Weekend news: Amazon Riders, City on the Edge of Battle, Ultraman R/B, and more!

This week has been a wild ride for fans of Japanese scifi/fantasy/horror!

  • Kicking things off, we finally have trailer for Godzilla: The City on the Edge of Battle! They’re…still not showing us Mechagodzilla.

  • We also got an official look at the new Ultraman series! It’s not “lube”, “rube”, or “Louvre”, as initially speculated, but “R/B”, with two heroes in red and blue. I wonder if Lupinranger vs. Patranger has anything to do with the decentralization of heroes.

  • Amazon Riders” is finally streaming on the US version of Amazon Prime! The gory show is only the third Kamen Rider thing (after Kamen Rider V3 and Masked Rider the First) to get a legit US release, meaning that we’re being presented a pretty skewed look at the franchise as a whole, but as a fan on the darker side of the property, Amazons is right up my alley!

  • Platinum Games has a yokai-focused release on the horizon, titled World of Demons. It looks surprisingly old-school in the monster designs, going back to Sekien, I suppose.

  • The latest trailer for Bleach looks okay, for what’s there, but could really use more Chad.

  • The Kaiju Remix Series now has a Gomora figure up for preorder. These continue to be neat looking, but expensive items.

  • Finally, the Godzilla shop is now offering a kigurumi, presumably for wearing out on your daily chores.

That’s a wrap! Not a lot of news, but getting Amazons alone is enough to get excited about, the rest is icing!

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Kaiju Transmissions podcast: Kaiju Video Games

Oh, wow! I was on the Kaiju Transmissions podcast again! Go listen to Byrd, Matt, and I chatting about kaiju video games. Find out what we think should get a movie adaptation next after Rampage!

Download here

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Weekend news recap: Japanese poster madness

The Rampage movie was a lot more fun than I was expecting. Now I’m tempted to track down the poster by Kouji Tajima.

 Awesome Japanese posters for US properties have been coming at rapid pace lately, such as this Pacific Rim Uprising poster by the legendary Masami Obari:

There’s also a poster cross-promoting Pacific Rim and the Godzilla anime. Artist Hidetaka Tenjin took it *very* seriously:

This is a sacred duty. Currently, Godzilla and giant robots can be likened to a traditional form of Japanese art, so a drawing such as this is something that will be exposed to the strict eyes of my highly discerning senpai here in Japan. One must wonder how an outward appearance that is drawn with a quality that is mentally anguished over can coexist within the limited space of a single sheet together with the spiritual realm of the history associated with it, and will it be an illustration full of the necessary energy, so surely a challenge to draw an exciting image such as this is one that rarely appears in the human lifetime.

Speaking of Japanese/US cross-promotional posters, they’re doing a neat collaboration between Avengers: Infinity War and My Hero Academia.

…and while we’re at it, we might as well mention Katsuhiro Otomo doing the poster for Isle of Dogs.

Aside from that, it hasn’t been a heavy news week:

  • Here’s a trailer for Kyuranger vs Space Squad:

The movie will have a tie-in as well, Hero Mama League, featuring three former Sentai heroines turned moms.

  • Shout Factory is doing a marathon of all of Ultraman Leo starting next week. Fingers crossed that it leads to a box set!

  • Finally, we have a trailer for The Meg. It’s a little weird that The Asylum isn’t cashing in on this one with a new Mega Shark flick, isn’t it?

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Actually weekly news recap

Hopefully this will mark a return to news recaps hitting on consecutive weekends (for a little while at least)! Not a whole lot to report, so let’s get to it.

  • Shout Factory’s releasing Timeranger on DVD July 31! It’s sort of shocking that they’ve managed to get this far; an official Timeranger release was sort of a pie-in-the-sky goal to shoot for when they first started the Super Sentai releases.

  • Toku is going to air Ultraman Cosmos. With this, it seems like every major Ultraman show Tsuburaya could license has been, save for…I dunno, Ultraman Kids?

  • Matt Frank’s Redman comic is dropping on 5/30 worldwide. Needless to say, it’ll be compulsory reading.
  • Yuji Kaida’s poster for Ready Player One is full of spoilers, but quite a show nevertheless.

