If you thought that Comic Book Guy marrying a mangaka named Kumiko in this Sunday's new The Simpsons episode, "Married to the Blob" was going to be all Hulk Hands and Stan Lee and Harlan Ellison cameos, rest assured that principally western pop culture references aren't going to hog all of the airtime. In a new clip posted by Fox's Animation Domination channel, fans can watch an intoxicated Homer and the father of the bride-to-be stumble through a Studio Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki-inspired wonderland chock full of homages to Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service and more. It may be the best thing you'll see all week... with the full episode probably being the best thing you'll see on Sunday.
The government of Japan has had the goal of being "a nation built on intellectual property" for more than a decade now, and it's moving to really amp up its cultural exports in 2014. The country is spending nearly $15 million (about 15.5 billion yen) to produce programming including subtitled and dubbed anime, live-action dramas, travel programs and music shows for its new "Japan Channel."
The channel will launch in Thailand in January. In February, it's coming to Indonesia, then it will launch in Cambodia in April. The channel will eventually come to the United States, Europe and Africa, but there are no solid dates for those launches.
Yet another of Sailor Moon's Sailor Senshi is set to get immortalized action figure style in Bandai's S.H. Figuarts line. Sailor Venus is set to follow Sailors Moon, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter with a new action figure in May, complete with her white cat Artemis and her alternate masked "Sailor V" ensemble.
The strongest -- and most deadpan -- soldier from Attack on Titan will get the full range of Figma action figure articulation and accessorizing in 2014. Captain Levi of The Survey Corps Special Operations Squad will join AoT protagonists Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackerman sometime around their respective June and July releases to help defend humanity and its last walled stronghold against the scourge of the mysterious man-eating titans. And he'll do looking kinda like Grumpy Cat.
Earth's first and last line of defense against the Dinosaur Empire and the alien Clan of the 100 Devils is getting the combining action figure treatment this spring from Hong Kong toy company FREEing with a reissued Dynamic Change Getter Robo Set, followed by an all new Dynamic Change Getter Robo G Set.
Marvel Disc Wars: The Avengers -- perhaps the most prominent team-up between Marvel and Toei since Japanese Spider-Man in 1978 -- still has a few months before it's set to debut on TV in Japan, but Big Bad Toy Store already has a low-res look at its toys from Bandai. The assortment of action figures and transforming disks doesn't necessarily clarify the show's plot, but it is nice to see a more anime-style Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man and the Hulk in articulated 3D.
Most cats are afraid of water, but it appears Sanrio's Hello Kitty is a straight up sea captain on Star Cruises' specially-themed voyages departing from Singapore and Malaysia. While this news post would almost certainly have made a solid Holiday Gift Guide entry, we doubt many of you will be able to set sail aboard the SuperStar Virgo or the SuperStar Libra (...I had no idea cruise ships had such awesome names). Still, we must insist on detailing all of the fun most of us will surely miss out on while the cruises run through December 29.
The live action Attack on Titan movie based on Hajime Isayama's manga and its anime adaptation seems to have assembled something of a dream for fans of civilization-destroying anime and tokusatsu. Filling a slot that's been vacant since the departure of Tetsuya Nakashima last december is new director Shinji Higuchi, known for his work as a storyboard artist on Kill la Kill, the original Neon Genesis Evangelion and its "rebuild" films. Higuchi also served as the special effects director on Gamera and Godzilla movies and Studio Ghibli's stunning live action prequel to Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo. Truly, this is a director who knows a thing or two about depicting giants wiping out humanity.
Between its 6" articulated Voltron action figure, deluxe Voltron Force toys and massive 23" tall Voltron assembled from five sizable robotic lions and their 3.75" pilots, Mattel covered a number of toy bases while holding the brand's toy license through 2012. And yet, there was always a sweet spot defined by the Shogun Warriors and Trendmasters toys of the past that only Toynami ever seemed to truly rekindle. Now following up a 25th anniversary Voltron set from a few years ago, Toynami has returned to held defend the universe with an 11" tall diecast Voltron 30th Anniversary Collectors Set.
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
So why not celebrate your inner magical girl with one of the best action figures of the year: The S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figure!