Category Archives: Articles

Interview: Tokyo Shock

I recently sat down for a conversation with Media Blasters to discuss the past and future of the Tokyo Shock line. The brand has been particularly active lately, with Zeiram 2, Zebraman, Devilman, and Gappa getting Blu-ray releases, plus Hakaider, … Continue reading

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Halloween Hijinks: Japanese Body Horror

Confession: I was struggling to come up with another iconic monster to round up for this year’s Halloween article, and as such, a suggestion came my way – why not focus on a monster movie subgenre that isn’t constrained to … Continue reading

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Scanlation: Gamera vs Morphos (1999, Nenpei Moo)

Arrow’s Gamera: The Complete Collection is hitting on August 17, with an assortment of amazing special features hitherto unseen for the franchise. To celebrate this incredible boxset, we decided to plunge the darkest depths of Gamera apocrypha and dug up … Continue reading

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The 2010s: A decade in review timeline

As December winds to a close, I find myself reflecting back…. back on how many podcasts, blogs, and YouTubers seem to have already done their decades in review, yet we haven’t gotten around to it here yet. But seriously, the … Continue reading

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Halloween Hijinks: Kaiju Horror

I was racking my brain trying to think of what to do for this year’s Halloween Hijinks, since we’ve already discussed Japanese media depictions of most of the staples: vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, yokai, and Lovecraft creations, plus horror anime. … Continue reading

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Preliminary thoughts from last night’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters screening

Last night, ten AMC theaters did free advance screenings for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, a full nine days ahead of its official US release date. This was nominally for the cinema chain’s Stubs Premier members and press, though at … Continue reading

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Hero’s Comics on your screen

By now, everyone is aware of the upcoming Ultraman anime series hitting Netflix at the start of next month. The show is based on Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s manga, also simply titled Ultraman (available in the US from Viz), … Continue reading

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Masakazu Katsura is a Super Hero Master; No Butts About It

As a tokusatsu junkie and a manga fiend, people sometimes ask me – “Who’s your favorite mangaka for henshin heroes?” They’ll usually accompany that with some suggestions: Shotaro Ishinomori (the King of Manga and creator of Kamen Rider), Go Nagai … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Opinion piece: The top classic Godzilla monsters that Legendary should totally bring in next

Ever since Michael Dougherty teased that there might be some unannounced monsters yet to appear in Legendary’s MonsterVerse, fandom has been ablaze with hypotheses, rampantly speculating about their favorites that they’d like to see show up, such as Gigan, Bagan, … Continue reading

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Travel log: Godzilla at the Museum (Nagoya)

Amanda wasn’t able to make it to G-Fest this year, so she did the next best thing: Went to check out the “Godzilla at the Museum” exhibit in Nagoya! Here’s her report: It took me about an hour and a … Continue reading

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Halloween Hijinks: 31 Days’ Worth of Japanese Zombie Movies

Oh, hey, it’s almost October, and the month-long celebration of the spooky… granted, that’s really more around Obon in Japan, but American pop-culture is starting to give cosplayers an extra excuse around Halloween there as well. Anyway, we’ve already talked … Continue reading

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Happy 30th to Dark Horse’s Godzilla series!

As of this writing, it appears that IDW’s rights to print Godzilla comics have lapsed. While a lot of great things came out of the IDW run, there were always two things that I really hoped they’d do that never … Continue reading

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Kaiju Transmissions Interview: Kiyotaka Taguchi

As you likely know, Kaiju Transmissions is a remarkable podcast that regularly brings us detailed discussions of frequently under-represented topics related to kaiju and tokusatsu filmmaking (and if if you didn’t know, check it out; you’re about to have a new favorite … Continue reading

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Kaiju Transmissions Interview: Michiru Oshima

As you likely know, Kaiju Transmissions is a remarkable podcast that regularly brings us detailed discussions of frequently under-represented topics related to kaiju and tokusatsu filmmaking (and if if you didn’t know, check it out; you’re about to have a new favorite … Continue reading

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Kaiju Transmissions Interview: Kazuhiro Nakagawa

As you likely know, Kaiju Transmissions is a remarkable podcast that regularly brings us detailed discussions of frequently under-represented topics related to kaiju and tokusatsu filmmaking (and if if you didn’t know, check it out; you’re about to have a … Continue reading

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Japlanet of the Apes

2017 is a great year for fans of Hollywood cinema who also happen to be Japanese pop culture junkies, as the two industries intersect quite a lot. There are plenty of obvious crossover points (Rings, Ghost in the Shell, Death … Continue reading

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Scanlation: Miss Kano’s Disgrace (1992, Shinji Nishikawa)

With G-Fest on the horizon once again, Amanda has outdone herself and provided another translation of an overlooked Godzilla manga! This time it’s Godzilla-artist-extraordinaire Shinji Nishikawa‘s short story “Miss Kano’s Disgrace” from the anthology Gigantis the Fire Comic. It’s a comedic … Continue reading

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Happy 50th to Guilala, Japan’s ridiculous kaiju icon

While we may be in a new kaiju boom, it’s dwarfed by the one half a century ago. 1967 was the zenith, with the televised conclusions of the original Ultraman, Space Giants, Akuma-kun, and Booska, with the debuts of Ultraseven, … Continue reading

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Godzilla (disambiguation)

Along with the Japanese home video release of Shin Godzilla came news of the title for the next film in the franchise (the Polygon Pictures anime release due out this year): Godzilla – 怪獣惑星, (“Godzilla – Kaiju Wakusei”) or “Godzilla … Continue reading

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Kong count #9 – King Kong (1932) The Delos W. Lovelace novelization

Exclusive treat today! Maser Patrol special guest correspondent (pretty much our Gold Ranger) Justin Mullis is an expert on King Kong to the point that he actually teaches a college class on the subject! When discussing the original 1932 novel, I … Continue reading

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怪獣 or 外獣? (Kaiju or Gaiju?)

Like any number of loan words, “kaiju” (怪獣 , or “kaijū” if you want to be more accurate, literally “strange beast”) has permeated the English lexicon, to the point where many official subtitles don’t bother to use “monster” anymore when … Continue reading

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Travel log: Great Godzilla Tokusatsu Kingdom (Hiroshima)

Is there any activity as archetypically conceited and dreary as subjecting other people to one’s own vacation photos? That’s my general impression, yet folks keep asking for ours, so here’s a preliminary, über-focused post detailing a limited-time event from our recent … Continue reading

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Holiday hiatus…

Kevin and Amanda will be off on a whirlwind tour of Japan soon, so updates to this ‘blog will be unlikely until after Christmas. In the meantime, our list of recommended yuletide viewing still stands, along with a couple others: … Continue reading

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Planning a Halloween party? Here’s some recommended viewing from the directors who did (and didn’t) give us Godzilla movies

It’s Halloween season, which means mandatory viewings of at least two seasonal classics: John Carpenter’s Halloween and Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘R Treat. How are these two films connected? Well, if you’re an obsessive kaiju nerd (and I suspect you are), … Continue reading

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Tokusatsu Bungei, or “Hey, you got special effects in my literature!”

Any dedicated fan of Japanese pop culture knows that every medium does not get equal representation internationally: Most anime get official English-language releases, a good portion of video games do, a less proportionate handful of manga, and relatively few tokusatsu … Continue reading

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Like Thunderbolt Fantasy? Here are some other Japanese puppet shows to try out!

Somewhat shockingly, it’s our general consensus that the best new “anime” of the season is a puppet show: Thunderbolt Fantasy. With its rocking soundtrack, bombastic characters, Yoshitaka Amano-ish (emphasis on “ish”) design aesthetics, and exaggerated action, it makes for a … Continue reading

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Scanlation: a sampling of crazy Godzilla manga

In anticipation of the “All Manga Attack” panel at this year’s G-Fest, Amanda sat down with our well-worn copy of The Godzilla Comic (an officially-licensed 1990 manga anthology), and translated a couple of the most bizarre stories. We’re presenting them … Continue reading

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Happy 50th to Ultraman! (also, weekly news recap)

July 10 is “Ultraman Day”, and 50 years ago today, Ultraman made his first appearance on Japanese television… though it was not the first episode of Ultraman, that hit a week later. No, the first appearance was a live stage … Continue reading

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Putting together an Ultraman cover playlist

In honor of this year’s G-Fest being Ultraman-themed (because of the 50th anniversary), I’ve been putting together an appropriate playlist for the drive to Chicago. While the various show’s themes and insert songs are fun in their own right, I … Continue reading

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A Guide to Ultraman’s Celebrity Guest Directors

In the past couple of months, we’ve gotten a handful of questions like “What Ultraman was it that Takashi Miike worked on again?” “Has Koichi Sakamoto ever directed an Ultra show?” “Which episodes of Return of Ultraman were directed by … Continue reading

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Ultra-Inspired: Japan’s major entertainment franchises take cues from M78

“What do you mean, they probably got the idea from Ultraman?” I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard this phrase from some bemused otaku. We might’ve been discussing the time limits in Tiger & Bunny or Garo, … Continue reading

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Maser Patrol’s recommended Christmas viewing

A big part of the Christmas tradition is getting into the spirit of the season by putting on classic Christmas movies, like Gremlins, Die Hard, and Batman Returns. Japanese media is no stranger to yuletide festivities, though they practice the holiday … Continue reading

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Guest Column: Shigeru Mizuki and Kaiju

by Justin Mullis, in collaboration with Maser Patrol This week the world of Japanese pop-culture lost one of its most influential and powerful voices; Shigeru Mizuki (1922-2015). While Mizuki may still not be a household name for many American fans of … Continue reading

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Jedi-geki: The cross-pollination of the Star Wars franchise with Japanese genre cinema

Maser Patrol’s mission statement is to elucidate genre fiction of a manner both Japanese and “Japanese-ish”, which is why there’s frequent coverage of western-yet-anime/manga/tokusatsu-inspired media ranging from Pacific Rim to Miraculous Ladybug to Fujiyama Ichiban. And yet, there’s that pesky … Continue reading

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Mystery Science Theater’s Tokusatsu Movie List

Hey, there’s a Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival up on Kickstarter now! In addition to being pretty dang funny, the series has done a lot for raising awareness of cult films which might have otherwise fallen into utter obscurity. In … Continue reading

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Gammerama: The extended universe of Daiei’s most famous monster

When it comes to classifying kaiju pictures, I’ve noticed that guide books and merchandise lines tend to split things into more-or-less three buckets: Toho (with its Godzilla, Mothra, et al.), Tsuburaya (with Ultraman and associated creations), and everyone else. “Everyone … Continue reading

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A Space Godzilla Chapter 2 – “Return to the Planet”

It’s time for the conclusion of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s insane space odyssey, A Space Godzilla. I think we covered most of the backstory last time, so this time we’ll just leap directly into the text itself, supplemented by speculative translation notes for … Continue reading

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What tokusatsu are only available on VHS?

A while back Anime Nation posted a great master list of anime that are only available on VHS in the US, outside of the non-commercial/unofficial avenues of fansubs, rips, bootlegs, imports, etc. This got me thinking: how does tokusatsu stack … Continue reading

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A Space Godzilla Chapter 1 – “Farewell Earth”

The history of Godzilla, like any other major film franchise, is full of interesting “what if”s. What if the crossover between Godzilla and the Adam West Batman series hadn’t fallen through? What if Jan de Bont had actually made the … Continue reading

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15+ more potentially interesting Japanese special effects movies that have never been translated into English

Last year, we put out an article discussing (okay, wildly speculating about) over 30 potentially interesting tokusatsu films that were (as far as we know) unavailable with any sort of English translation, either on official home video or fansub. Since … Continue reading

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Spoofer Sentai USA: America’s history of released parodies to an unseen franchise

Have you heard of Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (AKA The Man Who Saves the World)? It’s a relatively mediocre Turkish movie most notorious for having major special effects sequences lifted from Star Wars. In reality, the film is a curiosity, an … Continue reading

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Destroy all Mangaka: when Godzilla met the titans of manga

November 3 is a significant anniversary for fans of Japanese science fiction and fantasy media: it’s the birthday of both Osamu Tezuka, the God of Manga, and Godzilla, King of the Monsters. The history of Godzilla is intertwined with the … Continue reading

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Halloween hijinks: Japan’s best witch media

With seemingly everyone gearing up for Halloween, a blog dedicated to monster media really ought to join the celebration, shouldn’t it? To that end, we’ll be having a series of articles posted during the weeks leading up to Halloween focusing on … Continue reading

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Halloween hijinks: Japan’s best Dracula media (and maybe some other vampires)

With seemingly everyone gearing up for Halloween, a blog dedicated to monster media really ought to join the celebration, shouldn’t it? To that end, we’ll be having a series of articles posted during the weeks leading up to Halloween focusing on … Continue reading

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Halloween Hijinks: Japan’s best werewolf media

With seemingly everyone gearing up for Halloween, a blog dedicated to monster media really ought to join the celebration, shouldn’t it? To that end, we’ll be having a series of articles posted during the weeks leading up to Halloween focusing on … Continue reading

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Halloween Hijinks: Japan’s best Frankenstein media

With seemingly everyone gearing up for Halloween, a blog dedicated to monster media really ought to join the celebration, shouldn’t it? To that end, we’ll be having a series of articles posted during the weeks leading up to Halloween focusing on … Continue reading

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G-Fest XXI notes

We promised some coverage from G-Fest XXI, held in Chicago on July 11-13 of this year, so here it is. It’s later than it should be, and there’s a chance it might upset/offend some of the folks who’re heavily emotionally … Continue reading

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30+ potentially interesting Japanese special effects movies that have never been translated into English

As a long-time fan, I marvel at what an amazing selection of tokusatsu movies have become available to English speakers in recent years. A decade ago, I assumed that some titles would simply never be translated, but now we have … Continue reading

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Amateur Annotations on Yamamoto’s MM9

I once again made another person read Hiroshi Yamamoto’s kaiju-meteorology novel MM9, because it’s a fantastic, amazing little book, and found myself explaining several subtle nods to the genre I noticed. I was told that I really ought to write … Continue reading

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