"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog


Friday, May 20, 2016

RAGONE HOSTS "SUPER SENTAI SPECTACULAR" 2!
Shout Factory Marathon Streaming on May 21st

DISCOVER THE SECRET ORIGIN OF THE "POWER RANGERS"!


Dynamic ad for Shout! Facotry TV's new Super Sentai Spectacular!

For our fourth marathon with Shout! Factory TV, I'll be back hosting a three-hour streaming event featuring the original Japanese episodes of FIVE STAR TASK FORCE: DAIRANGER (1993), which will be blasting out onto digital screens across the web this Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 9:00 am Pacific/Noon Eastern at Shout Factory TV — for free!

This new marathon will feature the first seven episodes from one the original series that inspired the "Power Rangers", in Japanese with English subtitles. After fans have watched these first episodes during the "Super Sentai Spectacular", immediately following, all 50 episodes of DAIRANGER will become available on Shout! Factory TV.

As a returning host, I'll discuss the history of Super Sentai, setting the context as a long-time fan. My first experience with Super Sentai was watching the one that started it all: SECRET TASK FORCE: GORANGER in 1976 through 1977 on Sacramento's KMUV-31, San Francisco's KEMO-20 and Honolulu's KIKU-13. So, I'm a real OF (Original Fan).

As with our previous marathons, this will also be interactive: Join in on the conversation with myself and other Super Sentai fans, using the hashtag #Dairanger while you watch on TwitterFacebook, and on Pluto TV (Channel 515), or get the Pluto TV app for tablet and TV devices (Roku, Amazon Fire, Fire TV Stick, Android, Chromecast, and Apple Airplay), mobile (iOS, Android and Amazon), and on the web.

So, what's FIVE STAR TASK FORCE: DAIRANGER about?



The three Tribes of the Daos Empire — Shura, Dai and Gorma — were peaceful until the Gorma set out to conquer the planet, launching a magical war between the Gorma and Dai Tribes that lasted for 5,000 years. In the end, both civilizations were lost… until now. The evil Gorma have returned. Now, it’s up to Master Kaku to assemble a team of kids with high levels of Qi to become the protectors of the Earth known as the Dairangers!

Schedule of Episodes:*
09:05 am – L-e-e-et’s Tenshin!!!
09:30 am – I-i-i-it’s Qi-Power!!!
10:00 am – Your Souls, Please!
10:25 am – We’re Naïve!
10:55 am – The Jewels Have Come!
11:25 am – Wind, Cut Through!
11:50 am – Traito-o-or!

*Times listed are Pacific time, approximate and subject to change.

Charge up your Aura Changers, prepare to Qi Power Changeover, and join us for the "Super Sentai Spectacular" on Saturday, May 21st!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

KRAKEN RELEASING "THE RETURN OF GODZILLA"
First Time On US Home Video September 13th!

『ゴジラ』(1984)は米国のDVD&BLU-RAYに上陸!


The original, uncut Japanese original finally coming to US video!

Today, Houston-based Kraken Releasing (a label of Section23 Films, formerly ADV Films), having previously issued GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER (1966), GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH (1971) and GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (1972), announced their forthcoming release of THE RETURN OF GODZILLA (1984) for the first time ever on home video in North America this coming September 13th — and will be available in both DVD and Blu-ray editions!

While Koji Hashimoto's film was "Americanized" as GODZILLA 1985 by New World Pictures, featuring Raymond Burr reprising his role from GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS (1956), opening in the summer of 1985 at theaters nationwide (followed by record home video sales), the original, uncut Japanese version of Hashimoto's 1984 version has never been issued on home video in the US.

Kraken's press release mentions, but does not name GODZILLA 1985, which has been embroiled in an on-going dispute between Michigan-based home video label, Anchor Bay, who grandfathered the rights to the localization, and Toho International, which disputes those rights. Previously, Anchor Bay released that version on VHS, but subsequent plans for DVD and Blu-ray have been stymied by Toho.

