One of the best Japanese films I caught last year was Mamoru Hosoda’s Summer Wars (or, if you prefer spelling English titles out in katakana for the hell of it, サマーウォーズ), which was shown at the NFT alongside Uchuu Show e Yokoso.
It’s a visually stunning film built on the contrasts between the traditional (an old family mansion in rural Japan, beautifully animated in a traditional hand-drawn style) and the ultra-modern (the 3D virtual world of Oz, which is drawn as a gobsmacking whirl of light, sharp edges and vivid colour). I’d love to see it again and, brilliantly, it’s finally coming out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK next month.
But better than that: it’s going to be available in a Blu-ray double-pack with Hosoda’s previous film, The Girl who Leapt through Time (時をかける少女), which is one of the loveliest Japanese animated films I’ve ever seen – a completely charming science fiction piece that deals with slightly awkward teenagehood without ever descending into the many horrible cliches that plague so much anime these days. The Girl who Leapt through Time has not been previously available on Blu-ray in the UK.
Amazon is listing the two-movie pack for just over £15, which is just obscenely great value, and you can pre-order the set from Amazon here (Note: Amazon affiliate link – you pay the usual Amazon price, I get 10p or so off my next expensive book order).