Weekly news recap: Apocalypse uncancelled

The big buzz lately is, of course, the Pacific Rim Uprising trailer that played at NYCC this weekend. I’ve seen lots of people posting various re-uploads (with ugly watermarks), but it makes sense to go straight to Legendary for the video:

It is certainly a lot brighter (less contrasty) than the prior film, and doesn’t quite capture the same aesthetic, but it’s got some interesting design work going on.
Anyway, there was plenty of tie-in stuff at NYCC, including a batch of figures that are now up on Big Bad Toystore, and at least one prototype still waiting for approval.

On top of that, there was also a prequel novel announced, the redundantly-titled Pacific Rim Uprising: Ascension, bridging the decade between the two settings. It comes out February 27, so we should have a whole month to finish it before the movie comes out.

That was only one of the prequel novels to upcoming kaiju flicks announced this week, though, the other being a prequel to Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters. Godzilla: Monster Apocalypse is written by Renji Ohki (who also wrote the Expelled from Paradise novelization), tells the story of humanity getting trashed and abandoning the earth, and hits on October 25.

Keeping on kaiju news for a little bit, BraveStorm has a new poster. It’s weird that fandom hasn’t been making a bigger deal about this movie.

A making-of thing got posted online, too:

The Blu Ray release for Digimon Tamers includes a brand new audio drama. Normally, I’d say that a supplement like that has no chance at ever getting translated, but seeing as the Digimon Tamers 1984 short story did, the popularity of the show might just push it.

Oh, and there’s a Biollante figure coming to the Bandai Movie Monsters series. Always nice to fill in the gaps there!

Moving on to superhero stuff, Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Final is bringing back some of the stars from earlier in the decade, and we’re pretty stoked. It’s not entirely clear how some of them will be restored to their default forms after their respective finales, but hey, worst comes to worst they just show up.

ANN has an interview about the upcoming OVA Batman Ninja, or, as the Japanese title calls it, Ninja Batman.

According to Tatunoko’s Twitter account, only Ken is named Gatchaman, the rest of the team isn’t. That reeks of revisionist history to me, trying to justify not putting the other science ninja team members into Infini T Force.

Finally, Garo: Vanishing Line has been picked up by Crunchyroll, and it’ll be getting a simul-dub from Funimation as well (no surprise there). In other streaming news, Ultraman Neos and Ultraseven X just got added to Verizon’s go90 streaming service… which makes it that much weirder that they’re still not on Crunchyroll yet.

That’s a wrap for this week, later!

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Weekly news recap for 9/30

Consider this your reminder that Ultraseven’s fiftieth anniversary is on Monday, so put on your best gray jumpsuit. In the meantime, let’s look over the recent goings-on in tokusatsu/anime/etc. It’s been a fairly quiet week, but let’s start with kaiju stuff:

  • There’s been a bunch of hullabaloo lately about the Godzilla Store location opening in a month. While it’s true that this is nominally the first permanent store that exclusively sells Godzilla merch, that’s not taking into account that this is in the Toho building in Shinjuku, where the hotel gift shop already pretty much just specialized in the same knickknacks. I’m sure this will be expanded and still worth checking out (like, say, the Ultraman shop and Evangelion store are), but there are many Mandarake outlets where one could take a deeper dive.

  • Oh hey, Haikasoru has a Humble Bundle this week. If you haven’t picked up MM9 yet, do so.

Hero news:

  • Viz picked up the rights to Infini-T Force. Glad we all won’t have to have Anime Strike for it.

  • One Punch Man is switching studios and director for the second season. This seems like a very bad move, but the source material is strong, so hopefully it doesn’t suffer too much under JC Staff.

  • Speaking of dodgy studios, LIDEN is doing the Killing Bites anime, which starts in January. I’ll still watch it, but after what they did to Terra Formars and Berserk, this could be a bad sign.

Other scifi:

  • JJ Abrams wants to do an American version of Your Name, which, honestly, could work pretty well given the recent devastation from the hurricanes. Abrams sort of has a bad record with follow-through, so hopefully he gets someone capable to handle it.

  • The producers of Friday Night Lights have been brought on board for the ill-advised US live-action TV version of Sword Art Online. We can all tell that this is going to be hated, right?

  • Houshin Engi has a new anime coming out in January. It’s not one I’d pick for a remake, but enough time has passed that it could be done well. (Looking at you, FMA and HxH!)

