Blood to be released to select theaters this summer, followed by release on DVD and VHS on August 28th. On the launch date, Sputnik7.com
will stream clips of the movie for 24 hours only
Excerpted from the official press release:U.S. THEATRICAL RELEASE THIS SUMMER
DVD AND VHS RELEASE AUGUST 28, 2001
"Digital filmmaking has entered a new era.
The world will come to consider this work as the standard of top quality in digital animation."
- James Cameron (Director - Titanic)
Chicago, IL - June 6, 2001, Manga Entertainment is proud to announce the release of Japan's first fully-digitally-animated feature film Blood: The Last Vampire. Produced by the visionary animators at Japan's Production I.G Studios (Ghost in the Shell), Blood: The Last Vampire will be released in select theatres this summer and on DVD/VHS August 28, 2001. Audiences will also have the opportunity to see the film 'digitally projected' theatrically, when Blood: The Last Vampire headlines this year's RESFEST, the international digital film festival touring the U.S. beginning this fall (www.resfest.com).
In addition, Blood: The Last Vampire will receive international Internet exposure with one-time-only 24 hour streaming broadcast of excerpts from the film that will take place on August 28th at the entertainment website www.sputnik7.com. This will be coordinated with special events and promotions held at Manga's own www.manga.com/blood
"It was beautiful. It was as if the art of Francis Bacon had come to life."
- Andy Wachowski (Director - The Matrix)
As Japan's first fully-digital-animated-feature film, Blood: The Last Vampire is unlike anime features of the past. While the character designs and backgrounds were created using traditional drawing techniques, these elements were painted, compiled and filmed using computer technology. The process was enhanced by the inclusion of digital lighting effects and revolutionary computer generated models, plus a variety of innovative camera techniques. The highly technical standards used in the film also extended into the musical score and sound effects which were mixed in Hollywood, CA. A 'first-time' for an anime film, Blood: The Last Vampire features a number of American characters with more than ninety percent of the film's dialogue written and spoken in the English language. The leading role of Saya is voice acted by Youki Kodoh (Snow Falling on Cedars.)
The cooperative planning behind Blood: The Last Vampire was supervised under the direction of the acclaimed Japanese animation director Mamoru Oshii. Under a study group called 'Team Oshii', the majority of the creative staff where the same artists instrumental in the development and production of the smash Japanese animation masterpiece Ghost in the Shell. The film was directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo who started in the business as an animator for the film Akira and who has since grown into becoming a key figure in the Japanese animation industry with an impressive list of credits to date. Using more highly developed computer technologies and animation techniques than ever before, Production I.G has created its most cutting-edge work of animation art ever.
"Exciting! Run to the theaters!" - Katsuhiro Otomo (Director - Akira)
Blood: The Last Vampire takes place in the fall of 1966. The Vietnam War is underway and the U.S. military machine is being supplied out of the Yokota Air Force Base - a plot of U.S. land within Japan. Within the compound, the atmosphere is charged with violent intensity as F4 combat planes take off hastily one after the next. Meanwhile, a series of suspicious suicides are reported in town.
On the Ginza subway line -- the last train heading toward Asakusa, a girl sits quietly in a dreary subway car. Her name is Saya. With a piercing gaze that would force even an adult into submission and lips tightly drawn with determination, she is the savior sent by the 'organization' to vanquish the blood-sucking chiropterans that have concealed themselves among their human hosts. Clad in a Japanese school uniform, and wielding an ancient Samurai sword, Saya must infiltrate the American school within the Yokota military compound, uncover the source of the pestilence, and eliminate it.
"Just the sound production of this work itself might change the future of Japanese animation."
- Kunihiko Ikuhara (Director - Sailor Moon)
Manga Entertainment has captured this brilliant anime feature on DVD and enhanced the release with special features such as: "The Making of Blood" Documentary; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, 16X9 Anamorphic Digital Transfer, Image Gallery, Original Japanese Theatrical Trailers, Web Links and DVD ROM content. Available in stores August 28, 2001, Pre-book: August