Back from a very busy G-Fest! It was wild with many panels to do, and several more to attend, but here are a few of the highlights:
- The upcoming video game Dawn of the Monsters was announced. You can see a whole panel about it here (and also Alex’s excellent history of kaiju video games panel here), but the game looks like a lot of fun and I look forward to trying out the completed version.
According to the press release:
Dawn of the Monsters is a couch co-op, brawling action game that takes up to four players on a worldwide tour of destruction. Players take on roles from an all new cast of kaiju and are tasked with defeating the “Nephilim”, a horde of monsters that are destroying the planet. Conquer four unique worlds and unlock The Maw, an endless onslaught of kaiju brawls. Featuring beautiful 2.5D graphics inspired by the works of Mike Mignola, combat inspired by classics from the action and fighting game genres, and fully destructible environments, couch co-op in Dawn of the Monsters is bigger and badder than ever before.
Then there was the film festival:
- Notzilla is a goofy parody film, rife with puns, fourth wall gags, and lampooning of the 1950s. Some of the jokes will make you groan, some will make you chuckle, but they come at a fast enough clip that you’ll be able to have a good time. The movie has been in limbo since 2010, so it’s pretty cool that it finally got completed and had some sort of release. (Couldn’t find a trailer, so have a suit test.)
- Howl from Beyond the Fog was supposedly 90% done last year, but the version screened this year was still a preliminary cut. Needless to say, what screened looked great. There was no voice acting, which does kind of work with the 1909 setting of the movie, but I think I’d be the minority that wouldn’t find it so off-putting (I watch too many puppet shows, I guess), especially since there’s already a theme of blindness running through the film. It sounds like they might be able to include The Fog Horn as a special feature when this gets released; fingers crossed!
- Yagon the Water Monster is on YouTube in its entirety now, so you can watch it for yourself:
- Attack of the Giant Teacher was off-putting to some of the audience, since there’s basically no tokusatsu in the first hour of the movie. However (perhaps because I saw the second half first) the story of a teacher at a closing school trying to make life better for his students and put on one last school festival was still fun, if more Linda Linda Linda than Ultraman. Fun fact: the monster in the movie was just salvaged from a props room at Toho, where it was laying around unused.
- The Great Buddha Arrival was wild, best described by Kyle Byrd as “like David Lynch made an Asylum film.” Contrary to reports of it being a remake of the lost 1934 movie, it’s one of those meta works positing that the 1934 film was based on true events and the main character is a reporter searching for the “true story” behind it. There is a parade of celebrity cameos, and some laugh-out-loud gags, but also a trippy black-&-white sequence about suicide and lamentations of tragedy, with a lot of whiplash as you never know what to expect next. Just as the main character wonders “what does it all mean”, the audience is also pulled through a haunting phantasmagoria of weighty imagery, so I’d very much like to hear from the director about the creative process was for this movie. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were still pretty surprised.
Finally Kaneko brought his movie Linking Love, which was essentially Back to the Future with a genie instead of a DeLorean. It was a fun romcom with several callbacks to Kaneko’s career (including a Urusei Yatsura sequence), but the side effect was that it got several of my friends addicted to AKB48 music, so caveat emptor.
With all that said and done, let’s take a look at what all happened news-wise while we were away:
- The biggest story of the last month is that Mill Creek has licensed a whopping 1100+ episodes (and 20 movies) from the Ultraman franchise for physical media and streaming. While that’s not the *entire* franchise (contrary to some reports), it’s the bulk of it, and an unprecedented move. This also marks the first time that Ultra Q, Ultraman, and (presumeably) Ultraseven will be available in North America on disc from Tsuburaya, rather than one of the other companies that have muddied the waters on those rights in the past. Anyway, Q and Ultraman are up for preorder on Blu right now, both in regular and steelbook editions, with sample episodes on Mill Creek’s streaming service.
- As great as the Ultraman news is, there’s also bad news: we’ve suspected for months that the Hasbro acquisition on Power Rangers would affect Shout Factory’s Super Sentai DVD releases, and it appears that is true. It was nice while it lasted, and hopefully they’re able to turn that around someday and get the remaining seasons released.
- In other “bad for media” news, Harmony Gold somehow managed to renew their Macross license. Fans were literally counting down the days until that expired so someone else could get their hands on the IP, but I guess that’s not happening now.
- Criterion’s 1000th numbered release is shaping up to be a box set of the Showa Godzilla features, if all is to be believed. There was an announcement at G-Fest to expect an official word on that soon, but some places already have it up for preoder.
- Meanwhile, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is getting its home video release on August 27, with a nice assortment of special features including deleted scenes and director commentary (the digital release is August 6, which is a little awkward considering the movie’s pro-nuke message). Also, Detective Pikachu on August 6.
- Publicity is ramping up for Kamen Rider 01, and wow, I have not liked a main rider design this much in a long, long while. Hopefully the show lives up to it.
- Doraemon’s next movie will be Nobita’s New Dinosaur, a riff on the 1980 flick Nobita’s Dinosaur (the first Doraemon movie) and its 2006 remake.
- Toei has a short movie titled Jurassic! coming next month.
- It looks like the final rebuild movie for Evangelion is actually hitting next summer. Let’s see if they actually resolve anything this time….
Or maybe they’ll just have another collaboration with Battle Cats?
- A trailer for Kaiju Step, which starts September 27. Being a short anime for children, I wouldn’t hold my breath on seeing any sort of release for it outside Japan.
- Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution is coming next February. This is still a little soon after the disappointment of Digimon Adventure tri, but we’ll see if it’s truly the “last” one.
- Human Lost is getting a global release in October/November. This means theaters, according to Funimation, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go to Netflix in a hurry after that.
- Katsuhiro Otomo has a new movie in the works with Sunrise, titled Orbital Era. He’s also doing a new Akira animated series at some point, and that terribly-sounding Hollywood remake of Akira is back on hiatus again.
- Sound & Fury does not appear to be based on the William Faulkner novel.
- Cencoroll 3 has been announced; hopefully it happens more quickly than the second one.
- Takashi Yamazaki is doing a Lupin III movie, confusingly titled Lupin III the First.
- The Russo brothers have the rights to adapt a movie version of Battle of the Planets, which really just makes me sad that the awesome-looking Imagi Gatchaman movie did not come to fruition.
- Sadako at the World’s End, telling a story about the famous ghost in a post-apocalypse, demonstrates the cool new ideas that can be brought to a franchise. Although, that does make two manga in a row where she takes care of little children…
- There’s a new Spider-man manga, Spider-man: Fake Red running on Kodansha’s Pocket Manga app.
- Neca is doing a 1964 Godzilla figure, as well as a 2019 Fire Godzilla repaint.
Lastly, if you haven’t heard about the arson at Kyoto Animation, it was heinous. Even if they’re not a studio that you normally follow, consider doing something to contribute to relief efforts.
On that note, we’ll wrap things up until next time. There are still a few G-Fest panels left to post, so keep a look out on the feed!