This Game just got real: NEWS OF THE WEEK, IF NOT THE WHOLE YEAR. Studio 4°C have struck a licensing deal with Netflix to bring several of their properties to said streaming service. Among them: Mind Game, the phenomenal 2004 feature film anime by glorious madman Masaaki Yuasa that I will propagandize for until my dying day because is one of the two or three films that ever made me sob uncontrollably with joy. It is about death and resurrection and transcendence and love and pretty much the whole span of human experience in between to boot. It has more color than any five acid trips. It has a music score by Seiichi Yamamoto of the Boredoms. It has a sequence where a guy outruns a tidal wave by stepping on individual water molecules.
Game has long been #1 on my list of anime titles that a) most deserved a proper release in the West and b) were never likely to get one no thanks to complications far too muddled to run down in detail. DreamWorks SKG apparently held the distribution rights for a time by way of their Go Fish sublabel — the same folks who issued here Satoshi Kon's Millennium Actress and the Casshern live-action movie — but it never came to fruition. The import DVD does have English subs on it, but I am hoping this eventually spurs a Blu-ray release. (Also, a domestic issue of the source material, Robin Nishi's manga, wouldn't be a bad idea either.)
Mind Game will appear September 2. Also to be listed: Tweeny Witches (winner of the Best Show With The Worst Title Award for 2004), Sunao (Black Lagoon, In This Corner of the World) Katabuchi's Princess Arete, and the Genius Party anthologies — items I've been itching to track down and talk about. I'm going to be a busy man. But in the best possible way.
Australia 1, U.S 0: For those peeved about the way Sailor Moon's recent U.S. re-release was sourced from such conspicuously inferior elements, here's something else to give you agita: The planned release for AU/NZ by way of Madman Entertainment will apparently use different masters. Note that does not automatically mean better ones, but it does mean they have that much more of a chance of not looking like something that was upsampled from vintage QuickTime video circa 2002. (It still means anyone not Down Under who wants a copy is most likely going to have to pay dearly for it.)
The other Galaxy Express: Discotek Media, god love them to the end of time, have just dropped word about their forthcoming Blu-ray Disc release of Night on the Galactic Railroad. For those not in the know, Railroad is a gorgeous animated adaptation of a legendary children's story by Kenji Miyazawa (parallels to The Little Prince are not wholly off-base). Expect a discussion of both the film and its source material (available in multiple English translations).
Come on, you don't need to eat this month: Aniplex have whipped the drapes off their latest wallet-busting offering — a domestic edition of the Garden of Sinners movie collection for the LOW, LOW price of ONLY $319.99! (Well, it is seven feature films, and it is Aniplex, and it is around half the price of the import version of the same set. Plus, given that we are not talking about something that sells to millions to begin with, should we really be all that surprised we're being expected to recoup so much of the cost?)
Further recommended reading for the week:
- The Curse of Knowledge in Manga: "... if you’re writing about manga, you might write horribly to people who don’t get whatever you want to say because you think everyone understands manga. You don’t take into account that many fans have stereotypical views about it. If you want to write for more people beyond your circle, you have to tone down your passion a bit, explain concepts in better detail, and start relaying things in terms that’s understandable to them."
- The Deep Influence of the A-Bomb on Anime and Manga
- Anime Insiders Share How Much Producing A Season Costs