Gonna Make It Over The Top (In Audio)

So okay, Friday ACE has been going on for awhile now, R5 Central’s still on hiatus, what’s next on the plate of Rider 5 Productions….and by that I mean, me? Dirty Pair.

I’m going to be producing a pilot for a potential audiobook series adapting the exploits of the Lovely Angels. My first ever fan-project, if you can believe it! Now right about now, you’re probably asking one burning question: WHY? Honestly? It just kind of happened.

Some time ago, a fan transcription of Kodansha’s hard-to-find English release of The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair fell into my lap. This was before Dark Horse published the first two books so I figured I’d hold onto it…..and let it gather dust, unfortunately.

Flash-forward to the present where I’ve suddenly developed an itch for audiobooks–Or at the very least, producing one. It’s a new medium for me and as a producer, I found myself wanting to take on the challenge. It was somewhere during my research for my Dirty Pair articles when I’d remembered that I had the fan transcription, even though I’d bought both Dark Horse release. All the same, I imported it to Google Documents and just sort of left it there as a prospect if I followed through with things.

One more jaunt to about a week ago: Still recovering from an annoying summer cold and following the upload of my crossover article, I felt the urge to take out the fan-transcription and play around with it. By the time I’d finished the first draft, it was five in the morning. I took it as a sign that, well, maybe I really need to produce this.

As I type, I’m holding auditions with the goal of getting the pilot out before August. If it’s well received, I aim to go through the entirety ofGreat Adventure and release the chapters online via podcast feed. If anything, I hope these will generate some interest in the books themselves that are available…and perhaps get the Powers That Be interested in getting the rest of them out. (He said, dreaming of a perfect world.) I normally wouldn’t get so fired up with a fan project like this but as I said, something really burns about this idea; sometimes you just can’t ignore the blaze.

SCIENCE PATROL: Episode Zero?

Damn you, Hideaki Anno. Thanks to a viewing of Evangelion 2.22 which had all manner of Ultraman references peppered in, I found myself going for my BCI Eclipse box-set of the original series for an impromptu marathon. My Dad, who was one of the two forces that got me into it, joined me; in proper geek family fashion, we were talking trivia throughout. Things like how the second episode was the first one produced, whether or not its Jet VTOL or Beetle, and so on. In our rambling, an interesting point came up:

In the first episode, “Ultra Operation No. 1”, we’re told by the narrator that the Science Patrol’s been around for quite some time, having been based out of Paris, and that their purpose is to protect humanity from any kind of invasion or otherworldly threat. When Bemular shows up, the team doesn’t flinch and immediately goes on the attack like it’s business as usual–Nobody’s in awe that they’re witnessing a monster for the first time, Fuji doesn’t scream her head off, the Self-Defense Force isn’t even called in; They have experience and a reputation. In the world of Ultraman, you sort of take for granted that the team has the means to take on whatever threat they go up against due to training, but when you think about it, they must have been doing this sort of thing before Hayata had his accident. Bemular, the Baltans, they couldn’t have been the first.

The idea is backed by Episode 4, “Five Seconds Before The Explosion” with the appearance of Ragon. The team is able to identify Ragon on sight and speak casually about him like they’ve had experience. Sure, you could pass this off as a passing nod to Ultra Q, but why does no one bat an eye when they see Pigumon a few episodes later? Either the Paris Science Patrol had experience with Ragon or the Japanese branch had their own scuffle with the beast. Heck, maybe that particular experience is how Muramatsu got his Captain pin, by helping them out or something–See what I’m getting at here, folks?

It’d be something worth exploring, that’s for sure. For now, it’s the subject of…well..fanfiction, maybe? At least until somebody figures out the right way to pitch it as a comic to Tsuburaya.

Oh and another thing that came up? Muramatsu must have had something “special” in that pipe of his as he’s got to be the most tolerant captain ever. Think about it.

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 OUSA.com, 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.