|After 3 years of waiting I finally got to see ハウルの動く城 (Howl's Moving Castle) last friday night. It was quite different from 千と千尋の神隠し (Spirited Away) and I'd been warned of that, and so my expectations were dampened somewhat before getting to the cinema. Afterwards it's taken a few days to grow on me, but now I'm pretty keen to go and see it again to catch all the little things I missed the first time. I did like how the story took a few unexpected turns and of course the animation and scenery was top notch. Spirited Away is one of my 5 top all time movies... and was very different to it's predecessor; Princess Mononoke, another of my top 5 fravs. Howl seemed to have a lot more in common with Spirited Away so in some sense it reminded me of too much of it, and thus almost competed for the same story space. Still it's a great film, 4/5 stars from me.
I've been keeping an eye on the whole DVD situation and the R2 (Japanese) DVD release date has been annouced: 16/11/2005 (available from Amazon Japan with a nice discount) but what is more interesting to me is an Australian R4 release (in PAL yay!) from MadMan. They did stella work on the Australian release of Spirited Away so I'm fairly sure their PAL release of Howl will be top notch. But the question of when does arise. And after emailing them today, they promptly told me their ETA is around April/May 2006. Which is a while away yet, but I think I can wait.
So if your looking for something to see why not catch Howl at the theatres? It's now showing in Australia.