Monsters are attacking Tokyo
 Stuart Galbraith IV
Language: English Release: 1998
Publisher: Feral House Pages: 539
Genre: Non-Fiction ISBN: 0922915474

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Andrew Nguyen (submission)

Released in early May 1998 (at around the same time that the American GODZILLA movie hit theaters), the publication looks back at the history of Japanese monster movies up to the point of its release date. Written by an author who is well versed in the subject matter (and continues to be so with the publication of later books and participations in the commentary of the DVD releases of films such as Invasion of Astro-Monster), the book covers the history of Japanese sci-fi and fantasy films along with different aspects of production. After going through a general history of Japanese sci-fi and fantasy films, the author moves on to dealing with the people involved on the movies, whether they'd be behind or in front (both Japanese as well as Caucasian actors who participated) of the camera. Nearly all of the people listed in this particular section of the book had participated in the interviews that make up a large portion of this book (both actors and production crew personnel were involved in the interviews). The subjects of the multiple interviews range from discussing about the aftermath of World War II in the Pacific, to recollections about their own experiences on cinema and television from when they started to the present day. Mixed in with the interviews are remembrances of those that that had passed on (Eiji Tsuburaya rates a special mention here due to his contributions to Japanese sci-fi and fantasy films as he has several sections in the book where his colleagues discussed working with him). After that, the author lists more of the many actors and production crew who participated in Japanese sci-fi and fantasy films. Finally, the last major section of the book is a filmography of a large number of Japanese sci-fi and fantasy films. After that and the bibliography, which utilizes both American and Japanese sources, the book then has a section that highlights several films and lists their production information (including screen shape and sound system).

Long out of print and though now perhaps a bit out of date in terms of information, this is a well-researched book. It fits in very well in a collection of similar books for those who are interested in Japanese sci-fi films. The interviews are an excellent treat for those who want to learn about what it was like during those days from those who lived it (and still were around to talk about it at the time that this book was written).