If the sensory barrage of advertisements hasn’t made it clear enough, the holidays are approaching. And that means that the great question has returned to plague us all: What The Hell Am I Going To Buy?
Well fear not, brave readers! Get those Wish Lists ready because I’ve got some things you may want to throw your hard-earned money at!
What do YOU want for Christmas? Let us know in the comments below. 😉
It’s a hard time to be an Ultraman fan these days. Last year’s film, Ultraman Saga was a visually stunning and pandering trainwreck. Even worse is that the closest thing to a new TV series, Ultraman Ginga, is a project that, if their phoned-in performances are any indicator, even the main cast wants to escape from. And in general? Things just look incredibly grim for the franchise. So when Shout! Factory announced the release of Ultra Q in America, it was the great beam of hope in the midst of the darkness!
The predecessor of Ultraman, Ultra Q on its own is a masterpiece in its own right. Imagine the original Godzilla movie from the 1950’s, mixed with the best science-fiction of the time like The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. Now imagine that mish-mash happening on a weekly basis. Ultra Q features our main three protagonists: pilot and amateur science-fiction writer Jun, his co-pilot Ippei, and intrepid reporter Yuriko. Together, they find themselves in one strange case after another, facing down giant monsters, invaders from the future, and deadly gifts from space.
It’s a show that appeals to the kid in all of us and is definitely worth watching. In fact, I’d say it’s up there with the original Godzilla as required viewing for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the genre. All the more reason to make this yours for the holidays.
Back when I worked at Suncoast, I once had a customer try to tell me that “Anything from the 80’s and before is lame”. Last weekend, Toonami aired Akira, the 1988 cult classic from Katsuhiro Otomo (Steamboy, Memories), and it ended up one of the top trending Twitter topics. proving that there’s still plenty of room for the old school. (It also proves that customer wrong. So, HAH!)
Being to animation what Blade Runner was the sci-fi, Akira is set in the future of Tokyo, now “Neo-Tokyo” following a massive cataclysm. Biker gang member Tetsuo ends up caught in an accident that unlocks latent psychic abilities; which would be great except for the fact that he ends up becoming more powerful than anyone anticipated. If he can’t be stopped, there’s a chance he could reach a state of near god-hood–a power level that hasn’t been seen since the disaster that destroyed Tokyo. Together with a band of revolutionaries, Tetsuo’s friend, Kaneda, heads out to try and stop him before it’s too late.
This was one of the initial anime titles that Carl Macek’s Streamline Pictures brought to the US along with Vampire Hunter D. That’s why Funimation’s license rescue of this gem is all the more special: you get not only the 2001 dub featuring Johnny Yong Bosch as Kaneda, but also the beloved original 1988 dub. If you have yet to see this film, put this on the top of your queue and watch it. You’re in for a treat.
One of this year’s runaway hit webseries, RWBY is the brainchild of RoosterTeeth, the group behind Red VS Blue, and Monty Oum, the animator behind the hit shorts Haloid and Dead Fantasy. Words alone cannot do this justice, go watch the series now on Crunchyroll or RoosterTeeth and resist the urge to throw your wallet at the screen.
This is the only “double-whammy” entry on the list, but can you blame me? Guillermo del Toro’s Kaiju VS Machine powerhouse of a movie rocked the house when it came out this year. It’s only fitting then that you up the ante and get the film AND its artbook, Man, Machines, & Monsters.
In this book, you get concept art and photos from the film, behind-the-scenes tidbits, and full specs and data regarding every Jaeger robot you see in the movie. This also extends to the ones that were teased in the opening flashback montage, like my personal favorite, Tacit Ronin. I only wish this included pages from del Toro’s original sketchbook for the film which included original sketches and notes. However, this is still worth sitting on your coffee table for repeated reading.
And hey, if you really want to step it up further? Series 3 of the Pacific Rim toys from NECA is coming soon. Cherno Alpha will be joining the brawl.
This is a miracle that deserves more love. For all those times you watched G4 in disappointment, Game Center CX is your savior. Every episode, Japanese comedian Shinya Arino assumes the role of the fictional Section Chief (or “Kachou”) of the Game Center CX company. He is tasked with clearing retro video games across all consoles before midnight of that episode’s recording. The catch: Arino isn’t the greatest gamer in the world. However, his determination and sense of humor gladly make up for it. It’s those two traits which have made this show loved by fans the world over.
In this set, Arino goes up against games like Ninja Gaiden, Clock Tower, and Punch Out. For those concerned that this set only contains the controversial Kotaku dub, relax. The set contains those 12 episodes but has a Japanese language option. Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just itching to watch someone else suffer through your favorite games, this is a must buy.
Kamen Rider Fourze was by far, one of my favorite shows of the Post-Decade Heisei Riders. Yes, I know what I just said. It was fun and exciting! It had hot-blooded action from start to finish! And most of all, it had the return of Mikie Hara and dear Tezuka, I miss it something fierce. That’s why as soon as I saw this for sale, I bought it without a second thought. Because the other thing I loved about Fourze other than the action? The Zodiarts.
In When You Wish Upon A Star, you get the original full-color concept art for every Zodiart by Kia Asamiya (Silent Moebius, Steam Detectives). That’s right, EVERY one! From the first episode to Movie Taisen Ultimatum, and even the Hyper Battle DVD! The book also gives you Asamiya’s thoughts in coming up with the design and even gives you a glimpse at a few unused Zodiart designs! I cannot recommend this enough for anyone who’s a fan of the show or just anyone who loves Asamiya’s work.
Suffice to say, when this showed up for pre-order from Section23, I almost did a backflip. I say almost as I got as far as the handstand before it ended horribly. But nonetheless, the euphoria from knowing that the series that inspired Jetman numbed any sort of pain. Sort of.
Gatchaman is set in the not-too-distant future where humanity’s scientific progress is impeded by the evil Galactor organization. To stop their plans, Doctor Nambu has formed the Science Ninja Team, comprised of five teenagers trained as an elite fighting force. What you get here is a show that is colorful, action-packed, and is on par with Shotaro Ishinomori works in terms of total insanity!
Originally released by Section23’s former incarnation, ADV Films, their release carried top notch special features and a brand-new English dub. When ADV vanished, so did any hope for people like me to complete the set, hence the above-mentioned freak-out over the license rescue. Yes, it carries a high price tag, but you’re getting the entire series in what is the most dedicated, inseparable, and invincible set to date. And ten points if you actually got that reference.
And saving the best for last….
When Bandai revealed their plans to do the entire Zyuranger/MMPR line-up, I held back on opening my wallet until the announcement of one particular character. And then my wish came true with the release of this, the amazing Figuart of one of the first great leader upgrades in Super Sentai history. I suppose in a way, this might count as the first Battlizer upgrade before it even had a name, but I digress; I am not opening that can of worms.
In terms of accessories, you get the Power Sword/Ryugekiken, the Dragon Dagger, and a Ranger Sword/Gun in its standby mode for the holster. For added cool factor, get it with a Dragonranger figure for maximum dream-team action on your desk or shelf. A perfect addition to your collection in time for the big dinosaur throwdown coming in Kyoryuger VS Go-Busters!
Hope this serves as some manner of help to you guys! Until the next, happy holidays!