I’m excited to see that one of great movies ever made is getting a new U.S. steel book treatment. Grave of the Fireflies, an animated masterpiece directed by Isao Takahata for Studio Ghibli is getting another release next month, and sporting a familiar yet different cover for collectors of steel books, Studio Ghibli enthusiasts, or people who just like films of the highest order.
It’s similar to the Japanese steel book which is this image in white silhouette though both offer a I think pleasing minimalist presentation.
Grave of the Fireflies is a beautiful, emotional, piece of art that for years I thought was perhaps the best of the Studio Ghibli and Takahata movies but what has happened in recent years is this odd shift where while this movie hasn’t lost any spot in my overall film ranking but still somehow became only my third favorite Takahata movie.
I love it as much as I always have but others movies have just grown on me and passed a movie that I consider one of the greatest movies ever made.
The Tale of the Princess of Kaguya is a late classic from Takahata and an earlier work, his Only Yesterday, over the last two years or so has just ascended for me as maybe my favorite movie of any kind period, a title which for years was held by the all time legendary animator/director and Studio Ghibli-mate Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.
Only Yesterday in recent viewings has just blown me away. Go watch it.
The one downer about this steelbook?
It’s quite frankly absurdly priced.
It’s nearly twice as much as it should be at most and is so unusual or incongruous in standard pricing I thought the initial price was an early placeholder but just doing a little bit of browsing around and seeing the original suggested price listed at other outlets and the pricing of other Sentai products, I feel like this pre-order listing is the price we are stuck with.
Steel books of course do on some level cater to collectors though and we are entering an age where Studio Ghibli’s catalog is going to be available on HBO Max in the United States and Netflix practically everywhere else.
I’m going to get it because I’m a Studio Ghibli head but that price point I feel is going to be an incredible turn off for many people. The reality though is that more than likely any of us buying physical media still could be viewed as some for of elevated fan from casual viewers and at least with this one I do like the aesthetic of it, it will look good on my shelf.