Thursday, May 31, 2012

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: HardDoor At The Movies! (Part 1)

Okay, this is actually being posted on June 19, but was originally aimed for the end of May. Due to the last couple of months (especially the last one) being absolutely stuffed with work, I've barely had the time or energy to work on the blog or get this posted on time. But, for the sake of keeping with the conventions of this particular two-parter, this is being published as a "May" post, so Part 2 can be published this month and still make this all feel "special" for spanning over two months (it was mostly done last month, so in a way, it still kind of counts…). Hope that makes some sense, sooooo, without further ado…

For whatever reason, for the past few months, a number of anime distributors have been posting full-length anime movies onto Hulu. The vast majority of anime titles on the site are television series and up till now, there were barely any movies to speak of. Since early this year, however, that amount has risen precipitously, and while the selection is still a relative handful, the line-up is no slouch. It's an impressive mix of hot new titles and classics, so HardDoor is marking the occasion with a special two-part Pick!

The Hulu Mulitplex is now open, so let's take a look at some the films they are offering!

Mardock Scramble: The First Compression

Official Site: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Languages: Japanese w/ English SubtitlesEnglish Dubbed
Run Time: 66 mins.
Final Showing: November 30, 2012 (English Dubbed) / December 31, 2014 (Japanese w/ English Subtitles)

The adaptation of Tow Ubukata's award-winning sci-fi novel series (of which he also penned) had an interesting history, first starting off as GONZO's slated 15th anniversary project before getting cancelled suddenly (slated stereoscopic 3D animation technology ahead of its time) and a few years later being handled by young and unknown studio GoHands. However, they managed to make a good name for themselves in the long run with the positive reviews, the film's hardened, '90s-style animation, and mature content (presented here uncut!). The first in a trilogy, but just a few minutes over an hour long, but hey, a movie's a movie…

Sword of the Stranger

Official Site: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Language: English Dubbed
Run Time: 103 mins.
Final Showing: November 9, 2014

BONES made a big fuss about this film (and continue to hold it in high regard), and despite fair reviews, it certainly has its fans, and its swordplay and action animation are still talked about five years later…

Royal Space Force: The Wings of the Honneamise

Official Site: JapaneseEnglish
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Languages: Japanese w/ English Subtitles, English Dubbed
Run Time: 122 mins.
Final Showing: August 10, 2014

A landmark film and highly regarded, Honneamise was the first animation production by GAINAX and the first anime released by prolific distributor Bandai Visual. And GAINAX being a studio founded by young, anime-loving artists, it also happened to be a hotbed for future industry innovators and heavy-hitters, such as director Hiroyuki Yamaga (studio founder; Abenobashi, Mahoromatic director; Gundam 0080 screenwriter), Hideaki Anno (Evangelion creator), Mahiro Maeda (co-founder of GONZO; Blue Submarine No. 6, Gankutsuou director), Ichiro Itano (Macross animator (originator of famous "Itano Circus" technique)), Kenichi Sonoda (Bubblegum Crisis character designer),Tensai Okamura (Wolf's Rain, Darker than Black director) Yuji Moriyama (Project A-ko creator), and Nobuteru Yuki (Escaflowne character designer).

That's it for now! Next Pick will feature Part 2 and three more films (and maybe even a few more!), so stay tuned, and until then, the balcony is closed

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