Weekly news recap for 9-25

Not a lot to report this week:

  • Vehicles from a number of different Ultraman earth defense teams have been spotted together, leading to speculation that the Ultraman Orb movie might have an extra-special crossover. It certainly seems to show more thought that the Ginga S film. [via 4chan]

ultra-cars ultra-cars-2

  • A subset of the Toho SF fandom is stoked about Zone Fighter getting another DVD release in Japan, but as a completist and fan of the obscure, I think it’s way cooler that Toho’s Goranger-knock-off Flying Saucer War Bankid is finally getting its first DVD release there. Naturally, none of these will have subtitles. [via August Ragone]

  • Rock band Kiss has had its handful of crossovers with Japanese pop culture over the years (Gene Simmons was the main antagonist in the Detroit Metal City movie, after all), but Astro Boy was not one I would have predicted. It’s a little weird.

astrokiss astrokiss3

  • Rings was due out in just one month, when it got pushed back to February. It’s quite unfortunate; not only is it unlikely to be a hit with studio confidence like that (meaning a lower chance of box sets or licencors bringing the remaining Japanese flicks over for cash-ins), but we’re looking at a serious dearth of theatrical horror options this Halloween season.

  • Hiroyuki Yamaga tantalized/terrified Gunbuster fans by mentioning a possible sequel to Aim for the Top at a recent German con. I’d be cool with it, though I would hope for something closer to either of the two Next Generation manga than to the Diebuster OVA. Maser Patrol’s resident Gunbuster maniac Josh is pretty sure it would be terrible either way, so it’s a good thing that Yamaga has a history of not having sequels come to pass (looking at you, Blue Uru!).
  • Gainax’s Princess Maker 2 is coming to Steam. I’m not normally one to be piqued over 23-year-old bishoujo simulators, but it’s an aspect of the studio’s output that hasn’t been very well represented in the west.

  • Discotek is doing a physical release of the Galaxy Railways OVA (we mentioned the Crunchyroll release last week), as well as re-releasing Leiji Matsumoto’s other projects Gun Frontier and (a personal favorite) Cosmo Warrior Zero. They’re also re-releasing Eatman, for folks who haven’t picked that up.

  • Hikaru Utada’s new music video featured some unused footage from Evangelion 3.33. It was only online for 24 hours, fortunately long enough to get mirrored everywhere.

  • The upcoming anthology movie Force of Will is going to feature six shorts based on the trading card game of the same name. The first to be advertised, “L.S”, is decidedly Lovecraftian.

  • Though Baki the Grappler is more of a sports franchise than a sci-fi/fantasy, the main character spends enough time punching bigfoot and dinosaurs in the face that it sort of counts. The series is getting a new OVA, raising ambient testosterone levels for another generation.

  • A look at the American Attack on Titan comic anthology:

  • The teasers for the Paramount version of Ghost in the Shell look visually okay, but dumping 5 15-second trailers instead of one long one is sort of annoying.

That’s a wrap for this week! Back to trying to not be jealous of those of you at Fantastic Fest… :)

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News recap for 9/17: Mecha, Monsters, and Magical Girls!

It’s decidedly *not* a slow news week this week, so there’s plenty to discuss. Let’s make like a Gransazer and dive in!

Kaiju news:

  • Matt Frank and Jeff Zornow have collaborated on the poster for Shinpei Hayashiya’s upcoming Deep Sea Monster Raiga vs. Lava Beast Ohga. Since the movie is being made largely for a G-Fest audience, this collaboration makes a lot of sense. [via Mark Jaramillo on facebook]

raiga-vs-ohga-poster

  • Marvel is celebrating some of their classic giant monsters with a new 5-issue miniseries Monsters Unleashed! starting in January. The company revisits these characters periodically (the ongoing Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur made a bit of a splash, and I think the most recent Marvel monster-mash was 2015’s Uncanny X-Men #33), but the once-prolific subgenre of comics certainly took a backseat once the hero age started. So, it’s always a pleasure to see a revival….how long until they get their own cartoon?

monstersunleashed

  • Not exactly news, but someone pointed out the coincidence that the new Makoto Shinkai movie Your Name is kicking Shin Godzilla‘s butt at the Japanese box office, reminiscent of the original 1954 Godzilla, which failed to make as much money as the third film in the Your Name trilogy started in 1952. George Lucas calls that “poetry”.

godzilla-yourname1 godzilla-yourname2

  • Here’s a look at Earth Defense Force 5, for Playstation 4:

  • Gou Tanabe, who previously did adaptations for The Color of Outer Space and The Hound & Other Stories, is helming another HP Lovecraft manga, this time At the Mountains of Madness, for Comic Bean.

at-the-mountains-of-manga

capdon

  • Speaking of Capcom, a Hollywood movie based on Monster Hunter is in production. I did not see that coming… maybe they need something once Resident Evil wraps it up?

