News: Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set – UK English Version UPDATE

“Make some room in your life…”

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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.

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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.

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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*)

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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.

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Book: Aesop’s Fables (Wordsworth’s Classics)

“Lions regularly team up with asses. There’s a fox somewhere too…”

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Author: Aesop

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.

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(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.

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News: Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Box Set – UK English Version PRICE DROP

“Being a total steal.”

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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.

Book: Nicholas Sayre & The Creature in the Case Cover Image

“Of scratching and inkings”

Author: Garth Nix

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Age: YA+

Released: 1st October 2007 (UK version)

Going on a Garth Nix kick, I had a look through this book, which a follow-on story from The Old Kingdom Trilogy (The Abhorsen Trilogy). There are a few nice pictures which relate to the short stories that I haven’t seen online. Garth Nix’s short stories have been published in various fantasy anthologies, but I haven’t come across any of these illustrations, possibly because this is an old children’s edition.

I will try and upload the illustrations as I review the stories. This is the Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case image, which I have already reviewed.
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Credit goes to David Wyatt, who has illustrated the headings of the stories for the Harper Collins Children’s Book’s in Great Britain 2006. Photographs taken by me.

News: “Sanzoku no Musume Ronja/Ronja the Robber’s Daughter” Studio Ghibli Announcement

“Not your average Ghibli girl..”

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Studio: Studio Ghibli, Polygon Pictures

Genre: Adventure, Age: Children’s

Released: August 31st 2014 (Japan Version)

The internet is positively abuzz with the announcement of Studio Ghibli’s first TV series.

The series will follow the adventures of Ronja, a young girl who lives in a forest, and is based on the books by Astrid Lindgren. The production will be directed by Goro Miyazaki. More details have yet to emerge.

This is an exciting new venture for Studio Ghibli, especially since Goro Miyazaki is taking the helm of this project. I find his work to have a very different feel from the rest of Ghibli’s projects.

See more information at this source.

News: Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive Book 2) Release Date

“Of Extreme OCD-ness”

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Author: Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Epic Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Age: YA+

Released: 6th March 2014 (UK version)

Following up on my post from eons ago, a lot of little details have appeared for the next book in the Stormlight Archive series. The release date for the UK version has also changed, and is now in March 2014. Pre-orders are being taken at all the usual places, (Amazon, Waterstones, etc) and this book is guaranteed to hit bestsellers’ lists all over the world.

However, in my usual infuriating way, I am refusing to pre-order this book, because… it isn’t the same size as the other books in the series. For some reason, newly released hardbacks and paperbacks are much larger than the paperbacks issued after the first year. (I’m not sure if this a UK-only issue, or not).

It is very obsessive compulsive, but I want to have an uniform collection, and since I only have the smaller paperback version of The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive Book 1), then the rest of the series will have to follow suit.

The few details that I have allowed myself about this book is that it is about Shallan, and there are  some new characters for the interludes.  For the rest, I have covered my ears, and  sang loudly so no spoilers will come to me.

As usual the UK version of Brandon Sanderson’s books have covers by Sam Green. I absolutely adore his art style.

Words of Radiance is available for Pre-order at £20.00 for the Hardback edition.

Book: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time Book 3) Review

“Where’s Rand?”

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Author: Robert Jordan

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Age: Adult

Released: 10th December 1992 (UK version)

The third book in the series is a bit strange, in my opinion. It draws away from Rand, who I firmly believe is the main character, despite the infinitely large cast.The book instead follows the various subgroups that are in a quest to follow Rand, and his path of destruction, whether they know it or not.

Warning! Contains spoilers!

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News: Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Book 1)

“Is this a new revival for Tamora Pierce in the UK?!”

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Author: Tamora Pierce

Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance, Age: YA+

Released: 28th August 2014 (UK version)

This is something that I have been checking up on for the past few months. A mysterious new listing has appeared on Amazon
, for a Red Fox Publishers’ re-release, of Tamora Pierce’s bestselling YA series.

Alanna: the First Adventure is one of those books that I can credit for getting me into the fantasy genre, and the rest of Tamora Pierce’s books can be said to have kindled a lifelong love with fantasy.

Pierce’s books are notoriously difficult to find in the UK. They were published in the early 90s, but seem to have gone out of print, and brand new versions usually have to imported from the US.

Red Fox Publisher, a division of The Random House Group has listed Tamora Pierce as one of their authors, but haven’t listed any books under her name as of yet.

The listing on Amazon confirms the release date, but doesn’t confirm the cover. Is this going to be a release of the original Red Fox publication from 1986, shown in the picture above? I hope not. Personally, I will hoping for a revamp similar to the Point Fantasy series’ covers.

At this point, very few details are known. It may be a low-key book release for a lot of people, but this is a great opportunity for British readers to experience an amazing author.

Amazon Blurb below:

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Currently Reading: The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel of Time Book 3)

“It’s getting pretty epic”

Author: Robert Jordan

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Age: Adult

Released: 25th June 1992 (UK version)

I think I purchased this book way back, and only now have managed to bite into it. It’s hard getting into epic fantasy books recently, they just feel like too much work. The Wheel of Time series in particular, is so long that just looking the book seems to put me off. I eased myself into it one afternoon, and found myself back in this wonderful world.

I suppose there is no point in explaining the plot, because most people seem to be aware of what this series is about, and those who don’t would not want spoilers for the *third* book in the series. It’s hard to describe the direction of the plot in any case. At least the writing is surprisingly easy to read; I wouldn’t have pinned it down as something for older readers, but the sheer size of the each book will tell you differently. I will put up a review as soon as I can.

There is a short summary below from an official source.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Anime: Sword Art Online – Episode 25 Series Finale Summary + Review

“End of the virtual road?”

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(Kirito plays a dangerous game of tag with Sugou)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Game, MMO, Fantasy, Sc-Fi, Age: 13+

Released: 6th July 2012 – onwards

From the previous episode, Asuna has woken up from the hospital and Kirito is on his way to see her. Danger is lurking the hospital carpark in the shape of Sugou, who was killed by Kirito in Alfheim Online.

Kirito is stabbed, and has to fend off a knife that could end his life before he has a chance to see Asuna in the real world.

Sugou has finally lost his mind, and although Kirito eventually beats him, Kirito chooses to spare Suguo’s life.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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