It’s Killing Me

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence - Mamoru Oshii
Mamoru Oshii’s Innocence

Whenever I find out about great movies coming down the pipe in the next year or two, it’s always bittersweet. It gets me all excited, but I know that I still have to wait at least a year before it ever gets into my grubby hands, and that’s doubly so for anything coming from across the Pacific.

In 2003, Katsuhiro Otomo is releasing Steamboy, his first movie in 15 years. Otomo directed a little film called Akira, which is essentially the film that put animé on the map as far as most are concerned. Reportedly the most expensive animated film ever created in Japan, Steamboy is about a father/​son duo of scientists battling evil group during England’s Industrial Revolution.

In 2004, two of animé’s biggest names release feature films. Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Avalon) will release Innocence in the spring. Apparently a sequel of sorts to Ghost in the Shell, Innocence will also be a romance with a technological edge (big surprise there).

Later in 2004, Hayao Miyazaki will release Howl’s Moving Castle. Like the critically acclaimed Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle features a young female protagonist (though this one has been turned into an old woman by a wizard). However, I’m sure the movie takes that simple premise and builds it into something much more.

Sigh… and if those weren’t bad enough, I’m still dying to see Hero which is premiering in China right now. I watch the trailer, I go to the website, and I read reviews like this one, which only serve to make it harder to wait. The movie comes out on DVD on February 5, 2003 — which makes a nice, belated birthday gift — but that’s just not soon enough.

The website for the English release of The Princess Blade just went live earlier this week. This is yet another movie that I’ve been wanting to see (especially since Donnie Yen does the action scenes), but I just haven’t gotten around to picking up the import DVD. ADV Films is bringing this baby to America in 2003.

(Thanks to ScreenDaily, MonkeyPeaches, and AnimeNation for the scuttlebutt.)