Kaiju Transmissions podcast: End of Evangelion

Here’s the other half to that Kaiju Transmissions guest spot, talking about End of Evangelion now!

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Kaiju Transmissions podcast: Evangelion TV series

Forgot to mirror this here before, but I was on Kaiju Transmissions again… sort of. This was actually the first time I was ever on the show, but they’ve had it in the bag for a while (hence the five guest spots and a cameo in the interim). Anyway, it’s good timing with Netflix hype for Evangelion being pretty high. This is a two-parter, with the rest of it posted next.

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Masakazu Katsura is a Super Hero Master; No Butts About It

As a tokusatsu junkie and a manga fiend, people sometimes ask me – “Who’s your favorite mangaka for henshin heroes?” They’ll usually accompany that with some suggestions: Shotaro Ishinomori (the King of Manga and creator of Kamen Rider), Go Nagai (Ishinomori’s prolific protégée who reshaped the genre on multiple fronts), or even Yoshiki Takaya (whose Guyver manga made quite the impact in the US back in the day). I love those guys, but there’s a single name who tops my list… Masakazu Katsura.

At this point, the person who asked the original question will usually blink a few times, ask me to repeat myself, and then utter, verbatim, the following: “You mean the guy who draws the butts?”

This isn’t really fair. On balance, *all* of them draw butts:

But I get their point. There’s something special about Katsura butts, an unparalleled, loving craftsmanship that’s so renowned that he literally gives ass-drawing lessons. He’s basically the Leonardo da Vinci of manga posteriors.

I digress. This is, after all, not a site for cartoon T&A, but one for the discussion of Japanese superheroes. Assuming I haven’t already gotten you into too much trouble with your boss, let’s delve into a little of what all this Katsura dude has contributed to that genre! (Spoiler warning…there may be more butts.)

Unlike many artists who grew up obsessing over their favorite manga, Masakazu Katsura was always more of a tokusatsu kid, idolizing Ultraman, Metal Heroes, and Super Sentai. He went to a school festival dressed as Goggle V’s red ranger, and even participated in a Sun Vulcan fan film, so, when he started doing manga at the age of 17, it’s no surprise that it had that flair. His first short story, Tsubasa, featured a winged android hero that would prove very much a prototype for his later mega hit Dream Warrior Wingman. Though unpublished, it got an honorable mention in the Tezuka Prizes in 1980, and paved the way for Katsura to get his first publication, in the prestigious Weekly Shonen Jump, no less! That professional debut, Tenkousei wa Hensousei, would be the other genre for which Katsura became famous (sexy comedies), though even there he included an extensive scene where the characters go on a date to see a movie about the Ultraman villain Baltan. Needless to say, he wasted little time jumping back to superheroes, with the 1981 two-parter Gakuenbutai 3 Parokan, which is basically a schoolgirl spoof of Sun Vulcan.

This all set the stage for one of Katsura’s most enduring successes: the 1983 series Dream Warrior Wingman. It was a smash hit, running 13 volumes, getting an anime TV series from Toei, and even getting translated for international distribution around the world (English-speaking territories excluded; d’oh!). The series is a classic, and even decades later, Wingman is, more than any other Katsura work, nearly always included in any rundown of the most iconic Shonen Jump titles or characters. Just play “Where’s Waldo” with that pointy blue helmet:

So, what makes Wingman so good? Well, on top of being a solid mix of action, romance, and comedy, it was groundbreaking as one of the earliest otaku-centric series of the 1980s. Kenta, the main character, was, like Katsura himself, a major henshin hero fanboy; it’s easy to forget in this age of titles like Akibaranger and Samurai Flamenco that this sort of trope wasn’t always so common. The story kicks off when Kenta meets a girl carrying a “dream note”, which has the power to change reality (yes, much like a certain later ultra-popular Shonen Jump property, this hinges on a magical notebook). Kenta puts his original superhero character into the book, and faster than you can say “Beetleborgs stole this premise” he’s defending a parallel universe from an evil dictator.

I’m honestly shocked how under-the-radar this series has managed to stay with English-speaking fandom; despite the general significance in Japan, iconic design work, and memorable characters, only a couple of volumes of the manga have even been fan translated, and one one episode fansubbed. I imagine a show like this would be a no-brainer for Discotek or someone similar to pick up, so I’ve got to imagine that some sort of rights quagmire must be holding it up. (Fun trivia: the voice of Kenta in the anime was then-new actor Ryo Horikawa, who’d go on to iconic roles such as Dragon Ball Z’s Vegeta and Saint Seiya’s Andromeda Shun. Also, Katsura’s assistant on Wingman, Yoshihiro Kuroiwa, went on to a career at Jump with his own henshin hero, Zenki.)

