News recap: RIP Nobuhiko Obayashi

Welcome back! Hopefully everyone is following good social distancing guidelines, but in case you need some help, our favorite kaiju heroes are here to help:

 

On to the news.

  • Starting things off on a bit of a bummer, Nobuhiko Obayashi passed away this past week. He was a real trooper, surviving three years and eight months on a three-month cancer diagnosis, but he was always the type to subvert expectations. Needless to say, we’re big fans of his work here.

We look forward to his final picture, Labyrinth of Cinema, being released in Japan later this year.

 

  • In happier news, Toei Tokusatsu World is now live. Things were looking a little dicey on the first day, when the studio accidentally did automated copyright strikes on their own videos until the whole channel channel got deleted. Thankfully, things were restored by the next day and ever since things have been running smoothly. So go check out the weird Fushigi Comedy shows and other stuff that otherwise would never stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting any attention internationally!

  • A YouTube screw-up was hardly the worst thing that happened to Toei tokusatsu in the past couple of weeks, as Kiramager‘s lead actor Rio Komiya was diagnosed with COVID-19. He’s since been released from the hospital, but the studio was shut down for decontamination, and this will surely throw a monkey wrench into the show’s filming schedule.
  • After nearly a decade, a second season of Tiger & Bunny (which arguably helped pave the way for other 2010s superhero hits like One Punch Man and My Hero Academia) has finally been announced for 2022. Why it took so long is anyone’s guess, but hopefully the quality will hold up after such a hiatus. (Double Decker was great, which is encouraging, though.)

  • After appearing in a few other Hasbro properties, Godzilla will be showing up in Magic the Gathering, specifically as part of the “Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoths” expansion, in which regular cards are being reskinned with classic kaiju. Expect them to be a pain to collect.

Rarer still will be the initial-run Space Godzilla card titled “Death Corona”, which has predictably been renamed given the current world events.

  • We’ve got another look at the intriguing manga Sengoku Gridman, as well as Neon Genesis Middle Schooler’s Butler Cafe, which will both be running in Monthly Shonen Champion starting in May.

  • A short anime titled Kaiju World Conquest has debuted on Twitter. It’s based on a four-panel comic about four space monsters that intend to conquer the world, but wind up just kind of hang around an office lady’s apartment.

  • Discotek announced another batch of titles for Blu-ray. While there was no tokusatsu (*sheds a single tear*), they did reveal the the Crusher Joe movie, Ninja Scroll TV series, and, shockingly, Astroganger!  Who knew that would get a US release before the original Getter Robo?

  • The proof-of concept footage for the fan film Godzilla Heritage, which Toho brought the hammer down against like an angry god, was released to the film’s Kickstarter backers. It’s nice that the footage is out there, even if the project didn’t pan out.

  • In an unexpected turn of events, Gunhed is making an appearance in Super Robot Wars X-Omega. It’s got a pretty hyped trailer, demonstrating the movie’s lasting cult appeal.

  • Premium Bandai is selling figures of Kamen Rider 01‘s Izu. Always nice to see the non-masked characters getting some representation in the merchandise, but this character is getting quite a lot (see this plushie…or this one).

  • Finally, a new short debuted for an Ultraman/Uniqlo collaboration.

…is it any weirder than Evangelion selling Civics, really?

That’s a wrap for the time being, stay safe, all!

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