Mecha news:

  • Okay, perhaps this is also kaiju news, but those who missed the SH MonsterArts Garuda set upon initial release (because it was a Web Shop exclusive in the pre-Bluefin/amazon days) have long lamented the inflated prices on the after market; it’s easily the most difficult of MonsterArts pieces to acquire. Well, good news: the Mechagodzilla reissue is coming with Garuda as an accessory, and the 10800 yen MSRP is less than Garuda is going for by itself. In my case, that may just mean I’ll have an extra ’93 Mechagodzilla… maybe I’ll pop on the head with a missing eye or something.

shm-super-mechag

  • A new light novel imprint, Yatate Bunko, will be taking on Sunrise properties. There’s mecha stuff here obviously, including a new Votoms novel and Millennium Thorn, but I’m most excited by Gaogaigar vs. Betterman… it’s about time those two got a proper crossover!
  • The Galaxy Railways OVA, A Letter from the Abandoned Planet, is up on crunchyroll. It was a darn shame that Funimation never finished releasing Galaxy Railways, so seeing this OVA get an official US release (the licencor is Discotek) is encouraging for the prospects of the second season. Plus, the Galaxy Express 999 cast plays a big part in the OVA as well. (I can’t find a trailer for this OVA, so here’s Funimation’s ad for the inaccurately-titled “complete series”.)

  • Jackie Earle Haley has been cast for James Cameron’s Battle Angel movie. Wait… I thought this movie wasn’t supposed to happen until after the next couple Avatars?
  • If you’ve ever wanted person-sized figures of Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, Grendizer, or Devilman, then Jungle’s got you covered, for around $3500 a pop. I really like the Devilman one, since it also sort of works as a table.

life-size-devilman

Hero news:

  • A trailer is out for the Garo spin-off Zero: Dragon Blood. The last Zero series was great, so high hopes for this one, too!

  • A look at the new Cyborg 009: Call of Justice. Not as high hopes for this one.

  • The Symphogear XD Unlimited battle RPG is curb-stomping its way onto Japanese mobile devices. In unrelated news, I suddenly need a new phone.

  • The Magical Girl Raising Project is advertised as “survival action”, but I’m not seeing much from this trailer. Another Madoka clone?
  • It sounds like the next Super Sentai series will be titled Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger. That’s like… four more than Goranger, but one less than Dekaranger. As for the space theme, it makes sense, especially with them bringing Gavan back again soon.

Misc. News:

  • The next Resident Evil CG movie will be directed by Ultraman X/Next Generation Patlabor alum Takanori Tsujimoto, with music by Kenji Kawai. Neat!

biohazard-vendetta

That’s a wrap for this week; take it easy!

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Slow news weekend recap

Not a whole lot of note to report news-wise this week. Or perhaps I’ve just been too busy to notice; work has been life-consuming this week so I haven’t gotten to check the otaku networks as much. Leave a comment if there’s something missing!

  • Tickets are on sale now for Funimation’s Shin Godzilla screenings. They also put out a new trailer, complete with appropriate musical selection.

  • Despite not having so much as a trailer out, Colossal premiered at TIFF this week. Reviews are pretty good, so hopefully wider distribution is on its way.
  • There’s a live-action mecha show coming to Disney XD. Might have to give this a watch.

  • Space Battleship Yamato 2202 starts in February. This teaser is not very animated.

  • Another Gantz: O trailer. Last one, I promise.

  • A look at Ao Oni: the Animation. Cute, I guess?

  • Oh, and Funimation and Crunchyroll are starting to show each other’s stuff. For the time being, I’ll just hold on to both accounts, since it’s not a full merger or anything (there were already several shows on both, e.g. Erased, so this isn’t that big a change).

So, yeah, that’s all we got for now. Peace!

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Weekly news recap: (Pat)labor Day Weekend!