It’s also worth noting that Katsura became quite ill towards the end of Wingman’s run, and spent a long while afterwards recovering in a hospital. During this time, he says that he re-taught himself to draw, which is obvious when you see the dramatic shift in his art style following the incident. Katsura’s initial art style, somewhat typical of the era, doesn’t stand out a whole lot, but his later look is unmistakably striking.

It’s also fun to mention that Wingman briefly appeared in live-action for a cameo in the 1991 Video Girl Ai movie as a show-within-a-show. This Wingman was actually played by Katsura himself! (While we won’t talk much about that title here, Video Girl Ai is quite a fitting match for Wingman, as Katsura’s other most iconic opus. It, too, centers around the idea of making an otaku fantasy a reality, as its concept is that a dateless loser rents a videotape of a cute girl, but then the subject of the tape pops out of his TV screen and starts living with him. It’s basically a romantic comedy version of The Ring, and one has to wonder if Katsura was inspired by the same urban legend as Koji Suzuki, or if the legend was inspired by Video Girl Ai. A chapter of Oh My Goddess was doing the same thing at around the same time, too.)

Following Wingman, Katsura did a giant hero short titled Voguman that’s very Ultraman-ish, and the two-volume series Super Mobile Troop Vander, which is sort of a Metal Hero in which the title character is formed by the two protagonists kissing. Fusing heroes is an old trope in henshin heroes from works like Barom 1 and Ultraman Ace, so it makes sense that it was actually the fanboy Katsura who suggested that Akira Toriyama incorporate the fusion mechanic into Dragon Ball later.

Next, Katsura briefly tried his hand at magical girls with Pantenon, which is about a superheroine who transforms by removing her panties, which, needless to say, didn’t really “take off” (that was her henshin phrase). After that he began to focus more on romantic works for a while, including Video Girl Ai and Present from Lemon, but it was actually another magical girl who brought him back into the superhero game: Shadow Lady.

See, one thing that happened in the interim is Tim Burton’s Batman, which is a favorite of Katsura’s (even though he admits it isn’t very good). He became a Bat-maniac, making fan-art, designing action figures, even inserting Batman expies into scenes in Video Girl Ai and I”s (which is my all-time favorite manga, BTW, a romantic drama in which the best girl briefly works as a special effects technician, hence Batman). This resulted in a palpable chiropteran influence on his next couple of heroes, Shadow Lady and Zetman.

Shadow Lady actually went through a few iterations, first as a short five-chapter story in 1992 (in full color, like our beloved American superhero books!), then rebooted for a short in 1995, before finally becoming the three-volume serial the same year (available in the US from Dark Horse). Each version centers on a girl named Aimi who transforms using eye shadow into a phantom thief, and, like Rainbowman, different colors of eyeshadow result in different forms and power sets (a trope that’s only become more common in TV heroes over the years). Each transformation is associated with different animal forms (bird, cat, rabbit), but it’s the final version of the manga that gives her the bat motif, with the last name “Komori” (bat), a base form that’s black and winged, and a cute power-granting mascot (a staple of magical girls) named Demo.

On the other hand, the original manga had a character named Technoman who pretty much skirted the Batman design to the point of potential infringement. Both versions are well-worth checking out, as they surprisingly don’t cover a lot of the same territory, and the ideas were really reimagined from incarnation to incarnation.

Another series with aspirations of quasi-demonic Batman and a circuitous publication history is actually Katsura’s magnum opus: Zetman. Originally a 49-page story published in 1994, Zetman got serialized in 2002 for a sprawling 20-volume, 12 year run (not including the Alphas spin-off novel by Hideyuki Furuhashi). It’s a manga that really should have been picked up by a US licensor by now, but sadly the anime adaptation was mediocre and a lot of licensing is based on preexisting interest in adaptations. Plus, it’s hella grimdark, so Viz’s Shonen Jump line would probably avoid it like the plague.

Zetman hinges around the interaction of two opposing superheroes, the street-urchin escaped science experiment Jin (the titular Zet), and the privileged Kouga (who goes by Alphas). They’re foils: light and dark, rich and poor, mechanical and organic, each with different moral convictions informed by their backgrounds (and different familial tragedies). It’s edgy and violent, unlike Katsura’s other works, and as you can guess from the character designs, heavily influenced by another hero of which Katsura is a fan: Devilman.

