News recap for April 11: Bokura wa Baby Ducks

Right off the bat this week, I highly recommend that any fan of giant robot anime check out the recent Regular Show episode “Brilliant Century Duck Crisis Special”: in true Regular Show fashion, a story that starts off being a mundane (if meta) ribbing on the cartoon’s own subpar merchandise line evolves into a mecha brawl visually referencing every classic from Mazinger to Voltron to Evangelion to Gurren Lagann and a half dozen different Gundams. Heck, just look at the effort that went into their fake anime-style intro:

In other news:

  • It’s been a good week for kaiju fanatics, with our first look at three upcoming independent Japanese giant monster flicks. The first is a shot of Ohga, from Shinpei Hayashiya’s Deep Sea Monster Raiga vs. Volcano Monster Ohga, courtesy of Hayashiya’s facebook page. It’s looking pretty good (I’d buy a vinyl figurine of it!) and it’s pretty cool to see this materialize after it was announced at his G-Fest panel last year.

Ohga

  • Also, Space Monster Numagirasu (Numaguirus?), a short which, according to Undead Backbrain, will be translated into English for an American premiere. (Maybe it could be a part of G-Fest’s awesome indie line-up?) Actually, this trailer’s been up for a while, but I only saw it after the article went up.

  • As if that weren’t enough independent kaiju filmness, a teaser just hit for the self-described “stupid movie” Kaiju Tetsudon, with designs by Shinji Nishikawa!

  • Plus, we got a look at the Hong Kong giant monster movie Monster Hunt, from Dreamworks animator Raman Hui. Looks cute? [via twitch]

Monster-Hunt-poster

kaiju sakaba manga

  • Tsuburaya’s youtube channel is offering the current series of Ultraman shorts, Ultra Fight Victory, with English subtitles. This isn’t quite as exciting as them including English subs on their Ultraman the Next or Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle the Movie discs, but it does show a promising international-mindedness of them.

  • What, more Ultraman news?! Yep, it turns out a patent for “Ultraman X” has been filed, so it looks like that’ll be a new series airing in July. I assume there’s relation to Ultraseven X? [via tokunet]
  • Saving the King for last, Godzilla has been appointed special resident and ambassador of tourism for Shinjuku (man, it’s so weird linking to a mainstream news website!).
    I imagine that’s got to complicate Godzilla’s tax situation, but it should cut down on constantly commuting back and forth from Monsterland….. but really, I have no idea what the heck this means.
    Of course, there’s currently two of these swanky Godzilla hotel rooms in Shinjuku for tourists to use, so I’d think they’re highly competitive:

  • Switching gears to non-kaiju, a trailer has been posted for Yoshihiro Nishimura’s Ninja War of Torakage:
  • Aw, it looks like the new Dragonball movie will pretty much be the “repaint edition” of the Frieza fight. I don’t mind Goku getting pink/blue hair when he powers up; I just wish that, when looking at a black-and-white manga version, there’d be a way to tell the difference.

  • Digital Manga has a new Osamu Tezuka Kickstarter: Clockwork Apple. It’s a neat anthology of science fiction/fantasy/horror shorts, and while it has been scanlated, it’d still make a worthwhile addition to a print library. As always, DM will probably go with some random panel from within the book instead of the sweet Japanese cover art, though.

clockwork apple

  • Speaking of Tezuka, Discotek nabbed a whole new round of anime DVD licenses, including Dororo, Tezuka’s 1969 show about a cyborg samurai hunting yokai to get his body parts back. The series was previously crowdfunded by AnimeSols, but I guess since they fell apart, the licenses are up for grabs. Hopefully Discotek gets some of the awesome Tezuka TV specials that AnimeSols was offering before, as well.

Discotek picked up a bunch of other stuff as well, including Giant Gorg (a somewhat obscure show with a robot that sort of looks like Daimajin; in true hipster fashion, everyone that I know who’s heard of it tells me it’s either criminally overrated or underrated), both of the Lupin III/Detective Conan crossovers, Sonic X (the show about Sonic living in the human world, which, according to Josh, is quite dreadful), and Library War (the alternate-universe literal-battle-over-censorship show that I’m sure at least one particular reader of this blog is into).

  • One more bit on Tezuka, and some other manga icons as well: the Oizumi Gakuen station in Nerima just got 5 life-size statues: Atom/Astro Boy, Joe from Ashita no Joe, Maetel and Tetsuro from Galaxy Express 999, and Lum from Urusei Yatsura. Leiji Matsumoto and Rumiko Takahashi even came for their unveiling. Well, this should certainly be a photo-op destination for Tokyo otaku tourists! [via the Japan News]

atom statue lum statue 999 statue

  • And leaving things with a good dose of hilarious strangeness, original Kamen Rider star Hiroshi Fujioka apparently showed up at the home video release event for Dracula Untold (which as far as we know Fujioka has nothing to do with, btw) in a full suit of armor and carrying a broadsword. I guess he’s a fan of the movie? I can’t tell from his expression in these photos. [via crunchyroll]

hiroshi fujioka draculahiroshi fujioka dracula 2

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