Whisper of the Heart
Manufacturer: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Brand: Buena Vista Home Video Model: 02535000
From the creators of the Academy Award(R)-winning SPIRITED AWAY (Best Animated Feature Film, 2002) comes a tale based on the screenplay from the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki. During summer vacation, a schoolgirl named Shizuku, who longs to discover her true talents, observes an ordinary-looking cat riding by himself on the train. Intrigued, she decides to follow him. This chance encounter leads her to the mysterious Seiji, a boy who is determined to follow his dreams, and The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers in her heart. Soon, Shizuku's exciting adventures carry her far beyond the boundaries of her imagination. Featuring extraordinary storytelling, enchanting animation, and an all-star voice cast, this 2-disc set will inspire dreams and warm hearts of all ages. ~~(c) 1995 Aoi Hiiragi/Shueisha Nibariki GNH Based on a manga by Aoi Hiiragi, the gentle coming-of-age story Whisper of the Heart (1995) was scripted and storyboarded by Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by the late Yoshifumi Kondo. Shizuku Tsukishima is an absent-minded, insecure junior high school student who reads book after book of fairy tales, helps her friends, and does most of her chores, but remains dissatisfied. When she encounters a wonderfully supercilious cat on the train, she follows him and meets Seiji Amasawa, a student in her class who hopes to become a violin maker. Seiji's commitment to his dream helps Shizuku find her voice, literally and figuratively: she realizes she wants to become a writer. A statue of a cat in the antique store of Seiji's kindly grandfather inspires her first story, "Whisper of the Heart." Shizuku and Seiji exhibit believable strengths and flaws: their warm humanity contrasts markedly with the shabby superficiality of the characters in many American animated films. The lively performances of Brittany Snow and David Gallagher transcend the geographic limits of the story to make Shizuku and Seiji the kids the viewer wishes lived next door. Miyazaki's script suggests that a sense of magic can exist, even in everyday Tokyo. Whisper of the Heart was the only film Yoshifumi Kondo directed before his untimely death at age 47, but its understated charm stands as a monument to his talent. (Rated G, suitable for ages 10 and older: tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
Whisper of the Heart (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Manufacturer: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Presents A Studio G Brand: BUENA VISTA HOME VIDEO Model: 25137231 Color: color
WHISPER OF THE HEART inspires like never before in Blu-ray! A new digital master reveals the true brilliance of this heartwarming coming-of-age classic from Studio Ghibli, the studio that brought you PONYO and the Academy Award(R)-winning SPIRITED AWAY (Best Animated Feature Film, 2002). A chance encounter with a mysterious cat sends Shizuku, a quiet schoolgirl, on a quest for her true talent. Challenged by Seiji, a boy determined to follow his dreams, and enchanted by The Baron, a magical cat figurine who helps her listen to the whispers of her heart, Shizuku embarks on curious adventures beyond the boundaries of her imagination. Now in Blu-ray High Definition for the first time ever, this beautiful tale based on the screenplay from legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki will delight and amaze families! Based on a manga by Aoi Hiiragi, the gentle coming of age story Whisper of the Heart (1995) was scripted and storyboarded by Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by the late Yoshifumi Kondo. Shizuku Tsukishima is an absent-minded, insecure junior high school student who reads book after book of fairy tales, helps her friends, and does most of her chores, but remains dissatisfied. When she encounters a wonderfully supercilious cat on the train, she follows him and meets Seiji Amasawa, a student in her class who hopes to become a violin maker. Seiji's commitment to his dream helps Shizuku find her voice, literally and figuratively: she realizes she wants to become a writer. A statue of a cat in the antique store of Seiji's kindly grandfather inspires her first story, "Whisper of the Heart." Shizuku and Seiji exhibit believable strengths and flaws: their warm humanity contrasts markedly with the shabby superficiality of the characters in many recent American animated films. The lively performances of Brittany Snow and David Gallagher transcend the geographic limits of the story to make Shizuku and Seiji the kids the viewer wishes lived next door. Miyazaki's script suggests that magic can exist, even in everyday Tokyo. Whisper of the Heart was the only film Yoshifumi Kondo directed, but its understated charm stands as a monument to his talent. (Rated G, suitable for ages 10 and older: tobacco use) -- Charles Solomon
Ouran High School Host Club: Complete Series (Classic)
Manufacturer: Funimation Prod Model: 26515063
Ouran Academy: An institution of extravagance and prestige where learning comes secondary to luxury. Only those of the highest pedigrees and the wealthiest families are lucky enough to attend, and the truly elite are the members of the Ouran Host Club. A group of the handsomest boys on campus with far too much time on their hands, the Host Club dedicates every afternoon to entertaining the lovely young ladies. Just think of is as the academy's elegant playground for the super-rich and beautiful. But for studious Haruhi Fujioka, education is a privilege that must be earned, being on scholarship and out of place among the moneyed. That is until the day Haruhi stumbles upon the Host Club, a stumble which leaves the freshman indebted for millions of yen. And the only way to pay for the damages? Well, Haruhi will work as a Host. There's only one problem: Haru-he is actually a Haru-she!
