Another slightly late news recap

I took a bit of a road trip last weekend to go to Ed Godziszewski’s presentation on his new Ishiro Honda biography (and also caught The Shape of Water while I was in town), which ate into blogging time. However, I’m free now, so let’s kick things off with this awesome new short by Junya Okabe! (Watch it unspoiled, if possible.)

Onto the news of the week!

  • Starting with the highest-profile, toy scans are out revealing a first look for Kaito Sentai LupinRanger vs. Keisatsu Sentai PatRanger. It’s an interesting concept to have a season of competing teams of cops & robbers thieves; hopefully the execution lives up to the potential.

  • Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel looks like it’s following the story fairly beat-for-beat, but I don’t know about how brightly-lit it looks. Then there’s the unfortunate situation with the anime eyes…

  • The Ready Player One movie will not have Ultraman in it. There is still a Gundam in this trailer, but excitement for the film did take quite a hit with that reveal.

  • Here’s some Pacific Rim: Uprising promo stuff from Tokyo Comic Con.

  • Shinji Higuchi, Tomoo Haraguchi, and Katsuro Onoue all play themselves in this ad for Fussa City.

  • Here’s a trailer for the Yokai Watch movie with Kitaro in it.

  • Toshiki Hirano and Narumi Kakinouchi are back with new chapters of Vampire Princess Miyu on the Champion Cross website. I think this is the first new manga for the character since 2002?

  • Magical Girl Ore is getting a TV anime, but its first visual is deceptive… she turns into a buff dude.

Okay, I think that’s a wrap for now.

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Weekend News Recap: Tokyo Comic Con edition

Lots of neat stuff out of Tokyo Comic Con this weekend!

  • Daisuke Sato’s Howl from Beyond the Fog, a puppet movie inspired by Ray Bradbury’s The Foghorn but set in samurai times, is seeking a (quite modest) amount of support via Kickstarter. It’s neat that Keizo Murase is working on this, as a vet of the kaiju genre for over 60 years, and the rewards tiers on the campaign are quite reasonable… though as much as I’m tempted to splurge on getting a figure of the title kaiju Nebula (Nebra?), I don’t think that one’s quite justifiable.

  • The website for Hero’s Ultraman manga was counting down to a major announcement for the past week, leading to speculation that an anime was on the way. Sure enough, this was announced at Comic Con, for 2019. It’s CG anime, but the biggest names in that medium are attached: Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki. They had a suit constructed for the announcement, as well; it looks pretty good.

  • A teaser for the Ultraman Geed movie, with lots of Orb for good measure.

  • A first teaser for Trigger’s upcoming SSSS Gridman anime. It’s just footage from the original show and the Japan Animator Expo short, with a single new still image at the end. Still, it’s cool that they’re hyping it.

  • Speaking of Gridman, the original show premiers on Toku on December 18th.

  • A backpack that makes it look like you’re carrying Kamen Rider’s torso around:

  • A couple of new Pacific Rim: Uprising soft vinyls from Bandai: Shrikethorn and Hakuja! The merchandise push for the new movie is certainly a couple levels higher than it was for the original!

  • Shinji Higuchi is working on an anime titled Hisone & Masotan, about dragons tamed for use by the JSDF. Macross‘s Shoji Kawamori, Space Dandy‘s Yoshiyuki Ito, and Star Driver‘s Shigeto Koyama are also involved, so even with a very simple and cutesy preview image, I wonder if this might be something special.

  • Huh, it looks like Devilman Crybaby is using a cover of the original anime’s opening theme:

  • A trailer for Ninja Batman (I refuse to call is Batman Ninja).

  • This trailer for the anthology Junji Ito Collection goes out of its way to assure us that there will be Tomie. After countless live-action movies, she’s overdue for anime treatment, I suppose.

  • Finally, a trailer for the Cardcaptor Sakura sequel:

That’s a wrap for this weekend, but as always, please leave a comment if we missed something!

Oh, and I suppose, as has become a bit of a regular feature here, Amanda went to a movie and liked it quite a bit. This time, it was the new Code Geass movie, the first in a trilogy retelling the events of the TV show. Good for fans wanting to see things re-animated or for newbies to the franchise!

