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[ANIME FEATURE 2021] “Tokusatsu” is hot!

Magazine

ReleaseMarch 11, 2021

In 2021 Japan’s unique brand of special effects blockbusters called “tokusatsu” are all the rage. Scheduled to be released in early summer, the production team behind the 2016 hit Shin Godzilla will release their latest work, Shin Ultraman. A milestone in the history of tokusatsu television in Japan, “Ultraman” will be reborn on the big screen under the planning and script of Hideaki Anno, known for directing the anime “Neon Genesis Evangelion.”

Shin Ultraman

Shin Ultraman


Also this year, Hollywood unleashes the second installment in their Godzilla franchise, “GODZILLA VS. KONG,” while in Japan a completely new Godzilla anime series “Godzilla SP ” will start to air on TOKYO MX and other stations from April. Netflix subscribers will get an advanced preview of the show before its exclusive release worldwide. This new series was conceived and scripted by one of Japan’s preeminent sci-fi novelists and winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for literature, Toh Enjo. Completely different from those before, how will this new story break new ground?

Godzilla SP

Elsewhere, in Sukagawa City (Fukushima Prefecture), the hometown of Ultraman creator and director, Eiji Tsuburaya, there are two new facilities where the profound depths of Japanese tokusatsu culture can be explored. Opened in January 2019, the “Tsuburaya Eiji Museum” uses panels and video interviews to introduce the 68-year career and personality of director Eiji Tsuburaya, known as the “god of tokusatsu.” Tokusatsu making videos and models are on display, along with the remarkable video screened only here: “Dream Challenge: Godzilla Appears in Sukagawa.”

Tsuburaya Eiji Museum

Tsuburaya Eiji Museum

The “Sukagawa Tokusatsu Archive Center” opened in November 2020. In this facility, Japan’s proud tokusatsu culture is preserved for the future. Approximately 1,000 items used in the making of these films are stored here such as cameras, and miniature buildings and fighters, with some open to the public for free, including precious exhibits such as the statue of Shin Ultraman.

Sukagawa Tokusatsu Archive Center

Sukagawa Tokusatsu Archive Center

Sukagawa Tokusatsu Archive Center

Recommended for Godzilla fans is “Nijigen no Mori” on Awaji Island. The world’s first full-scale Godzilla attraction “Godzilla Interception Operation Awaji” opened in October 2020. With the life-size, 120-meter-long Godzilla, visitors can enjoy attractions such as a zip line and a shooting game, as well as the world’s first permanent “Godzilla Museum.”

Nijigen no Mori

Nijigen no Mori

Nijigen no Mori

Japan’s iconic giant hero “Ultraman” and giant kaiju “Godzilla.” Whether through live action films, anime, museums or attractions, the ways in which we can wonder at these two beings grow larger every day!

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*The information herein is as of March 2021.