Friday, 13 October 2017

First Impressions: Infini-T Force

Infini-T
Infini-T Force is available in streaming form on Viz Media (US Only)

Tatsunoko Production love a good anniversary, and what better way to celebrate their 55th birthday than with a crossover of some of the many superhero shows they've produced over the years? Infini-T Force brings together the likes of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Hurricane Polymar, Neo Human Casshan and Tekkaman in one universe-spanning CGI action series, co-produced with production company Digital Frontier (whose previous works include the likes of the Appleseed movies, live-action Death Note movies as well as an impressive resume of video game cut scenes).

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

First Impressions: Time Bokan: The Villains' Strike Back

Time Bokan: The Villains' Strike Back
Time Bokan: The Villains' Strike Back is available in streaming form on Crunchyroll

One of the weirder additions to the history books last year was Time Bokan 24 - the newest instalment in Tatsunoko Productions' popular Time Bokan series of shows. And while the show ended in March with confirmation that a second season was indeed in the works, it has now returned under the new title Time Bokan: The Villains' Strike Back. So prepare for twenty-something more episodes of time travelling shenanigans with famous figures from across the ages, only this time something feels different...

Monday, 9 October 2017

First Impressions: Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2

Love Live! Sunshine!! Season 2
Love Live! Sunshine!! is available in streaming form on Crunchyroll

Though the Love Live! hype train certainly hasn't shown any signs of stopping over the past few years it's time for it to hit full steam once again as the second season of Love Live! Sunshine!! is finally upon us. When we last left the girls of Aquours they still weren't any closer to saving their school from closure, but they had gotten their first taste of the stage at the regional qualifiers as well as realised that they need to forge their own path instead of simply following in μ's' shadow. Now we're back for another 13 episodes of seaside song times, as Chika, You, Riko, Dia, Kanan, Mari, Yoshiko, Hanamaru and Ruby continue their path to idoldom.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

First Impressions: GARO: Vanishing Line

GARO: Vanishing Line
GARO: Vanishing Line is available (in selected territories) in streaming form on Crunchyroll

Even though Zero: Dragon Blood only finished it's run back in April, it feels like it's been an eternity since the last GARO series was airing. That just goes to show how widespread the franchise has become in the last decade, going from a tokusatsu that aired a new season every couple of years to a full-blown franchise spanning multiple timelines and even branching into animation. And speaking of the latter, it's now back for a third anime season - GARO: Vanishing Line. Once again animated by MAPPA, the latest instalment of GARO: The Animation is another standalone series featuring a brand new Golden Knight as well as its own unique setting.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Spider Man


Release Date: August 2017
RRP: 6264 yen (Japanese Edition), $99.99/£99.99 (Western Edition)

S.H. Figuarts may have released an impressive number of Marvel Cinematic Universe figures over the past few years but there’s always been one character collectors have been clamouring for. Rival lines Revoltech, Figma and Mafex have all done him in the past, but now with the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming it’s time for Bandai to finally take a crack at everyone’s friendly neighbourhood wall-crawler. S.H. Figuarts Spider-Man is the newest mass release figure from the MCU range, not only retailing in Japan but also arriving in the West as part of a special DX set akin to Bluefin Tamashii Nations' previous Iron Man Mk III and Doctor Strange releases.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Nappa


Release Date: August 2017
RRP: 7560 yen

The S.H. Figuarts line is full of prototypes that never saw the light of day and the Dragon Ball line is no exception. The series may have recently hit a sweet spot where new releases are coming in at a better rate, but that doesn’t change the fact that the whereabouts of Kid Buu, Maijin Vegeta, GT Goku and Jaco the Galactic Patrolman are still unknown. But arguably one of the most anticipated among these was Nappa. First appearing way back in 2012, Nappa immediately faded into the unknown until the Dragon Ball line got a new lease on life – and with that Nappa also got a brand new figure. The new and improved S.H. Figuarts Nappa is now on par with the newly released Saiyan Saga Vegeta figure, with Nappa himself released as a Tamashii web exclusive in Japan as well as the usual wider release in the US via Bluefin Tamashii Nations.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Movie REVIEW: Ultraman Orb the Movie: Lend Me the Power of Bonds!

