SciFi Japan
    The Latest Series Brings Two more Characters from Toho’s Tokusatsu Universe Plus an Exclusive Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Official Site: The Kaiyodo Company`s Sci-Fi Revoltech series continues to bring great, super-articulated figures of popular science fiction characters to the hands of collectors. Thus far, the only Toho character represented has been the monster Baragon from Wave 2. Thankfully, that will change on September 1st, as a figure based on Mothra (1961 style) will join Mogera (1957 style). The previous month sees Buzz Lightyear and Woody from the Disney/Pixar TOY STORY movies. Reportedly the Tyrannosaurus Rex from JURASSIC PARK, Jason Vorhees from the FRIDAY THE 13TH series, and a Type-1966 Maser Tank from WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS will follow in the next few months. Paperwork included with the Gamera and Gyaos Revoltech figures listed Mothra as being series number 010, Woody and Buzz as 011 and 012

    The Best In Critically Acclaimed Japanese Science Fiction And Fantasy Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Jane Lui and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC will deliver out-of-this-world summer science fiction and fantasy reading with the release of three new novels under its Haikasoru imprint this summer – Harmony by Project Itoh, Rocket Girls by Housuke Nojiri and Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse by Otsuichi. Haikasoru is a unique imprint with a dedicated focus on publishing some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy for English-speaking audiences. For more information on Haikasoru, please visit the dedicated website Harmony by Project Itoh Price: $14.99 U.S. / CAN $19.99 · Available July 20th In the distant future, Utopia has finally been achieved thanks to medical nanotechnology and a powerful ethic of social welfare and mutual consideration. But this perfect

    Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Jane Lui and Erik Jansen VIZ Media announces a new promotion for INUYAHSA episodes and feature films (all rated ‘T’ for Teens) available now from the iTunes Store in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the streaming content provider HULU and, the company’s premier website for anime. iTunes will offer the first three INUYASHA feature films (dubbed) – INUYASHA THE MOVIE: AFFECTIONS TOUCHING ACROSS TIME, INUYASHA THE MOVIE 2: THE CASTLE BEYOND THE LOOKING GLASS, and INUYASHA THE MOVIE 3: SWORDS OF AN HONORABLE RULER, for a special Download-To-Own (DTO) sale price of $4.99 (U.S.) each until August 3rd. Additionally, INUYASHA TV episode 1 is available to download for FREE, and episodes 2-167, covering Seasons 1-7, will be 50% off and available for iTunes users to download for only $0.99 each. HULU

    Japanese Monster Vinyl Figures on Display at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens Author: James Bonney Official Site: Kaiju! Monster Invasion! Fans of the kaiju tokusatsu, or rather, their plastic counterparts in South Florida are in for a treat. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is hosting a brand new exhibit showcasing the various figures from the world of Japanese kaiju film and television entitled KAIJU! MONSTER INVASION! I attended the exhibit on an early Saturday, a perfect escape from my resident state`s notorious heat and humidity, and what a treat it was. The exhibit is located right in front, past the lobby in a large room. Adorning the walls are mounted enclosures showcasing some of the more obscure characters from series such as KAMEN RIDER and BAROM-1 (Choujin Barom-1, 1972), along with a mounted flat screen television looping episodes of Tsuburaya Productions

    Nicely Packaged but Disappointing Volume Fails to Live Up to Its Title Author: Ed Godziszewski Official Site: A year ago, New York-based publisher HarperCollins announced their upcoming release Godzilla and Friends: The Art of the Japanese Monster. After various delays, the book finally went on sale this past week with the revised title Killer Kaiju Monsters: Strange Beasts of Japanese Film. The hardcover volume was written and edited by Ivan Vartanian (Full Vinyl: The Subversive Art of Designer Toys) and features illustrations by Mark Nagata (Max Toy Company), Shoji Ohtomo (An Anatomical Guide to Monsters), Ryohei Tanaka (Panic Attack!), and a cut-out paper toy by renowned paper engineer Keisuke Saka. Killer Kaiju Monsters: Strange Beasts of Japanese Film at first looks to be typical of what we come to expect from mainstream published books on Japanese movie monsters. The Japanese studios prohibit the use of

