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  • It’s always a challenge to think of what to do on April 1st for Toho Kingdom, and April Fools’ day 2019 was no exception. As the years go on, we try not to repeat ourselves… too much. We’ve done concepts more than once, like blanketing the site with fake ads has been done a couple of times. That said, we do try to keep things a little fresh.

    Now when it came to this year’s April Fools, I really didn’t have a concept. Chris Mirjahangir on the site’s staff was spit balling a few ideas, while also noting the remarkability of this year: it marks the 20th anniversary of Toho Kingdom. On that note, Jack Jordan on the staff suggested we roll it back: “to make the site resemble its first incarnation in some way? Some sort of ‘the site crashed, now we’re back to zero’ moment?”

    It was a novel idea we hadn’t tried before, and one that could pay off as the site had gone through a number of face-lifts over the two decades. So it got the green light from me and I started to work on it.

    Taking the site back circa 1999… 2003

    I initially planned to roll the site all the way back to its rough beginnings… however, while I have a lot of backups of Toho Kingdom, I have nothing that predates the past ten years. So this would have to be done from scratch. The plan was to roll out a splash screen with a counter on it and then drop viewers into a framed version of the site, which is the earliest version I can recall.

    This concept was scrapped for one important reason: I don’t think many people recall what the site was like way back then. We didn’t really kick our viewership into high gear until Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee was in production and the forums launched, giving us a chance to make a name for ourselves. At that point we went through pretty quick revisions compared to how things are done now, with no site design lasting longer than a year up until the 2004 design that became the mainstay appearance of the site for 11 (!?) years.

    2005 Site Design

    The “popular” 2004 site design, as it appeared in 2005

    Now the genesis for that design was launched on February 3rd, 2003. I say genesis as although it was different it contained the same exact header (although with a Toho logo inside that we can’t use anymore… for legal reasons) and did contain a purple navigation area to the left. The updates banner was also the same, although didn’t rotate characters as it would on later versions. For those curious on the origins of that banner, it’s actually the globe at the start of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) during the retro segment.

    So it was decided to roll with this version of the site instead for the April Fools joke, hoping we would catch visitors who have been with us long enough that they would get a nostalgic reaction to seeing it. As for this 2003 design, one of the trademark elements, in memory for me, were the annoying roll over buttons on the navigation. When scrolled over, the text would transition from white to black and a cheesy outer glow effect would appear.

    Rollover Effects

    The rollover effects in question

    I loathed this design as, at the time, connection speeds weren’t the fastest and this caused ample load time just to create this effect. In my memory, this was with us for a long time… however, it was actually only up for around 11 months and went through a couple of different versions of those roll over buttons before they were retired for actual text with scroll over effects.

    As visitors who came to the site on April Fools will note, all the links were updated to reflect the current pages on the site… and if clicked the appearance would revert to its modern design. The page counter was also added to the design. By 2003 the counter was actually removed, but felt like such a relic of these older web days that I wanted to include it as a further hint what was happening for those who might be visiting but only knew us for the current design.

    Listed updates

    With the design done, the next question was what was the messaging? I had considered using Jack’s concept of the site crashing and we had to go back to step one. In retrospect, that probably would have been better. Instead, I just recycled, word for word, older updates from this time. As mentioned, I don’t have any backups of the site that are ancient. However, thanks to the Wayback Machine, I could visit older versions of the site. In doing so, I grabbed text from older updates (horrible grammar and all) and placed them on the site with the 2003 date on them… although with the month and date adjusted for March.

    I’ll post below what we shared on the site at that time, and yes we were god damn machines back then in terms of the amount of work that would be put into the site in a single day:

    March 31, 2003 11:56 PM

    • Heh heh… well it would appear that took longer than I thought. My original projection for this was one night, then two, then three… you get the picture. Anyway it is finally done. Toho Kingdom got a huge face lift, as did many of its sections. Its hard to imagine how much different the Toho Kingdom looks after this one (although along time coming) update. There were tons of things changed along the way, the list below hardly does the changes made to the site justice.
      Oh also the GCN Covers Section has not been deleted, it can be found here. It’s future is just currently in limbo as I doubt I will ever make another one.
    • Got rid of a lot of combatants from the T.M.W.F. section, and as a result lost a couple of matches. If people were curious they were all done by me quite some time ago (pre-1999) so not much of a loss. Anyway the new roster has less repetition, will make for more even matches, and heck we might actually get to some kind of championship with it now someday.
    • Redesigned the look of the movie bios in the Movie List
    • Redesigned the look of the lost films in the Lost Projects
    • Added Bloodthirsty Eyes (1971) Bio to the Movie List
    • Updated Godzilla vs. GhostGodzilla in the Lost Projects
    • Updated Godzilla 2000 (ver. 1) in the Lost Projects
    • Updated Godzilla 2000 (ver. 2) in the Lost Projects
    • Updated Godzilla, Angilas, Varan: Giant Monsters All Out Attack in the Lost Projects
    • Updated Article 2: Subtitled vs. Dubbed in the Articles Section
    • Updated Article 3: Tooth and Claw in the Articles Section
    • Updated Article 4: Millennium Series Continuity in the Articles Section
    • Updated Match 2: King Kong vs. SpaceGodzilla in the T.M.W.F.
    • Changed the picture of Magma from the Showa Series in the Monster Bios
    • Changed the picture of Mechagodzilla from the Showa Series in the Monster Bios
    • Changed the picture of Dorats from the Heisei Series in the Monster Bios
    • Changed the picture of Dimention Tide from the Millennium Series in the Aliens & SDF Section
    • Changed the picture of King Ghidorah (God) in the D20 Section
    • Changed the picture of Planet X (Arena) in the T.M.W.F.
    • Moved Green Monkey from the Millennium Series to Aliens & SDF Section
      -Anthony Romero
    • Added a description to Daigoro from the Showa Series in the Monster Bios
    • Added a description to Goliath from the Showa Series in the Monster Bios
    • Added a description to Daigoro’s Mother from the Showa Series in the Monster Bios
    • Added a description to Markalite Cannon from the Showa Series in the Aliens & SDF Section
      -James Webster
    • Added SpaceGodzilla (God) to the D20 Section
    • Added Corona Domain to the D20 Section
    • Added Big Bang (Spell) to the D20 Section
    • Added Corona Bolt (Spell) to the D20 Section
    • Added Corona Storm (Spell) to the D20 Section
    • Added Wall of Lightning (Spell) to the D20 Section
    • Updated Terror Domain in the D20 Section 
      -Forrest Freund

    March 27, 2003 2:35 PM

    • Well the Toho Kingdom is now on a countdown for a overhaul… The plan is to get rid of the frames, a idea that I have been thinking about since before December rolled around, but haven’t had the “courage” to do it. This will be a time consumsing project, and for all I know I might not go through with it in the end, but I will keep everyone updated.
    • Added Type 74 Tank to Godzilla Eternal Struggle in the Video Game Section
    • Added AH-1S to Godzilla Eternal Struggle in the Video Game Section
      -Anthony Romero

    March 26, 2003 11:38 PM

    • Let me tell you I have been bingeing in Toho goodness all weekend! ^_^ Samurai 1, High and Low, Kwaidan. Watched all of them for the first time, awesome, awesome, awesome! So I am pumped let me tell you. Well atleast I was until I walked down to my car and found my passenger window smashed in, and my CD player ripped out… That kind of killed the good mood if ya know what I mean. Anyway I felt the need to reevaluate the current scores I gave in my reviews. Kind of looked back, and saw that the bar needed to be raised after watching even more of Toho’s films such as those I mentioned, Yojimbo, Onmyoji and others.
    • Added Godzilla 2 to the Lost Projects
    • Updated the Search function on the site, it now includes the new pages, and I changed it to include some of the more common alter names (example minilla)
      -Anthony Romero