Ultraman Orb the Movie: Lend Me the Power of Bonds!

Since the debut of Ultraman X in 2015 and the introduction of Crunchyroll’s worldwide simulcasting the Ultra Series has gone from strength to strength, and the popularity of last year’s Ultraman Orb only further solidified this new generation of Ultraman as a franchise to be reckoned with once more. Not content with just returning in the form of Amazon Prime prequel series Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga, the cast also returned for one last hurrah in this feature-length film, entitled Ultraman Orb the Movie: Lend Me the Power of Bonds! As well as crossing over with other new generation Ultras X, Ginga and Victory, Lend Me the Power of Bonds! also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Ultraseven – much like how X movie Here It Comes! Our Ultraman celebrated the same milestone for the original Ultraman the year before.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Skull


Release Date: August 2017
RRP: 6480 yen

When the S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou line kicked off three years ago many assumed it would prioritise brand new versions of the titular Kamen Riders of each series (along with the few forgotten ones), with their order based on their original release dates in the mainline. While this has remained somewhat true, the line has now grown to accommodate villains, alternate forms and additional riders – both as mass release figures and Tamashii web exclusives. Given the popularity of Kamen Rider W, it’s no surprise to see that the line’s first movie Rider is (and as a retail release no less) S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Skull. First appearing in Kamen Rider x Decade & W: Movie War 2010 before later getting his own segment the following year in Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider OOO & W featuring Skull: Movie War Core, Kamen Rider Skull aka Sokichi Narumi is the founder of the Narumi Detective Agency, Shotaro’s mentor and of course Akiko’s father.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Origin


Release Date: August 2017
RRP: 5940 yen

The biggest downside to the Ultra-Act line coming to an end and the Ultra Series being incorporated into S.H. Figuarts is everything began afresh. With Ultraman Ginga the last “new” Ultra-Act and Figuarts going all the way back to the original Ultraman, newer Ultras such as Victory or X have sadly gone without high-quality articulated figures. However things are about to change, as Bandai Tamashii Nations launch a number of Figuarts releases from 2016’s Ultraman Orb and start a new wave of modern Ultraman figures. Kicking things off were a double bill of figures based on Orb’s true form – S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Origin released as a general retail figure, while S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Origin The First (based on his appearance in the Amazon Prime exclusive Ultraman Orb The Origin Saga) was unsurprisingly released as an Amazon exclusive.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Movie REVIEW: Kamen Rider x Super Sentai: Chou Super Hero Taisen

Chou Super Hero Taisen

If there’s one thing that tokusatsu fans seem to almost unanimously agree on, it’s that the Super Hero Taisen films aren’t that great. While both the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises often excel at smaller crossovers, when the two come together it’s less of an excuse to tell a really good story and more to just cram as many characters/suits on screen as humanly possible. After taking a break last year to make way for the brilliant Kamen Rider 1, the now annual film series is back sounding louder than ever in 2017 with Kamen Rider x Super Sentai: Chou Super Hero Taisen. After previous two instalments Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen and Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3 were almost entirely Rider focused, this film marks the first proper crossover on the two franchises on the big screen since 2014’s Super Hero Taisen Z.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

Kamen Rider is a franchise that genuinely sticks to tradition, but every so often there comes a series that just seems to completely break away from the norm be it visually or thematically. With the titular Rider’s neon pink bodysuit, moulded hair helmet and anime-like eyes, it was immediately clear that Kamen Rider Ex-Aid was going to be one of those shows. Written by Lupin III Part 4’s Yuya Takahashi (who previously worked on Drive’s Type Tokujo specials as well as the Super Sentai-inspired Eight Ranger) and directed by Toei veteran Shojiro Nakazawa (head director for Kamen Rider Wizard as well as numerous Sentai series), Ex-Aid brings video games and medicine together as it celebrates 45 years of the long-running franchise.

