Kamen Rider W is not my first season of Kamen Rider that I experienced in full as it released, but it was the one that hooked me. With it’s colorful cast, detective noire inspired themes, excellent soundtrack, and a story that hits many emotional and storytelling highs and lows, I couldn’t be more excited to talk about Fuuto PI, the anime adaption of the manga of the same name that continues the story.
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The legendary manga series BASTARD!! is well known worldwide among manga fans. With over 30 million copies sold, the Shueisha published series is a mix of high fantasy and heavy metal the likes of which are only comparable to…well, Heavy Metal. Surprisingly, however, besides a short OVA run between 1992 and 1993, the series has never received a full length animation. Enter Liden Films and Netflix, with a 24 episode Original Net Animation!
Shinnosuke Nohara, also known as Shin-Chan, made his debut in 1990 as the star of the manga series Crayon Shin-chan, and has since been seen all over the world. The crude, sometimes adult humor of the slice-of-life book and anime that debuted in 1992 offer a stark contrast to the visuals, which call to mind children’s cartoons. However, he rarely enters the realm of action, and seems poised to do so with new film Crayon Shin-Chan: Mononoke Ninja Chinpuden!
A new collaboration project has been announced with writer and director Hideaki Anno ( Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shin Godzilla) and his Shin films at it’s core. Billed as a “Miracle Project” on it’s official website, the collaboration has been launched in tandem by Toho, Color, Tsuburaya Productions, and Toei as a dream collab of four heroes that represent Japan.
A new trailer and key visual for season two of popular anime Rising of the Shield Hero has been released! An exciting Isekai anime, Shield Hero is the story of a university student named Naofumi Iwatani, who’s ordinary life is flipped on it’s head when he’s summoned to the kingdom of Melromarc, in a world not far from a video game. He is destined to defend the world as the legendary Shield Hero, the weakest of a four hero group, but when he is immediately belittled and is subject to a betrayal, will he even bother trying?
There has been a lot of talk surrounding the upcoming adaption of Eiichiro Oda’s worldwide smash hit One Piece by Netflix. Fresh in the minds of many is the narrative surrounding previous Netflix attempts at adaption, including the recent Cowboy Bebop (you never gave it a chance, internet, and you know it) and Death Note (this one I get a bit more), so to say there is some skepticism is putting it mildly. Check any Twitter thread on the show and you’ll find quite the blend of thoughts being expressed. However, to say that this cast and crew are not excited or dedicated would be an error of the highest order.
The follow-up to the sensational Japanese film The Machine Girls, Media Blasters recently announced the upcoming release of Rise of the Machine Girls for March 22.
Legendary Tokusatsu suit actor Seiji Takaiwa (Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, Metal Hero) , aka “Mr. Heisei Kamen Rider”, will be re-uniting with several toku veterans for a new film to debut later this year. Good Morning, Sleeping Lion is set to debut starting this April on Japanese video distribution service “Hikari TV”, and features Takaiwa in a rare, out of suit, lead role.
The long running tokusatsu series Super Sentai shows no signs of slowing down, and the latest season has been announced for this coming March. Avataro Sentai Donbrothers is the 46th Super Sentai show, set to succeed Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger, currently airing. Based on the tale of Momotaro, a Japanese folk hero, the show promises a new team of colorful heroes, weapons and, of course, toys to collect.
It was announced recently that Sentai Holdings, the distributor of primarily anime products in the west, has been acquired by AMC Networks. The company responsible for shows such as The Walking Dead and a wealth of networks and streaming services, did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but did share that it would include HIDIVE, the anime streaming service, and Cool Japan Fund, a public-private investment fund in Japan.
Western anime distributors Sentai have announced that they have acquired the exclusive license for Saiyuki RELOAD: ZEROIN, the latest installment in the long running franchise. The series is due to stream exclusively on the HIDIVE streaming platform for the Winter 2022 Simulcast season. A home video release is set to follow the simulcast run. Additionally, the ova SAIYUKI GAIDEN OVA – Kouga no Chapter, has been licensed by the distributor.
It was recently announced that a new series in the DC Universe will be making it’s way to TV screens from The CW. Gotham Knights, based on the comics rather than other existing or upcoming projects like the same-named game or Batwoman, takes place after the murder of Bruce Wayne, as his adopted son struggles to maintain peace in a city without it’s dark protector.
Set to release in 2022, Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre is the latest action comedy vehicle from veteran writer and director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes ). Led by action film mega-star Jason Statham (The Transporter, Crank, The Expendables), it sets Statham as super spy Orson Fortune as he teams up with a crew of the world’s top operatives to take down a billionaire arms broker.
The legendary CGI and Hong Kong Wire-Fu inspired film series The Matrix hardly needs any introduction. However, for the uninitiated, the series so far is a multimedia franchise revolving around the story of a man who comes to be known as Neo. Neo lives in a virtual world controlled by a machine empire, harvesting raw energy from human bodies in massive fields of pods. Neo has the unexplainable ability to manipulate the Matrix around him in ways that make him into a sort of superhuman, finally meeting his story’s end by defeating a rogue AI that threatened both humanity and the machines. We were to believe that this was the end of Neo. But as always with the Matrix, nothing is what it seems, and the latest trailer for The Matrix Resurrections very quickly reminds us of this fact.
The role of Takeshi Hongo, aka Kamen Rider Ichigo, has since it’s TV debut been played by Hiroshi Fujioka. The actor would go on to be relatively successful in Japanese film, to this day still booking roles regularly. These roles have included returning to the role of Hongo, but for the upcoming Kamen Rider: Beyond Generations film, the role will be carried on by his son, Maito!
As part of the Kamen Rider 50th Anniversary celebration earlier this year, a re-imagining/reboot of the beloved Showa Era Rider, Kamen Rider Black, was announced. Written by Izumi Takahashi (Tokyo Revengers) and Directed by Kazuya Shiraishi (The Blood of Wolves, Kyoaku), Kamen Rider Black Sun is currently set to debut in Spring of 2022. At an event held by Tamashi Nations, new details and photos have been shared, as well as cast announcement for our protagonist and antagonist.
Legendary Shonen Jump manga One Piece may be moving towards it’s conclusion, but it seems we’re far from done with adventuring with the Straw Hat Pirates! Netflix has reaffirmed via its 2021 Japan Festival that it will be teaming up with the creator of the franchise, mangaka Eiichiro Oda, to create a live action drama series based on the worldwide hit.
A final trailer for Stranger Things 4 has been released by Netflix. The new trailer offers a look at characters Eleven and Will, now living in California after the events of Season Three. Spring Break is coming, and with it, another dose of the strange and supernatural.
At a special live event, it was announced that a new film to continue the story of 2010’s Kamen Rider OOO would be released. Kamen Rider OOO: Revival of the Core Medals is the next film to be released in Toei’s V-Cinext series, and features the return of several characters from the beloved series to the screen. The film will have a limited theatre screening in Spring 2022, and a Blu-Ray/DVD release August 24th.
Netflix has announced it’s first acquisition under their first look partnership with The Stone Quarry Productions, a production company founded by Zack and Deborah Snyder and their producing partner Wesley Coller. Starring Sofia Boutella (Fahrenheit 451, The Kingsman) the film marks not only the first film under a first look deal with Netflix and The Stone Quarry, but also continues Netflix’s relationship with the company and the Snyders after the success of Army of the Dead and it’s prequel Army of Thieves, which is the current #1 film in 90+ countries.