    Special Promotion To Celebrate the Domestic Broadcast Launch of the Shonen Sunday Animated Series Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Jane Lui and Erik Jansen VIZ Media invites fans to explore the demon-battling action adventure of popular Shonen Sunday KEKKAISHI anime series with a FREE Download-to-Own (DTO) episode through VIZ Media partners iTunes, Xbox Live`s Zune Marketplace, PlayStation Network and Amazon Video on Demand. KEKKAISHI Episode 1 will be available for free download now through June 17th to celebrate the recent domestic broadcast launch of KEKKAISHI on Adult Swim. KEKKAISHI is based on the hit manga series by Yellow Tanabe (also published in North America by VIZ Media). A story of mystical forces powerful in the region known as Karasumori. For over 400 years, it has been the duty of a clan of “kekkaishi”—barrier masters—to guard this land and exterminate

    Latest Instalment in the Hit Series Brings New Features and Multiplayer Action to PAL territories in Summer 2010 Source: NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe, Indigo Pearl press release Special Thanks to Holly Barnes Goku`s adventures have only just begun, with the news that NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe is bringing the next chapter in the Dragon Ball saga to fans across PAL territories in summer 2010, exclusively for Nintendo DS. Continuing Goku`s adventures from the first game for DS, DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS 2 throws in so many new features and cunning touches that Goku will barely be able to contain his Ki energy. The story in DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS 2 takes players through the Red Ribbon saga from Goku`s first meeting with the Red Ribbon Army to the resurrection of Upa`s father, with no shortage of colourful encounters and Ki energy-charged clashes along the way,

    The Special Effects Line Continues Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Source: Anime Jungle Official Site: Special Thanks to Tetsu Shiota and Jim Ballard As previously reported on SciFi Japan, the Kaiyodo Company in Japan has begun a new series in their Revoltech figure line called Sci-Fi Revoltech. It will encompass a wide range of special effects and tokusatsu characters popular in both the United States and Japan. Thus far fan response has been overwhelmingly positive, noting the high quality of the sculpting and paint as well as accessories that come with each figure. The first two waves have already been released. April 1st brought figures based on the titular creature from Ridley Scott’s ALIEN and the classic, avenging god from Daiei’s DAIMAJIN series of films. Wave 2, which came out May 1st, includes the first Toho creature in the Revoltech line: the popular monster Baragon as he

    New US Edition of Classic Japanese Folktales Author: Dan Ross Source: Lexington Books Official 100th Anniversary Site (Japanese): The Legends of Tono (Tono Monogatari) is a book with a complicated history. In the prefecture of Iwate in the village of Tono a local folklorist, Kizen Sasaki (1886-1933), had been collecting the folktales of the region at the turn of the 20th Century. He was the sort of person who you might imagine walking from house to farm to field just conversing with the people of the land and mentally cataloging their reminiscences and anecdotes. In 1908 Sasaki had a chance meeting with Kunio Yanagita (1875-1962). Already an active writer in Tokyo, Yanagita was a fan of ghost stories ranging from Chinese folktales and Japanese classics to the Western stories of Grimm`s Fairy Tales. Meeting with Sasaki and hearing some of his local stories inspired him

    New Novels By Some Of Japan’s Best Sci-Fi Writers Set To Debut This Spring Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC has announced the upcoming release of four new science fiction novels under its Haikasoru imprint. Slum Online, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and The Stories of Ibis, by Hiroshi Yamamoto, will hit stores on April 20th. Loups-Garous, by Natsuhiko Kyogoku, and The Next Continent, by Issui Ogawa, will be released on May 18th. Haikasoru publishes some of the most compelling contemporary Japanese science fiction and fantasy stories for English-speaking audiences. The imprint launched in North America with a dedicated focus on Japanese science fiction. Slum Online by Hiroshi Sakurazaka Price: $13.99 U.S. / CAN $18.99 · Available April 20th Etsuro Sakagami is a college freshman who simply drifts through life, but when he logs

