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Studio 4°C Genius Party is Happening Oct 15th! in North America

13 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Shout! Factory & GKIDS
Release Date: Oct 15, 2019

Coming to home video in North America is Genius Party Volumes 1 & 2 (ジーニアス・パーティ) offered in one disc. Studio 4°C is behind this anthology series, and all twelve shorts are offered instead of the original Japanese editions where both were sold separately–originally released in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Anime fans who have yet to discover this bonanza will be thrilled to find many storytelling genres realized by top talents. The shorts I loved the most were the fantasy type works.

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The Future is Frightening in Kung Fu League

17 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor:
Well GO USA

Release Date:
Sept 17, 2019

Be prepared, humble students of Kung Fu League (功夫联盟)! This film is an enjoyable silly romp where real life and fictional legends Wong Fei-Hung (Vincent Zhao, Once Upon a Time in China), Ip Man (Dennis To, Wu Dang), Chen Zhen (Danny Chan, Kung Fu Hustle) and Huo Yuan Jia (Andy On, Black Mask 2) are plucked out of time to help manhua artist Fei (Ashin, Lead vocalist of the Taiwanese rock band Mayday.) have the courage to ask Bao’er (Madina Memet) out for a date. He’s had a crush on her for the longest time but his insecurities get the better of him.

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The Case of Hana & Alice Finally Arrives Sept 17th!

15 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Distributor:
Shout Factory! & GKIDS

Release Date:
Sept 17, 2019

Just how “Hana and Alice” met from the 2004 live action film of the same name was revealed in 2015 in the anime The Strange Case of Hana and Alice (花とアリス殺人事件). Although fans of Shunji Iwai‘s original work did not expect him to produce a prequel, I’m sure this deeper look into the trials and tribulations of what these young women faced during their developing friendship is welcomed. No knowledge of the prior movie is needed in a mostly Shōjo product. I was curious because of the suggestion of the paranormal becoming involved, and a murder mystery is always great to get the attention of viewers not into this subgenre.

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The Miyazaki Charm is Alive in Ronja, Robber’s Daughter

20 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released August 20, 2019
Shout! Factory & GKIDS

* Spoiler Alert

Gorō Miyazaki has big shoes to fill. As the son of Hayao, to shift from the career of garden landscaper to animation director can be viewed as extreme but I feel his skills in one world is transferable to another. He’s had plenty of education before working on Tales from Earthsea (2006) and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011). To work on a television series, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, shows his transition is complete. The attention to detail put in the background designs served his multi-purpose role well.

This series is based on Astrid Lindgren‘s book of the same name (Amazon link) (Ronia is the original spelling). The seminal character was born on a stormy night. Some may say great things are in store for her as she gets older. Almost like PIXAR’s Brave, this headstrong girl is looking to make her place in the world. Instead, what she finds is an innocent friendship with a young boy from a rival clan.

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