. Just before the final film screening the results of the annual raffle will be announced with prizes such as film flyers signed by Michihiko Suwa, the producer of the extremely popular Detective Conan anime series, on offer.

For further information contact:
info@kotatsufestival.com

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Akira returns to UK Cinema for Manga UK’s 25th Anniversary this September

Earlier this month we reported that Akira would be given another release that included the Blu-ray, DVD, a digital copy and tons more content. And just recently Manga Entertainment have announced plans to bring Akira back to the UK cinemas to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary.

Akira Movie Poster 2016

Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark cyberpunk classic obliterated the boundaries of Japanese animation and forced the world to look into the future. Akira’s arrival shattered traditional thinking, creating space for movies like The Matrix to be dreamed into brutal reality. Neo-Tokyo, 2019. The city is being rebuilt post World War III when two high school drop outs, Kaneda and Tetsuo stumble across a secret government project to develop a new weapon – telekinetic humans. After Tetsuo is captured by the military and experimented on, he gains psychic abilities and learns about the existence of the project’s most powerful subject, Akira. Both dangerous and destructive, Kaneda must take it upon himself to stop both Tetsuo and Akira before things get out of control and the city is destroyed once again.

The film will be screened nationwide with over 70 screens selected for a limited run on 21st September 2016. Manga notes this is the widest UK theatrical release of the film since its original run many years ago.

Andrew Hewson, Marketing Manager
“Iconic and game-changing, Akira is the definitive anime classic which even after decades since its initial release still holds up as one of the most thrilling and visceral films you will ever see! In celebration of Manga’s 25th anniversary we will be re-releasing Akira in cinemas this September on over 70 screens across the UK. Not only that, in November we will be releasing a collector’s edition triple play – DVD, Blu-ray and digital copy housed in a rigid box, containing both English dubs as well as brand new artwork. This is an absolute must for any Akira fan!”

Here’s a list of all the cinemas taking part. You can also view a map on the Akira UK website to find your nearest cinema that will be showing the film:

Aberdeen Union Square Cineworld
Basingstoke Festival Place Vue
Bath PictureHouse
Belfast Odyssey Independent
Birmingham Broad Street Cineworld
Birmingham Electric Independent
Birmingham, Star City Vue
Bluewater Showcase CDL
Brighton Komedia PictureHouse
Bristol Showcase
Bristol Showcase CDL
Cambridge PictureHouse
Cambridge Vue
Cardiff Showcase
Cheshire Oaks Vue
Coventry Showcase
Crawley Cineworld
Derby Showcase CDL
Dublin Cineworld
Dudley Showcase
Dundee DCA Independent
Edinburgh Cineworld
Edinburgh Cameo PictureHouse
Enfield Cineworld
Exeter PictureHouse
Exeter Vue
Gateshead Vue
Glasgow East (Out of Town) Showcase
Glasgow Renfrew Street (Central) Cineworld
Hull Vue
Inverness Vue
Lancaster Dukes Independent
Leeds Showcase CDL
Leeds Hyde Park Independent
Leicester Showcase CDL
Liverpool Showcase
Liverpool, FACT PictureHouse
London Central, Central PictureHouse
London Central, Prince Charles Independent
London East, Hackney PictureHouse
London East, Newham Showcase
London East, Stratford East PictureHouse
London East, West India Quay Cineworld
London East, Westfield Stratford Vue
London North, Crouch End PictureHouse
London North, Finchley Road Vue
London North, Islington Vue
London North, Wood Green Vue
London South, Croydon Grants Vue
London South, Ritzy PictureHouse
London South, Wandsworth Cineworld
London West, Westfield Vue
Manchester Showcase
Manchester Red Vue
Milton Keynes Cineworld
Northampton Vue
Norwich PictureHouse
Norwich Vue
Nottingham Showcase CDL
Oxford PictureHouse
Oxford Vue
Paisley Showcase
Peterborough Showcase
Plymouth Vue
Portsmouth Vue
Portsmouth No. 6 Independent
Reading Showcase CDL
Sheffield Cineworld
Sheffield Vue
Southampton PictureHouse
Stirling Vue
Swansea Vue
Teeside Showcase
Walsall Showcase
Watford Vue
York PictureHouse
York Vue

If you can’t visit these locations, the film is also available on Blu-ray and DVD. The new collector’s edition release will be available on the 28th of November.

MVM to release Berserk 1997, Chobits and Ergo Proxy on Blu-ray to the UK this Q4 2016!

MVM Entertainment have gone to social media to announce their latest updates on their release slates. Their Q4 line-up has been rather quiet until now so it’s time for them to unveil what they have in store!