Black Lagoon: Season 1 & 2 (Blu-ray + DVD)
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: Black Lagoon Model: 25365324
Rokuro's mundane trip to South East Asia turns from pleasure cruise to festival of pain when modern-day pirates take him hostage. Revy, Dutch, and Benny are the ruthless crew of the Black Lagoon. For them, getting shot at while smuggling drugs, guns, and stolen goods is part of a typical day at work - and Rokuro is joining the team. The action-adventure series Black Lagoon (2006) shoots off more ammunition than a Clint Eastwood film festival. Rokura Okajima, a minor flunky in a major corporation, thinks his life is over when he's kidnapped by pirates, but it's only his business career that ends. He joins the pirates as "Rock," and the trio of Dutch, the understated leader; happy-go-lucky techie Benny; and trigger-happy, potty-mouthed Revy becomes a quartet. They're less pirates than soldiers of fortune, ready to do anything if the price is right. They pursue adventures involving treasure left on a sunken World War II U-boat, pornographers, drug- and arms-dealing nuns, kidnappers, and a terrorist plot to blow up US embassies. The second season of Black Lagoon ratchets up the action and the violence, as two sadistic assassins throw the underworld into an uproar: a pair of Romanian orphans who developed a taste for cruelty performing in snuff films. But most of the Second Barrage focuses on Rock serving as a translator when Russian crime boss Lady Balalaika intervenes in a yakuza gang war in Tokyo. Revy serves as his bodyguard, leaving Benny and Dutch behind. Rock falls for Yukio, a high school girl who succeeds her father as head of the Washimine crime syndicate. When Lady Balalaika comments, "We're all going to be knee-deep in blood before this ends," she isn't kidding. The Russian gangsters, who command more men, vehicles, and weapons than many national armies, quickly exterminate most of the Washimine gang. Amid the carnage, Yukio complains bitterly (and seriously), "Honor and justice are dead." Although bullets, blood, and four-letter words fly, it doesn't add up to much. The gun battles, car chases, knife fights, and explosions take up so much screen time, there's little left for character development or a coherent narrative. Extremely violent, misogynistic, and profane, Black Lagoon is not for squeamish or easily offended viewers. (Rated TV MA: graphic violence, violence against women, extensive profanity, grotesque imagery, alcohol and tobacco use, racial slurs, offensive ethnic stereotypes, Nazi imagery, offensive religious imagery, references to child pornography, suggested incest and torture) --Charles Solomon (1. The Black Lagoon, 2. Mangrove Heaven, 3. Ring-Ding Ship Chase, 4. Die Rückkehr des Adlers, 5. Eagle Hunting and Hunting Eagle, 6. Moonlit Hunting Ground, 7. Calm Down, Two Men, 8. Rasta Blasta, 9. Maid to Kill, 10. The Unstoppable Chambermaid, 11. Lock'n Load Revolution, 12. Guerrillas in the Jungle, 13. The Vampire Twins Comen, 14. Bloodsport Fairytale, 15. Swan Song at Dawn, 16. Greenback Jane, 17. The Roanapur Freakshow Cir...
