Posts tagged "Shobijin"

Godzilla vs. Mothra (Review)

Godzilla vs. Mothra

aka Gojira vs. Mosura aka Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth

1992

Directed by Takao Okawara
Written by Kazuki Omori


This is the most popular film of the Heisei Godzilla series, in that it did the best at the box office due to the cross appeal of Mothra with girls. It spawned the Mothra Trilogy as an offshoot (though technically not in the same universe) and helped set up sequels down the line in the Heisei series. And it wasn’t released in the US until years later, thanks to fallout from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Thus, I ended up with a full-screen dubbed VHS release around 1998 or so when the movies started to show up at the local Suncoast (now bankrupt.) Isn’t that grand? So as Godzilla has been rebooted, it is time for familiar monsters to start reappearing. Since Ghidorah already did his part, now Mothra will show up to kick some Godzilla butt. Mothra is also joined by Battra, the Dark Mothra. Wow, how original. Will Dark Godzilla then show up? What about Light Ghidorah? What if we had a Godzilla who was black on one side and green on the other? Then he fought another bi-colored Godzilla, except his colors were on the opposite sides! This is a Star Trek joke, for those of you who are 13 and stumbled across this while Googling for “Godzilla boobs” or something.

Someone will find this review by Googling “Godzilla boobs”

Back to the films, we have typical Heisei stuff with the army being useless, that psychic girl Miki Saegusa showing up, and a bunch of new main characters who have to spend the film repairing their marriage. Important stuff, to be sure. This is also the deput of the Heisei Shibojin, or the Cosmos as they get renamed this time around. And they are not real twins, just two Idols that Toho had lying around.

Originally, Mothra was to fight a monster known as Bagan in a film called Mothra Vs. Bagan. Then Godzilla vs. Biollante tanked and Toho realized that no one knew who Bagan was. Instead of having Mothra fight Bagan all across Asia (including battles in Shanghai and Bangkok) Mothra was reworked into the Godzilla series. Mothra then got so popular she headlined her own trilogy of films. Bagan appeared as the final boss in the Super Nintendo video game Super Godzilla, and almost fought Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Bagan, but that film became Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. So Bagan gets the shaft again!

