Cannot. Frigging. Wait. Behold the first teaser poster for Noboru Iguchi’s DENJIN ZABORGAR adaptation. No idea when it’s supposed to come out but I will be desperately flying out to the first festival in the US that shows it, proudly dressed up as Yutaka Daimon if need be. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll be rocking out to this.

Mazin-Follow Up: SKL Thus Far

I’ve been noticing pingbacks to my post from awhile back regarding the initial 2channel rumors about Shin Mazinger, thinking that these are details of the forthcoming Mazinkaiser SKL (Skull) series. Because of my Friday ACE duties on, I’ve been really bad at keeping up with this blog so I figured that while I’ve got a moment, I’d breathe some life into this thing and get down what we DO know about this show.

It’s being produced by Brain Base:
Brain Base was the animation studio responsible for two of the more prolific and highly recommended Dynamic Super Robot OVAS: Shin Getter VS Neo Getter Robo and the original Mazinkaiser series. To date, BEE Media nor any of the team of Shin Mazinger have been revealed as staff. Yes, I know you’re hoping for Imagawa to be involved with this one too but we haven’t heard anything yet.
EDIT: No official mention of Brains Base involvement! Three cheers for internet inaccuracy!

It will be set in an alternate reality:
This will be separate from the previous Mazinkaiser series and any other Dynamic Super Robot timeline. That’s not to say that references won’t pop-up. Case in Point: The Silene-esque Aphrodite robot that can be seen behind Kaiser SKL (Should we be calling him Skull!Kaiser?) in the promotional artwork. Speaking of our title mech….

The New Mazinkaiser Will Be Broken:
Aside from the rather intimidating Skull Pilder, Skull!Kaiser will not only have the rather intimidating-looking Ganzantou [lit. “Fang Slash Blade”] sword in the promo art, but his rendition of the Fire Blaster–Mazinkaiser’s “Breast Fire” attack–has a unique twist; the chest plates are in fact two handguns. Now if they can be guns AND use the Fire Blaster attack….yeah, BROKEN.

And that’s about it. There have been rumblings on how the lead character might be the son of Kouji and so on, but not a lot has been backed up. I do want to bring up one thing to keep in mind in regards to everybody disappointed that this isn’t a Shin Mazinger sequel: In the past, whenever it came to the Dynamic Super Robot OVAs of the 90’s, they always tended to be consecutive. When Change! Shin Getter Robo ended, we almost immediately had news of Shin Getter VS Neo Getter Robo. When that ended, we were greeted with news of the first Mazinkaiser series in the final episode. If Brain Base is involved, whose to say that news of Shin Mazinger‘s next great chapter isn’t just waiting in the wings?

In the meanwhile, if you’re looking for a place to keep up with updates, there’s a rather slick Facebook group devoted to finding everything out about Mazinkaiser SKL the moment it comes online. Until then, courage.

Macekre Forever: Remembering Carl Macek

Though I was born in the tail-end of the 1980’s, I was never a Voltron Kid. Sure, I watched the other “essentials” of the decade, but I never found myself getting into it, nor did I have any recollection of watching it when I was younger. Recently, I gained some insight as why this might be the case via…well, my Mom. I was a Robotech kid.

Awhile back, the family had been sitting in the living room, watching something on TV, and we’d started talking about the Demise of Saturday Mornings. By that, I mean how the concept of a network TV block devoted to (good) animated shows has gone the way of the video arcade and Betamax. Mom brings up the stuff we’d watch together when I was little on Sundays: Captain Power, Transformers, and that one show with the girl who sang and the jet-robots….

My jaw drops. “Robotech?”, I ask her.

“Yeah! That’s the one!”, Mom replies. She tells me that she’s always wanted to see it again, to which I tell her that I won a Macross box set at a con awhile back if she wants to. I love being brought up in a family of geeks. Suppose we’re going to have a marathon one of these days, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because it came out just now via Twitter and Cartoon Brew that Carl Macek, best known for being the producer and story editor of Robotech, passed away this Saturday.