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Only slightly late news recap

Despite Thanksgiving weekend, I almost had a news recap ready to go yesterday… then a couple unexpected trips to urgent care sucked up several hours (nothing too serious, rest assured, or possibly disappointed). Nevertheless, I’m going to attempt to get something out today, because there’s a bunch of neat happenings!

  • First and foremost, Tsuburaya bested Chaiyo in a US court last week. This is certainly great news, and will likely facilitate Tsuburaya getting more of their classic Ultraman series on the market here. But as an eternal pessimist, I have to wonder at the damage that has been done already. The original Ultraman has been re-released plenty of times through Chaiyo to the point where Mill Creek copies were literally being given away with any purchase at a con, and Shout Factory flat-out said that they have no interest in Return of Ultraman or its sequels. Crunchyroll has been rather cold on the Tsuburaya back-catalog in recent years, so I’m not sure what the most viable venues Tsuburaya has at this point would even be. Still, licensing and merchandising is a huge perk.

  • Since Thanksgiving is the annual date for dropping new Garo stuff, a new trailer is up for Garo: Kami no Kiba:

The villain Jinga is also getting his own spin-off series, and that Raiga movie (Gekkou no Tabibito) is still happening eventually. That won’t be Masei Nakayama’s only return to Garo, though, since Crimson Moon is also getting a spin-off film!

  • A trailer for the second season of Kaiju Girls looks to greatly expand the roster:

  • Ultraman Geed is getting a movie on March 10, a trend that the last few Ultraman shows have followed. Since Geed has been so strong, hopefully this capstone lives up to its series.

  • Bandai premium has an enormous 50 cm 2018 Godzilla up for pre-order for only 19440 yen. It comes with a candy toy, for…awesome reasons.

  • Michael over at Astounding Beyond Belief just announced that he’s writing a book on the Gamera series! As a kaiju nerd of highest caliber, it’s sure to be a tremendous read; I look forward to picking it up.

  • Box art has been posted for Shout Factory’s release of Gingaman; they’re sticking with the in-suit shots, to my delight.

  • According to August Ragone, one of Toku’s press releases stated that they’re going to be airing an English-subtitled version of Gridman! This is well overdue, and I wonder if they’ll time it to correspond with the upcoming Trigger anime version. Hopefully Crunchyroll gets it as well, since Toku’s airings don’t seem to be directly translating into streaming availability.

  • Devilman crybaby looks great, but it looks like this trailer gives away most of the plot. I guess it is a 45 year-old story…

  • A poster for the Mob Psycho 100 live-action series from Koichi Sakamoto. I would’ve thought Tatsuomi Hamada was a little old for the title role, but this looks alright. After Ultraman Geed, that team has a superb track record, after all.

  • School Live is getting a live-action movie. If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of that one, I *strongly* recommend reading no further and watching the first episode.

  • Well Go licensed the live-action Gintama movie for US release on March 6. It’s a tad weird for it to be getting a US release ahead of something like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (which is much more popular in the states), but Gintama did make an obscene amount of money in Japan, so I guess they have faith in it (and the impending sequel). Still, it’s always nice to see Well Go picking up Japanese titles; they were quiet on that front for a little while.

  • The trailer for Netflix’s Erased series looks really well-done…unfortunately it’s hard to not be a little burned out after the manga, novel, live-action movie, and anime show. All it needs is a US remake, now.

  • Rinne is finally ending; how’d that become Rumiko Takahashi’s second-longest running manga?! As you might have heard on our Takahashi podcast, it’s not a favorite around here.

Whew! That’s a wrap for news. On a final note, since it got lost in the Planet of the Monsters shuffle, BraveStorm was excellent. It had time travel from a Terminator-esque dystopian future, a psychic chick with awesome swordfighting skills, interesting alien design, and some cool robot smashing action. And boxing! Hopefully it gets brought over in some fashion, for us American fans of Senkosha hero shows…it also has an after-credits sequence that you won’t want to miss!

