Home Video Releases from GKIDS by Makoto Shinkai and Isao Takahata Coming in June

The visionary director of Weathering With You and Your Name., Makoto Shinkai’s ambitious, award-winning films are beloved by cinephiles the world over for his lushly animated, wistful tales of star-crossed relationships that take place in captivating, imaginative worlds. 

This June, GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, is proud to release new Blu-ray editions of these early masterworks, several of which are making their North American Blu-ray debuts. The three films, The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004), 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), and Children Who Chase Lost Voices (2011), and all come loaded with bonus features including audio commentaries, interviews with Shinkai, storyboards, trailers, and much more. 5 Centimeters Per Second will also mark the Blu-ray debut of Shinkai’s lauded short films Voices of a Distant Star and She and Her Cat, included on the disc as bonus features.

The feature film debut from Makoto Shinkai, The Place Promised in Our Early Days is a haunting and beautiful story of friendship and loss, with stunning visuals and the emotional approach to science-fiction that would become the director’s trademark. In an alternate post-war Japan, three teenagers become obsessed with a mysterious tower across the Union border, which reaches far into the sky. Hiroki and Takuya work on a makeshift airplane, which they promise their friend Sayuri they will use to visit the tower together someday, but she disappears before it is completed. Several years later, the tower suddenly activates, starting a phenomenon that threatens the world. And the young men now discover their long-lost friend Sayuri may hold the key to it all…

The Place Promised in Our Early Days is the winner of Best Animated Film at Mainichi Film Award, Silver Prize at Fantasia Film Festival, and Award for Expression Technique at the Tokyo International Anime Fair.

Young love, missed connections, and unrequited feelings collide in a romance from Makoto Shinkai. Told in three vignettes, 5 Centimeters Per Second: A Chain Of Short Stories About Their Distance explores the joys and heartache of falling in love set against the backdrop of the breathtaking visuals that define Shinkai’s work. Takaki yearns to spill his heart out for childhood crush Akari, but both their families move away before any feelings can fully blossom. They stay in touch, but eventually drift apart with school and new friends to distract them. As the seasons pass, Takaki navigates his relationships while haunted by all the things he left unsaid with Akari, his first love. Also included is Voices of a Distant Star, the debut film from Makoto Shinkai, available for the first time on Blu-ray in North America. 5 Centimeters Per Second was winner of Best Animated Feature Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below is an epic fantasy adventure in a world of ancient gods. Asuna is an introvert who prefers spending her time listening to a radio left by her deceased father. One day, she hears an odd song that resonates in her heart unlike anything else. It leads to a chance encounter with a mysterious boy, who transports Asuna to Agartha, a land of legend where the dead can be brought back to life. Compelled by the song and the boy, Asuna journeys through the mythical lands, but hostile warriors and ghastly creatures will stop at nothing to prevent Asuna from uncovering the secrets of their world. Children Who Chase Lost Voices was nominated for Best Feature at Annecy and winner of Best Art Direction at the Tokyo Anime Award.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days Bonus Features 

  • Interviews with Japanese voice cast
  • Interview with director Makoto Shinkai
  • Trailer collection

5 Centimeters Per Second Bonus Features

  • Voices of a Distant Star short film 
  • Feature-length storyboard (5 Centimeters Per Second)
  • Interview with Shinkai (5 Centimeters Per Second)
  • Interview with cast
  • Music video
  • Trailers
  • She and Her Cat short film
  • Interview with Makoto Shinkai (Voices of a Distant Star)
  • Storyboards (Voices of a Distant Star)
  • Trailer Collection

Children Who Chase Lost Voices Bonus Features

  • Audio commentary with Shinkai and staff
  • Interviews with staff and cast
  • Making of Children Who Chase Lost Voices
  • Japanese promotional video
  • Japanese trailers
  • Works of Makoto Shinkai

The delightful animated film, Panda! Go Panda!, will be available in a Blu-Ray + DVD combo from GKIDS, distributed by Shout! Factory, on June 21, 2022. Included in the upcoming release are both Panda! Go Panda! (1972), Rainy Day Circus (1973), and tons of special features, released collectively as Panda! Go Panda! With these bonus features, a conversation between the film’s director, Academy Award-nominated Isao Takahata, and the film’s writer, Academy Award-winner Hayao Miyazaki, will be made available for the first time in North America. Fans of this release can pre-order now at GKIDS.com and ShoutFactory.com

First known as Panda Kopanda (translation: Panda, Baby Panda), it initially premiered in Japan at the height of the panda craze in September 1972. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Panda! Go Panda! is a charming early-career classic from animation legends Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki before they went on to co-found the legendary Studio Ghibli.


Mimiko is a cheerful, young girl who is left on her own while her grandmother is away. When little Panny Panda and his father Papanda stumble into her home, Mimiko welcomes them in as her new family. Adventures ensue as Mimiko discovers the challenges of taking care of her new cuddly friends.

Special Features

  • “From Mimi to Heidi, From Papanda to Totoro” Interview
  • Panda! Go Panda! Exhibit ~ The Impact of Hayao Miyazaki’s Image Boards ~
  • Conversation with Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki in 1994
  • Trailers and Previews
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