Episode 44: Gorath (1962)

And now it’s time to appreciate the immense imaginative power of Gorath! When it comes to mind-bending Toho technology, rows of atomic-powered thrusters nearly the size of New Mexico in Antarctica is on par with the Dimension Tide black hole gun from Godzilla vs. Megaguirus –and I love both of these inventions! A special effects tour de force, Gorath is everything that a toku fan would want. It even has a kaiju – Maguma! Well, the Japanese version does, at least. The English language version is the very definition of mediocrity. The related topic for this episode is Near-Earth Objects (NEOs),Planetary Defense, and other scientific aspects related to Gorath.

This episode is dedicated to Ryo Ikebe.

I’d like to send a shout-out to our patron Sean Stiff for donating at the Kaiju Visionary level. Thank you for your support! I really appreciate it.

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 1:40

Part 1 – Film Description: 1:40 – 8:28

Part 2 – Opinion and Analysis: 8:28 – 42:10

Part 3 – Related Topic: 42:10 – 58:20

Closing: 58:20 – End

 

Host/Editor/Director/Scenic Videos: Brian Scherschel

Video Location: Rousseau Centre (left) and First Financial Center at the Anthony Wayne Building (center right), Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video Notes: The Rousseau Centre (completed in 1971) and the Anthony Wayne Building (completed in 1964) are examples of mid to late 1960s architecture.

Music: Audiophiliac (www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

“Torii Gate” Banners: Kevin Geary (kevincgearydesign.com)

Logos: Nanoparticles (www.fiverr.com/nanoparticles)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved

Episode 43: The Last War (1961)

Brian and Daniel team up for this rare and incredible tokusatsu disaster film from Toho. Find it and watch it! It’s a nuclear war scenario between stand-ins for NATO and the Warsaw Pact at the height of the Cold War – and Japan is caught in between! It’s like an Ozu film with Tsuburaya’s special effects in it. It’s also a nearly perfect film for this show (besides Shin Godzilla). Includes a talented cast including Akira Takarada, Yuriko Hoshi, Frankie Sakai, and Jerry Ito. The related topic for this episode is NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

You can find Daniel DiManna’s Godzilla Novelization Project here:

godzillanovelizationproject.wordpress.com

This episode is dedicated to Yuriko Hoshi.

I’d like to send a shout-out to our patron Sean Stiff for donating at the Kaiju Visionary level. Thank you for your support! I really appreciate it.

 

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 2:01

Part 1 – Film Description: 2:01 – 8:19

Part 2 – Opinion and Analysis: 8:19 – 1:23:25

Part 3 – Related Topic: 1:23:25 – 1:41:36

Closing: 1:41:36 – End

 

Host/Editor/Director/Scenic Videos: Brian Scherschel

Guest Co-Host: Daniel DiManna

Video Location: Giant American Flag, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Music: Audiophiliac (www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

“Torii Gate” Banners: Kevin Geary (kevincgearydesign.com)

Logos: Nanoparticles (www.fiverr.com/nanoparticles)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved

Episode 42: Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Daniel DiManna of the Godzilla Novelization Project comes back to the show to review this tokusatsu extravaganza. The film is based in science-fiction, action, and Ishiro Honda’s particular brand of optimistic pacifism. With the combination of superb models and vehicles, top-notch effects, and a unique fast-paced story, the movie does everything well all at once. We discuss how cool it would be to be inside the theater that gets destroyed by an absolute zero weapon in the movie you’re watching in it, Yoshio Tsuchiya’s mind control adventure, and militarizing the crap out of the space program in the name of peace. The related topic for this episode is the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

You can find Daniel DiManna’s Godzilla Novelization Project here:

godzillanovelizationproject.wordpress.com

This episode is dedicated to Eiji Tsuburaya.

I’d like to send a shout-out to our patron Sean Stiff for donating at the Kaiju Visionary level. Thank you for your support! I really appreciate it.