  • Here’s a video advertisement for the Kotobukiya bishoujo version of Ash from Evil Dead 2. I continue to feel conflicted on this.

  • Also in manga news, Heros has a manga starting soon from Air Master‘s Yokusaru Shibata, titled Tanzaburo Tojima Wants to be a Kamen Rider. It seems to be one of the many postmodern science fiction tales dealing with nostalgia and fandom (e.g. Akibaranger, 20th Century Boys, Zebraman, SamFlam), in this case dealing with a middle-aged dude that wants to become Kamen Rider, and real villains who rise to face him.

  • Finally, RIP Isao Takahata. The man was a heck of a talent and a boon to the anime industry, so go check out Horus: Prince of the Sun, Pom Poko, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and the rest of his filmography if you haven’t yet.

Short and sweet this weekend, but that’s what happens when we can update regularly, right?

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Kaiju Transmissions podcast: Pacific Rim Uprising

On my trip across the US, I stopped by Matt of Kaiju Transmissions‘ place, and we caught the new Pacific Rim: Uprising together. In lieu of an actual Maser Patrol podcast episode on the subject, I crashed their review, and you can hear it mirrored here… though, really, you should be subscribed to their feed as well, since that podcast is great.

So get ready (war ready) for a long review about troubled production history, Chinese pandering, three prequel comics plus a novel, and a general sense of anticipated letdown!

Download

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Back for another news recap (no foolin’)

This isn’t an April Fools’ prank; I’m finally getting back on the news recap wagon! It’s been a while since the last post, since then we’ve gotten Pacific Rim Uprising, Ready Player OneI Kill Giants, Swordgai, the new FLCL, and the completion of the anime season. Naturally, there’s a lot of news to recap as well!

  • A Kickstarter is live for The Great Buddha Arrival, a remake of the lost 1934 movie (one of the very first Japanese monster movies, that Eiji Tsuburaya’s mentor Yoshiro Edamasa worked on). This remake is being done by Edamasa’s grandson, and they’re looking for an extremely modest pledge.
  • Here’s an ad for the Shonen Jump kaiju manga Ziga. The first three chapters just ran in the US edition of the magazine, so hopefully it gets picked up for continued/wider release!

  • The next Godzilla anime flick (now titled The City on the Edge of Battle) is getting a prequel novel titled Project Mechagodzilla October 25, from the same author as the Monster Apocalypse novel. The manga adaptation for the Godzilla anime is now live, and it was recently pointed out that Youth Kurahashi had another kaiju manga hit last year: Summer Hero.

  • Speaking of the Godzilla anime, there we now know the names of the twins featured in the film: Maina and Miana… whatever could their kaiju god be?

  • Also, Godzilla vs Psycho Pass appears to be a merch push along the lines of Godzilla vs Evangelion 2 years ago. I’m okay with this, but Akane needs a bigger dominator for this one.

  • The last episode of Kaiju Girls season 2 ended with a teaser for Kaiju Girls Black, demonstrating that they’re increasing the depth of the cuts that program is taking.

  • We’ve got a new trailer for SSSS Gridman. By the way, the original Gridman is finally streaming on Amazon via Toku, so we westerners have access to it at last!

  • Here’s an ad for the new Tiger & Bunny-related buddy cop project Double Decker. Still a little confusing how this will relate to the previous property, but I’ll watch anything that Masakazu Katsura designs.
  • Thunderbolt Fantasy‘s second season starts in October, so start counting down!

  • Crunchyroll is already streaming the new Gegege no Kitaro. It probably won’t crash the servers every Saturday like Dragonball Super did, but here’s hoping!

  • Speaking of Dragonball Super, it looks like the follow-up movie is going to have a very different art style.

  • Garo: Crimson Moon is getting a follow-up movie with Gray Cherry Blossoms: Garo. Also, Funimation finally licensed the Divine Flame movie.

  • Mappa is doing a new adaptation of Dororo for Amazon, and it looks phenomenal.

