G-Fest XXV (2018) Panel: Godzilla and the Japanese National Spirit

As promised, here’s the audio and video of our G-Fest Conference panel, which took place at 3:00pm (CDT) on July 13, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois. We had a larger-than-expected turnout, including several attendees who were listeners and a university professor who was impressed with our presentation. If he was amazed, we know you’ll be, too!

In this, we discuss Godzilla (1954), The Return of Godzilla (1984), Shin Godzilla (2016), and Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), and the international relations issues that were surrounding them when they were made.

We introduce ourselves, the podcast, and its mission. Then Nate examines the 1954 and 1984 movies with respect to the JSDF, the US-Japan Alliance, and Japanese domestic issues. Brian then updates the audience on what has happened in Japan and the world between 1984 and 2016. Nate examines the 2016 movie across the same issues. Brian analyzes Godzilla vs. Gigan and all that the movie communicates to the audience about globalization. Brian finishes the panel by mentioning what all will happen to Japan in 2019 and 2020, and gives a spirited case for defending democracy.

MP3:

 

Regarding Our Groundbreaking Shin Godzilla Episode

By Brian Scherschel

Some reviews so far about our revolutionary Shin Godzilla episode:

Kyoei Toshi (one of our Patrons) (via Twitter): “Not only the best examination of Shin in English, but the single best podcast episode dealing with Godzilla ever done. These guys have done an incredible amount of preparation and research for their series on the Godzilla films, and it shows in the finished product. Well done!”

Geek Devotions (via Facebook): “Check out Kaijuvision Radio’s review of ‘Shin Godzilla’. It’s probably the most comprehensive and informative discussion on the film that we’ve had the opportunity to listen to. These guys did a great job breaking down the film!”

Ben Avery (host of the podcasts Strangers and Alien & Welcome to Level Seven): “Great job with ‘Shin Godzilla’. I did find it interesting that you seemed to be arguing with invisible people who didn’t like it. I kept saying, ‘I know! I agree!’ I’m just not part of the online fandom. Whenever you talked about fan response I found it very interesting.”

We expect this episode to significantly change how Shin Godzilla is discussed in the American fandom.

In our incredible, groundbreaking season finale episode on this film, we challenge some of the conventional wisdom in the American fandom about the movie’s politics. We are of the opinion that this movie is not nationalist propaganda. Patriotic, yes. Nationalistic, no. Militaristic, no.

We wholeheartedly embrace a Godzilla that changes over time, just as it always has. Since Shin Godzilla is about the here and now, we explain the situation Japan is in right now, and the challenges they face. Because of marketing (“Cool Japan”) and the exaggerated power that nostalgia has, we say in plain English just why we’re seeing these political issues in the movie.

Shin Godzilla is not all that different from many other movies in the series. It fits into current events and stays relevant. It helps people work through trauma. It channels the public’s outrage. It expresses the Japanese national spirit. Using only the military fails. There are many more reasons.

If we had received a heavily edited version of Shin Godzilla in America and then had to wait 30+ years for it to be released, fans would have been furious. However, the result of this is that the politics came through completely unfiltered. If we had to wait decades until seeing the political elements of the movie, the political messages would be dulled by the passage of time. This time around, we get the full impact, so it’s natural that some Americans would have a reaction to what they see.

Since Hideki Anno made this movie, and since it deals with complex issues, we should not mistake meditating on issues the same thing as endorsing positions. We don’t endorse any positions either, but we do explain what’s going on in the film with all of these issues. There is also a lot of satire in this movie right up against a lot of realism. We sort all of that out. I explain all of the bureaucratic elements of the movie because it’s such an important part of the movie. We then comprehensively examine the events of 3/11/2011 and its aftermath better than anyone in the Godzilla podcasting community. We link the timeline of the disasters to the events in the film as they unfold.

Anyone who’s in the American Godzilla fandom needs to hear what we have to say in this episode. I have a background in comparative politics and international affairs, and our perspective on the movie from that angle is impressive. It’s totally worth listening to.

You can listen to this amazing episode here.