Monday, 4 September 2017

First Impressions: Kamen Rider Build

Kamen Rider Build

Isn’t it amazing how quickly a year can fly by? Roughly this time last year Kamen Rider fans were looking forward to video games and medicine with Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, and now it’s the time of bottles, combos and equations with Kamen Rider Build. Written by franchise newcomer Shogo Muto and directed by Ryuta Tasaki (Kamen Rider Gaim, Gingaman, Akibaranger), the 19th Heisei Rider series (and 28th in total) may not only bring a close to this generation of Kamen Riders but will also mark a brand new timeslot for the show. As of October, Super Hero Time will be not only be moving 90 minutes forward to 9:00-10:00am JST but additionally Kamen Rider will begin airing before Super Sentai. While unlikely to bring about any real change, it is an interesting bit of trivia for those who still follow when these shows air in Japan.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Space Squad: Gavan vs. Dekaranger

Space Squad: Gavan vs Dekaranger

Crossovers can be a strange thing. Sometimes they can pair up the most unexpected of things (take the recent DC Comics/Looney Tunes crossover for example) and others are such perfect match ups that you can’t believe they didn’t happen sooner. The pairing of Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger and Space Sheriff Gavan definitely counts as the latter. After the roaring success of their 10 Years After special, the space-cop Super Sentai team are back once again and teaming up with the new Gavan, Geki Jumonji – who took on the mantle in the 2012 Gavan movie and subsequently appeared in Super Hero Taisen Z as well as the Next Generation Sharivan and Shaider movies. Space Squad: Gavan vs. Dekaranger isn’t just a match made in heaven, it’s one with its sights set on the wider Sentai and Metal Heroes universes as well.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Amazon Sigma


Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 6696 yen

The second season of Kamen Rider Amazons may have come and gone, but the S.H. Figuarts line still has a few characters from the first season up its sleeve before kicking off season two with Kamen Rider Amazon Neo in October. The first of these two Tamashii web exclusive releases is S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Amazon Sigma, which will be followed by Mamoru/Mole Amazon also in October. Amazon Sigma is the resurrected Peston Service member Jun Maehara, his corpse reanimated with Amazon Cells to become Nozama’s ultimate Amazon killing machine.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Girls in Trouble: Space Squad Episode Zero

Girls in Trouble: Space Squad Episode Zero

While Toei tokusatsu hero crossovers have become fairly commonplace these days thanks to the annual Super Hero Taisen movies, every so often one rolls around that promises something really special. The Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger  and Space Sheriff Gavan crossover Space Squad: Gavan vs. Dekaranger is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated events in sometime – bringing together these space-faring heroes in a crossover that not only sounds good on paper but also makes perfect sense continuity-wise as well. But before we get onto the main action there’s also Girls in Trouble: Space Squad Episode Zero – a prologue V-cinema release starring Jasmine/Deka Yellow and Umeko/Deka Pink as well as the new Space Sheriff assistants Shelly, Sisi and Tammy.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Gomora


Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 8964 yen

It’s only been a year, but already the Ultraman S.H. Figuarts line has spawned a nice variety of monsters and aliens to go along with the iconic silver giants. However while these releases may have been varied they still all have one thing in common – they’re all humanoid designs that wouldn’t look that out of place in the usual Figuarts packaging. That all changes with the release of S.H. Figuarts Gomora – the first "kaiju-esque" creature to appear in the line. As mass release figure, this is the fourth monster to be released from the original Ultraman series – with Alien Dada still set to follow this November. Originally appearing in the two-part story The Prince of Monsters, Gomora was the first kaiju to battle Ultraman to a draw and has since gone on to become more than just an opponent – acting as both friend and ally in later instalments of the franchise.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Vegeta [2017]


Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 5616 yen

With Dragon Ball Super now over 100 episodes in, it’s fair to say that the Dragon Ball franchise is back in a big way. The same goes for its S.H. Figuarts line too, which has crawled back from the odd web exclusive every so often to a string of regular releases that are both retail and exclusive. August will see the long awaited release of S.H. Figuarts Nappa, with Tienshinhan and Yamcha figures to follow the end of the year. With so many Saiyan Saga-era figures coming, it seems only fitting that there’s also a brand new S.H. Figuarts Vegeta based on his original antagonistic appearance – finally getting the retail release treatment he deserves like the Super Saiyan version did last year.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Kamen Rider Ghost RE:BIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter

Kamen Rider Ghost REBIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter

While many will argue that Kamen Rider Ghost is a series that suffered from a number of problems, even its fans often agree that Makoto Fukami could have been handled far better. After initially making a strong debut opposing Takeru’s collection of the Eyecons, Kamen Rider Specter quickly fell into the background as he joined the heroes’ side – lacking in personality and only highlighted by an often confusing evil doppelganger subplot. But even though the show’s now over there’s still a chance to salvage his character in Kamen Rider Ghost RE:BIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter – a V-cinema release following Makoto and Alain’s continued mission in the Ganma world following the show’s conclusion.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Freyja Wion


Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 5940 yen

"Junbi wa iinka ne?"

After years of wishing, waiting and seeing prototypes that get release on show at various Tamashii Nations events, the idols of the Macross franchise are finally getting some love from the S.H. Figuarts line. After kicking the Walküre girls off with Mikumo Guynemer, Bandai are continuing the line with their second Macross Delta release – S.H. Figuarts Freyja Wion. The idol from Windermere and newest Walküre member is another retail release for the line, with the fates of Kaname, Makina and Reina still unknown. With their releases quite likely riding on the success of Mikumo and Freyja, these figures need to count if we ever want to see more Macross Figuarts in the future.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Custom Figure: TV21 Dalek Comics Menoid Master Mechanoid



The Menoid Master is the leader of the Mechanoids in the TV21 Dalek comic strips, which told the story of Dalek history and conquests in world outside of Doctor Who. Whereas the Mechanoids that appeared in The Chase were simply robots that were abandoned on the planet Mechanus, the Mechanoids of the comics were a different story. As the Daleks began their plans for conquest across the cosmos, the Mechanoids were among their earliest opposition – warning them to stay away from their territory. War was narrowly avoided thanks to the efforts of the Zerovians, but the Mechanoids were still wary of the Daleks and continued to consider them enemies.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Movie REVIEW: Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament

Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament

It's amazing how fast time flies. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's big 35th anniversary bash was a whole six years ago, which means now Super Sentai's 40th anniversary has now passed us as well. That said, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger still has a few last hurrahs left in it - not just presumably from next year's vs. series movie but also their obligatory epilogue movie, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Returns: Give Me Your Life! Earth Champion Tournament! When we last left the Zyuohgers quite a lot had changed for planet Earth, and we rejoin Yamato, Leo, Sela, Tusk, Amu and Misao as part of this brave new world.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Nendoroid Link Breath of the Wild Ver. DX Edition


 Release Date: July 2017
RRP: 4167 yen (Standard Edition), 5370 yen (DX Edition)

Continuing in their goal to seemingly make a new Link figure for every Legend of Zelda game going forwards, Good Smile Company are back again with Nendoroid Link: Breath of the Wild Ver. in both standard in DX Editions. While some are surely thinking “do we really need yet another Link figure?”, when it comes from one of the most popular Zelda games of all time and is based on a design that’s a significant departure from the usual one the answer is most definitely yes. Breath of the Wild Link is the third Link Nendoroid (following on from the Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask versions) and the sixth overall including the three Figma releases. It’s also the second to be released in 2017, coming only a few months after the release of Figma Link Twilight Princess Ver.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar Set 02


Release Date: June 2017
RRP: 3078 yen (3 boxes)

As anyone who's bought Bandai toys in the past can attest to, one is never enough. So when Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar was released earlier this year, it was inevitable that the model kit was going to be followed up with either upgrade parts of another robot from The King of Braves GaoGaiGar. Lo and behold a few short months later we have Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar Set 02, an upgrade set which includes GoldyMarg, Stealth Gao II and the Gatling Driver. With Super Mini-Pla GaoGaiGar now in possession of what's arguably his signature weapon, it's hammer time.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Anime REVIEW: One Punch Man

One Punch Man

Every so often there comes an anime series that you just can’t escape from even if you aren’t watching. In 2015, that series was undoubtedly One Punch Man. ONE’s webcomic turned manga turned anime series was a worldwide hit, prompting all sorts of discussion, images and debate about whether its hero could beat up Goku in a fight. With studio Madhouse now confirming that a second season will be arriving in 2018, now is the time for the uninitiated (i.e. myself) to catch up and experience one of the most talked-about shows of the past few years.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Series REVIEW: Ultra Q

