5 Weeks until G-Day: Brian’s Interview on the Wonderbury Podcast

By Brian Scherschel

And the countdown begins.

Mark your calendars.  Only 5 weeks until G-Day!  The premiere of Episode 1 of Kaijuvision Radio will be on Wednesday, September 20th at noon (Eastern).  We will release episodes weekly at the same time.

I tell the hosts of WonderBury, Dave Wonderly and Brian Keesbury, about our exciting plans as we approach our premiere day.  We conducted the interview at Kaijuvision Radio HQ.

The WonderBury podcast can be found at www.wonderbury.com.

Also, Nate will be at Gen Con in Indianapolis this weekend.

My Review of ‘Godzilla’ (2014) on Strangers and Aliens

by Nathan Marchand

Kaijuvision Radio isn’t my first foray into podcasting. I appeared on several others, including Derailed Trains of Thought, The Weekly Hijack, and Theology Gaming. (For a [mostly?] complete list of the episodes I’ve been on, read this blog on my author site).

The current cover image for Strangers and Aliens.

The one most relevant to your interests, though, is the episode I co-hosted on Strangers and Aliens. I reviewed Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla (2014) the week it opened with the podcast’s host/creator, Ben Avery.

Strangers and Aliens, as its tagline says, is “a podcast exploring faith and imagination.” In other words, a podcast examining nerdy pop culture through the lens of Christianity. I became acquainted with Ben Avery through a Facebook group, where I was sharing freelance movie reviews I’d written. He lives about an hour north of me. He asked me to join him to review the RoboCop remake since one of his regular co-hosts wasn’t available, but I couldn’t make it. Then a few months later, he told me he would be tabling at a small comic-con in Fort Wayne, Indiana, promoting comic books he’d authored. Since I was planning on attending, and that was the weekend that the new Godzilla opened, Ben, my brother Jarod, and I decided to go see it at the local IMAX theatre after the con wrapped up on Saturday.

Ben and I start the episode by talking about our histories with the Godzilla franchise, showing our “geek cred” with all the trivia we’d absorbed, and then talk about our experience seeing the movie, but the bulk of the episode is a discussion the film. Listening to it now, I can definitely say that I’ve gotten better as a podcaster. There are a few points where I get a trivia detail or two wrong, and I’m more confident and articulate “on air” now. Also, my opinions have changed since this was recorded in 2014. Regardless, it helped pave the way for my own podcast on one of my favorite fandoms.

You can listen to the episode on:

-The podcast website
iTunes (episode 127)
Stitcher

Let this be a taste of what’s to come, G-fans and kaiju lovers!

A Primer on Godzilla’s Directors

By Nathan Marchand

As Brian and I continue to develop Kaijuvision Radio, I thought it would be good to give you, dear listeners, a quick rundown on the many talented men who have sat in the director’s chair for Godzilla’s 60+ years of films. You’d be surprised by the caliber of talent possessed by these directors. (FYI: I’m only listing directors for films that have been released, so the several upcoming Godzilla films in both Japan and America are being excluded).

So, without further ado…

Showa Era (1954-1975)

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ishiro Honda
Films: Gojira, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster (aka Godzilla vs. Monster Zero), Destroy All Monsters, All Monsters Attack (aka Godzilla’s Revenge), and Terror of Mechagodzilla

Mr. Honda directed more films in Big G’s filmography than any other in the franchise. For many fans, he’s unequaled in talent and skill. A longtime collaborator with the great Akira Kurosawa, Honda was drafted by the Japanese military during WWII, during which he was interned as a prisoner of war. He became a pacifist afterward, and he infused all of his many films with that idea along with a “brotherhood of man” theme.

Image courtesy of Gojipedia.

Jun Fukuda
Films: Ebirah: Horror of the Deep (aka Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster), Son of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

The second-most prolific director in the franchise, Fukuda directed many of the “cheesier,” more kid-oriented films during the Showa era. He was known for “young guy” (i.e. teen) films and crime movies, which showed since his G-films tended to feature young people and lots of action. If Honda was the Spielberg of the franchise, Fukuda could be considered the Michael Bay.

Image courtesy of Gojipedia.

Motoyoshi Oda
Film: Godzilla Raids Again

Oda was the first of two one-off directors during this era. Trained by acclaimed director Kajirō Yamamoto (who also tutored Kurosawa and Honda), Oda became a workhorse for Toho, directing as many as seven movies a year. Sadly, only one of his movies has ever been released outside of Japan, which was the first sequel to Gojira, Godzilla Raids Again.

