We’ve been following the evolution of Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo (“beautiful girl”) statues for several years now. The series applies the playful sexiness and wide-eyed naivety of anime and manga art to popular film, comic book, and video game characters. We’ve seen DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Kill Bill, Tekken and Streetfighter figures all translated into the popular Japanese visual idiom.
Belladonna of Sadness was probably the perfect flick to see in the “art-house” environment of Manhattan’s new Metrograph Theater. It’s sell out engagement has prompted a “hold over” of 12 additional screenings which will run from May 13-19, 2016. (Extended again thru June 2!) There are some spoilers in my review, which you might want to avoid until you see it yourself. If you do please come back and share your opinions.
Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi No Belladonna, The Tragedy of Belladonna)
Mushi Productions, 1973
4K Restoration, Cinelicious Pics, 2016
Directed by: Elichi Yamamoto
Produced by: Tadami Watanabe
Written by: Yoshiyuki Fukada, Elichi Yamamoto
I’ve been excited to see Cinelicious Pics’ 4K restoration of Elichi Yamamoto’s Belladonna of Sadness since it was first announced over a year ago. When tickets went on sale for a short theater run here in New York City I jumped at the chance. The US and Canadian screenings (through July 2016) are meant to herald the film’s release on BluRay. There is also a “making of” companion book from Hat and Beard Press. To sweeten the experience it would be my first chance to visit the newly opened Metrograph Theater in lower Manhattan.
Let’s Get Small…
Fans of DC Comics‘ Batman, Lil Gotham series have some welcome merchandise on the horizon. Scheduled for June 2015, a selection of seven characters will be brought to collectors by toy maker Kotobukiya.
Quite appropriately the Lil Gotham figures are – well – little. They average 2 inches tall and are made of soft PVC. They’ll be sold blind bagged, two to a package, in any one of six bright colors. Represented are Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, all as envisioned by artist Dustin Nguyen.
Do You Believe in Magic in a Young Girl’s Heart…
New to Kotobukiya’s line of Bishoujo styled statues, which cast well known heroines in the playful “pretty girl” manga look, is DC’s Zatanna. The Mistress of Magic should be ready for her first reveal at the New York International Toy Fair.
Kotobukiya is noted for their high quality ArtFX statues. They have licensed products that span the DC and Marvel Universes, Star Wars, Mass Effect and more. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing many of them on display at recent fairs and conventions. Please enjoy the gallery below.
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The Future’s So Dark I Gotta Wear Blades…
The roll out for Square Enix/Play Arts roster of DC Universe figures, as previewed at NY Toy Fair 2013 in February, has begun with The Dark Knight Trilogy Batman and Bane currently available. Catwoman Selina Kyle as portrayed by Anne Hathaway, and Heath Ledger’s Joker will follow in the coming months.
Arkham Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight…
Rounding out the Batman related characterizations, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy will add a twisted feminine touch to the Batman Arkham City series. Both are scheduled for mid-June 2013 release.
Also scheduled for release throughout spring and summer are the Anime-esque “Kai” Variants of DC’s revered heroes and heroines. Along with a samurai sword wielding Batman, the series will include sleek and angular spins on Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and down the road Batgirl and Flash. The latter two were displayed in early prototype pre-painted versions that I think highlighted their beautiful geometric look. That said, The Flash should be spectacular in full color.
Many of the characters were displayed with a host of swappable parts, including hands, weapons and masks. Please keep in mind that all photos here were taken of prototypes – in some cases still pending licensor approval. Final products may vary. You can see the official product images of these and other Square Enix/Play Arts collectibles at their website.
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