Big News for Fans of Shinichi Ishizuka’s manga. GKIDs acquires Blue Giant!

Fans can thrill to the delight of Shinichi Ishizuka’s manga, Blue Giant, getting a cinematic treatment as it’ll soon come to North America later this year!

Blue Giant Original Japanese Movie PosterGKIDS has the North American distribution rights for the music drama Blue Giant, and it should be playing in theatres by the end of this year. The deal was negotiated between this company and Toho following its sneak preview at the 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival and for GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt, he said, “Blue Giant is a thrilling and moving exploration of what it takes to pursue true artistic and creative excellence,” said “We are proud to share this special film that captures the spirit of the beloved manga for a new audience, with one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in years.”

This animated extravaganza is directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa, whose credits include directing the mega hit anime series “Mob Psycho 100”, as well as the cult hit series “Death Parade,” “DECA-DENCE,” and the latest film in the blockbuster Detective Conan franchise, Detective Conan: The Black Iron Submarine.

From the Press Release:

Blue Giant is adapted from the internationally-renowned manga of the same name, written by manga artist Shinichi Ishizuka. The series won the Japan Media Arts Festival Award and the Shogakukan Manga Award, and was nominated for the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize and as “Comic of the Year” at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. NUMBER 8, the editor of the original manga, joined the film production to write the script.

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The Anime Living in a Lonely Castle in the Mirror Gets a Release Date!

GKIDS will release Lonely Castle In The Mirror theatrically in both its original Japanese language and an all-new English dubbed version.

LONELY CASTLE IN THE MIRROR Teaser PosterGKIDS, celebrating its 15th anniversary as a producer and distributor of award-winning and artist-driven animation from around the world, announced today it will bring Lonely Castle in the Mirror, to select theatres nationwide for event showings on June 21 and 22nd only. Directed by Keiichi Hara (Miss Hokusai, Colorful, The Wonderland), the film features animation from the lauded A-1 Pictures, and is adapted from the beloved novel of the same name by Mizuki Tsujimura.

This movie held its International Premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival–marking the first time a Japanese animated feature was selected for the festival–and additionally had its US premiere at the New York International Children’s Film Festival. It was nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year, and was released domestically in Japan in December 2022, grossing over one billion yen.

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All You Need is ♡ to be Whisked Away By Spirited Away: Live on Stage’s Magical Adventure

When a wide-shot was cut to, the thought of viewing Spirited Away: Live on Stage, from the best seats in the house crossed my mind.

Spirited Away: Live on StageRemaining showtimes: April 27 & May 2
Please check GKIDS official website for a theatre near you.

The next time Spirited Away: Live on Stage is offered for the authentic experience, I’m booking a trip! It played at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theatre in 2022, and had a rotating cast. Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi played the title role, and both performances were committed to tape in front of a live audience.

As part of GKIDS‘ annual commitment to celebrate the works of Studio Ghibli, the recorded show is making its USA debut this year. I was fortunate to time my trip to Seattle right so I can see it. Part of the reason for not being available in other countries may be due to licensing. A home video release is expected, but there’s no official announcement yet. I want to see both.

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Unicorn Wars is an Anti-Fable With a Strong Message

Depending on how well you know Alberto Vázquez’s works, Unicorn Wars is more of more of a precautionary tale.

Unciron WarsGKIDS
Coming to theatres and VOD Mar 10, 2023
Played at the Victoria Film Festival Feb 9th

Anyone enamoured with the colourful visual teases from the trailers for Unicorn Wars by Alberto Vázquez will get more than an anti-fable presented to them. That’s how this filmmaker describes his work. Here, his animated work looks at the conflict for power at the Magic Forest, where the teddy bears here are taught a myth where if one can kill and drink the blood of the last unicorn, they will be king. The idea is a nastier spin on what Lord Voldemort believed in the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and the cost looks worse!

The rivalry between these two species is age-old, and as for who is truly pure, we’re not meant to really know for certain. I don’t want to side with either given how horrible the depths of hatred runs deep.

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Dancing with Inu-Oh on Home Video!

Inu-oh can be religiously enjoyed for the experience that it is not only in cinemas but also at home with this release.

Available for purchase on Amazon USA

The home video release of Inu-Oh is here! Not only can I finally learn about Masaaki Yuasa‘s thought process, but also learn more about the elements I didn’t notice in my early viewing. Instead of reviewing the entire film again (it can be read here) with this additional knowledge, what I’ll explore is the bonus material. This filmmaker has been on my radar since discovering Lu Over the Wall; on television, he directed Devilman Crybaby.

After he named one of my favourite bands, Queen, as a key influence, I knew I was dead on with one musical montage in this film. He also explained why American and the history of music’s greatest moments are important to the crafting of this film. From The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix to Michael Jackson, a signature moment was actually snuck into the work, and that alone is enough reason to watch Inu-Oh multiple times. Not only can fans seek these frames out, but also they can listen for it too. Although Hendrix’s moment is with an action and we are told where it is, I have to search for the other easter eggs.

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