    March 25, 2003 11:47 PM

    • Tried out a new type of scoring system for the update of Hypnosis, will probably add it to others soon
    • Added Lady of the Snow from the Showa Series to the Aliens & SDF Section
    • Added a description to Lady of the Snow from the Showa Series in the Monster Bios
    • Updated Hypnosis (1999) Bio in the Movie List
    • Changed the picture of “Green Monkey” from the Millennium Series in the Aliens & SDF Section
      -Anthony Romero

    March 24, 2003 11:59 PM

    • Ok, need some help trying to determine how to get the medals in Godzilla Eternal Struggle. Supposedly there is a 5th level in the game, and getting a medal in each level is the logically way to unlock it since just beating the game doesn’t open it. Anyway there is a huge trial and error process to try and figure out what triggers the medals for the different levels. Obtaining medals seems to be connected with the amount of destruction, either how much you cause (Godzilla) or how much you prevent (G-Force), in each level. If anyone else has this game and would be able to send in there figures for obtaining medals I would be very appreciative as then I can test it out myself and try to narrow down what the exact %’s are needed for each level.
    • Added Demons from the Millennium Series to the Monster Bios
    • Added Mysterians’ Universe Ship from the Showa Series to the Aliens & SDF Section
    • Added Markalite GYRO from the Showa Series to the Aliens & SDF Section
    • Added a review to Godzilla Millennium (1999) in the Movie List
    • Added a description to Demons from the Millennium Series in the Monster Bios
      -Anthony Romero

    March 23, 2003 11:50 PM

    • Added King Ghidorah to Godzilla Eternal Struggle in the Video Game Section
    • Added Gigan to Godzilla Eternal Struggle in the Video Game Section
    • Added SpaceGodzilla to Godzilla Eternal Struggle in the Video Game Section
      -Anthony Romero & James Webster
    • Added Enemies: UN-Playable Kajiu section to Godzilla Eternal Struggle in the Video Game Section
      -Anthony Romero

    March 22, 2003 2:46 AM

    General // April 1, 2019
  • Some time ago John LeMay wrote this set of fake Zone Fighter synopses (he estimated to me that it was about three years ago he wrote them), and he wanted to know if we would use it for our April Fools article this year. Anthony liked the idea, but the original version of LeMay’s article stated that the episode synopses had been found on a website. Anthony rewrote the explanatory paragraph so that the synopses were instead found in an imaginary book called Godzilla Generations and even put together a fake book cover.

    April Fools' Day 2018I thought it would be fun to add a bit of extra detail (and maybe a bit of extra plausibility) from my manga collection. I noticed that LeMay claimed Gabara had an electric beam power that shot out of his fingers, and by some coincidence Gabara also had that power in the manga adaptation of All Monsters Attack, so I scanned an image from the manga to include in the article and rewrote the synopsis a little bit. Also, LeMay did not describe episode 36 in his original article, so I thought it would be entertaining to look through the Zone Fighter manga to see if there were any original stories that I could pretend was actually an adaptation of one of the unmade script ideas. I got more than I bargained for with “Zone Fighter Crisis Attempt,” which is a real manga. The synopsis I provided is an accurate one–even down to the sex doll (seen to the left)! The story itself could be considered original or a very, very loose adaptation of episode 7 from the show.

    Below is the original prank, preserved. I hope you enjoyed this year’s April Fools! Have a great day!

    ———-

    Zone Fighter: Unproduced Episodes 27-39

    April Fools' Day 2018Fans are becoming more involved in tracking down and deciphering Japanese books. It’s been encouraging to see, and a wealth of information is being revealed for the first time in English thanks to their efforts. That brings us to today’s subject: a late 1999 book called Godzilla Generations (ゴジラ ジェネレーションズ) released by Shogakukan, and a particular section of the book that gives some surprising revelations!

    The publication, pictured to the right, has the misfortune of literally having the same name as the Dreamcast video game, Godzilla Generations, which was released a year before and makes this book hard to track down. In terms of contents, it focuses largely on the, then recent, Godzilla 2000: Millennium(1999) although also devotes coverage to past Godzilla movies…. and TV shows. One of the biggest surprises from it are a batch of script synopsis for unproduced episodes of Zone Fighter (1973)!

    For those less familiar with the show, which features Godzilla in a supporting role in a few episodes, it had a surprising finale. That is to say that episode 26 failed to wrap up the story of the Sakimori’s and the Garoga. Typically all Japanese TV series conclude their main story lines, such as the Ultraman series which then follows up with a new sequel series rather than a continuation. Apparently the story line wasn’t concluded because Toho had plans to do another batch of 13 episodes starting in the Spring of 1974 around the time of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla(1974).

    The scripts are nothing fantastic, and as expected create a few errors in continuity here and there. However, fans would’ve been delighted as they contained even more familiar Toho monsters than were seen in the first 26 episodes! Not surprisingly these monsters were all suits that existed at the time, such as Anguirus, Jet Jaguar and Godzilla again to name a few. As a further cost saving manner nearly all of the enemy monsters were also holdovers from the first 26 episodes.

    The scripts are nothing fantastic, and as expected create a few errors in continuity here and there. However, fans would’ve been delighted as they contained even more familiar Toho monsters than were seen in the first 26 episodes! Not surprisingly these monsters were all suits that existed at the time, such as Anguirus, Jet Jaguar and Godzilla again to name a few. As a further cost saving manner nearly all of the enemy monsters were also holdovers from the first 26 episodes.

    So, with no further ado, here are brief synopses of the unproduced episodes!

    Episode 27: Godzilla Captured! The Roar of Anguirus

    The episode begins with the Garoga watching footage of past battles with Zone Fighter and Godzilla. The aliens concur that the only way to defeat Zone Fighter is to capture his ally Godzilla. To trap the monster, they entice him into a battle in Tokyo with the monster Spideros (the Garoga have distracted the Sakimori family in another subplot) and then capture Godzilla. In what surely would’ve been a ludicrous scene, Godzilla is placed within a giant cage in the middle of the city. Hikaru transforms into Zone Fighter to battle Spideros but when Spyler joins the battle he becomes hopelessly outmatched. Just as in Godzilla’s first appearance on the series, Anguirus shows up seemingly out of nowhere to assist in the battle when Zone Jr. launches the Zobot to call for help (but there is an expository line from Zone Jr. how Anguirus is a monster of justice and Godzilla’s greatest ally). Anguirus aids Zone in defeating Spyler, and then uses his back-slamming maneuver from Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) to break open the door of Godzilla’s cage. Godzilla then exits his cage and fires his ray on Spideros at the same time as Zone fires his proton beam and the beast explodes.

    Episode 28: Wings of Justice: Rodan Soars! 

    Apparently Toho had enough faith in their old Rodan suit to write the monster a guest spot in the next episode. This isn’t entirely unbelievable as the King Ghidorah suit that appeared in episodes 5 and 6 was just as old and a picture exists showing the Rodan suit in relatively good condition as late as 1972 (reportedly it was being displayed in department store displays). Unlike Godzilla, Rodan doesn’t appear out of the blue to save the day and has a more ambiguous introduction. In this episode the Garogas unleash the bird monster Prehistoric Terror-Beast Black Radon (I assume this actually translates as “Dark Rodan” as the monster is described as pink in color). The monster attracts the attention of Rodan, who looks upon this female monster as a potential mate! When Zone appears to dispatch the monster Rodan naturally sides with his “crush” to fight Zone. Black Radon promptly flees leaving Zone and Rodan, who surprisingly overpowers Zone, to fight it out. Zone Jr. (always one for exposition) remarks how Rodan is really a monster of justice and an ally of Godzilla and must be confused. Zone Great later ascertains that Rodan is helping the monster because he is a slave to its pheromones and comes up with an anti-pheromone which will free him from the evil monster’s influence. When Black Radon returns to wreak havoc on Hokkaido Rodan also returns to woo his potential mate but when Angel and Jr. deploy the anti-pheromone via Smokey the flying kaiju comes to his senses. When Zone appears to challenge the monsters Rodan switches sides and together he and Zone defeat Black Radon. As Rodan soars off the Sakimori’s wave goodbye as the narrator announces that the Sakimori family was happy to see that “Rodan was really a monster of Justice after all.” Not much is said about Black Radon’s design, but considering Toho’s close working relationship with Tsuburaya Productions its very well possible that they might have planned on loaning them the Birdon suit from 1973’s Ultraman Taro?

