New Year’s news recap

Happy new year (admittedly a couple weeks late)! I’ve been distracted from putting together news recaps for a while, but that just means a lot more things to cover this time around. Let’s break it down by category:

Godzilla news:

  • Kicking things off, there were some leaked images from the Godzilla vs Kong toy line. They may or may not constitute a spoiler for the film, but they sure are interesting…honestly I’ll say they make me more intrigued with the picture.
  • The first three minutes of the Shinkalion movie (The Mythically Fast ALFA-X That Came From Future) have been posted online, featuring a battle between Godzilla and Hatsune Miku. This has been a bit of a thorn in my side, since numerous outlets are reporting this as an “upcoming release” for 2020, when it came out in December. Also, people keep reporting it as “Ice Godzilla” instead of the actual “Snow Godzilla” name.

  • Godzilla manga artist Takayuki Sakai’s Godzilla Comicalize Magazine did a Batman vs. Godzilla doujinshi for this winter’s Comic Market, finally realizing the unmade project.

  • Speaking of Godzilla cameos and Comiket, Weathering With You got its theatrical release in the US this past week, and as a Toho movie, there was a little background cameo in that one, too.

Other kaiju news:

  • The Great Buddha Arrival director Hiroto Yokokawa has announced another kaiju film, and similarly to his previous work, it’ll be about the making of a lost picture: this time the unmade Daiei flick that led to Gamera’s creation: Nezura 1964.
    Much like Great Buddha Arrival, we’re getting promised a parade of industry cameos (including the returning Yukijiro Hotaru and Yoshiro Uchida), and I imagine publicity will be fairly mute until it debuts. I do like the giant-sized Nezura, which I believe is unique to this interpretation.

  • A whopping 22 years after their prior release of the film, Media Blasters is re-issuing Gappa the Triphibian Monster on Blu-ray. There’s been some grumbling since the (longer) international cut does not appear to be included, but this will almost certainly have better image and sound quality than the ancient DVD and VHS releases.

  • That Gamera box set from Arrow has been more officially announced. Still no word if it’ll be available in the US or UK-exclusive yet.

 

Ultraman news:

  • Ultraman Ace and Ultraman X now have preorders for BD: May 12 and April 21 respectively. Both are solid shows, and it’s exciting to add them to the collection.

  • ULTRAMAN was the most viewed anime on Netflix in Japan last year. As much as the outrage from Evangelion fanatics is a lot of fun, I do have to sort of ponder this, since the series honestly wasn’t all that great.
  • The Ultra Kaiju Humanization Project (which is secretly the best Ultraman manga available in English) just wrapped up its run in Japan. Hopefully the whole thing is able to make it to US shores!
  • RIP Shozo Uehara. His tokusatsu work was excellent, so if you have the recent Blu-rays of Ultra Q, Ultraman, Ultraseven, Return of Ultraman, or Juspion, or older ones like Inazuman and Red Baron, or even anime like Captain Harlock or Fist of the North Star, watch a few episodes in his honor.

SSSS.Gridman news:

  • A stage play featuring the Neon Genesis Middle Schoolers is due out in May.

  • Acro has new figures up for Nanashi A and B, while Good Smile is proceeding with a Devadadan. The roster of kaiju with vinyl figures is slowly filling in…

  • I appreciate how SSSS.Gridman takes deep cuts even in little stuff like magazine covers. A recent appearance in Uchuusen featured Akane and Rikka cosplaying characters from 1983 issues of the magazine.

Other hero news:

  • We’ve gotten our first look at this year’s Super Sentai, Mashin Sentai Kiramager. The costumes are fine (a female green is a neat shake-up), and the preview of the mech battle looks really exciting. We’ll have to see how well the “collecting shiny gems” motif works with the “machines” one, but with Naruhisa Arakawa writing, my expectations are pretty high.

  • Jushin Thunder Liger, the real-life pro-wrestler based off the Go Nagai hero character, has finally retired after 35 years in the industry.

 

  • A new Gantz spinoff has been announced, this one set in the Edo era: Gantz: E. I wonder how the inherent scifi of the premise, setting, and aesthetic will mesh with a jidai geki setting, but time will tell.

  • Here’s a trailer for the Mini Force movie, Deeno The King Of Dinosaurs. I still haven’t checked out Mini Force, despite it being on my Netflix queue for months, so perhaps I should get on that.

