In this episode, I’m joined by Henning Strauß (not “Straub”!) to discuss the history of kaiju (and also of other tokusatsu, anime, and manga) in Germany, along with how the development of fandom there has in some ways similar or different to the US and other countries.
Germany has a vibrant otaku community that puts the US to shame in some regards, so it’s always neat to see what can be learned from our fellow Japanophiles around the globe.
More name swaps:
Heidi, Girl of the Alps, whose crew included Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Yoshiyuki Tomino:
Operation Mystery (“S.R.I. und die unheimlichen Fälle”) is kind of like a police procedural show, I guess.
Surprisingly Winspector was one of the rare titles on tokusatsu titles on TV! It was even novelized (so was Saban’s Masked Rider).
German dubs are the only way to watch some Taiwanese edits. For example The Iron Superman is on Tubi in its German dub subtitled in English.
Warriors and Micronauts in German:
We didn’t mention it in the podcast, but Germany also got a proper release of Takeshi’s Castle (or, at least much less mangled than the US release). Here’s one of the episodes where Ultraman shows up:
Many manga anthologies in the early 2000s, including Banzai, which was the first foreign edition of Shonen Jump. Manga Power led the charge in the late 90s.
Numerous shows have original German opening themes, but Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball‘s banging Eurobeat tunes are my personal faves:
Those irritating FSK ratings on every home video release:
The German equivalent of MST3k: Die Schlechtesten Filme aller Zeiten (or SchleFaZ for short). They even got cameos in the Sharknado franchise!
Recommended reading (auf Deutsch):
- 1988-1989: 9 issues of “Godzilla Family”
- 1989-1998: 10 issues of “Godzilla Fanzine”
- 1996-2018: 41 issues of “Pranke” (continuation of “Godzilla Family”)
- 2006: 1 issue of “Asian Cinemagic”
Kaiju-con in Uelzen (not to be confused with German Kaiju Con, which was supposed to start in Hamburg last year, but got derailed by pandemic):
A documentary on kaiju fan culture:
Gazorra: The Beast from the Depths of the Earth, Jörg Buttgereit’s short from 1984.
Kongula: Affengigant des Grauens (2003)
The Gualagon audio drama:
The anthology novel German Kaiju:
No Budget Nerd’s YouTube channel:
For as many titles that the US has gotten but Germany hasn’t, the grass is always greener on the other side. Here’re some titles available in Germany but not the US, in case you’re up for some importation:
- Anolis’s excellent transfers of Toho’s tokusatsu films
- Terror Beneath the Sea subtitled
- Necronomicon, Armicron in Outlaw Power (only available on VHS stateside)
- Physical releases for Gantz: O, the Godzilla anime trilogy, Samurai Flamenco, Tomie Unlimited
- The Next Generation Patlabor, Bloody Chainsaw Girl, Ninja War Torakage, Tokyo Ghoul S, Hentai Kamen, Ajin, Space Firebird 2772
- Manga: Q, DNA^2, Katsura & Toriyama Short Stories, Billy Bat, most of Gou Tanabe’s HP Lovecraft adaptations, Killing Bites