Weekly news post (plus some photos from the Osaka Godzilla store)

It’s been a slow news week, but hey, at least Godzilla: The Planet Eater came out. It’s a wild ride with religious and Lovecraftian themes, body horror, even more implied horror, and mishaps. In short, other people will probably hate it, but I’m stoked. Amanda saw it and sent the a message reading “Schrodinger’s Ghidorah with special appearance by acid trip Mothra, brought to you by the author of human despair”, so make of that what you will. Some stuff from interviews in the program book:

  • Shizuno said that he didn’t want the human confrontations to be overshadowed by the kaiju battles, and that he finds kaiju smackdowns to be rather gauche.
  • Urobuchi claims that the character focus brings the anime closer to the original movie, which is really about Serizawa and the oxygen destroyer, not the monster.

On top of that, there was an article on Oricon that’s going around, in which Shizuno gets some credit for preventing Seshita and Urobuchi from having Mechagodzilla heads on the city turrets or having the Exif in the iconic Xillien visors. However, it was Toho that wanted to shy away from the monster-on-monster fighting aspect of the story.

Anyway, since this is a light week, let’s kick things off with some snapshots from Osaka, of the pop-up Godzilla shop that will be open until November 19 (after which one will have to go to the Tokyo Godzilla store, instead):

Alright, onto the news:

  • Toku Nation has a look at Redman: The Kaiju Hunter volume 2, featuring Redman Dark. Perhaps they should have gone with “Redman Dark Noir Black Schwarz”, if Ultraman R/B is to be taken as a template.

  • SSSS Gridman will be getting vinyl figures through the Strong Style Sofuvi Series (I see what they did there). The blue figure is an exclusive bundled with the Blu-ray, but I may get both seeing as how that show is phenomenal.

  • A new trailer for The Great Buddha Arrival:

  • Another trailer for The Price of Smiles, reinforcing our curiosity:

  • Netflix will be doing a Pacific Rim animated series (despite headlines, nothing seems to indicate that it will be “anime” so far). I’m just glad that this is manifesting in some form or another.
  • This trailer for School Live is sort of a spoiler, but there’s no getting around this premise without spoiling it. The poster is also amazing, as it nails the duality of the saccharine facade beautifully.

Well, that’s a wrap for now. As always, leave a comment if something got missed, and otherwise, enjoy watching SSSS Gridman on loop looking for more Easter eggs!

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Almost timely news recap

How was everyone’s Halloween? Did you have a chance to go to Universal Studios Osaka and get menaced by a zombie King Kong? (The page is gone now, but I saved this image beforehand.)

Anyway, on to the news…

  • Godzilla’s birthday was on November 3rd, so there was a Godzilla Fest in Tokyo to celebrate. Attendees were greeted with a new Shodai-Godzi suit, which is apparently being used as a promotion for an Eiji Tsuburaya museum opening January 11.

  • In “mountain out of a molehill” news, people freaked out that Tsuburaya’s website says that they don’t allow doujinshi of their work.  Of course they have to say “no” about unauthorized works if they’re asked flat out. The company has historically been pretty lax with fan projects (ask Minoru Kawasaki or Hideaki Anno how they kicked off), and game to license all sorts of things when approached properly.
    However, if they just say “sure, feel free to go nuts with our IP, no questions asked”, the next thing you know there’s another theme park in Thailand that TsuPro won’t see a dime from.
    There was some speculation that this is some move meant to combat the spat of erotic doujins out there for SSSS Gridman, which is ridiculous because (a) lewd Ultraman doujinshi have been around forever, and (b) Gridman has official products that look like this:

  • Andy Muschietti (It, Mama) has been tapped to direct an American live-action Attack on Titan adaptation. I’m curious.
  • Speaking of Attack on Titan, Hajime Isayama’s initial pitch from 2006 is online now. You can sort of see why Shonen Jump passed on it (the art ranges from passable to really bad), but there are flashes of inspiration and potential in there.

