If there’s one thing I learned from all the REDLINE hoopla earlier this year, it’s that being excited about an anime movie is fun, and you don’t get the opportunity to feel that way very much anymore, because most anime movies are sequels/tie-ins to bad tv shows you never finished watching in the first place.
So you can imagine my excitement when a Japanese Ninja Scroll Blu-ray was announced. Somewhere on Twitter there’s a tweet I made one or two years ago where I mentioned having a dream in which I possessed a boxset of Yoshiaki Kawajiri movies on Blu-ray and was trying to watch them, but I had guests over that kept getting in my way. My dream shaman told me it was a metaphor for how anime fandom is lame and gets in the way of my ability to enjoy anime, and maybe he had a point. But I simply took the dream as evidence that I really wanted to watch Yoshiaki Kawajiri-directed anime in HD clarity. Including Ninja Scroll.
So like a crazy person I imported the movie and watched it and it was amazing. The disc includes the English and Japanese language tracks without subtitles, therefore I watched Ninja Scroll dubbed in English. MangaUK has already announced plans for a Ninja Scroll Blu-ray SteelBook which not only includes subtitles for the JP language track, but also for the Kawajiri commentary that’s included on the Blu-ray. Look forward to that if you have the capability of playing Region B Blu-ray discs, I know I will. I have to imagine the Blu-ray will eventually make it’s way to the United States, though probably not encased in steel. And to little fanfare.
The disc also included an eighty-second trailer for Ninja Scroll 2, a project Kawajiri would like to get up and running but hasn’t due to a lack of funding. I hope this project ends up materializing. It’s a travesty, Kawajiri should never be hard up for money on any of his projects. I have hope he’ll hold out, get the money, and make the movie properly. As in, without bad CG or rampant product placement.
I wrote this post assuming you either already know who Yoshiaki Kawajiri is, or don’t mind me invoking his name constantly without any explanation. He’s an anime director who primarily works with the Japanese anime studio MADHOUSE, where he’s done a lot of great anime. A lot more could and should be said about the man.