Ultra Q

Back in 1966 before the days of Kamen Rider, Super Sentai or even Ultraman, there were still kaiju. Thanks to the success of the original Godzilla in 1955 and the subsequent films that followed, giant monster fever was about to hit an all-time high. While continuing his work on the Godzilla films with Toho studios, special effects legend Eiji Tsuburaya and his company Tsuburaya Productions teamed up with the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) to create Ultra Q, an episodic fantasy series pitched as Japan's answer to The Twilight Zone and The Outer LimitsUltra Q was the very first entry in the long-running Ultra Series, with the original Ultraman starting only two weeks after it's 28-episode run. The rest of course is history. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange


Release date: June 2017
RRP: 6480 yen (Japanese Edition), $84.99/£99.99 (Western Edition)

Bandai Tamashii Nations' journey through the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues with the release of S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange! Although coming quite a while after the release of the character's film debut last year, the figure does time nicely with the growing hype for Avengers: Infinity War next year when the character (as played by Benedict Cumberbatch) will interact with the rest of the MCU for the first time. As well as releasing as a Tamashii web exclusive in Japan, Doctor Strange was released officially in the West as part of an exclusive set which also includes a number of flame effect parts.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Mikumo Guynemer


Release Date: June 2017 
RRP: 5940 yen 

Bandai Tamashii Nations have given the Macross franchise a lot of love in the past few years, but in the usual fashion that love is usually reserved for the various Valkyries and other mecha that feature in the show rather than the characters themselves. However that's all about to change, as poseable Macross figures finally become a reality with the release of S.H. Figuarts Mikumo Guynemer. The first of the five Walküre girls to appear in the line, the "Mysterious Venus" of Macross Delta was a mass release figure - with Freyja Wion following suit in July. While there's still no word on the release of Kaname, Makina and Reina, prototypes at the very least have been produced so hopefully one day the group will be complete. But for now, it's time to see what the Kumo-Kumo has to offer.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts King Joe


Release Date: June 2017 
RRP: 7560 yen 

Ever since the Ultra Series found its new home with S.H. Figuarts the line has gone from strength to strength, limited not only to the Ultramen themselves but also aliens, kaiju and even an alternate version of the original Ultraman suit. This year marked the line’s jump to Ultraseven, with Bandai Tamashii Nations’ third release from the show adding another staple opponent to the ever-growing line-up of Ultraman creatures. To Ultra fans King Joe needs no introduction, originally making its debut in episodes 14 and 15 of Ultraseven before going on to reappear (albeit sometimes in different colours) in Ultraman Max, Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, Ultra Galaxy Legend, Ultraman Ginga S, Ultraman X and more.

Monday, 24 July 2017

First Impressions: The Reflection

The Reflection
The Reflection is available in streaming form via Crunchyroll

Surely the combination of Stan Lee, Studio DEEN and director Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushishi, Detroit Metal City) is a recipe for success right? This summer anime fans will find out with the release of The Reflection, a new collaborative effort between Studio Deen and Lee’s own Pow! Entertainment. This isn’t the first time Stan Lee has dived into the world of anime, but with an increase in superhero shows thanks to the success of Tiger & Bunny, One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia the competition is pretty stiff these days.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Anime REVIEW: Atom: The Beginning

Atom: The Beginning
Atom: The Beginning is available in streaming form via HIDIVE

Astro Boy is a name synonymous with manga and anime. Even if you’ve never read a single chapter, watched a single episode of the various iterations spawned over the years or even heard of its legendary creator Osamu Tezuka odds are that the seminal series has influenced your favourite shows in some way. Since 2014 his son Makoto Tezuka has collaborated with Tetsuro Kashara and Masami Yuki on Atom: The Beginning – a prequel manga which tells of a time before the creation of Mighty Atom (aka Astro Boy). In 2017 the title was adapted into a 12-episode anime series, created in collaboration between studios OLM, Inc., Studio I.G. and Signal.MD.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Accel


Release Date: June 2017
RRP: 6480 yen

Last year the S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou line made its first foray into villains and secondary Riders with the release of N Daguva Zeba and Kamen Rider Gatack, but as expected both figures came as Tamashii Web exclusive releases. However with S.H. Figuarts premium offshoot now covering the immensely popular Kamen Rider W, Bandai Tamashii Nations are shaking things up a bit. S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Accel is the first secondary Rider in the line to be released at retail, with Kamen Rider Skull arriving later in August as its first movie Rider.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Zelda Twilight Princess Ver.


Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 5556 yen

Figma Twilight Princess Link is a fantastic figure, but there are sure to be collectors out there rolling their eyes at the prospect of another Link variant. And understandably so – in five years of Legend of Zelda toys from Good Smile Company we’ve had five different Links across two toy lines (three Figma and two Nendoroids) but only one Zelda Nendoroid. However the wait is finally over, as Princess Zelda has finally joined the Figma line as she appears in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This release has been a long time coming, and finally offers Figma/Zelda fans something other than Link as well as another entry in GSC’s growing Nintendo range.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Link Twilight Princess Ver. DX Edition


Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 5093 yen (Standard Edition), 6000 yen (DX Edition)

Between the two Figma and two Nendoroid figures released over past five years, it’s fair to say that Good Smile Company know that a Legend of Zelda Link figure will usually go down pretty well. So it’s no surprise to see that 2017 will see a new variant in both lines, with Figma opting for a Twilight Princess version spurred on by the game’s HD remake last year. Much like the A Link Between Worlds version this Link also comes in standard and DX editions, however unlike before this DX Edition isn’t limited to just the GSC and partner stores. On top of that it also released the same month as the long-awaited Figma Princess Zelda, making May 2017 a particularly special month for Zelda fans.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

First Impressions: Ultraman Geed

Ultraman Geed
Ultraman Geed is available in streaming form via Crunchyroll

The last few years have seen a big return to form for Tsuburaya Productions and the Ultra Series, and with the help of Crunchyroll's simulcasting across the globe the success of both Ultraman X and Ultraman Orb were more far-reaching than ever. Now Tsuburaya are pushing forwards with another instalment in the long-running franchise - the hotly anticipated Ultraman Geed. As well as introducing a brand new Ultra hero, this series continues the struggle between Ultraman Zero and his nemesis Ultraman Belial previously seen through Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The MovieUltraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial and Ultra Zero Fight.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Amazons (Season Two)

Kamen Rider Amazons Season 2

There are two reasons why a second season of Kamen Rider Amazons was inevitable. Obviously the popularity of the Amazon Prime-exclusive spin-off (which later even received an edited television run) was a factor, but more importantly there was no way that Toei were going name each episode beginning with a different letter of the alphabet and then just stop at 13. So yes, Amazons is back for another 13 episodes of downbeat, colour-filtered gore and savagery – kicking things off with a hefty time skip, new protagonists and a few other surprises as well.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Series REVIEW: Power Rangers Dino Force Brave


When an image of the Kyoryugers in slightly altered suits turned up online last year no one quite knew what it was. Some thought V-cinema, others thought it might be part of the next Super Hero Taisen release and some simply brushed it off as a high quality cosplay shoot. What no one expected though was it to be a sequel the 37th Super Sentai series, spurred on by the success of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger in South Korea (where it was released as Power Rangers Dino Force). Produced by Sentai’s Korean distributor Daewon Media (who despite the Power Rangers banner have no affiliation with Saban) and filmed in collaboration with Toei, Power Rangers Dino Force Brave is a 12-episode series featuring an all-new cast and modified mecha designs. The series was also released in Japan under the name Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger Brave, with Shigeru Chiba, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Haruka Tomatsu and Ai Orikasa returning to reprise their roles as the narrator, Torin, Canderrilla and Luckyulo respectively.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