Star Trek The Animated Series - The Animated Adventures of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek
Manufacturer: Paramount Brand: Paramount Model: 4978527
Boldly continuing where Star Trek: The Original Series left off, these animated adventures chart the progress of Captain Kirk and his crew in a universe unconstrained by "real-life" cinematography! With all characters voiced by their original actors, join Kirk, Spock, Bones and the crew for 22 new adventures: to boldly go where no animation has gone before! Star Trek: The Animated Series is often referred to as Star Trek's "fourth season" because it was created in 1973, four years after the third and final season of the original series, and because most of the original cast provided the voices. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Majel Barrett reprised their characters, and some contributed other voices as well. The only major omission was Walter Koenig's Chekov, who was replaced at the navigation console by Lieutenant Arex, the three-armed alien who most prominently represented the series' freedom to create non-humanoid characters. (Koenig did write an episode.) And while the animation is crude at best, the stories are solid sci-fi (penned by some of Star Trek's veteran writers including DC Fontana and David Gerrold, all of whom received prominent opening credits), explored the Star Trek mythos, and elevated the series above typical Saturday-morning fare. For example, "Yesteryear" goes back to Spock's early years on Vulcan, continuing some explorations from the original series' "Journey to Babel," and offers the familiar voice of Mark Lenard as Sarek. "One of Our Planets Is Missing" raises some interesting philosophical questions about the value of life, and "More Tribbles, More Troubles" and "Mudd's Passion" revisit favorite characters. Star Trek: The Animated Series lasted just barely over one season, but it won the franchise's only Emmy (for Outstanding Entertainment Children's Series in 1975) and some of its ideas were embraced by future series. Trekkers who know it only by reputation will find it a valuable part of the Star Trek canon. In addition to the series' 22 half-hour episodes, the DVD set includes "Drawn to the Final Frontier: The Making of Star Trek: The Animated Series," a 24-minute featurette including interviews with the producers and writers (but not actors) on how the series was created and why it still holds up; "What's the Star Trek Connection?", a glossary of characters and themes common to the animated series and other series; a storyboard gallery; and a brief text history. Writer David Gerrold and producer David Wise contribute audio commentaries on three and one episode, respectively, and the ever-reliable Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda provide text commentary on three other episodes. --David Horiuchi
Dragon Ball: Season 1
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: Funamation Model: 704400051906
NTSC/Region1. In 1986, the animated adaptation of Akira Toriyama's manga Dragon Ball debuted on Japanese television, launching one of the most popular franchises in anime history. Dragon Ball introduced a special mixture of male bonding, rigorous training, martial arts fighting, slapstick comedy, and sci-fi action that scored a huge hit with boys and led to the follow-ups Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. In 1986, the animated adaptation of Akira Toriyama's manga Dragon Ball debuted on Japanese television, launching one of the most popular franchises in anime history. Dragon Ball introduced a special mixture of male bonding, rigorous training, martial arts fighting, slapstick comedy, and sci-fi action that scored a huge hit with boys and led to the follow-ups Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT--and numerous imitators. A small boy from another planet, Goku commands super-human strength, but he was raised in the remote mountains by an old man and he knows little of the world. Goku meets Bulma, who's trying to assemble the seven magical Dragon Balls so she can wish for a boyfriend. The naive boy and the hot-tempered girl join forces, then form a quarrelsome alliance with Oolong, the shape-shifting pig, and Yamcha, a dashing bandit with a metamorphic familiar, Puar. The heroes compete for the Dragon Balls against the pint-sized Emperor Pilaf (who wants to rule the world). After defeating Pilaf, Goku goes to study martial arts with Master Roshi, a lecherous but extraordinarily skilled old man. Goku and fellow student Krillin develop formidable powers that they use in the World Martial Arts Tournament. These episodes set the pattern for Dragon Ball and numerous other series: humans and creatures of all description train endlessly, then gather to pound the ramen out of each other before an audience. Naturally, the hero wins in an extended final match. The first adventures are lighter in tone and more broadly comic than the beginning of the darker