The Taste of Tea on DVD 7/3

Filed under: Press Releases — S. @ 2:40 pm



Critically Acclaimed And Award Winning Film Is A Heartwarming Homage To Japanese Family Life

San Francisco, CA, June 27, 2007 – VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the DVD release of THE TASTE OF TEA, the critically acclaimed and award-winning film about Japanese family life from director Katsuhito Ishii. The film will be distributed by VIZ Media beginning on July 3, 2007. THE TASTE OF TEA will be offered in a standard single-disc version for $24.98, as well as a limited-edition two-disc set for $34.98 which includes a special 90-minute Making of The Taste of Tea bonus feature with director and cast interviews as well as a rare animated short by director Ishii called SUPER BIG.

THE TASTE OF TEA has been called a surreal version of Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander,” and presents a heartwarming and visually rich homage to Japanese family life. The film had its international debut at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and won numerous awards at the 2004 Entrevues Film Festival, 2005 Montreal Fantasia Film Festival, 2005 New York Asian Film Festival, 2005 San Francisco Independent Film Festival and the 2005 Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film. VIZ Pictures screened THE TASTE OF TEA theatrically to enthusiastic audiences in New York, Portland, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco earlier this year.

THE TASTE OF TEA introduces audiences to the Haruno’s, a rather unconventional but happy and loving family. They live in a small town in the mountains just outside of Tokyo where life is good and quiet – but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own quirks and little problems. There is 8-year old Sachiko (Maya Banno), who is bothered at inopportune moments by a giant-sized double of herself, who hangs around sitting on buildings staring at her, while her older brother Hajime (Takahiro Sato) privately wrestles with raging hormones and a love-struck heart after the– more –

arrival of a pretty new classmate (played by Amerasian actress Anna Tsuchiya, also seen in KAMIKAZE GIRLS). The mother works hard to come out of retirement as an animator, and the father, who watches her attempts with apprehension, is a professional hypnotist who occasionally plies his trade on his own family with often funny results. An uncle (played by Tadanobu Asano of ICHI THE KILLER) comes to visit and stays with the family, but he has a hidden agenda as he comes to terms with a romance that ended years ago. Another uncle, who is a successful manga artist, also stops in with his own dramas. It’s his birthday soon, and he wants to give himself something special. And lastly there’s Grandpa, the most eccentric and perhaps the most perceptive of all, who continues to search for a better way to live life to the fullest. All of these dramas are presented with rich visual imagery and allegories as an animated train emerges from someone’s head, giant sunflowers bloom and orange-clad dancers appear from nowhere.

“THE TASTE OF TEA presents a touching and gentle portrait of a Japanese family tackling the universal themes of time, people, and their lives and relationships,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “The quirky eccentricities of the various characters are a comedic joy to watch and the rich visual style will undoubtedly appeal to a wide variety of viewers. We look forward to audiences discovering this unique film.”

About VIZ Pictures, Inc.

Based in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Pictures, Inc. distributes Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with particular focus on Japanese “kawaii (cute) and cool” pop culture. VIZ Pictures approaches each film release from a J-pop fan’s point of view. VIZ Pictures titles include HULA GIRLS, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO, LINDA LINDA LINDA, THE TASTE OF TEA, and PING PONG. The company will continue to offer the most entertaining live action motion pictures straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages in North America. VIZ Pictures, Inc. is an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC, the San Francisco-based leading U.S. publisher of Japanese manga (comics) and merchandise licensor of Japanese animation such as the popular “NARUTO” animated TV series.

© 2006 VIZ Pictures, Inc

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at

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