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Discotek Adds 1976 Gaiking, Wicked City Anime

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins

North American anime distributor Discotek Media announced at its panel at Otakon on Sunday that it will release the classic 1976 robot anime series Gaiking (Daikū Maryū Gaiking) and the Wicked City (Yōjū Toshi) anime film on home video.

Gaiking will be available with English subtitles next year. Shout! Factory previously released an abridged version of the original 44-episode Gaiking television anime series as three compilation films. The company released the collection with an English audio track only in 2013. Shout! Factory describes the series:

Far off in outer space, the planet Zela is doomed by an approaching black hole, which forces the diabolical Great Emperor to set his sights on a suitable world to colonize for his people...Earth! But before the invasion can begin, the Emperor and his four generals scheme to eliminate the troublesome human race by raiding our Planet With giant robot monsters!

As one of only a handful of Earthlings with psychic powers, Sanshiro Tsuwabuki is destined to pilot Gaiking, a giant robot that might be Earth's only hope against the monstrous steel hordes of the Great Emperor. Recruited to join an elite team of pilots who control an incredible arsenal of high-tech weapons and mecha, including a massive carrier known as the Space Dragon, Tsuwabuki and Gaiking must square off against a giant robot tarantula, Zelan mind control, deadly hallucinations, nuclear war and more evil, mechanical monstrosities! The battle for the fate of two worlds begins!

Toei Animation began streaming the 39-episode Gaiking: Legend of Daikū-maryū 2005 remake series on Hulu in 2011. Crunchyroll also previously streamed the series, although it is no longer available.

Producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens, The Walking Dead) and her Valhalla Entertainment company have been developing a live-action Gaiking film project with the original studio Toei Animation and All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW).

Wicked City will be available with English subtitles and two English dubs (Manga's British one and Streamline's American one) on DVD next year. Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Ninja Scroll) directed the 1987 film at MADHOUSE. The film is an adaptation of Hideyuki Kikuchi's (Vampire Hunter D) novel series of the same name. Seven Seas Entertainment released the three-volume novel series in English in 2009-2010, and it describes the story:

For centuries, a secret peace treaty has existed between Earth and The Black World, a parallel dimension populated by shape-changers who possess awesome supernatural powers. Now that pact is up for renewal and a militant faction from the Black World will do everything in its power to stop the treaty from being signed. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of a pair of special agents, one a human, the other a shape-changer from the dark dimension.

Urban Vision released the film on VHS in 1999 and on DVD in 2000. Kikuchi's novels also inspired a Hong Kong live-action film in 1992.

Discotek also confirmed that it will release The Super Dimension Century Orguss television anime with "new, improved subtitles" and an English dub (on the first 17 of the 35 episodes) on September 29. The Magic Knight Rayearth television anime will ship with English subtitles and dubbing on DVD this December and on Blu-ray Disc in Winter 2016. Discotek will reissue the English-dubbed Samurai Pizza Cats series in standard-definition video on one Blu-ray Disc this October.

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