    Episode 29: Endless Nightmare: Defeat the Dream Monster!

    Zone Fighter: Unproduced Episodes 27-39

    From the All Monsters Attack manga adaptation, Gabara roasts Minilla with his electric finger rays, which were going to finally be realized in the second season of Zone Fighter.

    In one of the Garoga’s more outlandish plots they unleash the dream monster Gabara (yes, that Gabara) to torment the children of Japan, the plan being that they will no longer be able to focus on their school work thus ruining the country’s economic future. Akira has the dream also and tries to fight Gabara in his Zone Jr. form to no avail. As the monster seems to only exist within dreams Zone has no way of fighting the monster. Eventually, Zone Great creates a machine that allows the Zone family to see inside Akira’s mind when he dreams. When Gabara appears on the dream monitor, Zone inexplicably flies into the dream (Zone also flies into a TV set in Episode 4) and is thus able to battle Gabara. It’s no surprise Toho would want to gain some more mileage out of the Gabara suit as it also appeared on Go! Greenman. In the episode he would also have the ability to fire an electric beam from his fingertip. Had this episode been produced, it would officially have made Gabara part of the Showa Continuity, rather than the real world dream continuity of All Monsters Attack (1969).

    According to a side-bar discussing the background of this episode, Gabara was originally meant to be able to shoot electric beams from his fingers, and was even shown to do so in the manga adaptation of All Monsters Attack. We were able to confirm that Gabara is indeed shown to have finger-beam abilities in the recently republished manga adaptation, as can be seen above.

     

    Episode 30:  Gigan’s Counterattack

    Though the monster notoriously died in Episode 11: Roar of Godzilla, with the suit still in good condition Toho decided to write in another appearance for the monster (plus they probably saw Gigan as popular, since they also had a good suit of Megalon at this time, but he doesn’t appear in the show). They didn’t throw continuity to the wind however, and at the beginning of the episode it is stated that the Garoga have “rebuilt” Gigan even more powerful than before. Perhaps not wanting to make the same mistake twice, at this episode’s end Gigan merely retreats back into space free from Garoga control.

    Episode 31: King Goro Lends a Hand

    A giant ape, the conspicuously named King Goro, is set to go on display in a Tokyo Zoo. The Garoga see this as a prime example to cause a distraction while they unleash their newest scheme to poison the Tokyo water supply. While the friendly King Goro does tricks to amuse the zoo goers, the Garoga put out a frequency to drive the giant ape mad. Zone Fighter jumps into action and does his best to peacefully subdue the peaceful Goro. In the end, it is only through the charms of Zone Angel, whom naturally gets picked up in Goro’s hand, that the giant ape is calmed (but only so long as he holds onto her). Seeing this, the Garoga snatch Hotaru from Goro and he returns to his rampage. Meanwhile Jou has uncovered the Garoga’s evil water poisoning scheme which he alerts the Sakimoris to. As Hikaru and Zone Jr. attack the Garoga at the water plant they also disable the frequency that angers King Goro. Free of the signal, the giant ape singles out the alien invaders and chases after one of their escaping saucers. As he clutches it from the air it explodes and transforms into a Terro-Beast. Zone Fighter transforms into his giant size and together he and Goro defeat the Terro-Beast. At the episode’s end the Sakimoris wave goodbye to King Goro who is swimming back to his island.

    Now for the million dollar question on everyone’s minds: Was King Goro a stand in for King Kong? I think so for two reasons, chief among them that the King Kong suit still existed at this time and was in relatively good shape being displayed at department stores. Second, Goro was the name given to the Kong suit when it guest starred in “Goro Meet Goro” in an episode of Ultra Q. Whether Toho could have gotten away with using an obvious King Kong stand in is unknown, but since the program wasn’t ever set to air in America perhaps they thought no one would notice?

    Episode 32: Underground Monster Noregon 

    The monster Noregon sounds reminiscent of the silver drill monster from Episode 11 with its burrowing powers and silver color scheme except it was quadrupedal. The monster sounds somewhat like an evil version of Anguirus, but with smooth impenetrable metal scutes along its back instead of spikes in addition to a conical shaped face/snout. Actually, it’s entirely possible Toho planned to use the Anguirus suit in a modified fashion to bring the monster to life.

    Episode 33: Jet Jaguar: Punch! Punch! Punch!

    While attending an expo on robotics, the Sakimori family is impressed (particularly young Akira) by the robot Jet Jaguar who serves as one of the main exhibits. When Garoga spies infiltrate the expo to uncover the secret of Jet Jaguar a fight ensues between they and the Sakimoris. The Garoga’s then send their monster Wagiglar to attack the expo, and before Hikaru can transform Jet Jaguar jumps into action and grows to gigantic proportions to battle the monster which he defeats. The Garoga take note of the robot’s power and in the episode’s second act manage to kidnap and take control of the robot. Jet Jaguar grows to giant size again and begins attacking Tokyo. Hikaru is at a loss as to how to fight the robot whom he knows is benevolent and the episode ends on a cliffhanger as the two square off. It’s notable to mention Norio Komata (credited writer, who did prior Zone Fighter episodes) didn’t write in an appearance for Goro Ibuki in either episode, as he likely knew actor Katsuhiko Sasaki wouldn’t reprise the role on the small screen. And being a children’s show nor did he likely worry about the continuity issue and instead Jet Jaguar just shows up devoid of an owner sort of like a robotic Herbie the Love Bug.

    Episode 34: Jet Jaguar’s Counterattack!

    Under the control of the Garoga, Jet Jaguar continues his rampage until Zone Fighter (at the protest of younger brother Akira) goes to challenge the robot. Though he keeps the upper hand, Zone Fighter finds himself unable to deliver the killing blow to the robot which retreats back to the Garoga Base. Knowing that Zone Fighter won’t destroy the robot, the Garoga send it on yet another tour of destruction, this time threatening an amusement park full of children. Zone Fighter regretfully returns to battle the robot while Akira yells to him that he is no longer his brother if he destroys Jet Jaguar. As Zone fights Jet Jaguar who has now teamed with Wagiglar to destroy the amusement park, Zone Jr. and Zone Angel manage to infiltrate the hidden Garoga Base and free Jet Jaguar of their control. Regaining his senses, Jet Jaguar teams with Zone to defeat Wagiglar once more. Once the battle is finished the two Sentai shake hands and go their separate ways.

    Episode 35: Betrayal: Defeat Godzilla!

    After the battle with Jet Jaguar, the Garogas know they have found a winning formula in pitting Zone Fighter against an ally he is reluctant to harm. As such, the shape shifting monster “X” (no relation at all to Monster X from Godzilla: Final Wars [2004]) is born. Described as a mud-like creature in its true form, the monster takes on the appearance of Zone’s friend Godzilla and begins destroying Japan much to the Sakimori’s horror and confusion. After an intense battle Hikaru is unable to deliver the killing blow to his old friend and the monster mysteriously vanishes. When it reappears in the episode’s third act the real Godzilla appears to challenge his impostor, more or less repeating a famous scene from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). Together the duo face “X” and overcome him.

