By which I mean the Taiwanese release of the Mamoru Hosoda movie Summer Wars, as opposed to any kind of conflict involving Taiwanese seasonal weather patterns, awesome though that sounds.
Taiwanese anime distributor Mighty released Summer Wars on Blu-Ray a few weeks ago, and whilst it’s not the first such release, it is the first release of the movie to sport such niceties as English subtitles, which was enough to convince me that it was worth a purchase. It’s generally a pretty nice release of the movie, too.
In terms of packaging, it’s a standard blue Blu-Ray case enclosed within a card slipcover (and an obi). There’s two disks inside the case – the BR disk featuring the movie, and a second DVD disk featuring extras, though given that the second disk is devoid of subtitles I can’t imagine it’ll be of vast interest to the majority of my readers. The BR disk, it’s worth pointing out, looks to be multi-region – at least, I can confirm that it works on both my Zone A and Zone B players. Regions other than that I promise no guarantees for, but at least Europeans without only a local player can have something to be happy about.
Early orders also came with a couple of other extras – a film strip, and the mousemat pictured above. My luck with film strips, well, continues to be much what it normally is…
Well, I guess a telephone is marginally better than a candle, at least…
As for the film itself, I have to say I’m not actually going to watch it for a couple of months. You see, I saw it theatrically back in May, and I’m going to see it theatrically again next month – I’m not really inclined to possibly dilute my enjoyment of that second screening by cramming in another viewing inbetween. I did, at least, watch a few minutes of the movie to see how the release turned out. The video looks fine – I mean, it’s a BD50 with just the movie on disk, so I’d hope it’d look good. I admit, when I was watching it on the PC I thought it looked a little soft in places, but given I had something of that impression seeing it projected from film as well, I’m inclined to think it’s the movie rather than the transfer, particularly given it’s mostly around the characters rather than the backgrounds. It wasn’t something that stood out half as much watching it on the TV anyway, so I may just be exaggerating.
I don’t think this is the exact scene from the film clip, but close enough
As far as the subtitles go, they look to be fine. There are two minor issues with them – firstly, whoever typed them up seems not to understand the concept of the “full stop” (that would be a “period” for you US-types). That is, lines of dialogue are never terminated. This means that they have a distinct habit of reading into each other, particularly when more than one line is on display at the same time. And speaking of lines of dialogue on display at the same time, that’s the other issue – when there are two speakers talking close enough to each other that they are both subtitled simultaneously, there’s no indication of the fact that’s been a change in who is being translated other than the line break. That’s something rendered doubly problematic given the lack of sentence termination. It can be a little confusing, at least initially, but it’s nothing horrendous.
Of course, Funimation has the US rights to Summer Wars already, and there’s a local UK licensor in the guise of Manga Entertainment as well, so the patient may do well by waiting until next year for a version with undoubtedly more robust subtitles, a dub and probably some translated extras for a smaller cash investment. Those in need of a more immediate fix, however, could do far worse than hitting up the likes of Yesasia and grabbing a copy of this release.