The number 4 is a homophone for “death” in Japanese, so it’s considered an unlucky number. April 4th is super unlucky, so watch out, I guess? Anyway, let’s talk about the (non-April Foolish) kaiju/mecha/henshin hero stories that broke this week:
- In case you didn’t see the prior post, Hideaki Anno has been confirmed as supervising director/writer for the 2016 Godzilla movie. We should all feel surprised that nobody saw it coming:
“I think that, even more than anime, Japan should first of all be proud of Godzilla.”
– Hideaki Anno, 2012, at the opening of his tokusatsu museum
Anyway, August Ragone has a full translation of the statements that both Anno and Shinji Higuchi (co-director and special effects) made when the news hit. In the mean time, let’s just remember this director went pro with short animations including the following shots:
- Also from Shinji Higuchi, the Attack on Titan movies will be getting a tie-in TV show with the same cast as the movie. Directing the series will be Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police, Helldriver), Katsurou Onoe (SFX on Onmyouji, Returner, and B-Fighter) and Kimiyoshi Adachi (assistant director on Ichi the Killer, Shinobi: Heart Under Blade). Since this will obviously be done as a side project and could draw resources from the theatrical films, I’m not expecting great production values here. Still, it’s hard not to be curious about how it’ll turn out. [via crunchyroll]
- Speaking of Attack on Titan, the 3DS game is getting released in Europe and North America:
- Damon Foster is now offering a translated DVD of Hanuman vs. The Five Riders, the Thai production from Chaiyo that used Kamen Rider likenesses without permission from Toei. Like Foster’s other releases, this includes a gag dub, but it also has a subtitle track for purists (?) like your truly.
- Anime Sols is shutting down on May 1. It’s a bummer, so make sure to catch as many of their streams as possible while you still can.
- Kazuhiko Shimamoto’s dessert-themed office-worker-sentai manga Hero Company has previously gotten animated commercials, but the cover of the May issue of Gekkan Hero‘s announces that it’s getting a full OVA this fall. The DVD will be bundled with the 8th volume of the manga, so it probably won’t be showing up on the fansub scene quickly, though, especially when the series’ live-action spin-off movie Jossys hasn’t been translated either.
- Jun Kawagoe’s 2001 anime adaptation of Cyborg 009 is fantastic (and criminally neglected by its English-language marketers, not to mention anime fans who can’t deal with old-school character designs), apparently enough so that the director’s been given another go with the franchise after 14 years. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the character, Ishimori Pro’s turned back to Kawagoe to direct a new TV series. Gotta say, it’s easy to have mixed feelings about this: one one hand, it sort of feels like a misstep to go with a director who’s already done a full adaptation (and theoretically said all he has to say), but it’ll also probably be more back-to-basics than Oshii, Kamiyama, and the American comic’s more recent incarnations. [via ANN]
- This week’s installment of the Japan Animator Expo is Tsukikage no Tokio, written by amazing gamer designer/weirdo Suda 51 (Lollipop Chainsaw, No More Heroes). I’m not sure I understand the plot of the short, but it’s got some neat robots and space battles.
- The upcoming Ushio & Tora TV adaptation is sticking pretty close to the original manga’s character designs. Interesting to see them going this route; I wonder if they’ll eschew cell phones and such to make it a full period piece.
- As if the new Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift and Godzilla in Hell comics weren’t exciting enough, there’s also news that Famous Monsters is starting a comic line, beginning with Gunsuits (by Colder author Paul Tobin) on June 24. Based on this cover, it looks like Gunsuits might be of interest to kaiju/mecha fans:
- Is it just me, or would Big O be a much more appropriate fit for this juice commercial than Evangelion is?
- The Ultra monster bar Kaiju Sakaba may have just opened a branch in Osaka, but it’s also reopening in Kawasaki! Neat! [via crunchyroll]
- Japanese manga/anime fans have been polled about who they think the best villains to be friends with would be. It’s admittedly a bit of a popularity contest (Frieza, Dio, and Doronjo making the top places), but at least it’s not topped by Berserk‘s Griffith or Devilman‘s Ryo Asuka.