A Rockin’ Ride: Buckle up and get ready to blow your mind all over again as Sony unleashes Heavy Metal (1981) on 4K UHD for the first time! With visuals and new, immersive soundtrack OKed by the late producer Ivan Reitman, the epic adult sci-fi anthology comes with a new retrospective featurette and comes bundled in the limited edition SteelBook with a Blu-ray copy and Blu-ray debut of Heavy Metal 2000, both with legacy bonus features — a truly radical retro gem. [SPHE | $35]
Into the Deep: If you missed the cracking cartoon mini-series Aquaman: King of Atlantis on HBO Max, worry not: Warner Bros. has re-cut the action-packed tale into a feature-length film for Digital and DVD! The original story reimagines the DC Super Hero (voiced by Cooper Andrews) as a newbie ruler warming up to the throne. With the help of royal advisors Vulko (Thomas Lennon) and Mera (Gillian Jacobs), Aquaman must deal with unscrupulous surface dwellers, evils from beyond time and his own scheming half-brother. Y’know, typical new job stuff. [WBHE | $15]
- Note: Since Issue 320 was published, the release date has been pushed to June 21. A:KA is available for pre-order from major retailers.
Jaeger Masterpiece: Can’t get enough kaiju? Legendary Comics’ new graphic novel collection Pacific Rim: Ultimate Omnibus expands the epic mythology of Guillermo del Toro’s blockbuster franchise, bringing together the NYT bestselling Tales from Year Zero (written by Travis Beacham), Tales from the Drift (Joshua Fialkov), Aftermath (Cavan Scott), Amara (Scott & Zhang Ran) and the brand-new Blackout (also by Scott) in a deluxe set. Featuring stellar art by the likes of Marcos Marz, Marcello Miaolo, BigN and Nelson Dániel, the whopping 568-page hardcover collection brings fans into the world of the movies and hit Netflix anime series in a whole new way. [Simon & Schuster, $100]
Anime Enlightenment: Speaking of the great Japanese art, this month welcomes two new titles that look like library staples for any otaku. Out April 26 from Crunchyroll, Essential Anime: Fan Favorites, Memorable Masterpieces and Cult Classics [$24] is an insightful guide to 50 influential works from across the 20th & 21st century. Authors Patrick Macias (editor of Otaku USA) and Samuel Sattin (Wolfwalkers graphic novelist) offer commentary on the history and legacy of anime, recommendation lists and hundreds of beautiful images on this tour from Astro Boy to Demon Slayer, Akira to Tekkonkinkreet, Sailor Moon to Princess Mononoke and so much more. (Find a store at IndieBound.)
Meanwhile, arts journo Cristian Campos’ 1,000 Ideas by 100 Manga Artists [Chartwell, $20] goes beyond the glut of “how to draw” books to delve into the why and wherefore of manga. Artists, cartoonists and illustrators from around the globe answer questions about their work, inspirations, relationship with manga and creative advice alongside a bounty of artwork, sketches and photos. Dig in!
Andean Adventure: Writing from Animag‘s “Portland Office” (a.k.a. my apartment), this reviewer can always use more sunshine — even if it’s just on screen. The new indie action-platformer Imp of the Sun sends gamers on a fast-paced quest through punishing battles to defeat the Four Keepers and retrieve the stolen power of the Sun. Created by Peruvian studio Sunwolf, the gorgeous hand-drawn game environments are inspired by indigenous cultures of the region. Players have compared the title to Metroidvania Ori, but the challenging fights may be more reminiscent of Cuphead — a beautiful, if somewhat brutal, gaming experience! (Watch the trailer.) [Fireshine Games, Console & Steam Download, $20]
On a Roll: Spring also saw the eagerly awaited release of Fandom’s Tales of Xadia: The Dragon Prince Roleplaying Game, which brings the magic, lore and adventure of the Emmy-winning Netflix series to your party’s tabletop. Already an ENNIE winner, the RPG is built with the Cortex Prime system and features an official storyline that bridges the gap between S3 & S4 of Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond’s acclaimed animated series. The handbook is packed with 300 pages of stunning artwork, expansive lore and guidance from Narrative Lead Dan Telfer (longtime DM of the Nerd Poker D&D podcast). Go ahead, treat yo’ elf. [talesofxadia.com | Physical & Digital, $50; Digital Only $25]
Stuff We Love is now the monthly Must Have list. To find previous reviews from the print edition of Animation Magazine, use the tag below or type “Stuff We Love” into the AnimationMagazine.net search bar.