Image courtesy of Gojipedia.

Yoshimitsu Banno
Film: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (aka Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster)

Banno might be the most infamous of all of Godzilla’s directors since his only credit is arguably the redheaded stepchild of the franchise: Godzilla vs. Hedorah. With its trippy imagery, countercultural vibe, strange animation, and on-the-nose environmental message, it’s no wonder he’s a divisive figure. Even producer Tomoyuki Tanaka thought he’d ruined Godzilla after the release of Hedorah! Regardless, he was always a friend to the franchise and was responsible for what ultimately became the 2014 American reboot Godzilla directed by Gareth Edwards. He died earlier this year, the last of the Showa era directors to pass away.

Heisei Era (1984-1995) and Millennium Series (1999-2004)

Image courtesy of Gojipedia.

Koji Hashimoto
Film: The Return of Godzilla (aka Godzilla 1985)

Hashimoto had the privilege of directing Godzilla’s first reboot in the mid-1980s. He previously directed the science fiction film Sayonara Jupiter in 1984, which featured the final role played by Akihiko Hirata before he died (he starred in many Showa era Godzilla films, most notably as Dr. Serizawa in Gojira).

 

Image courtesy of Gojipedia.

Kazuki Omori
Films: Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Omori was one of the seminal members of the creative team that worked on most of the Heisei films, serving as both screenwriter and director. He loved American movies, and there were frequent references and homages (and rip-offs?) in his G-films. He also added a more potent Japanese nationalism to them, most especially in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.

Image courtesy of Toho Kingdom.

Takao Okawara
Films: Godzilla vs. Mothra (aka Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla 2000)

Okawara is the only director to work on films in two different cycles of the franchise, being the most frequent director of the Heisei era and helming Godzilla’s second reboot in 1999. He started his career working with both Kurosawa and Honda on the 1980 film Kagemusha and was assistant director on The Return of Godzilla.

Image courtesy of Toho Kingdom.

Kensho Yamashita
Film: Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla

Yamashita could be called the Motoyoshi Oda of the Heisei era. He was an assistant director hired by Toho to shell out a quick Godzilla sequel in 1994. His background was in teen films, which accounts for the picturesque cinematography and romantic subplot of his only G-film. Sadly, he died in 2016.

Image courtesy of Gojipedia.

Masaaki Tezuka
Films: Godzilla vs. Megaguirous, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

Tezuka became the most frequent director on the Millennium series, and his three films could arguably be called a trilogy. His G-films focused more on human drama, featured strong female protagonists, and had a greater military presence. While his entries often underperformed at the box office, he was known for his great enthusiasm in each of his productions.

Image courtesy of Gojipedia.

Shusuke Kaneko
Film: Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monster All-Out Attack

Kaneko is by far the most celebrated of the Millennium series directors, helming what might be the most ambitious and different G-film in the franchise since Godzilla vs. Hedorah. He achieved acclaim with kaiju fans and filmgoers alike with his incredible Gamera trilogy in the 1990s, the third entry being considered one of the best kaiju films ever made. He infused his kaiju films with deep themes but featured fewer monster scenes so as to focus the budget on those less frequent sequences to make them look better.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ryuhei Kitamura
Film: Godzilla: Final Wars

Kitamura was an independent Japanese filmmaker who could be called a modern-day Jun Fukuda in many ways (his favorite Godzilla is 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, which is no surprise). He’s known for his hyperkinetic action movies and horror films. While he was hired by Toho to direct Godzilla’s 50th anniversary film, Godzilla: Final Wars (and a potential finale for the franchise), he funded the production with much of his own money. The film actually had a Hollywood premiere in 2004.

Modern Films (2016-present) and American Films (1998-present)

Anno (left) and Higuchi (right). Image courtesy of Crunchyroll.

Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi
Film: Shin Godzilla

This “dynamic duo” directed Big G’s most recent film, Shin Godzilla, which has become a box office smash and won several Japanese Academy Awards. Both of them got their start in anime, most notably Anno on his classic 1998 TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion. They’re known for their bizarre, often trippy imagery and cerebral storytelling with hints of satire and themes of nationalism, making Shin Godzilla one of the most unique films in the franchise.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Roland Emmerich
Film: Godzilla (1998)

Some fans might say Mr. Emmerich shouldn’t be included in this list because he didn’t make a “real” Godzilla movie. I can understand that. Regardless, the film he and his collaborator, Dean Devlin, made (spoiler warning) will be covered in the podcast. (Please send your hate mail to feedback@kaijuvision.com). Emmerich and Devlin gained popularity thanks to their sci-fi and disaster films, including their hits Stargate and Independence Day. They seemed like good choices for an American Godzilla film, but the results were less than stellar, especially for G-fans.

