from Shogakukan is another entry in their "Super
Complete Works" line, a series of books which
has now covered Godzilla films for over a decade.
The line is distinct for their unique covers, showing
close ups of the monsters' faces in unique photos.
That tradition, for whatever reason, takes a vacation
for this particular entry based on Godzilla:
Tokyo S.O.S. (2003). Instead, the cover
here is a composition of various photos placed together
and colorized. It gives the cover a retro feel,
sort of like the Showa era posters for the Godzilla
movies, but the look doesn't really gel well with
the 2003 film and nor does it compare to the dynamic
appearance of the other covers in this line of books.
Enough about the cover, though, what about the
content? Well the inside of the publication lives
up to others in the line. This includes a making
of section, with behind the scenes photos of the
suits and props being made, along with detailed
looks at all of the monsters. This means the normal
shots of the monsters from all angles, including
Kamoebas. The book also has a variety of full color
production stills shown in chronological order based
on the scenes in the movie.
In the middle of the book there are 14 pages in
black and white with features unique to this particular
release. Shogakukan has always been good for delivering
some "out of the box" content besides
the staples like the making of segments, and this
book doesn't disappoint. Some of the features in
this black and white section include a map of where
all the attacks take place and where Infant Island
is relative to Japan. There is also a cutaway view
of Kiryu found here, and additional information
on both the Shobijin and Kamoebas in regards to
their history. There is also a section on actor
Hiroshi Koizumi from his role in Godzilla
Raids Again (1955) to The
Gransazers (2003). The most well remembered
feature from this black and white section, though,
are some drawings and concepts for a "fan fiction"
style swing at extending the "Kiryu saga".
The idea is fairly elaborate, using the DNA sequence
from this movie's finale and the overall concept
of Kiryu to create an army of mechs that include
mechanized versions of Varan, Kamoeabs, Baragon,
Kumonga, and others. Again, as it seems quite common
for someone to see these images out of context and
get the wrong idea, these concepts were never intended
for an actual movie but more of a "what if"
scenario for more ideas from this storyline.
Overall, this isn't the best of the "Super
Complete Works" line. It does some stuff well,
but the total loss of concept art and other things
do bring it down compared to some of the other books.
It is import friendly due to the graphic nature
of the publication, as it's mostly pictures, and
those fans particularly enamored with this entry
in the Godzilla series will probably find enough
about this book to like in the end.