  • Armor Girls Project is doing the space battleship Yamato, because of course it is:


  • I’m not totally sold on Blazing Transfer Student Reborn based on this trailer, but I’ll give it a watch when it manifests on Netflix.

That’s a wrap for the time being! In the meantime, watch some Ultraseven!

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Halloween Hijinks: 31 Days’ Worth of Japanese Zombie Movies

Oh, hey, it’s almost October, and the month-long celebration of the spooky… granted, that’s really more around Obon in Japan, but American pop-culture is starting to give cosplayers an extra excuse around Halloween there as well. Anyway, we’ve already talked about Japanese vampire, witch, and werewolf media, but never touched on zombie stuff. There’s a single reason for this – there’s a lot of it! In fact, if you were to watch a Japanese zombie flick every day for a month, you wouldn’t come close to exhausting all your options.

Hey, that’s not a bad idea, actually. Let’s do a rundown of a few recommendations, and don’t worry, I’ll keep it to more or less standard zombies (even though this is Maser Patrol and every impulse is to include Giant Monsters All-out Attack‘s Godzilla and the titans from Attack on Titan). Due to the gory subject matter, consider a blanket NSFW across this whole list.

1. Shinsengumi of the Dead (2014): Samurai and zombies are natural enemies, but this is the only movie I know to focus on that exclusively.

2. NEET of the Living Dead/The Last Will (2015): These two played double-feature, so I’ll lump them together. The former has a hikkikomori get bitten, but his mom keeps taking care of him. The second is a similar premise (a wife caring for her zombie husband), but it’s a little more serious in tone.

3. Schoolgirl Apocalypse (2011): A gritty post-outbreak survival story featuring a high school girl. It’s less splattery than most on this list, but more brutal.

4. Z: Endless Hope (2014): Based on the manga Z, which is a pain to search for. I dig the uniform/eye-patch/naginata aesthetic.

5. Oh my Z! (2015): A quirky comedy about a neighborhood coping with a zombie that’s trapped in one of their nearby houses, in a post-zombie world.

6. Deadman Inferno (2015): Yakuza regular Sho Aikawa battles zombies on an island; a solid mix of action and comedy.

7. Reiko the Zombie Shop (2004) : There’s a whole trilogy based on this manga about schoolgirl necromancers. It’s a disturbing read, but the live-action takes the edge off a little.

8. Lust of the Dead (2011): Media Blasters managed to get a whopping five of these sex comedies onto the US market, so it’d be rude not to bring them up.

9. Attack Girls Swim Team vs the Undead (2007) : Exactly what it sounds like, bathing suits a plenty. Also, lesbians.

10. Battle Girl: Living Dead in Tokyo Bay (1991) : Daiei’s sort of combination of Land of the Dead with Escape from New York, only with a female protagonist sent beyond the zombie wall.

11. Resident Evil: Degengeration (2008): The first of a few CGI animated tie-ins to the games, followed by RE:Damnation and RE: Vendetta. If you don’t play the games these movies may be inscrutable.

12. Dead Rising (2010) Without Frank West, is it really Dead Rising? Maybe not, but the movie still has a very game-like aesthetic, and the ability to combine weapons ridiculously.

13. Down to Hell (1997): Ryuhei Kitamura’s debut picture, it lays the groundwork for Versus. It doesn’t have the polish or the style of the later film, but the same setting/premise, so the later movie’s arguably a sequel.

14. Zombie Self Defense Force (2006) – a military vs. undead flick that I prefer over the swim team one, but not as much as the zombie hunter one.

15. Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead (2011) : Poop-covered zombies hides in the crapper, because this is a high-brow movie.

16. Samurai Zombie (2008) : Tak Sakaguchi directing a movie directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, it’s very much Versus-inspired. The armor that the zombies wear is a nice touch, though.

17. Miss Zombie (2013) : Sabu’s artsy flick about zombies as pets and servants, it’s less about surviving the outbreak and more about obeying the rules…”do not let her taste meat!”

18. Battlefield Baseball (2003) : Yudai Yamaguchi’s insane sports comedy has the rival team full of zombies for some reason. I guess a lot of the Versus crew was involved?

19. Junk (2000): A heist movie that gets interrupted by a zombie outbreak, Junk was one of the biggest Japanese zombie flicks back in the day, but never became quite the classic that some of its contemporaries did.

