"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

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Go Nagai's Classic Anime Series from Discotek


Japanese DVD release package art for MAZINGER Z! ©Toei Video

Hell has officially frozen over. I thought this would never happen...

Discotek Media, which had specialized in a number of Asian film releases on DVD for the US market, including several significant releases of Japanese live action and anime titles, such as Jun Fukuda's THE WAR IN SPACE (1977) and Rin Taro's GALAXY EXPRESS 999 (1979), recently announced that they had signed a deal with Toei Animation to issue the original 1978 anime series, SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK. And before we knew it, they actually released a complete box set for the Hayao Miyazaki/Yasuo Otsuka-helmed LUPIN THE 3RD series from 1971 (my personal favorite of the long-running franchise). Then, their balls got a whole lot bigger.

Japanese DVD release package art for CUTEY HONEY! ©Toei Video

This past Saturday, Discotek dropped a proverbial Photon Bomb when it was announced that they had secured the rights to not one, but two, classic anime titles created by the manga bad boy himself, Go Nagai: MAZINGER Z and CUTEY HONEY! The epoch-making series that launched the Super Robot genre, MAZINGER Z (1972-74), became a legend around the world (localized for the US market as "Tranzor Z" in the 1980s), and now all 92 episodes are to be issued in two box sets! Meanwhile, all 25 episodes of the original CUTEY HONEY (1973-74) will be issued in a single complete series box set. Both titles, in Japanese with English Subtitles, will drop in 2013.

With all of the other upcoming DVD/Blu-rays of Japanese genre titles which have recently hit the North American market, and those still to come in 2013, it looks like a banner year for U.S. fans, and Discotek isn't pulling any Rocket Punches, either. What's next? GETTER ROBO? GREAT MAZINGER? JEEG OF STEEL? UFO ROBO: GRENDIZER? As a hardcore Old Skool and Go Nagai fan, I can't wait — bring it on, Discotek Media, you magnificent bastards!


Unknown said...

Glad to see Mazinger coming! I hope to see some of the Showa Kamen Rider shows too if someone would approach the matter. Nice news August!

Buddy Cop Doug said...

This is great! Also, I've been on edge hoping that maybe they'll pick up Getter Robo since they licensed Shin Getter vs. Neo Getter.

CMR said...

Finally!! no more dodgy Hong Kong subs. Hope we see Getter Robo down the line.