HBO Max adds four animated films and two animated documentaries this month
Anime is big business these days. Netflix has cartoons in 100 million homes in 100 countries. Funimation just spent a billion dollars to acquire the streaming service Crunchyroll. HBO Max is still a growing service, but is ramping up its anime game with a bundle of six new films from GKIDS Films arriving to the service this month.
The list includes four films and two documentaries, all intriguing in themselves.
Weathering With You comes from director Makoto Shinkai, whose painterly background and sad stories have made him a favorite among anime fans. The film tells the story of a Japan shaken by constant torrential rains and a boy who runs away from his home in Tokyo, where he meets a young girl who can manipulate the weather. The most critically acclaimed and financially successful Shinkai work is Your Name, which became somewhat of a crossover hit and overtook Spirited Away as the highest grossing animated film of all time.
Promare, from Studio Trigger, takes place in a world where more than half of the population has died in massive spontaneous human combustion, and a huge surge of magma threatens to end the job. Team staff members include Hiroyuki Imaishi, Kazuki Nakashima, Shigeto Koyama and Hiroyuki Sawano, who have worked on shows and films like Gurren Lagaan, Redline, Kill la Kill, and Panty & Stocking. The same studio is also working on Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, based on the Cyberpunk 2077 video game.
Ride Your Wave and The Night is Short, Walk On Girl both come from legendary anime director Masaaki Yuasa, who has worked on anime like Mind Game, Devilman Crybaby, Kaiba, Ping Pong and even American productions like the episode. from Adventure Time “Food Chain.” Ride Your Wave is about a young woman and her relationship with the ghost of her late boyfriend, while Walk On Girl follows a young woman through a strange, chaotic night.
Finally, two documentaries on Hayao Miyazaki and his animation house, Studio Ghibli, arrive at the service. Endless Man: Hayao Miyazaki focuses on Miyazaki himself, while The Realm of Dreams and Madness takes a closer look at Studio Ghibli working on two animated films.
Weathering With You is already available on the service, but in particular without its Japanese dub. Only the English track is available at the moment, where HBO Max’s mostly Ghibli library offers both the original English and Japanese tracks. Although common at one point, an anime without its Japanese vocal track is almost unheard of these days. The vocal cast of Weathering With You includes, among others, Alison Brie, Riz Ahmed and Lee Pace. It is not yet known whether the other films will include their Japanese vocal tracks. The other five films entered service in just one week, on January 12, 2021.