New Year’s news recap

Happy new year (admittedly a couple weeks late)! I’ve been distracted from putting together news recaps for a while, but that just means a lot more things to cover this time around. Let’s break it down by category:

Godzilla news:

  • Kicking things off, there were some leaked images from the Godzilla vs Kong toy line. They may or may not constitute a spoiler for the film, but they sure are interesting…honestly I’ll say they make me more intrigued with the picture.
  • The first three minutes of the Shinkalion movie (The Mythically Fast ALFA-X That Came From Future) have been posted online, featuring a battle between Godzilla and Hatsune Miku. This has been a bit of a thorn in my side, since numerous outlets are reporting this as an “upcoming release” for 2020, when it came out in December. Also, people keep reporting it as “Ice Godzilla” instead of the actual “Snow Godzilla” name.

  • Godzilla manga artist Takayuki Sakai’s Godzilla Comicalize Magazine did a Batman vs. Godzilla doujinshi for this winter’s Comic Market, finally realizing the unmade project.

  • Speaking of Godzilla cameos and Comiket, Weathering With You got its theatrical release in the US this past week, and as a Toho movie, there was a little background cameo in that one, too.

Other kaiju news:

  • The Great Buddha Arrival director Hiroto Yokokawa has announced another kaiju film, and similarly to his previous work, it’ll be about the making of a lost picture: this time the unmade Daiei flick that led to Gamera’s creation: Nezura 1964.
    Much like Great Buddha Arrival, we’re getting promised a parade of industry cameos (including the returning Yukijiro Hotaru and Yoshiro Uchida), and I imagine publicity will be fairly mute until it debuts. I do like the giant-sized Nezura, which I believe is unique to this interpretation.

  • A whopping 22 years after their prior release of the film, Media Blasters is re-issuing Gappa the Triphibian Monster on Blu-ray. There’s been some grumbling since the (longer) international cut does not appear to be included, but this will almost certainly have better image and sound quality than the ancient DVD and VHS releases.

  • That Gamera box set from Arrow has been more officially announced. Still no word if it’ll be available in the US or UK-exclusive yet.

 

Ultraman news:

  • Ultraman Ace and Ultraman X now have preorders for BD: May 12 and April 21 respectively. Both are solid shows, and it’s exciting to add them to the collection.

  • ULTRAMAN was the most viewed anime on Netflix in Japan last year. As much as the outrage from Evangelion fanatics is a lot of fun, I do have to sort of ponder this, since the series honestly wasn’t all that great.
  • The Ultra Kaiju Humanization Project (which is secretly the best Ultraman manga available in English) just wrapped up its run in Japan. Hopefully the whole thing is able to make it to US shores!
  • RIP Shozo Uehara. His tokusatsu work was excellent, so if you have the recent Blu-rays of Ultra Q, Ultraman, Ultraseven, Return of Ultraman, or Juspion, or older ones like Inazuman and Red Baron, or even anime like Captain Harlock or Fist of the North Star, watch a few episodes in his honor.

SSSS.Gridman news:

  • A stage play featuring the Neon Genesis Middle Schoolers is due out in May.

  • Acro has new figures up for Nanashi A and B, while Good Smile is proceeding with a Devadadan. The roster of kaiju with vinyl figures is slowly filling in…

  • I appreciate how SSSS.Gridman takes deep cuts even in little stuff like magazine covers. A recent appearance in Uchuusen featured Akane and Rikka cosplaying characters from 1983 issues of the magazine.

Other hero news:

  • We’ve gotten our first look at this year’s Super Sentai, Mashin Sentai Kiramager. The costumes are fine (a female green is a neat shake-up), and the preview of the mech battle looks really exciting. We’ll have to see how well the “collecting shiny gems” motif works with the “machines” one, but with Naruhisa Arakawa writing, my expectations are pretty high.

  • Jushin Thunder Liger, the real-life pro-wrestler based off the Go Nagai hero character, has finally retired after 35 years in the industry.

 

  • A new Gantz spinoff has been announced, this one set in the Edo era: Gantz: E. I wonder how the inherent scifi of the premise, setting, and aesthetic will mesh with a jidai geki setting, but time will tell.

  • Here’s a trailer for the Mini Force movie, Deeno The King Of Dinosaurs. I still haven’t checked out Mini Force, despite it being on my Netflix queue for months, so perhaps I should get on that.

  • After years of no updates, it seems the English-language print edition of the Ambassador Magma manga has been cancelled. Not a great look for DMP.

Other news:

  • A trailer dropped for Voltes V Legacy, a live-action project out of the Philippines adapting the classic anime. A lot of people are concerned since this is from GMA, who previously did the lackluster Shaider tie-in Zaido, but, given that  Zaido was 13 years ago, I think it’s fair to give them another chance at this point.

  • The second Thunderbolt Fantasy movie, Bewitching Melody of the West, is now on Crunchyroll.

  • In “neat concept” stuff, the new Hentatsu TV series is apparently set in a post-apocalyptic Nakano Broadway.

That’s a wrap for now! I’ll try to get another article or something together in the next few weeks to make up for the lack of updates.

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