Say what you will about him being Butcher The Killer; the fact that he’d figured out a way to weave three shows together to form a massive science-fiction epic is just astounding. Even more amazing is that if you take a step back and think about it, Streamline Pictures (the company founded by Macek and Jerry Beck), was responsible for being the supplier of many a gateway drug: Akira, Vampire Hunter D, Dirty Pair, titles that many people can cite as being major influences and the reason they love anime. I mean hell, a group of friends of mine walked out of Pioneer’s theatrical re-release of Akira when they discovered the lack of the Streamline dub. Because that’s the version that started their love affair with Japanese animation, their loyalty speaking volumes of the impact it, and other Streamline releases had. (Well, that or they didn’t feel like sitting through a English dub that got Johnny Yong Bosch nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy at the American Anime Awards.) No matter how you spin it, anime would not be where it is today without his efforts.

Though I can barely remember watching Robotech, the seeds were definitely planted. I can almost liken it to hearing Mozart in the womb, as odd as that sounds, due to it being among the strange mixture of events in my Secret Otaku Origin. It’s why I find myself saying so much about a man who I’m sure I probably never thought that much of until now. In spite of all the criticism, Carl Macek will be remembered as a pioneer in getting those crazy Japanese cartoons seen by people overseas. To that, I say “Thanks, Carl, now get some rest. You’ve earned it.”

……Resisting the urge to say “Huh”.

New Tokusatsu-Inspired Webseries: BATTLE HERO ABSOLUTE!

Jabronie Pictures is no stranger to Justice ACE: First showing up in a Friday ACE entry, I’d mention them later regarding their entry to the IFC Assassin’s Creed 2 Fanfilm Contest. This time around, it’s war as the first episode of their Tokusatsu-inspired webseries, Battle Hero Absolute, goes live today! Mysterious entities known as “Clarions” are possessing innocent humans, making them do their evil bidding! It’s up to Jay, fresh from Test Fight 5, and his Hero Armor to stop them!

Now while this series links together several other shorts in the “Jabroniverse”, you can still easily get into the action. However, I do recommend you check out their other films, not because of necessity, but because they’re great fun. Also, you may also notice that I’m on vocals for this particular episode; I’ll be appearing throughout the series, also pulling double-duty as a Creative Consultant. All the same, I’m proud to be a part of this project!

Well, what are you waiting for? Go watch the episode already!

The Last Stop! A New Kamen Rider Den-O Movie!?

It was only yesterday that we were talking about the leaked information regarding Kamen Rider Den-O and Kiva: Climax Deka. Now, here we are three years later and information for ANOTHER Kamen Rider film has been leaked out….And it’s Den-O related. Again….

On January 25th, this image showed up on 2channel and got everyone talking: a cut-off, slightly blurry printout of barebone info regarding ANOTHER Den-O film.  Entitled Kamen Rider Den-O: Last Stop – Be Forever, Climax, the image lists a few cast members, including the return of Takeru Sato (Ryotarou), Yuichi Nakamura (Yuuto Sakurai/Zeronos), Dori Sakurada (Kotaro/NEW Den-O), and veteran actor Yasufumi Terawaki. Also included was the title of another Imajin Anime short: Bye-Bye, Momortaros.

This would normally reek of BS, if not for a recent batch of blog shenanigans by actress Rie Takahashi. On February 9th, she let slip that “this Golden Week, a new Kamen Rider Den-O movie is coming!”. She would then go on to reveal her involvement and outright confirm the partial casting list on the printout by mentioning that the “show regulars” were present. What could possibly make this worse? The fact that the entry was deleted the next day, proceeding another entry that day where Takahashi mentions her embarrassment over making trouble for “some” company. Honestly, if that doesn’t add fuel to the fire, I don’t know what else could outside of spy camera photography….which we’ll probably see in the next couple of months.

I honestly don’t know where to begin with this. Another finale movie? What happened to Super Den-O? Was Momotaros not as “Cho-busy” as we thought he was? I know we can’t exactly freak out just yet based on this scarce info but damn if this doesn’t create more questions than answers. Hopefully something good will come out of this as more info trickles through the cracks.