Well hello again everyone. Sorry I made you all wait. How long has it been, a week or so? Feels like forever to me. I’ve missed writing all this, and I have just the thing to kick off my triumphant return. That’s right, we’re talking about studio Ghibli’s Earwig and the Witch, and its US release February 3rd. Oh, you’ll have the option for both sub and dub by the way.
It’s about time the movie is coming to the states. I have been chomping at the bit for the opportunity to do a review of this damn movie. It’s not exactly easy to get a hold of. Unless you had a VPN and a NHK account at the exact time it aired, you were pretty much sh*t out of luck. And by you I mean me. I was sh*t out of luck.
For now I should talk about the english cast. We’ve known them for a little bit but I never talked about it until now. Probably because I don’t know any of the voice actors and am unfamiliar with half the characters. How long have I been writing about this damn movie? At least a month or two right? How the hell do I have no idea who these characters are. Who the hell is Custard? Or Mr. Jenkins? You guys remember Sally from when I talked about her? No? Well it’s because I didn’t. Who the hell is Sally?
Because of that, I am going to stick to the main characters, unless their VA stands out to me, in which case I will mention them. Let’s start with Earwig, being played by a Taylor Paige Henderson. So far we are one for one on not knowing who the hell someone is. So uh, on to the next one I guess.
The cat Thomas is being played by Dan Stevins. I am unfamiliar with him. However those of you who watch Downton Abby may know him as Matthew Crawley. That’s the only work I think he’s been in worth mentioning.
Bella Yaga, the witch, is played by Vanessa Marshall. She’s the first person on this list to actually have a massive amount of experience in voice acting. She’s been in a few shows I watched as a kid. Of course the main thing I recognize her for is videogames, specifically the Metal Gear Solid series where she played Strangelove.
Okay, so, Mandrake. He’s the guy who is totally not a demon. He is played by Richard E. Grant, another name I do not recognize. He does however have a large list of credits. I don’t know most of them though.
The only other main character is Earwig’s mother. Yes that is the character name, she is not officially named. At least not yet. She is being played by Kacey Musgraves. Evidently she is the biggest name on this list. I have never heard of her. She does country music or something who cares.
Now, I want to give an honorable mention to the voice actor for “Matron”, Pandora Colin. She has the most work I recognize, being in shows like Chernobyl and Black Books. She also played Philippa in Witcher 2 and Witcher 3. That alone makes her the best on this list.
I’m actually quite excited for this movie’s US release, if only so I don’t have to go through a myriad of hoops to watch it. I wanted to see it when it came out but my schedule didn’t line up and I missed the premiere. I assumed like a fool that I could just watch it whenever or find a (totally legitimate) copy online.
Holy shit this movie is a bitch to see. Do you have any idea how many hoops I jumped through to try and watch this damn film only to fail? It was a lot. The movie is region locked to Japan on the NHK website, the only place it is available. So I got a VPN (which cost me actual money) in the hopes of jumping around that to watch it.
Nope. Turns out if you miss the movie’s airing you need an NHK plus account. Well fine then, how much does it cost? I’m willing to throw money at this to be a good journalist.
Turns out it is free. Sounds great right? It actually is pretty damn great. If you live in Japan. Because in order to make an NHK plus account the company needs to confirm your Japanese residency by mailing you a form you must fill out and send back.
Admittedly, the system is really clever. It pretty much solves the whole “piracy” issue. Why pirate something that might include viruses or harm your computer, when you can watch the full movie at no risk for free. Of course the forms they send may be a little bit annoying, but who cares. You are getting free stuff. You still have to pay for internet, and if you want it as an actual TV channel you need to pay (I think), but all NHK plus content is freely available to you online.
Mind you, the whole time I’m searching through all this the website is in Japanese and I only understand half of it. The entire process took me two days. And fifteen dollars. And I got nothing from it. Except a stupid story I can tell.
In any case, the movie is going to premiere in the US on February 3rd in select theatres. It will also be available on HBO Max February 5th. Expect my full review of the movie then. And yes, it does get automatic points off. I’m bitter about my fifteen dollars.
One last thing. I was going through my final proofread before I submit this to my editor and I noticed a little something that I wanted to bring up. Specifically the fact that Earwig and the Witch is going to be able to qualify for the Oscars. I wonder how that will go?
Source: Press release
Houston based Sequential Art student who is stuck in the past. Has a habit of going off topic. Loves Berserk, Video Games, and literally nothing else.