  • After years of no updates, it seems the English-language print edition of the Ambassador Magma manga has been cancelled. Not a great look for DMP.

Other news:

  • A trailer dropped for Voltes V Legacy, a live-action project out of the Philippines adapting the classic anime. A lot of people are concerned since this is from GMA, who previously did the lackluster Shaider tie-in Zaido, but, given that  Zaido was 13 years ago, I think it’s fair to give them another chance at this point.

  • The second Thunderbolt Fantasy movie, Bewitching Melody of the West, is now on Crunchyroll.

  • In “neat concept” stuff, the new Hentatsu TV series is apparently set in a post-apocalyptic Nakano Broadway.

That’s a wrap for now! I’ll try to get another article or something together in the next few weeks to make up for the lack of updates.

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Maser Patrol podcast episode 46: Lost Films and More with John LeMay

Looking for a last-minute Christmas present? Well, you’re in luck, because John LeMay has a varied bibliography on topics ranging from history, UFOlogy, horror films, cryptozoology, spaghetti westerns, and a whole smattering of kaiju/tokusatsu-related titles, with a special emphasis on lost and unmade movie projects. Since the new editions of The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monsters: The Lost Films and Terror of the Lost Tokusatsu Films are now on the market, it was a great time for John to stop by the podcast and talk about what he does.

Unfortunately we had some serious Skype lag during the call, but for the most part I was able to clean it up in post, so it only gets confusing on occasion.

Direct download

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The 2010s: A decade in review timeline

As December winds to a close, I find myself reflecting back…. back on how many podcasts, blogs, and YouTubers seem to have already done their decades in review, yet we haven’t gotten around to it here yet. But seriously, the past ten years has given rise to a lot of great content and interesting media trends, and yes, even this very blog. So, whether it be to reminisce, let lapsed fans know what they’ve missed, or simply to get some time travelers up-to-speed, I thought it’d be nice to recap a few of the major events and most noteworthy new titles that came about in the 2010s.

Uh…different sort of “Decade in Review”

There’s no rankings here, just a chronological walkthrough without much in the way of commentary (I’ll leave that to others). However, I will say that this was initially conceived as a “tokusatsu of the 2010s” timeline, but it quickly expanded to anime, manga, games, novels, and similarly-inspired non-Japanese media, while ignoring certain tokusatsu genres entirely (e.g. samurai and war films). In short, it turned into a list of the kind of stuff Maser Patrol focuses on.

Because of that, there will be some glaring omissions if you really want to hear about Japan’s classically “best” content: titles like Your Name or Erased or The Tale of Princess Kaguya are wonderful and technically science fiction, but they lack certain visual factors (like monsters and superheroes) that’d make them crossovers for the tokusatsu enthusiast, so they’re not listed, let alone compelling human dramas like Yuri on Ice, Kids on the Slope, and Keijo. (If you want to hear about the tons of great anime out there, you can check out Anime World Order‘s excellent year-by-year breakdown, so it need not dominate things here.)

With that out of the way, let’s start where the decade began!

9-Jan Higanjima: Escape from Vampire Island released
14-Feb Tensou Sentai Goseiger debuts on TV
2-Apr Daimajin Kanon debuts on TV
2-Apr Clash of the Titans remake starts Legendary Pictures down the path to focus on giant monsters
17-Apr Kaibutsu-kun drama debuts on TV
27-Apr Ratman manga begins publication
1-May King of Thorn anime movie released
5-May Shingo Honda’s Creature (AKA Hakaijuu) begins publication
22-May Tetsuo the Bullet Man released
22-May Mutant Girls Squad released
6-Jul Occult Academy debuts on TV
8-Jul Shiki vampire anime debuts on TV
17-Jul MM9 – Monster Magnitude drama debuts on TV
27-Jul Death Kappa released
4-Sep Gothic & Lolita Psycho released
5-Sep Kamen Rider OOO debuts on TV
17-Sep Sym-Bionic Titan debuts on TV
19-Oct Marika Seven manga begins publication
30-Oct Garo: Red Requiem released, reviving the Garo franchise. It’s also Japan’s first full movie filmed with 3D cameras.
27-Nov Mazinkaiser SKL OVA debuts
1-Dec live-action Space Battleship Yamato released
21-Dec Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus released
23-Dec Ultraman Zero the Movie released