Takuya Fujito (Tetsuya Bessho) – Indiana Jones has been reincarnated as a Japanese tomb raider. That’s what happens when you die in a fridge as a nuke goes off. Takuya Fujito spends so much time stealing ancient artifacts he divorced his wife and hasn’t seen his young daughter. This all changes thanks to the power of Godzilla. Sure, thousands died, but Takuya rekindles his marriage!
Masako Tezuka (Satomi Kobayoshi) – Ex-wife of Takuya Fujito and mother of their young daughter. Reluctantly gets her husband out of jail to guide a mission in Infant Island in search of the giant egg, and being around each other during tragedy helps them get back together.
Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) – Don’t you know who she is by now? Miki Saegusa spends most of the film hunting down tiny girls.
The Cosmos (Keiko Imamura & Sayaka Osawa) – The Shobijin are now The Cosmos, because of…uh…um…stuff. So they are still two tiny girls who speak in unison, have psychic powers, and give warnings to people. They also get kidnapped by evil corporations all the time, because evil corporations are dumb and think two tiny slave girls will lead to an increase in sales of octopus-flavored Pocky. Maybe it would, this is Japan we are talking about. The Cosmos were created by the lifeforce of the Earth
Kenji Andoh (Takehiro Murata) – The Secretary to the President of the Maritomo Company. Sort of a jerk, but becomes less of a jerk when he stands up to his boss. Then he gets fired and exits the movie. Takehiro Murata also stars as Yuji Shinoda in Godzilla 2000, as a newspaper editor in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and has cameos in GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack and Godzilla X Mechagodzilla.
Professor Fukazawa (Saburo Shinoda) – Professor of being a suave Japanese Professor, also volcanoes or something. Will return in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Marutomo Head Takeshi Tomokane (Makoto Otake) – Evil CEO of an Evil Corporation who is Evil. And also a dork. Look at him, with his dorkiness. Conspires to cut down all trees, enslave the environment, kidnap tiny girls, and fire anyone who disagrees with him. His stockholders love him.
Godzilla (Kenpachiro Satsuma) – Godzilla? Never heard of him.
Mothra Larva (puppet) – Another Mothra pops out of an egg and immediately is involved in a fight. For someone who loves peace so much, Mothra sure gets into fights as a newborn a lot. Mothra has a fight in the high seas, trashes a city searching for The Cosmos, and then morphs into moth form after a cocoon on the Diet.
Mothra Moth (puppet) – Moth form of Mothra hasn’t changed much except to get bigger than the Showa form. And she has beam weapons now. And she can make little tiny Mothras, though we don’t see that in this movie so just forget I mentioned it.
Battra Larva (Hurricane Ryu Hariken) – Battra first appezred 12,000 years ago to trash civilization because they made a weather control device and Earth was mad. Battra and Mothra fought each other during that time. You remember all of this from history class so there is no need to add details. Battra then slept and was supposed to awaken in 1999 to destroy a meteor, but Godzilla woke him up earlier. So now Battra Larva is running around doing Battra Larva things. Is 90 meters long and weighs 20,000 tons
Battra Bat (puppet) – Battra then grows up without the need of a cocoon. First Battra hates Mothra, but eventually the two team up to attack Godzilla. This results in the death of Battra, who hasn’t been back unless you count Godzilla Island episodes. Adult Battra has a length of 73 meters and weights 30,000 tons, with a wingspan of 180 meters and can fly at Mach 3. Battra is the Black Mothra.
Yuzo Tsuchiashi (Akiji Kobayashi) – A grey-haired guy in G-Force who is some of these Heisei films yet he wasn’t featured in a Roll Call because these Heisei films have like 90,000 characters. He went back in time in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and helps plan defenses against Godzilla in multiple films. He is a friend of Environmental Planning Board Chief Jyoji Minamino. Actor Akiji Kobayashi is famous for the Kamen Rider X series, and also cameos in Gamera 2: Assault of the Legion.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 15, 2009 at 2:26 pm

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Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (Review)

Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

aka Gojira tai Mosura tai Mekagojira: Tokyo S.O.S.

2003

Starring
Noboru Kaneko as Yoshito Chujo
Miho Yoshioka as Pilot Azusa Kisaragi
Mitsuki Koga as Mechagodzilla Pilot Kyosuke Akiba
Hiroshi Koizumi as Dr. Shinichi Chujo
Akira Nakao as Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi
Koichi Ueda as General Dobashi
Koh Takasugi as Colonel Togashi
Masami Nagasawa as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Chihiro Otsuka as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Directed by Masaaki Tezuka

March of Godzilla 2 soldiers on with the sequel to Godzilla X Mechagodzilla, Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.! This time, Mothra has been thrown into the mix, main characters have been ceremoniously and unceremoniously dumped, while suddenly the movie goes all sanctity of life on us. It comes out of left field, but before we know it we’re getting pelted from every direction. If we can ignore the message, underneath it all we have a pretty entertaining Godzilla film, much better than its predecessor. In addition to Mothra making a reappearance, we also get a reappearance from Hiroshi Koizumi! He reprises his role of Dr. Shinichi Chujo that he did in the original Mothra back in 1961. Having met Mr. Koizumi about two years ago, I remember he said he was happy that he could reprise an older role, and was proud of his appearances in Godzilla films. The best part is this follows the continuity of this film series, for in this reality Godzilla never attacked Japan again after 1954 until he reappeared in 1998. However, monsters such as Mothra and the Gargantuas plagued Japan, so they created Special Forces to deal with them. Thus the Mothra movie happened, and so did Dr. Shinichi Chujo. Hiroshi Koizumi has been seen here numerous times: Godzilla vs. Mothra, Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster, and Gigantis, the Fire Monster.

This is the second to last Millennium Series Godzilla film, and currently the second to last Godzilla film, period. Rumors abound a low-budget IMAX Godzilla film might happen, but officially Toho has shut down Godzilla for the time being, to renew interest. Until that day, we have to make due with what already exists, a huge library of films, and many TV appearances (some of which we are hard at work tracking down.) Such a horrible predicament!

