Anime DVD news from around the world

This is the first of what will hopefully become a series of Anime on DVD updates.

Our first piece of news is not strictly anime, but it does relate to Ghost in the Shell director, Mamoru Oshii, whose live action film, Avalon, received a DVD release on R2 Japanese DVD last week. I am happy to report that the disc contains English subtitles for the main feature along with a DTS soundtrack. Those looking at the $100 Special Edition (2 Discs) please note that the extra features do not feature English subs.

In other Mamoru Oshii news, Jin Roh will be getting a French R2 release sometime in November. Look out for a 3 disc SE featuring both Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks plus a second disc full of extras and a CD featuring the OST. No word on English subtitles yet but we can only hope, just look at this quality package...

The Katsuhiro Otomo (of Akira fame) penned Metropolis is scheduled to receive a Japanese R2 release on the 21st December 2001.

Two more DVDs in the outstanding Studio Ghibli DVD Collection (R2 Japanese) were recently announced. 28th September sees the DVD release of long awaited Miyazaki classic, My Neighbour Totoro (Tonari no Totoro). Retailing at 4800yen expect another 2 disc set with the film presented in Anamorphic widescreen with both English and Japanese Dub/Subs, and a 2nd disc featuring a multi-angle presentation of the film with complete storyboards. 17th October sees the release of Panda! Go Panda (Panda Ko Panda) which retails at just 3800yen, expect both Japanese and English Dubs/Subs, see my R1 review here

Disney recently showed off their re-dubbed version of Hayao Miyazaki's Laputa at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. Apparently the dub is extremely good but far more interesting is what the Disney Catalogue stated 'coming soon to video and DVD'. Just as long as they include the original Japanese Language track!

Wings of Honneamise recently received a French Region 2 release but unfortunately initial reports tell us it contains a very poor Non-Anamorphic transfer. Those waiting for a 'perfect' release will have to hope Madman give us a decent R4 release which is due for the 10th October.

In more Mamoru Oshii related news Manga Entertainment are due to release the R1 Blood: The Last Vampire (for which Oshii has a screewriter credit) DVD on the 28th August, but if Madman hold their release schedule we should see the (far cheaper) PAL R4 release on the 8th August. Both versions are scheduled to feature an Anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound and a Making of Documentary along with a selection of Trailers.

It would also appear that Madman's talks with both Media Blasters (Rurouni Kenshin) and Bandai (Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop) regarding possible R4 releases of their titles are going well.

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