    Official Site: (Germany) Special Thanks to Ralf Lorenz This month sees the premiere of Vintage Monsters, a new German magazine featuring rare and beautiful international posters and lobby cards from monster, sci-fi, fantasy and horror films. The magazine is the brainchild of Andreas Schiefler (owner of Vintage Movie Posters) and Ralf Lorenz (GUALAGON, Pranke: Das Filmmagazin für Monsterfreaks). Vintage Monsters #1 runs forty pages and focuses on the movies playing at next month`s VINTAGE MONSTERS FESTIVAL in Hamburg with more than 150 full color illustrations from CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982), GODZILLA VS GIGAN (1972), THE BLACK PIT OF DR. M (1959), THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961), THE GREEN SLIME (1968), ANDY WARHOL`S BLOOD FOR DRACULA (1974), DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN (1970), TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA (1970), and PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965). The text is written in both German and English. Vintage Monsters is

    Worldwide Premiere of New School Comedy Series Source: Anime Network press release Official Series Site (Japanese): Special Thanks to Christian Lopez ICHIBAN USHIRO NO DAIMAO, the latest series from famed director Takashi Watanabe (BOOGIEPOP PHANTOM, NEW FIST OF THE NORTH STAR), will begin simulcasting this April on Anime Network Online. From Marvelous Entertainment (MUSHI-SHI, AIR GEAR) and Artland (MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00, LEGEND OF THE GALACTIC HEROES) comes the story of young Akuto Sai, a new student at Constan Magical Academy. On the day of admittance, his aptitude test has predicted his future occupation as... Devil King. And so begins the trials and tribulations of school life as he is hounded by do-gooders, self appointed protectors, and overzealous followers. In this school, there`s no rest for the Devil King. The ICHIBAN USHIRO NO DAIMAO simulcast will be available to registered users. Registration is absolutely free

    Japan`s Leading Anime Broadcaster and World`s Leading Asian Media Lifestyle Brand Expand Partnership Source: BAM! Marketing, Publicity & Promotions press release Official Site: Crunchyroll Special Thanks to Chase Wang Crunchyroll, Inc., and TV Tokyo Corporation have announced the expansion of their industry-defining content alliance and partnership with the February 2010 conclusion of a $750,000 strategic investment by TV Tokyo into Crunchyroll. TV Tokyo will continue to provide Crunchyroll with content licenses for world-class Japanese entertainment, including hits like NARUTO SHIPPUDEN, TEGAMI BACHI: LETTER BEE, and many others, and Crunchyroll will continue to offer premium access to TV Tokyo content under its subscription plan one hour after its broadcast on TV Tokyo, and free access to TV TOKYO content one week after its broadcast on TV Tokyo. In addition, both TV Tokyo and Crunchyroll will continue to explore new business areas and work on mutually beneficial ways

    New VIZ Signature Release Comes from the Talented Creator of House of Five Leaves and not simple Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press release Official Site: Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen On March 16th, VIZ Media, LLC released the manga - Natsume Ono’s Ristorante Paradiso. The story, a romance among the staff at a bistro in Rome, is offered in a single volume and will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint. Ristorante Paradiso is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN. At the age of 21, Nicoletta travels to Rome to find her mother, Olga, who abandoned her long ago. Nicoletta finds her at Casetta dell`Orso, a charming little restaurant owned by Olga`s husband. The staff of bespectacled gentlemen welcomes Nicoletta warmly, but Olga`s reception is not so pleasant. Olga has never told

    SJ Championship Tournaments Offer Exciting Experiences For New And Existing Players Beginning April 2010 Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases Special Thanks to Erik Jansen Bandai America Inc. and VIZ Media, LLC are pleased to announce the new NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Collectible Card Game (CCG) SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournaments in North America. There will be multiple tournaments held throughout the United States at select hobby retailers culminating in the National Championships to be held at the Gen Con Indy taking place in Indiana on August 7th and 8th. NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG, Bandai America’s top selling collectible card game, is a game of strategy where players construct card decks of Ninja that use their powerful Jutsu to complete Missions and protect their villages. The NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG, currently has hundreds of tournaments held each week at local hobby retailers throughout the United States. SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournaments will

