The top 10 Women of Kaiju

Ladies, I feel for you. After Fay Wray`s performance in the original King Kong, women were stereotyped  with the nickname of “Scream Queens” whose only purpose in the film is to be eye candy for the audience and scream in horror as the giant monster appears. Not the best role to have.

Luckily there are women who broke this stereotype and did it with style. These are the top 10 women of Kaiju. The fabulous ladies who can kick a lot of butt and easily hang with the big boys.

10. Konomi Amagi (Ultraman Mebius)
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Im particul to this character since she comes from my personal favorite Ultra series, which is why I’m leaving her closer to the bottom. While the rest of the members of GUYS joined with innate special gifts that were immediately were evident of how they could contribute to the team. Konomi was different though, she was a school teacher with a kind heart. One would think this would have no place on team for fighting giant monster but this was were she was able to shine. Her kind nature made her able to connect with the capsule monsters, a feat no one else was able to accomplish. Her bond with monsters such as Miclas made it possible for Ultraman Mebius to save the world.

9. Ann Darrow (King Kong (2005))

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Of all the different ladies that have formed a bond with the 8th wonder of the world, its Naomi Watt’s Ann Darrow that seems the strongest. Ann truly loves Kong. She sees him as a gentle giant that is misplaced and alone, not only in our world but in his own. He just wants something to bond with and Ann is there to be his shining star in a chaotic world. I already expressed my love for this movie last week and how I am willing to defend the ice skating scene despite the criticism of others.

8. Mako Mori (Pacific Rim)

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Their were many mecha fans that left the theaters after seeing Pacific Rim and immediately proclaimed that Mako Mori was their new “Waifu.” Personally, I wasn’t that obsessed with her but still I admire her for the strong character that she is. Wishing to avenge her parents from a Kaiju attack she personally trained her self despite her stepfathers wishes. She knew she had what it took to pilot a Jaegar and make sure that no one experienced the same tragedy she did. Cant wait to see what they do with her in the sequel.

7. Mother of Ultra (Ultra Series)

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The mother of Ultras is just as her name says, she is Ultramans mother. On op of giving birth to one of the greatest heroes of all time, Mother of Ultra has impressive skills of her own. She is gifted with incredible healing power that has allowed her to save many Ultra beings who have been in mortal danger. Shame she never go an episode dedicated to her. I mean there was an episode in Ultraman Mebius dedicated to Father of Ultra, why not one dedicated to her?

6. Miki Saegaesa (Godzilla – Heisei series)

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After Godzilla series was brought back with the heisei series, Miki was introduced as the one character that came in during every movie. She was a woman with psychic abilities who started at a member of an ESP institute, became  Doctor, and even a member of the anti-Godzilla team, G-Force. It was this transformation over the course of the series that made her such an interesting character. Sadly, the Studio could have done a bit more with her character and she came off as cold with that whole “others cant understand me because of my special powers” story line.

5. Time Force Pink (Power Rangers: Time Force)

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Jen is a popular Power Ranger for many reasons. First, she was the first female leader of a Ranger team. She was played by a really strong actress. Her story line was interesting and despite the fact she had a love interest, it wasn’t her defining characteristic. Few rangers have been able to measure up to her level throughout the entire history of the franchise.

4. Akiko Fuji (Ultraman)

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Akiko was on the first support team in an Ultraman series, the Science Space patrol and fought along Ultraman. Consider what this meant. This series took place at the same time as Mad Men, where wmen were designated to having to file paperwork and get the men coffee. Okay, yes there are scenes where this happens but there is also moments of her fighting along side the guys and kicking giant monster butt. Think of all the great female warriors that have fought alongside Ultraman and realize that without Akiko fighting the good fight.

3. Asagi Kusangi (Gamera: Guardian of the Universe)

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I love Asagi. She is a strong young girl trying to find herself while at the same time willing to help those in need. When is given a mysterious jewel, t allows hr to share a connection with Gamera  She deeply loves Gamera and does all she can to be the priestess and bond to humanity throughout the course of the three movies. We can only hope that the new human that bounds with Gamera next has half the characteristics that Asagi brought to the franchise.

2. Kumi Mizuno (Various Kaiju movies)

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I`m cheating a bit on this one. Instead of a character the second spot goes to an actual actress. Kumi Mizuno stared in eight different Kaiju related films. Her time as the space alien from Monster Zero, the island girl from Ebirah the Sea Monster, or the scientist from Frankenstein conquerors the world. Yes, in a few of her roles she was scantily clad at times but her characters were always strong and willing to do all they could to help those around her. She is so exceptional as an actress that she is actually worshiped on an island in pacific.

1. The Shobijin/Cosmos/Elias (Various Kaiju movies)
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Ah the Shobijin. Personally I like to call them the Cosmos after the heisei series as  I hadn’t heard a subtitled version of a film where they referred to as the Shobijin. Still, despite their origins, they are always presented as the  tiny guardians and confidants of Mothra. Their main purpose is to speak with humanity on Mothra`s behalf. Despite the sins of humanity they have yet to give up on humans and instead have fought along side Mothra several times with the ideal that humans can be more than violent, destructive beasts. In our darkest hour, the Shobijin will be there to sing their song of peace to call Mothra to aid humanity and never even rub our noses in fact they were right the whole time. You stay classy Shobojin.

