After the Jin-Roh announcements from Bandai (see this previous Anime News Update) it did not seem as if things could get much better for this years anime releases in terms of features on an R1 DVD. Leave it to Bandai then to come along and equal those previous announcements, and to better our expectations of them for this year! Stateside Bandai are currently gearing up for a Limited Theatrical Release of Escaflowne the movie which will see its first public showings on the 25th January. A Quicktime format trailer is currently available from the Apple Trailers website, while you can learn more about this title from the official Escamovie.com website.
Bandai are already planning a big campaign for Escaflowne's DVD only home-video launch which is expected in July alongside a simultaneous, co-promotion with an all new Collectors Edition box set of all 8 Volumes of the Escaflowne TV Series!
Bandai has already released all eight volumes of the Escaflowne TV episodes individually. The series and the film follow the adventures of a teenage girl whose search for meaning in her life brings her into a new world of swords and sorcery, where a battle rages between the ruling clan and a rebel group.
Bandai will release the Escaflowne movie on DVD in a standard edition and as a special edition including Dolby Digital and DTS sound, interviews, production art and other features. The special edition package also will carry an exclusive CD with the soundtrack! (Source - Video Business)
In a previous Anime News Update I made a mistake that seems to have been made by several other anime fans with regards to Pioneer's R1 release of the Sherlock Hound TV series which includes 6 episodes directed by Hayao Miyazaki amongst other famous Japanese Anime figures. Initially we believed Pioneer had grouped together the 6 episodes that Miyazaki Directed and were going to release them as a single package, but it has now come to light that Pioneer plan to release the entire 26-episode series to R1 DVD!
The releases announced so far include Volume 1 that will debut on the 26th February and Volume 2 that will follow on the 23rd April. Each release contains 5 episodes on a DVD10 Single Layer Double Sided Disc. This however does not mean you have to turn over half way through to watch the rest of the episodes, instead each side contains the 5 episodes in either the Japanese or English languages. One side features the Digitally Remastered Japanese versions (with Japanese Audio and English subtitles) and the other side features the English versions which actually contain anywhere between 30 and 60seconds of extra footage per episode over the Japanese counterparts (which were edited for broadcast on Japanese TV!). Retailing at $29.98 each Pioneer deserve to be applauded at this approach and providing they get the encoding right (as they are squeezing a fair bit of data onto a Single Layer) this could well be a stand out release.
Columbia Tristar have officially announced the R1 release of Metropolis for the 12th March. See this previous News Story and its related stories for previous information regarding this exciting release.
Manga UK have recently updated their Website to include forthcoming titles for February and March with basic information on each. February 11th sees the R2 releases of...
X which will feature English DD5.1 and DD2.0 Audio, Japanese DD2.0 Audio with English Subtitles, Tarot Card Biographies, Interview with the Director, Photo Gallery and the Theatrical Trailer. Castle of Cagliostro will feature a Widescreen Transfer, English and Japanese Audio with English Subtitles and an Image Gallery. And The Professional - Golgo 13 will also be released although we have no information on this title. For a synopsis of these titles please check the Manga UK Website’s Whats New section.
Also due from Manga UK is the Special Edition release of Akira which is scheduled in for a March 18th release although details are currently unavailable.
Madman Entertainment will begin the long awaited R4 release of the massive Rourini Kenshin TV Series (all 95 episodes!) with the initial release of the first two volumes in March this year. The series will be presented with both Japanese & English Audio Tracks with optional English subtitles, while the only known extras at this stage are Liner Notes and an Art Gallery. The first two discs contain 4 episodes each. The full release list for March 13th is as follows...
- Amon Saga $29.95
- Dragon Ball Z : 3.15 Perfect Cell - Unstoppable $24.95
- Dragon Ball Z : 3.16 Cell Games - Ultimatum $24.95
- Gasaraki - Volume 3 - Betrayal $29.95
- Rurouni Kenshin Volume 1 - The Legendary Swordsman $29.95
- Rurouni Kenshin Volume 2 - Battle In The Moonlight $29.95