Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
Nine months after its theatrical release, “Welcome to the Space Show” blasts off on Blu-ray and DVD on Feb. 9.
The animated feature film made its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2010.
It was directed by Koji Masunari and written by Hideyuki Kurata, with Masashi Ishihama as character designer and animation supervisor. Masunari is also responsible for “Kamichu!” which took the Excellence Prize at the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
A-1 Pictures Inc., the anime studio behind the “Big Windup!” and “Fractal” animated TV series, produced “Welcome to the Space Show,” a 136-minute film that took about four years to complete.
The story begins in an idyllic village in a remote woodland region. The elementary school has a total of five students.
One day, Natsuki and the other four kids come across an injured dog. They give the dog first aid, unaware of the cosmic adventures that are about to unfold.
It turns out the dog is actually an alien, called Pochi Rickman, from the Planet Wan. In return for saving him, Pochi invites them to embark on a journey to the moon.
But their fun trip goes wrong, leaving them stranded in space. The kids have to find a way to get back home while being targeted by nasty space creatures.
The anime will be sold in three versions. A special limited Blu-ray edition is priced at 10,290 yen ($125), the regular Blu-ray 6,090 yen, including tax, and the regular DVD costs 5,040 yen.
The limited edition Blu-ray version contains two bonus DVDs filled with extras.
The main Blu-ray disc will contain audio commentaries by production crew and voice cast members. It will also come with a high-quality soundtrack in 5.1 DVD audio.
The first DVD bonus disc will contain storyboards presented in multi-angle formats. The second disc includes a 60-minute documentary featuring anime critic Ryusuke Hikawa examining the secrets of Masunari’s works. It will also include a talk show aired on the Animax anime satellite channel that starred Masunari as the panel’s main guest.
Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.