In Kraken's press release, GODZILLA 1985 is downplayed as a "highly edited version that cut over twenty minutes of original footage and effects, changed key plot points and altered the dark dramatic tone and narrative by inserting additional scenes and humor in an attempt to 'Americanize' the film." And without addressing it directly, intimate that this version will not be included in their release.

Conversely, Kraken also trumpets their release with feature "both the original Japanese version with English subtitles, as well as an English dubbed version", which might lead one to believe that there are two, separate versions of the film in this release; one being the original Japanese theatrical release, simply titled GODZILLA, while the other being the export version, titled THE RETURN OF GODZILLA.

So, this is a case of six of one, a half dozen of the other. On the one hand, we finally have an official release of Hashimoto's uncut 1984 revival, including Toho's English dub commissioned for overseas sales; while on the other, we lose the R.J. Kizer Americanization, which was completely a product of the self-effacing, self-referential low-budget exploitation sensibilities of the '80s, which hasn't aged well.

And while both versions have been illusive on the home video front over the years, perhaps its best that Hashimoto's uncut original will finally have its time to shine and be evaluated outside of the shadow of it's American counterpart — for better or worse — and be allowed to stand on its own. It's time for THE RETURN OF GODZILLA.

Monday, May 16, 2016

ACE OF SPACE! "ULTRAMAN ACE" BLU-RAY BOX
Standard & Editions Dropping September 27th!

待望の『ウルトラマンA』がBLU-RAY BOXとなって登場します!


Jacket design for the latest HD 2.0 Remaster of the Ultra Series!

On September 27th, Tsuburaya Productions and Bandai Visual will be issuing the latest in their "HD Remaster 2.0" roster with ULTRAMAN ACE (1972) for the Japanese market in two editions. ULTRAMAN ACE was the fifth in the long running "Ultra Series", starting in 1966 with ULTRA Q, and the fourth featuring a titular "Ultraman" character.


Slipcase for the Blu-ray box of the 5th Ultra Series from 1972!

"Under the slogan, 'The Ultra Bottom Line: All-Out War', ULTRAMAN ACE made revolutionary turns, with Seiji Hokuto (Keiji Takamine) and Yuko Minami (Mitsuko Hoshi) merging into a singular Ultra Hero, the solidarity of the 'Ultra Brothers', and a powerful leader in the 'Father of Ultra', creating a show with great appeal."


Ultra Rings included with Special Edition (actual product may differ).

ULTRAMAN ACE is an exciting series that captures the transition from the classic giant monster scenario into the "Henshin Heroes" boom, exemplified by Kamen Rider. Showcasing bizarre creatures, colorful action, as well as a man and a woman forming a singular superhero, ULTRAMAN ACE is among the best of the '70s Ultra Series!

STANDARD EDITION
52 half-hour episodes/1319 minutes
9 Discs (All Region)/Linear PCM (Stereo/Mono)
AVC/BD50G/1080p HD/4:3
Subtitles: Japanese
MSRP ¥29800 ($273.70 USD)

SPECIAL EDITION: Amazon Japan Exclusive (First Printing)
52 half-hour episodes/1319 minutes + 60 min. (Bonus Disc)
10 Discs (All Region)/Linear PCM (Stereo/Mono)
AVC/BD50G/1080p HD/4:3
Subtitles: Japanese
Bonus Disc (Staff & Cast interviews, etc.)
Replica "Ultra Rings" pair set
Special 78-page Booklet
MSRP ¥49800 ($457.38 USD)

Friday, May 13, 2016

X-PLUS LAUNCHES THE SUPER SENTAI ROBO LINE
Gigantic Series "Daizyujin" (Zyuranger) in July!

ギガンティックシリーズ 恐竜戦隊ジュウレンジャーの「大獣神」!


X-Plus' first "Super Sentai Robo Gigantic" release: Daizyujin!

Best known for their large-scale, highly detailed and photo-realistic vinyl kaiju figures from a myriad of Japanese monster movies, Osaka-based X-Plus Toys, has just announced a departure from their usual suspects of Godzilla kith & kin as a part of their "Gigantic Series" run of 40cm (15-3/4") pieces. The inaugural entry in their "Super Sentai Robo" line drops this coming summer from Shonen Ric:


The detailed work of X-Plus is apparent even in this rear view.