Zetman has tremendous design work on display, as several other creators of similar mindsets contributed their own creature, character, and mechanical designs to the work, including Yasushi Nirasawa (Kamen Rider Kabuto), Katsuya Terada (Blood the Last Vampire), Takayuki Takeya (pretty much every Keita Amemiya project), and, of course, Akira Toriyama. Yes, *that* Akira Toriyama.

Katsura and Toriyama met through their mutual Shonen Jump editor Kazuhiko Torishima, and the Fukui native Katsura quickly bonded with the Nagoya native Toriyama over being boonies folks in the land of Tokyoites. It’s interesting reading transcripts of the two interacting; they constantly rip on each other in a manner much like competitive characters in a Jump comic might. Toriyama has even gone so far as to proclaim Katsura the only man he considers a rival, which frankly says a lot, coming from the creator of arguably the most significant popular manga ever. I’m sure it’s in good fun, considering how often the pair do fan art of each other’s works:

They’ve also collaborated quite a bit. Their first joint manga was the short story Sachie-chan Good, in which a martial artist and ninja schoolgirl are recruited into a galactic patrol to fight aliens (the most manga premise ever?). This one got an extremely limited US release, sent out to Shonen Jump Alpha subscribers and at New York Comic Con; whenever I see someone who works for Viz I pester them for a proper reprint. After that, the duo made the 2009 three-chapter series Jiya, about a very Ultraman-ish galactic patrolman who fuses with a human and defends the earth, foreshadowing Toriyama’s later Dragon Ball prequel series Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Since it appears to be the same continuity, it’s shocking that Viz hasn’t jumped on Jiya yet, but I could also understand concerns over it as a seinen work, scandalizing young Dragon Ball readers with its fellatio jokes and whatnot.

Toriyama and Katsura also both worked on the smutty artbook Bitch’s Life (a Yasushi Nirasawa-edited anthology which included Katsuya Terada, Tsutomu Nihei, Range Murata, and more), but let’s just not talk about that. (Furthermore, the duo announced another collaboration in 2015, but no further details have manifested since.)

Katsura even dipped his pen into the field of spoofing Toriyama a little with his 1993 5-volume hit DNA2. That one’s an action rom-com in which Karin, a time-traveling agent from the future, is sent to prevent 21st century overpopulation caused by the genetic lineage of a highly fertile “Mega Playboy”, who, at the time she reaches, is still just the puking teenage loser Junta. Of course, Karin’s attempts to rewrite Junta’s DNA actually trigger the Mega Playboy gene, which gives him a full-on Dragon Ball-ish transformation sequence. This all culminates with a climactic battle against school bully Ryuji, who steals the DNA-altering tech to make himself superhuman, and, surprise, wears what looks like a Batman mask. The DNA2 manga never got a US release, but the anime has, and it’s a very faithful adaptation.

Another long-time collaborator of Katsura’s is the tokusatsu director extraordinaire Keita Amemiya. The two attended vocational school together (along with Katsuya Terada and Takeyuki Takeya), and Katsura has a walk-on role in Amemiya’s 1991 classic alien bounty-hunter flick Zeiram. When Zeiram was successful enough to warrant a sequel and animated prequel (Iria: Zeiram the Animation), Katsura did the character designs, adapting Yuko Moriyama’s look from the original:

Iria’s look seems like quite the influence on Karin from DNA2, doesn’t it?

There’s even art Katsura did of her with blue streaks in her hair, like in the live-action films.

For many years, Zeiram appeared to be Amemiya’s magnum opus, but fans from the past decade or so would be far more familiar with Garo, which is sort of like if Iria was a dude who hunts demons instead of aliens, and had a talking ring instead of a talking wristwatch. Katsura has a cameo in the tenth episode of 2014’s Makai no Hana, the fourth Garo season, and has a major voice acting role in the first animated series Honoh no Kokuin right afterward (he was the guy with the glasses who builds the mecha-Garo). Of course, he’s most associated for doing the character designs for the second animated series, Crimson Moon. While it’s not the best season of Garo, Katsura’s character designs are boss. That Garo anime takes place way back in the Heian era (hence lots of cultural baggage that tends to trip westerners up), so for the record, that’s two different anime prequels to Amemiya tokusatsu that he drew for.