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Colossal News: Shin America, Cancelled?!

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I’ve got some news bits so its time for another, COLOSSAL NEWS!

First up more news on the King of the Monsters. Godzilla’s film from Toho Studios coming out in 2016 has a title. It will be called, SHIN GODZILLA (New Godziila). Not very impressive but still good to hear that things are moving ahead. There is also rumors that if things go well with King Kong’s new film, Skull Island, the two foes could go team up in the future. Fingers crossed on that one.

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Next up, the kickstarter worked! Team America has reached the goal to outfit their robot for their fight with Japan. The Megabots new concept looks is like something out of G-Gundam. Not in a good way. Still, the giant robots will fight so we have that going for us.

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Finally, Pacific Rim 2…is cancelled?! What mockery is this? Announced early this week, Pacific Rim is on indefinite delay which could become a cancellation. The reason? Money. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are having a financial look at the film and fear it will not be feasible or a good idea to keep going. I couldn’t disagree more and think they should get off their butts and give me more Jaegers but that’s me. Hopefully this will be resolved in the near future and we won’t have to worry about this hiccup in the road to get more giant monsters from director, Guillermo Del Toro.

That’s it for now. As always people, LIVE LARGE!

Godzilla vs. Biolantte Podcast

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Got to do the recording of a Godzilla vs. Biolantte Podcast. Check the link out to see the turbulent road that finally led to Paul Chapman (the host), Mike Dent (Guest one), and myself (Guest two) sitting down and discussing this movie in depth. I once again found myself gushing over film. Download it and give it a listen.

Godzilla’s Revenge

godzillasrevenge Every franchise has its failure. The one movie or piece of canon that the fans wish didn’t exist. Godzilla is not immune to this type of blemish on his career. Many American fans are quick to point to the Sony movis as the worst that Godzilla has ever endured but older fans who have any knowledge of the other films know better. Godzilla’s worst film is Godzilla’s Revenge.

Ichiro is a young boy who gets bullied by the bigger kids in his class and doesn’t see his parents often. To escape this harsh reality he dreams of being on monster island will all the Kaiju of legend. He also befriends Minya, the young son of the king of the monsters who is constantly being plagued by a monster named Gabara. Together the two of them will learn to be stronger by confronting their bullies.

This really isn’t that good of a film on many levels. First its all a dream. Literally all of the scenes with the monster are taking place in Ichiro’s imagination. None of it is real. Even the new Kaiju that’s introduced, Gabara, is Ichiro’s creation. Which means all of the combat that occurs in the film has no bearing on the rest of the world.

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Second, let’s take a moment to look at Gabera shall we? He really isn’t that menacing. His electricity through touch ability was used better by King Kong and it seems that his entire purpose is just to stalk Minya. He is never even used again in any other Godzilla film or (I’m pretty sure) Video Game. Not like its a real waste. I’ve yet to meet the person who admits that Gabara is their favorite monster. People have more appreciation for Baragon then they do for Gabara.

Third, the majority of the material is from other Kaiju movies. Specifically, Son of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. Its not just some reused explosions or effect but full scenes of the Kaiju combat are cut into the film. This is a clip show the creators are trying to pass off as a full movie. Personally, I hate clips shows.

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Finally lets look at Minya. I know he was introduced in Son of Godzilla but they do something special with him in this film: They let him talk. Has there ever been a time that having the monsters talk has been a good thing? The English dub for Minya is terrible and makes him sound like a complete moron. A good-natured moron but still he sounds like a moron. He’s the son of the king! Couldn’t they have offered to give him a little more dignity? He already needs someone to step on his tail to shoot his radioactive blast.

There really isn’t much positive I can say about this film. Its the worst of Godzilla films and its a glorified clip show. This is the one I’ll recommend people skip as they go back through the history of Kaiju Films. There are much better films out there. Think I’ll go watch one now to wash the taste of this film out of my mouth.

RATING: F

Mothra vs. Godzilla

Mothra Vs. GodzillaHere it is. One of the most infamous movies in the entire Godzilla franchise. Then which had two monsters from the TOHO studios together. It was here where many say the studio found its groove and started a streak of great films. This is Godzilla vs. Mothra.

After a violent storm rocks a costal town, a large egg is discovered. As reporter Ichiro Sakai and his photographer Junko Nakanishi begin to investigate the egg it gets bought by a man named Kumayama, owner of Happy enterprises. Just as reports come in and let them know the egg is radioactive, the pair is approached by the Shobojin who tells them the egg belongs to Mothra. Unfortunately, before they can get back the egg, Godzilla appears, and seems on a mission to destroy the egg. Now Mothra must do what she can to save her lost egg and the innocent creatures inside.

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This movie takes a sharp eye to really appreciate. First off Godzilla is out for blood and he wanted nothing more than to destroy Mothra and the egg. He appears out of the ground, because he had been following after the egg after it was carried away by the hurricane and got buried in the process. It was a best character motivation the creature had since his first movie. Mothra itself starts to get his own characteristics as she becomes a bridge between humans and monster kind.