 

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 2:36

Part 1 – Film Description: 2:36 – 7:10

Part 2 – Opinion and Analysis: 7:10 – 1:41:23

Part 3 – Related Topic: 1:41:23 – 1:59:17

Closing: 1:59:17 – End

 

Host/Editor/Director/Scenic Videos: Brian Scherschel

Guest Co-Host: Daniel DiManna

Video Location: Lincoln Bank Tower, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Music: Audiophiliac (www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

“Torii Gate” Banners: Kevin Geary (kevincgearydesign.com)

Logos: Nanoparticles (www.fiverr.com/nanoparticles)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved

Episode 41: The Three Treasures a.k.a. Nippon tanjo (The Birth of Japan) (1959)

Daniel DiManna of the Godzilla Novelization Project joins me to appreciate Kaijuvision’s first epic.  182 minutes long, it’s the Japanese response to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956).  The kaiju is Yamata no Orochi, the 8-headed dragon.  Toshiro Mifune plays the legendary Prince Yamato Takeru and the mythical god Susanoo.  Since this is a religious epic, the related topic is Shinto.

You can find Daniel DiManna’s Godzilla Novelization Project here:

godzillanovelizationproject.wordpress.com

This episode is dedicated to Toshiro Mifune.

I’d like to send a shout-out to our patron Sean Stiff for donating at the Kaiju Visionary level. Thank you for your support! I really appreciate it.

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 2:35

Part 1 – Film Description: 2:35 – 9:44

Part 2 – Opinion and Analysis: 9:44 – 2:00:28

Part 3 – Related Topic: 2:00:28 – 2:31:23

Closing: 2:31:23 – End

 

Host/Editor/Director/Scenic Videos: Brian Scherschel

Guest Co-Host: Daniel DiManna

Video Location: Headwaters Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Music: Audiophiliac (www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

“Torii Gate” Banners: Kevin Geary (kevincgearydesign.com)

Logos: Nanoparticles (www.fiverr.com/nanoparticles)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved

Episode 39: The Mysterians (1957)

They want your land, your women, then more of your land, and, well, you get the idea. The aliens have even searched through binders full of women for very best ones. Listen as I analyze Moguera, the Markalite FAHPs, and those fabulous matte paintings! And then I’ll connect the story in the movie to contemporary events: The normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Soviet Union in 1956.

This episode is dedicated to eminent virtuoso actor Takashi Shimura.

I’d like to send a shout-out to our patron Sean Stiff for donating at the Kaiju Visionary level. Thank you for your support! I really appreciate it.

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 2:35

Part 1 – Film Description: 2:35 – 10:04

Part 2 – Opinion and Analysis: 10:04 – 33:19

Part 3 – Related Topic: 33:19 – 45:39

Closing: 45:39 – End

 

Host/Editor/Director/Scenic Videos: Brian Scherschel

Video Location: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton construction site, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Music: Audiophiliac (www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

“Torii Gate” Banners: Kevin Geary (kevincgearydesign.com)

Logos: Nanoparticles (www.fiverr.com/nanoparticles)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved

Episode 38: Half Human (1955)

Season 2 at Kaijuvision Radio begins with the first non-Godzilla kaiju film from Toho Studios.  This Japanese take on the Abominable Snowman phenomenon is a story about the dark side of humanity.  The Japanese cut of the movie is effectively banned in Japan because of its depiction of the Ainu people as savages.  I find interesting parallels between this film and Disney’s “Song of the South” (1946), as well as “Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues” (1984), which was made famous by Mystery Science Theater 3000.  The related topic is The Genetic Origin of the Ainu People.

This episode is dedicated to the great Ishiro Honda.

I’d like to send a shout-out to our patron Sean Stiff for donating at the Kaiju Visionary level.  Thank you for your support!  I really appreciate it.