Image courtesy of IMDB.

Gareth Edwards
Film: Godzilla (2014)

Edwards was an independent British filmmaker who came to prominence in 2010 with Monsters, a kaiju movie set in Mexico. It made such an impression that Legendary Pictures hired him to direct their new Godzilla reboot, which became the first entry in the MonsterVerse. (So yes, the second film he ever directed was a big-budget Godzilla movie followed by a Star Wars film. Talk about moving up in the world!) A huge fan of Steven Spielberg, Edwards is known for his deliberate, suspenseful pacing and explosive finales as well as making low-budget films that look like big-budget blockbusters.

So there you have it! The many directors of Godzilla. Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

Lucky Dragon No. 5: Still an Anti-Nuclear Symbol

The Lucky Dragon No. 5 today. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia).

By Nathan Marchand

Every Godzilla fan knows the story of the Lucky Dragon No. 5 (Daigo Fukuryu Maru). It was a fishing vessel that was exposed to nuclear fallout from the Castle Bravo test. While it was outside the predicted danger zone, the H-bomb detonated by the U.S. on the Bikini Atoll was far more powerful than expected, and on March 1, 1954, the 23-man crew of the ship were contaminated by the radiation. All of them suffered radiation poisoning and one died.

This event was fresh on the minds of the creative team at Toho working on Gojira. It’s why the film opens with a scene of a fishing vessel being destroyed by a blinding flash, which turns out later to have been Godzilla, and why it was implied that Godzilla was awakened and mutated by American H-bomb tests.

The Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun was recently granted a rare chance to tour the inside of the now 70-year-old ship, which was decommissioned in 1967 and later moved in 1976 to the Yumenoshima district of Tokyo’s Koto Ward and preserved in a museum in the Daigo Fukuryu Maru Exhibition Hall. They took several photos and 360-degree images of the boat. You can view them here.

To this day, the ship remains a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement in Japan. Along with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, this was one of the most potent and palpable examples of the “nuclear curse” on Japan. It was a demoralizing blow to the Japanese psyche, which was suffering other repercussions from nuclear tests at the time, such as contaminated fish being caught in their waters. It wasn’t until the 3/11 disasters, which included the Fukushima meltdown, that Japan suffered as large a nuclear-related incident. These led to an increase in distrust of nuclear power and the shutdown of many nuclear plants. This is problematic given that Japan is in desperate need of domestic energy sources since, being an island nation, they have to import most of them.

You might think it’s crazy, then, that anyone in Japan would want to preserve a ship that reminds them of this “curse.” I think the Japanese do it for that very reason. It allows them a means to look back on their past and remember their convictions. These events have made indelible marks on their history and culture, and they can’t afford to forget them.

Kaijuvision Radio at G-Fest XXIV Report

By Brian Scherschel

Our first G-Fest has come and gone!  We had a great experience.  Thankfully, there were two of us so we were able to split up and cover the panels and other events during the three-day show.

At the Crown Plaza Hotel
Nathan Marchand (left)
Brian Scherschel (right)

First, during the “Mothra Mania” panel on Friday, we were surprised by a great performance by two cosplayers who sang “Mothra’s Song” as the Shobijin, Mothra’s twin fairies.

There were costumes and cosplayers in abundance during the convention.

Gfantis, the con’s mascot (left)
Nathan Marchand (right)

We attended the costume contests, which featured some really impressive entries.

One of the many impressive cosplayers (left)
Nathan Marchand (right)

It was fun to see all of the films at the Pickwick Theatre.  Watching the movies with a huge group of fans was different than watching them with a general audience.  They would cheer and applaud at key moments like when a kaiju or favorite actor first appeared, or when Godzilla defeated his foe.

The Pickwick Theatre, built in 1928 in Park Ridge, Illinois

The films offered this year were “King Kong vs. Godzilla” (1963 International Version), “Dragon Wars: D-War” (2007), “Godzilla X Megaguirus” (2000), “Godzilla” (2014), “Kong: Skull Island” (2017), and “Shin Godzilla” (2016).

