According to the good folks at Nausicaa.Net (the best site on the Web for any Studio Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki news), August 31 might bring us not one, not two, but three anime treasures. Several people have spotted that date as the release date for Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind, Porco Rosso, and My Neighbor Totoro!!!
Of those three, the only one I’ve seen is My Neighbor Totoro, which has been available on DVD from Fox Home Video, but only dubbed and fullscreen. It’ll be awesome to finally have it in all of its remastered, subtitled, and widescreen glory. I’ve read the epic manga that “Nausicaa” is based on, but that’s my only familiarity with the anime; I know nothing about “Porco Rosso” other than the general plot, and I’m keeping it that way.
Although a Miyazaki boxset is widely available from eBay and various fansubbing sites, and the movies have been available as Region 2 releases (like Whisper Of The Heart), I’ve been holding out for these official U.S. releases, partly to support the domestic anime industry and show that there’s a discerning audience for the stuff in the States, and also to support Disney on the rare chance when they do something right.
I’ve been meaning to say this, but 2004 is a great year to be an anime fan in America. A lot of great series (Last Exile, Haibane Renmei, and Yukikaze) are currently in release, with more (Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex) on the way. And there’s hope we might even see Ghost in the Shell: Innocence and Steamboy hit these shores before year’s end.