Two-week news recap and initial Planet of the Monsters thoughts

Another two-week recap this time. Before we get to that, though, Amanda did go see Planet of the Monsters, so I’ll paraphrase a few of her thoughts:

The movie takes about 3/4 of its running time to really get going, with lots of planning, exposition, and technobabble before that, so so Shin Godzilla haters are probably going to have the same problems they did before. None of the characters are particularly standouts: the driven and vengeful hothead (Eren Jager), token sempai-worshiping female with a perky attitude and perkier ass, gruff military commander, science guy, etc. If this had been a TV series as originally intended, perhaps they would have been fleshed out better. Being an Urobuchi work, there is a almost pornographic fixation on society’s woes, and a lot of time is spent showing how awful life is for the survivors on the spaceship.

Facial animation has improved since Knights of Sidonia, but it’s still awkward, especially when characters walk. The battle with the Servum is so-so, but when Godzilla finally appears the action and and animation really picks up. The ending is a little abrupt, but after a major twist and teasing of story elements to come, it does leave you wanting more, and there is a post-credits scene. The score could have used the traditional Ifukube themes.

The theater was packed, and lottery items were already sold out even on opening day. Of course, the rest of us have to wait for Netflix, but that may be for the best, since subtitles will really help with a lot of the dense dialogue.

As you’ve likely seen, we now know that the next movie Godzilla 決戦機動増殖都市 (Kessen Kidou Zoushoku Toushi; let’s call it “Battle Mobile Propagating City” until we get an official English title) is due out in May. They’re not hiding the Mechagodzilla element of it:

Now, onto other happenings in the world of Japanese-ish genre fiction!

  • A trailer is out for the Rampage movie. It looks like it’s taking a page from the Transformers playbook, emphasizing the human action characters, and it doesn’t look like any monsters will into humans after being defeated. They do feel a little too much like oversized animals, rather than pure monsters, for my tastes, but we’ll see.

  • Viz has licensed Mazinger Z: Infinity. It’s a little outside of their typical wheelhouse for anime lately, but it’s cool that someone picked it up.

  • Also, Senkosha is celebrating Iron King‘s 45th anniversary with some unexpected merch. It’s for their annual TV concert (this year on the November 25th), and Light Speed Esper is also represented.

  • HIDIVE is streaming Space Runaway Ideon. It’s far overdue for a US release, but hopefully it comes to physical media as well.

  • Apparently the upcoming Video Girl Ai TV drama will be a sequel starring the nephew of the protagonist from the original (very Tenchi Muyo GXP of them). This is a wise move, considering the logistics of an all-out remake. All the more reason to revisit the original, to boot!

  • Speaking of Tenchi Muyo, the light novels that flesh out that universe have been licensed by Seven Seas! They also got the original Space Battleship Yamato manga (most likely not a coincidence with 2199 finally streaming), further solidifying their reign as the company most friendly to old-timer otaku. They also picked up a manga called Dragon Goes House-Hunting, which is a bonkers concept.

Alright, that’s a wrap for now (not a lot to discuss, which is why there was no post last weekend), but as always, please leave a comment if we missed something!

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