With the death of Newtype USA fastly approaching, I’ve been in something of a nostalgic mood. It really kicked into overdrive when I was in the middle of dismantling Christmas here at my place and I rescued a couple of old magazines along with my slightly warped Guyver models.
See, when I was a kid, there were two Japanese print magazines that I always kept up with until their respective demises. Oh and one from Canada. I think. Meh, I’ll look into some other time. Back to what I was saying, these two mags were always on my shopping list and with the death of Newtype, it got me thinking about them again as I read through them again. So, seeing as how I keep going on and on about them and because I’m sure you guys are just dying to know what the hell I’m even talking about, I figured a good ol’ fashioned retrospective is in order.
DISCLAIMER: No I am not an expert on the full history of each mag. I’m going off of what I can translate off of Wikipedia and personal memory. If I fudged up anything, email me at r5centralATgmail.com and call me on it.
1.) B-Club – 1985~1998
The short version: Any and all things Bandai with a lower page count than Newtype but with all the informational content of several Wikipedia pages on a monthly basis
I had a quasi-subscription to this when I was a kid. By that I mean whenever a new one came in, I’d be the first to go for it at the local anime shop. Think of it as Newtype…but with Anime, Tokusatsu, Gunpla, Doujinshi reviews done in a Giant Robot staff review style, two page Illustration Page art spreads, Red (Freaking) Masoleum by Keita Amemiya (some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen in a mag), illustrated editorials and a freaking Karaoke column.
This could very well be the predecessor to Newtype THE LIVE with its Tokusatsu focus at the time, second only to Uchusen Quarterly (which I’ll get to in a sec). B-Club was where the epilogue manga to Chojin Sentai Jetman was first published back in 1996. Before that, B-Club ran a side story manga to Shaider revolving around his assistant, Annie, and her adventures around the world.
(Sadly, to my knowledge, that manga can’t be found anywhere in collected form. However, the Jetman Epilogue is available in a single volume. Click the previous link for a translation and synopsis)
The magazine ended in 1998 where it then turned into Dengeki B-Magazine which then made the transformation into Dengeki Hobby Magazine some time later and has remained so ever since. God I miss it. Especially because we got such gems like this fan drawing that shows what would have happened if Hiroshi Miyauchi had been a proper member of Ohranger.
2.) Space Magazine Uchusen Quarterly (aka Uchusen) – 198?~2005
The Short Version: Japanese equivalent of Starlog
This was the first Japanese print magazine I ever bought into back in 1994. Rather large format with features on Japanese and American Science Fiction, Tokusatsu, Special Effects, and Indie Productions. Yes that’s right, a whole section in the back dedicated to indie productions. Right down to that original Kamen Rider flick that only a select few remember seeing and Line The Barbarian…..
…Yeah, the rest of that episode is just like that opening.
How ironic that the anime shop that I bought this from ended around the same time that Uchuusen ended its run in 2005. I still treasure those few issues that I managed to get my hands on to this day and wish I could have gotten more. You can find back issues on eBay and around the net but they’ll most likely go for a pretty penny depending on the feature. (I wish I could scan some stuff in but I don’t have the room to keep the issues stacked permanently -_-).
Apparently though, some staff from Uchuusen made their way into Hobby Japan if the Japanese Wikipedia entry is right so the legacy sort of lives on. It’d be nice if they just did the Yearbooks at the end of the year again. Le sigh.
Highlights to speak of: Eight issue Gerry Anderson review, Indie production index in the back along with reviews, and that really creepy make up FX school add that had that guy who had his face made up like something was trying to climb out of his cheek.
Yeah. You’re not getting a scan of that one.