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North American anime distributor Sentai Filmworks confirmed on Thursday that it has licensed Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi o Ou Kodomo), director Makoto Shinkai's latest film, for release in English. The film will receive a theatrical run beginning with a June 26 – July 3 screening at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles, which will be followed by a general theatrical release via digital cinema distribution. A home video release on Blu-ray and DVD will follow the theatrical run later this year.
It was revealed that a North American company had licensed Children Who Chase Lost Voices last November when Canada's 2011 Waterloo Festival of Animated Cinema cited the licensing as the reason behind a planned screening's cancellation. This March, it was discovered that the domain "childrenwhochasevoices.com" had been licensed by "S-F Domain," a name that had also registered the domain "thisboycanfightaliens.com," which was listed in Sentai Filmworks's press release for the anime This Boy Can Fight Aliens!.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices centers on Asuna, a girl who spends her solitary days listening to the mysterious music emanating from the crystal radio she received from her father as a memento. However, she embarks on a journey of adventure to find a mysterious boy she just met, and thus comes to know the cruelty and beauty of the world, as well as loss.
The film's director, Makoto Shinkai, is also the creator of Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, and 5 Centimeters Per Second. Takayo Nishimura (5 Centimeters Per Second, Before Green Gables) designed the characters and oversaw the animation process. Takumi Tanji (5 Centimeters Per Second, The Place Promised in Our Early Days) directed the art, and musical composer Tenmon (5 Centimeters Per Second, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Voices of a Distant Star) collaborated with Shinkai again on this project.
Update: Background information added.
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