Book: Definitive Edition - The Perfect Godzilla Giant Monster Super Encyclopedia

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Definitive Edition: The Perfect Godzilla Giant Monster Super Encyclopedia

Japanese Book Title

決定版: ゴジラ 大怪獣 パーフェクト超百科
[Kettei Ban: Gojira Dai Kaiju Pafekuto Cho Hyakka]

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Japanese
Non-fiction
2016
Kodansha
80
9784063048476

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Review

By: Anthony Romero

This book is #245 in Kodansha's "Deluxe TV Magazine" (テレビマガジンデラックス - Terebi Magajin Derakkusu) series. While the series generally targets TV work, from Ultraman to Sailor Moon, this publication is one of several exceptions done for the Godzilla movie franchise. Or at least Godzilla is the focus, as it does extend beyond that to cover movies like Half Human (1955) and Yamato Takeru (1994). As for what to expect, it's a standard entry of the "Super Encyclopedias" in the line. This means a lot of pictures of the various fictional characters, in this case the monsters, along with stats and some images to showcase their powers. It being a more modern entry, though, the design is particularly well done on this one, making it easy to thumb through and recommendable for even those who can't read Japanese.

To get more granular on the series, the general format is a large image with text placed on top of it. This mentions things like the height and mass of the creature, along with name and a super short description. Smaller supporting images, generally talking about the powers, will also overlap the larger image. This makes each page feel busy, but not overwhelming.

As for structure, the series has been inconsistent and this one continues the trend. The approach is mostly by character, so it starts with Godzilla, first covering Shin Godzilla (2016) before doing it chronologically from Godzilla (1954) to the Millennium series. Next up is Anguirus, then King Kong, then Mothra and a pattern develops of the creature's introduction point into the Godzilla series. ...that is except Mechagodzilla who comes before Rodan. Following the characters from Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) is a mish-mash area of creatures outside of the Godzilla franchise, such as Matango to Maguma and others. Oddly, despite appearing in the Godzilla series, Baragon, Manda, Varan and Gorosaurus are found in this area as well.

For the accuracy of the stats in the book... it's actually on point. The only general inconsistency found was listing the Showa Baragons as the same size, but other multi-generation kaiju like Varan and Mothra are all accurate.

Now as noted, this is part of a long line of "Deluxe TV Magazines" and of which Godzilla has been the subject for numerous volumes. In fact, with the modern numbering, the Godzilla editions go all the way back to the early 1990's, although Kodansha has been publishing Godzilla books long before this as well. Quality wise, the line is fairly consistent, although the "Super Encyclopedias" like this are generally superior to the movie specific editions. That said, this isn't the best in the line. It wins a lot of points for a fantastic interior design, but loses out to a few other editions like #156 which is the largest or #28 which included cutaway art of the monsters. Although it might not be the best, it's currently the latest and with a great page layout is worth a purchase for those fans who like the visual encyclopedias from Japan.