    Episode 36: Zone Angel Crisis Attempt

    This episode, which has a humorous bent, follows the frustrated Gold Garoga leader as he berates his minions as to their repeated failings. A Garoga scientist suggests a new strategy in which Hotaru would be replaced by an evil robotic double who could infiltrate and destroy the Zone Family (yes, this is very, very similar to the plot of Episode 7: Zone Family’s Critical Moment!). In fact, the scientists have already made one of these robot doubles. When Gold Garoga goes to see the new Hotaru robot, he is infuriated to see what appears to be an inflatable sex doll of Hotaru (!?), labeled a failure! However a real evil robot version of Hotaru also exists, and soon is enlisted to go and destroy the Zone Family. Meanwhile, the Zone Family are planning to head out on a hike and have a picnic. The real Hotaru, however, is conveniently off shopping for snacks for the hike, and the rest of the family goes on ahead without her. The evil robot Hotaru soon captures the real Hotaru, and takes a set of poisoned cakes to use to murder the rest of the Zone Family. All seems to be going according to plan until the Zone Family grandfather trips and falls on the cakes, and through a mixture of bumbling Garogas and luck, the real Hotaru is able to escape, change into Zone Angel, and arrive at the picnic to fight her evil double. When the robot double has her cover blown, she changes into a bulky Garoga, and the story ends with a humorous fight. What is most interesting about this episode is that a manga version exists (recently republished in the Godzilla All DVD Collection Box Vol. 39), so we can provide images of key scenes below.

    April Fools' Day 2018

    Hotaru meets her evil robot double at the candy shop from the manga adaptation of Episode 36. Hotaru is then forced to watch as her evil double serves poison-filled cakes to her family.

     

    Episode 37: Rise of the Ancient Guardian Monster! Monsters Converge on Cape Zanpa 

    This episode, and its guest monster of choice (King Caesar) shows a great deal of foresight on Toho’s part. In all likelihood this batch of episodes was written in late December of 1973, shortly before Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) went before cameras. In this episode the Garogas decide that trying to conquer all of Japan is futile, so they set their sights on the island of Okinawa instead, believing its conquest will crush the spirit of the Japanese people. Conveniently (as was often the case of children’s TV shows) the Sakimori family just happen to be visiting Okinawa when the Garoga unleash their new monster Killagon. In the final battle Zone is unable to overcome the monster as they battle on a beach. One of the monster’s energy rays strikes a rocky outcropping which awakens…you guessed it…King Caesar who joins the battle with Zone. Together the duo defeat the kaiju, and when all is said and done the Sakimori’s wave goodbye to Caesar as he re-enters his cave chamber (likely to be stock footage from the 1974 Godzilla film to save time and money).  This episode would have been somewhat ironic, as Zone Fighter lead Kazuya Aoyama also played a lead role in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) as another character.

    Episode 38: Peaceland Rediscovered

    In the penultimate episode while looking through their telescope, Akira sees what appears to be their destroyed home planet of Peaceland, though Zone Great assures them that this can’t be. The family debates about flying into space to find it. Reluctantly Zone Great sacrifices the last of his life force so that Zone can fly far enough into space to investigate (oddly, children’s shows in Japan loved to kill off main characters in tragic ways). Zone is imprisoned. The Garoga then send the monster “X” in the form of Zone Fighter to begin destroying Japan to destroy the people’s trust while he is imprisoned.

    Episode 39: Zone Fighter Triumphant!

    Godzilla shows up to face his old friend in a reverse of Episode 35’s scenario. The Garoga also unleash their ultimate monster Garugan (a holdover from the old Monsters Converge on Okinawa script, but would have required a new suit… which is abnormal for this season). It states that a monster (it doesn’t state who this is, but probably reused from an earlier episode) shows up to help and Godzilla is defeated by the three monsters. The mystery monster oddly doesn’t return for the final battle (this is in all likelihood due to the fact that Toho only had four suit performers at a time, and thus only four monsters could be onscreen at any given time). In a surprise move, Hotaru Sakimori transforms into her own giant form to assist her brother (the idea that Hotaru could transform into a giant female hero was something originally scripted for the series but was cut for budgetary reasons, making it all the more surprising that Toho would include it in the finale). Together, the Zone siblings fight off the monster, destroying the last of the Garoga’s Terror-Beast Army. As the last Garoga craft tries to escape Zone blasts it from the sky. The final shot was to be the Zone Family running through the countryside with Takeru Jou, the earth now safe for good.

    General // April 2, 2018
  • This year’s April Fools’ day prank was a two part effort involving myself and Mathew Webber. The scope of the pranks included both the K.W.C. and the forums, hitting Toho Kingdom visitors on multiple fronts. One of those pranks being a new match. The other was a spin on the threads and moderation of the site’s forums. As a result, this year’s summary is broken up into two parts. Read below for more details on both, and feel free to leave a comment to share your thoughts as well.

    April Fools' Day 2017


    K.W.C.

    Hello longtime fan of Tohokingdom, first time reader, or someone that is caught in-between… again. As with every year, Tohokingdom unleashed its newest April Fool’s joke upon the world, and this year the staff of the K.W.C. were lucky enough to take control. Unlike in years prior with “Match 200” or Giant Condor vs. Everyone; 2017 took the joke in a strange new direction. But before I dive any deeper, let me explain where this crazy idea originated.

    Around October, with the critically acclaimed release of Match 185, I was hit with a dozen random ideas for the K.W.C. due to the matches’ premise and bending of the rules. Of these ideas, one was a new April Fools Match featuring the writers fighting each other in a battle royale to the death. The idea was brought forth by Alex Williams, a longstanding Verifier of the K.W.C., and its premise I liked. Upon discussion with Andrew Sudomerski, the Editor of the K.W.C., we decided to modify it slightly by having Christian Salabert & Thomas Fairchild as the two antagonists who return to retake the K.W.C. We contacted the two, and with their approval the idea gained full steam. Alex and I quickly began working on this around December, and then…. Then things stalled.

    It wouldn’t be until mid-March before both parts were integrated, and even then it was far from complete. Jackson Morris was tasked with making a Shin Godzilla vs. Everyone banner, but creative differences led to the eventual Star Godzilla vs. Shin Godzilla banner. Multiple verifiers were asked to create their own fight scenes, but only one ended up contributing.What I thought would be a collaboration piece of different writers, ended with myself contributing a majority of the work which in the end I think helped keep the story, pace and writing consistent between myself and Alex.

    April Fools' Day 2017

     

     

    Read the original April Fools Match:
    Match 195: Star Godzilla vs. Shin Godzilla

     

     

    In regards to my inspirations for “Match 195”, there are quite a few depending on the section. The most evident is the K.W.C.C., a podcast run by Andrew and the backdrop of the match, which I would highly recommend you to check out. In regards to TK Ville, the idea was based off of a forum member by the name of Kubo who created a fantastic fan fiction series called The Toho Kingdom Forum Adventures. I loved the idea of Toho Kingdom being its own city, and with this match I finally had the chance to pay homage to his work. The other inspiration for me came from an unlikely source. A fantastic series called One Punch Man. This is especially evident in regards to Tom and Christian’s characters with one being overpowered yet restrained while the other is far weaker yet is constantly the one doing the leg work. I would also highly recommend listening to the “The Ruler”, “Dark Energy” & “Saitama Theme” in regards to Tom’s transformation, the final Tom vs. Tyler fight and the Tom vs. Anthony fight respectively.

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the final result, and I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project. We may continue this series, we may not. Whatever course is taken though, I highly recommend everyone always keep your eyes out for what the site has to offer on March 32nd!


