From the vaults: My essay from a year ago about encountering the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through popular culture.
The best kind of accident: How can you possibly find fault with a headline like this (aside from not being a Ghibli fan)? “Chief of Studio Ghibli International Accidentally Confirms English Dubs for Only Yesterday” — that being one of the few Studio Ghibli films yet to be released in English. I was on the verge of just giving up and ordering a Hong Kong import of the film (sporting English subs), but if the fine folks at GKIDS have picked it up, I'll wait. Somehow I don't see Disney committing to something like this, but I could be wrong.
The next mission: Former Studio Ghibli employees are founding a studio of their own that specializes in traditional, hand-painted background art.
A glimpse into the Corner: The crowdfunded movie adaptation of In This Corner of the World, directed by Sunao Katabuchi (most famous for the TV adaptation of Black Lagoon, but this project is tonally 180° distinct from that one), has a new trailer. This was glimpsed briefly at Otakon during the Studio Mappa panel, but this is an officially released version, and is said to give a good idea of the flavor and look/feel of the film.
Achievement unlocked: Studio 4°C's Kickstarter-funded Red Ash -Magicicada- project cracked its goal of $150,000 and even surpassed it by a bit. I'm not one of those folks who thinks major studios should shun Kickstarter. For one, raising money for any project in any form is hard enough. Two, I'd rather see a studio with a professional track record stick their neck out in this vein, since they clearly know how to put the money to good use. Three, this helps the people who actually care the most about their work — the fans themselves — make it happen.
Chaika. Dubbing. Soon!: Sentai Filmworks has Chaika the Coffin Princess on their to-do list, with English audio to be included. Chaika was one of the more pleasant surprises of the previous year's lineup — nifty concept, enthralling execution, endearing characters, above-average production values, and just enough cute to not be cloying.
But will they have the scene where someone gets a urinal shoved through their chest cavity?: Such are the questions that come to mind when news reaches my ears that a live-action Lychee Light Club is in the works. I came to Usamaru Furuya's manga mostly because of his name on the project; after his excellent adaptation of Osamu Dazai's classic novel No Longer Human, Club felt like a step down into shock for shock's sake, the sort of thing I might have written a defense of ten years ago before I got sick and tired of such things. Still, my curiosity is just high enough to investigate this one further when it's out.
A peek at some new Miike: Insanely prolific and gifted Japanese director Takashi Miike (he who gave us the live-action adaptation of Phoenix Wright) has a new movie coming out: the live-action Terraformars. Only a short teaser so far, but I'm wildly curious to see how Miike the provocateur handles a property that's made more than a few people uncomfortable.