The 1991 Studio Ghibli classic Only Yesterday is finally being released in North America this week, so our 25 year wait is over. Directed by Isao Takahata and produced by Hayao Miyazaki, everything I have read about this says it is full of the kind of emotional storytelling and beautiful animation Ghibli is famous for. GKids had a hand in getting it finally released here, and they have another one coming out this week: Alê Abreu’s Academy Award-nominated Boy and the World. This is a Brazilian animation which tells its story without a single word being spoken; instead it is propelled with a soundscape of Samba Hip-Hop. It won over 40 awards world wide and was nominated for many, many more, and is often described as the most vibrant and beautiful animation of 2015. There is a live action film this week as well, Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid (Mei Ren Yu), in which a tycoon buys a marine wildlife preserve to develop, not knowing it is the habitat of a Mer colony. He uses sonar to cripple and kill the wildlife, and they fight back by sending a beautiful mermaid who has learned to walk on her fins and pass as human to kill him. Yes, this is another Romantic Comedy from the man who brought us Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, and also it became the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time on February 19th of this year.
In Anime Empire of Corpses is based on an award winning novel by Project Itoh (real name Satoshi Itō), and it is the first story of a trilogy. In an alternate and very steampunk timeline medical student John Watson is trying to duplicate the results achieved by Dr. Victor Frankenstein in order to reanimate his dead friend. In Parasyte -the maxim: Collection 2 humanity has finally become aware of the shape shifting alien invaders, and the shadow war has begun. And while the invading predators may be fearsome warriors one on one, Mankind hunts in packs. Naruto Shippūden Uncut DVD set 27 brings episodes 336 through 348 home this week, I think the episode currently streaming from Japan is 465 or so.
Besides the new releases, a number of previously released titles are coming out with new purchasing options. Sekirei + Sekirei: Pure Engagement puts the entire 26 episodes in a single box set for about the price a single season ran before. Guilty Crown: Complete Collection is also now available as a single box set, but the price I have seen at most places means you can get it for less by buying season 1 and 2 separately; that may change by Tuesday, so do a little comparison shopping for this one. Both Aquarion Evol: Complete Collection and Karneval: Complete Series are coming out in S.A.V.E. editions, meaning you can pick them up for under $20 each if you shop around a little.