Weekend news roundup: August 1

It’s the weekend, which means that it’s time for a quick recap of some of the most interesting Japanese-related sci-fi/fantasy/horror news stories that have transpired over the previous week!

  • Here’s a trailer for the new dramatic film about suit actors, In The Hero. It stars Toshiaki Karasawa as an aging stuntman and Kamen Rider Fourze‘s Sota Fukushi as an arrogant young actor, leading to tensions on the set of their pseudo-Sentai show. The film hits Japanese theaters September 6.

  • Filed in “out of the blue” news, Tohru Fujisawa’s manga Soul Reviver has been picked up for a live-action Hollywood adaptation by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (the team behind The Last Samurai). While there was a short live-action promo piece uploaded to youtube, the manga is fairly obscure and has never even been fan-translated into English, so far as I know, so one has to wonder about the process of them finding the manga and producers green-lighting a project virtually sight unseen. Nevertheless, this is probably the hottest piece of news for the week as far as I’m concerned, both as a fan of Fujisawa and as a fan of the various manga series printed in Monthly Hero’s magazine in general. Here’s an ad for the paranormal action manga, to give a sense of the flavor:

  • Announcements were made this week about the upcoming live-action Attack on Titan films. First is that the project will be a duology, which is unsurprising given the prevalence of this format for live-action movie adaptations lately: Parasyte, Gantz, Death Note, to name a few.


    The other aspect, which really shouldn’t be surprising, actually did ruffle a few feathers in the western fandom: the cast is composed entirely of Japanese people. While I understand that the manga is set in Europe and features a Germanic cast (the fact that Mikasa is of Japanese descent is a big plot point), I really don’t know what the detractors were expecting from a Japanese movie made in Japan for a Japanese audience. Of course, it may be possible to work around the race issue by setting the story in a different part of the Attack on Titan universe (for example, there are spin-off novels and manga that take place at different times and locations than the main story), or they could just have Japanese actors play European characters (Thermae Romae wasn’t terribly offensive, was it?).

    Politics aside, the supporting cast has some big tokusatsu names in it: Kanata Hongo (Nishi in Gantz), Rina Takeda (High Kick Girl), Ayame Misaki (Escape from GoBusters), Shu Watanabe (Eiji from Kamen Rider OOO), Satomi Ishihara (Akane in the Sadako films), and I’m always glad to see Jun Kunimura. Sounds like we can expect some action scenes! [via eigapeida]

  • A serious contender for most exciting story of the week was a somewhat cryptic video posted by Toei, hinting at a new sequel to the original Digimon Adventure anime to celebrate the 15th anniversary. That show has already got a sequel, of course, in the form of Digimon 02, but seeing as how that managed to be even less popular with series 1 stalwarts than Dragonball GT was with fans of that manga, they probably have no reservations about casually retconning it out of existence. Now how cool would it be if they got Mamoru Hosoda back for this? (*wishful thinking*)

  • A trailer is up for the upcoming Terra Formars OVA, covering the story from the first volume of the manga. The OVA will be bundled with the 10th and 11th manga volumes, due in August and November, for 1980 yen each. Speaking of which, the Martian cockroach people are getting a figma for 4800 yen, due out in October. Watch for them at your importer of choice!

cockroach figma

  • The first visuals have been released for the upcoming Parasyte anime. While some of the characters look fine (Goto, Migi), I’m somewhat baffled by the redesign of the protagonist Shinichi. The glasses, the hair, the uniform… I guess fashion aesthetics really have changed since the 1990s. [via ANN]

parasyte anime visualparasyte shinichi animeparasyte shinichi manga

  • Tokyo International Film Festival will have an entire showcase dedicated to Hideaki Anno this year, screening 50 of his works. This sounds like a good chance for Tokyoites to catch some of his obscure Daicon-era stuff and other minutia. I, for one, had no idea that he directed the making-of documentary for Gamera 3 before I read this!
  • Bento Books is releasing the Quantum Devil Saga novels (part of the Digital Devil/Megami Tensei/Persona megafranchise) in English. The first installment is already up on amazon. Personally I’ve never been much of a follower of the games, but it’s always cool to see more light novel translations on the English market.
  • Ultraman 80 showed up in a Chromebook commercial. Does anyone else find it a little weird that they’d specifically pick a show that’s never been available in the US for this? [via SciFi Japan]

  • Lastly, on August 3rd, NHK will be airing a special tokusatsu documentary for the 60th anniversary of Godzilla. It’s supposed to air at 0:10, 6:10, 12:10, 18:10 (UTC) dubbed in English, and can be watched on the NHK World website. [via The Tokusatsu Network]
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