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 4:27

Part 1 – Film Description: 4:27 – 11:08

Part 2 – Opinion and Analysis: 11:08 – 28:57

Part 3 – Related Topic: 28:57 – 40:18

Closing: 40:18 – End

 

Host/Editor/Director/Scenic Videos: Brian Scherschel

Video Location: American Electric Power Building, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video Notes: The clouds in this video are part of the west edge of the remnants of Hurricane Florence, taken on September 17, 2018 in Fort Wayne.  We wish a speedy recovery to everyone effected by this disastrous hurricane.

Music: Audiophiliac (www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

“Torii Gate” Banners: Kevin Geary (kevincgearydesign.com)

Logos: Nanoparticles (www.fiverr.com/nanoparticles)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved

Kaijuvision Radio Published in Nippon Quarterly – Fort Wayne’s Japanese Language Newsletter

by Brian Scherschel

As you know, Kaijuvision is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The local Japanese language newsletter in town is called the “Nippon Quarterly”, and they published Brian’s description of our podcast – AND they translated it into Japanese!

The Nippon Quarterly’s motto is “Everything Japanese in the Fort Wayne Area”, and is edited by Michele Yamanaka.  The newsletter is sponsored by the Japanese-American Association of Indiana, Inc. (JASI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1988.  The JASI also sponsors the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival in Fort Wayne, which Nate and I visited this summer.

You can learn more about the JASI and their mission here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/japanindiana/about/?ref=page_internal

One of Kaijuvision’s goals is promoting cultural understanding between the United States and Japan, one of our most important allies in East Asia and the world.  Yes, our podcast is about kaiju and other Japanese movies, but as our listeners know, we do so much more than that.

And the newsletter page looks so nice!

 

 

2018 Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival Recap

by Nathan Marchand

On May 20, Brian and I attended the Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival, a local event that celebrates Japanese culture.  It was held at the main branch of the Allen County Public Library.  It’s essentially a free one-day convention.  This was the event’s 11th year.  As we’ve mentioned before, one of Fort Wayne’s sister cities is Takaoka, so it makes sense to hold a festival each year centered on Japan.  It was my second time at the event and Brian’s first.

As the event’s website proclaims, “Five hours…so little time and so much to do!”  That was definitely true.  We had to choose our activities carefully.

First, we watched a performance by Fort Wayne Taiko.  As explained on their website, “Taiko is a Japanese musical tradition that means ‘big drum.’ The large, hollow, skin-covered drums used in taiko are played vertically, horizontally or diagonally to create a range of vibrant rhythms. But taiko isn’t simply about sound. Its characteristic beat is achieved through choreographed arm movements, as drummers ‘dance’ their sticks from drum to drum.”  They’re the only such group in Fort Wayne and one of the few in the Midwest, which makes them unique in our area.  I love watching them. (Photo below by Nathan Marchand).

Next was the opening ceremony presided over by Fort Wayne’s mayor, Tom Henry, and Consul-General Naoki Ito.  After a quick lunch from some local Japanese restaurants, we watched a performance from the Minyo Club of Indianapolis.  Minyo is a style of Japanese folk music and dance originally practiced by people as they worked.

Minyo Club of Indianapolis.  (Photo by Brian Scherschel)

Next was one of the highlights of the day: the planting of a cherry blossom tree.  Consul-General Ito brought five that were to be planted all over the city, including one in front of the library.  Both he and Mayor Henry broke ground with shovels and Laura Stine of Laura Stine Gardens planted it.  (Photo below by Nathan Marchand).

Afterward, we had the privilege of meeting Ito-san and telling him about our podcast.  He seemed impressed with our work and told us to keep it up.  It was also one of the few times I’ve seen Brian starstruck, and it was for a Japanese diplomat! (Which, honestly, isn’t surprising if you know Brian).

