(UPDATED: Madman just confirmed that they have cancelled the BluRay release, and cghanged the 2-disc DVD edition into a single-disc.)
Don't you hate it when choice titles appear on BluRay in Japan and the USA, but the distributors stubbornly keep using the outdated and ridiculously piracy inducing non-effective security method called regioncoding?
Well, when you live in Europe (like me) you do hate that. Because of regioncoding I can't play any of the Criterion BluRays, and that sucks.
Another case in point: we have reported extensively on the upcoming "Ponyo on the Cliff" BluRays from Japan and the USA, and rightly so because that will be the first Studio Ghibli title available on High Definition. Big news for anime lovers (again, like ME) to be sure.
Trouble is, all of these versions will be coded Region A, meaning they can only be played on Japanese or American BluRay players. Or regionfree, but ironically those are difficult to get when you're OUTSIDE either Japan or the US...
But what's that? Light on the horizon?
Distributor Madman from Australia has just anounced its very own BluRay release of "Ponyo" , and it will be coded region B. No further details are known except the cover and a release date (December 29th, not much after the region A goes on sale) but Madman has been very smart with its anime releases in the last few years, choosing the best transfers and ditching the worst extras, and releasing surprisingly good DVDs often for far lower prices than similar releases from other countries.
Retail price is currently set on 45 Australian Dollars (AUD), which today happens to equal 28 Euro or 25 British Pounds...
(UPDATE: Unfortunately so is this... )