Amemiya has returned the favor with the occasional piece of fan-art, such as this Shadow Lady sketch, along with all the cameos.

It’s also worth noting that since both guys worked with Takayuki Takeya, it’s little surprise that Katsura did some creature designs for Kamen Rider Drive, as well.

However, for more recent anime fans, there’s one mega hit with Katsura’s name attached that we haven’t gotten to yet: Tiger & Bunny. This Sunrise-original anime series is set in a world where superheroes are commonplace, and follows a group of top heroes on their reality TV show… I have few words to convey just how great Tiger & Bunny is, just watch it. On top of designing all of the characters, including Ultraman-like glowing aesthetics to the two main character heroes with time limits, Katsura did do a handful of manga shorts for the series. The main manga adaptation is by Mizuki Sakakibara though; caveat emptor if you’re only looking for Katsura’s stuff.

Tiger & Bunny was a smash hit when it aired seven years ago, so of course it’s only now that Sunrise is getting around to new content (a movie and a half aside), with Double Decker. A buddy cop show in a world with super-powered people, it’s more of a spiritual successor to Tiger & Bunny than a direct tie-in, but it still has the kinetic action, sci-fi gizmos, ambiguous sexuality, and, of course, gorgeous character designs.

It’s been a great year for Masakazu Katsura fans overall, with a new TV drama sequel to Video Girl Ai, the currently airing The Girl in Twilight (based on the mobile game), and last month’s TV movie Plastic Smile (about a cosplaying woman who works for a plastic model company, keeping the otaku interests close). As superb as his design work is, though, what I really love is his manga composition, with stellar pacing and some of the most emotionally-charged artwork you’ll ever see on a manga page. Hopefully he’ll return to that sort of work in the future (I can understand the hiatus after the grueling job that Zetman must have been), and fingers crossed more of it gets translated for a wider audience. I heartily recommend giving one of his manga a read, even the non-hero stories. The man can do amazing character work and compelling drama…and, if that’s not enough for you, there’s always…. well, y’know:

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Weekly news recap: Attack on Titan Tide edition

It seems like a lot of the time, these roundups begin with a disclaimer that it’s been a slow news week. Well, this is not one of those weeks!

  • Let’s kick things off with that Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer that we got too impatient for last time. While not quite as tantalizing as the previous trailer, it still looks like a lot of fun

  • There were also some gorgeous character posters:

  • Also Godzilla-related, we finally have a Netflix release date for The Planet Eater: It’s January 9th, just as everyone had been anticipating.
  • Tsuburaya is trying to crack the Hollywood market for Ultraman again. I’m not sure what to make of the company they’re partnering with (Starlight Runner), but hopefully it works out.
  • We were  starting to wonder if the acquisition of Power Rangers by Hasbro would affect Shout Factory’s Super Sentai releases, but since they did just announce Hurricaneger for March 26th, things seem to be okay.

  • Here’s a promo for a Brazilian Juspion comic. Hey, maybe Discotek can pick this up, too.

  • The first still from next month’s adaptation of Tokusatsu Gagaga looks just about perfect. The manga (about an office lady who’s a closet otaku) is absolutely wonderful, so hopefully this broadens the audience for it.

  • Kiyotaka Taguchi made a pretty cool new Zoids short. It reminds me a bit of the Gunpla stuff that Koichi Kawakita made back in the day, but might be even better.

  • The fifth season of Symphogear has been bumped to July. Oh well, that’s more time for them to get it right.
  • In the pantheon of things I was not expecting, an Honest Trailers video for Toei’s Spider-man was pretty high up there.

  • Nicholas Cage has made some pretty wild flicks, but he’s calling Sion Sono’s Prisoners of the Ghostland the wildest he’s ever made. So… we can expect pretty standard Sono?

Well, that’s about it. Pretty sure there’s nothing else to talk abou-


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News recap: Come for the monsters, stay for the Netflix flogging and gender politics!

I’ve been procrastinating on another update until we can see the much-touted second trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but what the heck, everyone’s going to be posting that everywhere, so it can wait until next time. In the meanwhile, we did get a look at the various kaiju designs via their reveal at Tokyo Comic Con, though, and they’re glorious…well, maybe not Mothra…. she actually looks more like a suitmation effect than ever. But the others are on-point!

Other news:

  • The next Super Sentai series, Kishiryu Sentai Ryusouger, looks like they’re heavily thematically recycling from Kyoryuger: dinosaurs, no yellow ranger, only one girl, “ryu” right in the name, etc. That show was quite a hit overseas (even getting a Korean sequel series), so it’s not a surprise that they’d want to recapture that.

