Beyond the Boundary Japanese Blu-ray Box review

In 2011, the producers at Kyoto Animation decided to make one of the honorable mentions in 2010’s Kyoto Animation Awards into an animated TV series. In contrast to the vast majority of the works produced by the studio, this would be a more action-oriented series. In order to capture the proper details of action animation, animator Taichi Ishidate was asked to helm a series as director for the first time. While he enjoyed the original novel, he, along with series composer Jukki Hanada, knew that it wouldn’t be enough for a full length 12 episode series. Tatsuya Ishihara had gone through that situation and decided to go heavily original with his adaptation; Ishidate instead incorporated the first novel’s main storyline into an original tale about two star-crossed teens trying to find their way in a strange world around them. In 2016, Kyoto Animation and Pony Canyon released a Blu-ray Box of the series. This is a review of that box, as bought at the Kyoto Animation physical store in Uji, Japan.SAM_3441 Continue reading

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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Kyoukai no Kanata -I’ll Be Here- Japanese Blu-rays review

In 2012, the producers at Kyoto Animation decided to make one of the honorable mentions in 2011’s Kyoto Animation Awards into an animated TV series. To helm it, they chose Taiichi Ishidate to direct a production for the first time. The Kyoukai no Kanata TV series ran from October 2013-December 2013 for 12 broadcast episodes, 5 joke shorts, and 1 unaired prequel to the series. It was decently received, though the series suffered from being overly ambitious with the setting and providing little emphasis on why the viewer should like the main two characters over the side characters. With the final Japanese Blu-ray in July 2014 came an announcement that it would get a movie adaptation. Later on, that adaptation was clarified: there would be a recap film called the “Past” and a new piece called “Future.” “Past” was originally sold only at the theatres playing the films in March 2015, but got a limited release through KyoAni and Pony Canyon’s online store. “Future” got a wider distributed release to most retailers in October 2015. Since the two are part of the same work, this review will cover both Blu-ray editions of the films. Continue reading

Kanon Blu-ray Box review

In 2004, TBS’s producer Nakayama decided to create an adaptation of a popular visual novel to run on TBS’s broadcast satellite channel BS-i. He chose to collaborate with Pony Canyon, Movic, and a studio which had aired its first TV animation production the year prior, Kyoto Animation. That adaptation was very popular and as such Nakayama went back to a Key visual novel for another adaptation, which ran from October 2006 to March 2007. As with most TV series in 2007, it was only released on DVD at the time, despite airing in HD. In late 2009, TBS and Pony Canyon released the highly anticipated Blu-ray Box set. This is a review of that Blu-ray Box for the series Kanon. (Box images courtesy of TMSIDR)

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Amagi Brilliant Park Staff Interviews: Author Shouji Gatou

This is the last of the three staff interviews featured in the guidebook for Amagi Brilliant Park. Let’s finish with the author of the light novels: Shouji Gatou!

Amaburi Staff Interviews

Creator/Series Supervisor: Shoji Gatou
Well-known author who has published various titles such as Full Metal Panic! (from the Fantasy Bunko label) He has also served as an anime scriptwriter for various shows and was the series composer for Hyouka alongside director Yasuhiro Takemoto.

The creator of Amagi Brilliant Park influenced the anime production from the role of “series supervisor.” Here we speak with Shoji Gatou about the birth of the franchise, the secret tales of how the characters were born, and shed light on the backstage events of the anime production!

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Amagi Brilliant Park Staff Interviews: Producer Yoshihisa Nakayama

This is the second of the three staff interviews featured in the guidebook for Amagi Brilliant Park. All three will be translated, but let’s unite the elements with the producer of the show: Yoshihisa Nakayama!

Amaburi Staff Interviews

Producer: Yoshihisa Nagayama

Producer at TBS Television. Has produced many anime shows including the K-On! and Hidamari Sketch series.

Nakayama P supported Amabrui through various jobs like bridging between the novels and anime and publicity. Here we talk to him about his enthusiasm for the work and various behind-the-scenes stories during the broadcast period.

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