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Two-week news recap and initial Planet of the Monsters thoughts

Another two-week recap this time. Before we get to that, though, Amanda did go see Planet of the Monsters, so I’ll paraphrase a few of her thoughts:

The movie takes about 3/4 of its running time to really get going, with lots of planning, exposition, and technobabble before that, so so Shin Godzilla haters are probably going to have the same problems they did before. None of the characters are particularly standouts: the driven and vengeful hothead (Eren Jager), token sempai-worshiping female with a perky attitude and perkier ass, gruff military commander, science guy, etc. If this had been a TV series as originally intended, perhaps they would have been fleshed out better. Being an Urobuchi work, there is a almost pornographic fixation on society’s woes, and a lot of time is spent showing how awful life is for the survivors on the spaceship.

Facial animation has improved since Knights of Sidonia, but it’s still awkward, especially when characters walk. The battle with the Servum is so-so, but when Godzilla finally appears the action and and animation really picks up. The ending is a little abrupt, but after a major twist and teasing of story elements to come, it does leave you wanting more, and there is a post-credits scene. The score could have used the traditional Ifukube themes.

The theater was packed, and lottery items were already sold out even on opening day. Of course, the rest of us have to wait for Netflix, but that may be for the best, since subtitles will really help with a lot of the dense dialogue.

As you’ve likely seen, we now know that the next movie Godzilla 決戦機動増殖都市 (Kessen Kidou Zoushoku Toushi; let’s call it “Battle Mobile Propagating City” until we get an official English title) is due out in May. They’re not hiding the Mechagodzilla element of it:

Now, onto other happenings in the world of Japanese-ish genre fiction!

  • A trailer is out for the Rampage movie. It looks like it’s taking a page from the Transformers playbook, emphasizing the human action characters, and it doesn’t look like any monsters will into humans after being defeated. They do feel a little too much like oversized animals, rather than pure monsters, for my tastes, but we’ll see.

  • Viz has licensed Mazinger Z: Infinity. It’s a little outside of their typical wheelhouse for anime lately, but it’s cool that someone picked it up.

  • Also, Senkosha is celebrating Iron King‘s 45th anniversary with some unexpected merch. It’s for their annual TV concert (this year on the November 25th), and Light Speed Esper is also represented.

  • HIDIVE is streaming Space Runaway Ideon. It’s far overdue for a US release, but hopefully it comes to physical media as well.

  • Apparently the upcoming Video Girl Ai TV drama will be a sequel starring the nephew of the protagonist from the original (very Tenchi Muyo GXP of them). This is a wise move, considering the logistics of an all-out remake. All the more reason to revisit the original, to boot!

  • Speaking of Tenchi Muyo, the light novels that flesh out that universe have been licensed by Seven Seas! They also got the original Space Battleship Yamato manga (most likely not a coincidence with 2199 finally streaming), further solidifying their reign as the company most friendly to old-timer otaku. They also picked up a manga called Dragon Goes House-Hunting, which is a bonkers concept.

Alright, that’s a wrap for now (not a lot to discuss, which is why there was no post last weekend), but as always, please leave a comment if we missed something!

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Weekend news recap: Godzilla’s birthday edition

Halloween sort of ate up the last weekend, but that just means a kaiju-sized recap for today’s holiday: Godzilla’s birthday.

Yes, today is also the day that Blade of the Immortal (Takashi Miike’s 100th picture) hits US theaters, but screenings are so sporadic that we’re going to wait for it to hit VOD next week instead.

Anyway, onto news of the week! In honor of the big G, we shall begin with Godzilla news, and there are some doozies!

  • First of all, Criterion has acquired not only the Classic Media Toho archive, but Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla vs. Megalon from Media Blasters as well, and Son of Godzilla and Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla! Speculation is rampant that they’re planning a special box set, and it’s hard to dispel. They’re currently streaming through Starz, and folks have already noticed that this is the rare Toho dub of War of the Gargantuas… complete with all of the Frankenstein references cut by AIP!

  • In an interview with Mick Garris recently, Mike Dougherty teased more monsters that he had to design for the new movie. Well, that’s intriguing.


  • Shinji Nishikawa and Yuji Kaida have new art for Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters. Some of those Servum sure look like Ohm from Nausicaa.

  • Godzilla is also collaborating with Sengoku no Tora Z and Grand Summoners mobile games. I’ve already completely lost track of how many of these types of crossovers have happened, so hopefully someone’s taking notes!

  • Oh, and the new Planet of the Monsters trailer.