7-Jan Puella Magi Madoka Magica magical girl anime debuts on TV, becoming a massive hit. The series takes some inspiration from Kamen Rider Ryuki.
29-Jan First live-action Gantz movie released
13-Feb Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger debuts on TV, kicking off an era of crossovers and revivals at Toei
11-Mar The Great Tohoku earthquake causes a tsunami and meltdown at Fukushima’s Daini nuclear power plant. This traumatic event forever changed Japan, and its impact continues to be felt in media, pop culture, and artwork.
3-Apr Tiger & Bunny superhero anime debuts on TV
8-Apr Ghastly Prince Enma: Burning Up debuts on TV
23-Apr Gantz: Perfect Answer released
April Studio Chizu founded
12-May Nobunagun manga begins publication
14-May Tomie Unlimited released
14-Jun Mappa studio founded
6-Jul Clip show Ultraman Retsuden brings Ultraman back to television
8-Jul Blood C anime debuts on TV
8-Jul The Hero Yoshihiko debuts on TV
23-Jul Alien vs. Ninja released
23-Jul Helldriver released
23-Jul Yakuza Weapon released
10-Aug King of Tokyo board game franchise begins
16-Aug Ready Player One novel published, featuring Ultraman, Kiryu, and Leopardon
22-Aug Studio Trigger founded
4-Sep Kamen Rider Fourze debuts on TV
17-Sep Henge released
24-Sep Garo: Makai Senki debuts on TV
1-Oct Monthly Hero’s manga anthology begins publication, including ULTRAMAN and Hero Company (hits Killing Bites, Majestic Prince, and Sword Gai are added shortly after)
15-Oct Noboru Iguchi’s Karate Robo Zaborger movie released
16-Oct Ultra Zone debuts on TV
4-Nov Bite Me if You Love Me released
26-Nov Earth Defence Girls P9 released
9-Dec Ranma 1/2 live-action movie released

6-Jan Symphogear magical girl anime franchise begins
12-Jan Confusingly-named Another horror anime debuts on TV
15-Feb Gyo anime movie released
25-Feb Zombie Ass released
26-Feb Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters debuts on TV
27-Feb Danger 5 debuts on TV; the spy pastiche contains many anime/tokusatsu aesthetic references
17-Mar Ultraman Sisters novel published
19-Mar Monster Musume manga begins publication, starting a boom of monster girl material
24-Mar Ultraman Saga released
2-Apr Zetman anime debuts on TV
6-Apr Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger debuts on TV
18-Apr One begins Mob Psycho 100 manga, which will go on to anime and tokusatsu adaptations
21-Apr A Letter to Momo yokai anime movie released
12-May Sadako 3D released
1-Jun Wit Studio founded
14-Jun Yusuke Murata begins redrawing One’s webcomic One Punch Man, to great acclaim
10-Jul Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo debuts as part of the Tokusatsu Special Effects Museum
15-Jul Impromptu G-Fest panel reveals footage from Wolf-man vs Godzilla, leading work on the fan film to resume after decades
21-Jul Iron Girl released, kicking off a DTV series
21-Jul Wolf Children released
2-Sep Kamen Rider Wizard debuts on TV
5-Oct Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure finally gets a TV anime adaptation
12-Oct Psycho-Pass cyberpunk anime franchise begins
20-Oct Space Sherriff Gavan the Movie revives the Metal Hero brand
15-Nov Jeremy Robinson’s Project Nemesis kicks off a series of “kaiju thriller” novels and comics
17-Nov Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo released to mixed response
15-Dec Humanoid Monster Bem movie released

12-Jan Neo Ultra Q debuts on TV
18-Jan Machi Action suit acting movie released
5-Apr Garo: Yami o Terasu Mono debuts on TV
7-Apr Attack on Titan anime debuts on TV, sparking a phenomenon
13-Apr HK: The Forbidden Superhero movie released
26-Apr Jellyfish Eyes released
1-Jun Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s movie Real released
4-Jul Seven Cube manga begins publication
4-Jul Earth Defense Force 2025 game released
7-Jul Kamen Teacher drama debuts on TV
9-Jul Atlantic Rim mockbuster released
10-Jul Ultraman Ginga kicks off the current era of Ultraman shows
11-Jul first Yo-kai Watch game released, leading to a franchise that would popularize yokai worldwide
12-Jul Pacific Rim released, cancelling the apocalypse
12-Jul Gatchaman Crowds debuts on TV
18-Jul Attack of the Friday Monsters game released
13-Aug Ultra Q finally gets a US release for the first time
23-Aug Wonderful 101 game released
24-Aug Gatchaman live-action movie released
7-Sep 009-1 live-action movie released
26-Sep Mega Monster Rush Ultra Frontier shorts debut
4-Oct Shougeki Gouraigan debuts on TV
4-Oct Kill La Kill debuts on TV. The series takes much inspiration from Sukeban Deka, the works of Go Nagai, and more.
5-Oct Kaiki Daisakusen Mystery File debuts on TV
6-Oct Kamen Rider Gaim debuts on TV
10-Oct Samurai Flamenco debuts on TV
13-Oct Ando Lloyd debuts on TV
9-Nov Tiger Mask live-action movie released

