We skipped the news recap last weekend, due to a trip to Anime Central. While it wasn’t super elucidating, here’s some of the stuff we heard from chatting with reps at various booths:
- Viz had the manga Ultraseven vinyl doll (which is packaged with volume 7 of the 2011 Ultraman manga in Japan) as a con exclusive with purchase of volume 4.
- Media Blasters doesn’t have any more Tokyo Shock titles planned. That’s sort of a shame, seeing as how they were the primary distributor of Japanese cinema in the US for decades.
- Funimation is planning to release the Attack on Titan live action films on home video… eventually.
- Crunchyroll’s lineup of Ultraman shows is pretty much decided by Tsuburaya. The subtitles for the older shows are all outsourced, which is why they can sometimes get a little…dodgy.
Anyhow, let’s talk about all of the news that we’ve been sitting on for the past two weeks, starting with a kaiju-sized serving of Godzilla stuff:
- The Chinese trailer is out for Godzilla Resurgence. While screen dates in Hong Kong and Taiwan aren’t a big deal for English-speaking fans, I’m mostly just intrigued that they were able to settle on the character for “Shin” to translate the title (they’re going with the “true” meaning).
- Godzilla and Evangelion are both colliding with the Million Arthur mobile game:
- A lot more Godzilla vs. Evangelion merchandise has hit. Highlights include:
Towels for major Japanese cities
Clear files featuring amalgams of Godzilla and Eva characters (c’mon guys, Rei is way more Miss Namikawa than Mari is!)
Collapsible storage crates. They’re sort of cool, but I’m not sure if I can rationalize paying $60 for a box.
MonsterArts Godzilla painted like Evangelion unit 1. Pretty much everyone agrees that it’s ugly and looks like Godzilla is wearing a thong. Comparisons to Barney the dinosaur are also apt (“I love you; you love me. Human instrumentality!”)
- Also on the MonsterArts front, the Godzilla 1989, first teased when the Biollante figure was revealed, is getting a snazzy light-up release.
- The 2o16 Godzilla has a chibi figure up for preorder.
- Here’s another look at the Banpresto lottery figure… with that tail, it’s going to be quite the task to fit on a shelf!
- Shinji Nishikawa has a new art book out on June 9!
- IDW’s current Godzilla Oblivion miniseries hasn’t exactly been a high watermark, so it comes as little surprise that they’re moving back to the format of Godzilla in Hell (weird concept taken on by different artist/writers for each issue) for their next comic, starting in August. Project Nemesis‘s Jeremy Robinson is tackling the first issue of Godzilla: Rage Across Time, which promises to put Godzilla at various points across history. As someone who grew up on Dark Horse’s comics run, I’m really hoping for a cameo by Dr. Elmer Mason at Harmony Cluster 9.
- As if that weren’t enough, we also got the announcement that the one Godzilla film that’s never had any sort of DVD release in the US is finally getting its due. Kraken Releasing (who we all sort of thought was dead; they put out three of Sony’s old Godzilla licenses 2 years back and nothing since) is releasing Return of Godzilla on DVD/Blu Ray, finally ending decades of speculation about when its previous contract would clear. Kraken was not able to secure the US edit (Godzilla 1985) due to music licensing and other factors, but in all honesty, the only redeemable thing about that version is a select shot or two of Raymond Burr looking dramatic. Because of this, Kraken appears to have invented a US release title (“Godzilla 1984”) to keep their cover art consistent with their other releases. I think this is an exciting step for the company; hopefully they keep it up and bring more never-before-available-subtitled kaiju content to the US!
I guess there was some non-Godzilla news, too.
- As predicted, Ohranger was announced during the Dairanger marathon as the next Super Sentai series that Shout Factory will be putting out on DVD, coming in November. While this installment is considered middle-of-the-road by many, it’s still cool to see it getting released and reach a new audience. Plus, Carranger is next!
- Tokunet has some more details on the Ultraman Orb cast.
- Ultraman has a new line of sneakers from Converse. While the Ultraman ones are the most stylish, I’ve got to applaud the creativity on the Baltan ones!
- There was some cool stuff on display at the Tamashii Features event: Active Raid figures, Akane Tendo from Ranma 1/2, Figuarts of the Kamen Rider Amazons Alpha and Omega. The thing that really caught my eye, though, is the ridiculously huge SIC of the Suika arms from Kamen Rider Gaim. I may have to track this down and pose it next to the Suika Idom from Tekkouki Mikazuki for a truly imposing display of watermelon-based power. (Did they ever make a toy of the watermelon monster from Goggle V?)
- There’s a new Digimon series on the way: Digimon Universe: Appli-Monsters. Fingers crossed it goes better than the last third of Xros Wars?
- Here’s a teaser for the second Higanjima vampire movie, Higanjima Deluxe. The first film was decent, and I’ve heard good things about the TV series; here’s hoping the whole shebang is eventually made available in English.
- American horror talent Darren Lynn Bousman (director of several Saw movies) and Joseph White (cinematographer on Repo! the Genetic Opera) are lending talent to the Hulu Japan original series Crow’s Blood, which is directed by Ryo Nishimura (the recent Death Note TV series, Kamen Teacher, the live-action Ranma 1/2). Wonder if this means it’ll show up on other Hulu platforms as well?
- Lastly, there’s a push for some Hello Kitty merchandise tying into Sadako vs. Kayako, though not quite as great as the previous wave for Sadako 3D. We want more plushies!
There, now we’re caught up, or a reasonable approximation thereof. Thanks for reading!