Back at MCM Comic Con London in May, MVM Entertainment already revealed they had plans to release Chobits on Blu-ray along with a couple others (Serial Experiments Lain, Tenchi Muyo! OVA Collection) but now they have two more titles joining the Blu-ray upgrade as well as release dates!

Chobits 1

Starting off with Chobits, the 26 episode TV series will be released as a complete series collection set for SRP £39.99 on 10th October 2016 with English & Japanese audio (with English subs). You can also stream the series on Funimation Now if you like.

Chobits Plot Synposis
A country boy from Hokkaido, Hideki arrives in the big city (Tokyo) to go to college. Instantly, he is shocked and amazed by the variety and prevalence of Persocoms: personal computers designed to look and act like animals or even people! Too poor to afford one of his own, Hideki is overjoyed to discover a discarded Persocom in a trash heap. However, this gift of fate turns into a mystery as his Persocom, Chi, appears to be able to operate without her OS… How real is real?

Berserk

Next up we have the classic 1997 anime adaptation of Berserk. The 25 episode TV series will be released as a complete series collection set for SRP £49.99 on November 21st 2016 with English & Japanese audio (with English subs). The franchise has already received numerous anime adaptations including a 2012-2013 movie trilogy (already released by Kaze UK) and the recent 2016 adaptation that’s available on Crunchyroll (with a future UK home release planned by Universal Pictures).

Berserk Plot Synposis
In the castle of Midland, a new king has come to power through treachery and violence. His demonic agents terrorize the citizens relentlessly, until the night when a battle weary soldier known as the Black Swordsman come to destroy them. However, his true motives and unrelenting grudge against the king are buried in the past – when a young mercenary named Guts joined the charismatic, graceful, and deadly Griffith and the Band of the Hawk.

Ergo Proxy

And finally we have the cult classic Ergo Proxy. The 23 episode TV series will be released as a complete series collection set for SRP £49.99 on December 12th 2016 with English & Japanese audio (with English subs).

Ergo Proxy Plot Synposis
The domed city of Romd is an impenetrable would-be utopia where humans and robots coexist, and everything is under complete government control – or so it appears. While working on a mysterious murder case, Re-l Mayer, a female detective from the Civilian Intelligence Office, receives a foreboding message that something is going to “awaken.” That night, she’s attacked by a deformed super-being.

All three TV shows MVM are putting out have already been released on DVD. Berserk and Ergo Proxy have been given HD Native remasters in Japan whereas Chobits is an upscale from Funimation. Images above for Chobits and Ergo Proxy are cover arts of the Japanese Blu-ray Disc Boxes and not the final MVM covers.

 

Manga UK to bring the Pokemon films and Transformers: The Movie on Blu-ray to the UK

Last month we reported that Manga Animatsu will be releasing Digimon Tri and a couple other titles to the UK this Q4. And it turns out that they also have a couple more surprises left in store!

It’s been a long time since Pokémon has been handled for home release properly here in the UK, and now Manga Entertainment UK were pleased to announce the return of this beloved anime franchise with the announcement of their acquisitions for four of the Pokémon films released so far. These four films are Pokémon: The First Movie, Pokémon 2000, Pokémon 3 and Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.

Marketing Manager Andrew Hewson had this to say:

“We are incredibly proud and excited to announce the release of the first three Pokémon movies on limited edition Blu-ray steelbook. We pride ourselves on being the home of classic and perennial franchises and this is a great addition to the family. With the success of Pokémon Go this is the perfect time to be releasing the movies, especially as this is the first time fans can get them on Blu-ray!”

Pokemon Movies 1-3 collection

That’s right, the first three films (Pokémon: The First Movie, Pokémon 2000 & Pokémon 3) will be coming to the UK as a trilogy set; in standard DVD and as a limited edition Blu-ray steelbook on November 14th 2016. Details are unknown on whether the Blu-ray version is based on the Viz Media US masters or the Beyond Entertainment Australian masters given the audio is a tad different between the two, but regardless we are getting the first three films in HD with English audio only. These films did receive a UK release before under Warner Bros but they have since been out of print for a very long time.

Pokemon Movie 1

Pokémon: The First Movie
The adventure explodes into action with the debut of Mewtwo, a bio-engineered Pokémon created from the DNA of Mew, the rarest of all Pokémon. After escaping from the lab where it was created, Mewtwo is determined to prove its own superiority. It lures a number of talented Trainers into a Pokémon battle like never before—and of course, Ash and his friends are happy to accept the challenge!

