"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ultimate Blu-ray Package Dropping July 22nd!

平成ガメラ4Kデジタル復元版 BLU-RAY BOXが7月22日に発売される。

Jacket design for "Heisei Gamera 4k Digital Restoration Blu-ray Box"!

Hitting Japanese shelves this July 22nd will be a special six-disc Blu-ray box set containing the ultimate 4k restorations of all four of the Heisei Gamera films, including Shusuke Kaneko's 1990s trilogy and Ryuta Tasaki's GAMERA THE BRAVE (2006), the latter film in its first domestic BD release. For fans of the 1990s trilogy, at the very least, this set boasts the ultimate restorations of the films ever issued on any home video format.

The guts of this ultimate Blu-ray box are spilled for the first time!

The first disc of special features includes the 30-second teaser for the proposed new, upcoming film, director Kaneko's on-stage talk show from the March 20, 2016 4k screening of his trilogy, as well as Chukyo TV's 1996 documentary aired during the release of GAMERA 2: ASSAULT OF LEGION (apparently, Kadokawa's new English-language title for the film). But, wait! That's not all...

One of the 750 unpublished photos included in the special book!

Rounding out the first special features disc are original series director Noriaki Yuasa's "Gamera Special" Volumes 1 & 2 (issued on VHS in the early '90s), as well as the entirety of special features created for the original "Ultimate Box" Laserdisc set, which is pretty intensive. While the second special features disc contains an astounding 380-minutes (that's six-and-a-half hours) of interviews with 95 staff members who worked on the films! Hold on! There's more...

Three-sixth view of the soon-to-be-released Blu-ray box set!

Also contained in this ultimate digipak box set are two booklets; one not being a "booklet" at all: "G I-III Sfx & Art: Photographs" features 200 pages of 750 unpublished photographs of artwork and props from the '90s Trilogy. While the "G I-IV Complement Books (sic)" is 32-pages of interviews on the 4k restoration, updated and revised materials from the original Laserdisc booklets, and Shinji Higuchi's LD jacket designs for those releases. MSRP: ¥38000 ($349.00 USD).

To trumpet this release, these 4k restorations of Kaneko's Trilogy will be screened for three weeks, starting June 22nd through July 2nd, at United Cinemas Toyosu in Tokyo. Schedule and further details will be announced on June 1st via the theater's official website (Japanese only). While the new-old Gamera is back, can we still look forward to a new-new Gamera to love in the future? Stay tuned...

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