The Pickwick Theatre marquee

Because I’m a violinist who has great admiration for her work, I opted to meet the very talented composer Michiru Oshima, who wrote the music for “Godzilla X Megaguirus” (2000), “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” (2002), and “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” (2003).

Brian Scherschel (left)
Composer Michiru Oshima (right)

Nathan met headlining G-guest Shinji Higuchi, the co-director and special effects director for “Shin Godzilla” (2016).  

Most noteworthy, Nathan was also asked to join “The Art of Kaiju Writing” panel about writing kaiju fiction.

Nathan Marchand (left)
Director and visual effects director Shinji Higuchi (right)

We also both met Robert Scott Field, who played the android M-11 in the film “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah” (1991).  Since he lives in Osaka, he was able to give fans, including myself, information about what’s been happening lately in his adopted country at his “Japan Update” panel.

Nathan Marchand (left)
Robert Scott Field (right)

Here are pictures from some of the G-Guests we saw.  It’s awesome that they traveled to the U.S. to visit with us and tell us about their Godzilla experiences.

Archie Waugh (left)
Assistant film director Kazuhiro Nakagawa (middle)
Actor and translator Robert Scott Field (right)

Actor and translator Robert Scott Field (left)
Suitmation actor, actor, and stunt performer Ryuki Kitaoka (middle)
Host of Kaijucast Kyle Yount (right)

 

It’s only been a few days since the convention, and Nate misses it already, while I’m getting caught up on rest.  

Now my mind is buzzing with ideas about how to continue to make this podcast even better after all we learned and experienced last weekend.

Meet the Hosts: Brian Scherschel

By Brian Scherschel

While Nate and I continue to develop Kaijuvision Radio, I’ll let you know about my projects and interests. I have various interests besides Godzilla, kaiju, and Japan.

Me (Photo by Michael Foster)

I love classic and foreign films. I had a segment on the on the Derailed Trains of Thought Podcast called “Cinema Selections” that ran ten episodes. Here is a link to the discussion I had with Nick Hayden about Alfred Hitchcock and his 1946 film “Notorious”. I’m also a violinist.

I graduated with honors from Wabash College where I received my B.A. in Political Science, concentrating in International Relations. I then received my Master’s of Public Administration from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Bloomington, concentrating in Comparative Politics and International Affairs. Some of my favorite subjects in my studies include NATO, the European Union, European history, globalization, urban American history, non-democratic regimes, and national and international security concerns (high politics).

I’m a video gamer, and my favorite game is Final Fantasy Tactics for PlayStation (PS1), mainly because the story is so incredible. I recorded a playthrough of it and it’s on a YouTube channel, composed of 310 separate videos spread across 10 playlists, totaling 67 hours and 40 minutes of game play. I put the original game disk into the PlayStation, and captured the video in its native resolution (720p) and sound quality. I transcribed every scene and battle so each video has a transcript. I concentrated on trying to present the story in the best possible way, and in the highest quality.

Speaking of quality, that’s what we’re aiming for here. Check out our weekly blog posts on Wednesdays, and listen to our promo trailer. At some point in the future, we will set the date for our first episode release, or what we’re dubbing “G-Day”. See you at G-Fest!

 

Meet the Hosts: Nathan Marchand

By Nathan Marchand

Me! (Photo by Ben Gilliom)

With the first episode of Kaijuvision Radio soon to be released, Brian and I decided it’d be a good time to let you, listeners, get to know us a bit more. As part of that, we’ll be sharing some of our previous projects that will be relevant to your interests.

As my bio mentions on my author website, I’m a professional writer. I discovered my talent for storytelling in middle school English when I was assigned to write a “fanciful story,” so I wrote one about my toys coming to life and fighting each other. Think of it as a geekier, action-oriented version of Toy Story. I then attended Taylor University Fort Wayne, where I earned a B.A. in professional writing under the tutelage of Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, one of the foremost writing instructors in the country. Interestingly, my first e-mail was on a now long-defunct website called www.GodzillaFans.com, which is what I used to correspond with “Doc,” and he would bring that up for years afterward. Anyway, I learned how to be a freelance writer, journalist, and novelist, among other things.

As a longtime fan of things like Star Trek, comic books, and, of course, Godzilla, it won’t surprise you that my first novel, Pandora’s Box, which was published in 2010 by Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy, was a military science fiction book. I’d actually started writing it before I went to college, scrapped much of that first incomplete draft, revised it some during college, and finished it after graduation. Since then, I’ve become a hybrid author, having been both traditionally published and self-published. Here’s a list of most of my books.

