New Ultraman Manga coming in October!

The Japanese company Hero’s will be launching a new seinen manga (a manga whose target audience is 20+ year-old males) called Monthly Hero’s on October 25th, and one of the first new mangas coming from this line will be a new Ultraman title.

The new Ultraman manga, created by Shimizu Eiichi and Shimoguchi Tomohiro (who both worked on the anime Linebarrels of Iron), will be launched with this new magazine.

To celebrate the new series, they will be releasing a special Ultraman Begins 2011 Aratana Tatakai no Hajimari doujinshi, which will be available at Comic Market in the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center next month, where they can be purchased by donating 500 yen to the Ultraman Foundation.

In addition, the book will have an interview with Shimizu and Shimoguchi, and contain illustrations by them and the the follwoing artists: Umezu Kazuo (Drifting Classroom), Okazaki Takashi (Afro Samurai), Kitazaki Taku (Angel Cop), designer/modelmaker Nirasawa Yasushi (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust), Hiromoto Sin’Ichi (Hells Angels) and Fujisawa Tohru (GTO). There will also be written contributions from Ultraman novel author Shukawa Minato, Ultraman director Yagi Takeshi, author Yamamoto Hiroshi, and essayist Uno Tsunehiro. There will also be an interview with Ultraman scriptwriter Uehara Shozo.

So for those of you who are either big fans of manga or big fans of Ultraman, this could potentially be a must-have for collectors and a must read for manga and toku fans, so if you feel like picking up a copy of the new manga or doujinshi, go out and get it!

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

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ULTRAMAN SAGA: Is this the third movie in the Ultraman Zero trilogy?

We have the title for the new Ultraman movie, Ultraman Saga!

Coming in 2012, Ultraman Saga stars Ultraman Zero, Ultraman Dyna, and Ultraman Cosmos. And surprisingly, Ultraman Legend, the combined form of Cosmos and Justice, will also be making an appearence. Are we perhaps looking at a new advanced form? Other UltraBeings are said to show up in the moive, including the original Ultraman, Seven, Jack, Ace, and Leo.

And in this movie, their new enemy is Hyper Zetton, an alien kaijuu from the same race as Zetton, Ultraman’s toughest enemy ever! (For reference purposes, it’s the one that looks like a giant black lobster.)

Sorry, no plot details yet. But we definitely know it’s coming out next year!

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

Ultraman Retsudan Opening and Intro: Is it a biography, or a glorified clip show?

We have the opening for the new Ultraman biographical series, Ultraman Retsuden. The new Ultraman series, announced back in April, is a celebration for the 45th anniversary of the Ultraman franchise. (Wow, all three major toku series are celebrating anniversaries this year.)

Ultraman Retsuden will star Ultraman Zero, the newest Ultra Hero, as the “navigator” of the show, leading us through 45 years of Ultraman history. It will be a special compilation of various Ultra Heros and Monsters.

Let’s take a look at the intro:

(Credit to gustavaumisback)

Pretty cool entrance, huh? Especially for a biography.

Other Heisei Ultra Heros are said to guest star throughout the series, including Tiga, Dyna, Gaia, and Cosmos. And they’ve got more in stock for future episodes.

For anyone interested in seeing this, Grown Ups in Spandex (GUIS) will be subbing this new series. If anyone would like me to review this first episode, just let me know.

I’m not sure if I’ll watch this one that often. I think I’ll watch the first episode or two to get the feel of it, but that will be about all.

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

New Ultrraman Zero GAIDEN Announcement: No, no series yet, but plenty of movies are due out to fill the void.

Following the success of the recent movie, Ultraman Zero The Movie: The Revenge of Belial, Tsuburaya has announced the release of the a new v-cinema series, Ultraman Zero GAIDEN: Killer the Beatstar.

Similar to previous side stories, the series will be released in two parts, Steel Universe and The Promise of Meteor. The main antagonist of this story will be Jean Killer, and, similarly to the three allies Zero gained in previous movies (Mirror Knight, Glen Fire, and Jean Bot), he will be an homage to the classic toku series Jumborg Ace. It’s also rumored that ZAP Spacy will return as well.

