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, 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 and as an eBook from

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!