25-Jan Nuigulumar Z released
28-Jan Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark released
8-Feb Earth Defense Widow released
16-Feb Ressha Sentai ToQger debuts on TV
8-Mar Zero: Black Blood debuts on TV
14-Mar Kaiju Sakaba opens
29-Mar Heisei Rider vs Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Wars movie released
1-Apr Booska+ manga begins publication
2-Apr Marvel Disk Wars debuts on TV
4-Apr Garo: Makai no Hana debuts on TV
5-Apr The Next Generation Patlabor series debuts
7-Apr Kanpai Senshi After V debuts on TV
1-May Tatsuya Shihira’s manga Q begins publication
16-May Godzilla kicks off the MonsterVerse
24-May Kikaider Reboot released
6-Jun Edge of Tomorrow (based on All You Need is Kill) released
7-Jun Jossy’s released
5-Jul Ao Oni movie released
7-Jul My Hero Academia manga begins publication. It will go on to become the highest-circulated superhero comic in the world.
10-Jul Big Comic Original Godzilla special published
12-Jul Day of the Kaiju short debuts at G-Fest
12-Jul Zella: Monster Martial Law released
15-Jul Ultraman Ginga S debuts on TV
19-Jul Blue Blazes drama debuts on TV
11-Aug Colossal Kaiju Combat: Kaijuland Battles game is released
6-Sep In The Hero suit-acting movie released
27-Sep Shusuke Kaneko’s Danger Dolls released
3-Oct Garo: The Carved Seal of Flames debuts on TV, the first anime based on the franchise
5-Oct Kamen Rider Drive debuts on TV
5-Oct Cross Ange anime debuts on TV
7-Oct Robosan debuts on TV
7-Nov Japan Animator Expo shorts begin online streaming, including shorts for Ultraman, Gridman, Patlabor, and some other kaiju content
29-Nov First live-action Parasyte movie released
1-Dec Atom the Beginning manga begins publication
18-Dec Godzilla PS4 game released

11-Jan Yatterman Night debuts on TV
17-Feb Zyuranger marks first ever US release of an uncut Super Sentai series
22-Feb Shuriken Sentai Ninninger debuts on TV
18-Mar Kaijumax comic begins circulation
21-Mar First live-action Assassination Classroom movie released
28-Mar Garo: Gold Storm movie released, followed by TV series
1-Apr Ultra Kaiju Humanization Project manga begins publication
24-Apr Shinjuku Gracery rebrands as a Godzilla-themed hotel
25-Apr Second live-action Parasyte movie released
30-Apr Chroma Squad game released, forced to claim inspiration from Power Rangers
18-May First volume of Tokusatsu Hihou magazine published
20-Jun Ninja War Torakage released
20-Jun Yakuza Apocalypse released
27-Jun Love & Peace released
3-Jul Ushio & Tora yokai anime debuts on TV
5-Jul Live-action Death Note series debuts on TV
6-Jul Mysterious Ultraman n/a short debuts online
7-Jul Mega Shark vs Kolossus released, channeling Attack on Titan
11-Jul The Boy and the Beast anime movie released
14-Jul Ultraman X becomes the first Ultraman show to get international simulcast
1-Aug First live-action Attack on Titan movie released
19-Sep Attack on Titan: End of the World released
20-Sep Daimajin Adventure novel published
2-Oct Kagewani monster anime debuts on TV
3-Oct Live-action Bakuman movie (about aspiring mangaka) released
4-Oct Kamen Rider Ghost debuts on TV
4-Oct Concrete Revolutio debuts on TV
9-Oct Gamera proof-of-concept short released
9-Oct Garo: Crimson Moon debuts on TV
31-Oct Infini-T Force manga begins publication, reviving old Tatsunoko heroes
4-Nov Platinum End manga begins publication
7-Nov An Evangelion-themed bullet train begins running
11-Nov Cyborg 009 vs Devilman debuts
14-Nov Japan Local Hero Wars released
21-Nov Digimon Adventure Tri series debuts
5-Dec Outerman released
31-Dec Funimation Channel rebrands as Toku

