GKIDS Acquires N. American Rights to 4 Makoto Shinkai Films | Cafe Talk

Hey all!

Between all the EVERYDAY EVA posts and BTS PTD ON STAGE in Seoul tweets, GKIDS has made another surprising move in the licensing and distribution world of anime.

Just today they announced they announced the acquisition of 4 films by Makoto Shinkai: Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and Children Who Chase Lost Voices. This means that all of Shinkai’s major films except for Your Name. (Funimation) and The Garden of Words (Sentai Filmworks) have been licensed by GKIDS. And all of them will be DUBBED on Blu-ray!


“We are thrilled to represent these vital early films from Makoto Shinkai,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “They display the astounding visuals and emotional stories of longing and human connection that have made him one of the most exciting and important directors in animation today, and we look forward to reintroducing them to fans old and new.”

From GKIDS Official Website—read the rest here!

I’m still reeling from this announcement. WOW. That means they currently release:

  • All Studio Ghibli titles
  • Makoto Shinkai (minus those two)
  • Mamoru Hosoda (split w/Funi)
  • Satoshi Kon (split w/ ElevenArts)
  • Masaaki Yuasa (all?)
  • Hideaki Anno’s NGE & EOE 🤯

Given their current trajectory, I predict that in the next couple years, GKIDS will probably announce acquisition for:

  • Anno’s Rebuild of Evangelion
  • Hosoda’s first four films (from Funi)

Annnd, if I can strike out on a limb:

  • Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell
  • Kenji Kamiyama’s GitS SAC

Regardless of what they manage to acquire, I’m amazed GKIDS is always so thorough and elegant about the whole process. I imagine licensing wars get ugly between companies, so for them to proceed with such refined marketing, wide access theatrical screenings, & affordable physical releases is beyond me.

Now, I know next to nothing about how the industry works. But what I DO know is that GKIDS is tackling classic and popular anime titles, most of which were in license purgatory or without an official Blu-ray release for the longest time. Plus they DUB everything. 😩👏

Dubbing is so important because it helps with global outreach. If you like dubs, awesome! Otherwise, you get you get your fave anime films in hi-def. In retrospect, the fact that they acquired BOTH dubs for Neon Genesis Evangelion shows just how much the fans matter to them.

I foresee GKIDS acquiring most if not all of the major works of big-name anime directors even from other companies that have already released their stuff. Discotek and Sentai only just recently put out their Shinkai Blu-rays—Funi’s hold on Hosoda’s catalog is probably next.

And I think this is a great thing. It means less work their team had to do in terms of lending dubs to releases. Plus, Funi is one of those companies that just produces quality work, especially when it comes to art-house films. 👏

The benefit of operating and releasing all of these films under one label also makes it easier for fans like myself to own it all in nice, consistent packaging. As a collector, I couldn’t be happier with what GKIDS is doing for the anime industry right now!

I’ve been a Shinkai fan for as long as I’ve been watching anime, so I just had to share this HUGE news on the blog. Absolutely incredible. I’ve written over 10k words on his works, and to see them all officially licensed now makes my heart so full. Here, have a smiling Kiki 🙂

What are your thoughts on GKIDS and this license announcement? Do you enjoy Shinkai films as much as I do? Please feel free to share any thoughts in the comments below!

– Takuto

Takuto Helped Back The Vision of Escaflowne Kickstarter!

That’s right! I participated in my first ever “Kickstarter” program. Albeit a measly $15 patron, I’m still entitled to some pretty neat gifts (even though that’s not the main reason I participated, well, sorta). See below:

Watch the announcement for a groundbreaking new Kickstarter project for The Vision of Escaflowne–and join us in creating a new definitive dub of this classic that finally matches the uncut HD content!

Read more and back the Kickstarter today at http://funi.to/1n4Rq2a!

The uncut HD Japanese version of the classic anime The Vision of Escaflowne includes scenes that have never been seen in North America, meaning that English speakers have never experienced the show fully in dubbed format. Help make a fan-demanded complete dub finally a reality!

If you are at all interested in a Blu-ray/DVD re-release of this anime classic with never-before-seen-in-English scenes from the original Japanese release . . . Did I also mention a BRAND NEW ENGLISH DUB by FUNimation Entertainment? Then consider throwing a few bucks at this kid. It’s their first Kickstarter and mine as well, and I hope my $15 token helps bring the project closer to its steep $150,000 goal (even though they are well over 3/4 there.

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If you are interested, click below for more INFORMATION!

ANN’s post over the project

The Vision of Escaflowne Kickstarter itself

Being my first, I didn’t want to overspend, you know? But contributing even a little bit was thrilling, and I hope it pays off! Only the name The Vision of Escaflowne is familiar to me; I know virtually nothing about the franchise. Nevertheless, you can expect Takuto’s REAL NAME to appear on the on-disc credit listing if everything works like it should, haha!

Just thought I’d pop by with my thoughts. Support NOW while you can, as this Kickstarter is FLYING BY! Spend wisely ~

– Takuto, your host