The humans of this movie are also some of the more entertaining since Gojira as well. Sakai and Junko are very interesting and well meaning characters who are doing everything they can to try and help the world. Kumayama finds a way to represent the worst of humanity by putting his own interests ahead of the safety of others. Their interaction really helps to make the movie more memorable.

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This movie has a scene which is still very memorable even today. In an effort to cure Sakai and Junko of radioaction contamination they simply coated in a little bit of gas and they perfectly fine after. For the longest time I believed this is actually what happens. Always know people, this is an example of TOHO science which should always be double checked before actually using it as a source for a report.

Some characters stay friends forever. Others are villains until the end of time. Then their are the characters who help each other but then again will sometimes butt heads. This is a rival and are essential for helping to advance one another through their careers or towards goals. This is the relationship Mothra and Godzilla have had over the years. One which has helped the two of them rise to great strides. When Godzilla was taking his break while he was with Sony, Mothra took over and had her own trilogy. Now all we have to do is hope Mothra does in deed make a comeback in the second Godzilla because it would be great to see this great rivalry continue.

RATING: B

Godzilla vs. Biolantte

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Today’s film is my favorite Godzilla movie. This is the film I have watched over and over to the point that my VHS copy of the film will probably burst into flames if I watch it again. This is the film that I push every time I run a Godzilla panel because I want everyone to see it. If its not obvious already, I love this movie.

After the events of The Return of Godzilla (Godzilla 1985 as it was called in America) the world has begun to rebuild and prepare for Godzilla’s returns. With the formation of the special task force, G-Force to combat the King of the Monster, new methods of attack are investigated. To this end Dr. Shiragami, a reclusive scientist is recruited to work on the weapon. Dr. Shiragami has his own plans and tries to use the cells to revive a plant he believes has the spirit of his dead daughter. The results is a monstrous rose known as Biollante. As Godzilla appears he makes a beeline to the new creation and battle ensues.

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One of the most appealing elements of this movie is the world building. The lack of knowledge or feel over the fact that humans live in a world where giant monsters could appear at a moment’s notice always annoyed me. Putting measures and procedures into place for such an attack should just be a way of life. This film opens with the different levels of the Godzilla appearance scale. There are buildings dedicated to those that were lost in the last Godzilla attack. This is a world that experienced a monster attack and is ready for when the next one takes place. Also, there is the subplot of people who are intentionally using Godzilla’s cells as a means to get a leg up in the energy race across the globe. Again, this is a world that definitely feels like its feeling the impact of giant mutated dinosaurs stomping around and causing havoc.

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This film introduces us to Miki Saegusa the one character that we will observe and follow the rest of the Heisei era films. Here she starts as a young girl with psychic abilities working at a center for people who have special talents. We also watch her become contracted by G-Force for her abilities. This is not the last time she will be asked to use her gifts to take on Godzilla. Truth be told, she was my first movie character crush.

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Biollante is unique and I meant that in a very good way. Other than Destroyah, she is the only monster that is original in the Heisei era. All others are based off or modified monsters that we saw previously in the Showa Era films. She definitely leaves an impression with her tentacles and her acid spitting abilities. Sadly she is still a plant and is very vulnerable to Godzilla’s radioactive blast and thereby easier to kill.

Basically if I have not gushed enough I will say it again “Go see this film!” This is the movie that I keep coming back to every now and again to remind myself just how much I enjoy Kaiju films. My only wish is that other films of the Heisei era stuck with this level of intensity and awesomeness. Sadly, its a bumpy ride from here. If you don’t believe me check through the archives for my review of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Compared to this, the rating went down considerable.

Rating: A

Colossal News: Googling a giant robot ambassador

Welcome to a new segment on this blog that I call, COLOSSAL NEWS! This is where I’m going to take the time to discuss news articles that I feel fall under this blogs criteria. My way of talking about some recent events without doing a full review or anything like that. Lets get started.

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First up, a big shout out to Google who decided to celebrate Eiji Tsuburaya’s birthday in style. The custom google splash allows a person to make their own mini-kaiju movie. I already tried it myself and found it to be a lot of fun. Happy Birthday to the late but still true Master of Monsters. I really need to get around to reading that biography of his I have on my shelf.

Next up, Its America vs. Japan…WITH GIANT ROBOTS! American robot developers out of Texas have created a robot called the Megabot MK 2 and have now challenged the Japanese robot, Kuratas to a duel. And Japan accepted! They are still working out all the details on how the fight will play out but it will surely an event I’ll keep a look out for. All we need now is for an announcer to yell, “GUNDAM FIGHT! READY? GO!”

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Finally, as I have to talk about it even in the Facebook group, lets give it up for Godzilla! Early this year the King of Monsters was officially made a Japanese citizen and was given the honor of being an ambassador of tourism for the country. Way to go Big G! I’m looking forward to your work as an ambassador as well as your film next year from your old mother company of Toho studios.

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That will just about do it. Remember everyone, LIVE LARGE! Also I’m just toying with that as a closing line. IF you feel I should try something else let me know. Helpful criticism is always welcome.