Studio Ghibli's Blu-Ray for Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind was officially announced today. It is scheduled for a July 14 date in Japan, at 7,140 Yen. No American release date was mentioned as of yet, but we're all very hopeful for a 2010 release. Cross your fingers, kids.
Courtesy of GhibliWiki, a translation of Toshio Suzuki's notes are available. He goes into detail about the decision to choose Nausicaa as the studio's next BD, and the extensive involvement of Hayao Miyazaki. He was insistent that his most important film be preserved as honestly and accurately as possible, and as you can see, he is highly critical of modern digital processing techniques.
Suzuki-san's notes suggest that Ghibli is not rushing out their catalog to BD, instead bringing over one film at a time. This was a bit of a surprise to me, since I did expect a rapid rollout. They are guarding their legacy very carefully.
Here is Toshio Suzuki's translated remarks on the Nausicaa Blu-Ray:
I watched Nausicaa. Re-encountering the film for the first time in 26 years. There was Miya-san nearby. When a preview room became dark, I was tense. Then Nausicaa began. We never watch a film after it's completed. I don't watch it. Because we cannot go to the next film. However, there were special circumstances this time.
It was the end of last year that the reqest for the next BD title was given by Disney. I thought about nothing, but I answered immediately, "How about Nausicaa?" Ghibli and Disney staff's faces were frozen. They seemed to have planned for Laputa and they thought Nausicaa would be "The Last BD Title" without permission. Then another thought appeared on me with an answer. I want to do a restoration from a clean negative. It was longtime homework for me who was concerned with Nausicaa.
Led by Okui-san of the photography department, an argument began about how to make an original negative of "Nausicaa". However, Okui-san was not involved with the production of Nausicaa directly. What is the standard of the original negative? We can guess, but we do not understand this important part. Digital technology can do anything. It is very easy to change a used thing into a new thing. Then a conclusion came about become Miya-san decided it. Miya-san participated in a meeting. Miya-san's opinion was simple and clear.
Miya-san was watching the Disney Channel in a house well after work. It was broadcasting a show on digital processing, a "makeover" of old works. That is profanity. Miya-san always sent forth a negative opinion about digital processing. A past masterpiece becomes a work without dignity through digital processing. That is quite disrespectful for the person who made it. It is natural for it to seem that a film looks timeworn by aging. Who has the right that makes it a new thing in technology? This was an opinion of Miya-san.
This is Miya-san's opinion. Basically, respect a original thing. We do not clean it than the original, remove the wound of the process of the print, keep the color mistakes, etc.
Okui-san took two months in deference to the opinion of Miya-san and worked hard for data faithfully. It was enough work to lose consciousness.
In this way the preview of March 1 came about.
There is already little staff who remember those days at Ghibli. I persuaded Miya-san who hated watching. When I went to the preview room 10 minutes early Miya-san was already there. In fact, I know that the preview was in the mind of Miya-san for a few days. Miya-san who waited for a re-encounter with Nausicaa was clearly excited.
The screening was over. We waited for an impression from Miya-san in a meeting room. At first Miya-san spoke an impression "looked timeworn", and he said in this way. "Suzuki-san, technically, we have come very far and wide."
The order from Miya-san was one thing: I want a little green to increase where necessary.
Okui-san came my room next day. He said "Miyazaki-san cried, didn't he?" I answered in this way, "Nausicaa is not yet over." Both I and Miya-san remember all of the events and every cut.