News recap for 4/30: Ultraman Orb edition

I intended to have a mid-week post to talk about all of the Ultraman Orb (it turns out that is the official romanization) reveals, but then I got distracted by crunchyroll. So, here we go:

The new series will run 25 episodes (continuing the gradual increase in episode count since Ginga), and Kiyotaka Taguchi (Ultraman X) is back as lead director with Yuichi Abe (Ultraman Nexus, Mebius, ZeroGinga, and X) and Ryuichi Ichino (Ultraman Cosmos, Ultraman Gaia) also returning. Takao Nakano (a long-time Minoru Kawasaki collaborator) and Yuji Kobayashi (numerous previous Ultra shows, Smile Pretty Cure, Garo) will be writing.

After three years of spark dolls, it looks like Orb is moving back to the more profitable trading cards as the transformation widget, a move I don’t mind as it’s slightly less silly. Our hero is Gai Kurenai (Hideo Ishiguro of Kamen Rider Den-Oh and Gokusen fame), a vagabond who transforms with this ring doohickey:

kurenai gai

Orb’s gimmick is combining previous Ultramen, and the three forms released so far are Spacium Zeperion (fusing the original Ultraman and Tiga, who both have major anniversaries this year), Burnmite (Taro and Mebius), and Hurricane Slash (Jack and Zero). It’s weird that Seven’s not in the initial lineup, but I guess they’re saving that for later.


We got a look at the first kaiju (or “maohjuu”, as this says) as well, Magabasser:


Anyway, looking forward to July 9 (and here’s hoping crunchyroll picks this one up as well)!

Other news:

  • Keeping on the Ultraman track, Tsuburaya’s adapted one of its children’s books for youtube:

  • Nestle has a whole campaign based on the old Ultra Fight shorts. Also, the Nescafe in Harajuku is promoting with Ultra-themed dishes.

kanegon sandwich booska rice

  • In other kaiju news, MM9 is now available in Taiwan, and its cover there looks better than the US edition as well:

mm9 taiwan

godzilla 2016 HG

  • Yuji Kaida’s real Godzilla vs. Evangelion poster is now out, also showing a not-that-jacked-up-looking version of Godzilla. You can order this as a jigsaw puzzle, too.

kaida gve

  • The Yomiuri Giants, home team of Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui, is promoting Godzilla Resurgence with a new campaign involving mascot appearances, plus clear files and keychains and other knickknacks.

yomiuri giants godzilla

  • Ooh, the trailer for Gantz: O has some nice (if brief) monster action in it. Not as stylized as director Keiichi Satoh’s previous work on Asura (honestly it reminds me of a Shinji Aramaki movie), but I’m still pretty keen to check it out.

  • So, this looks cool and all, but if the trailer didn’t say it was a Cutie Honey movie, I would not have made the connection at all. That’s not exactly a good sign. At least the director appears to be keeping up the flash visuals from his short film work.

  • Cardcaptor Sakura is getting a sequel manga in June. This says that it takes place in Sakura’s first year in junior high, which I think is before the epilogue in the original? (I haven’t read it in a while.) Of course, being CLAMP, they could just pull one of those alternate realities to explain and discrepancy… which reminds me I also never finished Tsubasa.
  • Folks who attended the Civil War premiere in Japan last night got mini posters drawn by Rave/Fairy Tail‘s Hiro Mashima. I’m reminded of the Masami Kurumada poster for Clash of the Titans, the Kanako Inuki poster for Annabell, or Yoji Shinkawa’s for Pacific Rim; love this sort of stuff.

mashima civil war

And of course, Japanese theater-goers are going to have good cinema etiquette, having been taught by a pair of vengeful onryo:

That’s a wrap for this week, let us know if we missed something!

Edit: We did miss something – The Hero Yoshihiko is getting another season!

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