2D Champions Episode 82: Attack on Titan Season 2

The Champions tackle the long-awaited second season of the smash-hit series ‘Attack on Titan’. Based on the amazingly popular manga by Hajime Isayama, fans have been waiting eagerly for this new installment of the animated adaptation of the story since 2013. Does it live up to the high expectations set by the prior season? Or does this new season get cut down to size by the Champions? Listen and find out!

You can watch all of ‘Attack on Titan Season 2’ here:
www.crunchyroll.com/attack-on-titan

You can also support Hajime Isayama’s original comic series here:
kodanshacomics.com/series/attack-on-titan/

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Funimation Licenses Shin Godzilla For North America

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A few days after Toho stated that their upcoming Godzilla film will be shown in over 100 countries worldwide, Shin Godzilla has finally been secured for a North American release. Funimation announced at this year’s San Diego Comic Con that they have licensed Shin Godzilla and will be releasing the film into select North American theaters later this year.   It’s fantastic news that American fans will get the chance to see Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno’s take on the King of the Monsters on the big screen, just a few months after it’s Japanese release. I expect Funimation to treat Shin Godzilla similarly to their release of Shinji Higuchi’s Attack on Titan films from last year. So far Funimation has not announced whether or not Shin Godzilla will be subtitled or dubbed, nor do we know just how many theaters will show the film. All of this information is forthcoming and I’ll update Teatime with all the details as they become available

A Japanese Godzilla film hasn’t gotten a wide theatrical release in the United States since Godzilla 2000 and the American edition of that film came with missing footage and a terrible dub. After the debacle of Funimation’s release of Evangelion 3.0, I hope that they treat Shin Godzilla with the respect that it deserves. For right now though, Funimation has really come through for American Godzilla fans by working hard to acquire the rights to Shin Godzilla and getting it into theaters so soon after it’s Japanese release.

Another interesting note is that Funimation and Toho have totally dropped the old international title for Anno and Higuchi’s new Godzilla film (Godzilla Resurgence) and are just referring to it by it’s true name: ‘Shin Godzilla‘.

Sources: SciFi Japan, The Good, The Bad, and the Godzilla 

2-D Champions Episode 45: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (First Half)

Zombies. Steampunk zombies. Need we say more? In today’s episode, the Champions pierce the armored heart of ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’. It’s from the same studio and staff that brought you ‘Attack on Titan’ and has been scientifically designed to be an anime binge-watching hit. Are the Champions taken along for the ride? Or do we strike this new survival horror series down in one hit? Listen and find out!

You can watch all of ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ by following the link:
https://www.amazon.com/The-Silent-Hunter/dp/B01DU4K5ES/

‘Shin Godzilla’ 2016

50c54506c71f97ddf10622314f6d6b981442985232_fullThe title for the first new Japanese Godzilla film in twelve years was officially announced last week at a press conference. The new film will be entitled ‘Shin Godzilla’ and according to Hideaki Anno, the chief director of the film, ‘Shin’ can be interpreted three different ways: ‘new’, ‘true’, and ‘God’. It is interesting to note that Anno’s forthcoming final Evangelion film also bears ‘Shin’ (written in the same Katakana as used in the Godzilla title) as part of the title. Toho also announced the three principle cast members of the film: Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, and Satomi Ishihara. Hasegawa and Ishihara were both previously cast in director Shinji Higuchi’s two-part film adaptation of the Attack on Titan manga series.

Despite these new announcements, there is still very little known about the new Godzilla movie which is currently filming in Japan other than that it will feature the largest version of Godzilla yet seen. The official site for the film has also opened and you can visit it by following the link below!

http://shin-godzilla.jp/

Sources:

August Ragone, Crunchyroll

Attack on Titan Live-Action Film Trailer

Poster for the film

Poster for the upcoming film

Shinji Higuchi’s live-action Attack on Titan film will be released in Japan on August 1st and a new english-subtitled trailer has been released by Madman Entertainment (The Australian licensor for the new films).

Similar to how the Kyoto arc was handled in the Rurouni Kenshin live-action films last year, the Attack on Titan film project is spread across two films that are being released roughly a month a part from each other. The two films will feature new characters and a story not seen in the original manga or television anime.

The titans and the live-action take on the three-dimensional fighting gear looks interesting but I’m holding out until I see the full film before I pass judgement on the special effects.

