Thoughts on Monster Attack Team #12 (1st Edition)

Monster Attack Team is the best English-language magazine on the subject of tokusatsu, so it’s always an event when a new issue comes out. Thus, as soon as I heard about the twelfth installment hitting at a release party earlier in the month, I was on a mission to procure it.

It turns out, the version printed for said party is a preliminary edition, and changes are still being made to the final version. Nevertheless, being the impatient soul that I am, I reached out to Ed Holland and got him to send me his very last copy (so, sorry to anyone else who wants it immediately!). As this is a preliminary version, I don’t know what may change with the updated edition that goes to mass distribution, but one can guess. For example, this issue has completely clean cover art, while previous ones tend to have more text about the content of the issue splashing the cover:

Now, about the contents!

  • Kevin Grays has an article about Triple Fighter, a show that’s long stuck in the Goldilocks zone of obscurity by being better than Redman but worse than Ultraman. This may be the most ever written about the show in English.
  • Ed Holland wrote about Katokutai, who are, of course, awesome. It’s not a long article, but the full-page photos of the band in concert are gorgeous.
  • Roger Snider wrote about artistic customization of trucks in Japan, a subject that I likely would not have heard about elsewhere.
  • Mark Jaramillo wrote a piece about Katto Pro’s Atragon 2 fanfilm with lots of great images and background. One of the highlights of the issue, that’s the sort of stuff you won’t find anywhere else!
  • A look at some of the female-targeted kaiju crafts that Adrian’s Attic is concocting.
  • J.L. Carrozza’s review of the woefully-banned Prophecies of Nostradamus, complete with a rundown of every incarnation ever made officially available.
  • A photo set from the Yokohama Broadcast Museum’s Ultraman exhibition. Photography was prohibited when I went, so I’m betting these photos in MAT are one of the best looks at what all was inside!
  • A similar photo set for Kaiju Sakaba. This issue is certainly heavy on the full-page photographs!
  • Marc Walkow gives blurbs about Wolf Guy and Doberman Cop, since Arrow is releasing both this year on Blu-ray.
  • Montse Avila gives a brief review of Shin Godzilla from the perspective of someone who has never seen a Godzilla movie before. It’s an interesting choice for an editorial, but an important reminder for those of us so immersed in the fandom: this is the most successful Godzilla movie in five decades, therefore for a lot of people this likely is their first exposure to the franchise.
  • David McRobie gives a lengthy review of Kamen Rider Hibiki. Likely the most this show has been discussed in an English-language magazine as well.
  • A photo tour of Toho. I imagine these may be moved around a little for the final version, since in this edition it’s all one photo per page.
  • A look at the Big Godzilla Special Effects Kingdom exhibit in Yokohama. It looks pretty similar to the Hiroshima one.
  • Beautiful artwork from Hiroshi Kanatani and Ellis Luu. I want them to publish art books!

Overall, my first impression is that this is a little more image-heavy than prior issues, but that’s not a bad thing; there’s still educational content to be found even for the seasoned tokusatsu veteran. I’m curious to see how the next edition of issue 12 compares, and will keep an eye on the Monster Attack Team Facebook page to see when it’s available!

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