Kaiju Fan Confessions

For discussions covering more than one Toho film or show that span across more than one “era.”
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby eabaker » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:08 pm

Confession: I do not understand the (mostly younger end of the) Western Godzilla fanbase's fixation on seeing Japanese kaiju properties adapted by American production companies.

Like, I don't necessarily object to them being Westernized, but it's never been something I especially craved, either. I got into these movies/TV series because I like the way that they are/have been conceived and executed by Japanese storytellers, and I've never felt like they were lacking anything by virtue of not being Hollywood productions.
Last edited by eabaker on Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby MikeSTZillak » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:10 pm

eabaker wrote:Confession: I do not understand the (mostly younger end of the) Western Godzilla fanbase's fixation on seeing Japanese kaiju properties adapted by American production companies.

Like, I don't necessarily object to them being Westernized, but it's never been something I especially craved, either. I got into these movies/TV series because I like the way that they are/have been conceived and executed by Japanese storytellers, and I've never felt like they were lacking anything by virtue of not being Hollywood productions.

It would be interesting though.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby _JNavs_ » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:16 pm

There's a certain big budget quality to Western films. Not always in regards to the script, but almost always in regards to dynamic angles within the film, be it shown in intense conversations, soft spoken confessions, or of course the action itself. It always looks "Quality", like it was made for the biggest screens possible.

As much as I love the Japanese films I cannot say the same, as most feel and look like B Films.

(I'm not talking themes and the like)
Last edited by _JNavs_ on Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:20 pm

eabaker wrote:Confession: I do not understand the (mostly younger end of the) Western Godzilla fanbase's fixation on seeing Japanese kaiju properties adapted by American production companies.

Like, I don't necessarily object to them being Westernized, but it's never been something I especially craved, either. I got into these movies/TV series because I like the way that they are/have been conceived and executed by Japanese storytellers, and I've never felt like they were lacking anything by virtue of not being Hollywood productions.

I think a lot of people view it as some weird validation. Like, "Hey finally I can show my slightly xenophobic friends a big budget Godzilla film" rather then "THOSE WHACKY JAP FILMS".

My perspective on it all is extra weird now given my living circumstances. I`m not sure if I technically still belong to the Western fanbase anymore.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby eabaker » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:24 pm

_JNavs_ wrote:There's a certain big budget quality to Western films. Not always in regards to the script, but almost always in regards to dynamic angles within the film, be it shown in intense conversations, soft spoken confessions, or of course the action itself. It always looks "Quality", like it was made for the biggest screens possible.


Huh. I find the visual style of a lot of mainstream Hollywood blockbusters pretty bland. Dialogue scenes in blockbusters, for example, often fall back on a pretty predictable shot-reverse-shot formula.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:29 pm

eabaker wrote:
_JNavs_ wrote:There's a certain big budget quality to Western films. Not always in regards to the script, but almost always in regards to dynamic angles within the film, be it shown in intense conversations, soft spoken confessions, or of course the action itself. It always looks "Quality", like it was made for the biggest screens possible.


Huh. I find the visual style of a lot of mainstream Hollywood blockbusters pretty bland. Dialogue scenes in blockbusters, for example, often fall back on a pretty predictable shot-reverse-shot formula.

The reason why I like a lot of "Asian films" is that a lot of Korean and Japanese films realize that they`re considerably lower budget and make up for it with better cinematography.

A recent example fresh in my mind is how in The Human Vapor, the climax of the film is pretty much just the Human Vapor sitting in a theater watching his girlfriend/lover perform. They embrace, and despite this really being a "boring" climax by Hollywood standards, the way everything is set up, the empty red seats around them, everything just clicks.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby _JNavs_ » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:31 pm

eabaker wrote:
_JNavs_ wrote:There's a certain big budget quality to Western films. Not always in regards to the script, but almost always in regards to dynamic angles within the film, be it shown in intense conversations, soft spoken confessions, or of course the action itself. It always looks "Quality", like it was made for the biggest screens possible.


Huh. I find the visual style of a lot of mainstream Hollywood blockbusters pretty bland. Dialogue scenes in blockbusters, for example, often fall back on a pretty predictable shot-reverse-shot formula.

The shot reverse-shot style is definitely common in big Hollywood films. However, I feel like the close-up underhead shots that are commonly associated with Hollywood dialogue scenes end up getting a bit more raw emotion and tensity involved, depending on what the situation calls for. Plus it gives flexibility as to how you want the scene to go next, be it a wide zoom-out shot, or just a cut to the next scene.

In comparison to older Japanese flicks where it's usually just a super wide shot of dialogue followed by quick close-ups of each character.

It's a bit hard to explain exactly.
Last edited by _JNavs_ on Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby eabaker » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:33 pm

_JNavs_ wrote:In comparison to older Japanese flicks where it's usually just a super wide shot of dialogue followed by quick close-ups of each person.


Other than kaiju movies, I'm thinking you and I have very different experiences with Japanese cinema...
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby _JNavs_ » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:36 pm

eabaker wrote:
_JNavs_ wrote:In comparison to older Japanese flicks where it's usually just a super wide shot of dialogue followed by quick close-ups of each person.