"Daizyujin" from "Dinosaur Task Force: Zyuranger" (1992) — perhaps better known to fans outside of Japan as the "Dino Megazord" seen in the US adaptation, "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"! Now, for the first time, famous giant robots from Toei's long-running Super Sentai series are to be issued as large, vinyl display pieces — not in hard plastic nor diecast metal.


Daizyujin wielding the mighty "Godhorn, the Dinosaur Blade"!

While the figure itself has limited moving parts and poseability, the head, shoulders, and wrists can be moved. The bonus here are the major weapons, such as the  "Kyoryuken" sword and the "Mammoth Sheild", two sets of fists (one to hold the respective weapons), and a stand for the shield. Of course, the great appeal of this piece is its sheer size and incredible detail.


At the ready with the "Kyoryuken" and the "Mammoth Sheild"!

"Daizyujin" is now scheduled for release this coming July and is listed to retail for ¥24800 ($227.30 USD). Stay tuned for the future entries in this exciting new line-up from X-Plus in conjunction with Plex — I'm hoping for the giant robots from "Bioman" and "Sun Vulcan"!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

"HEISEI GAMERA" 4K DIGITAL RESTORATION BOX
Ultimate Blu-ray Package Dropping July 22nd!

平成ガメラ4Kデジタル復元版 BLU-RAY BOXが7月22日に発売される。


Jacket design for "Heisei Gamera 4k Digital Restoration Blu-ray Box"!

Hitting Japanese shelves this July 22nd will be a special six-disc Blu-ray box set containing the ultimate 4k restorations of all four of the Heisei Gamera films, including Shusuke Kaneko's 1990s trilogy and Ryuta Tasaki's GAMERA THE BRAVE (2006), the latter film in its first domestic BD release. For fans of the 1990s trilogy, at the very least, this set boasts the ultimate restorations of the films ever issued on any home video format.


The guts of this ultimate Blu-ray box are spilled for the first time!

The first disc of special features includes the 30-second teaser for the proposed new, upcoming film, director Kaneko's on-stage talk show from the March 20, 2016 4k screening of his trilogy, as well as Chukyo TV's 1996 documentary aired during the release of GAMERA 2: ASSAULT OF LEGION (apparently, Kadokawa's new English-language title for the film). But, wait! That's not all...


One of the 750 unpublished photos included in the special book!

Rounding out the first special features disc are original series director Noriaki Yuasa's "Gamera Special" Volumes 1 & 2 (issued on VHS in the early '90s), as well as the entirety of special features created for the original "Ultimate Box" Laserdisc set, which is pretty intensive. While the second special features disc contains an astounding 380-minutes (that's six-and-a-half hours) of interviews with 95 staff members who worked on the films! Hold on! There's more...


Three-sixth view of the soon-to-be-released Blu-ray box set!

Also contained in this ultimate digipak box set are two booklets; one not being a "booklet" at all: "G I-III Sfx & Art: Photographs" features 200 pages of 750 unpublished photographs of artwork and props from the '90s Trilogy. While the "G I-IV Complement Books (sic)" is 32-pages of interviews on the 4k restoration, updated and revised materials from the original Laserdisc booklets, and Shinji Higuchi's LD jacket designs for those releases. MSRP: ¥38000 ($349.00 USD).

To trumpet this release, these 4k restorations of Kaneko's Trilogy will be screened for three weeks, starting June 22nd through July 2nd, at United Cinemas Toyosu in Tokyo. Schedule and further details will be announced on June 1st via the theater's official website (Japanese only). While the new-old Gamera is back, can we still look forward to a new-new Gamera to love in the future? Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 8, 2016

"KING KONG VS. GODZILLA" 4K REMASTER SHOTS
Teaser Compares Old Master & New Restoration!

4Kリマスター完全版『キングコング対ゴジラ』の比較ショット!



On October 1st of 2015, I reported on the then-upcoming Nihon Eiga Senmon Channel's satellite cable broadcast of a newly-complete and restored version of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (read more here), which was followed up this past May 1st's breaking story on the 4k remaster of the film, which has been in sore need of a proper restoration for more than forty years (read more here).