It’s Labor Day weekend in the US, time to sit down with a healthy heaping of Patlabor! For kaiju fans in particular, I’d recommend:

  • Patlabor: Early Days episode 3 (a parody of Godzilla, with some Terror of Mechagodzilla and War of the Gargantuas thrown in)

Patlabor OVA 03E Patlabor OVA 03D

  • Patlabor: The New Files episode 15 (an awesome parody of the Ultraman and Ultraseven finales)

yuji kaida patlabor

  • WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3 (it’s pretty much The Host before The Host, and with a robot fight)

wxiii

  • The Next Generation Patlabor episodes 5-6

patlabor live 3

  • Plus the TV series episodes 4 and 19, episode 40 (which uncoincidentally has the same title as an original Ultraman episode)… maybe New Files 13 for the sewer alligators.

patlabor_tva_19 patlabortv 4

Anyway, on to the news of the week:

  • Those who had been playing close attention have noticed American Shin Godzilla screenings showing up on Fandango and the like for the week of October 11-18, but Funimation made things official this week. It’ll be playing in 440 theaters, and will play earlier in New York and Los Angeles, with a full theater list available on September 9. Much like the Filipino posters, though, the US poster has been bizarrely edited: Funimation’s Godzilla has no eyes. Maybe they’re trying to conceal his identity?

funishin

Shin Godzilla‘s time at the top of the Japanese box office is near its end, but it has become the highest-grossing live-action movie of the year. Also, as part of a cultural phenomenon, fans are tracing the monster’s path through Tokyo, which in some films can be dizzying as they jump from landmark to landmark.

  • Kaiju Girls starts September 27 on the d Anime Store website. Still hoping Crunchyroll picks it up.

  • In true Heisei Kamen Rider fashion, Kamen Rider Exaid is to have multiple motifs on top of being insectoid super heroes (e.g. “they’re high schoolers and astronauts” or “they’re hip-hop dancing samurai battle-monster fruits”); in this case they’re video-game obsessed physicians (one’s a nurse, one’s a surgeon, you get the point). One character has Black Jack hair, naturally.

I wonder if one of the games they play will be Rider Revolution?

  • Sentai studio simulator Chroma Squad is coming to consoles.

  • Missed this earlier, but Katokutai’s got a new album. The music video really shows off Bin Furuya’s acting skills outside of a rubber costume.

  • Speaking of music videos, Miyavi’s “Fire Bird” features an entirely appropriate Osamu Tezuka character:

  • Some impressive fan has redone the opening sequence of One Punch Man in the style of the original webcomic.

  • Not really genre-related, but culturally significant (plus, there was the weird crossover with Sorcerer Stabber Orphen, and the weird cameo in Gamera Super Monster): the KochiKame manga is calling it quits after 40 years and 200 volumes. A world without Kankichi Ryotsu in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump… I can’t even imagine.

kochikame-199-small

That’s a wrap for this time. Hope everyone enjoys some Labors this weekend.

patlabor ultraman

 

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Maser Patrol podcast episode 26: Gen Urobuchi

With the next Godzilla flick being written by the most coveted screenwriting talent in the modern anime world, the Maser Patrol crew sat down this week to discuss Gen Urobuchi’s previous output…. along with interludes about Star Trek and Josh’s potentially self-renewing Netflix account. This is a long one (the spoilers section of the Madoka Magica discussion alone clocks in at half an hour), so I wasn’t as good as usual about editing out all of the clicks and awkward pauses. Also, by nature of a repeating motif in Urobuchi’s writing, there are copious spoilers within. But at least, unlike the protagonist in an Urobuchi work, you’ve been warned.

Direct download

Quick Addendum: 

Recommended titles: Continue reading

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8/29 news recap

Welcome to this week’s news recap. To anyone wondering about Godzilla’s naughty bits, I suggest having a heart-to-heart with Stan Lee:

You tell ’em, Stan! Hopefully your legacy is never tarnished by Marvel using something from the Japanese porn parody of one of your characters… oh, crap, nevermind.

ironheart marvel vs giga

With that out of the way, let’s discuss the kaiju/henshin hero/J-horror news of the week!

Kaiju:

dragondentist

  • Godzilla artist extraordinaire Chris Scalf has a new comic coming out in November titled Kronen’s Kaiju.

kronen's kaiju

  • I must admit to never having heard of the 1987 kaiju comic Daikazu (author Mike Wolfer did work on Dark Horse’s Godzilla run), but that’s also getting a reissue in November under the title War Monsters.

war monsters comic

Kaiyodo Hebikara

Heroes:

  • It pays to be one of the best Super Sentai teams ever, because Dekaranger just keeps coming back. This time, it’ll be in a crossover with Space Sheriff Gavan (who it’s been previously established hangs out with Doggie… or at least the original one did; this one looks like Gavan G from the new movies), for a 2017 movie titled Space Squad.

gavan dekaranger 1 gavan dekaranger 2

On top of that, there will be a “Girls in Trouble” special as well. I can’t wait!

