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Sea Prince and the Fire Child (Shiriusu no densetsu) 
Written by: on November 4th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
Japan, 1981
Director: Masami Hata
Writers: Masami Hata, Chiho Katsura
Cast: Tôru Furuya, Mami Koyama, Keiko Han, Michiko Nomura, Ikue Sakakibara, Tony Oliver

DVD released: August 31st, 2010
Approximate Running Time: 108 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Eastern Star / Discotek
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

Synopsis: Sirius and Malta are ‘star crossed’ lovers that are forced to keep their relationship a secret because of a long standing feud between their clans, the fire fairies and the water sprites.

Sea Prince and the Fire Child was co-written and directed by Masami Hata (Ringing Bell). The screenplay for Sea Prince and the Fire Child was co-written by Chiho Katsura, who’s other notable screenwriting credits include Hausu, Sins of Sister Lucia and The Kamikaze Adventurers. An alternate title that this film is also known by is The Legend of Sirius.

Content wise this film draws as much inspiration from Greek mythology as it does from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The plot revolves around a water sprite named Sirius and a fire fairy named Malta. Both are in line to become the leader of their respective clans. When a chance encounter brings them together. The quickly forge a bound which eventually puts them at odds with their respective clans.

From a production standpoint the animation, the pacing, the score and the performances (the Japanese language track) are all top notch. The plot is a simple story that deals with universal themes that viewers of all ages can easily digest. And while the feud between the two rival clans plays an integral part in the story at hand. This is not a action heavy story with the film’s main action set pieces coming in the final act. First and foremost this is a character driven melodrama that is anchored by the emotions of its two main characters.

The DVD:

Eastern Star presents Sea Prince and the Fire Child in its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. Details look crisp, colors look robust and black levels look strong. Also there are some mild instances of print debris. It is never distracting.

This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital Mono mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital Mono mix in English. Both audio mixes sound clean, clear and balanced. Even though the English dubbed audio track does a good job with the story at hand. It still pales in every way to the excellent Japanese language track. With the biggest difference between the two tracks being the overall quality of the performances. This release comes with removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free. The subtitles appear to be a direct translation of the film’s native Japanese language track and not dub titles.

Extras for this release include trailers for Sea Prince and the Fire Child, Puss N Boots, Taro the Dragon Boy and Animal Treasure Island. Overall Sea Prince and the Fire Child gets a strong audio / video presentation from Eastern Star.

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