As if a big live-action project wasn’t enough, two films which compile the 2013 television anime series have been released. The second film contains new footage at the end which sets the stage for the second season of the anime which will air sometime in 2016.

Funimation has also announced that it has purchased the rights to release the two live-action Attack on Titan films in North and South America so we should be seeing these movies stateside fairly soon.

The first Attack on Titan film has its world premiere at the Egyptian theater in Los Angeles on July 14th.

Source: IGN

Toho Announces a New Godzilla Film for 2016

Toho's promo image for Godzilla 2016.

Toho’s promo image for Godzilla 2016.

Back on April 1st, Toho Film Studios announced that production was underway on a brand-new Japanese Godzilla film. This news alone would be enough to cause a stir among G-fans around the world; but nothing could top the reveal of the two men behind the new production.

Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi.

Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi in front of Toho Studios.

Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi in front of Toho Studios.

To anyone familiar with these names, having them even tangentially connected to a new Godzilla film would be amazing. To have them working together as co-director’s on the film is as existentially significant to a Godzilla fan as it would be to personally witness the big bang. Well, to me, at least.

Now, for those who have no idea who these two people are, let me explain.

Hideaki Anno has been a giant in the Japanese animation industry for decades. His most well-known work is as director and screenwriter of Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) and its more recent incarnation in the Rebuild of Evangelion film series (or Evangelion: New Movie Edition). Anno has also directed many other notable works, such as Gunbuster (1988), Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990), and several live-action projects such as Cutie Honey (2004) and Love & Pop (1998). Anno began as an animator and worked on the key God Warrior sequence for Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984). Anno also gave his voice to the lead character of Miyazaki’s 2013 film, The Wind Rises.

Anno has been very outspoken of the importance of animation and Tokusatsu (Japanese special effects films or television programs) in his life and has countless references to his favorite stories in many of his own works.

Shinji Higuchi is a talented artist who was one of the founding members of studio Gainax along with Hideaki Anno. Higuchi served as a writer, storyboard artist/director, and assistant director on Neon Genesis Evangelion. He created storyboards for Gunbuster and Otaku no Video (1991) for Gainax as well. I know Higuchi best for his work as the director of special effects for the ’90’s Gamera trilogy directed by Shusuke Kaneko.The incredible work he did on these films proved Higuchi to be a special effects master. He has gone on to direct several live-action films such as The Sinking of Japan (2006) and the upcoming two-part film adaptation of Attack on Titan.

Gamera 3 Japanese Poster

Gamera 3 Japanese Poster

In 2012, Anno curated Tokusatsu- Special Effects Museum-Craftsmanship of Showa and Heisei Eras Seen Through Miniatures at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. This exhibit really put Anno’s love for the genre on display and at the center of it was a short film produced by Anno and directed by Shinji Higuchi entitled Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo. This amazing short film gave a very nice taste of what these two friends could bring to a live-action giant monster project.

Godzilla from Gareth Edwards' 2014 Film

Godzilla from Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Film

For the 2016 Godzilla film, Anno will be serving as the Writer and Supervising Director and Higuchi will be Director and Special Effects Director. This may seem to be a curious way to split up work duties on the movie but I feel it speaks to how closely the duo is working together. Godzilla is set to film in the fall for a release in the summer of 2016.

It is difficult to summarize how important and exciting it is to have Anno and Higuchi working together on a new Godzilla film. I think it shows how serious Toho is taking Godzilla after the successful release of Gareth Edwards’ recent american Godzilla film from 2014. Edwards is also set to direct two more Godzilla films to complete his own trilogy. The next film in the revitalized american series is set to open in 2018. Legendary, the production company behind the new american Godzilla films, also revealed at last year’s San Diego Comic Con that they had purchased the rights for King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan to appear along with Godzilla in the next two films from Edwards.

Toho has also commented that the new Godzilla in Anno and Higuchi’s upcoming film will be the tallest incarnation of the monster yet, towering over even Legendary Films’ 108-meter tall beast from last year.

Overall, it’s a great time to be a Godzilla fan.

Sources: Crunchyroll, Oricon, The Good, The Bad, and Godzilla (Tokusatsu expert August Ragone’s has an excellent write-up on the new film with translated comments from both Anno and Higuchi. Required reading.)