  • I had assumed from a trailer for Netflix’s Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac show that they were keeping things pretty faithful, but apparently they’re actually gender-flipping Shun. Aside from certain canonical issues with this (which series like Lost Canvas, Omega, and Saintia Sho have deftly side-stepped), it’s a pretty tone-deaf decision to decide that the gentle Andromeda saint in the pink armor is the one to make “the girl of the group”.
    Also, I’m not loving the animation; it’s giving me flashbacks to a certain Kong cartoon.

  • Speaking of gender issues, the Pretty Cure franchise recently made a move that’s been anticipated since HeartCatch‘s Cure Fire: a male Cure. Cure Infini debuted in Hugtto PreCure episode 42…now they just need to make Cure Fire a reality.

  • Getting back to Netflix, as you’ve probably heard, they’re the new stewards of the live-action Cowboy Bebop project. I feel like I’m in the extreme minority for not being outraged, but that series never really clicked with me in the same way it did everyone else.
  • Also, Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaki were apparently not satisfied with just having a new Ultraman show on Netflix, since they’re also doing a new season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex for the service. The catch: Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 will be CGI animation. I’m not sure what this is about, whether someone decided that the show would be better if it all looked like the opening credits of the first two seasons, or if it was a move specifically for appealing to Netflix, which seems to have a disproportionate amount of CGI anime content, as is the trend in Western animation in general (I blame Pixar).

  • A new trailer for Mappa’s upcoming Dororo series.

  • And a new trailer for The Great Buddha Arrival.

  • Kraken is releasing Tokyo Living Dead Idol in March. This is a little confusing, since earlier this year a Section 23 employee told me that the imprint’s focus would be more vintage titles, but whatever, I guess. Hopefully they’ll still keep doing Garo and kaiju titles.

  • Discotek will be putting out the Tetsujin 28 movie Morning Moon of Midday in January, which has no canonical relation to the 2006 TV series, even though a lot of the same people worked on it. The film isn’t fantastic, but it does have a soundtrack by Akira Ifukube, for all you kaiju junkies out there.

  • Crunchyroll and [adult swim] are co-producing an anime series set in the Blade Runner universe: Blade Runner – Black Lotus. Considering the impact that the original movie had on anime, this is a no-brainer. (I wonder if they’ll have any references to Soldier?)
  • The director of 47 Meters Down is currently attached to the Resident Evil reboot. He might be able to take things back in the horror direction, but I’ll always love the Anderson series for its goofy action movie vibe.
  • An Ultraman R/B movie will debut on March 8, right on schedule with previous years.
  • Kiyotaka Taguchi is working on a TV drama for Yūbe wa Otanoshimi Deshitane, which is about a romantic couple who meet through Dragon Quest X. So, including Tokusatsu Gagaga, that makes two otaku shows starting next month?

  • I just finished watching the excellent drama series Oh My Jump this week, so it figures that there were two pieces of Shonen Jump news. First is that the J-World Tokyo theme park is shutting down, a shame since it’s a fun little site to stop by for a few hours. The second is that the English edition of the magazine is changing from a digital magazine (which you can purchase week-to-week on Kindle) to an unlimited streaming model. I’m habitually skeptical of streaming models versus the “actually owning them” model, but hopefully they release enough titles in physical print down the road to offset that (c’mon, I want a print edition of Ziga!).

That’s a wrap for now! As always, leave a comment if there were any glaring omissions. Until next time!

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Biweekly news recap: This Thanksgiving we’re grateful for Detective Pikachu

It’s been a couple of busy weeks between Thankgiving and Anime NYC, but here we are again for another two-week roundup of Japanesey genre goodness.

  • First of all, RIP Stan Lee, who, in addition to Spider-man and other Marvel properties, also co-created several Japanese series such as Ultimo, The Reflection, and Heroman. What more can be said, he was a legend.
  • Also RIP Fred Patten, who was responsible for much of the introduction of Japanese pop culture scholarship in English. If you haven’t checked out some of his work, you should.
  • Out of absolutely nowhere, Ishiro Honda appeared as a character on an episode of Legends of Tomorrow. I echo the sentiments that Astounding Beyond Belief has in his review.

