Weekly news recap (spoilers: no E3 coverage)

Hey, so E3 was this week, and the internet was flooded with stories about Metal Gear Solid 5 and the Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire remakes and the latest Smash Bros. Since there’s plenty of coverage about those things elsewhere by those much more knowledgeable and enthused, I don’t see any reason to delve into them here. (Actually my only thought on the entirety of E3 was that Suda 51’s Let It Die looked kinda lackluster.) That leaves the following news tidbits from the world of manga, anime, and tokusatsu:

  • To kick things off, here’s a trailer for Mother, the directorial debut of 77-year-old manga legend Kazuo Umezz. The story is weirdly pseudo-autobiographical, about Umezz’s biographers being stalked by the spirit of the mangaka’s deceased mother. [via eigapedia]

  • First the US, then Nigeria, and now apparently France is also getting its own original Astro Boy series, courtesy of Caribara Animation. I did a quick search, but couldn’t find any other stuff that the studio had worked on, so how this goes is anyone’s guess. [via ANN]
  • Walmart is listing the 2014 Godzilla Blu Ray release date as November 18th.
  • Discotek has license-rescued the Violence Jack OVA series. This 3-episode anime is based on Go Nagai’s manga, that pretty much gave birth to the bloody post-apocalyptic macho-martial arts genre (I’m not even kidding), and has had a problematic release history (released out-of-order and censored in most English-speaking countries and flat-out banned in Australia). It’s easy to see why: they’re violent, vile,  misanthropic, misogynistic, and chocked full with brutal unpleasantness ranging from child murder to cannibalism. The central character is pretty much a monster (as opposed to the champions of justice in the similar Fist of the North Star or Apocalypse Zero), and overall, the series is not for the weak of stomach. That said, if you’re the type to deliberately seek out the most messed-up anime that you can find (as was the custom in early-90s American fandom), know that Violence Jack can hold its own against Genocyber, MD Geist, or whatever other shock-schlock you crave. Discotek claims that this will be the longer version, meaning that it will be uncut but retain mosaics over characters’ crotches in certain scenes.

  • Bach Films in France will be releasing Mars Men (AKA Les Hommes d’une autre Planete) on June 30th in French, Italian, and English. The history of this movie is a little screwy, but as I understand it, it incorporates about 30 minutes of footage from the Tsuburaya/Chaiyo production Jumborg Ace & Giant with new footage shot in Taiwan. From there it was brought to Italy (I believe Luigi Cozzi, the man who colorized Godzilla, was involved) and France. While it’s difficult to endorse stock footage movies, I’ll probably pick this up to satisfy the same curiosity that led me to get Krieg der Infras.

mars men

  • Viz will finally be releasing the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure manga in North America from the beginning with Phantom Blood, priced at a whopping $19.99 per volume (hopefully that means either two-in-ones or deluxe color editions). The obvious question is how this release will affect the re-release of Stardust Crusaders, the third arc and the only one available stateside. [via ANN]
  • Comics Alliance has proven that Kamen Rider Gaim‘s Zawame City is just sideways Gotham.


  • In addition to the regular SH Figuarts versions of Darth Vader and a Storm Trooper, Bandai unveiled a samurai Vader version at the Tokyo Toy Show. It’s an Asia exclusive, but I’m sure Star Wars fans abroad can drum up demand for international distribution. [via Bluefin]

samurai vader

  • Several of Fujio F Fujiko’s Doraemon characters will be given Chogokin combining robot treatment (much like the Disney release previously) this November. The set retails for 14904 yen.

doraemon combiner

  • Negora creator Konatsu will be doing her first US art show on June 28th in Los Angeles. [via tomopop]


  •  Lastly, it seemed like Bandai’s efforts to release vinyl Godzilla toys in Japan had completely subsided, replaced by high-end MonsterArts, transforming eggs, and vinyls for other franchises (such as the gimmicky Ultraman Ginga line). Combined with the fact that Bandai never really did much merchandising for the 1998 Godzilla, I figured that for the most part, the Japanese branch would ignore the new movie and toys would be relegated to Bandai USA. Well, that seems to not be the case, as 6″ vinyl figures of Godzilla 2014 and a Muto were also on display at the Tokyo Toy Show. 1500 yen each, and already up for preorder, even retaining the “Movie Monster Series” label from over a decade ago….now if only these came with Godzilla Island tags… [via kaiju battle]


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