….aaaaaand Maser Patrol is back. It was a pretty great trip, as you may surmise from the previous post, and we got to see some pretty cool stuff.
Also, we caught a couple flicks (in addition to Rogue One): First was Biohazard the Final (AKA Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), which was a fine enough note to wrap the franchise up on, though I would’ve preferred a little less shaky-cam and a more climatic boss fight to end with (I still feel like Nemesis was the best enemy, and that was four movies ago!). They had T-Virus blue soda/drink at the theater, because Japan can really do promotions better than anyone.
The other movie was Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs Ex-aid and Ghost with Legend Riders. Unlike most crossovers, this had a single story arc (none of that “episode of one show, episode of another, then they meet to fight the bad guy” stuff), revolving around the villainous Dr. Pac-Man (Shiro Sano!) and his henchmen (including mega-Kamen Rider otaku/pro wrestler/ former Garo actor Hiroshi Tanahashi, as well as Chihiro Yamamoto’s bare legs because Koichi Sakamoto is directing) trying to turn reality into a game world, a plot most fitting with Ex-Aid… only the natural enemy of Pac-Man is the Ghost! Previous Kamen Riders Wizard and Drive also play significant roles (Ryoma Takeuchi’s performance as the lead of Drive makes me want to go back and re-watch the series), but Gaim remains an empty suit and literal deus-ex-machina. Several revelations (and a few new forms) for Ex-Aid occur in the flick, and I suspect that it’ll be remembered as one of the stronger crossovers. Plus, we get to see heroes team up to fight a giant Pac-Man, and Adam Sandler isn’t involved.
Now, to kick off this ‘blog’s fifth year, let’s take a look at some of the news that’s broken during the interim! Let’s start with Godzilla stuff.
- NHK’s annual Red & White Song Contest (a new year’s tradition) was interrupted by Godzilla, with lots of new footage of Shin Godzilla‘s cast. The beast was calmed by a choral arrangement of one of Japan’s even larger pop-culture phenomena of the year: PPAP. Then X-Japan came on and it was all over for the King of the Monsters.
- An ad for Universal’s Godzilla the Real 4D attraction:
- New doujinshi from pro artists, just in time for Comic Market: Kazuhiko Shimamoto followed up his Anno vs. Honoh with The Tweets of Anno vs Honoh (a play of the awesome Art of Shin Godzilla book that just hit), and Shinji Nishikawa has another installment in the Godzilla Densetsu series, Shin Godzilla Legend. There’s also an anthology titled Kaiju Oh Champion Matsuri with a whole boatload of artists involved.
- Haikyu may not get a lot of fanfare stateside because it’s a sports manga/anime, but it’s a massive enough hit in Japan that there are entire shops dedicated to nothing by Haikyu merchandise. So it’s sort of a cool deal that one of Shonen Jump‘s flagship titles featured a full-color foldout poster where the main character fights Godzilla… also adding volleyball to the beast’s list of sports experience (previously including basketball, baseball, and soccer). It’s the biggest kaiju volleyball crossover since the heroine of Sign wa V showed up in Ultraman Taro.
You can get it in the 2017 2-3 issue.
- 7-11’s got a preorder tie-in with Japanese BDs of Shin Godzilla: a Kiryu Movie Monsters figure in Eva unit 2 colors. As loyal as I am to the brand, it looks a little mediocre compared to the X-plus version, even at 1/10th the price.
- Speaking of Nerv’s anti Godzilla weapons, Shiryu is up for preorder. I think this will fit in nicely next to Tricephalon and Battle-armor Kumonga in the canon of figure-only creations.
- One last Godzilla thing: Legendary announced their new titles for their upcoming sequels: Pacific Rim: Uprising and Godzilla: King of Monsters. The first makes me feel physically ill, as the word “Rise” has been so grossly overused in action film titles that it’s practically a joke trope at this point. The second is a little irksome, since it’ll be tough disambiguating King of Monsters from King of the Monsters, but at least they didn’t just name it Godzilla again. (Or Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Or Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah.)
- A trailer briefly went up last night for Bravestorm, which appeared to be a modern Red Baron/Silver Kamen mash-up from Specter and Dark Soldier D‘s Junya Okabe. It was quite excellent, so hopefully there’s nothing wrong that led it to getting pulled.
- Novelist Yasutaka Tsutsui (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Paprika)’s treatment for an unmade Daimajin reboot was last printed in 2001, but it’s getting reissued in a new edition, along with interviews with him and illustrator Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal), as well as a conversation with Natsuhiko Kyogoku (The Summer of the Ubume). From what I can tell, Katsuya Terada’s art from the previous release won’t be included, though.
- An ad for Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga, which has started on amazon Japan. Hopefully an English version is quick to follow!
- A promo for the long-awaited second season of Attack on Titan:
- A look at the Garo: Crimson Moon dub, out later this month:
- Sentai Filmworks will be releasing Gatchaman II on DVD on April 18th, marking the first time that series has gotten an unedited release in the US!
- We now have a release date and first poster for Takashi Miike’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure movie.
- And a first look at the live-action Tokyo Ghoul.
- Hiroya Oku’s manga Inuyashiki is apparently getting an anime from Mappa and a live-action film in 2018. It’s a cool manga, so looking forward to it!
Well, there’s certainly a handful of other things we could touch on, but that’s quite a bit. We’ve got a fun little project in mind to start soon leading up to a certain high-profile giant gorilla movie, as well as some other articles, panels, and podcasts in the pipe for 2017. Here’s to a cool new year!