Other than kaiju movies, I'm thinking you and I have very different experiences with Japanese cinema...

Yeah that's likely the case.

For example, depending on if you consider Frankenstein Conquers the World a Kaiju flick, I'd say the shots are the same.

I'm not a huge fan of, but still respect, authentic Japanese films beyond the usual suspects.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:37 pm

One of my favorite films, Demon 1978:
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_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby G2000 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:44 pm

LSD Jellyfish wrote:
eabaker wrote:Confession: I do not understand the (mostly younger end of the) Western Godzilla fanbase's fixation on seeing Japanese kaiju properties adapted by American production companies.

Like, I don't necessarily object to them being Westernized, but it's never been something I especially craved, either. I got into these movies/TV series because I like the way that they are/have been conceived and executed by Japanese storytellers, and I've never felt like they were lacking anything by virtue of not being Hollywood productions.

I think a lot of people view it as some weird validation. Like, "Hey finally I can show my slightly xenophobic friends a big budget Godzilla film" rather then "THOSE WHACKY JAP FILMS".

My perspective on it all is extra weird now given my living circumstances. I`m not sure if I technically still belong to the Western fanbase anymore.


You live in Japan but you’re still a Westerner, you almost certainly aren’t becoming a Japanese citizen if you weren’t born one

For me, it may have been about validation when I was younger, but now I think it’s just because I think it’s interesting seeing how these properties are adapted for Western audiences, and I enjoy seeing these characters I’ve watched all these years get rendered with the best VFX Hollywood has to offer - not because I consider traditional tokusatsu “inferior” or anything like that, but just because it’s something I’ve wanted since I was little.

As for the current discussion I freely admit to not having much experience with Japanese cinema outside of kaiju/toku films, though I might like to.
Last edited by G2000 on Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:49 pm

G2000 wrote:
LSD Jellyfish wrote:
eabaker wrote:Confession: I do not understand the (mostly younger end of the) Western Godzilla fanbase's fixation on seeing Japanese kaiju properties adapted by American production companies.

Like, I don't necessarily object to them being Westernized, but it's never been something I especially craved, either. I got into these movies/TV series because I like the way that they are/have been conceived and executed by Japanese storytellers, and I've never felt like they were lacking anything by virtue of not being Hollywood productions.

I think a lot of people view it as some weird validation. Like, "Hey finally I can show my slightly xenophobic friends a big budget Godzilla film" rather then "THOSE WHACKY JAP FILMS".

My perspective on it all is extra weird now given my living circumstances. I`m not sure if I technically still belong to the Western fanbase anymore.


You live in Japan but you’re still a Westerner, you almost certainly aren’t becoming a Japanese citizen if you weren’t born one

For me, it may have been about validation when I was younger, but now I think it’s just because I think it’s interesting seeing how these properties are adapted for Western audiences, and I enjoy seeing these characters I’ve watched all these years get rendered with the best VFX Hollywood has to offer - not because I consider traditional tokusatsu “inferior” or anything like that, but just because it’s something I’ve wanted since I was little.

I freely admit to not having much experience with Japanese cinema outside of kaiju/toku films, though I might like to.

Oh yeah totally, I have no interest in "becoming Japanese" or "being Japanese" or whatever that means. I meant it as in since I have started interacting with Japanese fans to a capacity, my opinion on things is sort of skewed. And because I get some privileges that a lot of other members don`t have, such as having easily accessible merchandise, I don`t really have the same plight or identification with other fans I used to. A simple example is people worrying about when HLJ is restocking stuff; I can just go to the department store and pretty much get any bandai figure. If a new Toho film is released, most likely I`ll be able to see it ahead of the majority of the other members. I don`t mean that in a mean or elitist way. In small ways, my perspective has also changed on certain Godzilla films, just by living here, and a lot of those minute details add up. It`s more like I`m somewhere in between.

It`s not specific to Japan, it`s living in another country in general, and also seeing the differences in ways people interact and view things. I`m not saying I`m not American, I`m saying I feel slightly alienated from the Western fandom, and this alienation probably will continue to grow. I don`t view it as a positive or negative thing; it`s certainly interesting.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby JAGzilla » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:59 pm

You know, LSD, it occurs to me that we're not really taking advantage of your rare status as a Western fan on the ground in Japan, able to speak and read the language and apparently in some level of contact with the Japanese fanbase. We've always had very little contact with them, and their opinions and such have generally been kind of unknown here, aside from assumptions we can make from Toho's marketing, toy sales, etc.

Case in point... we've been going on about whether KOTM is 'offensive' or not... do you know what the response has been like from fans and critics in Japan? I'm told the movie made a pretty healthy amount of money there, but that's all I know...

EDIT: and obligatory confession... um... I've never liked GKG's design, much. Heisei is pretty much the first design that comes to mind when I think 'Ghidorah', even if Showa is my favorite incarnation.
Last edited by JAGzilla on Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:23 pm

JAGzilla wrote:You know, LSD, it occurs to me that we're not really taking advantage of your rare status as a Western fan on the ground in Japan, able to speak and read the language and apparently in some level of contact with the Japanese fanbase. We've always had very little contact with them, and their opinions and such have generally been kind of unknown here, aside from assumptions we can make from Toho's marketing, toy sales, etc.

