The concept of shared universes continues to grow across different franchises, with Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and various other Disney properties set to explore the vast possibilities. Taking a page from their western counterparts is Japan, who is gearing up to unleash its biggest collaboration to date: the Shin Japan Heroes Universe.
The upcoming project will integrate Godzilla, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and iconic mecha anime Evangelion into a shared cinematic world, which would bring together properties from Toei, Toho, Tsuburaya Productions, and Hideaki Anno’s Studio Khara. While a main graphic and logo have been unveiled, other details still remain a mystery, with more information slated for release sometime this year (via Tsuburaya Productions).
It’s a really cool and massive team-up, if largely unexpected. Toho, known for Godzilla, Toei, for Kamen Rider and Tsuburaya, for Ultraman, were rivals in the sense of traditional Japanese cinema; the linking thread comes in the form of Tsuburaya Productions, who worked on the special effects for Godzilla, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider.
The involvement of Hideaki Anno and his studio, meanwhile, can be attributed to the man’s kaiju expertise. In 2016, he wrote and co-directed Shin Godzilla, which presented a new take on the long-running, beloved franchise. Subsequently, the Evangelion creator worked on Shin Ultraman, due for release in Japan in May, and is currently writing for Shin Kamen Rider. That doesn’t have a known launch date just yet.
Considering the shared presence of the kaiju, the worlds of Godzilla, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider should be able to fit nicely within an integrated universe. The Angels in Evangelion, along with its post-apocalyptic setting, do seem to deviate a little from the formula, so it’d be interesting to see how the studios will work their magic there.