Also this week in hype: MORE ANIME! (Godzilla: Monster Planet). MORE VIDEO GAMES! (Final Fantasy XII HD).
I sometimes worry I cover too much video game and anime stuff on This Week In Hype!
I try to follow the hype and cover the appropriate topics, of course. But being that I myself really like video games and anime, I worry about my bias showing through. So weeks such as this one fill me with trepidation. Do I veer from the obvious bits of hype that cross my way? Or do I decide to not fight the little voices saying “no Tim, you must embrace it. You are the anime. You are the video games.”
To make a long story short, I am very susceptible to little voices.
Netflix’s Castlevania series is out, makes fans cry bloody tears.
You know what the most surprising thing about the new animated Castlevania series is? That it even came out at all. I had five Netflix notifications the day of its release, and not one of them was about Castlevania. Me, the person who wrote a bunch about video games being art, was not notified until I saw people talking about it online. Fortunately, by the time I found it, the night was still young.
Personal anecdote aside, yes, the long awaited anime (okay kind of anime) adaptation of Konami’s classic Castlevania series has finally come out. Though it’s only four episodes long as of now, Netflix has already announced a second season of the show that will feature twice as many episodes. The show follows the lore of the game series with an even bloodier and darker edge, and features the characters seen in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.
Reviews of Castlevania have ranged from middling to good, but in my opinion… yes, it’s good. I mean, I grew up on Castlevania, and the fan service here on point. Unlike other video game adaptations that have come out in the past, you can tell the team behind the series really gets Castlevania and knows what fans want to see. From the moment you see the first episode illustrating the story of Dracula and Lisa Tepes from Symphony of the Night, it’s hard not to feel a little bit giddy. This is of course doubly sweet considering how long it’s been since we’ve gotten a proper Castlevania game, pachinko machines be damned.
The real question, though, is how well Castlevania will attract those with no preexisting attachment to the series. The “Game of Thrones vibe” and star power of Warren Ellis in the writer’s seat certainly attracts a broader audience, but even I can admit the show has a few rough edges. I, of course, can forgive shortcomings, but I’d wonder if others will be able to just as easily. Only time will tell if Castlevania can sink its fangs into mainstream appeal.
New Godzilla anime teaser roars onto the net.
Speaking of anime adaptations, the kaiju king himself has returned to the spotlight with this teaser trailer for Godzilla: Monster Planet. Okay, okay, fine, kind of anime.
Yes, Godzilla: Monster Planet is the 30th Toho-produced Godzilla film, and the first of those to be animated. That said, though not much could be gleaned from the teaser aside from its sci-fi setting, fans are already vocal about its art style. Godzilla: Monster Planet uses a low frame rate style of CG animation that’s meant to mimic conventional hand-drawn anime. This might not be that offensive on its own, but its a growing trend in anime that the community has grown more and more divisive over. Critics say that CG anime looks cheap and lazy compared to traditional anime, but perhaps we’ll have to see how this Godzilla fares in spite of the controversy.
Godzilla: Monster Planet is set to be the first of a trilogy of movies, and Netflix is handling the film’s worldwide release. This is good, as I’ll look forward to not receiving the appropriate notification for this one as well.
Final Fantasy XII gets HD remaster, reminding us once and for all to not listen to Ondore’s lies.
Rounding out our hype this week is the July 11th release of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.
“HD Remasters” of video games are remarkably common these days, but Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is poised to be an especially special treat for fans. Sure, the signature “HD graphics” are here, but that’s not the exciting part. For English speaking fans, this will be the first time the game will be officially playable with the enhancements made in the 2007 Japan only International Zodiac Job System version of Final Fantasy XII. I have heard on good authority that the Zodiac version of the game makes the game, and I quote, “actually playable,” and I for one am always excited to get a definitive version of a game.
I actually can’t judge the vanilla version of the game, I never got around to playing Final Fantasy XII for myself. So maybe it wasn’t that bad. Basically, I’m just saying don’t shoot the messenger.
In true Final Fantasy fashion, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is available in ridiculously ornate collector’s editions. The limited steelbook edition is available is available for $49.99, while the collector’s edition runs for $199.99. Though Final Fantasy XII hasn’t been a favorite entry among most fans, maybe this rerelease will change that.
That concludes another round of quality hype on This Week In Hype. Next week is San Diego Comic-Con, and I guarantee you’ll be hearing plenty from us as the event draws closer. I also promise to not cover quite as much video games and anime next week. That said, I can’t promise that my promises actually mean anything.