Credits have Araki Kenichi as screenplay writer, and Abe Yuichi as director.

Stage 1 for this two-parter is due our November 25th, while Stage 2 is due out December 22nd. These will act as a prequel to the previously announced third Ultraman Zero movie, due out this December. There is, as of yet, no title for said movie.

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

Ultraman Vs. Kamen Rider Blu-Ray release: Greatest crossover EVER. :)

After 18 years, the only crossover of two of Japan’s favorite superheroes, Ultraman and Kamen Rider, will finally be out on Blu-Ray and DVD October 26th.

Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider is the first and only crossover special between the two series, and includes clips from both series (from the original series all the way up to the then-current series of both), never before seen clips from both series, and assorted other clips. And to top it all off, a final, literally gigantic, fight scene with Ultraman and Kamen Rider fighting side-by-side.

Until now, the DVD release of this special was uncertain, due to the collaborative nature of the special. And there is word that some of the content of the special has been modified (hopefully, not too much). But, one of the new special features for the movie includes a conversation between Fujioka Hiroshi (Takeshi Hongo/Kamen Rider) and Kurobe Susuma (Hayate/Ultraman). That would be something to see.

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

henshinGARB Catalogue 4: Or why people like to stop at trilogies.

Hey everyone! It’s that time of the season when there is absolutely no big toku news. So guess what I’m going to do? That’s right! I’m going to push my own stuff onto you! Because of such underwhelming demand, and an ever-expanding product list, I decided that it was time to publish a new catalogue. And this time, I’m including EVERYTHING that’s currently in the shop. I’ve got a lot of old stuff, a lot of new stuff, and a lot of stuff you might not even be interested in. So let’s get to it!

First up we have the henshinhead logo tee, available in multiple sizes and colors, available for men and women. Only $12.00.

New to the shop is this tee with the mini logo on the left side of the chest, so that you can have the logo of your favorite blog site on your heart. Available in multiple sizes and colors, for men and women, and for only $12.00.

Here we have the newly re-designed HENSHINHEAD RULES! tee, I’ve changed the font, and played around with the sizes, and you’ve got to admit, it looks nicer. Available in men’s and women’s sizes, in multiple colors, and available for only $10.00.

Still available are these re-designed Heroes for Japan Tees. Now, I know that the Super Hero Time Japan Relief Effort has been over for some time, and that I originally designed these shirts for that charity, but these are still cool designs, and the message is still the same. Available for only $12.00.

Also still available are these Still Standing Tees, showing the Kamen Rider statue in Miyagi after the tsunami devastated the area, still standing after a massive earthquake and a raging tsunami. The ultimate symbol of Japan’s strength and resilience. Available for only $16.00.

And of course, one of our favorites, the GOOOO-KAIJA! Tees. Both men’s and women’s sizes are available in multiple sizes and colors. Men’s shirt for only $12.00, and women’s slim fit AA shirt for $19.00.

And now for one of my favorites, the Don’t make me Push my Buttons! Tee. It’s a pun with a toku twist! Now available for women’s sizes. Available for $16.00.

We’ve now made it to our Toku Allegience line, and here we’re starting with Super Sentai. Based off of the Goranger costumes, it now includes Akaranger and Momoranger designs. Each available for only $12.00.

Also still available as part of the Toku Allegience line are these designs based off of Kamen Rider and Ultraman. Each also only $12.00.

Sorry ladies, I’m still working on female equivalent designs for Kamen Rider and Ultraman. But you can always get the Momoranger shirt.

Next up we have the popular Bouken Spirits Tees, featuring the Boukenger compass logo on the chest, which are equal in size and position as they appear on the Boukengers’ uniforms. Available in multiple sizes and colors, $12.00 for men’s, $19.00 for women’s.

And new to the shop is the Bioman Badge Tee. Because I’ve been watching a lot of the dubbed episodes of Bioman lately, I’ve become somewhat of a fan of the show, and wanted to express that in t-shirt form. Available in multiple sizes and colors, $12.00 for men’s, $19.00. for women’s.