I’ll leave you with two things. First, a wonderful refrigerator commercial:

And, in the spirit of April Fools’, an ad for a Sentai show that I desperately wish were real:

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Another two-week news roundup!

Another update missed last weekend, which will probably continue biweekly for the next two months or so. The big news of the previous weekend is that they gave this guy an Oscar:

No, not Baltan, the other guy. Normally, I don’t care about the Academy Awards, but anything that gives a dude who makes stuff like Hellboy: Sword of Storms and Pacific Rim and promotes Patlabor in his spare time more clout in Hollywood is a good thing. Granted, he won the award for The Shape of Water, which, while a fine film, doesn’t have tangible ties to Japanese science fictio- oh, wait, Yoshitaka Amano did illustrations promoting it, so I’m justified in singing its praises here. It’s really good!

Since those awards, we’ve moved on to other del Toro-ish things, such as frenzy leading up to Pacific Rim: Uprising. I’ve actually already seen Robot Spirits figures for the film at Barnes & Noble and Toys ‘R Us (hurry up and get those, since, woefully, Toys ‘R Us is closing all stores in the US). In addition to that, River Horse is planning a Kickstarter for a Pacific Rim: Extinction tabletop game.

Oh, and a new web series just launched as a prequel to the film, Pacific Rim: Amara. So far so good!

Continuing on the Legendary front, there was chaos yesterday regarding a short-lived Studio ADI video online that appeared to have a Ghidorah-like monster in it. They claimed it was actually from their short Lucifer, and Mike Dougherty denies that it’s Ghidorah as well, but the fact that the video was pulled so quickly is suspicious. At any rate, take all those “King Ghidorah leaks confirmed” posts with a grain of salt.

In actual Godzilla movie news, though, the website for The City Mechanized for the Final Battle has been updated with some interesting tidbits about the surviving humans on the Earth: they’re called the Futsua (note: “futsu” as in “two”), and their god was killed by Godzilla, but left an egg behind…oh, where could they be going with this? Anyway, I guess we’ll find out on May 18.

Speaking of anime film trilogies and Gen Urobuchi, there’s going to be more Psycho Pass, in the form of Psycho Pass: SS (short for “Sinners of the System”). I’m glad to be getting more of everyone’s favorite Equilibrium fanfic, but this is going to be a set of three side stories rather than a continuation of the narrative, which, at least in the manga, was a bit of a let down.

That’s far from the least expected anime continuation news to hit recently, though; that honor goes to the fact that we’re getting more Zoids this summer for the first time in a dozen years.

Other continuations, some that were on the radar, some that weren’t:

  • Symphogear will have its fifth season next year. As long as the quality holds, I don’t mind the wait.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Re starts April 3.

  • Full Metal Panic: Invisible Victory (finally) hits April 13.
  • The third season of My Hero Academia is getting a same-week simul-dub, which means it must be doing huge numbers for Funimation.

  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is getting a sequel movie:

In newer production news, there’s another trailer for Swordgai (my most anticipated thing of the next season, but I actually like Toshiki Inoue’s writing):

Of course, the other possible most anticipated work of the season is Hisone & Masotan, mostly because Shinji Higuchi worked on it.

Kunihiko Ikuhara’s next work, while sure to be insane, will also likely have gorgeous animation, so we’ll probably check out Sarazanmai. This teaser looks a lot like Penguindrum.

Lastly, Space Battleship Tiramisu looks goofy.

Oh, and Mamoru Oshii is doing an anime movie adaptation of Baku Yumemakura’s novel series Chimera. I’d watch anything Oshii or anything Yumemakura, so this is a no-brainer.

In licensing news, Discotek picked up Ayakashi (not to be confused with Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales) and the Space Warrior Baldios movie.

The last thing I’ll leave you with is that Hirohiko Araki has said that Jojo‘s villain Dio was inspired by Blade Runner‘s Roy Batty. Hm… Armitage III, Ghost in the ShellBubblegum Crisis, Pacific Rim… it seems like a lot of our precious media owes a debt to Blade Runner, but we already knew that.

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