“Make some room in your life…”
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Release Date: 8th December 2014
Following on from my previous post about this great box set bargain, which is basically all of Hayao Miyazaki films as a Blu-ray Box Set. The picture of what it’s supposed to look like has finally emerged from the producers, and I’m in love with the clean looking design.
Each disk is housed in a cardboard sleeve, with the official artwork for the film encasing it. If there was ever a reason to pick up all the movies from the legend Miyazaki, this is the time to do it.
The box set is produced by Studio Canal, who have handled the rest of the Ghibli releases in the UK, so I’m expecting both English and Japanese dubs on the disc.
The set contains twelve discs, of which eleven are movies, and there’s one mysteriously titled Bonus Disc. I just can’t think of what it could be, possibly short films or commercials?
Soundtrack? (*fingers crossed*)
I’m disappointed that more films weren’t included. Yes, I wanted a Ghibli box, instead of just Miyazaki, just to save me the hassle of collecting those stray films, but maybe the price point would be driven even higher, and it’s already making a hefty dent in anyone’s wallet at £180.00 down from previous RRP of £250!
Get the Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set here.
Posted by timeoftheday on November 1, 2014
“This tattoo, this preview, this heartbeat”
Artists: Chihiro Onitsuka
Genre: Folk, Pop
Released: 18th December 2013
Chihiro Onitsuka used to have this unreal voice back in the early days of her career. Her previous albums have some of the most beautiful and haunting music I’ve ever heard, and this is coming from someone who makes it their mission to find that kind of stuff. Sadly, due to some health issues, her voice slipped into a gravelly tone, rather than that angelic instrument that gave out those soaring notes.
To compensate for the change in her vocal abilities, for recent albums Chihiro Onitsuka has produced songs with a 70s/80s rock style that’s…. different. See Anata to Science, the other song on this single, to have a good idea of what the new sound is like. Well, I’m sure fans appreciate it, but it just isn’t the same, and no-one expected another epic ballad out of this singer.
Along comes The Silence is Mine, an eery, haunting track that seeps under the skin and settles deep, to fit Drakengard 3, a game that is equally disturbing. This song is ugly-pretty. Gorgeous instruments and a rasping voice. A thumping beat, accompanied by strings builds up to reach a breathtaking finale. It feels like this could be her final song, and the purity and energy surges through powerfully. Chihiro’s vocals are raw and edgy and almost crying through those long high notes in anguish, delivering each word with such conviction that this song will haunt you for a long time. Sweeping instrumentals carry the listener through the final parts of the songs.
Now Drakengard 3 actually got released a while ago, and sadly rather quietly as a PSN Download only. The Silence is Mine was used in the trailers to promote the game, and is also the in-game vocal theme. How many people will come across the game, bearing in mind that the Drakengard series only has a cult following to begin with? How many will hear this song? To bring out one of the best songs in recent years, Chihiro Onitsuka deserves recognition. It deserves silence.
See below for previews:
Posted by timeoftheday on August 27, 2014
“It’s strange, “Everyone”, Who is that again? Aren’t you curious?”
Genre: JRock, JPop
Released: 22nd August 2012
I cannot even explain the infatuation I began with Androp after coming across the video for BooHoo, one of the songs from this triple A-side single.
BooHoo is a guitar-riffed-filled pulse-racing track that incorporates breathless vocals with life questioning lyrics. The chorus strikes as high and screechy, and yet it is pretty catchy. Everything about this track is just momentum. The softer parts of the song are almost dreamlike. Cries of “BooHoo!” will get stuck in your head.
Being a triple A-side the quality of the next track is pretty good, and although AM0:40 is less memorable than BooHoo, the chorus is likable and positive. This shares some of lyrics from BooHoo, and while I feel that the first song is superior, AM0:40 is such a short affair that it doesn’t outlive its welcome.
If there was one song I wasn’t expecting from a rock band, it was probably something that sounds like it’s dropped straight out of a shoujo anime. The soft vocals, the rhythmic almost lullaby-ish melody, Waltz feels like a summery tune to put on a lazy afternoon. The intense energy of the band is still coiled in the background, but this song feels like a gracious break from sharp questions the band posed earlier.
I don’t listen to JRock much because I don’t particularly the style, but Androp have their own style. The band members just look like cool guys hanging out, and the whole feeling of the band is so relaxed, yet they give out their own intense energy. Perhaps vocalists get too much attention, but in this case Uchisawa Takahito, who is lead vocalist and also lead guitarist, his unique vocals in BooHoo has wormed their music into my brain.
High pitched vocals from a guy isn’t really a thing I would recommend to anyone, and yet it works. Let’s not call it JRock. Call it Androck.
See below for previews:
Posted by timeoftheday on August 26, 2014
“Everyone can just fangirl now”
Release Date: 4th November 2014
While I’ve been doing my regular rounds through my favourite shopping spots, I spotted a mysterious new entry for a Final Fantasy Box Set.
It’s billed as a deluxe hardcover set of three books, which are the official re-rendered and updated guide books for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy IX.
Yes, I think everyone can take a moment to just fangirl at this statement.