  • Psycho Pass: Sinners of the System looks pretty sweet.

  • Netflix is producing an anime titled Hero Mask. However, it’s not related to the manga Hero Mask, despite Netflix producing a couple of other titles (e.g. Ultraman, Sword Gai) from the same publisher.

  • The Price of Smiles shows that Tatsunoko can, on occasion, still make a show that’s not a nostalgia grab.

  • I was so preoccupied with Double Decker that I didn’t notice another show with Masakazu Katsura character designs was coming out: The Girl in Twilight. Have I mentioned what an insanely strong anime season is going on right now?

  • What better evidence is there that Funimation was just acquired by a major corporation than Dragon Ball Super having a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade?
  • The Eagle Talon cast dropped by Skull-faced Bookseller Honda-san for double the stilted animation and strange comedy.

  • You know how Evangelion had a train? Well, Ultraman now has a plane, courtesy of JAL. Feel free to bring that up the next time someone argues how unpopular the series is.

That’s a wrap for now, hopefully this time next week we’ll have some impressions on Godzilla: The Planet Eater!

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Giant news recap

It’s been over a month since the last news roundup, due to numerous mundane responsibilities of life. Some of them were more fun than others, though, as I recently had the chance to be on Kaiju Transmissions (also linked in the podcast feed),  be part of a guest panel for Prehistory: A Traveler’s Guide, and even got interviewed for Toho Kingdom! I know, excuses.

Let’s look back at what all happened this month!

  • Thanks to LA Comic Con, information is starting to come out about Godzilla: Aftershock, the upcoming tie-in comic to next year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

  • If a constellation wasn’t official enough for our favorite piece of popular culture, there’s also now a Godzilla fan certification exam! Remember, if you don’t get certified, you’re a fake fan.
    While we probably won’t spend fifty bucks to take the thing (even if they sell some exclusive merchandise inside), there is an official study guide text book that could be a fun thing to pick up.

  • Also, the children’s book Ganbare Chibi Godzilla, based on a design by Chiharu Sakazaki.

  • On a less Godzilla (but still sort of ) note, Criterion’s streaming service FilmStruck is shutting down at the end of November. Hopefully titles that haven’t gotten physical releases (e.g. Princess from the Moon, Iron Finger) find new homes.
  • Likewise, Crunchyroll is dropping Ultraman Max, Ultraman Mebius, Ultraman 80, and Ultraman Leo…a dark sign after they didn’t pick up Ultraman R/B. In other news, they’re ending their content-sharing with Funimation, which is certainly frustrating for fans.
  • Here’s another trailer for Kaiju Girls Black. With the Tsuburaya cutbacks at Crunchyroll, I wonder if they’ll pick this up?

  • Toei is producing a series titled Space Kaiju Gyalace. The trailer doesn’t show much, but apparently the writer worked on Lupinranger vs Patranger.

  • Here’s a trailer for an indie kaiju flick titled Aquatic Kaiju Yagon:

  • I think I missed this back in May, but here’s another micro-budget trailer: Headless Kaiju of the Long Night of Spiritual Darkness.

  • Milla Jovovich posted a first photo from the live action Monster Hunter movie. Have we mentioned that this is co-produced by Toho?
  • A trailer for the Taiwanese giant robot movie Baryon:

  • Legendary is working on a live-action movie based on My Hero Academia. Naturally there’s been all sorts of geekdom outrage, which I find silly since the source material isn’t as inherently Japanese as so many others seem to believe. If nothing else, I wonder if this can lead to a live-action Godzillo cameo.
  • The Psycho Pass SS anime trilogy is debuting at Tokyo International Film Festival. I wonder if they’ll get US theatrical releases like the previous movie did?

  • Hopefully the French-made Astro Boy Go is better than most other shows ending in the word “go”.

  • This trailer for Promare seems mostly to lean on people liking Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill.

  • Gou Tanabe’s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness is getting a US release. We’d been hoping for it!

