Toho, Khara, Tsuburaya Productions, and Toei recently announced an upcoming project titled Shin Japan Heroes Universe (SJHU), which will feature the iconic Japanese film characters Godzilla, Evangelion, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider.
The characters featured come from various remake films: Toho’s Shin Godzilla (2016), Khara’s Shin Evangelion (Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon A Time, released in 2021, is the English film title), Tsuburaya Productions’ Shin Ultraman (coming this May in Japan), and Toei’s Shin Kamen Rider (premiering in Japan in March 2023).
These four “shin” characters – shin written in the katakana form can mean new or true in Japanese – will come together in a dream collaboration as heroes that represent Japan — a similar concept to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A main visual by Japanese animator Mahiro Maeda and an emblem by Japanese anime designer Yutaka Izubuchi have been made public along with the announcement. A dedicated website (in Japanese only) has also been set up for this unprecedented Japanese cinematic universe.
“It is difficult to coordinate a project with such a wide variety of copyright sources, and the business benefits are not great. This project is only made possible through the cooperation among the content holders who choose to prioritise fan service over business,” said Japanese animator Hideaki Anno, who helped produce the Shin series.
Anno added that the word “Shin” would be removed in the future, and wished these icons would be known to the world not just as Japanese heroes, but also Japanese characters. He also hoped that the development of SJHU would please their fans as a new form of entertainment that transcended the boundaries of the individual character’s world.
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