Blu-Ray Review and Giveaway: The Case of Hana & Alice (Anime) ~ 3 Winners!

Blu-Ray Review and Giveaway: The Case of Hana & Alice (Anime) ~ 3 Winners!

About the Movie:
When Alice transfers to a new middle school, she hears an urban legend about a student who disappeared the previous year and is suspected to have been killed by his fellow students. Even worse, Alice discovers that she lives next door to his former house, a supposedly haunted home, now occupied by a reclusive classmate named Hana.

Hana and Alice decide to investigate this “murder case” together, but soon find that their lack of detective skills may be an obstacle. This unusual and charming film from famed writer-director Shunji Iwai is a shaggy-dog mystery tale that ultimately gives way to a wonderfully nuanced story of young female friendship, and the fantasies and thrills of everyday teenage life.

Watch the Trailer!

The marvelous anime film The Case of Hana & Alice will be available in North America for the first time on September 17, when it comes to Blu-ray™ from GKIDS and Shout! Factory. The release includes over two hours of bonus features, including a greeting from the film’s premiere and a message from animator Makoto Shinkai (Your Name) that are exclusive to the physical release.

Bonus Features:
· Interview with Yu Aoi and Anne Suzuki (voice actors)
· Film Completion Press Conference
· Film Premiere Stage Greeting
· Interview with Director Shunji Iwai
· Message from Makoto Shinkai (animator)
· Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots

Review by D.T.
The Case of Hana & Alice starts out as any coming-of-age film: Understandably frustrated, 14-year-old Tetsuko Arisugawa, or Alice, has recently moved into a new home in the country. She is picked on at school, partially for being the new girl, and partially because she has unknowingly overstepped a local legend and has been declared cursed by the other students. She lives with her mother, who is going through a divorce with Alice's father and is trying to get the attention of single men (much to the embarrassment of Alice). Meanwhile, her father flippantly reveals all of their “family secrets” in a popular book series. To make things more chaotic, she cannot even decide on her own name, having recently disposed of her childish nickname, and she is now changing it again after being dubbed “Alice” by a childhood friend. Everything seems to be a mess. However, Alice is a positive girl, and she slowly turns her life around. She joins the track team at school. She takes up ballet, again. She learns about the area from her childhood friend, who has lived here for a while. Her last goal is to confront that local legend that has cursed her and made her unpopular at school. Through a silly series of events, she finds herself face-to-face with Hana, the reclusive neighbor, and together they go on an adventure to track down the source of the legend and learn the truth.

At first, the film seems simple. The animation of the characters is very plain. The music is cheery, but childish. And everything follows Alice as she lives out her day-to-day, middle-school routine, trying to adjust to a new life in a strange place. As it continues, the plot gets more and more complex, and you start to notice the details in everything. The art seems to come alive, their movements lifelike, and the vistas are masterful watercolors. Meanwhile, Alice’s life turns around, and she slowly but surely gets entangled in Hana’s life. They are both miserable in their own way, but that somehow only draws them closer. And as their journey comes to an end, you can’t imagine that these two have not been friends their entire lives. As the movie finishes, you also can’t imagine that they will ever not be friends from here on out. The story seems like it has probably happened to someone at some point, and the unbelievable just becomes a wonderful tale that they will recount for others some day as the “story of how we met.” Hana and Alice encapsulate both the frustration and the joy of being a teenager, and their story is sure to capture your heart.


Three (3) lucky winners will receive a Blu-ray copy of The Case of Hana & Alice! Enter through the Giveaway Tools form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this film to facilitate the review.

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