In a move intended to replicate the global success of the MCU, leading Japanese entertainment companies Toho, Studio Khara, and Tsuburaya Productions are teaming up to create their own cinematic universe. The new Shin Japan Heroes Universe as it will be known, will unite Godzilla, Ultraman, and the renowned anime world of Evangelion, as well as Kamen Rider.
The plans for a shared universe come off the back of the success of the Shin Godzilla monster movie from 2016, which proved to be popular in the West, as well as in Asia. That live-action epic was written and co-directed by Anno Hideaki, who also directed the incredibly successful anime movie Evangelion: 3.0 + 1.0 Thrice Upon a Time, which was Japan’s number one movie at the box-office in 2021.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder that Anno is heavily involved in this new merging of worlds and art styles for the science fiction movie franchise. Indeed, Anno is also credited as the screenwriter and producer for the upcoming Shin Ultraman movie set for release in May 2022, which will be directed by his collaborator on Shin Godzilla, Higuchi Shinji.
Details on the Shin Japan Heroes Universe are pretty sparse at the moment, with the plans first being officially announced on Monday February 14, 2022. However, we did get a first look at the emblem for the heroic team, as well as a visual showing all four heroes together.
After Shin Ultraman, the cinematic universe will turn its attention to Shin Kamen Rider, with that movie set for release in March 2023, again scripted and directed by Anno Hideaki. These new projects will see merchandise, events, and other lucrative ventures arise for the various studios involved.
Funnily enough, Toho, the production company behind Shin Godzilla, and Toei, the production company behind Ultraman and Kamen Rider, are normally fierce rivals. But the collaboration with visual effects house Tsuburaya is clearly one which suits all parties.