News recap: “Kaiju Club” show, Toku teases more Ultraman

We’ve got to start on a downer this week, lamenting the passing of Yoshimitsu Banno. In addition to his work with the likes of Kurosawa, Banno’s Godzilla vs Hedorah remains a game-changing standout in the Godzilla franchise that was never quite matched, and while his proposed Godzilla 3-D to the MAX woefully never came to pass, it remains one of the most interesting what-ifs, and it led directly to the 2014 revival. The Prophecies of Nostradamus, while officially banned, remains a chilling and grim portent as relevant now as it was four decades ago. And while his anime project Techno Police 21C didn’t have the success initially hoped for, it was reworked into Bubblegum Crisis, one of the most beloved and formative anime series of the ’80s. Banno’s career was met with much adversity, as revolutionaries often are, yet history has shown him on the side of the classics. RIP.

On to happier things:

  • Actor Kanata Hongo (Attack on Titan, Gantz) has the lead in a four-episode TV series titled Kaiju Club starting June 6. The show, set in the 1970s, is about (obviously) a club of kaiju otaku, and being produced with Tsuburaya, will have Metron, Guts, Zetton, and Ghos show up. The directors have some experience through Ultra Zone, and the writer did the live-action Yowamushi Pedal and that Final Fantasy: Dad of Light show that Netflix picked up.
  • I’ve probably watched the opening movie to the Symphogear XD Unlimited mobile game half a dozen times. You get a lot of aspects of the show crammed into under 2 minutes.

  • Toku will be airing Ultraseven X June 5-12. That’s another Ultra show that’s not available subtitled anywhere else (including Crunchyroll)! I’ve often found that late-night tokusatsu series to be unfairly maligned, possibly due to its focus on scifi/mystery plots over traditional kyodai hero action, so hopefully this helps it find a wider (more receptive) audience.
    Toku’s youtube banner also has images of The☆Ultraman (that anime with Ultraman Joneas), a series which has a few episodes dubbed, but otherwise isn’t even fansubbed, and Ultraman Cosmos, which is only subbed in cruddy bootlegs. Time to move somewhere that Toku is available!

  • Neo Parasyte F must have sold well for Kodansha USA, because they’ll also be releasing Neo Parasyte M. This anthology has Parasyte stories from the likes of Moto Hagio, Peach Pit, Takeyuki Takeya, and Hiro Mashima, so it’s even more exciting than the first collection.

That’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for reading, and look forward to the ACen panel!

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