Cover art by Tyler Sowles (who also designed our podcast logo).

Two of my books are about kaiju. One is a novella entitled Destroyer. I co-authored it with me and Brian’s mutual friends (and fellow podcasters) Natasha Hayden, Timothy Deal, and Nick Hayden. As the summary on my website says,

Dr. Steiner and his daughter Eva build a towering cyborg to end a long war. It possesses the image of a dragon, the brain tissue of a dead T-Rex, and more weaponry than an army. Dubbed “Rex-1,” the cyborg’s mission is to destroy military targets in Moscow. Followed by its creators and commanders and controlled by telepathic technology, Rex-1 wreaks havoc, smiting enemies like a demonic god. Then the unthinkable happens. Rex-1 goes berserk and attacks the ship transporting the Americans. Crashing behind enemy lines in the heart of Moscow, Dr. Steiner and his group are caught in the middle of Rex-1′s rampage. Now with distrust and madness tearing his fellow survivors apart, Dr. Steiner has only one goal: Destroy Rex-1!

 

Available in Deluxe Edition paperback on www.Amazon.com and as an eBook from www.Smashwords.com.

It was inspired by a Godzilla film. Can you tell which one? It was 2002’s Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. I thought the concept of Mechagodzilla having a biological CPU and going berserk was rife with story potential, but the filmmakers wasted the idea. So, my novella explores that while also being an intense character-driven thriller. You can hear me read an excerpt from it on this episode of the Derailed Trains of Thought podcast.

My other kaiju-related book is actually a short story anthology: The Worlds of Nathan Marchand. The last tent-pole story is a kaiju tale set in a post-apocalyptic world where the surviving humans live underground and worship a kaiju as a god. However, a young man and his younger twin siblings dare to venture the surface to escape using flying machines, but the twins are attacked while flying one of those machines and crash in the heart of the city. Their brother must then elude the monster while flying a hang glider to save them. It was inspired by the stark imagery of The Return of Godzilla. The story was originally written for an anthology called Mammoth Monster Mayhem.

Besides all this writing, I’ve also dabbled in YouTube videos. While I’ve put my channel on (temporary) hiatus while Brian and I work on our podcast, I’ve produced around 80 or so videos for it. I did four different shows: “But I Digress…” (main show about creativity and film/book reviews), “Digressions” (fun random videos), “NERD RAGE!” (a show where I rant about geek-related things), and “Ankle Pickers” (a show about fighting games). I made three kaiju-related videos, which you can watch below. It consists of two reviews a top five list (which I would compile differently now, I think).

 

 
 

 

 
 

Well, that’s enough about me. Next week, it’s Brian’s turn!

Kaiju, Tourism, and ‘Cool Japan’

By Nathan Marchand

If a kaiju appeared in a city, I bet it’d make you more likely to visit it. Any self-respecting kaiju fan probably would.

Crazy, right?

Well, that’s what the cities of Kita-Kyushu and Shimonoseki in the Yamaguchi Prefecture have been doing for several months. To promote tourism to their cities, they released an online video featuring a kaiju emerging from the Kanmon Straits, which separates the islands of Honshu and Kyushu. Here’s the video:

The bizarre creature is composed of local specialties found in nearby waters, like pufferfish and octopuses, and is supposed to be a reincarnation of the Heikegami, a Japanese crab, which is said to be possessed by the fallen warriors of the Heike clan defeated at the Battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185. (This sounds easily similar to Godzilla’s origin in GMK, doesn’t it?) In other words, it’s packed full of local flavor. (Personally, in distant shots, I think the creature almost looks to have an unmasked Predator face).

The video was originally done in English so as to draw international attention, but it was also subtitled into several other languages.

The creature is humorously defeated by the water current because the Kanmon Straits have one of the fastest tides in the world, with speeds up to 10 knots (about 12 mph). Not only that, but the special effects team that worked on Toho’s latest Godzilla film, Shin Godzilla, created the effects in this promotional short.

While this technically isn’t Godzilla, it’s certainly a byproduct of the longstanding kaiju tradition started by the original 1954 film Gojira. So, these cities are vicariously tapping into Godzilla to promote tourism. It’s also an expression of Japan’s “gross national cool” (or “Cool Japan”). This was a term coined by Douglas McGray in Foreign Policy magazine in 2002. As Japan’s pop culture—J-pop, manga, anime, etc.—has infiltrated other nations and exploded in popularity, it has created an appealing image for its native country while also being quite profitable. The Japanese government has sought to use this “soft power” (indirect influence through cultural or ideological means) for economic growth. To bring it back to the kaiju video, the fact that this short was intended to be seen internationally shows how prominent and widespread the kaiju culture is and how closely it’s tied to “Cool Japan.” In other words, it’s an international cultural touchstone. Godzilla and kaiju still remain relevant.