  • The Ultraman anime (based on the manga in Gekkan Heros) comes to Netflix April first. I’m really not digging the look based on this trailer….maybe it’ll get people off the backs of the Godzilla anime, at least. I’ve heard both that original Ultraman actor Susumu Kurobe is reprising his role as Shin Hayata, and that Zoffy voice actor Hideyuki Tanaka is in the role…I guess we’ll find out which is true when it airs, but either way is a cool throwback!

  • Apparently Funco Pops of Ultraman have been showing up at US Barnes & Noble stores. I thought that these were a Chaiyo product, so I’m vaguely curious what their status is. Again, most Pops are ugly as sin, but I might be persuaded to pick up a Kanegon.

  • A music video for Kaiju Girls Black. Crunchyroll’s current status with Tsuburaya remains a mystery, so fingers crossed this gets picked up!

  • You know that SSSS Gridman is real anime when they announce figmas and not Figuarts for the characters (never mind Kamen Rider Dragon Knight).

  • As awesome as that show is, there’s been some ugliness that may have been inevitable. Masami Obari has publicly accused SSSS Gridman of plagiarism, and, yeah, I sort of get it. The homages are pretty heavy, and after a point it does sort of turn into outright recycling of another person’s work.

  • MST3K‘s new batch of episodes over Thanksgiving included Atlantic Rim, an unexpected, but welcome, surprise. I watched all six and they’re great.

  • Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Forever looks like a fine way to end the Heisei era of Kamen Rider…assuming that they rebrand when the Heisei era ends.

  • The long -anticipated Garo: Gekkou no Tabibito (Moonbow Traveler), which is the Raiga solo flick, has finally wrapped. This trailer is from two years ago!

  • The original Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series (and movies) will finally be available in the states again, via Netflix! It’s weird that they dropped a trailer today for something this old coming in the spring, but Evangelion does like to copy what Ultraman does, after all.

  • Sometimes I think Nendoroid purposely seeks out the least appropriate things to make figures of. If they’d been around in the 90s we’d probably have chibis for Wicked City and Ninja Scroll, but now we have to settle for Goblin Slayer.

  • I assume everybody has seen the trailer for Detective Pikachu by now, but it bears repeat viewing.

Wheh! That should tide us over for a little longer. Until next time!

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Weekly news post (plus some photos from the Osaka Godzilla store)

It’s been a slow news week, but hey, at least Godzilla: The Planet Eater came out. It’s a wild ride with religious and Lovecraftian themes, body horror, even more implied horror, and mishaps. In short, other people will probably hate it, but I’m stoked. Amanda saw it and sent the a message reading “Schrodinger’s Ghidorah with special appearance by acid trip Mothra, brought to you by the author of human despair”, so make of that what you will. Some stuff from interviews in the program book:

  • Shizuno said that he didn’t want the human confrontations to be overshadowed by the kaiju battles, and that he finds kaiju smackdowns to be rather gauche.
  • Urobuchi claims that the character focus brings the anime closer to the original movie, which is really about Serizawa and the oxygen destroyer, not the monster.

On top of that, there was an article on Oricon that’s going around, in which Shizuno gets some credit for preventing Seshita and Urobuchi from having Mechagodzilla heads on the city turrets or having the Exif in the iconic Xillien visors. However, it was Toho that wanted to shy away from the monster-on-monster fighting aspect of the story.

Anyway, since this is a light week, let’s kick things off with some snapshots from Osaka, of the pop-up Godzilla shop that will be open until November 19 (after which one will have to go to the Tokyo Godzilla store, instead):

Alright, onto the news:

  • Toku Nation has a look at Redman: The Kaiju Hunter volume 2, featuring Redman Dark. Perhaps they should have gone with “Redman Dark Noir Black Schwarz”, if Ultraman R/B is to be taken as a template.

  • SSSS Gridman will be getting vinyl figures through the Strong Style Sofuvi Series (I see what they did there). The blue figure is an exclusive bundled with the Blu-ray, but I may get both seeing as how that show is phenomenal.

  • A new trailer for The Great Buddha Arrival:

  • Another trailer for The Price of Smiles, reinforcing our curiosity:

  • Netflix will be doing a Pacific Rim animated series (despite headlines, nothing seems to indicate that it will be “anime” so far). I’m just glad that this is manifesting in some form or another.
  • This trailer for School Live is sort of a spoiler, but there’s no getting around this premise without spoiling it. The poster is also amazing, as it nails the duality of the saccharine facade beautifully.

Well, that’s a wrap for now. As always, leave a comment if something got missed, and otherwise, enjoy watching SSSS Gridman on loop looking for more Easter eggs!

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