    Forums

    In an attempt to listen to user feedback as well as to better connect with the community, the Toho Kingdom Forums was turned into the totalitarian dictatorship people make it out to be. This includes a slight revamping of the rules to where the warning system was changed to a “3 Strikes Policy” where at 3 warning you would receive a permanent ban. However to off shot this, upon receiving 2 warnings you were to be banned for 1 week and warnings expire after 90 days instead of 1 year. The banning procedure was also changed. If you are to be banned for either 2 or 3 warnings you would be at the end of the first day of the new new month (April 1st in this case). The “Comments, Suggestions and Error” Section was renamed to “Questions for the Totalitarian Rule” and the entire sub-forum was promptly locked, as no problems exist anymore.

    April Fools' Day 2017 ModsIn addition to this, a few new rules were put into place protecting the Moderation staff from accusations and to uphold our new tyrannical image. Such examples are;

    • Arguing with a Moderator will result in a warning
    • Being a smart alec (ass) to a Moderator or Staff member will result in a warning
    • Intentionally starting drama or inciting it and/or participating in any of the above will/can result in a warning and/or a free ban (determined at the time by the staff member.)

    Also listening to more requests from the user base, the “Whine Thread” was brought back along with a “Spam Thread” for users to get out all of their bad posting habits. This was grouped into a sub forum within the “General” forum but however, was stuck in “Read Only Access” unless you were part of the Forum Staff or a member of the Forum Police.

    Part of this new forum was the creation of the user group “Forum Police”, which can be seen to the right. A group of users composed of members who the staff held in high regard, are ex-forum staff themselves or trusted users. This group’s job is to mark posts indiscriminately as “Infractions”. Upon a notification of an “Infraction”, members of the forum staff will take over and administer the correct punishment. Not everything is doom and gloom however, as several threads got caught up in the chaos and have been renamed to various things as well as several topics.

    In order to contain the upheaval of chaos and to enforce the iron fist, a fmoderator was bumped to “Admin Status” (Admin in Rank Color Only). This being Beef Bigshot. He promptly attempted a coup but was exiled. Chris55 was given this “Admin status” was well as a fancy “Site Staff” logo. Members of the Admin Team and Moderation Team also received flashy new rank images.

    Some of the board names were also changed as part of the process. Below are the boards as they looked on April 1st, 2017.

    General // April 2, 2017
  • This year has brought a lot of change to the site, and that trend is continuing. I had planned to revamp the forums for a few weeks at this point, removing all of the old code and basically starting from scratch, although of course keeping the database intact (so all threads, users, and more was still there). It wasn’t an easy choice, there were a lot of modifications made to the code over 13 years and many I would not be able to reproduce myself.

    However, it had been a frequent request and after some recent performance issues, I realized it was time to bite the bullet rather than keep it going. To update the forum required about 3 hours of downtime, which would be used to update the database for the forums (this doesn’t factor in the weekend prior I spent working on it in pre-production). While I originally figured this would just be a normal update, it kind of dawned on me that I had nothing planned for April Fools.

    So I decided to merge the two. Throw together an April Fools’ Day 2016 prank that the forums were closing while using the downtime to update to the new forum architecture.Before getting into the prank, though, I would like to bid farewell to the old forums first. They had a lengthy run from 2003 to 2016, although the database was wiped during a site transition… the code on the forums itself remained.

    Forums Farewell

    In saying goodbye, I would like to take a look at the old forum styles, which I had quite an affection toward. These were one of many elements that we simply could not take with us toward the new forum architecture. As some know, I hate throwing things away when it comes to web properties, so below is a bit of an archive of what the old styles looked like, how many used them and my thoughts. I sadly don’t know the exact dates of when they came out, only that the last one was in 2010. Because of that, I will order them based on popularity as of March 29th, 2016. Images can be clicked to expand them.

    Gotengo (Purple) ~ 1,371 users

    Lost Toho Kingdom Styles

    This theme enjoyed a pretty healthy run as the default theme, which gives it a user base edge. Personally, though? This one was my favorite and the one I used. It shared the most with the original forum design, back before styles were introduced, but updated it for a slightly more modern take. The colors were a bit unique and your eyes gravitated to the orange, which was perfect since that’s where the board title or thread name would be found. The light purple was also the closest to the main site colors of the lot.

     

    Mecha-King Ghidorah (Blue) ~ 626 users

    Lost Toho Kingdom Styles

    The second most popular style, and with a devoted following. When the new boards were taken down, this was by far the most requested style to return. I do vividly recall struggling to design something around King Ghidorah, and ended up going for one on the mechanized form after realizing how perfectly he fit in the header area. The blue design was also pretty attractive, and I really don’t know why I gravitated toward multiple blue styles when the main site is more of a dark purple.

     

    Godzilla Fire (Dark Black) ~ 510 users

    Lost Toho Kingdom Styles

    In retrospect, it’s kind of surprising that the forums only had one true dark/black style. Consequently, it’s not too surprising to see this style rise through the ranks, being the only game in town. The inspiration for this style is actually based on the Kirin Fire (“Godzilla Coffee”). The ad campaign featured baseball player Hideki Matsui, who was nicknamed Godzilla and also appeared in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), and Godzilla himself (circa the Kiryu era design). If you have never seen the commercial, take a watch here, you might be surprised how faithful the design for this style was for something so obscure.

     

    Godzilla (Dark Blue) ~ 345 users

    Lost Toho Kingdom Styles

    I was always shocked when this board, which used to be at the top, started to sink over the years. Even though my favorite was the Gotengo one, I tended to identify the board with this look the most. Because I was pretty pleased with the design, I also set it as the default board when someone wasn’t logged in. Visually, I loved the slow fade of the Heisei Godzilla head in the header. The radioactive icons haven’t aged that well, though, but otherwise an appealing design.

     

    20th Century Boys (Classic) ~ 31 users

    Lost Toho Kingdom Styles

    There was a small but vocal group that really wanted the original forum style to return, which was abandoned once more colorful styles were added. The group got their wish with a style that harked back to that 2003 design, even with the same Xilien UFO icons. The header image was retooled, though, and the theme based off a nostalgia angle harking to 20th Century Boys (2008). This was my least favorite style, but it did what it set out to do: replicate the original look.

     

    Bloodthirsty (Black) ~ 30 users

    Lost Toho Kingdom Styles

    God bless the 30 mavericks who choose this theme. I do recall this being the last of the themes I designed, and also being discouraged at the lack of use it got as it can be quite time consuming to create a style. A few switched it on for Halloween, but it never really got much use. The actual theme is based on the 1970’s vampire films in what is called the Bloodthirsty trilogy. The films are: Vampire Doll (1970), Lake of Dracula (1971) and Evil of Dracula (1974). I absolutely love Vampire Doll (1970), and the design had most in common with this film with both the house in the background and the title character with the blade. However, the roses were an element owed to Evil of Dracula (1974).

     

    Pokémon (Orange) ~ 7 users

    Lost Toho Kingdom Styles

    …And at the bottom of the heap we find the site’s only anime style, which was based on the Pokémon films. The actual Pokémon selection was based on the 3rd generation, Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire for the Game Boy Advance, which appeared in films such as Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker (2003). The actual design kind of reminded me of old school Macs. It was never really popular, although I do remember it for being Miles Imhoff’s style of choice for the forums.

    April Fools’ Day 2016

    So back to the topic at hand, as mentioned I did not plan an April Fools joke for this year. That’s not too shocking, as in years past I would lean on Miles or ask something to come from the K.W.C. crew to see if they could fill the void. However, felt that the K.W.C. angle was tried too recently, so racked my brain to come up with something as a gap filler.

    The eventual resolution was to just say the forums were closing.