13-Feb Lychee Light Club live-action movie released
5-Mar Chimagure Sukeban Chainsaw released
19-Mar Moribito live-action movie released
1-Apr Kamen Rider Amazons debuts on Prime
8-Apr Garo: Makai Retsuden debuts on TV
23-Apr I Am A Hero movie released
29-Apr Live-action Terra Formars movie released
14-May HK: Abnormal Crisis released
10-Jun Voltron: Legendary Defender debuts on Netflix
18-Jun Sadako vs. Kayako released
7-Jul Ultraman F novel published, future winner of the Seiun Award for fiction
8-Jul Thunderbolt Fantasy debuts on TV
9-Jul Ultraman Orb debuts on TV
16-Jul Kaiju Mono released
22-Jul Godzilla appears on Crayon Shin-chan
29-Jul Shin Godzilla released, mania ensues
20-Sep First volume of Ini Kai Suru Kotonaku, Juujitsu Shita Hibi published
27-Sep Kaiju Girls anime debuts online
1-Oct Cutie Honey Tears released
2-Oct Kamen Rider Exaid debuts on TV
14-Oct Gantz: O anime movie released
15-Oct Higanjima: The Last 47 Days movie released
29-Oct Death Note: Light up the New World released
5-Nov LEDX released
8-Nov Gemu released online
11-Nov Mech-X4 debuts on TV

6-Jan Zero: Dragon Blood debuts on TV
12-Feb Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger debuts on TV
18-Feb The Dragon Dentist miniseries debuts on TV
10-Mar Noboru Iguchi’s Slavemen released
10-Mar Kong: Skull Island released
18-Mar Napping Princess anime movie released
24-Mar Power Rangers movie released
31-Mar Ghost in the Shell live-action movie released
1-Apr Ayakashi Banashi debuts on TV
2-Apr Takashi Miike’s Idol × Warrior Miracle Tunes debuts on TV
7-Apr Colossal released
14-Apr Mystery Science Theater 3000 begins a short-lived revival, covering several giant monster movies
5-May Tetsudon Kaiju Dream Match anthology released
13-May live-action Hurricane Polymar movie released
4-Jun Kaiju Club drama debuts on TV
8-Jul Ultraman Geed debuts on TV
20-Jul Netflix’s Death Note released
29-Jul first live-action Tokyo Ghoul movie released
4-Aug live-action Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Part 1 movie released (subsequent parts not announced)
6-Aug First Japan World Heroes convention held
19-Aug Kodoku Meatball Machine released
30-Sep live-action Ajin movie released
1-Oct Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman movie includes unauthorized Ultraman appearance
6-Oct Garo: Vanishing Line debuts on TV
19-Oct The City Shrouded in Shadow video game released, featuring creatures from Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, Evangelion, and Patlabor
26-Oct Love Fighter Shuravan manga debuts
28-Oct Shusuke Kaneko’s Linking Love released
10-Nov Bravestorm released, reviving classic Senkosha characters Red Baron and Silver Mask
17-Nov Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters released
7-Dec Earth Defense Force 5 game released
8-Dec Gigant manga begins serialization
9-Dec Destiny: Kamakura Story released
15-Dec The Return of Izenborg documentary for Arabic television contains a new effects short

