Hope everyone enjoyed Godzilla:King of the Monsters! Now we’re in the lead-up to the next big event, G-Fest XXVI in Chicago July 11-14, which is now only a month away. The schedule is up on the website, so if you want to see my panels/presentations, I’m doing a ridiculous six of them this year!
- Bandai and Tsuburaya (Friday, 2:00 PM, Kennedy) – Join your hosts as they discuss the history between Bandai and Tsuburaya Productions, and how this relationship has affected the Ultraman franchise in recent years.
- Kaiju Transmissions Podcast Presents: 30 years of Godzilla Vs. Biollante (Friday, 3:00 PM, Ballroom 2) – An in-depth look at the making of the 1989 classic, including unused scripts, the manga adaptation, behind the scenes pictures, and more!
- Kaiju Fans in Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Kenny (Friday, 4:00 PM, Kennedy) – Ever wonder how movies, TV, or comics would represent the G-FEST demographic? Wonder no more, because this panel covers portrayals of characters who are wild about kaiju and Japanese superheroes, as well as the rise of Japanese “otaku” culture.
- Heisei Gamera: A Look Back (Saturday, 1:00 PM, Ballroom 1) – In the late 1990s, Shusuke Kaneko released a groundbreaking film trilogy featuring Gamera, the kaiju turtle. With intriguing scripts, interesting characters, and groundbreaking special effects and miniature work, these films became instant fan favorites. Our panelists will discuss all three films of the trilogy and the impact they had on the kaiju genre.
- Nessie: The Kaiju that Hammer Loched Away (Saturday, 2:00 PM, Ballroom 1) – Much like the Loch Ness Monster, Toho’s late-1970s unmade Hammer-coproduced monster movie, Nessie is a mysterious subject of great speculation. Join our panel as they shine a light on the cryptid sci-fi film, discussing the canceled production and the relationship between Japanese kaiju and cryptozoology.
- Godzilla Anime Trilogy (3:00 PM, Kennedy) – Planet of Monsters, City on the Edge of Battle, and The Planet Eater. These three animated films were released on Netflix, giving Western fans a chance to see a new and unusual take on their favorite giant monster. The films received mixed reviews; some fans loved them, others hated them. Come hear this panel of fans discuss the pros and cons of the latest Godzilla films to come out of Japan.
Anyway, onto the news! We’ll start Godzilla-focused and transition to some other topics:
- That Boss Coffee commercial was a total tribute to Haruo Nakajima. It’s pretty great.
- There’s going to be a new Godzilla card game in the Chrono Clash system. They’re making some interesting choices with the lineup, so hopefully they can expand it with a a wide variety of cards.
- Mike Dougherty posted one of his early Godzilla fanfilms; he’s come a long way.
- The Godzilla vs. Evangelion ride at Universal has opened, and it looks like a hoot.
- A new Ghidorah was introduced for the ride, and amazingly, it got its own figure. Are there any other theme-park based Bandai kaiju figures (with original sculpts) out there? The Kiryu Unit 01 popcorn bucket is also pretty boss.
- Speaking of unexpected figures, the Chibi Godzilla versions of Godzilla, Mothra, and Ghidorah are getting added to the Movie Monster series. Again, this is one of the weirder non-repaints in the line.
- Juspion is finally up for preorder, coming out August 27!
- SSSS.Gridman is getting a whopping six manga tie-ins! First is a straight adaptation for Shonen Jump+ (hey, that’s where the Planet of the Monsters manga went, too) by Yuki Konno.
Next is Yuki Tamura’s Sengoku Gridman in Monthly Shonen Champion, literally a superhuman samurai.
Ultra Kaiju Humanization Project‘s Shun Kazakami appears to be keeping up the fanservice with this Akane-focused manga:
The Neon Genesis Middle Schoolers have three spinoffs themselves, with Neon Genesis Middle Schooler Diary (by Ariko), a manga about them becoming butlers (by Sako Misaki), and a Calibur-specific spinoff Hime & Samurai by Kei Toru.
Also, Yumi Mizusawa is writing a light novel titled SSSS.Gridman: Another God, which is certainly intriguing. Here’s hoping some of these get picked up stateside, since the anime series is amazing.
- SSSS.Gridman is also getting a crossover with the Symphogear XD Unlimited mobile game. Man, I sort of feel sorry for the Gridman villains now.
- Speaking of which, there was a trailer for Symphogear XV!
- The latest ad for BEM:
- In time for the new Sadako movie, the Sadako-san and Sadako-chan webcomic manga, about the vengeful ghost befriending a little girl, got a compiled edition.
- Finally, Chargeman Ken is getting a stage musical. That’s…unexpected.
That’s a wrap for now! Time to prepare for some G-Fest panels…