Toho Special Effects Monster Movies: Large Complete Works
Language: Japanese Release: 2005
Publisher: Million Publication Pages: 136
Genre: Non-fiction ISBN: 4813020178

Preview: Order
Page 28 - Page 35 - Page 66 - Page 93
Back Cover
Anthony Romero

Million Publication's Toho Special Effects Monster Movies: Large Complete Works book presents a overview of most of Toho's giant monster films. For each movie covered there is a one page summary, which also includes cast and staff listing, followed by another page of production stills for that particular movie; the exception is Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), which is given four pages. Unfortunately, it's hard to say who this book would be of interest to. There isn't a great deal of information provided for each film, although this probably isn't an area of importance for importers anyway. This book is mostly about the pictures, and it's that area where this release gets even more mixed notes. One can't ignore that there are a lot of pictures to be found inside; however, most of them are black and white, with a few color shots intermingled on the same page. One can understand perhaps including some black and white production shots for some of the older films, but for recent entries like Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)? There also seems to be a lack of care in how the pictures were included too, with shots from the wrong films appearing in different sections. Just to giver two examples: shots of Anguirus from Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) show up in the Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) listing, while Godzilla Junior from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995) shows up in the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) listing. It just gives off the vibe that the author didn't really care, especially the latter mistake which is so blatant.

In regards to what films are covered in the book, there is the entire Japanese Godzilla series, the Rebirth of Mothra series, and quite a few of the Showa kaiju films which include: Rodan (1956), Varan (1958), Mothra (1961), Dogora (1964), Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), The War of the Gargantuas (1966), and King Kong Escapes (1967). There is also a two page spread that quickly mentions The Mysterians (1957), Gorath (1962), and Atragon (1963), with a single picture of each thrown in.

Other content found in the book includes an interview with both Masahiko Shiraishi and Makoto Ogawa, a four page look at the SDF in the films (all black and white), a four page look at the different Godzilla suits, seven pages of posters for the Godzilla films, a listing of the movies on DVD/VHS, and a ten page look at four models. Also, by models I don't mean those featured in the films, but the variety that one can buy in a store and construct on their own. Why such a large portion of the book was dedicated to just four of these is beyond me.

In summation, Toho Special Effects Monster Movies: Large Complete Works has a lot of faults, and there isn't really anything present here to recommend it over the other great books that have been released about these films. Had there been larger, and all color (when available), shots for the films, perhaps it would have been a different story. It would have been nice if perhaps more films where covered as well. I doubt anyone would disagree that they would have rather seen a film like Space Amoeba (1970) showcased in place of the random model section; a section which I can't stress enough how out of place it is, considering everything else here is related to the films themselves, not the merchandise.