Ash’s excitement turns to fear and anger when Mewtwo reveals its plan for domination, creating powerful clones of our heroes’ Pokémon so it can even the “imbalance” between Pokémon and their Trainers. Despite Ash’s protests, Mewtwo refuses to believe that Pokémon and people can be friends. But faced with the determination and loyalty of a young Trainer, Mewtwo just might have to reconsider…especially when pitted against the power of the mysterious Mew!

Pokemon Movie 2

Pokémon: The Movie 2000
In the Orange Islands far south of Kanto, a Trainer named Lawrence is on a sinister quest: catching the Legendary Pokémon Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres in an attempt to awaken Lugia, guardian of the sea! When Ash and friends arrive, the islanders ask him to gather three elemental orbs from different islands. As the weather across the world goes out of control, it becomes clear that the capture of the Legendary trio has thrown the environment out of balance! With Lugia’s help, can Ash find the orbs, restore the balance, and be the “chosen one” that everyone turns to?

Pokemon Movie 3

Pokémon 3: The Movie
A crystal catastrophe is unleased upon Greenfield, and Ash, Pikachu, and friends must figure out how to undo the damage to the once-beautiful town. But the unthinkable happens when Ash’s mother is kidnapped by the powerful Entei, a Pokémon thought to have existed only in legend. Now Ash must go to her rescue, uncertain of what he’ll uncover when he unlocks the real secret power behind the unbelievable turn of events: a young girl whose dream world is being turned into a nightmarish reality by the mysterious and unstoppable Unown!

Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages is one of the latest films released in the franchise for the past few years and will be available on its own for Blu-ray and DVD separately with English audio only. The release will be put out first on October 24th.

Pokemon Movie Hoopa

Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages
In a desert city by the sea, Ash, Pikachu, and their friends meet the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa, who can summon all sorts of things—including people and Pokémon—through its magic rings. The little Mischief Pokémon likes to use this talent to play harmless tricks on people…but when its true power is released, it loses control and becomes the towering and terriying Hoopa Unbound! Long ago, a brave hero stopped its rampage by confining its power in a special bottle. Now that the bottle has been rediscovered, Hoopa must confront its greatest fear! Can Ash help his new friend overcome the darkness within—or will this dangerous struggle erupt into a clash of legends?

Pokemon isn’t the only thing that Manga Entertainment have to offer this Q4! To the surprise of many, the distributor is pleased to bring the classic 1986 film Transformers: The Movie to the UK for its 30th anniversary on December 12th! The movie is technically classified as an anime because of Toei Animation’s involvement but nevertheless the movie will be available on Blu-ray in a special limited edition steelbook!

The Transformers Movie

The Blu-ray release will feature the newly remastered movie from a new 4K transfer of original film elements in wide-screen and full-frame plus a digital copy of the movie and a ton of special bonus content including:

  • ‘Til All Are One – A brand-new, comprehensive documentary looking back at TRANSFORMERS: The Movie with members of the cast and crew, including story consultant Flint Dille, cast members Gregg Berger, Neil Ross, Dan Gilvezan, singer/songwriter Stan Bush, composer Vince Dicola and others!
  • Audio Commentary with Director Nelson Shin, story consultant Flint Dille and star Susan Blu
  • Featurettes
  • Animated Storyboards
  • Trailers and TV Spots

Transformers: The Movie
The AUTOBOTS, led by the heroic OPTIMUS PRIME, prepare to make a daring attempt to retake their planet from the evil forces of MEGATRON and the DECEPTICONS. Unknown to both sides, a menacing force is heading their way – UNICRON. The only hope of stopping UNICRON lies within the Matrix of Leadership and the AUTOBOT who can rise up and use its power to light their darkest hour. Will the AUTOBOTS be able to save their native planet from destruction or will the DECEPTICONS reign supreme?

TRANSFORMERS – THE MOVIE is co-produced and directed by Nelson Shin; produced by Joe Bacal and Tom Griffin; supervising producer, Jay Bacal; executive producers, Margaret Loesch and Lee Gunther; music score by Vince Dicola and Ed Fruge.

Also included in the Q4 line-up is a special re-release of the classic Akira film, one of Manga Entertainment’s best selling anime in their catalogue. The film was released on Blu-ray once a couple years back, but now it’ll be available once again with the updated contents that both Funimation and Madman had put out not too long ago.

Akira

Akira: The Collectors Edition will include the Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy of the movie in a special rigid box full of artcards, a reversible in-lay and a classic movie poster with a ton of new on-disc content. The most notable inclusion is there are now two English audio options; the iconic 2001 Pioneer/Animaze dub that many of us know of, and the original 1988 Streamline dub which was never included in any of the Manga UK releases. The original Japanese audio with English subtitles is also included so nothing is left out.

