The announcement of Marvel's Attack on Titan crossover shook the internet and remained trending for days later - and now, with new color art depicting the [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) joining on on the madness with [The Avengers](movie:9040), it looks like these titans (which include the Colossal Titan, the Female Titan, the Armoured Titan, and more) are going to be something of a handful for New York City. Check it out:
The comic, written by Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama and illustrated by artist Gerardo Sandoval, comes out tomorrow in Brutus, a Japanese men's magazine. While not everyone has a local Kinokuniya to order from, finding scans of most manga is pretty easy - though I encourage you to buy it, if Marvel announces plans for an American syndication (which they totally should). For what it's worth, you probably won't have to wait for translations, because the comic will be published in English and Japanese.
This, of course, isn't the first time that Marvel has shown it's appreciation for Japanese pop culture: a few years back, Marvel worked on a few animated projects, launching four 12-episode television series based on Iron Man, the X-Men, Blade, and Wolverine.
The projects were meant to re-introduce several of Marvel's top characters to the Japanese audience, and was spearheaded by Warren Ellis. The dubs aired on G4 between 2011 and 2012 - many very recognizable names appear on the cast lists, including Adrian Pasdar of Heroes and [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) as Tony Stark himself.
While the shows never got renewed, they stand as a pretty strong example of Marvel's interest in bringing Japan deeper into the fold of comic book fandom.
Wolverine, of course, has a pretty strong connection to Japan - so his show was probably the top contender for popularity, since his storyline works so well with the concept. Along with full-on transformation and cherry blossom effects, the opening is, well... interesting.
Last but not least: Blade. Oddly enough, the animation and action here reminds me a lot of Attack on Titan. What do you think?
Let's not forget Marvel's other attempts at love letters to Japan -- especially [Big Hero 6](movie:425271), the comic that inspired what is shaping up to be one of Disney's most successful films this year. The entire movie was chock full of easter eggs for both comic and anime/manga fans, right down to Gundam-style cartoon ads on the train. The comic itself was very different from the films, and while it's kind of a relief that Disney decided to go in a completely different direction with their movie, it's also good to know about the source material's history.
Last, but not least (depending on the model) are the collectible figurines that Marvel has collaborated on, the most popular being their Marvel Bishoujo statues. With adorable depictions of Psylocke, Jean Grey, Rogue and more as anime-style heroines, this collection took over overseas and here at home. The series is producing new statues through next year - here are some of my faves:
Japan already seems completely obsessed with Rocket Raccoon, and while American comic sales aren't commonplace there (Manga, after all, dominates that market) Marvel's films and fandom are contagious in Japanese culture. This only really scrapes the surface of Marvel's Anime-styled endeavors, but if Attack on Avengers is successful, the possibilities of future work like this are endless.