Monday 31 October 2016

2017 Power Rangers Movie Toys at MCM London Comic Con

This past weekend was host to the October MCM London Comic Con, and over the past few years the show has grown significantly in size. As well as appearances from various anime and game distributors, the show now also features official representatives from the likes of Good Smile Company, Tamashii Nations and Bandai UK. This year Bandai UK were of particular note, as with them they brought along an exclusive first look at some of the forthcoming 2017 Power Rangers Movie toys due for release very soon. This selection included the 6” Legacy figures (previously seen at cons such as SDCC and NYCC) as well as the debut of the deluxe Red Ranger Power Sword, Morpher and T-Rex Zord!

Read on to check out some quick iPhone shots of the items on display, as well as some general first impressions on each of them.

Friday 28 October 2016

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers Legends LG-26 Scourge

The Combiner Wars have come to an end, and now it’s time for the titans ro return! After successfully relaunching combiners as a main range, the Transformers franchise has now turned its attention toward doing the same for Headmasters – creating an all new line featuring both classic Headmaster characters as well as incorporating the gimmick into other existing characters. Among these included Transformers: The Movie/G1 season 3 leader Galvatron, and together with the previously released Combiner Wars Cyclonus Unicron’s trifecta of heralds is complete with the release of Scourge. While the American Titans Return figure sports a deco similar to that of the original G1 toy, TakaraTomy’s Transformers Legends version instead draws its inspiration from the cartoon – offering fans two different interpretations depending on where their nostalgia may lie.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Anime REVIEW: Beast Wars II

Beast Wars II

While the majority of the Transformers franchise’s 35-year history has been available officially or via fansubs for many years, there are two particular series that have repeatedly eluded English-speaking fans. In 1998 Japan experienced a delay between receiving seasons one and two of Beast Wars (the latter of which became known as Beast Wars Metals), prompting them to fill the gap with their own Beast Wars shows. These were of course Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo, both of which were traditionally animated in comparison to Beast Wars’ CGI. Both shows have remained completely unreleased in the West, and thanks to a recent DVD release in Japan and the hard work of Karyuudo Fansubs it is only now that Beast Wars II (read aloud as Beast Wars Second) can be enjoyed with full English subtitles. Has this elusive piece of Transformers history been worth the wait, or is it a forgotten gem that was forgotten for a reason?

Friday 14 October 2016

Series REVIEW: Thunderbolt Fantasy

Thunderbolt Fantasy

After producing modern anime classics such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass and Gargantia on the Verduous Planet, Gen Urobuchi has earned the right to a bit of experimentation. His dive into the world of tokusatsu with Kamen Rider Gaim was met with great success, and after a trip to Taiwan he has now turned his attention towards the world of Taiwanese glove puppetry. Thunderbolt Fantasy is a 13-episode collaboration between Nitroplus, Good Smile Company and renowned Taiwanese puppetry company Pili Internation Media – airing in Taiwanese Min-Nan, Chinese Mandarin and of course Japanese.

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Anime REVIEW: Macross Delta

Macross Delta

Despite Macross celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, it’s been a whopping eight years since the hugely popular franchise’s last animated outing Macross Frontier (four if you include the movies and its Macross 7-flavoured spinoff). While it did celebrate this milestone with the Macross 30: Voices Across the Galaxy PS3 game, it wasn’t until 2016 that Macross finally returned to television screens with a brand new instalment – Macross Delta (also written as Macross Δ). Series creator Shoji Kawamori returns once more as the chief director and mechanical designer, with animation duties once again handled by Satelight - the studio also responsible for both Frontier and Macross Zero.

Monday 10 October 2016

Anime REVIEW: Ace Attorney

Ace Attorney

The phrase “video game anime adaptation” is enough to strike fear into anyone’s hearts. Although the list of great anime series based on visual novels is vast, video games in general haven’t been as lucky. While there are the odd gems like Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and Professor Layton: The Eternal Diva, attempts like Tekken and Blazblue: Alter Memory are more than enough to muddy the waters. 2016 finally saw Capcom’s popular Ace Attorney franchise make it’s leap to animated form, something long overdue for the legal exploits of Phoenix Wright (or Naruhodō Ryūichi in the original Japanese version), Miles Edgeworth (Mitusrugi Reiji) and co. Going by the full title of Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu” Igirari (Turnabout Trial: I Object to that Truth!) , this 24-episode series covers the first two Ace Attorney games and was animated by A-1 Pictures.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Power Rangers 2017 Movie First Teaser Impressions

Power Rangers Movie Teaser

As a blog that tends to deal in reviews more than news I've generally avoided covering anything that relates to the forthcoming Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie reboot from Lionsgate and Saban Brands. However with the first teaser trailer making its debut at this year's New York Comic Con, it's time to break that silence. Over the past few months we've been treated to casting news, character posters and even the odd movie still, but this is the very first time we get to see anything in motion. Keep reading to check out the teaser trailer, along with some general thoughts on how the movie seems to be shaping up.

Friday 7 October 2016

First Impressions: Brave Witches

Brave Witches

Before Japan was invaded by moe girls wearing boat parts, there was a series doing a similar thing with school girls, aeroplane parts, magical powers, animals ear/tails and a lack of trousers. This series goes by the name of Strike Witches, and after two seasons, a movie, multiple OVAs, novels, manga and more it has evolved into a fully fledged franchise. After some time out of the spotlight it’s back for a brand new spin-off series, this time going by the name Brave Witches. Featuring the same production staff as the previous Strike Witches animated entries, Brave Witches is animated by studio Silver Link – who previously worked on the Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow OVAs as well as Watamote!, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya and more.

Thursday 6 October 2016

First Impressions: Time Bokan 24

Time Bokan 24

Their name might not get batted around as much as it used to, but once upon a time Tatsunoko Productions was among the very best anime studios Japan had to offer. As well as spawning the likes of Speed Racer, Gatchaman, Tekkaman and Casshern, Tatsunoko was also known for its Time Bokan series – which among its various sequels and spinoffs included Yatterman. Now Tatsunoko have come together with Professor Layton creators Level-5 for a brand new instalment, simply going by the name of Time Bokan 24.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

First Impressions: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

When early rumours suggested that the newest Kamen Rider would be a wearing a bright pink bodysuit and a helmet that sported moulded pink hair and cartoon-styled eyes, most dismissed it just like they would any earlier Rider/Sentai rumours. But when Kamen Rider Ex-Aid was fully revealed to the public those rumours turned out be true, unveiling a video-game themed Rider that’s quite unlike anything seen in the franchise’s 45 year history. Forget ghostly hoodies and Eyecons, now comes the time of gaming and Gashats. Written by Yuya Takahashi (Drive’s Type Tokujo specials, Lupin III Part 4), Ex-Aid is the 18th Heisei era Rider series and the 27th overall.

Monday 3 October 2016

First Impressions: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2

Following its brief hiatus over the past few months, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has finally returned for its second season! Comprised of another 25 episodes to bring the total count up to a comfortable 50, this latest instalment in Sunrise’ landmark mecha franchise continues the story of the rebellious child soldiers Tekkadan and their struggle for freedom in the era following a catastrophe known as the Calamity War. Like the first season it is written and directed by Mari Okada and Tatsuyuki Nagai respectively – a pair that also previously worked together on shows such as Toradora! and AnoHana.