First Impressions: Senki Zesshō Symphogear AXZ

Senki Zesshō Symphogear AXZ

It’s that time again as everyone’s favourite group of armour wearing, weapon-wielding singing girls are back again for a fourth season. That’s right – Senki Zesshō Symphogear has returned! With each previous season having continually refined the formula and constantly upped the ante in terms of action and spectacle, Senki Zesshō Symphogear AXZ should hopefully suggest big things and comes on the back of plenty of fan anticipation. The anime and music franchise from Satelight and Encourage Films has built a firm following over the past five years, elevating it from a show that could have very easily been a one-time thing into something to always look forward to.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x12 - The Doctor Falls

Doctor Who 10x12 - The Doctor Falls

After 12 (mostly) fantastic weeks, but the time has finally come for Doctor Who series 10 to come to an end. Along with that comes goodbye to Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Michelle Gomez as Missy, Steven Moffat as showrunner and quite likely Pearl Mackie and Matt Lucas as Bill Potts and Nardole too. Well, this is true for some of those anyway as we already know Capaldi and Moffat will both be returning for the Christmas special before handing the reins over to new showrunner Chris Chibnall and the currently unknown new Doctor. But regardless regeneration is in the air, and following the sheer horror of World and Time Enough there's two Masters, a newly born army of Cybermen and Bill's transformation into a Cybermen to deal with as The Doctor Falls...

Friday, 30 June 2017

Anime REVIEW: Little Witch Academia (Series)

Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia’s first 13 episodes are currently available via Netflix. The remaining 12 episodes are set to follow later this year.

The rise of Little Witch Academia has been one of anime’s great success stories from the past few years. Beginning as a short film produced by the then-new studio Trigger for the 2013 Young Animator Training Project for Anime Mirai, its popularity led to sequel film The Enchanted Parade – where a Kickstarter to extend its running time was funded in a mere six hours. Both OVAs have since been added to Netflix worldwide, and arguably stand as one of the site’s flagship anime offerings. Now four years since its debut Little Witch Academia has returned once again, this time as a full 25-episode television series. Creator Yoh Yoshinari returns once again as director, joining forces once again with Enchanted Parade writer Michiru Shimada.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Alien Mefilas


Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 6480 yen

Ultraman has enjoyed a successful range of retail S.H. Figuarts releases so far, but with the line now also moving onto Ultraseven it was inevitable some would eventually be Tamashii web exclusives. The previously released Alien Baltan 3-pack was an obvious choice from the very beginning, but now the line moves into new moulds and monsters with S.H. Figuarts Alien Mefilas. Making his first appearance in episode 33 of the series (The Forbidden Words) and recently appearing in Ultraman Orb as the Planet Invasion Union leader Don Nostra, Mefilas is the fourth alien/kaiju to be released in the Ultra Series Figuarts range.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x11 - World Enough and Time

Doctor Who 10x11 - World Enough and Time

It's been a fun ten weeks, but now the end is finally approaching. It's time to begin bidding farewell to Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, Michelle Gomez as Missy, Steven Moffat as showrunner and potentially Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts too. As Doctor Who series 10 draws to a close we begin the two-part finale with World Enough and Time - written by Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay, who previously directed the two-part finales for both series eight and nine. As well as bringing back the original Mondasian Cybermen to screens, World Enough and Time also features the much-publicised return of John Simm as the Master, making this the first multi-Master story put to screen.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Legends LG-42 Godbomber


Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 7560 yen

When TakaraTomy revealed that their version of Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime would be heavily remoulded to match the original toy and released as Super Ginrai, Transformers fans immediately speculated that a Godbomber wouldn’t be too far behind. They were of course correct, and now the originally Japanese-exclusive Super God Masterforce character (who was eventually released in the West as “Apex Bomber”) has returned with full compatibility with Super Ginrai to form God Ginrai. Transformers Legends LG-42 Godbomber is current only available through the Legends line, with an American release still unconfirmed even though the Super Ginrai mould is being brought over as “Magnus Prime”.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Anime REVIEW: Attack on Titan Season 2

Attack on Titan Season 2
Attack on Titan season 2 is available in streaming form via Crunchyroll

Back in 2013 you couldn’t get away from Attack on Titan. Studio Wit’s adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s manga series about humanity fighting back the onslaught of grotesque giants seemed to be one of those shows that surpassed the popularity of your average anime series. But without a second season in clear sight even two live action films, two compilation films and a comedy spin-off couldn’t stop the franchise from falling into a state of limbo. However four years later and the series is finally back, as Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi and the rest of the Survey Corps return for a further 12 episodes of Titan-slaying action.

