Anime News Roundup

Anime news has been in abundance recently with plenty of 2002 announcements, most of which are quite exciting to fans of the genre including some long awaited titles finally arriving on the DVD format...

First of all we have a selection of announcements on Region 1 DVD that I will handle via studio...

Pioneer Animation

12/02/2002 - Pretty Sammy DVD Collection, running for 165-minutes this will feature the Misoshi Special.
26/02/2001 - Soul Taker Volume 1 - $29.98 RRP. Containing the first 3 Episodes (of a 13 Episode series) with a 75-minute running time look for both Japanese and English Audio (with English subtitles) with an Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation of this (reportedly) stunning looking animated series. Extra features include a Holographic Foil Cover, Credit Free Opening and Closing songs, an Art Gallery and a 16 Page Soultaker Encyclopedia Booklet.
26/02/2001 - Sherlock Hound - $29.98 RRP. Containing 6 Episodes and running for 125-minutes this is a long awaited release from Pioneer. Originally a 26 Episode series Pioneer are releasing the 6 Episodes that were written (partly at least) and directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke) on a DVD10 Double Sided, Single Layer disc. One side will feature the Digitally Remastered Japanese versions of the Episodes (with Japanese Audio and English subtitles) while the other side will feature the English versions that feature between 30-60 seconds of extra footage per episode over the Japanese counterparts.


19/02/2001 - Love Hina Volume 1 - $29.98 RRP / Love Hina Volume 1 inc Boxset - $34.98 RRP. I mentioned these last week but thought I would include them here for completeness. No details are yet known but volume 1 of this presumably 6 volume set will be available both on its own or inside a boxset that is designed to house the entire set when released.
05/03/2002 - Jin-Roh - $29.98 RRP. This standard edition of Jin-Roh will be the first R1 Anime title to feature a Japanese DTS Audio track as well as Japanese and English DD5.1 tracks, and of course English subtitles. Expect an Anamorphic widescreen presentation (although this is unconfirmed its practically a given) alongside Original Theatrical Trailers.
05/03/2002 - Jin-Roh SE - $59.98 RRP. As previously hoped this Special Edition release of Jin-Roh looks to be near identical to the French SE that I have been following in previous News Updates (and is due for the 29th November 2001 but features NO English Subtitles). Like the standard release we will see a Japanese DTS track alongside Japanese and English DD5.1 Audio Tracks (and English subtitles) and most likely an Anamorphic Widescreen presentation of the film. This SE will be housed in a Special Edition Slipcase and its extras include the Original Soundtrack (On a separate Audio CD), Interviews with the Cast and Creators, a 12-Page Jin-Roh booklet and both Japanese and English Theatrical Trailers with the promise of even more features to be announced nearer to the release.

Central Park Media

08/01/2002 - Now and Then, Here and There Volume 1 - $29.98 RRP. A popular anime series that runs for a total of just 13 Episodes is set to receive what could be a top class release from CPM. Volume 1 contains the first 5 Episodes (this will be a 3 DVD series) with both English and Japanese Audio Tracks with English subtitles. Extras include an Art Gallery, Cast and Production List, Credit Free Ending, Character/Mechanical/Background Sketches and Storyboards. On the DVD-Rom side of things we receive some suspiciously similar looking extras (so this could be incorrect) including an Art Gallery, Scripts, Cast and Production credits and a Sketch Gallery.

09/04/2001 - Roujin-Z - $29.99 RRP. Written by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo (Blood: The Last Vampire) Roujin-Z will be re-issued by CPM and is the first of several remastered titles due in the coming year (they sub-licensed several titles to Image a while back whose DVDs recently went OOP). Expect both English/Japanese Audio and English subtitles, other than that your guess is as good as mine with regards to the video transfer and Extra features.


05/02/2002 - Plastic Little - $24.98 RRP. Set to include English and Japanese Audio tracks with both English subtitles for the Japanese track and English Song Subtitles for the English track it is the Extra Features that really appeal for this release. Having little idea with regards to the nature of this anime the initial extras do not really reveal much, a Production Portfolio and ADV Trailers are fairly standard but it is the intriguingly named 'Jiggle Counter' that grabs my attention!

Moving on from the R1 release news we have some small updates on R2/R4 titles...

Madman have published their initial January 9th 2002 release schedule and unfortunately apart from the expected series instalments (volumes 4 and 5 of Cardcaptors, Volume 4.6 of Dragonball Z and Volume 6 of Martian Successor Nadesico) the only other title currently mentioned is the dire Shadow Skill (that will be bilingual and - shudder the thought - presented in its full 130-minute cut!).

Manga Entertainment will release Streetfighter 2: The Animated Movie on R2 DVD on the 29th October (yup, that's next week). Digitally remastered with a Dolby Digital 5.1 English soundtrack (no Japanese Audio on this one) the only known extra is a Trailer but of course this version should be fully uncut (unlike the R1).

Buena Vista released the long awaited (in the UK) Princess Mononoke this week on R2 DVD in a rather nice boxset that includes the Helen McCarthy book Hayao Miyazaki - Master of Japanese Animation reprinted into a more compact design (to fit the size of a DVD case). I am saddened to report that while BV have included the Japanese DD5.1 Audio track they have failed to include the Literal Subtitle track that is present on the Region 1 release (that has now been available for just under a year!) making their inclusion of the Japanese language track an exercise in stupidity. In brighter news with regards to UK Studio Ghibli titles a BV representative announced at the UK premiere of Princess Mononoke (at the Barbican Studio Ghibli Season) that UK editions of My Neighbour Totoro and Kikis Delivery Service are on the schedule.

Many thanks to the always reliable Anime On DVD website and of course jimmy_b from the DVDForums for the Manga UK news.

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