    As previously mentioned, it was going to take a bit to update the database to the new architecture, and so the timing was right to take advantage of it. Now my normal mantra for April Fools jokes is that I want them to occur only within the period that falls on April Fools, I told some other members of the staff and they wanted to drum up a minor storm on the forums to sell the idea more. I gave it my okay, and one of the actions was Derzerb’s resignation, as seen below.

    April Fools' Day 2016: Resignation

    With that in place, I crafted a fairly long message to go up on the main site while the boards would be disabled, allowing for the database update to occur in the background. While there was no truth to the message in regards to the forums being closed, there was a degree of real reflection to it. Mostly that the forums are an area where the staff isn’t really given much kudos. However, as said in the message, it’s understandable as it’s user generated content, although it does hurt the ol’ motivation for it at times.

    Anyway, for reference, below is the original message that was posted on the front of the site:

    After a lot of thought, I have decided to close down the forums as sort of a “contingency plan”. This wasn’t an easy choice. The forums have been with us for a long time, since 2003. In many ways, it is part of what defines the website. However, it has been kind of a thankless component of the website as well, and you can’t really blame that mentality. By nature, it’s user generated content. When I updated the monster bios, Baragon’s in particular, I got a lot of praise for that. While I don’t seek praise, it does help drive my motivation around the website.

    The forums have never really offered that. People expect it to work, and again I don’t blame others as I would have the same approach on other forums as well. However, the forums are old. It’s 13 years now and that’s 13 years of code. Code that has accumulated over time and with the departure of Miles Imhoff, it’s something that I’m not familiar enough with to “fix”. So the forums have lamented a bit. My free time is not what it once was and I will attest that nothing bums me out more than working a long day in the office only to check my phone afterwards to read emails calling me out for a lack of involvement in the forum or for current events there that I need to fix.

    It’s hard. It’s draining. I don’t like to close things down, as the site’s blog section will show as that has become a catch all area for abandoned ideas in the past, but the forums are something that I have decided it’s finally time to close this chapter of the site’s history. A recent exodus there as well made this choice somewhat easier too.

    I do deeply want to thank everyone who has participated there over the years and the admins and moderators who have helped as well. It’s all been much appreciated. I’m still deciding what to do with them, leaning toward archiving it all and linking toward it in the blog section, but right now I have just disabled it.

    General // April 5, 2016
  • Hello longtime fan of Toho Kingdom, first time reader, or someone that is caught in-between. If you were lucky enough you probably noticed a K.W.C. Match on March 32nd that was a bit peculiar in nature. I would like to say it was an organized effort from the beginning but… it really was the combination of a series of random events, but before I go into those, let me first start off at the beginning of it all.

    After many years under the watchful eyes of Tom Fairchild and Christian Salabert, the K.W.C. gained new leadership in January, 2015. I was honored to accept the title, and I quickly began work on the section. Matches were posted, new staff was acquired, and as I continued to work I received a message from Andrew, aka the editor of the K.W.C who is known as KaijuX on the forums, who messaged, “I literally just thought of pretending to add the Giant Serizawa from Godzilla Generations if we got the role for AF this year or whenever it happens.”

    I gave him the go ahead, and as I waited for the match I also received a notice from Joshua Reynolds, aka Monster Master on the forums. He also asked, “Anyway I could write an April Fools’ Day 2015 match for the KWC? Giant Condor vs. Everyone.”

    As I was about to message him about the fact we had a match in progress, I was notified by Andrew that he would be unable to finish his match. This ultimately resulted in Joshua’s greenlight, and the creation of Giant Condor vs. Everyone. Joshua had this to say on its creation, “The idea for this came, obviously, from the Bagan vs. Everyone match. However, the Giant Condor has never been used (and isn’t an eligible kaiju for the K.W.C.), but I felt this would be a funny match up. I tried making it somewhat competently written at first and then (it) devolved into horrible fan fic fare.”

    Read the original April Fools Match:
    Match 148: Giant Condor vs. Everyone

    While most of the original work was created by Joshua, the ending actually had a major revision. Due to Alexander’s involvement, I sent him the match to see what he would add. He inserted Heisei King Ghidorah into the ending, and with a minor adjustment from myself, the match was perfected with what I would call one of my favorite twists in the K.W.C.

    Last, but certainly not least, I designed the banner around an extremely dark but satirical tone. FUN FACT – The shadow against Earth is not the Giant Condor but a heavily edited version of The Giant Claw. Yup…take that one in…

    So I hope everyone enjoyed this special, and a massive final thanks to Joshua and Alex for their involvement. I highly recommend keeping an eye out for their work, and all future K.W.C. specials which you shouldn’t have to wait another four years for!

    P.S. – As I finish this, I guess I should also thank the owner of the site so thanks… Um… Ugh… Thanks to… That Chris guy I think…

    General // April 13, 2015
  • 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!

    At this point, Hitmontop’s legs are finally getting some much-needed blood…

    Fortunately, I had been kicking around a silly sort of idea for a few months. I know it’s probably been done to the point of ad nauseam, but an upside down main page seemed like an entertaining notion. All that was really required was some playful CSS (with special considerations made for Internet Explorer, as usual). Making it Toho-related proved to be a bit trickier…

    … then I remembered Hitmontop! An upside down Pokémon on a topsy turvy front page would be the icing on the cake, but there was a problem. Hitmontop had certainly appeared in the TV show, but Toho never touched that. They only distributed the movies. Was it possible that a clear connection couldn’t be made between the two?

    Frantically I searched for evidence of Hitmontop in a Pokémon movie, and much to my relief, I discovered that the 2000 animated short Pikachu & Pichu featured our twirly whirly gyroscopic friend…

    … and that, my friends, is the story of how Hitmontop used Seismic Toss on Toho Kingdom. I would say that it was super effective, but as you might know, that particular move doesn’t quite work that way.

    General // April 2, 2014
  • 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.

    Anguirus takes advantage of the adjacent tub.

    It was in this midst of this twilight that a very bizarre idea came to me. What if there was a menu option on the left side of the front page that simply said “Jacuzzi”? Curious websurfers who dared to click on this mysterious link would be presented with an animated loop of Godzilla, enjoying a relaxing respite in an inviting hot tub.

    I must admit that I was on the fence about suggesting this bizarre idea. After all, it’s far more of a novelty than what people have come to anticipate. Toho Kingdom’s usual pranks are a bit more sophisticated. I ultimately decided to take the leap and submit the suggestion the following day. To my surprise, the plan was given the go! Anthony jested that this unusual idea had the potential to throw off April 1st speculators.

    The animation itself was rather easy to put together. For the foamy water, I recycled the roaring sea footage from The Return of Destoroyah The Pooh. The lava sound effect from The Birth of Jet Jaguar was sped up to provide the background noise. As for the star of the animation, I cropped the image of Godzilla (’91) in the Monster Bios. It was indeed an afternoon well spent.

    If you right click and zoom in on the thermometer during the animation, you’ll notice that the temperature is in the recommended range (in degrees Celsius), as suggested by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    In a bid to go for gold and attempt to convince some of our users that this was a legitimate new section, I asked Anthony if he would be willing to write the update on the front page. I figured it would be too obvious if I authored it, since veterans of Toho Kingdom’s previous April Fools’ Days would be quick to remember 2009’s flash intro prank. Anthony agreed, and his “we’re just getting our feet wet” wording was certainly the wrapping that this joke needed. A hilarious companion piece to the animation, his update even included the notorious March 32nd date in accordance with tradition.

    When all was said and done, we had a rather friendly joke that really didn’t leave people hanging.