  • Not really genre related, but dang this French City Hunter adaptation looks spot-on.

I’m probably missing something, but there’s a lot to sift through. But, between Halloween viewings and the best anime season in ages, I think for now we’ll put a pin in it and come back next weekend (hopefully!)

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Maser Patrol podcast episode 39: Wolf Guy

In honor of Halloween, author John LeMay stops by the podcast to talk about the Wolf Guy werewolf franchise from Kazumasa Hirai. We discuss the novel, manga, Toho, Toei, and JC staff adaptations. It’s a howling good time.

direct download

Notes:

  • Many manga

  • JC Staff OVA series

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Kaiju Transmissions podcast: Godzilla the Series

Last month I showed up on Kaiju Transmissions for another guest spot, this time to talk about Godzilla the Series, which, as mentioned before, is just the best. Apologies for the delay in posting!

Expect an actual Maser Patrol podcast shortly.

Podcast Download

Buy Godzilla the Series

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Halloween hijinks: Night Parade of 100 Monster Movies

So far, the Halloween Hijinks articles on this blog have focused on western monsters showing up in Japanese media: vampires, witches, zombies, werewolves, Frankensteins. And thus, until now we’ve avoided the topic of yokai, the traditional Japanese spirits, first of all because there are too many of them to cover, and secondly because they’re really more associated with Japan’s indigenous spooky holiday Obon than with Halloween (though there is a recent pop culture push to make Halloween a thing in Japan).

But, partially for lack of a good topic for this particular Halloween, partially for a desire to do some yokai eiga cataloging, I felt inspired to recall the old Japanese tradition of hyakumonogatari kaidankai, in which Edo-era party goers spend the whole night telling one another one hundred tales of the supernatural, blowing out a single candle with each story told, to eventually reach complete darkness. A whole movie obviously would take up way more time than one of these fables, but if you were to stay up every night from here until Halloween, you could still squeeze in 100 of them (I take no responsibility for any ensuing loss of performance at work the subsequent weeks). Or, perhaps you could watch one a night until the end of the year, or one every three days until the next Obon, no pressure.

Because 100 is a lot, I won’t give much of a description of each individual movie, but rather split them up according to the type of yokai that they’re covering, giving a little blurb about each one. Direct sequels may also get lumped together, because there are, after all, a lot of these movies to pick from, but I also figure some wiggle room makes it more fun when selecting for your own cinematic hyakumonogatari kaidankai.

With that said, let’s dive in:

Kappa

The most famous of yokai, these water imps are everywhere in pop culture, known for their love of cucumbers, sumo wrestling, and causing anal trauma. On top of the flicks mentioned here, there’re a few other titles that may be of tangential interest, including the “Giant Monster Appears” two-parter in The Next Generation Patlabor, the kaiju flick Gappa the Triphibian Monster, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time.

  • Kappa (1994) – it’s sort of a clone of E.T.
  • Summer Days with Coo (2007) – not quite as much like E.T., but still about a boy and his secret kappa pet.

 

  • Death Kappa (2010) – a kaiju comedy.
  • Underwater Love (2011) – a pornographic musical about a human-kappa romance.

 


Tanuki

Shape-shifting raccoon dogs, mostly known for their enormous scrotums, and for being a suit that makes Mario fly.

  • Checkers in Tan Tan Tanuki (1986) – starring the pop band Checkers, obviously.
  • Pom Poko (1994) – about a tanuki group opposing modernization. It’s a classic.
  • Princess Raccoon (2005) – a surrealist musical from Seijun Suzuki. Not much in the way of effects, and the princess obviously does not have a certain feature of tanuki anatomy.


Kitsune

Multi-tailed foxes are notorious for playing tricks on humans, often taking human form and wielding a great deal of magical power. Being a tricky lot, the list of kitsune movies isn’t exactly straightforward either.

