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  • On September 10th, 1937, an event took place that would change the world of cinema forever. Several of the Photo Chemical Laboratories as well as the P.C.L. Film Studio of Tokyo, Jenkins Osawa Studio (J.O.), and a distribution company called Toho Eiga merged into Toho Co. Ltd [1]. But wait! What happened before September 10th, 1937? Were the histories of Toho’s predecessors doomed to vanish into relative obscurity? (more…)

    General // August 9, 2014
  • I call it a healthy paranoia, though others might disagree… year after year, Anthony manages to either fill me in on an idea he and the other staff are cooking up for April Fools’ Day, or he asks me if I might have a suggestion. This year, there was a deafening amount of radio silence in regard to the subject. By the time March 29th rolled around, I was convinced he had an elaborate prank of some sort in the queue. The suspense was unbearable, so I finally sent him a text. A few moments later, I came to realize my suspicions were false. We were only a few days from zero hour, and Toho Kingdom was not prepared for one of its favourite holidays! (more…)

    General // April 2, 2014
  • Several popular franchises highlight a certain numeric value that increases with the passage of time for the sake of drama. Dragon Ball Z emphasized the power level; the original Star Trek series, the warp factor; and our dear friend Godzilla has given us such a simple, yet important variable: sheer size! Now this article attempts to tackle that very topic of Godzilla’s legendary size, in particular in relation to the 2014 movie. (more…)

    General // March 2, 2014
  • In early 2009, Toho Kingdom’s very own Chris Mirjahangir coined the name of a rather unusual creature he was about to voice in a then upcoming toon. Often dismissed as a skeleton, a bizarre colorless sea turtle can be located in Ishiro Honda‘s classic Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964). Although I gave it the rather uncatchy name “Kame no Gaikotsu” (Japanese for “Turtle’s Skeleton”), Chris suggested the moniker that stuck, “Skeleturtle“. Now for the 1,224,560 yen question: what is this thing? Is it really just a skeleton? (more…)

    General // October 26, 2013
  • How strong is Godzilla? He’s tens of thousands of tons of archosaurian might capable of devastating a megalopolis in a single night. Surely there isn’t a another character in fiction capable of surpassing, let alone matching the raw strength of Earth’s most recognizable radiation-spewing reptile…

    … or is there? (more…)

    General // June 1, 2013
  • Every couple years or so around March, I’ve come to expect a text message from Anthony Romero. It normally says something along the following lines: “Any ideas for April Fools’ Day?” Needless to say, the gears start turning in my head. Normally, I receive the text during the light of day, when I still have my wits about me. This year, I awoke in the middle of the night to find the message. Because my brain was still in that foggy dusk between dreams and reality, half of my mind was trying to work out an interesting April 1st gag while the other half was seeking a return to slumberland. (more…)

    General // April 7, 2013
  • Outside of Toho Kingdom, I’m rather notorious among my coworkers for being the proverbial “wet blanket” when it comes to practical jokes. Perhaps it’s just my philosophy to always try to make a prank friendly or to always have it end with a sigh of relief; regardless, practical jokes are a rarity for me. Nevertheless, the internet provides a medium that allows for my style of humor, and there is one day in the year where there is a universal, unspoken law that gives me an outlet for my shenanigannery. (more…)

    General // September 26, 2010
  • It was well over a decade ago when I first viewed Godzilla vs. Gigan. To my young eyes, that movie was just plain magical. It was my first exposure to King Ghidorah, and the beginning of my fondness for Anguirus (called Angilas in this dub). I used to watch this movie until my eyes were raw, and so many years later, I still watch the exact same VHS that I was given when I was 7 or 8 years old (say what you will, a well-made tape will last). Even though I see more flaws here and there now, I still can’t help but have fun watching the film that kept my gaze for an infinite number of weekends and Summer vacations back in the early 90’s. Godzilla vs. Gigan is a triumph, perhaps not in a critical sense or in a big-time production sense, but instead in it’s indefinable charm that doesn’t seem to go away, even with age. And yes, I still go wild during the monster-talk scenes. (more…)

    Movie Reviews // July 8, 2006
  • For starters, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah was once my favorite Godzilla movie. I don’t think I’ve outgrown this kind of film; I’m still a fan of many bizarre kaiju flicks. But I think the initial awe at the origin plot, time travel, and the updated Ghidorah and Godzilla has just worn off with time, and the fundamental flaws of the film are far more visible now. The sub par acting, poor character development, and special effects blemishes have become more obvious. Also, the Americanization of the film is saturated with terrible dubbing. These negative aspects do not, however, detract from the positives of the film: the triumphant return of Akira Ifukube and the raw innovation of a back-to-Showa, kitschy plot. However, the storyline did create a swiss cheese continuum of eye-brow raising “huh, wait…?” moments with the paradoxical time travel aspect. Nevertheless, the film is light-years from a disaster, and it was a substantial box-office success. (more…)

    Movie Reviews // July 6, 2006
  • What can I say about All Monsters Attack, more commonly known in the United States as Godzilla’s Revenge? Hmm… to sum up the movie in one word: “flawless”. Now, try to imagine me saying that while rolling my eyes, lilting my voice, and crossing my fingers behind my back. I guess there is no fitting adjective I can think of for this movie. Maybe “weird” works. But you’ll ask: “Isn’t this Ishiro Honda? Doesn’t he know how to make a Godzilla film?” My answer is simple. A wise, anonymous reviewer on another movie site once stated, in reference to an Akira Kurosawa film, that he does not “blindly endorse” every one of that director’s films. Let me say the same about Ishiro Honda. Honda, from a critical standpoint, hit home runs quite frequently. However, he struck out on occasion: Destroy All Monsters (1968), All Monsters Attack, and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) are just three examples. So, what is All Monsters Attack, this strangely nonsensical, stock footage-collage of a pseudo-entry in the Godzilla franchise? To which demographic does it appeal? Is it truly the worst Godzilla movie of all time? In due time, the merits, or lack thereof, will be shown in their full details. Personally, I’m a sucker for this film on some level that I can’t identify. In fact, it’s far from my least favorite Godzilla film. It’s quite a perplexing situation. So, let’s examine, or more appropriately dissect, All Monsters Attack and figure out what it’s really all about. (more…)

    Movie Reviews // November 10, 2005
  • From a personal standpoint, The Return of Godzilla is a very special Toho movie. It was my second Godzilla movie, and I first viewed it over a decade ago. The chilling images of an antagonistic Godzilla that burned themselves deep into my memory so long ago are still very entertaining thirteen years later. The Return of Godzilla is an excellent classic that holds up even today. After the abysmal failure of Godzilla’s final hero flick, Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), Godzilla was finally returned to his antagonistic persona in this movie, something that truly hadn’t been explored since Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964). Every Godzilla movie between Godzilla Raids Again (1955) and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) was wiped from Godzilla’s history when this movie came to theatres, for the renaissance period for Godzilla, and Toho as a whole, was just beginning. The Heisei Timeline was in its infancy, and the first powerful kaiju movie that it brought to cinemas was packed with enhanced special effects, solid acting, an intriguing plot, and a brilliant new musical score. The Return of Godzilla is the first real landmark Godzilla film since the original, and it revived the awe-inspiring spirit of the monster’s darker days. (more…)

    Movie Reviews // July 28, 2005