And along with this line of retro series, I decided to through in these new Aura Power! Tees. With the Maskman logo in the proper place on the t-shirt as it was on the uniform,  even you can use the power of aura and kung fu skills to fight evil. Available in multiple sizes and colors, $12.00 for men’s, $19.00 for women’s.

And because I am apparently one of the few people who actually likes either version of this series, we have these Gingaman in a Lost Galaxy Tees. With the iconic Charlie Brown-esque jagged line marks across the midsection, these shirts properly pay tribute to this series. Available in multiple sizes, men’s muscle shirt $17.00,  women’s standard weight t-shirts only $12.00.

And now for a random series of buttons.

As you may or may not be able to tell, I really like buttons. We’ve got six different button designs, all available in small and large size buttons. The majority cost $5.00 for the small buttons, and $6.00 for the large buttons. The only exceptions are the Still Standing buttons, which are $4.00 for small, $5.00 for large.

So that is everything currently available in the shop, hope you guys like this stuff. If you’re interested in any of this stuff, or just want to check out the store, just click the henshinGARB link in the blogroll on the side, under the section labeled “Stuff I actually have anything to do with”, and it should take you straight there. And if it’s anymore of an enticement, there is a Spreadshirt special going on for the month of May, buy four short-sleeve shirts and get one free. Details in the coupon below. (Note: you do not need a physical copy of the coupon, just the coupon code listed below.)

UPDATE: Okay, I understand that the KRFan SUCKS! Tees were in bad taste, so I’ve gotten rid of them. But the sentiment is still there.

UPDATE: (5/21/11) Hey, added some new stuff, ckeck it out:

It’s all part of my new Abare Guts! line of products. We have men’s shirts available in red, blue, and black for $12.00, a yellow women’s shirt available for $19.00, and two sets of buttons for $5 and $6. So if that doesn’t entice you to buy something, I don’t know what will. And for anybody who just can’t find the link to the shop it’s right here: http://henshingarb.spreadshirt.com/

Could somebody buy something please?! I just can’t keep waiting on PaladinZeo to get paid. Come on, I will do whatever you want, make whatever you want, if you want me to modify the designs or make them available in different sizes or colors I’ll do it, just please say something. It’s all about the customer here at henshinGARB.

Ultraman Live 2011 in Thailand: OMG I’m so excited! Well, not really, but I’m excited for my visitors from Thailand.

Hey there everybody, I happened to find this announcement poster for the Ultraman Live 2011 Thailand Tour, and thought, hey, at least it’s Ultraman news! But seriously, for anyone in Thailand interested, just read what the poster says, because I can’t tell you much more. Sorry, I don’t read or speak Thai.

Original article here: http://seriousleast.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/ultraman-live-2011-in-thailand/

henshinGARB New Catalogue: I’m shoving this thing so far down your throat…

Boy is it just me or has it been a slow news week for tokusatsu? And I had this week off, too. I guess I’ll just have to fill the void with my own stuff. And since I happened to reopen my shop, I guess I’ll just have to talk about that.

Now, this isn’t some planned publicity stunt to bring attention to the shop, quite frankly I’m not good at planning stuff, the shop was reopened at visitor request, specifically at the request of PaladinZeo. And as any long-time visitors of the site (do any of you exist?, because I know that at least PaladinZeo over there is a subscriber) know, I go to great lengths for my visitors. Doesn’t seem like it, but that’s because all you see is the finished product. And so, for those of you who are interested, the site is open and active, and I’ve included some new products and updated some old ones. So let’s see what I’ve got!

Starting with the updated products first, we have…

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ henshinhead logo teeWomen's T-Shirts ~ Women's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ henshinhead logo tee

The henshinhead logo tee! I’ve updated the appearance of the logo, so now there isn’t an awkward out-of-place black box. Available in a variety of colors and sizes for only $12.00.

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Super Hero Time Support: Heroes for JapanWomen's T-Shirts ~ Women's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Super Hero Time Support: Heroes for Japan 

And here we have an update Heroes For Japan Tee. I’ve made the background of the design transparent so it blends with the shirt better, and I threw out the belt. Available for only $12.00.

