Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno loves three things: existential trauma, tokusatsu, and movie titles with the word Shin in them. His latest project has... hmm, let’s go with two out of three, sort of. One and a bit.
Anime News Network reports that Anno, currently sandwiched between saying farewell to Evangelion earlier this year with the release of Thrice Upon a Time, and with two theatrical projects on the way in the form of Shin Ultraman and Shin Kamen Rider, actually has a “new” project in the works too: an HD remaster of the 1985 Thunderbirds Complete, his first professional work as an editor. Released in Japanese theaters, the film condensed the classic 1960s Gerry Anderson supermarionation sci-fi series—about the Tracy family and their role as International Rescue, an elite team of pilots and search-and-rescue agents battling the sinister threat of the Hood, a mysterious, mystical agent of the dark arts—into a standalone movie project.
The original material for the film, thought lost, has recently been recovered, and Anno is now supervising a restoration and HD remastering for re-broadcast in Japan in 2022 as Shin Thunderbirds Complete. We might as well make it part of Anno’s unofficial Shin saga, between the Evangelion rebuilds, and his work on Godzilla, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider. Anno’s not the only one doing it either—his collaborator on Shin Ultraman and Shin Godzilla, Shinji Higuchi, recently compiled three brand-new episodes of Thunderbirds crowdfunded for the series’ 50th anniversary in 2015 as Thunderbirds 55/GoGo, celebrating the 55th anniversary of the series’ debut in Japan, earlier this month.
After all, it’s not hard to see why people like Anno and Higuchi would be drawn to the fantastical series’ practical effects work and use of puppetry: if anything Thunderbirds is just as part of the tokusatsu oeuvre, even if it was with puppet actors rather than men in rubber suits, just from a Western creator. Shin Thunderbirds Complete will broadcast on Japan’s BS 10 Star Channel in 2022.
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