    General // April 7, 2013
  • Toho Kingdom has been around the block, make not mistake of that. It’s well over a decade old at this stage with several traditions and habits now well placed. One of the longest running, and most consistent, is an annual April Fools’ Day joke. These have ranged from planning to offer a Toho paid membership, under the guise that content could only be accessed this way, to last year’s very creative K.W.C. Match.

    The joke for April Fools’ Day 2012 was a little bit of a retread, I will admit, although taken to a new level. The concept was simply: to deck Toho Kingdom out from top to bottom with ads. The site is ad free as sort of a mantra, so the joke was meant to play on that angle. This had actually been done before back in 2003, nine years ago, with ads being placed all over the site’s design. The 2003 version only placed them on the front, as the site was much less scalable in its design… and can’t stress that enough. To do something like this on the old framework would have required manually editing page by page. However, this is no longer a hurdle and so the 2012’s version had them placed all through out the website.

    As in year’s past, though, the most fun from this year’s April Fools’ was to be found in the forums where reactions shifted from wondering where the joke was, to surprise, to finally a few saying they preferred the ad design. Sadly, due to a forum mishap, the thread is now gone. Thankfully, though, a Wayback Machine versions exists. Take a stroll down memory lane on what was said in the thread here.

    For those who might have missed it, below is a more compelte screenshot of the site with the ad design in place.

    General // April 2, 2012
  • I’ve been writing stories for decades.

    “Wait a minute,” some of you must be thinking. “Tom, aren’t you 24-years-old?”

    As a matter of fact, yes. Yes I am.

    “So you’ve been writing since you were, like, four?”

    Hey, it’s not like I’ve been writing good stories for decades! Since my childhood, I’ve made some minor improvements in my spelling, grammar, and creativity. So I’m a little better than that one Godzilla comic I made back in pre-school. Even though I’ve gotten older, one thing remains the same, and that’s my undying love for kaiju eiga!

    As fans, we love our monsters. We especially love our giant monsters. And we especially love it when our giant monsters fight it out inside a miniaturized city. It’s one of the biggest reasons why we watch these movies. Oh sure, we’re also fans of the plot, the characters, the symbolism, and all that other fancy stuff that makes us sound like credible moviegoers. But let’s not kid ourselves. Monster action is what keeps us coming back for more!

    But not even the films can captivate us forever! We want more! We’re tired of seeing Godzilla defending Tokyo from King Ghidorah for hundredth time. Y’know what we’d really like to see? Godzilla versus Gamera! Rodan versus King Kong! I’d pay to see those fights on the big screen. Odds are we never will though. Bummer! Don’t worry! We have alternatives. You can always make a cool animated short. You could always to write a screenplay, maybe even pitch it to Toho if you have the right contacts. Hey, why not ask some artist to whip up a drawing? Matt Frank would be the right guy to ask. If you’re really desperate, why not start a discussion with other fans, and argue over what would really happen if these monsters fought each other to the death? All great ideas. Really, they’re all fun, innovative, and memorable.

    Oh, right! There is another alternative.

    Many years ago I founded the M.W.F. (Monster Wrestling Federation). It was a very popular attraction to my now extinct website. But like all great things, it had to end. But it’s legacy lived on when I started working for Toho Kingdom. I was tasked with breathing new life into what was formerly known as the T.M.W.F. (Toho Monster Wrestling Federation). But when I officially joined up, it had a different name…

    It’s called the K.W.C. (Kaiju War Chronicles). It’s part of this really cool, popular little website called Toho Kingdom. It’s about monsters expressing themselves in the best way they know how: fighting. They do this in stories written by the fans for the fans. We’ve been writing these stories for several years now.

    So imagine my surprise when Anthony Romero, the owner and founder of Toho Kingdom himself, offered me money for all of my hard work and dedication. Wait, what? That’s not what this is about? Then why the hell am I writing this?! Oh. Oh… OH! Oh come on! That’s what this is about?!

    Well, apparently I’m supposed to provide some backstory behind Toho Kingdom’s 2011 April Fools Event. Sorry about all that buildup. I’m sure you were expecting something epic. Blame the purple snake running this operation for ruining the moment. Anyway, I better get back to doing my job, the one I don’t get paid for…

    Every year we do something different for April Fools. There’s always a different theme. This year Anthony asked if I’d be interested in doing a KWC inspired prank. Now I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a parody story for years. But I lacked the motivation and inspiration to pull it off. Until now — err, more like two weeks before April Fools. That’s around the time Anthony asked if I’d be interested in doing this.

    Read the original April Fools Match:
    Match 200: Hostile Takeover

    That’s when it all fell into place.

    After exchanging ideas, I went to work. I had only a few rules to follow.

    Rule #1: Do NOT stop writing until the story is complete.

    Rule #2: Do NOT stop to fix spelling or grammar errors.

    Rule #3: Do NOT plan much. This must be as spontaneous as humanly possible.

    Rule #4: Bend SOME of these rules.

    I had a blast writing this. I really really did. My friends would tell you I’m a jokester at heart. I love making people laugh. One of my favorite ways to make people laugh is by poking fun at myself. Because I can totally take it. So I wanted to parody the very things I love most about this fandom.

    I love talking about kaiju. They’re fantastic characters. They are to humans what humans are to everything else. Tragic, terrifying, powerful, and larger than life. Yes, they usually star in campy films, and look fake as hell (there are a few exceptions). Whatever. I love these characters. Whether I’m discussing who’d win between Destoroyah and SpaceGodzilla or brainstorming why Godzilla is one of my favorite characters, I’m passionate through and through!

    Some would call my passion an obsession. They’re probably right. So instead of having a nervous breakdown while watching every Godzilla movie ever made — did I mention I’d be in my custom-made Jet Jaguar costume during this time? — and hack into Toho Kingdom out of grief, I poke fun at myself (and a great deal of others) to relax.

    Before writing for the K.W.C., I asked Anthony if I could use non-Toho beasties. He broke my heart by saying no. Oh well. Not a big deal! All was not lost! I’ll just include some cool cartoon kaiju… Oh, right. They weren’t allowed either. So I had to rely on sneaking them into our stories in the most subtlest ways. (Quickly, go read past matches in the vain hope of finding these fake easter eggs! I’ll wait.) So that’s one reason behind the inclusions of Evangelion, Cthulhu, Big O, and the Cloverfield Monster (just to name a few) in this year’s April Fools event. I also wanted to use ’em because I’m a fan of all those characters and thought they’d be perfect for the crazy storyline. I also wanted to shine the spotlight more on the ‘underdogs’ of the kaiju world: Gabara, Zilla, and Jet Jaguar. That didn’t happen quite the way I wanted. But it was fun making them super-powerful, regardless.

    I cannot forget another K.W.C. tradition. It’s one we’ve all become accustomed to. Need a hint? It’s the banners! My longtime friend and collaborator, Christian Salabert, started making the K.W.C. banners years ago. Since then we’ve recruited other photoshop artists: Goji girl and Varan58. They’ve proven how irreplaceable they are to the site time and time again. One in particular helped me make the April Fools banner (it IS tradition). While Goji girl will help shed more light on her involvement, I will say this: I asked her to make a really bad banner. Instead we got a hilariously awesome banner. That’s just a testament of her incredible skills.

    Before letting you go (because you can’t leave without me giving you permission), I’ll clue you in on the interesting format and writing style I implemented in the April Fools Match. Anyone familiar with screenwriting would recognize it. I’m a screenwriter myself. Several years ago, I wrote a very short Godzilla screenplay. It was so bad, it was really bad. By really bad, I mean worse than the K.W.C. matches Anthony wrote. So ever since then I’ve been very wary of doing a screenplay on kaiju. Because the failures of my past continue to haunt me even to this present day (I’m totally using this in a future story since it sounded gothic, ominous, and tragic). Almost every Godzilla fan has at one moment in time thought about writing and/or directing a feature length Godzilla film. We all secretly want to become Ascended Fanboys. So why not write like one? That’s really the gist of the plot: a Godzilla fan is writing a parody screenplay about a Godzilla fan writing a screenplay with him as the main character in the hopes of becoming famous.