  • Liza the Fox-Fairy (2015) – a Hungarian comedy about a girl who thinks she is a kitsune.
  • Painted Skin (2008)/Painted Skin: The Resurrection (2012) – a Hong Kong film series focusing on a kitsune.
  • Princess Mononoke (1997) – perhaps these don’t count, but there are multi-tailed wolves that raise a human girl. A handful of other (semi-unrecognizable) yokai pop up as well.

  • War of the Wizards (1978) – a Taiwanese fantasy flick directed by Sadamasa Arikawa, featuring a kitsune as the main antagonist.
  • Onmyouji (2001)/Onmyouji 2 (2003) – the famous Japanese wizard Abe no Seimei was said to be half-kitsune, and these movies see him interact with other yokai as well.


Tengu

Birdlike gods, usually with beaks or long noses. They can sort of be jerks, just like real birds.

  • Aragami (2003) – a samurai gets into a duel with a tengu.
  • Karas: The Prophecy (2005) and Karas: the Revelation (2007) – about a tengu-themed superhero in a modern, yokai-filled Tokyo.

 


Kaibyo/Bakeneko

Magic cats, and the cat-eared women they often conflate with, have been a part of Japanese cinema for the entire history of the medium. They really took off in a big way in the 1950s, though, when Daiei launched a series of of movies on the topic, inspiring numerous imitators. That’s not even getting into the glut of cat-eared girls who typified anime in the 1980s!

  • Daiei series: Ghost of Saga Mansion (1953), Ghost Cat of Arima Palace (1953), Ghost Cat of the Okazaki Upheaval (1954), Ghost Cat of Ouma Crossing (1954), Ghost Cat of 53 Stations, (1956), Ghost Cat of Yonaki Swamp (1957), The Cursed Wall (1958), Bakeneko Under Arrest (1958), The Haunted Castle (1969)

  

  • Black Cat Mansion (1958) – a Shintoho attempt at the trend.
  • Ghost Cat of the Karakuri Temple (1958) – same, but from Toei.

 

  • Ghost Cat of Otama Pond (1960) – also from Shintoho.
  • Kuroneko (1968) – it’s in the Criterion collection!
  • The Cursed Pond (1968) – a throwback similar to Kuroneko.

  

  • Legend of the Demon Cat (2017) – a newer Chinese movie based on a Japanese novel.
  • Cat-Eyed Boy (2006) – based on the Kazuo Umezz manga, lest one think all cat yokai are female.

 


Kitaro

Unlike the Edo-era origins of most yokai, Kitaro the boy liaison-to-the-supernatural wasn’t actually made up until the 1930s. However, it was due to Shigeru Mizuki’s take on the character that led to a huge boom in popularity of yokai in the 1960s, and pretty much codified modern interpretation of the creatures.

  • Gegege no Kitaro (1985)/Gegege no Kitaro: the Goblin War (1986)/Gegege no Kitaro: the Goblin Army Landed Japan (1986)/ Gegege no Kitaro: The Revolt of the Goblin from the Other Dimensional World (1986) – the series of movies spun off from the second TV series.
  • Dramaland’s Gegege no Kitaro (1985) and Gegege no Kitaro: Magic Flute Elohim Essaim (1987) – these two live-action adaptations aren’t actually connected, but both were from Toei in close proximity to one another.
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Big Sea Ghost (1996)/Gegege no Kitaro: Ghost Night Game (1997)/Gegege no Kitaro: Ghost Express (1997) – the series of movies spun off from the third TV series.

  • Kitaro (2007) and Kitaro and the Millennium Curse (2008) – the better-known live-action adaptations.
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Japan Burst (2008) – the most recent anime film (for now).

 


Oni

Japanese underworld demons usually have red or blue skin, horns, and outfits made of tiger skins. You can throw beans at them, but usually that doesn’t resolve anything in horror movies.

  • Jigoku (1960) – it’s in the Criterion collection; watch it.
  • The Demon of Mt Oe (1960) – the “real story” of the Shuten Doji. Still has giant monsters.
  • Taro the Dragon Boy (1979) – an animated version of the Momotaro myth.