Episode 21: The Return of Godzilla (1984)

We begin our two-month journey into the Heisei series of Godzilla movies. Listen as Nate and Brian elevate this unforgettable and well-made film by explaining how Japan was in the middle of the Cold War tension of the early 80s. Our related topics are the acceleration of the Cold War, NATO’s Able Archer exercise, Korean Air Lines Flight 007, and the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident.

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 – 2:43

Part 1 – Film Description: 2:43 – 7:57

Part 2 – Opinion and Discussion: 7:57 – 1:03:33

Part 3 – Related Topic: 1:03:33 – 2:00:12

Closing: 2:00:12 – End

 

Co-Hosts: Brian Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

Editor: Brian Scherschel

Video 1 Location: Foster Park (St. Mary’s River), Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video 1 Timestamp: 0:00:00 – 1:28:13

Video 2 Location: The Foliatum, Headwaters Park, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video 2 Timestamp: 1:28:13 – 02:02:04

Video: Brian Scherschel

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

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

All Rights Reserved

Episode 17: Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

For this week’s episode, we present Brian’s favorite Godzilla movie! Though it’s an underrated movie, it sold the most tickets of any of the late Showa series movies (after 1968). It’s also filmed well, full of action, yet also cerebral. The movie contains a story with multi-layered symbolism, yet it has lots of fire, explosions, and monster fights. Plus it’s infused with the Japanese National Spirit. Listen to Nate and Brian synthesize everything fascinating about this movie. Our related topics are the symbolism of Godzilla vs. Gigan and the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics. Our 4k video for this episode was made at a location much farther away from home than usual: New York state.

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.

This episode is dedicated to Haruo Nakajima.

MP3:

Introduction: 0:00 – 1:40

Part 1 – Film Description: 1:40 – 6:33

Part 2 – Opinion and Discussion: 6:33 – 45:42

Part 3 – Related Topic: 45:42 – 1:19:36

Closing: 1:19:36 – End

 

Co-Hosts: Brian Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

Editor: Brian Scherschel

Video Location: Donahue Memorial Park, Cornwall-On-Hudson, New York

Video: Brian Scherschel

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

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

All Rights Reserved

Episode 1: Introduction to the Godzilla Journey

It’s G-Day at Kaijuvision Radio. Surprise! – We’re releasing the first two episodes of the show this week instead of just one. In our first episode, we discuss our philosophy of the podcast moving forward.

MP3:

Opening Remarks: 0:00 – 2:33

Our Bios: 2:33 – 5:05

How We Became Godzilla Fans: 5:05 – 9:08

Some of our Favorite Non-Godzilla Films: 9:08 – 11:45

Our Impressions of the Godzilla Series 11:45 – 17:11

Our Thoughts on the Kaiju Genre: 17:11 – 21:11

Why the Godzilla Movies are Better than their Reputations 21:11 – 29:07

What We Think of Dubbing: 29:07 – 33:57

Refuting the “And then they got silly” argument: 33:57 – 38:13

The Role of Nostalgia in the Godzilla Movies: 38:13 – 43:51

The Versatility of Godzilla: 43:51 – 45:06

The Japanese National Spirit: 45:06 – 49:01

Closing: 49:01 – End

 

Co-Hosts: Brian Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

Editor: Brian Scherschel

Video Location: Japanese Friendship Garden, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video: Brian Scherschel

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

Copyright Brian J. Scherschel and Nathan Marchand

All Rights Reserved

Kaijuvision Radio – Promo Trailer

Hello, G-Fans and kaiju lovers! Welcome to Kaijuvision Radio.

Is this your first time here? If it is, you might be wondering, “What is Kaijuvision Radio?” That’s no surprise given that one way to translate the Japanese word kaiju is, “mysterious beast,” and since you just discovered us, well, we are a bit of a mystery.

After over a year of preparation and research, we are indeed finally ready to begin.

Check out the promo to learn more about our unique podcast.

Kaijuvision Radio: Coming soon to a podcatcher near you!

Co-Hosts: Brian Scherschel and Nathan Marchand
Editor: Brian Scherschel
Writers: David Wonderly and Brian Scherschel
Music: Audiophiliac (http://www.fiverr.com/audiophiliac)

Video: Brian Scherschel

Logo Artwork: Tyler Sowles

MP3: