Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Blu-ray out today in North America

Studio Ghibli fans in North America have new reason to celebrate today with the release of Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no Haka) on Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks.

Until now, only five Studio Ghibli films were available on Blu-ray in North America, all courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.  An many fans are already aware, Grave of the Fireflies was not one of the titles that Disney acquired the home video distribution rights to following the Disney-Tokuma deal in the late 1990's.  Due to this fact, many fans wondered if the title would ever be released on Blu-ray in North America after the initial release in Japan earlier this year.  The fact that Sentai Filmworks announced a North American Blu-ray release only a few months following the Japanese release was a welcome surprise not only to anime fans, but also fans of the HD format in general.
As reported previously, Sentai Filmworks has included a brand new English dub produced by Seraphim Digital on this release.  The new English voice cast includes Adam Gibbs as Seita, Emily Neves as Setsuko, Shelley Calene-Black as the children's mother, Marcy Bannor as their aunt, and various additional actors whose names will probably be familiar to frequent anime viewers.
As far as picture and sound quality go, the North American Blu-ray release features a 1080p high definition video transfer with the original Japanese audio track and new English dub presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.  The Japanese audio track can be selected with or without subtitles, depending on the viewer's preference.  The original 1998 English dub, as featured on the previous home video releases of the film, is also included as a selectable track. Special features include a Japanese theatrical trailer, storyboards, and deleted scenes storyboards.
An early Blu-ray review is already available from DVDBeaver and the title can be ordered from just in time for the holidays for $19.99.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Nausicaä manga box set out today

Available today in North America from publisher VIZ Media is the brand new, deluxe hardcover box set of Hayao Miyazaki's epic manga masterpiece Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

The manga series, previously available in a seven-volume "Editor's Choice" edition in North America from VIZ Media, was originally written and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki over a period of twelve years. The full series ran in Animage magazine from February 1982 to March 1994, although only the first sixteen chapters were used as the basis for the 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. After the film's release, interest in the manga in Japan increased dramatically, resulting in sales of more than 10 million copies.

The new North American set contains the complete manga series in two deluxe hardcover volumes, packaged inside a decorative slip box. Each volume includes illustrations and text printed in classic sepia-tone as well as an additional eight pages of full-color artwork. An exclusive two-sided fold-out full-color poster is also included, rounding out the set nicely.

The Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind deluxe box set is available on for $34.58.