Tag Archives: Kaiju

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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Maser Patrol podcast episode 23 – Jellyfish Eyes and the work of Takashi Murakami

In this episode of the podcast, Kevin and Justin discuss the work of Japanese pop-culture artist Takashi Murakami, culminating in his 2013 feature film Jellyfish Eyes. The movie just got a release from Criterion, so fans of battle monsters, kaiju, … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Love & Peace (2015)

Today’s selection: Love & Peace (2015, dir. Sion Sono) Subgenre: Kaiju, Musical Available from: Third Window Films (UK release) Remember how we had that list recommending the best Japanese SF Christmas movies last month? Well, shift every one of them … Continue reading

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Random Tokusatsu round-up

I tacitly retired from doing daily tokusatsu movie blurbs last year, but due to popular demand, I’ll try to remember to post about movies that are fresh on my mind when I do watch them. Here’s a couple recent viewings: Izo … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Daimajin (1966)

Today’s selection: Daimajin (1966, dir. Kimiyoshi Yasuda) Subgenre: Historical fantasy, Kaiju Available from: Mill Creek When this movie came up on my random movie generator, I thought: “what’s the point in talking about this? Everyone’s seen Daimajin!” Yet, that may not necessarily be … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Today’s selection: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973, dir. Jun Fukuda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Media Blasters (if you get lucky, you might get one of the leaked versions with audio commentary!) Odd that this gem of a title came up on … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972)

Today’s selection: Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972, dir. Toshihiro Iijima) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: fansub-only Reposting an old review: There are only a handful of golden-age Japanese kaiju movies that have never gotten any sort of English release. The bunch includes … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: The Bermuda Depths (1978)

Today’s selection: The Bermuda Depths (1978, dir. Tsugunobu Kotani) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Warner Some might take issue with calling an American movie tokusatsu, but The Bermuda Depths was produced in a partnership between Rankin-Bass and Tsuburaya Pro, so I’ll … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Rebirth of Mothra 3 (1998)

Today’s selection: Rebirth of Mothra 3 (1998, dir. Okihiro Yoneda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Fansub-only (though a dub has aired on Syfy) The third entry is the best of the 1990s’ Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, though that’s not saying a … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: The Magic Serpent (1966)

Today’s selection: The Magic Serpent (1966, dir. Tetsuya Yamauchi) Subgenre: Historical Fantasy Available from: Image (low quality dub-only release, fansubs also available) Any fan of Naruto should probably watch The Magic Serpent: it’s got ninjas with crazy powers, like the … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Twilight of the Cockroaches (1987)

Today’s selection: Twilight of the Cockroaches (1987, dir. Hiroaki Yoshida) Subgenre: Animation Hybrid Available from: Sony (VHS) Reposting an old review: Twilight of the Cockroaches is one of those forgotten Japanese classics that used to come on American TV with … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Reigo, the Deep-Sea Monster vs. the Battleship Yamato (2008)

Today’s selection: Reigo, the Deep-Sea Monster vs. the Battleship Yamato (2008, dir. Shinpei Hayashiya) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: fansub-only Director Shinpei Hayashiya made a bit of a name for himself with fan films such as Gamera 4: Truth and Godzilla X Deathguirus, despite the fact that … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokustatsu: Gamera the Brave (2006)

Today’s selection: Gamera the Brave (2006, dir. Ryuta Tazaki) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Media Blasters Gamera the Brave is not Gamera 4. I figured I’d start with that, since it had a lot of backlash upon release for just that … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Sexy Rangers (2011)

Today’s selection: Sexy Rangers (2011, dir. Shinji Nishikawa) Subgenre: Henshin Heroine Available from: Cinema Epoch This is your regular reminder that while the Super Sentai franchise has never been officially released in North America, we do have official subtitled DVDs … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Death Kappa (2010)

Today’s selection: Death Kappa (2010, dir. Tomo’o Haraguchi) Subgenre: Kaiju, Yokai Available from: Media Blasters This is an old review from when the movie first came out, reposted from a previous ‘blog: God bless Fever Dreams Productions. Somehow, the US … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Gamera, Guardian of the Universe (1995)

Today’s selection: Gamera, Guardian of the Universe (1995, dir. Shusuke Kaneko) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Mill Creek Gamera, Guardian of the Universe was more than a giant monster movie; it was a revolution for the genre. Since the inception of … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)

Today’s selection: Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965, dir. Ishiro Honda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Media Blasters Contrary to popular belief, Toho’s SF legacy started not with Godzilla, but with Invisible Man, so it makes sense that, post-King Kong vs. Godzilla, … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Dogora (1964)

Today’s selection: Dogora (1964, dir. Ishiro Honda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Media Blasters Quick, what’s the biggest monster in the Godzilla universe? There’s a reason why Space Godzilla has the title of “space monster”, King Ghidorah has the title of … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Today’s selection: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971, dir. Yoshimitsu Banno) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Sony There are few directors to only direct a single Godzilla movie (seven of twenty-nine pictures), and they align well with the films that tend to be … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Attack of the Super Monsters (1982)