  • At long last, the Kaiju Gaiden trailer is up online! This is a slight improvement over the version shown at G-Fest, to boot!

  • Shimizu and Shimoguchi’s Ultraman manga has an “important announcement” next month. Fingers crossed for a TV series!
  • Matt Frank’s Redman comic (or manga? this is blurring some lines!) will be published in Japan by Phase 6, who also bring Godzilla: Rulers of Earth out there. Honestly, this may be the best thing to ever happen to Redman.

  • At 400 mm tall (stand excluded), this Ryujin Garo is going to be hard to fit on a shelf! The $200 price tag makes it a little tough, too, but not out of bounds for the series.

  • At last, a Killing Bites trailer!

  • Princess Resurrection is getting a new manga series. With the original finally all out in the US via Kindle, here’s hoping the sequel gets brought over too!
  • A trailer for the new Thunderbolt Fantasy:Path of Life or Death side-story movie:

  • J Novel Club licensed the Ao Oni novel. I continue to be amazed at the success of that franchise.

  • Junji Ito is doing a manga adaptation of Osamu Dazai’s novel No Longer Human.

  • Crow’s Blood is available on El Rey on demand now.

  • Video Girl Ai (which is pretty much The Ring as a rom com) is getting a new live-action TV series. This isn’t the first live-action version, since it was a movie previously, but enough time (and change in technology) has occurred that I’m wondering how this will work…maybe one of those 80s throwbacks that are so popular in the US?
    Also from Masakazu Katsura is I”s, likewise getting a live-action TV adaptation. That one isn’t SF/horror/fantasy, but it is my all-time favorite manga, so I’m keen to see how they inevitably ruin it.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes has a live-action trilogy in the works. Seems like a hard sell.
  • Funimation licensed Space Battleship Yamato 2199. For such a high-profile show, it’s been a pain to see legally until now, so it’s great to see it up streaming.

The latest trailer for the new Blazing Transfer Student Netflix show makes it look a lot better than the previous one did:

Whew! I *think* that’s a wrap. Enjoy what remains of Godzilla’s birthday… but for us, Godzilla day is every day, after all.

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Weekly news recap: Heroes and Robots!

A smattering of henshin hero items, and a couple giant robot things to cover this week:

  • Kraken is moving along with Garo releases, with the Kiba movie coming out February 20. That’s straying a bit from production order, but makes sense to watch right after the first season… actually, even the cover art is a spoiler for the first season.

  • Shout Factory is doing a Megaranger marathon on October 28…a first for Shout, this is before the release of the DVD!

  • The Netflix version of Tiger & Bunny is a little different from the one Viz put out: like the US release of Code Geass, all the product placement has been removed. It feels weirdly lacking without it.

  • I usually hold Power Rangers in a high degree of contempt, but with the upcoming RPG Power Rangers Hyperforce not leaning on an existing Sentai to prop it up, it might not be such an adulteration.

  • Ultraman Geed star Tatsuomi Hamada and director Koichi Sakamoto will be doing a live-action version of Mob Psycho 100 on Netflix in January. Geed has been really good, so as long as the special effects on Mob hold up, this could be something special.
  • Another Pacific Rim comic has been announced to tie in with the new movie: Pacific Rim Aftermath. It starts in January and has writer Cavan Scott (Doctor Who comics) and artist Rich Elson (Sonic the Comic).

Huh, I suppose we need something spooky this close to Halloween, huh? Well, uh…. oh! Tsuburaya’s 1982 TV horror movie Pretty Devil, from director fave Nobuhiko Obayashi, is finally getting a DVD release in Japan this February, so you can trade in your VHS tapes, I guess.

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Quick news recap

Not a lot to discuss this weekend. As a reminder, the Tokyo Ghoul movie hits US theaters next week. Amanda saw it and, as a fan of the source material, gives it an endorsement, so the rest of us are stoked to check it out.

Onto the relatively few happenings of the week:

  • Shout Factory’s release of Gingaman is up for preorder, with a release date of January 30. Their 7th Super Sentai release makes it a quarter of the way towards getting caught up!

Alright, I think that’s it for this week; told you it was a quick one. At least this leaves plenty of time for Voltron! Seeya next time!

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