There was no news recap last weekend, since not a lot of announcements come out of Japan around New Year’s, but that just means that there’s plenty of neat stuff to post this week. Let’s start, as usual, with some trailers:
- The Super Hero Wars GP trailer has a glimpse of the Kamen Rider 3 suit:
- The trailer for Hifumi Kono’s PS Vita game NightCry looks suitably creepy (the ad was directed by Takashi Shimizu, so I’m glad to see he hasn’t lost his touch):
- A commercial for the 25th anniversary Ghost in the Shell movie came out of nowhere:
This is hot on the heels of the official announcement that Scarlett Johansson will be taking the lead in Dreamworks’ live-action adaptation of the property (it’s not exactly news, though, since it came out in October that she was offered the role). Predictably, the internet got up in arms about this, but consider the following:
(A) Even Japanese Ghost in the Shell stuff is made for Americans anyway, going back to the 1995 film.
(B) Ghost in the Shell is not, in my opinion, more innately Japanese than, say, The Ring, which Dreamworks did an amazing job of adapting for US audiences. Yes, some cultural signifiers will likely be lost in translation, but that doesn’t mean that the end result can’t still be as interesting as the original work.
(C) Motoko has a prosthetic body. Lots of people of all races could play her without even breaking continuity.
So, yeah, I’m still in the “wait and see” camp on this one, at least until a director is announced.
- There was a lot of ire in multiple fandoms when Leopardon from Toei’s 1978 Spider-man tokusatsu showed up in this week’s issue of Amazing Spider-man for the “Spider-verse” crossover event, only to be destroyed in one panel. It sort of ruins a great mythology gag: since the robot suit in the original show was stolen early on, Toei had to rely on stock footage to quickly cut through the giant monster fights. Because of the fact that he wins quickly and is never shown taking damage, Toei still refers to Leopardon as the most invincible super robot in their entire roster.
Killing off beloved interpretations of the character for shock value is pretty much SOP for this storyline, but, perhaps as an olive branch to the offended parties, Marvel’s website has started streaming the show again.
It’s also worth noting that manga’s Spider-man J appears in “Spider-verse” as well, though no sign has been seen so far of either Ryoichi Ikegami’s manga Spider-man (unofficially AKA “Suffering-man”) or the one from Disk Wars.
- Gatchaman Crowds Insight (the upcoming second season of Gatchaman Crowds) has a website now; guess that’s a positive sign! The series is due to air later this year, which is good since the first season closed on a pretty open-ended note.
- Starting January 27, Young Champion will be running a manga starring a moe-fied version of Ultraman’s enemy Mephilas, titled Ultra Kaiju Giginka Keikaku: feat. POP Comic code. The Ultra Kaiju Giginka Keikaku (Ultra Monster Personification Project) is a merchandising campaign to turn classic Ultra monsters into cute girls, and it’s been going for a while in the form of figurines, cards, t-shirts, phone straps/cases, pillow covers, etc, so a tie-in manga was nigh-inevitable. Mephilas seems like an odd choice to star, though, and odder to turn into a wide-eyed innocent child. I’ve always thought the business-wear incarnation of Mephilas (the figure below) better fit the alien’s personality. [via ANN]
- Big Comics just launched a new scifi-flavored Devilman series from Go Nagai, titled Devilman Saga… if it’s anything like MazinSaga, Americans will get the video game and not the manga. (Seriously, though, Devilman Saga looks pretty cool, and if nothing else it’s quite uncommon to get a Japanese manga with 40 pages of color art.) [more at crunchyroll]
- Lastly, because I love all things Gekkan Hero’s related, I’ll mention that the June release of volume 3 of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Otoko Doahou hen manga will be bundled with a re-release of Revoltech’s Yoko figure… only this time she’ll be wearing her outfit from the manga. Preorders are up on amazon for 4298 yen at the moment. First Ultraman, then Yoko… I wonder what other Hero’s manga characters might get this treatment in the future?