Bonus on-disc content includes the Akira Sound Clip (1988), Music for Akira, Director Interview (subtitled), Storyboard Collection, The Writing on the Wall, Original Trailers (subtitled), Original Commercials (subtitled), Restoring Akira, Glossary, U.S. 2013 Trailer, Trailers.

This new re-release will be available on the 28th of November. The standard edition Blu-ray and DVD sets are still available if you wish to acquire those instead.

You can pre-order the Pokémon Movies 1-3 collection, Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, Transformers: The Movie and Akira: The Collectors Edition over on Amazon UK and many other online retailers.

Anime Limited announce Escaflowne Ultimate Edition details & more at MCM Manchester 2016

This weekend saw the arrival of MCM Manchester Comic Con. While Manga Animatsu made their own announcements through social media and various Amazon UK leaks, Anime Limited’s president Andrew Partridge provided a panel for the Saturday event with a couple new announcements and details to share with everyone.

Ouran High School Host Club

Starting with the new additions to the catalogue, we have Ouran High School Host Club which will once again come back in print for the UK. Manga UK once released this series on DVD but has since gone out of print due to the Funimation deal expiring (same also happened with a couple other titles like Baccano!, Claymore and Eden of the East; all of which Anime Limited have licensed for Blu-ray). Ouran High School Host Club is currently scheduled for release this November as a Collector’s Edition with both the English dub and Japanese audio with English subtitles. You can check out the show for legal streaming over on FunimationNow.

Pigtails

The other new announcements are a bunch of Production I.G. shorts. The main one in particular that was focused the most was the 2015 film Pigtails (Mitsuami no Kamisama), based on the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The film is directed by Itazu Yoshimi who was also Chief Animation Director for Miss Hokusai (another Production I.G. title and Anime Limited license). In addition to Pigtails, Andrew Partridge announced they are planning to release a collection of Production I.G. shorts in one set. These include the Mind Game and Ping Pong director Masaaki Yuasa’s successful kickstarter title Kick Heart, the Anime Mirai shorts (so far it seems to be Tansuwarashi and Wasurenagumo), as well as Oval x Over which has yet to be shown outside Japan. No release date details as of late but Andrew is working on including some of these for Scotland Loves Anime 2016.

In terms of new details on existing Anime Limited products, Andrew Partridge has unveiled the final product for the long-awaited release for The Vision of Escaflowne Ultimate Edition.

Escaflowne UE 2

The Ultimate Edition will include the complete series and the movie on Blu-ray. The TV series was known to feature extended footage for the earlier episodes but thanks to the support of Justin Sevakis they have created an authoring that will allow fans to watch the series with both broadcast style for the Bandai Entertainment English dub and the original for the Japanese audio and Funimation’s new English dub. That way fans of the old dub and those who want the new footage can experience both without any issues. The on-disc extras share the same as Funimation’s upcoming release with Textless Opening & Endings, Music Videos, Video Game Cutscenes, Club Escaflowne Interviews as well as Trailers, Anime Expo 2000 and a special program for the Escaflowne Movie.

The Ultimate Edition exclusives include a 144 page artbook (compared to Funimation’s 40 page hardcover version), 3 soundtrack CDs from composer Yoko Kanno (who also worked on Cowboy Bebop and Terror in Resonance) and 3 Collector’s Edition style sets with digipacks to hold the discs; one for the TV series, one for the movie and another for the CDs. The suggested retail price will be £149.99 with an early bird deal for £90 until the end of August exclusively over on Shop All the Anime. The release date is currently slated for December 2016. You can pre-order the set over on Shop All the Anime. The TV series is also available to stream for free on Viewster in Japanese with English subtitles.

During the rest of the panel Andrew Partridge discussed about how Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 was quite the effort to work on for its Ultimate Edition release, citing Square Enix being pretty difficult to work with and the fact that 60% of the stock has been sold through pre-orders already (remember this release is 970 units only currently at £149.99 and soon to be higher near its release). Andrew noted that the artbook included with the Ultimate Edition is “the biggest we’ve ever done”.

Andrew also talked about trying to include the soundtrack CD for Death Parade‘s upcoming Ultimate Edition release. He notes that it may or may not happen depending on licensing approvals. And Prison School may end up being given the Funimation UK treatment if there’s no assets to make a collector’s edition release but at the moment they are currently awaiting the materials to see what they can do. And finally they pointed out that ADV titles are pretty difficult to acquire.