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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News: Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX Official Game Guide Trio Box Set Pre-Order

“Everyone can just fangirl now”

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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.

 

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: Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Final Mix Limited Edition Preorder

“Time to save some pennies for December”


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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:

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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.

Purchased: Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD – UK PS3 Limited Edition

“Obsessed”

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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.

 

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The cardboard box that you get is just the beginning is the lusciousness.

More information and pictures below:

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TV: Star-Crossed – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Roman, Roman, where for art thou..”

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(“You know, those aliens are pretty good looking….”)

Airing on: Sky

Genre: Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi, Aliens, Age: 13+

Released: 4th April 2014 – onwards

Aliens called Atrians have landed on earth in September 2014, and immediately face hostilities. Emery Whitehall finds a young Atrian boy hiding in her shed, close to where the alien ship has landed. She takes care of the frightened young boy, however the military finds him and shoots him in front of Emery.

Ten years later, and Emery is beginning her first day of high school after spending the last few years in hospital. She and her friend Julia watch as young Atrians are beginning the same school; a program to integrate them into the same society as humans. If this program is successful, it could mean the start of cohabitation by humans and Atrians, but high school is never easy.

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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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: Final Fantasy X HD Limited Edition Preorder on Amazon UK

“So close, so close to my hands….”

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Release Date: 21st March 2014

I’m sure a lot of people got this email from Amazon, but for those that didn’t; the Limited Edition of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD is still available for preorder. This is actually around the £30 mark, which was the same as the LE pre-orders taken before.

See the Pre-Order page here.

The game is, of course, going to sell bucket-loads, and be the saviour of Square Enix’s review ratings, after the travesty of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy, when the game comes out on 21st March, which at this point is less than a week away.

You get limited edition packaging, an artbook disc-case, and new models of Tidus and Yuna to drool over, but the big satisfaction is in replaying an old favourite. They don’t make games like this anymore.

Update: Pre-orders are now closed.

News: J K Rowling denounces Hermione-Ron Romance

“Overshadowed by best friend…?”

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This revelation has been ricocheting it’s way through the news outlets, J.K. Rowling, the creator of the famous Harry Potter series, has commented that Hermione should have been with Harry, and not Ron.

This is a shocking announcement after the conclusion of the series, which sees Hermione and Ron in a harmonious relationship, and having two children together.

There have been lots of critical analysis of the author’s comment, and one of the most interesting and detailed is Tor’s ‘Erased by Time and Blockbusters—The Cautionary Tale of Ron Weasley‘, which was initially published two weeks ago ahead of the comment, but it coincidences greatly with this new development. The article analyses why Ron Weasley is the weakest of the trio, and how his portrayal in the movies is a major contribution to this.

While it is doubtful that J.K. Rowling feels the movie version of Ron is significant enough to overwrite her internal version of Ron, she states that her changed feelings towards Ron and his relationship with Hermione, have come from a new-found perspective from time.

See more information at this source.

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