    Thanks for reading and enjoy the show! It’s so totally becoming a film someday.

    [shameless advertising]

    On the Toho Kingdom forums, you’ve might’ve noticed how the KW.C. has its own subforum. It allows its readers to give us feedback, ideas, and fights they’d like to see (avoid telling us who should win though). We’ve had many memorable discussions. So you’re welcome to join us there. Maybe you’d be interested in writing for the KW.C. yourself? If so, go there now, and find out more information!

    [/shameless advertising]

    Goji Girl’s editorial commentary:

    “When I got the request to do this banner, I had to pick up my hanging jaw up off the keyboard. Who knew these guys could come up with something so preposterous, so silly, so unfathomable… I just HAD to take this up. This isn’t a request you get everyday. It also hit me, I could do whatever the hell I wanted. So I did: I started off with getting a work-of-art of a background (A blocky city – drawn by a child, no less). Then came the images, and they had to be state of the art! So I got all that together (If you look at it, you’ll notice that their all mostly crummy toys, incomplete images, and video game models. Hell, there’s one that I didn’t even bother clearing the background to), and I slapped ’em on in the most bizarre and random of positions my feeble little mind could muster. Then came the title, something I didn’t necessarily come up with it, but I got to pick that cheesy “Oreos” font (Betcha didn’t realize that!). And, huzzah! Twas done, and I sat in awe at the comical thing. It made no sense in the least – and I loved every second of it.”

    General // May 29, 2011
  • 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.

    TK Staff Trading Cards
    (Collect Them All!)

    The day in question is, of course, April Fools’ Day; and what better way to celebrate than by adding a completely unusable web store, posting an unnecessary flash intro without the benefit of a skip intro button (the 2009 joke), contributing to a self-indulgent blog (the 2007 joke), or even hiring on completely fictional staff members whilst plunging the forums into a sea of random, word-censored confusion (the 2006 joke)? But I digress, let’s concentrate on the most recent one.

    For 2010, I had two ideas for the April Fools’ Day prank. I submitted them both to Anthony for consideration, just on the off chance that he didn’t have a joke already planned. The first idea was a Toho Kingdom quiz, where members would have to answer trivia in order to gain access to the site. The second idea was a Toho Kingdom store, where users would be offered the chance to buy overpriced, overrated memorabilia.

    The blue kanji, which were superimposed onto several of the original images, roughly translate to “April Fools’ Day”.

    The second idea was agreed upon, and work began to make what I thought would be an instantly unbelievable store to showcase a variety of completely asinine items. The kiosque was posted on the index page, situated above an inactive checkout button.

    I personally thought that nobody would buy it (pardon the pun). Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited to pursue the idea, but I simply thought it would end up being a purely fun prank without anyone finding themselves “taken in”. I even posted the notorious March 32nd date in accordance with tradition. Nevertheless, an email from a concerned visitor warning that our prices might be a tad too high (and our quantities a bit skewed) toppled my preconceived notions about the potency of the practical joke.

    For those of you interested in just what we had to “offer”, please see below. Originally, photos accompanied these descriptions. Since the prank was only going to last a day, there wasn’t an immense need to worry about usage rights; so we are now quite incapable of posting many of the photos that were initially used:

    The Hat:
    A hat temporarily worn by Akira Kurosawa during his well-known 1989 visit to Miami, Florida. We think it was around this time that he wrote the scripts for both Dreams (1990) and Madadayo (1993). John McCartney, who currently resides just outside of Titusville, saved the hat and donated it to Toho Kingdom back in 2004. Today, we’re proud to sell it at an exorbitant (technically infinite) profit:
    Price: 899.99
    Qty. Remaining: 10
    Miki Saegusa Action Figure:
    Miki Saegusa, proud psychic defender of Japan and international face of the Heisei Timeline. Equipped with LED eyes, her powers are clearly superior to those of other psychics. She fought the nuclear leviathan with her mind powers in Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), a feat only SpaceGodzilla has since been able to boast. Please buy her; her excellence speaks for itself:
    Price: 199.99
    Qty. Remaining: 30
    Female Godzilla:
    The King of the Monsters herself? Queen Hatshepsut, I presume? This is the rarest-of-rare of Godzilla action figures… Female Godzilla (only 200 were produced back in 2005). You can tell she’s female due to the biological idiosyncrasies of the upper tail region. After years of searching, we’ve managed to amass a pretty substantial collection of these rare dolls, thereby cornering the entire market:
    Price: 399.99
    Qty. Remaining: 210
    Goji Berries:
    The name speaks for itself. A three week supply of anti-oxidant rich Goji Berries, Godzilla’s berry of choice. Widely found in pretentious pseudo-hippie stores, these dried little joys will bring a much-needed infusion of radioactivity to your nuclear core:
    Price: 49.99
    Qty. Remaining: 80
    “Don’t Stomp on my City!”™:
    Rights to the phrase “Don’t Stomp on my City!”™ are available only here. What better way to show your girlfriend, wife, or Japanese Anime body pillow that you love her than by buying her the rights to this stomptastic bit of phraseology? From our hands to your hands and back to our pockets:
    Price: 1999.99
    Qty. Remaining: 1
    Signed Photograph:
    Would you like signed photographs of your favorite Toho actors, actresses, and/or rubber-suited beasties? Akira Kubo, Kumi MizunoToshiro Mifune, and Nancy Cartwright are among the few personalities available upon request, in autographed photo form! There are so many more:
    Price: 399.99
    Qty. Remaining: Unlimited
    Anguirus: The Board Game:
    Anguirus: The Board Game, produced in extremely limited quantities following the release of Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) in Japan. This is the ultimate for any Angy-Fan (or “Angy-Fangy”, if you so desire). Roll up in a spiky ball and make your way across 47 challenging spaces with 23 heart-pounding situation cards. Will you end up in Siberia, or will you find yourself massively pwned by Mechagodzilla? The possibilities are finite!
    Price: 743.26
    Qty. Remaining: 3
    Advertise on Toho Kingdom:
    Do you have a brand of soda that you would love to market to our nerdy demographics? Do you run an MMORPG that you feel our users would find “groovy”? Are you a representative from a financial institution that boasts a suspiciously ambiguous mission statement? It doesn’t matter; we want your money! And we’re willing to put advertising wherever you so choose. We have a simple formula for determining the costs of our advertising services; please have the Harvard graduate students that you’ve Shanghaied into indentured servitude explain to you the simple metrics behind our even simpler formula (n = the net worth of your business):
    April Fools Formula
    TK Staff Trading Cards:
    I’ll trade you two Chris Mirjahangir’s for three Steve Johnson’s. What can we say? Young minds are impressionable and trading cards are lucrative. There’s nothing better than having the full collection of anything, right? All TK Staff Trading cards are the same low price, with the exception of the ultra-rare Anthony Romero Holographic Starter Card (only triple the price of the other trendy cards):
    Price: 74.99
    Qty. Remaining: 100
    Uranium (Replica):
    Hey, Godzilla eats the stuff for breakfast; why shouldn’t you? This is uranium-235 that we’ve procured through mostly legal means, and we’re pleased to present to you this highly volatile, easily fissile material at a relatively low price. Please remember that uranium-235 canbe used to make atomic bombs, and therefore should NOT be used in this manner. All interested parties will be asked to sign a pledge stating their capitulation with our expectations. (Note: This is a replica, not the real stuff.)
    Price: Available Upon Request
    Qty. Remaining: Available Upon Request
    General // September 26, 2010