Red Ribbon Saga. For years, the first13 episodes of Dragon Ball were only available in the U.S. in the heavily edited set Saga of Goku, to the chagrin of the fans. Following their successful release of the complete Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT, Funimation is presenting Dragon Ball uncut and digitally restored. The series probably looks better now than it did when it premiered, as it was reportedly filmed in 16mm. Note: The sight of the prepubescent Goku and Krillin running around naked doesn't bother Japanese audiences. (Rated TV 14, but appropriate for ages 12 and up: nudity, risqué and toilet humor, cartoon violence, ethnic stereotypes, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon (1. Secret of the Dragon Balls, 2. The Emperor’s Quest, 3. The Nimbus Cloud of Roshi, 4. Oolong the Terrible, 5. Yamcha the Desert Bandit, 6. Keep an Eye on the Dragon Balls, 7. The Ox-King on Fire Mountain, 8. The Kamehameha Wave, 9. Boss Rabbit’s Magic Touch, 10. The Dragon Balls Are Stolen, 11. The Penalty Is Pinball, 12. A...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection
Manufacturer: Lionsgate Brand: Lionsgate
Experience the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle saga in this totally tubular 23-disc set of the original animated series, featuring all 10 seasons in one complete cowabunga collection! From their origins on the comic book page to the depths of Dimension X and beyond, the pizza-loving, shell-busting Leonardo™, Donatello™, Raphael™ and Michelangelo™, with the guidance of their Sensei, have been delighting fans for decades with their turtle power. Whether it’s facing fierce enemies Krang™, Shredder™ and Lord Dregg™, saving humanity from near extinction, or battling against life-altering mutations, the half-shell heroes are always ready for heart-stopping, time-bending, straight outta the sewer action!
FLCL: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: Funimation Model: 16311943
When the three powerhouse creators of Eden of the East, Gurren Lagann and Neon Genesis Evangelion bumped heads, they spawned the series that broke all the rules - then broke the mold.Naota is a detached sixth-grader afflicted by the pangs of puberty. He's fooling around with his brother's ex-girlfriend when a crazed girl on a motor scooter runs him over, brains him with a bass guitar, and moves into his house. This pink-haired girl, Haruko - who claims she's an alien - hurls Naota into the middle of a mega-corporation's secret agenda. Oh, and now giant battling robots shoot from his skull. Mix in mind-bending animation and tunes that echo through your cerebellum to top off the trip that will have you falling hard for FLCL.
High School of the Dead Complete Collection
Manufacturer: Section 23 Model: SF-HSD100
It began without warning. It continues without mercy. Now a band of high schoolers join forces with guns, swords, baseball bats and anything else they can get their hands on to battle a bloodthirsty, flesh-hungry zombie apocalypse. Slashing action, stunning animation, and jawdropping excitement make High School Of The Dead the most hotly anticipated adventures of the year. For horror fans and animation addicts alike, nothing offers the high-energy adrenaline of High School Of The Dead! The broadcast series High School of the Dead (2010) opens on an ordinary day at Fujima Academy in Tokyo--until hordes of zombies begin attacking people. Anyone who's bitten by them is either devoured or turned into a zombie. Sophomore Takashi Komuro, four of his friends, and Ms. Shizuka, the overendowed school nurse, fight their way out of the school and struggle to survive in a world gone mad. Using swords, baseball bats, and an arsenal of high-tech weapons and vehicles, the teenagers beat, blast, and flatten their grisly foes. The cause of the zombie plague is just one of the many important plot points that's never explained, but director Tetsuro Araki isn't really interested in presenting a coherent story. He keeps the camera looking up the girls' skirts, down their blouses, or at blank walls that get splattered with blood. In one shot certain to go down in fan-service history, he follows a projectile over one girl's breasts and under another's skirt--in slow motion. Hormonal adolescent boys who enjoy the juxtaposition of jiggle shots and blood baths are the obvious audience for High School of the Dead; other viewers should approach it with caution. (Rated TV MA VSD: graphic violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, cannibalism, nudity, sexual situations, profanity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon (1. Spring of the Dead, 2. Escape from the Dead, 3. Democracy Under the Dead, 4. Running in the Dead, 5. Streets of the Dead, 6. In the Dead of Night, 7. Dead Night & Dead Rock, 8. The Dead Way Home, 9. The Sword and the Dead, 10. The Dead's House Rules, 11. Dead Storm Rising, 12. All Dead's Attack)
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