  • Any Urusei Yatsura movie – The sexy oni alien comedy series is a classic. You’ll probably watch Beautiful Dreamer (1984), because it’s everyone’s favorite, aside from the original creator.
  • Shuten Doji (1989) – a Go Nagai superhero. The original cover didn’t have that bikini top.
  • Taro! Momotaro in Trouble (1991) – about an ancient demon getting revived in modern day. Nice puppet work.

  • Yu Yu Hakusho (1993)/ Poltergeist Report (1994) – based on the hit battle manga. Poltergeist Report is the better one.
  • Japanese Hell (1999) – this is basically director Teruo Ishii sending all the people he doesn’t like to get tortured for 100 minutes.
  • Gozu (2003) – in a word, it’s weird.

  • Ashura (2005) – based on the kabuki play, only with a better soundtrack.
  • Kamen Rider Hibiki & the Seven Senki (2005) – Hibiki is the Kamen Rider series where all the karate bug-men are also oni….though that also arguably applied to Den-Oh.
  • Friends: Naki On Monster Island (2011) – a cute animated flick.

 

  • Ao Oni (2014)/Ao Oni ver 2.0 (2015) – survival horror based on the hit RPG-maker game series.
  • Yase no Namahage (2015) – a boy and his supernatural pal.
  • Too Young to Die (2016) – a musical comedy about hell.


Tsukumogami

Everyday objects come to life, which always makes for entertaining movies.

  • House (1977) – a wild ride about a possessed house. Also maybe a bakeneko movie.
  • Battle Heater (1989) – about a possessed kotatsu. Likewise a hoot.
  • Short Peace (2013) – an anthology of Katsuhiro Otomo stories, one chapter is about tsukumogami.


Inugami

Inugami are dog gods, so it’s pretty tempting to completely conflate this section with the werewolves previously discussed, especially since a lot of those (especially Wolf Children and Wolf Guy) are more like inugami than they are like western werewolves. But, we’ll try to keep this relatively doggy.

  • Curse of the Dog God (1977) – Supernatural horror. It’s from the same author as Wolf Guy, fancy that.
  • Inu Yasha: Affections Touching Across Time (2001)/Inu Yasha: Castle Beyond the Looking Glass (2002)/ Inu Yasha: Swords of an Honorable Ruler (2003)/ Inu Yasha: Fire on the Mystic Island (2004) – movie tie-ins to the hit yokai anime. The second and third movies are the best.

  • Inugami (2001) – it’s horror, I guess, but more about incest than creatures.
  • Kibakichi (2004)/Kibakichi 2 (2004) – yeah, we already had these in the werewolf section, but they are darn fine yokai movies and mandatory viewing nevertheless.


Yuki Onna

The icy snow woman is a popular mythical figure, but sort of has a single legend that gets played over and over, usually in anthologies. Her story was even transposed onto a gargoyle for Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, but without her we can’t really count that one.

  • Kwaidan (1964) – an anthology in the Criterion collection.
  • Dreams (1990) – an anthology by Akira Kurosawa (so naturally also in the Criterion collection)

  • The Snow Woman (1968) – this is the most famous of the solo movie versions, though I hear the new one from 2016 is also amazing.


Kuchisake Onna

A relative newcomer to the yokai scene, the slit-mouth woman hit urban legends in the 1970s, probably due to the rising popularity of surgical masks to combat germs and pollution. She’s hiding a giant mouth under there, and always asks people if they think she’s pretty…as you may have guessed, it’s a trick question. There are a ton of movies for the character ever since the mid 90s, but the ones that amused me the most are:

  • Carved (2007) and Carved 2: Scissors Massacre (2008) – the most famous version.
  • Slit Mouth Woman (2008) – because it has an official US release, not because it’s all that great.

