Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi) is a 2015 theatrical anime film based on Hinako Sugiura’s manga series of the same name. The anime was produced by studio Production I.G with director Keiichi Hara and writer Miho Maruo. It was released in Japanese theaters in May 2015.
“Set in 1814 Edo (now known as Tokyo), a much accomplished artist of the time works tirelessly in his house-atelier. He is as short-tempered and sarcastic as he is brilliant, with no passion for money or meaningless pastimes like drinking. His name is Katsushika Hokusai and decades later his work would come to mesmerise Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Klimt and Debussy.
But very few were aware of the woman who often painted for him while remaining uncredited. This is the untold story of O-Ei, Master Hokusais daughter, a free-spirited woman overshadowed by her larger-than-life father. She inherited both his stubbornness and his talent, and her art is so powerful that it leads her to trouble.”Plot Synopsis via Anime Limited, October 2021.
A few years ago, before he eventually directed Birthday Wonderland, director Keiichi Hara worked with Production I.G on an anime adaptation of a historical manga series called Sarusuberi, which eventually became known as Miss Hokusai. The story is from the perspective of Katsushika Ōi, who’s father Hokusai is known for painting The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
The anime had a weird release pattern by Anime Limited when they licensed it back in 2015. At the time the distributor offered an Ultimate Edition release in collaboration with their French branch, which packaging-wise was very unique and fitted the film’s setting. While the French audience was able to watch the film dubbed and subbed, the English audience only had the subbed option. Not long after (like literally), North American distributor GKIDS released the film on Blu-ray with an English dub as well as the same bonus features (minus the interview) that were also included on DVD exclusively to the UK & French Ultimate Edition release.
I personally considered the handling of Miss Hokusai to be one of Anime Limited’s blunders over the years, because the reasoning why the UK release came before the US was because GKIDS took too long with their release of A Letter to Momo, which Anime Limited had also licensed and released years ago.
Fast-forward to 2021, Anime Limited decided to re-release the film with the GKIDS English dub, which is funny considering back then they said the film didn’t need an English dub during one of their discussions back at Scotland Loves Anime.
Limited Edition Contents:
Usually I would say this is a collector’s edition, but for some reason Anime Limited decided to name this release of Miss Hokusai a limited edition though the general packaging is pretty much the same as you would expect from the former.
This package offers a rigid box that houses the film in an Amaray Blu-ray case and a 40-page booklet. The booklet is a simplified version of the content included in the Ultimate Edition release, similar to Fullmetal Alchemist’s 2020 re-release. Also included is the bonus features DVD disc that was originally exclusive to the Ultimate Edition release, although it is encoded in PAL format the on-disc features includes the Making of Documentary, Interview with Director, and Trailers.
The artwork for the rigid box is similar to the very old Anime Limited releases, with the information/specs for the film printed on the back cover. The front and spine are free of any BBFC logos at least. The limited edition Blu-ray & DVD is limited to 1000 units for an SRP of £34.99. This is a re-release, so the previous standard edition Blu-ray and DVD are still available.
I pre-ordered the film via Anime Limited’s store during its Summer sale week using the Anime (Un)limited membership with a 10% store discount, going from £19.99 to £18.
- Rigid Box with Amaray packaging and semi-clean artwork
- Back cover includes info specification and BBFC description
- 40-page Booklet
- Bonus DVD disc with Additional Bonus Features
Distributor: Anime Limited
Released: 11th October 2021
The limited edition release for Miss Hokusai contains the film on a single Blu-ray and DVD disc. This is an interesting one because the Blu-ray has been re-authored to utilise the NYAV Post English dub commissioned by GKIDS, but the French dub and subtitles have been removed as a result. While there are no credits in relation to the authoring house, I assume this is the French Anime Limited encode re-used since the menu is identical but with the dubs swapped around, but that’s just a guess in the meantime.
As for the DVD discs, they are carried over from the previous Anime Limited Ultimate Edition release so they are using the French Anime Limited encode/author in PAL format. The white subtitles are locked during playback, and the regions are locked to Blu-ray players set to B and DVD players set to 2.
|Audio||English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1|
English Linear PCM 2.0
Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Japanese Linear PCM 2.0
|Video||1080p High Definition Native format|
1.78:1 aspect ratio
|Audio||French Dolby Digital 2.0|
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1
|Video||Standard Definition in PAL format|
1.78:1 aspect ratio
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
No extras on this disc
DVD On-Disc Extra Features:
- Making of Miss Hokusai
- Keiichi Hara Interview
Miss Hokusai is available to order through multiple retailers across the United Kingdom. You can order the limited edition Blu-ray & DVD combo pack on Amazon UK.
(Disclaimer: Amazon links are also included when available. They are affiliated so if you decide to order them, I’ll earn a small percentage if they ship which will help me with any hauls or small bills.)