As stated before, this is a direct sequel to the previous year’s Godzilla X Mechagodzilla, making it the second direct sequel to a Mechagodzilla film (third if you count the fact that the second original Mechagodzilla movie was part of a continuous series of films.) Needless to say, Mechagodzilla must have a good agent who is meticulous with the sequel clause. It always does him good. Mechagodzilla is again built by humans to fight Godzilla in the previous film, and is being repaired after major damage suffered in the fight. He has a few new tricks, and loses an old one due to funding cuts. Funding cuts, the essence of action films! This is also the only Godzilla movie I remember that makes a big deal about rebuilding efforts being stalled, as much of Tokyo where they fought before is still in ruins. The rest of the city is fine, and ripe to be destroyed in the next battle. Who will emerge victorious? Will Godzilla be stopped? Why do the Shobijin dislike Mechagodzilla? Will some dumb girl carry a plant around like a baby? Will the female lead be a depressed ice queen? Will the lame spirituality subplot tank the film? These questions and more can be answered in Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.!
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 9, 2007 at 10:07 pm

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Godzilla vs. Mothra (Review)

Godzilla vs. Mothra

aka Godzilla vs. the Thing aka Mosura tai Gojira

1964

Starring
Akira Takarada as News Reporter Ichiro Sakai
Yuriko Hoshi as News Photographer Junko ‘Yoka’ Nakanishi
Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Miura
Yu Fujiki as Reporter Jiro Nakamura (with egg and frying pan)
Emi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yumi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yoshifumi Tajima as Kumayama
Kenji Sahara as Banzo Torahata

Super Scary Saturday is in the HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUSE! Not House, MD, your house! Our house! It’s a very very very fine house, with two cats in the yard… Seriously, it’s time once again for a Godzilla movie, as March of Godzilla heads to the penultimate recap, and it’s a Super Scary Saturday version once again, as Grandpa Munster is there to guide us through! This time Godzilla is fighting Mothra in a battle that is battle-ish. Or something. This is pre-good guy Godzilla. Godzilla is still bad, still stomping the people for a pastime. In this version, they ramp up his lizardness, redesigning his head to make him more lizard-looking and more sinister-looking. Mothra makes her first appearance since her own movie, and the Twin Shobijin fairies played by the Peanuts are along for the ride. This is the American dub, complete with a scene filmed only for the US version.



Super! Scary! Saturday! It’s Super Scary Saturday, in case you missed the dozen other times I mentioned it and the big pictures. Grandpa Munster opens singing Zippity do dah! before beginning the standard “It’s me, Grandpa!” Grandpa walks in, with a baseball glove in hand, suddenly stops in his tracks! He says “What is this?” All of his friends are lounging around sleeping and being lazy. Slim the Skeleton is lying down flat on his back. Grandpa tells him to “shake a leg” and he does.

Next up, Grandpa asks mannequin Deadra if she’s going to spend all day filing her nails, which are ten penny nails which she is filing down with a metal file. Explaining this pun takes all the life out of it. Grandpa skips over Fang, who’s also sleeping but just woke up, to see Igor the bat asleep on his bed. Grandpa says Igor was more fun during the Black Plague! “Actually, the Black Plague was a lot of laughs…” Finally, Grandpa says the group needs to “shape up or ship out!” Grandpa will introduce….Grandpa-cise! What’s Grandpa-cise? We’ll find out in the next host segment. Until then, it’s time for the main show…Godzilla vs. Mothra!!!