Here are screenshots from a teaser trailer that just began running, comparing the 2015 restoration with the 2016 4k Remaster bowing on the satellite cable provider this coming July. The full teaser trailer was unavailable at press time, but will be featured in a future update once it has been uploaded by NESC. For now, there are eight images for you to compare.



Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on this story as they break!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

4K REMASTERING OF "KING KONG VS. GODZILLA"
Premiering During Satellite Cable Retrospective

4Kデジタルリマスター完全版『キングコング対ゴジラ』!


Toho's original Japanese Theatrical Program Booklet from 1962.

STOP THE PRESSES: Yes, you heard that right! Just two years after a satellite cable broadcast of the 1962 monster mash, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, boasting it as the "complete version" (read more here), it was announced to the media last night, that a 4k restoration scan of the film was recently completed in Japan. Toho's extensive 4k digital "remaster" will premiere this July — but wait, that's not all!


The on-screen announcement (photo courtesy Kazuki Kishimoto).

Between June and August, 2016, the satellite cable outfit, Nihon Eiga Senmon Channel (Japanese Movie Speciality Channel), will be running "Godzilla: First Impact"; a retrospective hosted by several celebrities, who introduce the first Godzilla movie they saw, and what that film means to them. The retrospective commemorates the July 29th bow of Anno Hideaki and Shin Higuchi's GODZILLA RESURGENCE.


Nihon Eiga Senmon will rebroadcast the 4k restoration of GODZILLA.

In June, the 4k digital remaster of Ishiro Honda's GODZILLA (1954) will be hosted by actor and musician Ryudo Uzaki, who starred in Shusuke Kaneko's GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (2001). Also that month, Kazuki Omori's GODZILLA VS MOTHRA (1992) will be hosted by gravure model-turned-actress, Manami Hashimoto (Onechanbara).


Pin-up model Hashimoto will host GODZILLA VS MOTHRA (1992).

Honda's 1954 original will repeat in July, this time hosted by Hiroki Hasegawa and Satomi Ishihara, the stars of the upcoming GODZILLA RESURGENCE. Film producer Toshimichi Otsuki (Evangelion: 3.0) will introduce Jun Fukuda's SON OF GODZILLA (1967), while actor Shiro Sano (Godzilla 2000) will host the premiere of the "complete digital restoration" of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA — very exciting news!


The kaiju family that stays together... SON OF GODZILLA (1967).

Judoka Silver Medalist, Shinichi Shinohara, will host Omori's GODZILLA VS KING GHIDORAH (1991). Nihon Eiga Senmon has stated that there will be a total of ten celebrities, meaning that more titles and hosts are to be revealed. In the meantime, they have also announced a 24-hour Marathon of Big G movies on the eve of GODZILLA RESURGENCE, including broadcasts of five features and shorts by Anno.

Those screening during the marathon are LOVE & POP (1998), RITUAL DAY (2000), METEOR MANAGER (2002), CUTIE HONEY (2004), and THE GIANT GOD WARRIOR APPEARS IN TOKYO (2012).


GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH (1991) will get an Olympic treatment.

Additionally, the celebration of Godzilla movies will also be extended to broadcasts of both Emmerich and Edwards' 1998 and 2014 feature films on Nihon Eiga Senmon's "Sunday Movie Theater". While all of this Godzilla Goodness is going to be fantastic for those in Japan to enjoy — by far, I'm the most excited by this 4k restoration of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, naturally. And so should we all.


VHS cover for the original Toho Video release from June 1985.

When I saw the first restoration (stitched together with a worn 16mm anamorphic print) on Toho Video's VHS/Beta release way back in '85, the film was only 23 years old — now, it's 54 years old! So, you could say that this 4k digital remaster of the "complete version" has been a very, very long time coming.

(Special thanks to master kaiju artist, Yuji Kaida, for the heads up!)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"SHIN GODZILLA" STATIONARY MAQUETTE NO. 1
Model Displayed at Nico-Nico Super Conference!

