Sword of the Stranger, Wolf Children Released Monday
posted on by Andrew Osmond
The film revolves around a nameless samurai ("Nanashi") and the boy he vows to protect from forces both foreign and domestic. Hunted by the Mings from China, young Kotaro and his dog meet Nanashi, who is constantly being haunted by dreams of the past which lead him to seal his sword. Among the Mings is a fiercesome Western fighter named Rarou, who desires only to find a worthy opponent. When both groups clash with a Sengoku-era feudal lord, a proud general, and monks torn between faith and survival, the reason behind the Mings' pursuit tests the bond between Kotaro and Nanashi.
Stranger director Masahiro Ando (no relation to the Sailor Moon episode director with the same name) supervised the animation on Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, and he also storyboarded Fullmetal Alchemist television episodes and the film. Before writing the screenplay for Stranger, Fumihiko Takayama directed Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket and Patlabor WXIII. Naoki Satō wrote the music in the Eureka Seven and X television series and won a Japanese Academy Award for his Always: Sunset on Third Street film soundtrack.
The Japanese soundtrack features Tokio band member Tomoya Nagase (Ikebukuro West Gate Park, Seoul) as "Nanashi" and child actor Yuri Chinen (Ninja Hattori Kun The Movie) as the boy Kotarou. The main lead character voices from three of the biggest BONES hits collaborated here for the first time: Kouichi Yamadera (Cowboy Bebop's Spike), Maaya Sakamoto (Escaflowne's Hitomi), and Mamoru Miyano (Wolf’s Rain's Kiba). The English dub cast that includes Aidan Drummond, Michael Adamthwaite, Scott McNeil, Brian Dobson, and Ken Kramer.
Wolf Children's story covers 13 years and begins with a 19-year-old college student named Hana (Colleen Clinkenbeard) who encounters and falls in "fairy tale-like" love with a "wolf man." After marrying the wolf man, Hana gives birth and raises two wolf children — an older sister named Yuki (Jad Saxton) who was born on a snowy day, and a younger brother named Ame (Micah Solusod) who was born on a rainy day. When something catastrophic happens, Hana decides to move to a rural town far removed from the city.
The film won the Animation of the Year award at 2013's Tokyo Anime Awards, won the animation category in the 26th Annual Japan Academy Prizes in March, and won the Animation Film Award at the 67th Annual Mainichi Film Awards in February. Additionally, the film won an Audience Award at this year's New York International Children's Film Festival.
Manga Entertainment will also release the third volume of Digimon Adventure tri. (subtitled Confession as a Collector's Blu-ray and a DVD. From the synopsis:
Meicoomon vanishes into the distorted abyss. Shaken, Tai and the others search for answers about Meicoomon's infection. Izzy seeks answers from Meiko but she's lost all emotion. Izzy quarantines Agumon and the other Digimon in the office so that the infection can't spread any further, but Patamon starts to show signs of the illness. Agumon and the others use Kari's voice to tell the team about an important secret concerning the Digital World.
MVM will release a DVD edition of the series Norn9. (The Blu-ray editon was released in October.) It's based on Otomate's Norn9: Norn + Nonette PSP otome game for female players. Sentai Filmworks described the story:
Based on the visual novel of the same name, the story follows a 12-year-old boy named Sorata Suzuhara who finds himself transported to an alternate time, and possibly a different world. Aboard the Norn, a giant spherical ship that acts as a miniature city, Sorata joins three girls and nine young men on a journey toward an unknown destination.
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