It's tough to say whether the much-talked about, sometimes-maligned live-action adaptation of Akira, the latest iteration of which would have "localized" the movie to an unrecognizable pulp, will ever see the light of day, but a group of fans may have already bested anything Hollywood could have accomplished anyway.
The three-minute-plus trailer created by The Akira Project looks and feels like a genuine adaptation of the Katsuhiro Otomo manga and the highly regarded anime film. A few shots are downright identical. And, guess what? The actors in it are of Asian descent. (You may even recognize the actor who plays Kaneda, Osric Chau, from a recurring role on Supernatural.) Check it out!
Today marks 22 years since Dr. Gero and his Androids attacked Earth in Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball manga and its Dragon Ball Zanime adaptation. Thanks to a time-traveling Trunks untold humans, Namekians and Saiyans were spared a grisly fate in age 767 at 10 a.m. Still, it can't hurt to keep an eye out for two old-looking cyborg guys and/or three teens with edgy '90s earrings nonetheless -- especially if you live in South City. Remember, you won't be able to sense their chi and they absorb energy attacks through their hands. Your best bet to ID a potential android is to know its human name. Hopefully you've been training in 300 times Earth's normal gravity or at least have some Senzu beans saved up.
I don't watch much anime, so I have never seen the animated adaptation of Fujiko Fujio's Doraemonmanga. That, however, may have to change, especially since CA editor Caleb Goellner just summed it up for me as "a robot cat from the future who travels back in time to be friends with kids and fight the Terminator." That kind of sounds like exactly the sort of thing that I would be into, even if the Terminator stuff turned out to just be a one-time gag.
Fortunately, it looks like I'll have my chance this summer: Disney XD is planning to air a 26-episode run of one of the latest Doraemon series, five times a week, in a block of programming designed for younger, elementary school-aged kids.
For the better part of the past year (and some change), Tumblr has beheld one of the most blissful art jams of the current millenium, a panel-for-panel recreation of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira manga starring the cast of The Simpsons appropriately dubbed, Bartkira. Inspired by Ryan Humphrey, organized by James Harvey and featuring the work of a sprawling assortment of artists from all over the web, the project has finally reached a print milestone. On May 1 at Portland, Oregon's Floating World Comics, fans got a chance to take in 16 pages of the project's original artwork in a special gallery, and also pick up a 96-page exhibition book collecting a selection of the project's sequential pages. ComicsAlliance dropped by to see the epic of Bart-turned-Kaneda and Milhouse-turned-Tetsuo in print and on the wall. Neo Springfield may or may not have E.X.P.L.O.D.E.d.
Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama is on a roll lately when it comes to expanding the lore of his 42-volume manga series. On top of completing his latest manga, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman and a 12-page Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z prelude story known as Dragon Ball Minus, the creator recently provided siblings Android 17 and Android 18 with some added backstory (and epilogue) in a Q&A in Shueisha's Saikyō Jump.
After a few years of relative quiet, Shotaro Ishinimori's Kikaider is set for a major resurgence. On May 18 a new version of the android hero will team with Kamen Rider Gaim in the 30th episode of the character's eponymous tokusatsu series to fight Kikaider's classic rival Hakaider. One week later on May 24 the conscience-circuit-equipped robot will star in a solo film, Kikaider REBOOT, which could result in an ongoing TV series. Though action figure fans will have to wait until April of 2015 to unbox it, Bandai Japan has opened preorders for a limited edition S.H. Figuarts action figure incarnation of the character's 1971 manga and TV style.
Metal Gear and Kinnikuman (a.k.a. M.U.S.C.L.E.) fans have some heavily-articulated action figure options on the horizon. Following a few years of concentrating on mid-to-larger-scale action figures, Kaiyodo's Revoltech line is returning to the more miniature market with "Revolmini" Solid Snake and Kinnikuman toys standing about 4.33-4.5" tall, respectively.
Earlier this month the latest entry into Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball canon arrived in the April 7th issue of Shonen Jump, officially tying together the creator's most beloved series with his recently completed (and potentially final solo) work Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. Dubbed Dragon Ball Minus, the 16-page tale spells out DB protagonist Goku's alien origins and how his doomed parents sent him to Earth, the planet readers meet him in-progress many years-- and a personality-altering head injury -- later in the pages of the original Dragon Ball manga. The hook here is that the story shows Goku's mother Gine for the first time while cementing that Jaco and Dragon Ball take place in the same universe.
Was this story necessary? Not at all. Will you like it anyway? Totally. It looks great, never takes itself too seriously (or seriously at all!) and feels like Toriyama is merely picking up where he left off.
On the off chance that you thought there was anywhere you could go to escape the presence of The Avengers now that they were the stars of a series of films that have taken in roughly 48 trillion dollars, don't fret: They are everywhere. Or, to be slightly more accurate, they're now in Japan, thanks to a series of comics designed to introduce Japanese children to Marvel's team of superheroes.
Created by Fujiminosuke Yorozuya as part of an effort to promote Marvel and Toie's new Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers anime, Marvel Avengers ran as a twelve-page one-shot in Monthly Korokoro Comic for kids, introducing Captain America, the Wasp, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and Spider-Man to younger readers in a lighthearted comedy.
Since 2009 Kodansha has printed a combined 30 million copies of Hajime Isayama's Attack On Titan manga, which so far includes 12 volumes and a number of spinoffs. That breaks down to around 16,438 volumes of manga a day for five years. Now, that may not seem like a ton in a market where the number one manga, One Piece, has sold more than 300 million (and counting) copies across 71 volumes since 1997, but one needs only look at North American comic sales numbers to concur that it's still a statistic worth celebrating. And celebrate they did last night at the Lazona Kawasaki Plaza shopping mall in Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki, Japan with a 200-foot-tall projection featuring the series signature man-eating Colossal Titan and the humans who fight them at something approaching a 1:1 scale.
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