ニコニコ超会議、シン・ゴジラ1号雛型!


Maquette No. 1 on display at the Nico-Nico Conference this weekend.


First model produced for CG animators to render for the film.


This large-scale reference model is incredibly and infinitely detailed.


From this angle, this maquette is unmistakably classic Godzilla.


This production maquette also recalls the original 1954 creation.


Amazing detail on the classic-style Big G dorsal plates in this shot.


Fantastic shot of dorsal plates and tail reminiscent of Godzilla '54.


Does it seem that the tail's end is a fusion of marine life skeletons?

(Photos by Takao Yoshiba, Konfunk, Perori, and others via Twitter)

Stay tuned to this blog for further news on GODZILLA RESURGENCE as it develops! The film bows nationwide in Japan on July 29th. Check out the official website (Japanese only): shin-godzilla.jp

Here are my previous reports on GODZILLA RESURGENCE:
April 16, 2016: Bandai's Quartet of "Shin Godzilla" Sofubi
April 14, 2016: Behold! First "Shin Godzilla" Retail Figure
April 13, 2016: Toho's Upcoming "Shin Godzilla" Revealed
January 3, 2016: Toho's New "Godzilla Resurgence" Exposed
December 11, 2015: Meet the"Godzilla Resurgence" Composer
December 10, 2015: The "Godzilla Resurgence" English Poster!
December 9, 2015: Japanese Press Reveals Shin Godzilla's Size
December 9, 2015: Scoop! Teaser for "Godzilla Resurgence"
December 9, 2015: Here's Your Big G in "Godzilla Resurgence"!
November 12, 2015: "Shin Godzilla" Promo Reel Screens at AFM!"
September 22, 2015: Toho Announces Three Principal Cast Members!
September 6, 2015: Shooting Begins on Toho's "Godzilla 2016"!
August 1, 2015: Did These Men Design Toho's New Big G?
April 1, 2015: The Directors of "Godzilla 2016" Speak!
March 31, 2015: "Evangelion" Creator Helms New "Godzilla"!
December 7, 2014: The "Japanese Godzilla" Will Rise Again!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

APRIL 27, 1956: "GODZILLA" UNLEASHED IN U.S.
The Big G's American Bow 60 Years Ago Today!

60年後のアメリカ版『ゴジラ』!


The original one-sheet that greeted moviegoers on this date.

"This is Tokyo… a smoldering memorial to the unknown… an unknown which at this very moment still prevails, and could at any time, can lash out with its terrible destruction anywhere else in the world."


The State's huge marquee trumpeting the "King of the Monsters"!

Today marks the sixth decade in which moviegoers at Loew's State Theater in New York City first heard that great opening narration by Raymond Burr and GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! was loosed upon an unsuspecting public... But, how did it happen? How did this Japanese-made kaiju creature feature come to our shores on that 27th day of April in 1956?


Richard Kay and Harold Ross' 1953 cheapie wasn't a jewel at all.

In 1955, producers Richard Kay, Harry Rybnick, and Harold Ross of Jewell Enterprises (Untamed Women), purchased the international rights to GODZILLA from Edmund Goldman of Manson Distributing Corporation (later known as Manson International), who discovered it via Toho's then-US attorney, Paul B. Schreibman (who was also in the distribution business with Topaz Films). Okay, my head is spinning... Anyone need a scorecard?


Producer Joseph E. Levine (1905-1987), Getty/Jack Mitchell photo.

With a potential big hit on their hands, they foresaw a problem in moviegoers accepting an all-Asian cast film. Additional investment from distribution maverick Joseph E. Levine (Walk Into Hell), Terry Turner (Should a Girl Marry?), and Ed Barison (The Golden Mistress), for a cut of the action, they decided to produce new scenes, helmed by veteran film editor Terry O. Morse (Fog Island) and written by Al C. Ward (Perry Mason), featuring an American foreign correspondent, recounting the narrative in flashback.


Morse's 1945 debut with former Universal stars Zucco and Atwill!