20. Onechanbara the Movie (2008): Adapting the video game with chicks in fetishistic attire swinging swords. The super moves looks pretty accurate, but may put people off if they’re not used to characters randomly glowing when jumping around. There’s also the sequel Onechanbara Vortex.

21. Helldriver (2010): A Yoshihiro Nishimura movie, with all of the silly splattery gore that that entails. Another femme fatale in this one, and she has to fight her evil zombie-master mom.

22. Happiness of the Katakuris (2001): Takashi Miike’s musical comedy about a family that accidentally racks up quite a body count. There’s a little undead goodness in it, too.

23. Tokyo Zombie (2005): A comedy based on a manga, dealing with a a duo of amoral slackers escaping the zombie outbreak caused by a huge landfill in the center of town. Some neat animated exposition bits.

24. Zombie Hunter Rika (2008): With action sequences handled by Versus‘s Tak Sakaguchi, this schoolgirl with an arm transplant from a famous zombie slayer kicks a lot of butt. The Japanese title translates to “Strongest Weapon High School Girl Rika: Zombie Hunter Vs. Most Evil Zombie Grorian”, which is a heckofa mouthful.

25. Big Tits Zombie 3D (2010) : Can’t you tell how classy this flick is based on the title? It’s strippers fighting the undead with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

26. Bloody Muscle Bodybuilder in Hell (2009): Apparently it took 15 years to complete (only a few of the shots really show it), but they nailed it as a throwback to the feel of the original Evil Dead.

27. Survive Style 5+ (2004): An anthology of five interlocking stories, one of which involves a dude repeatedly killing his wife, only to have her return and try to murder him each evening. It’s quite a ride.

28. I am a Hero (2015): Rather than the funny camp action of most of this list, I am a Hero is legit horror. A superb thing to throw back in the face of those folks who claim any movie based on a manga is bad, to boot.

29. Stacy (2001): Mostly about a society that has to deal with their schoolgirls turning into zombies. Apparently one of the cultural adaptations is special “Blues Campbell” brand chainsaws!

30. Versus (2000): Ryuhei Kitamura’s ultra-cool flick is style over substance (literally none of the characters even have names), but it’s two hours of gloriously amazing style. It’s about a gang of criminals killing each other in the woods, along with zombies (the zombies aren’t the real threat of the picture, though, it’s the martial arts badasses. The zombies are sort of there like the Italians in World War 2 that way.).

31. Wild Zero (1999):  Guitar Wolf’s rock-&-roll opus is not one to be missed. There’s aliens, pompadours, transvestites, leather jackets, motorcycles that shoot flames out the back, guitar swords, and many forms of love. It’s the quintessential crowd-pleasing exploitation movie, and the over-the-top characters are pretty much a goldmine for reaction images. How many DVDs include their own drinking game?

Whew! Well, that may be a lot, but it’s still just scratching the surface; there’re quite a few out there that didn’t make the cut.

While we’re at it, though, how about some Nihonbie television? There’s Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, High School of the Dead, Sailor Zombie, Sankarea, and, depending on if you want to avoid spoilers maybe watch School Live because it might or might not be about zombies. Then there’s individual episodes of Space Dandy, The Great Horror Family, Panty & Stocking…. even that one Urusei Yatsura episode. Yeah, I got an Urusei Yatsura nod into this. Bite me.

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News recap for 9/23… 9/24…9/25…..

A combination of computer problems and relocation difficulties has kept me away from the computer, but let’s try a for a slightly less late news recap! In no particular order:

  • Here’s a new trailer for Garo: Kaminokiba!

  • It looks like Dragon Force II: So Long Ultraman isn’t quite dead yet…

  • In a move nobody saw coming, the producer of the It remake plans to do a US big-budget version of Machinen Krieger! It’s certainly a title that flies under the radar enough that it’ll likely avoid the backlash that so many localizations have suffered lately…and we’ll always have Tsuburaya’s 1985 version to fall back on:

  • Apparently Warner Bros is doing something titled Batman Ninja next year with Kill la Kill writer Kazuki Nakashima. It’s been a whole decade since Gotham Knight, hasn’t it?

  • Akira Toriyama created the new “Android 21” for Dragonball FighterZ. Funny, I always thought Cell was Android 21. Also, the fact that she has glasses seems a little counter-intuitive.

  • The opening movie to The City Shrouded in Shadows:

Let the speculation that Godzilla will be turquoise in the new movie begin.