You can learn more about the short film here.

Wood-zilla: A Driftwood Sculpture of Big G

By Nathan Marchand

The driftwood sculpture of Godzilla on a Japanese beach. (Photo source: Asahi Shimbun)

Did you know Godzilla raised awareness about beach beautification in Japan?

Well, a driftwood sculpture of him did.

Last month, a social worker named Yoichi Shigeyama erected the 16-foot sculpture of the King of the Monsters on Nijigahama Kaigan beach in Hikari, Japan, to raise awareness about the aforementioned issue.  He collected the driftwood and bound them together with hemp cords.  The artwork stood for nearly a month before local officials told him to take it down for fear of high winds blowing “Wood-zilla” down and injuring some of the many visitors who’ve been coming to see it.

So, on June 1, Shigeyama spent several hours taking the sculpture down.  However, he did create footprints that led from where it stood to the ocean.

“Godzilla has returned to the sea, leaving its footprints,” Shigeyama was quoted as saying.  “I will never make another driftwood artwork on this beach, but I feel happy if it could raise awareness among many people about beach beautification.”

This story is yet another example of how prominent and significant Godzilla remains in Japanese pop culture.  While he was first created to tackle a heavy issue—nuclear proliferation—he hasn’t been limited to that.  Over the decades, he’s been used by filmmakers to talk about themes such as nationalism, environmentalism, and bullying, among others.  Now he’s raising awareness about something as simple as beautifying beaches.

Brian and I created Kaijuvision Radio because we believe there’s far more to Godzilla than a simple B-movie monster.  We hope this story helps to illustrate this idea.  You can expect even more stuff like this in our upcoming episodes.  If you’re not a Godzilla fan, we hope your eyes are opened to new possibilities.  If you’re already a G-fan and kaiju lover, we hope our podcast gives you an even greater appreciation of—as Steve Ryfle said—“Japan’s favorite mon-star.”

Speaking of which, if you haven’t heard the trailer for our show, listen to it here.

Sayonara for now, listeners!

 

Kaijuvision Radio is Going to G-Fest XXIV!

By Nathan Marchand

Brian and I will be attending G-Fest XXIV July 14-16 in Rosemont, Illinois at the Crowne Plaza Hotel O’Hare Chicago.  We won’t be in the dealers’ hall, though.  We’re technically going as regular ol’ attendees, but we’ll be talking up the podcast and getting to know everyone.  We’re not sure if we’ll have episodes posted by then, but we’re hoping to meet future listeners while we’re there.

What’s G-Fest? Well, as the convention’s website puts it:

G-FEST is the largest regular gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster fans in the world.  Held each summer, it typically attracts more than 1,000 attendees, but has seen a gradual increase in attendance over the past few years.  G-FEST 2014 was the most successful convention to date, bringing in about 3,000 Japanese science fiction and fantasy film fans!

In other words, it’s a “comic-con” that’s strictly for kaiju fans.

This year’s guests include composer Michiru Ōshima, who scored several Millennial Godzilla films including Godzilla x Megaguirus; director and special effects director Shinji Higuchi, who most recently worked on Shin Godzilla; actor Ryuki Kitaoka, whose many acting credits include Godzilla: Final Wars; assistant director Kazuhiro Nakagawa, who also worked on Shin Godzilla, among other things; director Kiyotaka Taguchi, who directed the special effects on many Millennial Godzilla films; actor Robert Scott Field, who played Android M-11 on Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah; and comics industry veteran Tony Isabella.

Along with the many panels and events going on that weekend, there will special screenings of six kaiju films at the nearby Pickwick Theatre, though most of those will be July 13, the day before the convention kicks off. Watch the trailer below to see what films will be playing.

It’s safe to say that Brian and I will be taking as many opportunities to see these films in a theater since most of these we haven’t experienced that way.  Feel free to hit us up before, after, or between screenings!

I’ve been a regular con-goer for a five years now, but this will be Brian’s first time at such an event and the first time either of us have attended G-Fest, so we’re excited.

You can learn more about the convention on its website here.

See you there, G-Fans and kaiju lovers!