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Toku Allegience: Ultraman Tee

A bit of an unexpected one (not really) that I’ve update is this one from the Toku Allegience line, the Ultraman Tee. I got rid of the grey in the design, so now it flows from the t-shirt. Once again, only $12.00.

These prices are so low, you might as well be stealing! Hey, come back here with that!

And now for new stuff!

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Bouken Spirits! TeeWomen's T-Shirts ~ Female AA Slim Fit Tee ~ Bouken Spirits! Women's Tee

Presenting the brand new Bouken Spirits! tees. With this famous compass design, you’ll never be lost, brave adventurer! Available in multiple colors and in Men’s and Women’s sizes. That’s $11.00 for Men’s standard weight tee, $18.00 for Women’s AA Slim Fit Tee.

Buttons ~ Small Buttons ~ henshinhead logo small buttonButtons ~ Large Buttons ~ henshinhead logo large button

And because I like buttons, I have a whole new batch of them! First we have the henshinhead logo buttons, available in two sizes, and each come in a standard 5 pack. That’s $5 for the smaller buttons, and $6 for the larger buttons. I know, there a dollar more than the other, but that’s just from the commission on the logo design.

Buttons ~ Small Buttons ~ Bouken Spirits! Small ButtonsButtons ~ Large Buttons ~ Bouken Spirits! Large Buttons

And because I like the way this design came out, I made it into a button too! The Bouken Spirits! button comes in two sizes, five-to-a-pack, and is available for only $4 for the small buttons, and $5 for the large buttons.

And that should be everything that’s new in the shop. Anything else that isn’t here that you’ve seen before is probably still in the shop. There are some other changes that I’ve made that I haven’t covered here, you’ll just have to look and see for yourself. And in case you’re wondering, the Go-Kaiger stuff is still there as well.

henshinGARB: Hissatsu Waza Sale: Slashing prices left and right in one big finisher!

Hey there everybody, I’m just here pushing my shop henshinGARB again, and bringing you new deals and new products. While this isn’t a new official catalogue, it is free advertising for me. So let’s get to it!

Starting with new price cuts, the ever-popular henshinhead logo tee has been drop-kicked down to just $12.00, for men’s and women’s tees. Here’s another pic for those who haven’t seen it:

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ henshinhead logo teeWomen's T-Shirts ~ Women's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ henshinhead logo women's tee

I’ve also gone down on the price for the GOOO-KAIJA! Men’s tees, now down to $11.

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ GOOOO-KAIJA! Men's Tee

Sorry ladies, no price reduction for the women’s tees. Not without losing yellow.

Also reduced is the “Don’t make me push my buttons!” Tee, now down to $16.T-Shirts ~ Men's Heavyweight T-Shirt ~ Don't make me push my buttons! Tee

If you look real close, you can see the kanji for henshin on the phone screen. Thought you’d like that.

While SHT might have ended, I will still be offering the stuff I made specifically for it, namely the two tee shirts at reduced price.

Starting with the Heroes for Japan tees, their price has been reduced to just $12. I have also taken the writing off the back, but the message still rings true.

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Super Hero Time Support: Heroes for JapanWomen's T-Shirts ~ Women's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Super Hero Time Support: Heroes for Japan

And the Still Standing Tee (featuring the picture of the Kamen Rider Statue in Miyagi still standing after the quake and tsunami) has been reduced to $16.

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Still StandingWomen's T-Shirts ~ Women's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Still Standing

And that is everything that has been reduced. And just so were clear these price changes are permanent. Because our Hissatsu Waza sales cut prices down to size, and makes sure they stay down!

But before I forget, I have three new products available, as part of my new line called “Toku Allegience”. While we all love every tokusatsu series, we do have our favorites. And you can show it we these new tees. Available currently for Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman. And each available for only $12.

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Toku Allegience: Super Sentai Tee

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Toku Allegience: Kamen Rider Tee

T-Shirts ~ Men's Standard Weight T-Shirt ~ Toku Allegience: Ultraman Tee

If you like to see any other genre or series, be sure to let me know. I’ll even do bad guys if you want.

