Wednesday 28 May 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Figma Mikasa Ackerman

Figma Mikasa from Max Factory/Good Smile Company

Attack on Titan is probably the hottest property in anime right now, so it's no surprise that a whole bunch of different companies are getting in on the merchandise game with a variety of statues, figures and more. Leading the way with poseable figures is Max Factory and their Figma line, which is a match made in heaven for collectors everywhere. In fact, the initial shipments of the figures sold out so fast that they received re-releases/second shipments in a matter of months. Kicking of the Titan line is Mikasa Ackerman, with Eren Yeager, Levi and Armin Arlert following up closely behind (the latter as a Wonderfest/GSC store exclusive).

Those who bought this figure (Eren and Figma) from Good Smile Company online store should also receive a special di:stage designed liked the rooftops from the show. It's a pretty cool extra, but something I can happily live without.

Monday 26 May 2014

Movie REVIEW: Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue

Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue

Though some fans out there may try to deny it, Kamen Rider is a franchise aimed predominantly at children. Sure the tone is a little darker, making its demographic a little higher than Super Sentai, but it's still very much a family orientated atmosphere that has kids as its target audience. However to celebrate Kamen Rider's 20th anniversary, Toei looked at the now grown-up fans of the original series and reimagined the basics behind the character in a gruesome setting. Thus, Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue was born. A V-cinema release in 1992, Shin also features a cameo appearance from the franchise's original creator Shotaro Ishinomori.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Anime REVIEW: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi

Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi

When you look at their back catalogue, it's no surprise that Gainax were once top of the anime game. From reviving the mecha genre to taking fan service to new, gravity-defying heights, Gainax shows were always stamped with a mark of quality. And one thing they seemed to do exceptionally better than everyone else was the weird. FLCL may be the benchmark for just how weird things could get, but not far behind it is Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. Handing animation duties over to fellow juggernaut studio Madhouse, the 2002 series ran for a total of 13 episodes.

Monday 19 May 2014

Toybox REVIEW: 66 Action Kamen Riders Wave 2

 66action Kamen Riders Wave 2

Wave one of the 66 Action Kamen Rider candy toys have hands down been my favourite release of 2014 so far. While S.H. Figuarts are doing some amazing things with their releases at the moment, it was amazing to find a brand new line that had so much personality. And thankfully Bandai must have felt the same, because before the first wave was even released they had already officially unveiled a second. Showing up for wave two are Kamen Rider Zangetsu (Melon Arms), Kamen Rider Double (Cyclone Joker), Kamen Rider Den-O (Sword Form) and Kamen Rider Kabuto (Rider Form). Adding a little bit of mystery into the mix, this wave also includes a bonus secret release in the form of Dark Kabuto.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Movie REVIEW: Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider Gaim & Wizard: The Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle

Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider Gaim & Wizard: The Fated Sengoku Movie Battle

As one Kamen Rider series draws to a close and another begins, one thing is always for certain - the two will be meeting up in a few months time for an annual Movie War crossover film. Kamen Rider Wizard and Kamen Rider Gaim are of course no exception, even if Toei have decided to slightly mix things up when it comes to the naming. Gone is the tiresome "Movie Wars..." monicker, replaced with Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider Gaim & Wizard: The Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle - which is probably just in time as I'm not sure how many more random words could be added on the end of the "Movie Wars" titles.

Unlike the previous Movie Wars Ultimatum, this movie doesn't feature a prologue setting everything up (nor does it feature any rebooted tokusatsu veterans), instead jumping straight into Kamen Rider Wizard's grand finale (spoilers from here on out)...

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Black RX (Renewal)

After Kamen Rider Black received a brand new S.H. Figuarts renewal late last year, it was only a matter of time before his direct successor had the same treatment. After all, not only did the original Kamen Rider Black RX figure follow closely after, but the series themselves share a strong connection for being the only two Kamen Rider series to share the same lead character. But even if you're not familiar with the adventures of Kotaro Minami, you might also recognise Black RX from Saban's Masked Rider adaptation or his brief team up with the Power Rangers just before that (awful) show started. Thankfully though, there isn't a Ferbus in sight here...

Sunday 11 May 2014

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. MonsterArts Gigan (2004)

SH MonsterArts Gigan (2004 version)

With the brand new Godzilla film from Legendary Pictures hitting cinemas this very month, the world is in a bit of a Godzilla frenzy right now. So it couldn't be a better time for me to get my first experience of Bandai Tamashii Nations' S.H. MonsterArts line, which has been providing high quality, articulated versions of Godzilla's finest kaiju (along with a few Western creatures) for a few years now. However my first purchase isn't the big G himself, but my all-time favourite Godzilla monster - Gigan. After Revoltech released a great figure of the Showa version back in 2011, Bandai have gone bigger and released the 2004 Millennium era version of the character which made it's appearance in the final Japanese Godzilla film to date - Godzilla: Final Wars.

Thursday 8 May 2014

Anime REVIEW: Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

With anime being the incredibly diverse medium it is, everyone has their own favourites. But every so often one show will come along and everyone's attention will be squarely on that, whether they're a fan of the show or simply caught up in the media frenzy/hype train that follows it. Recently, that show has undoubtedly been Attack on Titan (or Shingeki no Kyojin for those purists out there). Championed as a show suitable for longtime anime fans, casual fans and newcomers alike, the internet has been ablaze with this 26-episode series based on the ongoing manga series by Hajime Isayama. With two recap films, a live-action remake and a second season planned somewhere down the line, demand couldn't be much higher for this franchise. Better check out what all the fuss is about I guess.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Movie REVIEW: Kamen Rider Wizard in Magic Land

Kamen Rider Wizard in Magic Land

With Kamen Rider Gaim comfortably entering its second half and showing no signs of getting stale, Kamen Rider Wizard feels like a distant memory rather than a show that was still ongoing this time last year. However the show still had two last hurrahs outside of the televised series - those being the obligatory summer movie and it's epilogue in Gaim's crossover film. While both things have come and gone in Japanese cinemas, they may still seem like a recent thing for international fans who have had to wait for the DVD/BD release (and perhaps subtitles). As we wait for The Fateful Sengoku Movie Battle to say a proper goodbye to Wizard, summer movie Kamen Rider Wizard in Magic Land is here to provide a rather different side adventure.