  • The movie version of Max Steel, which has been shelved for a few years, appears to finally be on track for a release, though youtube seems hell-bent on region locking the trailer, which is not a great sign.
  • This week’s episode of Steven Universe had animation by Trigger’s Takafumi Hori. Allegedly it was only for the musical number, but the second fight scene of the episode had noticeably improved fight choreography than the rest of the series normally features.

mindful education

  • I wasn’t able to track down all of Fewture’s SD Garo figures, which is unfortunate because Messiah was a build-a-figure that requires getting every single one. Nicely enough, they will be releasing a complete box, for a whopping 35800 yen. If you want figures of the various horrors from the first season, this is really the only way to go.

fewture sd garo

  • A kickstarter project has launched for Astro Boy: Edge of Time, a stylish Osamu Tezuka-themed collectible card game. I’m not huge on CCGs, but the involvement of creators like Hiroya Oku (Gantz, Inuyashiki) and Suda 51 (No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw) has me intrigued… maybe they’ll do an art book?

Horror:

  • The long-anticipated next American Ring movie, Rings, looks pretty fun, though I’m really hoping that it raises interest enough to get Sadako vs. Kayako distributed over here, too.

  • I don’t know for sure if the upcoming short Muga is more of a horror or action/scifi flick, but it looks awesome.

That’s a wrap for this week! Expect a new podcast up soon (maybe…. if Audacity will stop crashing).

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Weekly news recap: We don’t talk about Godzilla for once

After the mid-week update over the announcement of the upcoming animated Godzilla flick, we exhausted the week’s supply of Kaiju Oh content. So, for the first time in recent memory, this week’s news recap is devoid of Godzilla content…. wait, does a con featuring Kenpachiro Satsuma count?

  • William Winckler Productions (the folks behind Shout Factory’s dub compilations of Gaiking, Dangard Ace, and Starzinger) are producing English dubs for Ultraman Ginga S: The Movie, Ultra Fight Victory, and Ultraman X: The Movie. This doesn’t guarantee a US release; English dubs have been produced for numerous Heisei Ultra flicks that never made it over here, seeing releases throughout Asia instead. Winckler’s past dealings with Shout are certainly encouraging, but since the company has previous gone on record saying they have no interest in releasing anything post-Ultraseven, I wouldn’t hold my breath on it. Still, since Crunchyroll hasn’t said anything regarding the Ultraman X movie, fansubbers are in a holding pattern over it, so this dub may be the first translation that it gets. Hopefully whatever release these dubs see also mean official subtitled versions, import or not.

  • The mobile game Mon MusumeHarem (which is different from Monster Musume, as far as I can tell?), is doing a collaboration with the Ultra Kaiju Personification Project, adding Pigmon, Zetton, Agira, Windom, and Miclas to the roster of girls to collect.

ultra kaiju musume2ultra kaiju musume1

  • Y’know, if it weren’t for Shin Godzilla, I would already be declaring Gantz: O the kaiju film of the year. This music video is quite hype.

  • Hey, remember Anime Midstream, the distributor with a whole lot of heart and a dubious grasp on the reality of 21st century consumers? They burst onto the scene in 2009, releasing Raijin-Oh eighteen years too late, on 5-episode per volume DVDs, complete with a dub cast drafted from willing Anime St. Louis attendees and misguided aspirations for a television broadcast. Needless to say, their machinations collapsed halfway through the series, and I’d assumed that they were done for. Well, they’re back, and this time they intend to release Bt’X, which had its own failed, canceled-after-two-volumes US release back in 2007. Anime Midstream did seem to learn its lesson, releasing the remaining 26 episodes of Raijin-Oh on a single, subtitled box set, so here’s to second chances. Bt’X is a pretty fun little post-apocalyptic mecha adventure show, and it deserves better than a low-grade fansub, though even Saint Seiya has had a hard time cracking the US market.

  • A look at Funimation’s new dub of Escaflowne:

  • Not scifi/fantasy/horror per se, but Criterion will be putting the six Lone Wolf & Cub movies and Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (which Ishiro Honda also directed segments of) on Blu Ray in November. NSFW warning on the Lone Wolf trailer, in case you couldn’t guess.

  • Lastly, a new tokusatsu con is starting next August in Pasadena: Japan World Heroes (from the Power Morphicon folks) has Ken Satsuma and Bin Furuya lined up as guests. Its own website isn’t up at the moment, so I guess we’ll just keep an eye on it.
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