  • Hikiko VS the Slit-mouth Woman (2011) – Before Sadako fought Kayako, before Sadako fought Hikiko, Hikiko fought the slit mouth woman. There’s also a Kuchisake Onna vs Kashima-san (as in the teke teke) and Kuchisake Onna vs. Bloody Mary.
  • Slit Mouth Woman in L.A. (2014) – because going international is a treat.


Ningyo

Mermaids. We got ’em in western culture, too, but Japan has a twist where eating them can cause very good or very bad luck. There was also a 1975 anime movie based on The Little Mermaid that was great, if you’re looking for more.

  • Acri: The Legend of Homo Aquirellius (1996) – a love story with some great makeup effects.
  • Dragon Blue (1996) – also has some great effects, and a fun murder fishman mystery.
  • Mermaid’s Forest (1991) and Mermaid’s Scar (1993) – gruesome anime movies adapting the manga about mermaids and the people who try to eat them.

  • Ponyo (2009) – cute anime mermaid from Hayao Miyazaki.
  • Lu Over the Wall (2017) – cute anime mermaid from Masaki Yuasa.
  • Siren (2004) – the list was getting too wholesome, so I decided to throw this on, too.


Nure Onna

Snake ladies are another yokai you see a lot. Sometimes they’re tragic figures that used to be human, sometimes they’re…just snakes. They pop up in Chinese movies a fair bit, too.

  • Legend of the White Serpent (1956) – a Toho/Shaw co-production!
  • Snake Girl and Silver Haired Witch (1968) – Noriaki Yuasa adapting Kazuo Umezz.
  • Snake Woman’s Curse (1968) – a revenge horror flick.


School yokai

Kids are the primary audience for scary stories, so it’s no surprise that each school in Japan allegedly has its own “seven mysteries” of creepiness. The two most famous film franchises based on these urban legends are included here.

  • Phantom of the Toilet (1995) – there are a bunch of Hanako movies, including one where she fights similar spook Yosuke. This or the 1998 version (which is more extreme horror) is probably the best known.
  • School of Ghosts (1995) – based on the novels that spun off many, many other media franchises (including the whole Grudge series), this movie and its three direct sequels have a fun variety of spooks.


Miscellaneous

For those movies starring other yokai…

  • The later Akado Suzunosuke movies: Single Leg Demon (1957) and Three Eyed Bird Man (1958) – the samurai hero started fighting monsters somewhere along the way.
  • Eight Brave Brothers (1959) – a trilogy based on the Hakkenden, with some random monsters here and there.
  • Legend of the Eight Samurai (1983) – also based on the Hakkenden, with a few less monsters.

  • The Invisible Swordsman (1970) – it sometimes gets lumped in with Daiei’s Yokai Monsters flicks, but with fewer classic yokai (it’s got a shoukera).
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988) – not necessarily a classic yokai, but that big fluffy mascot certainly counts as something.
  • Hiruko the Goblin (1991) – based on the Yokai Hunter manga.

  • The Wall Man (2006) – another Daijiro Morohoshi adaptation, about a critter living in the walls.
  • Hotarubi no Mori e (2011) – about a girl and a mountain spirit. Natsume’s Book of Friends (2018) by the same author has a movie that could also be a choice.
  • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: The Movie (1994) – every episode of Kakuranger has them fight a different yokai, this one with one-eyed boys and another one I can’t quite identify. The ninja vs. yokai motif was repeated for Ninninger 21 years later.

  • The Ancient Dogoo Girl (2009) – a compilation film from the TV series about a dogoo-themed superhero who hunts yokai.
  • Teketeke (2009)/Teketeke 2 (2009) – about the more modern yokai teketeke.
  • Battle League Horumo (2009) – basically about people sports-battling each other with armies of shikigami.


Monster Mash

Finally, let’s take a look at movies with a wide variety of yokai on parade! It’s like The Avengers, House of Frankenstein, or Destroy All Monsters, only with yokai.