    The Popular Toy Line is Expanded to Include Kaiju and Special Effects Movie Characters Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Translations: Jim Ballard Source: Anime Jungle Official Site: Special Thanks to Tetsu Shiota Fans and collectors are probably familiar with the brand Revoltech, which is owned by the Kaiyodo Company of Japan. It is a series of super-articulated figures in the 4-6 inch scale and based on various popular characters from manga, video games, television, film, and anime. The name itself reportedly means “Revolver Technology” as the revolver joint is what gives the figures their super-articulation. Of interest to kaiju fans is the upcoming line, SCI-FI REVOLTECH, which will showcase popular characters from both east and west. The first figures up for release on April 1st are the Xenomorph from Ridley Scott’s ALIEN and the vengeful god DAIMAJIN from the Daiei movie series of the 1960s, followed on

    An Overview and Price Guide for the Bandai Godzilla Toy Market Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis Special Thanks Mike Russo, Jean Carbajal, Brandon Shields, Bob Johnson, Greg Cordaro, Andy Shields, and James Bond A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE Welcome to the market overview and price guide to Bandai Godzilla collectibles. The Bandai Company for decades now has been the standard for producing toys based on popular Japanese characters; they are essentially the Mattel of Japan. As it pertains to this article, they began producing toys based on characters in the GODZILLA Series in 1983. Over the years since, both the output and quality of the company has steadily increased. The figures themselves are made of vinyl and have been primarily produced in two sizes, 6 inch and 8 inch scale, with the 8 inch scale being the most popular with collectors. There are also

    Voltron Lands this Summer Source: Privateer Press press release Official Sites:, Privateer Press has announced that the highly anticipated VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE battle miniatures game (PIP 50030) for MONSTERPOCALYPSE will be released July 2010 with an MSRP of $49.99. The VOLTRON game will include everything two players need to stage epic battles between the forces of Voltron and the Galaxy Alliance and Lo-Tron of the fiendish Drule Empire. Part of the popular MONSTERPOCALYPSE line, VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE will be completely compatible with all current MONSTERPOCALYPSE series. In celebration of the release, Privateer Press is offering the VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE Launch Kit (PIP 50033, MSRP $399.92) to brick-and-mortar retailers. The kit includes eight copies of the VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE battle miniatures game and two limited edition Mega Voltron figures for use in promoting the game’s release in

    Source: MediaLab press release Official Site: VIZ Media Special Thanks to Erik Jansen VIZ Media, LLC has announced some of their exciting new manga set for release throughout the first half of 2010. The new releases will be published by VIZ Media under its best-known imprints including VIZ Kids, VIZ Signature, Shojo Beat, Shonen Sunday, Shonen Jump and Shonen Jump Advanced. February Biomega Vol. 1 by Tsutomu Nihei Available February 2nd Rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences VIZ Signature Imprint Zoichi Kanoe plunges into the depths of 9JO, a sprawling island city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in search of Eon Green, a girl with the power to transmute the N5S virus. The deadly contagion is spreading across the world and turns humans into disfigured zombie-like "drones.” But he`s not the only one looking for her. Agents of the Public Health Service`s Compulsory Execution

    Source: Privateer Press press release Official Site: Privateer Press of Bellevue, WA has announced that the next expansion for its collectible miniatures game MONSTERPOCALYPSE will be released in April 2010. The expansion, SERIES 5: BIG IN JAPAN, takes the monsters and minions of MONSTERPOCALYPSE to the heart of Japan with new iconic buildings from the Tokyo skyline. BIG IN JAPAN will be available in Monster Boosters and Unit Boosters. To celebrate the release of BIG IN JAPAN, Privateer Press is offering two special promotions to retailers and players. Players can get a limited edition Mega Mechathugrosh figure free from participating retailers by ordering the BIG IN JAPAN Mega Kit (PIP 50915). The kit includes one case of BIG IN JAPAN Boosters, one case of BIG IN JAPAN Unit Boosters, and one Mega Mechathugrosh figure. The second promotion is available to retailers who order the BIG

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