And that’s all for now. If you see anything you like, be sure to click the link in the blog roll, under the category “Things I actually have anything to do with”. And be sure to visit to see what else is available. And as always, keep checking here for all the latest in toku news.

-M.C., the Quantum Twin

Tokusatsu for Beginners: What is Tokusatsu?

If you’ve found this blog, that most likely means one of two things: Either you already know what tokusatsu is, and you’re looking for info about one in particular, or you’re just entering random crap into Google search to see what comes up. I say its most likely one of those two, because I highly doubt that you came here because you care about my opinion, otherwise I would have regular visitors (if you do visit regularly, please let me know). But on the off chance that your not in any of the groups mentioned, then there is a chance that you’re here because you just learned about the existence of tokusatsu and are curious about what it actually is, and Wikipedia isn’t quite giving as much information as you’d like. For those of you who seem to fit this categorey, this post is just for you! Because those other people already know or don’t care!

So then, where do I start? Well let’s start with the word itself. First off, its a Japanese term, which makes it cool by default. Second off, its actually a slang word for the Japanese for “special effects”, which works out well for those of us on the web, because we go crazy for slang. Tokusatsu as a genre really goes back to the original Godzilla film, which was one of the first Japanese sci-fi flicks, so it had to use a variety of special effects that were spectacular back then, but passé and cheesy by todays standards. In many ways, the way they setup the Godzilla movies is still used in tokusatsu today. Essentially, you have a person wearing a giant monster suit, parading through a scale model version of a major city, with the whole thing brought to life with a mix of on set and editted in special effects. This can be seen in any example of tokusatsu made since then. Essentially, the roots of tokusatsu lie in science fiction movies and television shows from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

Of course, when we think about tokusatsu series nowadays, we tend to think about superheroes, and not so much about about giant fake monsters, even though they’re still there. Though there were occasional superhero stories made in the 50’s in Japan, the first tokusatsu superhero is unanimously considered to be Ultraman. Debutting in 1966, Ultraman was an overnight success, proving the popularity of science fiction superheroes with younger audiences. Ultraman‘s popularity eventually led to the shows serialization, where it was followed by numerous versions to the series, each with their own Ultraman and their own storylines. But of course, Ultraman isn’t the only superhero in the world of tokusatsu. 

Because of Ultraman’s success, there was now a rush to produce another series that could equally compete with the popularity of the show. For a time, no one could compete with Tsuburaya Productions (the company that created Ultraman). There were many one shot series that were similar, and plenty of series that outright tried to copy the concept, but no one could match the success that Ultraman had gained. That is until 1971, when the original Kamen Rider debutted. Created by Ishinomori Shotaro, and produced by Toei, the series was part of a move to create more American-style superhero series. With the success of Kamen Rider and it’s many following series still being produced today, this formally introduced the transforming superhero to tokusatsu. With this also came the use of better, more elaborate special effects, a move towards more realistic, martial-arts movie style fighting, and the emphasis on a main villian who acts through minions. The main down side to this change was the shift away from the giant monster fights tokusatsu is known for, though this was temporary.

With the success of Kamen Rider came numerous other shows that tried to mimic the style, not only in tokusatsu but in other media, including anime and manga, leading to the creation of the five-man superhero team, which was brought to the genre through the Super Sentai series. Introduced in 1975 with Himitsu Sentai Goranger, it expanded the tokusatsu genre by bring a mix between the Ultraman-style giant monster fighting with the Kamen Rider-style realistic main-monster-and-minions fight. It also introduced the idea of the team dynamic to the genre, since before then most tokusatsu superheroes before then usually worked alone. And of course, like Ultraman and Kamen Rider before it, Super Sentai has felt success and had multiple versions since it was introduced.

Since its inception, tokusatsu has drastically changed, and yet stays very much the same, much like the people and culture that spawned it. From its origins in science fiction, its come to expand to incorporate action, adventure, fantasy, drama, and many other genres, though it tends to go back to science fiction and action. Even as special effects improve with time and technological advances, it will always come down to a person in a full-body costume.

-M.C., the Quantum Twin