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Modest Heroes

     review by Bobby Blakey

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I don’t watch much in the realm of Japanese animation anymore outside of the Studio Ghibli stuff recently. Fresh off their release of the great documentary Never Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, Shout Factory is bringing the Ponoc Short Film collection Modest Heroes to Blu-ray and DVD.  

Modest Heroes is an ambitious collection of three thrilling tales created by some of the greatest talent working in Japanese animation today. Kanini & Kanino is directed by Academy Award®-nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi (When Marnie Was There, Mary and The Witch's Flower); Life Ain't Gonna Lose, featuring the voice of Maggie Q (Nikita, Designated Survivor), is helmed by Yoshiyuki Momose, who was a key animator on Isao Takahata's films at Studio Ghibli; and Invisible director Akihiko Yamashita was a key animator on many of Hayao Miyazaki's best-known films. Each is produced by Studio Ponoc's Yoshiaki Nishimura.

All three of these short films are amazing in both story and animation. The attention to detail alone is insanely beautiful and amazing. These are truly visual masteries of storytelling not just because they are animation, but because they are all done with no dialogue. From the opening of Kanini & Kanino right until the heartwarming ending to Invisible you will be taken on a breathtaking journey that will pull at your heart strings, and make you laugh all while telling stories that pack so much more than just a cartoon.

I loved all of these films with Invisible being my favorite of the bunch. Each of these stories are so relevant on numerous levels it is almost unbelievable with the amount of time they had to tell their story. If you are a fan of this animation then this is a must have collection for you. In addition to these three amazing films this release also includes bonus content including trailers, TV spots, interviews, art gallery and more.

Grab your copy of Modest Heroes available now from Shout Factory and GKids.

For more information head over to

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