Weekly news recap: A Godzilla, by any other name….

It’s Labor Day weekend here in the US, which is best celebrated by us otaku through a marathon of Patlabor episodes. Y’know, some day we should really do annotations for all of the kaiju references in that third episode.

Patlabor OVA 03E Patlabor OVA 03A Patlabor OVA 03B Patlabor OVA 03C Patlabor OVA 03D

Anyway, on to the news:

  • Next year’s Toho Godzilla film has begun filming, which raises a question: What the heck it the working title of the movie, anyway? Toho’s official website lists it as “Godzilla”, which would be confusing, especially considering that there’re currently four other films by that title, including the very previous entry in the franchise. However, that same site also has a placeholder poster that says “Godzilla 2016”, a la Godzilla 2000. Similarly, there have been pictures of promotional mugs floating around the internet with both Godzilla and Godzilla 2016 written on them:

godzilla 2016 mug

But there’s more! Locations where the movie’s been filming have had notices claiming the film is titled “Shin Godzilla”…. in katakana.

Shin Godzilla notice

As any fan of Shin Getter Robo (真ゲッターロボ, “True Getter Robo”) or Shin Getter Robo (新ゲッターロボ, “New Getter Robo”) can tell you, Japanese has a lot of homophones, and the way this is written it’s not clear which is intended: in different contexts “shin” could mean new, true, heart, god, etc. In fact, since katakana is generally used for foreign words, this could be read as “Sin Godzilla” (perhaps playing on the glib religious symbolism that populated Evangelion), or even “Thin Godzilla” (differentiating it from the heavyset Legendary counterpart… and that’s just limiting the possibilities to English words!

  • The Japan Animator Expo short for The Ultraman has been posted! While this is nominally an adaptation of the 1970s Mamoru Uchiyama manga (available in English from Viz as Battle of the Ultra Brothers), there are also Easter eggs to other bits of Ultra-continuity (Vintage Henshin has a nice rundown). As for the short itself, I agree with the numerous claims that it may feel confusing and disjointed for those who haven’t read the manga, or especially for those who haven’t delved into the Ultraman lore, but the animation is fluid and does an interesting job of preserving the look of 70s manga without having it look like 70s anime.

The Ultraman Jackal vs Ultraman

  • We’re finally getting a good look at Masakazu Katsura’s designs for next month’s new Garo anime season, Crimson Moon. Also, new ad for the Biku spin-off movie. Really looking forward to both, as everything Garo has been in the solidly good-excellent range, but since Katsura’s one of our very favorite artists, the anime is most anticipated.

garo guren no tsuki

  • Oh wow, Ultraman Max will be showing up in Ultraman X as well! Good thing both are on crunchyroll!

ultraman x and max

  • Here’s Kamen Rider Ghost in action:

  • And a look at the Kamen Rider Gaim DTV movies:

  • Earth Defense Force 2 is being remade for the PS Vita:

  • A trailer for the upcoming Chinese movie Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe, which appears to have significant dragon content:

  • There’s renewed buzz about Trey Parker’s abandoned 2006 comedy Giant Monsters Attack Japan: the screenwriter for the Jetsons movie was mentioned as having previously worked on the script for Paramount Animation. I’m skeptical, since details are scarce and it very well might have been referring to the original time period, but since the South Park crew are clearly kaiju fans, I’d love to see the project come to life in some form.

MechaStreisand8

  • If you’re in pretty much any fandom, you’re probably aware of Funko’s Pop series, a line of (in my opinion) quite ugly chibi figures that have become ubiquitous through licensing every franchise imaginable. Anyway, them doing a Godzilla was inevitable, but they’ve also announced two repaints for NYCC (where Haruo Nakajima, Ken Satsuma, and Tom Kitagawa will be appearing together this October, btw!). They have both an original black-and-white variant and a “Ghost Glow” version of Godzilla, which is sort of funny considering that such a thing almost actually happened in the movies. But seriously, haven’t they heard that Godzilla variant repaints should always include an orange version? I’m pretty sure there’s a law about that.

funko godzilla

  • Dunk has announced some of the upcoming additions to its Kaiju Remix toy line. On top of Dada, who we’ve known about for some time, they’re planning to do Kemur, Drako, and Fake Ultraman. These suckers are expensive, but great eye candy. Plus, in their monstrous style, can you really tell Fake Ultraman from the real one?

kaiju remix series upcoming kaiju remix series dada

That’s a wrap for news this week. For those with a long weekend, enjoy, kick back and relax (possibly with some Ultraman bath bombs), and remember to celebrate your favorite Labor.

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