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GKIDS News: 'Okko's Inn' Hitting Cinemas, 'Perfect Blue' Blu-Ray Announced

2018 has been a phenomenal year for independent animation distributor GKIDS Films. They have brought a wide selection of animation to audiences in the US, both through theatrical releases and home video. And as the year draws to a close, we're beginning to find out more of their plans for 2019.

Their latest announcement for theatrical release is the Japanese animated feature Okko's Inn. The film is the feature directorial debut of Kitaro Kosaka. You may not know the name but Kosaka is a veteran animator who worked on almost every Studio Ghibli film from Laputa to When Marnie Was There, as well as Akira, The Boy and The Beast and many others.

Based on a series of children's books, it features a young girl named Okko who moves to live with her grandmother in the countryside Inn she runs. However, Okko so finds the Inn is also home to friendly spirits that only she can see.

After losing her parents in a car accident, Okko goes to live in the countryside with her grandmother, who runs a traditional Japanese inn built on top of an ancient spring said to have healing waters. While she goes about her chores and prepares to become the inn's next caretaker, Okko discovers there are spirits who live there that only she can see - not scary ones, but welcoming ghosts who keep her company, play games and help her navigate her new environment. The inn's motto is that it welcomes all and will reject none, and this is soon put to the test as a string of new guests challenge Okko's ability to be a gracious host. But ultimately Okko discovers that dedicating herself to others becomes the key to taking care of herself. The latest feature from famed anime studio Madhouse and director Kitaro Kosaka, who was a key animator on numerous classic films at the venerable Studio Ghibli, seamlessly blends immersive, idyllic landscapes with the storybook charm of Okko's beloved ghosts. Okko's Inn delivers a rare ghost story that - despite several floating characters - is firmly grounded in the trials and joys of humanity.

Okko's Inn received its world premiere at this year's Annecy Festival, and also screened at Animation Is Film. GKIDS will release the film in both subtitled and dubbed versions in April.

In other news, GKIDS and Shout Factory will release Perfect Blue as a Blu-Ray and DVD Combo pack in March 2019. Following successful theatrical screenings this year, Satoshi Kon's first feature will finally be coming to Blu-Ray in the US. The disc will feature a new digital restoration of the film and some new bonus features:

• NEW Digital Remastered Presentation Of The Film
• Original SD Version Of Feature (Japanese Mono Dolby Digital 2.0 With English Subtitles)
• NEW Lectures By Satoshi Kon Featurette 
• NEW Into The Blue Featurette – New Interviews
• Angel Of Your Heart Recording Sessions
• Angel Of Your Heart Full English Version
• Theatrical Trailers And TV Spots – Includes New Trailers From US And UK Re-releases
• Cast And Crew Interviews

The film is currently available to preorder from Shout Factory's own store.