Hideaki Anno Is Creating His Version Of The Marvel Universe

Hideaki Anno Is Creating His Version Of The Marvel Universe
This is really cool. (Image: Studio Khara/Toei/Toho/Tsuburaya Productions)

The common connection for many universes in movies and TV is corporate. So, what joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe is, well, Marvel. Of course, there are exceptions. The latest of which is the newly announced Shin Japan Heroes Universe.

This upcoming collab will bring Godzilla, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Evangelion together. This means the project will bring together properties from Toei, Toho, Tsuburaya Productions, and Hideaki Anno’s Studio Khara. A main visual and a logo have been released, but besides that, details about the project are scant. According to Tsuburaya Productions, more info will be released this year. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see what form exactly this collaboration will take.

It is a fascinating joining of forces, but one that makes sense, even though Toho and Toei were traditionally rivals in the world of Japanese cinema (Toho’s main rival was actually Daiei), with Toho known for Godzilla and Toei famous for Ultraman and Kamen Rider.

It's the SJHU.  (Image: Studio Khara/Toei/Toho/Tsuburaya Productions)It’s the SJHU. (Image: Studio Khara/Toei/Toho/Tsuburaya Productions)

The thread that connections these two studios is Tsuburaya Productions, which was founded by Eiji Tsuburaya, who did the special effects for Godzilla and then later for Ultraman and Kamen Rider. Because of the common history between to the two studios and the way Tsuburaya was successfully navigated his relationships with both while producing iconic special effects, bringing these two Japanese cinematic corporate giants together in a shared universe was probably much smoother than, say, if something had soured.

Hideaki Anno and his Studio Khara have made this possible. Back in 2016, the Evangelion creator wrote and co-directed Shin Godzilla, which was a new take on the legendary kaiju franchise (shin means “new” in Japanese). Anno also wrote Shin Ultraman, which will be out this May in Japan, and is writing and directing the upcoming Shin Kamen Rider. The trailers for both yet-unreleased films share a sensibility with Shin Godzilla, so an official cinematic universe seems inevitable. The addition of Evangelion is a plus from Anno’s involvement — a big one, at that.

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