Shout! Factory has been busy this year, releasing a handful of anime titles for fans of the noted genre. The latest of those titles, Penguin Highway was released early last month on DVD and Blu-ray. Based on a book crafted by author Tomihiko Morimi, this debut outing for director Hiroyasu Ishida is a work that will appeal to anime fans and even some science fiction fans. That is due to the movie’s story, which will be addressed shortly. The bonus content featured with the movie’s recent domestic release adds to its appeal for the noted audiences, and will be addressed a little later. The primary and secondary content considered, they collectively make the movie’s average price point money well spent for the movie’s noted viewers. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the presentation. All things considered, they make Penguin Highway an offering that anime and science fiction fans alike will appreciate.
Shout! Factory’s recent domestic release of Eleven Arts’ presentation Penguin Highway is a presentation that will appeal widely to anime fans and to some science fiction fans. That is due in part to the movie’s central story. The story follows a 9 year-old boy named Aoyama who is a lot smarter than any children his age. An easy comparison would be to a young Sheldon Cooper, just without the social ineptness. Aoyama is a very smart young man, but also has a lot of learning to do in general about life. He learns a lot about life in this coming-of-age story, too. He learns about friendship, life and love as he meets a peculiar woman who works at one of his town’s dentist offices. As Aoyama’s friendship with the woman grows, so does the mystery of a giant orb that his friends discover in a forest near the town and the woman’s connection to the orb. As it turns out, the two are connected, as are the penguins that keep appearing around town. This leads to the movie’s secondary story which will appeal to the noted sci-fan fans. The concepts that Aoyama brings up about time and space being twisted by the orb and the woman’s connection to the penguins (and monsters) delves into not just the sci-fi realm, but the fantasy realm to a certain extent, too. Through it all, audiences familiar with the movie’s source material will be glad to know the story follows its literary source material quite closely. This will be addressed shortly in the discussion on the movie’s bonus content. Getting back on the subject at hand, The story at the center of Penguin Highway is a unique presentation. It takes some very familiar plot elements and crosses them in a way that is rarely ever used, if ever at all. That in itself makes the story worth taking in at least once if not occasionally. It is just one of the elements that makes the movie a worthwhile watch for its target audiences. The bonus content featured with the movie’s home release adds more interest to its presentation.
The bonus content featured with the home release of Penguin Highway includes interviews with Morimi and Ishida as well as a promo video for the movie. The promo video is nothing memorable, but the interview segments add a certain degree of engagement and entertainment to the movie’s presentation. Ishida, during his interview, discusses items, such as the deeper meaning of the movie, his favorite scenes, casting the movie and the movie’s creation. Ishida reveals in his interview that Penguin Highway was his debut as the director of a full-length feature, adding how nervous he was about helming the project. That is because, as he reveals, all of his previous work was on independent shorts. In discussing some of the movie’s scenes, he reveals that the sequences in question were a reflection of his own intentions to make the story progress in a certain fashion. That is an interesting discussion that audiences will be left to take in for themselves. Ishida also takes a moment to discuss the freedom of creating independent releases versus the controls of making a full-length feature.
Morimi’s interview finds him discussing items, such as his real target audience with his book, the connection between his book and its cinematic adaptation and how he developed the title for his book. His discussions are just as natural as those of Ishida, as he takes on each item. In talking about the creation of the book’s title, Morimi admits he does not fully recall how or when he developed the book’s title, saying only that it happened when he was in college. He also admits that when he wrote Penguin Highway, he did not write it with children in mind as his target audience. That would make sense, considering some of the content featured early on in the movie. He also admits that knowing Ishida was an untested director made him uneasy about his book being adapted cinematically by Ishida, but adds he was pleased with the outcome. This is just a sampling of the items that Morishi addresses as well as Ishida. Between the noted discussions and lots more not noted here, the bonus interviews featured with Penguin Highway add their own share of engagement and entertainment for the movie’s target audience. When this is considered along with the engagement and entertainment generated through the movie’s primary content, the two elements together make the movie’s average price such that those audiences will not mind paying.
The average price point for Penguin Highway’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is $19.98. that price is obtained by averaging prices from Shout! Factory, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million. The movie’s price point for its standalone DVD packaging is $18.56. Almost all of the same retailers’ prices were used for that price. The only outlet that did not list the price for the movie’s DVD packaging was Best Buy. Amazon and Walmart have the least expensive price listing for the BD/DVD combo pack at $17.96 while Target and Best Buy listed the BD/DVD pack’s price just above that at $17.99. Books-A-Million’s price listing of $26.99 is its most expensive listing. To that end, the price of $17.96 is money well spent on for those noted viewers who are fans of anime and/or science fiction. That is especially considering the movie’s script and bonus content. The same applies to the movie’s listing of $12.39, again at Amazon and Walmart. Regardless of which retailer consumers choose for either platform, Amazon and Walmart offer the most competitive pricing. What’s more, that pricing is such that the noted fans will find it worth spending considering everything noted here already. Keeping that in mind, all three elements discussed here come together to make Penguin Highway a presentation that anime fans across the board will find appealing.
Shout! Factory and Eleven Arts’ recent domestic release of the anime flick Penguin Highway is a work that is certain to get plenty of mileage among the most devoted anime and science fiction fans. That is proven in part through the movie’s dual story lines that interweave together so well. The bonus interviews with the movie’s director and the author of the book that spawned the movie collectively add more engagement and entertainment to the presentation. They collectively make the movie’s relatively low average price of less than $20 a welcome pricing, again, for those noted target viewers. Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Penguin Highway. All things considered, they make the movie a presentation that will certainly get plenty of mileage in the noted viewers’ DVD and Blu-ray players. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
More information on this and other titles from Eleven Arts is available online now at:
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