5-Jan Devilman Crybaby released
13-Jan Mazinger Z Infinity released
27-Jan Rokuroku released
4-Feb The Cloverfield Paradox hits Netflix out of nowhere
11-Feb Lupinranger vs Patranger debuts on TV
18-Feb Koujin TV movie released
27-Feb Kaiju Girl Caramelise begins publication
3-Mar Ghost Squad released
19-Mar Ziga manga begins publication
23-Mar Pacific Rim: Uprising released
29-Mar Ready Player One movie released, with no Leopardon or Ultraman
1-Apr 6th Gegege no Kitaro anime debuts on TV
13-Apr Rampage movie released
13-Apr Dragon Pilot debuts on TV
18-Apr Tsuburaya defeats UMC in United States district court for Ultraman rights
20-Apr Inuyashiki live-action movie released
24-Apr Ninja Batman released
18-May Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle released
30-May Matt Frank revives Redman in Redman: The Kaiju Hunter comic
23-Jun One Cut of the Dead released (and becomes a cult sensation)
30-Jun Punk Samurai Slashdown released
7-Jul Ultraman R/B debuts on TV
20-Jul Bleach live-action movie released
25-Jul Illang: The Wolf Brigade, a remake of Jin-roh, released
3-Aug My Hero Academia: The Two Heroes movie includes hero “Godzillo”
11-Aug Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion has an episode with the Evangelion train, as a semi-crossover
2-Sep Kamen Rider Zio debuts on TV
30-Sep Double Decker anime debtus on TV
4-Oct Jinga: Kami no Kiba debuts on TV
4-Oct Zombie Land Saga anime debuts on TV
7-Oct SSSS.Gridman debuts on TV
8-Oct Hero-san and Former General-san manga begins publication
25-Oct Do Your Best, Chibi Godzilla book published
9-Nov Godzilla: The Planet Eater released
23-Nov Hard Core released
15-Dec The Great Buddha Arrival released
18-Dec Amazing Spider-man #18 brings Toei’s Spider-man into the comics canon
28-Dec Kaijuretto Shojotai web manga begins publication

18-Jan Tokusatsu Gagaga drama debuts on TV
25-Jan live-action School Live movie released
31-Jan Alita: Battle Angel live-action movie finally, finally, finally released
2-Feb First episode of Kaiju Ward Gallas released; second episode still not announced
8-Feb City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes movie includes a Godzilla hotel scene
17-Mar Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger debuts on TV
22-Mar GEMSTONE Godzilla short film competition entries posted online. The winners went on to create Godziban.
1-Apr ULTRAMAN anime debuts on Netflix
1-May With the abdication of the Heisei emperor, the Reiwa era begins. Franchises like Godzilla and Kamen Rider quickly jump onto the new era for marketing purposes.
7-May Deep Sea Monster Raiga vs Volcano Beast Ohga released
10-May Detective Pikachu movie released
31-May Godzilla vs Evangelion ride opens for the summer at Universal Studios
31-May Godzilla : King of the Monsters released
1-Jun The Asylum’s Monster Island mockbuster released
6-Jul Ultraman Taiga debuts on TV
10-Jul Mill Creek acquires rights to sizable part of the Ultraman library for US distribution
13-Jul Attack of the Giant Teacher released at G-Fest
9-Aug Godziban series debuts on YouTube
27-Aug Juspion becomes first Metal Hero to get a US release
30-Aug Astral Chain game released
1-Sep Kamen Rider Zero One debuts on TV
29-Oct Criterion releases complete Showa Godzilla set, bringing the first subtitled home video of King Kong vs Godzilla to market
18-Nov Kaiju Step short anime debuts on TV
24-Nov Howl from Beyond the Fog released
14-Dec First TsubuCon held
27-Dec Godzilla appears in Shinkalion movie

…and that brings us up to the present day! It’s been a heck of a decade, and it’ll be interesting to see where it stacks up in the years down the line. There’s plenty of cool new stuff on the horizon for the 2020s, so let’s look forward to covering them as they materialize in the future!

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to leave a comment if there’s some major title that deserves special mention. Think Eko Eko Azarak: The First Episode of Misa Kuroi should have been listed? Believe the Gintama movie was snubbed? Feel upset at the exclusion of Lust of the Dead? Let me know! This was a fairly quickly-put-together list and by no means comprehensive, and there was a lot of content over the years. Hopefully you’ll remember something that you’ve been meaning to get around to by going through the list, so I’d be keen to learn what I might be missing on this end as well.

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News recap: First TsubuCon quite a success!!

This weekend was the first ever Tsuburaya Convention (TsubuCon), attached to Wonder Festival. As an inaugural outing, there were a number of fantastic announcements and reveals, including:

  • The first look at Shin Ultraman has been unveiled. A lot of folks are disappointed by how vanilla it looks, but honestly, I think the back-to-basics approach is what the “Shin” calling card has been about from the get-go. Shin Godzilla was inspired by concept art for the 1954 movie, so it makes sense that Shin Ultraman goes back to Tohl Narita’s concept…no color timer, no eye holes, no back fin.
    It’s wild that they’re being this upfront about a movie that’s not getting released until 2021, isn’t it? Usually we don’t hear about stuff like this until it’s a few months out.