(This review contains spoilers regarding character identities. You have been warned!)

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x10 - The Eaters of Light

Doctor Who 10x10 - The Eaters of Light

Doctor Who has never been one to shy away from a real-life mystery. After all, anyone who's seen The Chase will know that the crew of the Mary Celeste disappeared after the Daleks landed on it while chasing the Doctor through time and space. So this week it's tackling the real fate of the Ninth Roman Legion, which mysteriously disappeared and is thought to have been defeated by Celtic tribes in the north of Britain. The Eaters of Light is also a particularly notable episode because of it's writer Rona Munro - the first person to write for both the modern and classic iterations of the show, having previously written the show's "final" episode Survival in 1986.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Gavan Type-G Space Squad Ver.


Release Date: May 2017
RRP: 6480 yen

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing, but on occasion I’ve looked back at some of my older reviews and been too generous in the past. The original S.H. Figuarts Gavan was definitely one of those times, as I originally failed to truly highlight the off proportions and incredibly flimsy wrist joints which broke shortly after publishing the review. However four years later it seems Tamashii Nations also felt they could do the original Space Sheriff better too, releasing a brand new S.H. Figuarts Gavan Type-G ahead of the release of the Gavan/Dekaranger crossover movie Space Squad. This Gavan will also be followed up later this month with an updated version of the original, coming as part of a web exclusive 2-pack with the Saibarian. Like all Metal Heroes Figuarts thus far, both are Tamashii web exclusive releases.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x09 - Empress of Mars

Doctor Who 10x09 - Empress of Mars

The most highly anticipated Doctor Who episodes are usually the ones that feature the return of classic monsters, so it shouldn’t be any surprise to hear that Empress of Mars was particularly high up on series 10’s most hotly tipped offerings. After making their long-awaited modern debut in 2013’s Cold War, Mark Gatiss brings the Ice Warriors back on their home soil as well as making a brand new addition to the Martian hierarchy.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: Uchu Sentai Kyuranger Minipla RyuTeiOh


Release Date: May 2017 
RRP: 1890 yen (1 complete figure, 5 boxes), 3780 yen (Full case: 2 complete figures, 10 boxes) 

Uchu Sentai Kyuranger may have started as a series that teased nine legendary heroes taking back the galaxy, but it only took the series a mere nine episodes to throw that number aside. With the introduction of Ryu Commander and then Koguma SkyBlue the follow episode, Kyuranger now boasts an impressive total of eleven rangers with more still to come in the future. But in the meantime new rangers means new mecha, with the third wave of Bandai’s candy toy minipla model kits introducing RyuTeiOh into the mix. This set contains a total of five different boxes – three for the Ryu Voyager and then one each for the Koguma and Sasori Voyagers.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Alien Metron


Release Date: April 2017
RRP: 5940 yen

While the release of the Ultra heroes themselves may be coming at a slow and steady pace, the Ultraman S.H. Figuarts line has been filling out rather nicely with range of aliens and kaiju on offer. The original series has already seen Baltan and Zetton released with Mefilas and Gomora still to follow, and now 2017 continues its venture in Ultraseven with S.H. Figuarts Alien Metron. The second retail release from the series, Metron’s initial announcement was timed well with the race’s appearance in Ultraman Orb and now its release comes just ahead of Kaiju Club – the Ultraseven “making of” drama series where Metron is already looking to play a regular part.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Reviews in Time & Space: Doctor Who 10x08 - The Lie of the Land

Doctor Who 10x08 - The Lie of the Land

With Bill having bargained with the Monks for the Doctor's sight at the end of The Pyramid at the End of the World, Earth is now theirs for the taking as the Monks Trilogy reaches its thrilling conclusion in The Lie of the Land. This part of the story takes on a new writer yet again, having been penned by Toby Whithouse in his first (and only) series ten episode. He's certainly no stranger to Doctor Who though, with the likes of School Reunion, The Vampires of Venice, The God Complex, A Town Called Mercy and Under the Lake/Before the Flood among his writing credits.