I really wish I had more time on my hands, because I could spend hours writing about the seemingly-endless movies, video games, and tv shows set to release this year, along with the laundry list of books and comics that I plan to read throughout 2016. It’s going to be another busy year for me just when it comes to my entertainment choices, but I can’t wait to jump in on it all. Until then, here’s my list of what’s got me most excited for the year.
MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIE – GAMERA
Welcome back, Gamera! It’s been almost ten years since the last flick to star Japan’s favorite giant, flying, fire-breathing turtle, and nearly 17 years since the last time we saw an adult form of the shelled Kaiju take to the screen. This reboot, set to celebrate Gamera’s 50th anniversary, debuted at New York City Comic Con 2015 and got me ridiculously excited the moment I started watching the proof of concept trailer. It has monsters both old and new, and Gamera has never looked more fearsome, especially when he’s incinerating an entire flock of Gyaos—along with half of a city—with one fireball.
MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK – MISTBORN: THE HERO OF AGES
At the time of this writing, I have just finished reading the second book in the original Mistborn trilogy, so I’m locked in to finish this creative, and pulse-pounding fantasy series. I’m happy enough to get another book that features all of the greatness that comes from the wild battles between metal-consuming Allomancers; it’s even more exciting that we’re nearing the conclusion to Vin’s quest to become the eponymous Hero of Ages and save her world from the enigmatic and destructive Deepness. It’s been quite the ride to follow the brave heroine and her motley crew of allies, here’s to hoping that they all go out on a high note.
MOST ANTICIPATED TELEVISION SHOW – THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES
There’s always a hint of dread that’s conjured when one of your favorite books gets its big-budget film or television adaption. We’ve seen huge successes that do their source material justice, and then we’ve seen complete disasters that diminish the source material’s reputation. The Shannara series by Terry Brooks stands as perhaps my favorite in written fiction, so there’s equal parts worry and anticipation when The Shannara Chronicles debuts on MTV this month. It’s taking the story from my favorite of the Shannara books, The Elfstones of Shannara, and it looks absolutely gorgeous for a television show. Will it capture that same magic that absorbed millions of readers over the last few decades? We don’t have to wait long to find out!
MOST ANTICIPATED COMIC BOOK – X-WING ROGUE SQUADRON
I made a promise to myself that I would gear up for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story appropriately this year by plowing through the entire Dark Horse comic series about the legendary Rogue Squadron crew from Star Wars. It’s a series that I touched on in the past, but never completed. Given that Rogue Squadron and the Starfighter pilots are among my favorite elements of the Star Wars universe, it only feels right to finally indulge in all of the adventures that Wedge Antilles and the rest of the crew experienced following Return of the Jedi (even if they’re no longer cannon).
MOST ANTICIPATED VIDEO GAME – THE LEGEND OF ZELDA WII U
This was my same pick at the start of 2015, but, unfortunately, a delay reared its ugly head, and the next Legend of Zelda epic was pushed back to 2016. I’ve got faith that Nintendo will hold true to their claim that this game launches this year. With that in mind, I’m just going to repeat what I said last year regarding this one –
“As an absolute fanatic for The Legend of Zelda video games, I always get excited for the coming of a new 3D entry. They’re only released once every few years, and each one dating all the way back to Ocarina of Time in 1998 has been a beautiful adventure loaded with charming characters and the most inventive game design in the industry. This newest addition to the storied series will be Zelda’s first foray into the realm of HD gaming, which means we’re about to experience a game that blends the sprawling scope of high-definition tech with the boundless creativity that Zelda’s developers have always been known for. The humble, but awe-inspiring teasers that we’ve been shown have demonstrated just how large, and how gorgeous the in-game world will be. I’ve said it elsewhere, and I’ll repeat it here—this game could very well end up being Nintendo’s magnum opus.”
MOST ANTICIPATED SPORTING EVENT – UFC FIGHT NIGHT: DILLASHAW VS CRUZ
For all intents and purposes, this is a champion vs. champion fight. The challenger, Dominick Cruz, is the former UFC Bantamweight Champion, who only had to relinquish his belt because of a catastrophically unlucky string of injuries. While on hiatus, TJ Dillashaw rose to the top of the division with some phenomenal performances. This has the makings for one of the most technique scraps in UFC history. Both guys are lightning-fast on their feet and have the footwork to waltz around their opponents in the cage. I can’t wait to see their similar skillsets face off later this month and decide who’s the true 135-pound champion.