Weekly news update: Whole lotta Garo, and we “don’t” discuss Star Wars

It’s that time of the week; let’s review the coolest Japanese scifi/fantasy/horror stories that broke in the past seven days! (Spoilers: it’s mostly just Garo this week.)

  • The Garo franchise has a tendency to announce a lot of projects at once, so I guess it just must be that time. From the previous batch of announcements, it was known that there would be a follow-up film for the third season (The One Who Shine in Darkness), and now we have details: It’ll be called Gold Storm – Sho, and will lead into another TV season with Ryuga as the protagonist. Keita Amemiya is directing the movie himself (which is a blessing), and it’s due for release March 28. As one of the few people who really likes the third season, I’m pretty okay with this.

    There will also be spin-off movies for two characters from the fourth season (Flower of Makai). Giving Raiga his own film seems logical, but Biku is also getting one, titled Yamagirinochi. Honestly, I don’t remember Biku doing much during the TV series, so this may be the opportunity for her character to shine. Anyway, neither of these trailers are super exciting, just the actors standing in front of black backgrounds.

    The fifth season, (The Carved Seal of Flames AKA Garo the Animation) has also been renewed for another round on television, making it progressively more difficult to keep track of which season is which (like, does the Zero: Black Blood miniseries count?), with a theatrical film as well, presumably a recap feature. Also, there’s a Garo stage musical, Makai Kagekidan, in the works, directed by Amemiya for the 10th anniversary of the franchise (well, I bet fans outside Japan won’t be seeing that one any time soon).
    Also, Comics Gum is launching two new Garo manga, bringing their total to three. Their first has been an adaptation of the first season story (by Yuki Yono), and the new ones are an adaptation of Flower of Makai (by Shizuko Ichigono) and Garo the Bible by Sin’ichi Hiromoto, which everyone is speculating about. The rationale for manga adaptations of TV series makes sense (not everyone can afford to buy expensive DVD sets), but I’d love to see some completely original Garo content in manga form.[via ANN, ANN, and Shizuko Ichigono’s twitter]
    garo mangas makainohanamanga

  • Here’s a trailer for Strayer’s Chronicle, based on the 2012 novel about genetically modified super children (can’t we just say “ESPers” anymore?). Anyway, it’s from the same director as Moon Child, so the action will probably be decent.

  • The final Naruto movie will hit Australian theaters only one month after its release in Japan. Hooray for near-simultaneous releases!

  • So, there’s a new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer (conspicuously omitting an episode number). For those not in the know, the Star Wars franchise is a blend of numerous pop culture elements, and among other things it cribs liberally from Japanese sources such as Battle in Outer Space, The Hidden Fortress, Android Kikaider, The Magic Serpent, Yojimbo, and Space Battleship Yamato (that’s just in the movies, the extended universe is a whole other story).
    “Therefore,” you may ask, “why are you not posting about Star Wars more often?”
    The answer is simply that there’s a lot of it, and it already has a pretty devout following. Ergo, despite the fact that the series is already pretty Japanese-ish, I usually require an extra contact point to repost a Star Wars story. (Examples might include the redesigned samurai Vader Movie Realization figure, the Star Wars characters popping up in Soul Calibur, or the fact that Japanese people with the last name Yoda aren’t allowed to have facebook accounts because of the film franchise.)
    But what the heck, it’s a slow news week, so let’s check this Jedi-geki out:

  • After the failure of their probably-misguided previous Osamu Tezuka manga Kickstarter campaign, Digital Manga bounced back by launching a campaign for Ludwig B, Tezuka’s two-volume unfinished biography of Beethoven. Personally, I’d rather they give their last campaign another shot piece-wise (I’d love to see Vampires, Alabaster, and Rainbow Parakeet released), but since I really don’t know anything about this title, and Tezuka’s work is generally pretty solid, I really can’t complain.
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