Brian (left) with Ito and me (right) with Ito.  (Left photo by Nathan Marchand, right photo by Brian Scherschel)

We next saw Heartland Sings, a local vocal group, perform acapella versions of several video game and J-pop songs.  My favorite was their Super Mario Bros. medley.  Interestingly, they went from the festival to a local church to perform liturgical songs. (Photo below by Nathan Marchand).

After mingling with the vendors, we attended an event Brian wanted to make sure we didn’t miss: the tea ceremony.  This is a tradition that goes back centuries and involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of a powdered green tea called matcha.  We were able to watch a condensed version of the ceremony while a young woman, who was a student of tea master, explained everything.  It was fascinating to watch.

The Japanese tea ceremony.  (Photo by Brian Scherschel)

Then we saw a martial arts demonstration by the Indianapolis Kendo Club.  I’ve long been interested in martial arts, so I always make sure to watch demonstrations like this.  I was surprised at how noisy kendo is, but even that has the purpose of releasing the practitioner’s energy.  The most thought-provoking thing I learned was that a strike in kendo is only to illustrate that the practitioner has already won the fight. (Photo below by Nathan Marchand).

Brian left after that, but I stuck around for the cosplay contest.  This featured a parade of anime and video characters.  The top three consisted of two Pokemon characters and a female rendition of the dragon Shenron from DragonBall. (Photo below by Nathan Marchand).

Overall, it was a fun and educational experience.  Not unlike our podcast!

 

Episode 37: Shin Godzilla (2016)

At last, it is time. Fasten your seat belts, kaiju fans.  It’s like this movie was made for our show.  Just as we were planning a podcast emphasizing the connection between the Godzilla franchise and international affairs, this masterpiece was delivered to us on a silver platter.  This episode is our masterpiece.  After our film description, part two is our opinion on the big picture of this incredible movie.  Part three is a detailed chronological rundown of the film, and we will tie it to the events of 3/11.  Our related topics are the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdowns.

This episode is dedicated to the victims of the 3/11 disaster, Plant Manager Masao Yoshida, the Fukushima 50, the U.S. service members who participated in Operation Tomodachi, U.S. Forces Japan, and the JSDF.

We’d like to send a shout-out to our patron Kyoei Toshi and Sean Stiff for pledging at the Kaiju Visionary level.  Thank you for your support!  We really appreciate it.

Go to our website next Wednesday (June 6) to learn what we have planned for future episodes.

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 2:42

Part 1 – Film Description: 2:42 – 9:02

Part 2 – Opinion of the Big Picture: 9:02 – 1:04:45

Part 3 – Chronological Rundown: 1:04:45 – 3:10:52

Closing: 3:10:52 – End

 

Co-Hosts: Brian Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

Editor: Brian Scherschel

Video Location: Lincoln Tower and Allen County Courthouse, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video: Brian Scherschel

Music: Audiophiliac (http://www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved

Episode 34: Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

Road to Shin Godzilla Month marches on with the final entry of the “Tezuka Trilogy,” a film that astonished Nate and Brian on the re-watch.  Nate was surprised that this direct sequel to the previous film—which disappointed him—actually made good use of Kiryu having the original Godzilla’s soul grafted to it.  Brian thinks the special effects are a loving tribute to the artistry of classic tokusatsu.  Also, Mothra has never looked as good as she does in this film.  Much like Mothra vs. Godzilla, this movie doesn’t attempt many new things, but it does them all well.  Our related topic is deflation in Japan.

We’d like to send a shout-out to our patrons Kyoei Toshi and Sean Stiff for pledging at the Kaiju Visionary level. Thank you for your support! We really appreciate it.

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 1:44

Part 1 – Film Description: 1:44 – 8:08

Part 2 – Opinion and Discussion: 8:08 – 46:48

Part 3 – Related Topics: 46:48 – 1:12:72

Closing: 1:12:72 – End

 

Co-Hosts: Brian Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

Editor: Brian Scherschel

Video Location: South Side High School, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video: Brian Scherschel

Music: Audiophiliac (http://www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel

All Rights Reserved