By the end of the year, animation fans in Japan will be able to add two more classic animated masterpieces from Studio Ghibli to their Blu-ray collections.
Hayao Miyazaki's 1989 heartwarming classic Kiki's Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyūbin) and Isao Takahata's 1991 gentle drama Only Yesterday (Omoide Poro Poro) are scheduled to make their Blu-ray debut in Japan on December 5, 2012.
Although we can probably expect a Kiki's Delivery Service Blu-ray release from Disney in the not-so-distance future, seeing Only Yesterday in high definition might be a little trickier if you live in North America. The film is one of only two Studio Ghibli titles to have never been dubbed in English or released on home video in North America, the other being the 1993 television movie Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru), directed by Tomomi Mochizuki. It wasn't until last year that these films had a proper North American debut, premiering theatrically for the first time in the United States at the IFC Center's Studio Ghibli Retrospective, an event made possible after GKIDS acquired theatrical distribution rights to Studio Ghibli's back catalog from Disney in 2011.
GKIDS is set to handle both theatrical and home video distribution of Gorō Miyazaki's From Up on Poppy Hill in 2013, so there may be the slightest possibility that they will do what Disney never did and finally release Only Yesterday on home video in North America. Until then, the best option may be to import Only Yesterday if you wish to have a complete Studio Ghibli Blu-ray collection anytime soon.