Joe Hisaishi in Budokan - 25 years with the Animations of Hayao Miyazaki

UK Distributor: n/a (import only)

Retail Price: 4,700 (around 36 + import cost)

Length: 115 minutes

Audio Options: 5.1 & 2.0

Reviewer:  Tom (Webmaster)

If you have not heard of Jo Hisaishi, then you have certainly heard of at least one of the orchestral scores he has composed for numerous Japanese films.  He created the score for the modern classic Hana-Bi and for anime such as Venus Wars and the live-action Yamato.  He is best known for his work on the films of Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of the hugely influential Studio Ghibli.  Given the popularity of his work and the acclaim it has garnered, it is no surprise that a DVD/Blu-Ray of his 2009 performance of his work on the films of Miyazaki would be released. 


The performance took place in the Budokan, a legendary venue in Tokyo which is also famous for performances by The Beatles, Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen, and was filmed by NHK for a TV screening.  The main feature starts showing the full venue and orchestra and then starts off with the main pieces from the film Nausica.  It goes on to features pieces from Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service and Howl's Moving Castle.  Guest vocalists appear to perform the themes from Spirited Away and Ponyo also.  As Ponyo was a new release at the time of the

concert, its music features heavily with perhaps a little too much attention given to it.  There is also a surprisingly high amount of pieces from Porco Rosso as well.  No matter though, as highlights such as a marching band and huge choir for the Laputa segment and the rousing finale of My Neighbour Totoro will leave you more than satisfied.  

Other highlights also include a cameo appearance by Miyazaki himself, plus an array of guest singers for the main theme songs.  The DVD perfectly shows off the venue, with sweeping shots of the audience as well as close-ups of the composer and orchestra. 

The only real downside of this excellent concert is that it will leave you pondering on the wish for it to come to the UK, or at least Europe.  Concerts such as Distant Worlds have proven  

popular, so you never know.  Until then the only option is to import this from Japan which, despite the high price, is definitely worth it.


Extras include a making of the concert, containing interviews and rehearsals, but this unfortunately has no English subtitles.  The second disc also gives the viewer an option to watch the videos which are played on the concert screen with the concert audio. 


Game:   Extras:


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