Each of the three books comes with a ribbon marker, similar to the treatment the latest Final Fantasy Limited Edition Guide’s have been receiving, see Final Fantasy XIII-2’s Guide Book as an example.
I think it’s fairly easy to get excited about this! Who doesn’t want to get their mitts on more Final Fantasy merchandise, especially books? These things don’t really see much of a release in the UK, and even so, they’re a bit of an abridged version compared to their Japanese (and sometimes even US) counterparts.
This Box Set version published by Prima Games however, claims to have 752 pages of goodness, which works out at roughly 250 pages per book. That’s a full-sized book if I ever saw one!
The cost of the box set really pushes the boundaries of what I want to pay for three books, with an RRP of £80 or $129.99. Happily, however, the books have been heavily discounted, and I’m just going to pre-order my copy before I explode.
These are available from Amazon.com and Amazon UK. Preview image from Barnes and Noble.
Posted by timeoftheday on August 25, 2014
“Lions regularly team up with asses. There’s a fox somewhere too…”
Genre: Fantasy, Classic, Animals, Age: All
Do you ever think that some stories are familiar, but you can’t pinpoint where you’ve read them before? Reading Aesop’s Fables is like stumbling into that experience over and over again.
(The Crow and the Pitcher)
Of course, as the book’s introduction is quick to point out, Aesop didn’t really *write* these stories, he merely collected them. This version from Wordsworth contains around 250 short tales, which feature anthropomorphic characters and situations that make them cross paths. Each story is a quick read, taking roughly three minutes to read at most, and I found myself finishing the book in a couple of days, since I was using it for light reading before bedtime.
There’s nothing amazingly complex about the experience, since each story starts and finishes with few plot-points. For someone used to reading long, epic fantasy books, this was such a refreshing experience and almost a mental cleanse; I could stay with the characters for a few minutes, and then abandon them, and only take the central message forward.
Posted by timeoftheday on August 9, 2014
“Time to save some pennies for December”
Release Date: 2nd December 2014
I must have been living under a rock to miss this! For some reason, I started out 2014 eagerly checking for the pre-orders of Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Final Mix Limited Edition (*phew* mouthful…), and when the pre-orders do open, it’s almost like I’d forgotten the game existed.
This is of course the HD update for the original Kingdom Heart 2, and also contains the Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. I can’t seem to figure out if Re:coded is actually the game or just the cutscenes? Regardless of whatever it is, I know I’ll still end up purchasing this.
Sadly, there’s no mention of an artbook like in the release of Kingdom Hearts 1.5, but for your hard-earned cash you get an *Exclusive Pin*. Yes, the artwork for Kingdom Hearts 1.5 wasn’t brilliant, but at least it made me look forward to getting the package, now it’s a…a… PIN.
Hard to get excited about that.
You can see the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix Limited Edition (PS3) here.
See below for synopsis and trailer:
Posted by timeoftheday on August 8, 2014
“Being a total steal.”
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Release Date: 3rd November 2014
There is a fantastic deal I’ve spotted on Amazon UK for the Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set. This is basically the collection that got released in Japan, and is the 13 discs that features all of Miyazaki’s movies. The price has actually dropped drastically from £250 to £160.40! That is insane, it brings down the cost of each Blu-Ray disc to around £13.33!!
It couldn’t have come at a better time really, with the fans fretting what will happen to Studio Ghibli. Retail therapy may be required…
Admittedly, details are not yet confirmed about WHAT will actually be on there (the picture shown above is the Japanese version), but a good guess is all of the fan favourites (Spirited Away, Howl’s, etc) will be on there. Since this being released by Studiocanal, it will likely contain the English dubs as well, even if the only language mentioned is Japanese with English Subtitles. The English dub feels forgotten in the description.
The big difference between this and the Japanese version is that, this is twelve discs, the Japanese version had thirteen, but, still worth investing in.
Get the Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set here.
Posted by timeoftheday on August 6, 2014
“Eurovision! Eurovision! Eurovision! Are you ready?!”
Refresh every few minutes for updating comments!
Featuring a short video by Emily, the previous winner. Showing different ways of travelling to the Eurovision set.
Dancing with the competing flags.
Introduction of all the eurovision entrants.
Introduction of the hosts. More than 18 million people are watching this show, including those outside Europe.
Posted by timeoftheday on May 10, 2014
Studio: Square Enix
Released: March 2014 (UK version)
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD was released over a month ago, and even though I have gushed about it for ages, it wasn’t even until recently that I could open the packaging. The Limited Edition packaging that I have handling ever so carefully, that it even gets a place of honour in my drawer.
The cover of the packaging shows the new models of Yuna and Tidus, in what could be called a “new” image. I’m sure fans love it, and won’t get sick of this solitary image that is constantly being repeated on pretty much every surface. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of the new model for Tidus, he looks a bit more feminine than Yuna, which is strange, since his character is a jock, I would have expected him to be “machoed-up” or something.
The cardboard box that you get is just the beginning is the lusciousness.
More information and pictures below:
Posted by timeoftheday on April 28, 2014