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Weekly News Recap: Rokuroku movie, Cutie Honey manga licensed

Time for the last-minute weekly news recap!

  • Rokuroku, a novel that Keita Amemiya was involved with a few years back, is getting a movie adaptation by Yudai Yamaguchi. This trailer was actually posted back in August, but didn’t gain any traction until this week. It’s  an anthology based around various yokai.

  • Shinichiro Watanabe is doing an anime based on Blade Runner. It hits YouTube September 26, so not too long to wait on that one. (Please let it tie-in to Space Dandy!)

  • The PS4 game Kamen Rider: Climax Fighters is getting an English-subtitled release in Asia!

  • Sure, I *could* just use a pan of water to humidify my room, but then how could I justify this purchase?

  • There’s been a little more buzz about a live-action Robotech movie lately, the latest is that the writer of Wonder Woman is involved. The project has been in production hell for decades, but might have a fire under it, since Harmony Gold’s rights to Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada finally expire March 14, 2021… they’ll have to move quick if they want to suck another quick buck out. I’m just marking my calendar for when we can expect to see Macross 7 and beyond getting licensed.


  • As a final note, RIP Basil Gogos. I had the pleasure of meeting him earlier this year, and he was as delightful an individual as his art is distinctive and gorgeous. Here’s to an inspirational painter and a classy human being!

I think that’s a wrap for now; seeya next time!

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Weekly news recap: Trailer time!

Most of what came up this week was accompanied by some sort of trailer:

  • Remember that speculation that Vanishing Line could be a Garo series? Well, the golden wolf’s out of the bag. I wonder why they didn’t just say so from the beginning?

  • The Haunted Swordsman, a samurai puppet project, is getting crowdfunded now. It looks pretty high-quality, and it would be cool to have a western counterpoint to Thunderbolt Fantasy!

  • Another Infini-T Force ad:

  • Blazing Transfer Student is getting a live-action Netflix original series. If it’s half as good as the anime, it’ll be amazing. Toshio Li (Detroit Metal City) is directing, so we’ll most likely be in good hands.

  • I forgot to post about this several weeks back, but The Legend Of The Demon Cat is an upcoming Chinese movie based on a Japanese novel by Baku Yumemakura (Onmyouji). Anyway, it’s got a trailer now.

  • Blade of the Immortal is playing in the US starting November 3rd. Looking forward to it!

  • A teaser for Trigger’s upcoming Darling and the FranXX doesn’t show us very much:

A couple items without a trailer:

  • Getter Robo has new moe figures. Not Getter Robo girl moe figures, but Getter Robo itself. These appear to be based on an image with many Dynamic characters, so if these sell we may have Mazinger, Devilman, Grendizer, and Jeeg get similar treatment.

  • There’s a report that mentioned another live-action Rurouni Kenshin movie. It’s been a while since the last one, but it’d be nice to see the final arc of the manga adapted in some form.
  • Finally, we recently found out that Yoshio Tsuchiya passed away back in February. An actor who contributed many roles to the genre, he will be missed.

That’s a wrap for this week, but as always leave a comment if we missed something. Otherwise, check out Kamen Rider Build, since that’s just started, or  Symphogear AXZ and Ultraman Geed, which continue to be excellent (or, just watch some old shows).

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Weekly news recap: “Saraba, Hibiya Godzilla!”

Just a small batch of neat stuff for this week’s recap. As always, please leave a comment if there’s something we missed!

Godzilla news:

  • The Godzilla statue in Hibiya has been taken down, to be moved to the basement of a nearby building. The buzz is that it’ll be replaced by a bigger statue, but since the current one has been there for two decades it feels like the end of an era. Of course, you could always buy your own

  • There’s a new collaboration between Godzilla and Sanrio, as a series of adorable illustrations. If you don’t want to see Godzilla wearing a hair bow, you might not like these, but we want to collect them all.

Mecha news:

  • Speaking of replacing statues, the Unicorn Gundam that replaces the classic one at Gundam Front is a transforming one, due to go on full display at the end of the month:

Other news:

  • More information has come out about Vanishing Line, including basic plot and characters. We already knew that this was a TFC/Mappa production, but looking at the main character’s belt, along with hints about his quest to find a certain golden “El Dorado” is certainly raising some questions in the Garo fan community.

  • The new No More Heroes game will see Travis traveling between different video game world including Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight. It’ll be interesting to see how the disparate gameplay styles mesh between them!

That’s a wrap for now; seeya next time!

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