Case in point... we've been going on about whether KOTM is 'offensive' or not... do you know what the response has been like from fans and critics in Japan? I'm told the movie made a pretty healthy amount of money there, but that's all I know...

EDIT: and obligatory confession... um... I've never liked GKG's design, much. Heisei is pretty much the first design that comes to mind when I think 'Ghidorah', even if Showa is my favorite incarnation.

I intend to do that in the future, but right now I`m sort of just still getting used to my life here, my job and other such things. Starting next pay check I plan to get out more.

I agree about GKG, it`s weird cause I prefer the first form more.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby Godzilla165 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:26 am

I said this in the unpopular opinion thread, but my like for Grand King Ghidorah’s design has taken a dive recently, in favor of regular ol’ Heisei Ghidorah. The heads and wings of the former look cool, and his roar is awesome, but everything else ends up looking bizarre, IE: The weird, humanoid man legs, misshapen body and fat pudgy tails. He’s begun to look more... Kiddish, in my eyes, which I guess makes sense.

Heisei Ghidorah on the other hand, while a more plain Jane design in comparison, is a lot more balanced and natural looking. The animalistic faces, long necks, massive wings, pillar legs and long tails just look better to me now.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:45 am

I’ve always said this but the Heisei Ghidorah is really cool. He’s just horribly overshadowed by an inherently OP Godzilla.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby Dr. Professor » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:01 am

LSD Jellyfish wrote:Oh yeah totally, I have no interest in "becoming Japanese" or "being Japanese" or whatever that means. I meant it as in since I have started interacting with Japanese fans to a capacity, my opinion on things is sort of skewed. And because I get some privileges that a lot of other members don`t have, such as having easily accessible merchandise, I don`t really have the same plight or identification with other fans I used to. A simple example is people worrying about when HLJ is restocking stuff; I can just go to the department store and pretty much get any bandai figure. If a new Toho film is released, most likely I`ll be able to see it ahead of the majority of the other members. I don`t mean that in a mean or elitist way. In small ways, my perspective has also changed on certain Godzilla films, just by living here, and a lot of those minute details add up. It`s more like I`m somewhere in between.

It`s not specific to Japan, it`s living in another country in general, and also seeing the differences in ways people interact and view things. I`m not saying I`m not American, I`m saying I feel slightly alienated from the Western fandom, and this alienation probably will continue to grow. I don`t view it as a positive or negative thing; it`s certainly interesting.

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To go back to the discussion of Japanese films vs. American films, Shin Godzilla's human scenes alone are more visually interesting than anything I've seen in any recent Hollywood blockbuster.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby eabaker » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:24 am

Dr. Professor wrote:To go back to the discussion of Japanese films vs. American films, Shin Godzilla's human scenes alone are more visually interesting than anything I've seen in any recent Hollywood blockbuster.


God yes! All those wide angle close-ups give such a sense of immediacy as the characters speak! And there's one fascinating shot, when Yaguchi and Patterson are talking outside, where the camera steadily pulls back farther and farther, and ends up locking them into the lower right corner as the space to the left just gets bigger and bigger; it's such a strange but lovely move/composition!
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby Dr. Professor » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:14 am

eabaker wrote:
Dr. Professor wrote:To go back to the discussion of Japanese films vs. American films, Shin Godzilla's human scenes alone are more visually interesting than anything I've seen in any recent Hollywood blockbuster.


God yes! All those wide angle close-ups give such a sense of immediacy as the characters speak! And there's one fascinating shot, when Yaguchi and Patterson are talking outside, where the camera steadily pulls back farther and farther, and ends up locking them into the lower right corner as the space to the left just gets bigger and bigger; it's such a strange but lovely move/composition!

A shot that always sticks out to me is when one character (I don't remember who it is, this film has a big cast) is on the phone standing next to this wall that has a bunch of white helmets or something hanging on it. The camera is really close to the wall and all the helmets are in a line leading to the guy's head. I probably did a poop job of explaining it, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
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Re: Kaiju Fan Confessions

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:29 pm

eabaker wrote:
Dr. Professor wrote:To go back to the discussion of Japanese films vs. American films, Shin Godzilla's human scenes alone are more visually interesting than anything I've seen in any recent Hollywood blockbuster.


God yes! All those wide angle close-ups give such a sense of immediacy as the characters speak! And there's one fascinating shot, when Yaguchi and Patterson are talking outside, where the camera steadily pulls back farther and farther, and ends up locking them into the lower right corner as the space to the left just gets bigger and bigger; it's such a strange but lovely move/composition!

I don`t know why but I distinctly remember a moment where Yaguchi is going up some metal stairs, and the closeup of his feet and the sound of them hitting against the metal synch up with the decisive battle theme perfectly. I think the fact that I remembered something so minor is a testament to how great that film is.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.


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