We open in a storm, like so many Godzilla films. Well, at least Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. Instead of wrecking a boat, we gets lots of shots of model sets being blown over. It’s like Hurricane Katrina, Japanese Model Version! Look out, Newu Oreansu! Actually, it’s Hurricane Abe, as the dialogue will tell us later. Areas of Japan are ruined, and Reporter Ichiro Sakai and his rookie photographer Junko Nakanishi arrive to survey the scene. Ichiro Sakai is played by Godzilla favorite Akira Takarada, who starred both in the first Gojira all the way to the last one (but not all of them in between.) Photographer Junko Nakanishi is played by actress Yuriko Hoshi, who will be playing almost the same role in the next film Ghidrah, except as a stronger woman character. She doesn’t return to the world of Big G until 2000’s Godzilla X Megaguirus. Her character has the nickname Yoka, so that’s what we’ll be calling her in the synopsis. Reporter Sakai has made some enemies, most notably the loudmouth mayor of the coastal city that was trashed by the hurricane. He boasts that their development project will be on schedule despite what Sakai wrote, thanks to their industrial-strength water pumps. Mr. Loudmouth Mayor fails to reveal how much these things cost, or why he’s wasting money on that instead of providing aid relief. I’d like to think that in the US he’d get run out on a rail, but we still have 99% of the Katrina idiots in charge, so we’d probably give him a medal as people starve.



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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 28, 2006 at 3:26 am

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Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster (Review)

Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster

aka San daikaiju: Chikyu saidai no kessen

1964

Starring
Yosuke Natsuki as Detective Shindo
Yuriko Hoshi as Naoko Shindo
Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Miura
Akiko Wakabayashi as Mas Selina Salno, Princess of Sergina
Emi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Yumi Ito as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Takashi Shimura as Dr. Tsukamoto
Akihiko Hirata as Chief Detective Okita
Hisaya Ito as Malmess, Chief Assassin
Ikio Sawamura as Honest Fisherman
Kenji Sahara as Editor in Chief Kanamaki
Directed by Ishiro Honda

It’s a Special Edition of Ghidrah – The Three-headed Monster! From the depths of the 1980’s comes a flash from the past, TBS Superstation’s Super Scary Saturday! Yes! Back when TBS would show monster movies every Saturday morning, hosted by none other than Grandpa Al Lewis, from The Munsters! Several select movies from the Godzilla series still survive with the Grandpa Al Lewis hosting on VHS tapes of mine. As they were part of the experience when I saw some of these for the first time as a tyke, I am including them in the recaps for March of Godzilla so you, too, can join in the experience. This is the first one of the series to be on TarsTarkas.NET, so it will get the most introduction.


The actual film is Ghidrah – The Three-headed Monster, a classic in the Godzilla series. This film introduced the most notable monster villain in the history of the G-series. It also features the first monster team-up against a greater monster force, as well as Rodan and Godzilla’s first meeting, and the introduction to the theme Godzilla saving Earth from greater threats. Mothra, Rodan, and Godzilla were Toho’s big three, and this star-powered film set a large standard for films that later entries in the series couldn’t match. Films directly following this one still came off great, but by the Showa-series’ later years, the Godzilla formula had gotten pretty stale. In keeping with theme, we’ll call those the “Jet Jaguar years.”


The Super Scary Saturday Logo Commercial plays, with graphics of various monsters, aliens, and ugly people flying by as the words “Super”, “Scary”, and “Saturday” float by in red. Finally, after a buzz by the 1950’s War of the Worlds‘s Martian craft, we get a scream, followed by the conclusion “Super Scary Saturday” graphic, as the TBS theme plays. This jumps us right into Grandpa, who opens with his line “It’s me, Grandpa!” which he seemed to say every week. This week, it’s light on the skits, as Grandpa digs through dusty old film reels, searching for this week’s film. We get some lame jokes on the caliber of “Heaven Can Wait. Believe me, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait, it can wait!” We get to our film, promised as “One of the monstrous tag team battles of all time!” and “This creature is living proof three heads are better than one!” Grandpa rattles off all the monsters that will soon be stomping across the screen, then remarks “If I had a dollar for every monster in this film, I’d have more money than Transylvania T&T!”

I love Grandpa.

Grandpa sits in his movie set, the one next to him always empty (only two seats) because it’s the seat for you, the viewer at home. “Roll it, Igor!” he shouts, to the often unseen Igor (I can’t remember if he ever shows up, but I have some more of these on tape, so maybe he does pop in on one.) and the movie begins…


Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 7, 2006 at 11:57 pm

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