News roundup for March 29: Not all Godzillas go to Heaven

Normally I start these news recaps with the latest trailers, but I think this week I’ll mix it up and start with comics and books before diving into what’s on TV and movie screens. Mostly because IDW has announced one of the most audacious Godzilla miniseries of all time:

  • Coming in July, a rotating team of creatives (starting with Godzilla: Half Century War‘s James Stokoe) will be giving us a new miniseries concept far-out that I would’ve previously only expected it from a manga: Godzilla in Hell. I really appreciate the unexplored territory that IDW’s previous minis have ventured into, and making reality of the rumored (and thoroughly debunked) “Godzilla vs. the Devil” concept is something crazy enough to make me cheer out loud…though, I’ve got to wonder if they’re aware of Shiro Kuro’s short story Kaiju Jigoku (“Monster Hell”)?
    [via SciFi Japan]

Godzilla in Hell 1 Godzilla in Hell 2

  • In other exciting kaiju-comic news, Legendary has announced Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift, a 4-issue miniseries for release starting in November.

tales from the drift

  • In annual tradition, it looks like issue 280 of Famous Monsters will be their kaiju special for this year [via year of gamera]

Famous Monsters 280

  • In “cool stuff that’ll probably never be translated” news,  the anthology novel Kaiju Bungei no Gyakushu (“Monster Literature Strikes Back”, or “Monster Literature Raids Again”, or if you want to have super fun with it, “Terror of” Monster Literature “Escapes”) is a sequel to the previously released (and also pretty cool) Kaiju Bungei. The new book hit Japanese bookstores on Saturday, and features short giant monster stories by the likes of Shinji Higuchi (Gamera trilogy effects director), Hiroshi Yamamoto (author of MM9), Chiaki Konaka (creator of Ultraman Gaia and Digimon Tamers), and hotshot director Sion Sono. Sounds like a cool investment for monster fans looking to get into Japanese prose!
    kaiju bungei no gyakushu

Okay, now let’s get to what’s on screens:

  • Paul “Otaking” Johnson just finished Tie Fighters, an animated Star Wars fan film. Overall a very good job!

  • Ultraman aliens Zarab, Dada, and Mephilas are going to be touring restaurants and famous locations across Japan in a new TV series Ultra Kaiju Sanpo, starting May 23. I think it makes sense: why would you want to conquer the planet without spending 12 episodes sightseeing first to make sure it’s worth your while? [via ANN]

  • A trailer for the One Punch Man anime. The action looks good, so hopefully it can keep up the comedic timing!

  • A trailer for Ao Oni Ver. 2.0, the sequel to the first Ao Oni (“Blue Demon”) film, in turn based on the hit RPG Maker survival game. These movies look pretty neat; here’s hoping they get some sort of English-language distribution.

  • An advert for Hideo Nakata’s upcoming movie Stageghost… yep, that’s a title that sells the concept! It hits Japanese theaters November 21.

  • The new zombie comedy from Kadokawa, Z Island:

  • Media Blasters had been delaying their release of the 009-1: The End of the Beginning DVD for quite a while (as is their custom), so prospects of seeing it stateside without an import were starting to look grim… then it popped up on crunchyroll for streaming! The movie, based on the cold war cyborg spy manga by Shotaro Ishinomori and directed by Koichi Sakamoto, is admittedly a bit of a mixed bag*, but I’ll still totally be picking up the DVD once it’s available. Here’s hoping MB follows suit with their other stalled releases, like Tomio, Eko Eko Azarak: The First Episode of Misa Kuroi, and Horror Mansion: The Blind!
    *My biggest gripe is that they frequently go with CGI in places where practical effects would have looked better and been easy, e.g. inserting cracks in some concrete after our supersoldier protagonist punches it, but others might be more put off by Sakamoto’s leg fetish or the semi-incestuous subtext.

  • Mill Creek rescued the 2003 Astro Boy series and is reissuing it. So far, it looks like a cheap duplication of the previous dub-only release, but it might be worth keeping an eye on to see if that changes (if it is dual audio, the next step would be verifying that the subtitles sync properly… Mill Creek has problems with that sometimes).
  • Apparently the Japanese title for Mega Shark vs. Kolossus (somehow the the fourth entry in The Asylum’s fairly abysmal kaiju franchise) is “Mega Shark vs. Great Titan.” Gee, I wonder what they could be trying to exploit? [via eiga.com]

megashark 4

  • In “movies in development” news, Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura’s comic I Kill Giants is in talks for an adaptation by Harry Potter‘s Chris Columbus. The Ready Player One movie has mercifully moved from the hands of Chris Nolan to Stephen Spielberg. Also, Sony has the movie rights to Robotech now. To all these, I skeptically say “well, we’ll wait and see”.

Holy cow, that’s a lot of cool stuff this week! I leave you with an image of an upcoming figurine, based on one of the most famous memes from Dragonball: Yamcha is dead. The figure comes out in August for 3456 yen. [via ANN]

yamcha figure

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