  • A new anime titled SSSS.Dynazenon is coming as part of the “Gridman Universe”. All the key talent who worked on SSSS.Gridman are involved, so it should be great, but that show is a tough act to follow.

  • A trailer for the Ultraman Taiga movie, featuring the whole New Generation.

  • Netflix’s ULTRAMAN is airing on TV starting in April. A lot of folks are reporting this as the second season, but it looks like it’s only what’s on Netflix now, just broadcast on TV. However, it is getting a live-action short, which is pretty cool.
  • Kaiju Decode got a promo image, along with the reveal that Sei Nakashima (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) is doing the designs. The promo looks like it could be another monster girl thing.

  • For the most obsessive SSSS.Gridman fans, Figurex is making life-size figures of Akane and Rikka, for about $15,000 each.

  • The Kaiju no Sumika (“Monster Habitat”) VR exhibit that’s currently on display at Tokyo Dome City (due to close in January) will be opening in other locations starting in March… including a show in Los Angeles!

Non-TsubuCon stuff this week:

…and to promote the show, a really cuddly Gamera suit:

  • Two seconds of Godzilla vs. Kong footage got leaked. Presumably Shaggy and Scooby’s reaction isn’t part of the film, but we can dream.

  • John LeMay released an updated version of his Lost Films book, and it’s easily twice the size of the previous edition. Thus, it’s worth picking up, even if you have the earlier version.

  • Attack of the Giant Teacher presales start January 2, to ship in February.
  • No More Heroes 3 has a new extended trailer that’s basically a short film. There was a little controversy since there’s a little bit of effect animation at the end that appears to have been plagiarized, though that comes from a public data set that the animators used, rather than being taken directly.

  • A trailer for My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, continuing the trend of using the “rise” word in superhero franchise movie titles:

  • Coffee mugs based on the Toei Spider-man have started popping up at Disney stores. With such a glut of merchandise, I wonder if the show itself will get added to Disney+?

  • The new stage play Cutie Honey Emotional seems to be mixing up the formula for the classic magical girl by making her part of a magical girl team rather than just having her transform into multiple identities: Sweets Honey, Lovely Honey, Jumper Honey, Cyber Honey, and Black Honey are also present. I don’t know how to feel about that development, but the new costume is neat.

  • A red-band trailer for the reboot of The Grudge:

That’s a wrap for the news for this week, but expect another post before the end of the year.

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News recap for the end of November

It’s been a wild few weeks with Thanksgiving and year-end festivities, but this previous weekend I made it out to Anime NYC, where I learned that:

  • The English-dubbed episode of Godziban was very difficult for its Japanese voice actors, suggesting that future dubbed ones are unlikely, but the producers did seem happy that someone in the West is watching the show.
  • Strega is getting an English dub, which Garage Hero will eventually distribute. That whole panel was great.
  • Megalobox is going to be getting a sequel.

But, what else has been going on? Well, we can find out in this news recap:

  • First of all, Godzilla vs Kong was delayed until November 20. No surprise there, since it never really seemed right that another huge expensive Hollywood Godzilla flick would hit less than a year after the previous one, and we haven’t gotten so much as a poster yet.
  • While the delay was a little bit of a bummer, we can’t get too down, since the same day we got more information about the Godzilla collaboration in the Symphogear XD mobile game. As I’ve said many times, Symphogear is a superb, sublime, phenomenal, action-packed magical girl anime, and after the SSSS.Gridman collaboration that they did for the mobile game, a Godzilla one is quite exciting. Oh, and that game is getting an English-language release soon!

I love the character combinations here. Godzilla is paired with the scrappy, aggressive Kanade, rather than defaulting to the main character Hibiki. Hibiki, being the strongest character and gold in color, is paired with Ghidorah. The silver-armored Maria originally had a copy of Kanade’s armor, so Kiryu is a good fit. Shirabe is reincarnated from a very powerful ancient character, so the reincarnation-prone Mothra is a reasonable match for her, and since Shirabe is frequently paired with the scythe-wielding loser Kirika, Kirika is of course Gigan. This leaves questions of who Tsubasa and Chris could be….maybe Rodan and Showa Mechagodzilla? Space Godzilla and Moguera? Ebirah and Zone Fighter?

I demand action figures of all of these.

