godzilla-encounter

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Bravo, nameless hero. You did a damn good job of hiding your camera.

(Footage is from the end of the Godzilla Encounter, featuring a full-CG Godzilla walking by the windows and then doubling back to roar at con-goers. I don’t know whether this is the official design or not, but I’m assuming so.)

Edit: It’s not. Oh well.

Edit 2: Link is dead. Surprised it took so long, honestly. Whatever. Can’t stop the signal.

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Daikaiju Eiga 2013: The Year in Review! 
(In no particular order) 2013 saw a resurgence of popularity for the kaiju genre , due in no small part to two quite big film events: Guillermo Del Toro’s kaiju eiga love-letter PACIFIC RIM and Gareth Edwards’ upcoming GODZILLA, both under Legendary Pictures. While Del Toro’s film  has helped “kaiju" as a term enter the general vernacular, Legendary pushed the boat out in building anticipation for Godzilla’s return. A flurry of posters and teasing publicity material appeared across the months, but it was the all-encompassing Godzilla Encounter at this year’s San Diego Comic Con which got practically everyone’s blood pumping. In all honestly, this entire post could have been about GODZILLA 2014, but then that just wouldn’t be fair…

In sadder news, Daiei legend Kojiro Hongo of the Gamera, Daimajin, and Yokai Monsters series’ passed away on the 31st of January. Tsuburaya Productions brought Ultraman back to television to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary as a company with ULTRAMAN GINGA, which aired its first episode on the 31st of July. The brilliant Shout! Factory also gave the world the first every English-friendly home video release of the legendary ULTRA Q, which was released in August.

2013 also saw independent Japanese filmmakers Shingo Maehata and Minoru Kawasaki aim to bring back the traditional Japanese daikaiju eiga in announcing their respective films ZELLA: MONSTER MARTIAL LAW and EARTH DEFENCE WIDOW. Both use traditional tokusatsu techniques combined with modern digital effects. And finally, IDW continued their successful run of Godzilla comic books, including the simply titled “Godzilla” series!

All in all, not a bad year at all! If anyone has anything to add, please do! Have a brilliant New Year everyone, and thank you so much for all your support and kindness through the year. You’ve all been brilliant since I took over the blog, and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. All the best for 2014, which something tells me 2014 will be even bigger…

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Last week at Comic-Con in San Diego, fans experienced the Godzilla Encounter. Not sure what the Godzilla Encounter is? Hear directly from the fans that survived it!

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One of the best experiences at San Diego Comic-Con had to be the Godzilla Encounter that recreated Tokyo inside a warehouse loaded with classic Toho film references.

Fans could briefly browse Godzilla props, comics, toys and collectibles before the place is taken over by rumbling and the sound of sirens. A soldier barges in to lead the fans into a decontamination zone and a monitoring station before everyone is forced to evacuate into an elevator to escape via a helicopter on the highrise’s roof.

The elevator stalls out, so everyone is led to an office overlooking the city. Shortly thereafter a gigantic screen behind vertical blinds plays footage of Godzilla stomping across the city to give the illusion the city is under attack. Fans then receive a Godzilla poster for the upcoming movie from film studio Legendary before they’re returned to downtown San Diego to discover the entire city has actually been overrun by nerds.

The First Godzilla: an enraged, politically-provocative metaphor

Our next entry in the Vault is the original Godzilla, known as Shodai-Goji among fans (at least the suit is). As a consequence of the radically different portrayals of Godzilla across the years, there will be around ten total Godzilla incarnations discussed in the Vault. 

The original Godzilla represents a dark and serious take on the monstrous. Indeed, the original 1954 Japanese cut of the film can easily be described as a horror film. This Godzilla has a personality that boils down to one single emotion: blind rage. A product of American nuclear testing in Pacific, the monster was conceived of as a metaphor for the destruction of World War II, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the ongoing destruction brought on Japan (and the world) by the nuclear arms race.

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