Today’s selection: Attack of the Super Monsters (1982, dir. Toru Sotoyama, Tom Wyner) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Televista This is one of those US-made compilation movies, in this case combining four episodes of the 1977 Tsuburaya series Dinosaur War Aizenborg. … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Mothra (1961)

Today’s selection: Mothra (1961, dir. Ishiro Honda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Sony Man, where to start when talking about Mothra, the second most important kaiju film ever made? I assume most people know the story, since it’s iconic (and not … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Godzilla Final Wars (2004)

Today’s selection: Godzilla Final Wars (2004, dir. Ryuhei Kitamura) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Sony Final Wars is the film made to commemorate 50 years of Godzilla, and 50 years of Toho science fiction movies in general. I think that it … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers (2008)

Today’s Selection: Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers (2008, dir. Takeshi Yagi) Subgenre: Henshin Hero, Kaiju Available from: Fansub only If you loved Ultraman Mebius, but wish that the series would acknowledge Heisei-era Ultaman as much as it does Showa-era, this might … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Ultraman Gaia – Battle in Hyperspace (1998)

Today’s selection: Ultraman Gaia: Battle in Hyperspace (1998, dir. Kazuya Konaka) Subgenre: Henshin Hero, Kaiju Available from: Image When Ultraman Tiga got its US release, Image made an odd licensing choice: rather than picking up Tiga’s tie-in movies, they instead … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: The X From Outer Space (1967)

Today’s selection: The X From Outer Space (1967, dir. Kazui Nihonmatsu) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Criterion In 1967, the kaiju boom was in full effect, with Toho head and shoulders above other studios, Tsuburaya on the upswing, and Daiei playing … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Super Monster Gamera (1980)

Today’s selection: Super Monster Gamera (1980, dir. Noriaki Yuasa) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Shout Factory (you might want to get the Elvira version, though) There are bad Gamera movies. Below them, there are really bad Gamera movies, the ones that … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Ultraman Zearth (1996)

Today’s selection: Ultraman Zearth (1996, dir. Shinya Nakajima) Subgenre: Henshin hero, Kaiju Available from: Beyond Home Entertainment (dub-only, R4 Australian DVD), but fansubs are also available In honor of today being July 10 (Ultraman Day), I’m limiting the randomizer to … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Rodan (1956)

Today’s selection: Rodan (1956, dir. Ishiro Honda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Classic Media Rodan was Ishiro Honda’s third monster movie, after Godzilla and Half Human, and the third giant monster movie that Toho produced. It was the first kaiju film … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: King Kong Escapes (1967)

Today’s selection: King Kong Escapes (1967, dir. Ishiro Honda) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from: Universal (dub only release, but fansubs exist) Toho’s second (and final) King Kong movie is actually a sequel to Rankin Bass’s The King Kong Show more than … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Return of Godzilla (1984)

Today’s selection: Return of Godzilla (1984, dir. Koji Hashimoto) Subgenre: Kaiju Available from:  Universe (R3 Chinese DVD), but I’d suggest finding a fansub instead Return of Godzilla was Toho’s first attempt to reboot the Godzilla continuity, setting a precedent that … Continue reading

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Today’s Random Tokusatsu: Return of Daimajin (1966)

Today’s selection: Return of Daimajin (1966, dir. Kenji Mizumi) Subgenre: Historical fantasy, Kaiju Available from: Mill Creek Return of Daimajin is the second installment in the Daimajin trilogy, and a source of some confusion since ADV screwed up their DVD … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Henge (dir. Hajime Ohata, 2011)

“Henge” translates to “metamorphosis”, but the movie bearing that name feels more akin to Cronenberg’s The Fly filtered through Tetsuo the Iron Man than to anything Kafka ever wrote. The story is that of Keiko and her husband Yoshiaki’s marital … Continue reading

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Comic Review: Giant Monster (Steve Niles, 2005)

Okay, right off the bat, what kind of title for your giant monster story is “Giant Monster”? It’s like calling a western “Western”, or kung fu story “Kung Fu” (okay, bad example) or your scary movie “Scary Movie” (okay, worse … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Ultraman Saga (dir. Hideki Oka, 2012)

As you may know, there seem to be two major branches in US tokusatsu fandom: those that watch because of Godzilla, and those that watch because of Power Rangers (yeah, there are lots of J-horror fans, but they’re not organized). … Continue reading

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TV Review: Agon, the Atomic Dragon (Nippon Television, 1964)

When Agon, The Atomic Dragon debuted on Japanese TV in 1968, it must have seemed positively archaic. The problem is that the show was originally produced in 1964, when the kaiju boom was just taking off, and certain tropes hadn’t … Continue reading

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