  • The Yokai Monsters Trilogy: 100 Monsters (1968)/ Spook Warfare (1968)/Along with Ghosts (1969) – the most essential viewing for any yokai movie fan. My personal favorite is Spook Warfare, which is a loose remake of the Great Yokai War story from Gegege no Kitaro.
  • Ghost Stories of the Wanderer at Honjo (1957) – a remake of an earlier 1937 flick, which in turn was sorta remade as 100 Monsters.
  • The Great Yokai War (2005) – Daiei’s attempt to relaunch Yokai Monsters for the Heisei era. It has the villain from Tokyo: the Last Megalopolis in it, too.

  • Tokyo: the Last Megalopolis (1988)/ Tokyo: the Last War (1989) – based on the novel series about a sorcerer trying to destroy Japan. There are a handful of related movies as well.
  • Humanoid Monster Bem (2012) – a spinoff of a drama based on an anime.
  • Dororo (2007) – based on the classic manga about a cyborg samurai.

  • Demon Prince Enma (2006) – a surprisingly dark OVA remake of Go Nagai’s comedy about the son of King Enma, a yuki onna, and a kappa policing yokai crime.
  • Hell Teacher Nube (1996)/Nube Died at Midnight (1997) – movie tie-ins to the anime series about a yokai-fighting teacher with a monster hand.
  • Gantz: O (2016) – a high-tech task force fights for their lives against a horde of yokai in Osaka.

  • Moeyo Ken (2003) – based on the video game where female Shinsengumi fight yokai.
  • A Letter to Momo (2011) – three yokai help a girl get past her depression.
  • Sprited Away (2001) – I hear this one won an Oscar or something.

 

  • Yo-kai Watch: the Movie (2014) and its sequels – tying into the enormously popular franchise. The third one turns stuff live-action!
  • Monster Heaven (1986)/Monster Heaven: Ghost Hero (1990) – anthologies from Macoto Tezka.
  • Sakuya, Slayer of Demons (2000) – about a female teenage samurai. It’s awesome.

  • Ayakashi Kagura (2011) – a direct-to-video flick with some nice monster suits.
  • Woman Transformation (2006) – a sort of cheap anthology about girls transforming into a rokurokubi, nopperabo, and…I dunno, something with long fingernails.
  • Rokuroku (2017) – another anthology with a rokurokubi, with awesome design work by Keita Amemiya.

  

  • Destiny: Kamakura Story (2017) – a fantastic movie about a woman discovering that her husband’s hometown is full of yokai.
  • 47 Ronin (2013) – an American take on the 47 Ronin story, full of demons and whatnot. It sort of doesn’t feel very Japanese, despite lots of Japanese cast members.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) – another Hollywood picture, this has some fantastic stop motion animation.

 

Hopefully this has been a handy list that will help guide your yokai movie viewing and keep everyone busy for a while. That said, I still think of myself as a yokai movie dilettante, so if you have recommendations, corrections, or factoids, please leave a comment. There’s a lot out there, after all. Have a happy Halloween!

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Late news recap

It’s another light news week this week, and another late recap.

  • Kicking things off with Godzilla, as I’m sure you’re aware, we got a new poster for The Planet Eater, which hits November 9. That Ghidorah is going to make one weird vinyl figure.

  • Makoto Tezka’s crazy musical Legend of the Stardust Brothers is finally getting an English-language release. I wonder if the fact that the 33-year-old cult picture just got a sequel earlier this year had something to do with it.

  • The manga comedy Tokusatsu Gagaga, about an office lady who’s a closet otaku for superhero stuff, is getting a J-drama series next year. The manga is great, so hopefully the TV show gets picked up by someone.

  • A trailer for the Jinga: Kami no Kiba spinoff from Garo:

  • Speaking of unusual collaborations, the girls of Momoiro Clover Z found themselves in the Drifting Classroom on their new album cover, with art by Kazuo Umezz! I wonder how it compared to that time they all turned into zombies?

  • Finally, because why not, a Chinese giant snake movie creatively titled Snake:

Well, time to bounce before spending hours deciding whether or not it’s worth weighing in on this new Netflix Avatar show.

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