Kay and Rybnick brought in actor Raymond Burr, featured as the killer in Alfred Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW (1954), to play the starring role of "Steve Martin" (this was long before public heard of the comedian of the same name), and for just stepping in for insert scenes, Burr turned in a solid and somber performance — reportedly shot in five days. Japanese-American real estate agent and character actor, Frank Iwanaga (The Frogmen), played the part of Burr's interpreter, security officer "Tomo Iwanaga".


The one and only... Raymond William Stacey Burr (1917-1993).

Counter to what some critics have written recently, Morse's footage (shot by Guy Roe) was cleverly inserted into the original — although moviegoers weren't completely fooled. In retrospect, it's obvious that when Burr speaks to Dr. Yamane, it's not actor Takashi Shimura, but a double. In order to accommodate the new footage, the picture was extensively cut, rendering all the characters (save for Dr. Serizawa) less dimensional than in Honda's original.


Turner's 1960 doc-spoiltation symptomatic of his promotional style.  

While much attention was paid to what was going on in a particular scene, not that much attention was given to what was being said in Japanese (several scenes feature characters speaking out of context). Morse was probably thinking, "Who is ever going to notice?", and at the time, he was right. Dubbing only minimal footage seemed wise, since this was one of the early attempts at this technique used to prepare a foreign film for American audiences.


Lurid fare post-GODZILLA from Rybnick, Kay and Barison, 1958.

The voice dubbing talent was led by the loquacious character actor, James Hong (Big Trouble In Little China), Sammee Tong (Bachelor Father), and an as yet-to-be-identified female Asian-American actor, recording all of their dialogue over three long days, and according to Hong, without the actors ever seeing any of the footage.


You really see nothing in this 1958 Kay-Rybnick monsterless movie.

Despite the seemingly rushed schedule for Morse's inserts (and toning down the original's nuclear theme), they still manage to maintain a gritty, moody, near Film Noir feel, lending this adaptation a life all its own. In fact, Toho was compliant and well aware of the steps taken in making this adaptation — from the changes to the original, as well as approving Ward's English-language screenplay (Schreibman was Toho's LA attorney, after all).


Turner and Thompson's ballyhoo was as big as the monster, itself. (From the April 4, 1956 issue of "Variety"; owned by the author.)

Considering the producers' résumés, it was no small feat Morse had created a miracle, unlike the amateurish butcher jobs that would kill films like GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1955) and KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (1962). The work of Honda, Tsuburaya and Ifukube still shines through in GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! (and pretty potent stuff for US audiences in 1956), not diminishing its status as the greatest of the "Monster-on-the-Loose" spectacles of the period.


Newspaper ad for Loew's Poli Palace in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Based on those strengths, the film went on to huge international box-office success — which is why, 60 years after GODZILLA was unleashed in the US — not only has the world never been the same again, we're still talking about both Honda's and the version with that newspaper man who went onto a successful career as a lawyer.

With new films being produced by both Toho and Legendary pictures, Godzilla is still the undisputed King of the Monsters, as he stomps towards his centenary.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

BANDAI'S QUARTET OF "SHIN GODZILLA" SOFUBI
Four Godzilla 2016 Figures? What Does It Mean?

バンダイの「シン•ゴジラ」ソフビで新発売!


Page one of two from Bandai's Sales Sheet for "Shin Godzilla".

Japan's giant juggernaut toy company, Bandai, recently issued their advance sales sheets for upcoming toy releases, with two pages (just making rounds on the internet) featuring their first run of toys — soft vinyl figures — based on the new Big G design appearing in Hideaki Anno's GODZILLA RESURGENCE, hitting Japanese screens on July 29th. And there's some interesting (albeit wafer-thin) info that is provoking some speculation in my kaiju-addled brain.

The top half of the ad page shows a graphic that is a promotion plan leading up to the release of the film — nothing really exciting  there (based on the scant details therein). But, it's the bottom half of the ad page that is the most intriguing — and detail-filled payoff if one can read Japanese (who has two thumbs?). Three vinyl figures are to be issued, but the details of which may harbor a spoiler...