  • Marvel has announced that they’ll be doing some Ultraman comics. It’s exciting to see what they’ll involve, though the approach has been strange. The announcement included no new artwork, but old DVD art by Alex Ross, who has said on his YouTube page back in September of 2018 that he was “looking to do new artwork featuring the character” not for the Asian market. The image’s filename even suggests that Ross was hired to work on the book, but it’s not actually part of the press release. At any rate, more exposure and a new take is definitely a net positive, and even a lousy Marvel book can be entertaining.

  • Return of Ultraman and Ultraman Orb Origin Saga Blu-rays are up for preorder, so you know what to do.
  • In twelve days, we’ll get more information on Toei and Tsuburaya’s upcoming anime Kaiju Decode. Toei can be quite janky, especially on “sure things” (see Sailor Moon Crystal, Digimon Tri, the early parts of Dragon Ball Super), so hopefully they put good animators on this one.

  • The Redman: The Kaiju Hunter comic just announced a new antagonist Bemdora, who’s totally based on the original Bemular (as in the original concept for Ultraman) design. Kudos to Matt Frank for reviving that deep cut, and in a way more organic than the ULTRAMAN manga’s doing!
  • Chris of the Kaiju Kingdom Podcast was at DesignerCon, and noticed that Mondo has a line of Pulgasari toys upcoming! I really wonder how licensing works for that batch.

  • A poster for the four-part “Daikaiju Gomera vs Kamen Yaiba” storyline in Detective Conan next month:

  • The Evangelion train may be gone in real life now, but at least it’s still showing up in the Shinkalion movie:

  • An ad for the Kamen Rider Zero One movie:

  • The Island of Giant Insects got a live-action promo:

  • Viz is releasing Junji Ito’s short story collection Venus in the Blind Spot in August. It’s a little concerning that they’re advertising it as including “The Enigma of Amigara Fault”, since that was already included in their release of Gyo, and I hope we don’t get too much redundancy among the collections that they put out.
  • As a no-brainer cross-promotion, Zombie Land Saga is being used to promote Zombieland: Double Tap in Japan.

  • Finally, a new ad for next year’s Sorcerous Stabber Orphen remake. I hope it does well enough to see some other “vintage” light novels get pulled out for revivals, too.

That’s a wrap for the moment; until later! I promise that the next post will probably not be as delayed as Godzilla vs. Kong.

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Two-week news recap: Godzilla turns 65 in style

November 3rd was Godzilla’s 65th birthday, and it was a wild Godzilla Festival in Tokyo this year.

  • The Nijigen no Mori theme park, best known for ziplines and a replica of the village from Naruto, is adding a life-size Shin Godzilla attraction. This looks like a pretty fun day trip for folks staying in the Kansai area, but I don’t know if anything will top Universal’s Godzilla vs Evangelion ride.

  • Professional cosplayer Enako got to make gijinka an official part of Godzilla marketing with her “Enagodzilla” exhibit and merchandise.

  • I thought Symphogear XD Unlimited couldn’t get any more awesome after that SSSS.Gridman crossover…now it’s got Godzilla showing up in game!

  • Several directors got on stage and discussed the movies that they had wanted to make. Bagan never really goes away…

  • There’s…whatever this is:

  • A Godziban live show:

  • Also, Godziban got an English dub, for one episode, at least.

Other neat stuff:

  • Mandarake is opening up a Sofubi specialist store. If you have the funds, swing by and pick up one of their ugly original Megagorilla figures.

  • We now have a video for the Osomatsu brothers meeting Pennywise as promotion for It Chapter 2.

  • A trailer for Dino Girl Gauko:

  • Finally, a trailer for the upcoming remake of The Grudge. Or, re-re-remake?

That’s a wrap for this week, until next time!

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Maser Patrol podcast episode 45: We’ve got the seasonal Blus…

On this episode of the podcast, Kevin, Justin, and Byrd sit down to discuss some of the exciting recent tokusatsu home video releases from Criterion, Mill Creek, Discotek, Section23, SRS, Shout Factory, Arrow, Kino Lorber, and Synapse. We also go into the overall home video market landscape, distribution, why we still collect physical media, and the convoluted history that Godzilla has had on North American home video.

Direct download

Show notes:

There are other cool new titles out there, from Legend of the Demon Cat to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, but I think we hit the major tokusatsu releases. Hopefully this helps someone to make good decisions with their holiday shopping, add to their personal collection, or just feel more educated about the products for knowledge’s sake!

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