High Speed! Japanese Blu-ray review

In 2011, the producers at Animation Do and Kyoto Animation decided to make one of the honorable mentions in 2011’s Kyoto Animation Awards into an animated TV series. To helm it, Hiroko Utsumi planed and directed a production for the first time. The Free! TV series ran from July 2013-September 2013 for 12 broadcast episodes and was immensely popular upon broadcast. A sequel was never in doubt and it aired from July 2014-September 2014. At the fan events in March 2015, it was announced that a movie adapting the second novel would be released later that year.  It would continually be advertised with re-runs of the TV series both at theatre events and during re-runs set across the country. While the immediate box office returns weren’t what people expected, it had long enough legs to be a success. Then on July 20, 2016, it was released onto Blu-ray and DVD from Kyoto Animation and the production committee. This is a review of the Blu-ray release (though the only difference between versions is the disc included). My thoughts on the movie itself are posted here on my tumblr page. Continue reading

Nichijou Blu-ray Box review

Nichijou was a highly anticipated show. Why shouldn’t it have been? Kadokawa Shoten were riding high off of many successes in the late 2000s anime market. Their partnership with Kyoto Animation on the Full Metal Panic, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Lucky Star series earned them lots of yen from novel sales and merchandising. While there was a slight downturn with their collaboration on the Munto TV series, that could be easily explained as a blip, a statistical outlier. As such, Kadokawa Producer Atsushi Ito figured big things would happen for Nichijou and planned/marketed it as a success from day 1. Suffice to say, certain goals were not met and Kadokawa Shoten’s video division took a loss on the show. Likely putting a popular gag comedy in 13 BD/DVD volumes scheduled for longer than a year didn’t help. In 2013, Kadokawa began re-releasing older titles in compilation Blu-ray boxes. The very first title released in this format was Nichijou to earn a bit more yen from video sales. This is a review of that BD-Box from August 2013.

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K-On!! Blu-ray Box review

Following the hugely successful first season, TBS producer Yoshihisa Nakayama was easily able to get a sequel approved rapidly after the show finished broadcasting. Furthermore, he was able to convince TBS (and other committee members) to make this sequel twice as long as the first season was. In order to celebrate 5 years since broadcast, TBS released both seasons of the show in blu-ray boxes. After the successful first season box, the second was released in November of 2014. This is a review of that box set.

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K-On! Blu-ray Box review!

In 2008, TBS producer Yoshihisa Nakayama took on a risk when deciding to make a TV anime series adaptation of a manga right after the first volume was published! In the end, his risk paid off immensely for TBS as K-On! became one of the big hit shows of 2009 (really only behind Bakemonogatari in popularity). The series was the first Kyoto Animation production to be released on Blu-ray (back in 2009), so it took 5 years (and a necessity of additional revenue to shore up the fiscal year) for TBS to greenlight a BD-Box in March 2014. This is a review of that box set.

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Animestyle 007 Sound! Euphonium interview: Jukki Hanada translated (part 2)

As Sound! Euphonium is one of my favorite shows to watch, it became one of my favorite shows to translate about. I previously translated an interview with director Tatsuya Ishihara and series director Naoko Yamada in the periodical Animestyle, but there was another interview in that issue. This post is the second of two parts where Oguro interviews the series composer/scriptwriter for Sound! Euphonium, Jukki Hanada. Here is the first part of this interview.

When I finished writing, I thought “This is really good.”

Jukki Hanada (Series Composer/Scriptwriter) Interview

Reporters: Yuichirou Oguro, Itsuki Shouta; Text editing: Yuichirou Oguro; Interview date: September 3, 2015; Interview location: Kyoto Animation Tokyo Office

Jukki Hanada:

Born October 26, 1969 in Miyagi. Works at SATZ. First series composed was Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful. Presently he has worked on countless titles as series composer/scriptwriter. For Kyoto Animation works, he’s composed Nichijou, Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, and Kyoukai no Kanata. He served as series composer and wrote all the scripts for Sound! Euphonium.

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Animestyle 007 Sound! Euphonium interview: Jukki Hanada translated (part 1)

As Sound! Euphonium is one of my favorite shows to watch, it became one of my favorite shows to translate about. I previously translated an interview with director Tatsuya Ishihara and series director Naoko Yamada in the periodical Animestyle, but there was another interview in that issue. This post is the first of two parts where Oguro interviews the series composer/scriptwriter for Sound! Euphonium, Jukki Hanada. Huge thanks to Karice for help editing this massive interview.

When I finished writing, I thought “This is really good.”

Jukki Hanada (Series Composer/Scriptwriter) Interview

Reporters: Yuichirou Oguro, Itsuki Shouta; Text editing: Yuichirou Oguro; Interview date: September 3, 2015; Interview location: Kyoto Animation Tokyo Office

Jukki Hanada:

Born October 26, 1969 in Miyagi. Works at SATZ. First series composed was Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful. Presently he has worked on countless titles as series composer/scriptwriter. For Kyoto Animation works, he’s composed Nichijou, Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, and Kyoukai no Kanata. He served as series composer and wrote all the scripts for Sound! Euphonium.

Note: I use the term “scenario” here to reflect what Hanada himself wrote. Changes can/are made to this by the time of recording dialogue, so I use the term “script” to refer to what the voice cast themselves read. In contrast to Western film/entertainment, the scenario is much like a script itself with dialogue and actions written instead of a general framework of a story.

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Animestyle 007 Sound! Euphonium Interview: Director Tatsuya Ishihara & Series Director Naoko Yamada Part 2

The “Adolescent Anime” Tackled Head-on

Interview with Tatsuya Ishihara (Director) and Naoko Yamada (Series Director)
Reporters: Yuichirou Oguro, Itsuki Shouta; Text editing: Itsuki Shouta; Interview date: August 13, 2015; Interview location: Kyoto Animation Tokyo Office

Tatsuya Ishihara
Kyoto native who works at Kyoto Animation. Following his directorial debut with AIR, he has helmed several works at the studio including The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kanon, Clannad, Nichijou, and Love, Chunibyou, and Other Delusions. His most recent work is Sound! Euphonium.

Naoko Yamada
Kyoto native who works at Kyoto Animation. After working as episode director in Clannad, she was appointed to direct K-On!. Since then, she has directed K-On!!, K-On! The Movie!, Tamako Market, and Tamako Love Story. She served as series director for Sound! Euphonium.

(This is the second of a two part interview translation from Animestyle 007. Due to its length, I decided to break it into two parts for easier reading. Here is the first part. This one is about twice as long as the first, but I couldn’t break up this first section and end on a cliffhanger. Enjoy the rest!) Continue reading