First, the non-spoiler news: Bandai's initial roll-out will be a 16.5 cm (6.5") vinyl figure of Shin Godzilla, labeled as "Godzilla 2016", the official name designation for licensing and merchandizing. Under the "Movie Monster Series" banner,  this tagged figure will come 24 pieces per case, and will retail for ¥2000 ($18.50 USD). Preorders open on April 29th and will hit retailers at the end of July.

Now, here come the possible spoilers: The next pair of "Godzilla 2016" figures not only both share the same line, "(Tentative) Movie Monster Series", as well as size (16.5 cm) and retail price (¥1600/$15 USD), will come 48 to a case, are listed for release on August 1st, and both with the same catalogue designation of "Godzilla 2016", almost, with one slight — but very important — difference between them:

One has been labeled as "Godzilla 2016: Monster A" while the other is labeled "Godzilla 2016: Monster B".  With these points of fact, there comes to mind only three possible answers:

One is that there are two different kaiju appearing in this film facing off with Godzilla, or appear somewhere in the story. At this late juncture, any other kaiju would require its name being registered and labeled in order to be advanced to retailers, unless the names are undergoing trademark registration. This is contrary to statements made by both Toho and the filmmakers, who've explicitly stated this is a "Japan vs. Godzilla" scenario, only.

If two guest mon-stars are not a possibility, are we to believe that there are two separate and individual Big Gs appearing in flashback or flash-forward sequences? Is it possible that there could be two forms of the same King of the Monsters, perhaps regenerating — or degenerating — during the story? Like some kaiju version of "The Incredible Melting Man"?

Or could the Big G going through a regeneration lend credence to the film's English title, "Godzilla Resurgence"? Only time will tell.


Page two of two from Bandai's Sales Sheet for "Shin Godzilla".

Meanwhile, the second page of Bandai's sales sheet reveals reissues of Bandai America's "Bandai Creation" line, under the banner "King of the Monsters Series". The first two, coming this July, will be "Final Godzilla" and "Mechagodzilla" (Kiryu), measuring 28cm (11") and 30cm (11.8"), respectfully. The latest edition to this line will be the new "Godzilla 2016", measuring 28cm (11"), is expected to drop in August. All three will retail for ¥4800 ($44.13 USD) each.

The bottom half of the second page heralds the revival of Bandai's "Movie Monster Series", kicking off at the end of July with "Millennium Godzilla", measuring 16cm (6.4"), listing for ¥1600 ($15 USD), and "Mechagodzilla 2004" (Kiryu), measuring 17cm (6.7"), listing for ¥1800 ($16.55 USD). Bandai's website is also listing a reissue of many of the 16cm vinyl figures in the "Movie Monster Series", to debut in July — which is shaping up to the "Month of Godzilla" this year in Japan.

(Special thanks to Astounding Beyond Belief)

Stay tuned to this blog for further news on GODZILLA RESURGENCE as it develops! Official website (Japanese only): shin-godzilla.jp

Here are my previous reports on GODZILLA RESURGENCE:
April 14, 2016: Behold! First "Shin Godzilla" Retail Figure
April 13, 2016: Toho's Upcoming "Shin Godzilla" Revealed
January 3, 2016: Toho's New "Godzilla Resurgence" Exposed
December 11, 2015: Meet the"Godzilla Resurgence" Composer
December 10, 2015: The "Godzilla Resurgence" English Poster!
December 9, 2015: Japanese Press Reveals Shin Godzilla's Size
December 9, 2015: Scoop! Teaser for "Godzilla Resurgence"
December 9, 2015: Here's Your Big G in "Godzilla Resurgence"!
November 12, 2015: "Shin Godzilla" Promo Reel Screens at AFM!"
September 22, 2015: Toho Announces Three Principal Cast Members!
September 6, 2015: Shooting Begins on Toho's "Godzilla 2016"!
August 1, 2015: Did These Men Design Toho's New Big G?
April 1, 2015: The Directors of "Godzilla 2016" Speak!
March 31, 2015: "Evangelion" Creator Helms New "Godzilla"!
December 7, 2014: The "Japanese Godzilla" Will Rise Again!