Phantom Beast AGON roars to Blu-ray this December from T.C. Entertainment
Tokusatsu completists take note. Nippon Denpa Eiga’s oddball daikaiju serial Agon「アゴン」will mark the 50th anniversary of its original broadcast next January, an occasion monster fans will be able to celebrate with a brand-new blu-ray edition of the title, due for release on December 22nd from Japan’s T.C. Entertainment.
Often subtitled Atomic Dragon and retitled to varying degrees in its VHS and later DVD incarnations, Agon was written and supervised by regular Godzilla series scribe Shinichi SEKIZAWA and originally wrapped production in early 1964. Lack of commercial sponsorship saw it languishing on the shelf for years from there, until Fuji Television dusted it off for a broadcast in January of 1968. By that time show must have felt an odd duck indeed, an old-school monster-on-the-loose yarn appearing well after Tsuburaya and P. Productions had revolutionized the small-screen genre with giant super heroes and vivid color photography. Agon ran for four consecutive nights and has remained relatively obscure since, with only the occasional home video release to pique curiosity.
T.C. Entertainment are sourcing a new HD telecine from Agon‘s original film elements (the closing sequences for episodes 1-3 are, unfortunately, lost) for their blu-ray edition, which will present all four episodes on one disc with monophonic PCM audio in the original Japanese (without foreign language subtitles, natch). Purists should note T.C.’s frequent, though frustratingly inconsistent, habit of re-framing their vintage television programs at 16:9 for blu-ray release. Agon is currently listed at 16:9.
Supplements are practically non-existent, but the price is relatively painless by Japanese standards (and significantly lower than what the long-OOP 2005 DVD goes for anymore). Agon retails for around $55, and can be pre-ordered now through Amazon Japan and the other usual outlets.