Weekly news recap: Max, Max, Max (and Kaijumax)

Warning: Big blocks of text in this week’s news roundup. It’s just that exciting.

  • First of all, Garo the Animation (AKA Carved Seal of Flames, Honoo no Kokuin) has been picked up for simulcast streaming on Funimation. This is the first time that anything in the Garo franchise has been made officially available in English, but it makes sense that the anime version would be the one to do so: pretty much all anime gets simulcast nowadays (also, it’s by the same writer as Attack on Titan, which made money hand over fist). As a fan, I was a little surprised to see Funimation being the ones to pick this up instead of Crunchyroll, and it’s a little weird to see anyone aside from Media Blasters get the rights to a Keita Amemiya property (aside from the first release of “Zeram” or the Cyber Ninja VHS, I think MB’s had an Amemiya monopoly).

    Anyway, I encourage everyone: even though Funimation may take a little longer to get episodes up than fansubbers, please try to watch the series on their website. It’ll let them know that there is interest in the franchise, and may pave the way to a home video release of the anime, and, if miracles can happen, maybe result in some of the live-action stuff getting released here as well.
  • Speaking of live-action stuff getting a US release, I was stunned by one of the recent aquisitions at Crunchyroll. As stunned as a space cat fighting an amnesiac Ultraman!

    That’s right, Crunchyroll has gotten the rights to Ultraman Max! The 2005 Ultraman show was sort of a revolution when it came out, since it brought back a whole lot of elements (old monsters, actor cameos, etc) from the Showa era Ultraman stuff, eventually leading to the return to the original timeline with Ultraman Mebius (for the purposes of narrative, I’m not going to talk about the 90’s Ultraseven stuff now). Max brought back a real sense of fun into the franchise that had been absent from the Ultra N Project stuff, and it’s quite an entertaining show. A few other reasons why this is a big deal:

    Ultraman Max had some of Japan’s hottest directors attached, including Takashi Miike and Shusuke Kaneko. It was also one of the last projects that original Ultraman/Ultraseven director Akio Jissoji worked on.

    Ultraman Max has had some HK DVD bootlegs, but the entire series has not yet been properly fansubbed, making this the first good translation of the series.

    -This is the first Tsuburaya-sanctioned American release since Ultraman Tiga in 2002 (not counting the hulu re-release of Ultraman Toward the Future, which was already on VHS here). While they’ve occasionally teased about breaking into foreign markets, Tsuburaya has very much remained in Asia. They were burned by the mishandling of Tiga, and by the fiasco with Chaiyo, so it’s easy to see why getting their stuff to the English-speaking world might not be a high priority. The scarcity of US distribution makes it all the more important to support a release when it comes around.

    So, even if you’ve recently watched Ultraman Max, log into your Crunchyroll and give the official release some more traffic. And if you’ve never seen it, especially if you’ve had the chance to check out the original Ultraman and Ultraseven, you’re in for a treat! The show launches October 14th.

  • Here’s an ad for Robosan, a new drama series about eight girls piloting a giant robot. It starts on October 18th, but surprisingly there hasn’t been much buzz around the net about it.

  • The latest ad for Hell Teacher Nube, starting October 11.

  • Naoki Urasawa’s short story Mighty Boy (from the anthology NASA), about the romantic life of a henshin hero stuntman, has been adapted into a short film by a group in Spain. Both Urasawa and Shogakukan have apparently approved the project. Link here because embed isn’t working.
  • ComicsAlliance has a preview of Kaijumax, an upcoming comic from Oni Press that presents the logical conclusion of interpreting Ultraman as a cop and Monsterland as a prison:


And briefly:

  • Viz picked up the rights to the Tokyo Ghoul manga. [via crunchyroll]
  • The Naruto manga is ending on November 10th. By my count, that puts weekly serialization at just over 15 years. Who else feels old now? [via Jump]
  • Neca has started moving into the really obscure Pacific Rim Jaegers with their toy line, and also had a 1954 Godzilla on display at NYCC. (There was a Burning Godzilla, too.) [via import monsters]

NYCC-2014-NECA-Pacific-Rim-008neca 1954

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