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Recently in kaijuu / monster Category


Dai-Nipponjin [Dai Nippon Jin]

大日本人

Genre: Traditional Kaijuu Deconstruction
Director: Matsumoto Hitoshi (2007)

review in one breath

Masaru Daisato is a 4th generation Japanese superhero. His father, Grand Father and Great-Grand Father before him had protected the Japanese Islands from ultimate destruction at the hands of various monsters (kaijuu) rising from both land and sea. Unlike his ancestors, however, who were nationally heralded as beloved heroes and were often invited into the Imperial Palace, Masaru's personal life is in shambles. He is divorced, has little income, and in the eyes of many contemporary Japanese is far less spectacular than the historical hype suggests. The film Dai-Nipponjin is a documentary following Masaru's mundane daily life and superhero responsibilities in an effort to understand the man behind the legend.



The Great Yokai War
[Youkai Dai Sensou]

妖怪大戦争

Genre: Traditional Monster Explosion

review in one breath

After being singled out at a local Shinto festival, Young Tadashi finds himself in the middle of an epic battle between traditional youkai and the forces of Evil. This is a rather amazing tale utilizing nearly every traditional youkai known. Directed by Miike Takashi and tapping Mizuki Shigeru for creative design, this is a veritable smorgasbord of fun and nostalgia.



Blood Reign - Curse of the Yoma
[Yôma / Youma]

妖魔

Genre: Sengoku Era Ninja Versus Monsters Anime

review in one breath

When a childhood friend suddenly disappears following inexplicable circumstances, Hikage sets out to solve the mystery. Along the way he encounters zombies, Shinto Gods, formidable warriors, a couple hot babes, and one VERY Bad Dude! This is an old-school anime with a good traditional Japanese nature/monster theme where Good must fight Evil while the fate of the entire cosmos hangs in the balance!



Kibakichi
[Bakko Yokaiden Kibakichi]

跋扈妖怪伝 牙吉

Genre: Traditional Schlock-Gore Monster Horror

Version reviewed: Region 1 subtitled DVD

review in one breath

When the formidable samurai Kibakichi makes his way to the desolate mountaintop village of Onizo, the haunting secrets of both Kibakichi and the strange villagers are soon revealed. Will Kibakichi maintain his lone-wolf ways or will he reveal all to help the villagers battle an even greater evil? Thoroughly enmeshed in traditional Japanese notions of obakemono and their relations with humanity, this is a fun and (very) slightly educational movie.



Kibakichi 2
[Bakko Yokaiden Kibakichi 2]

跋扈妖怪伝 牙吉 第二部

Genre: Traditionally-based Monster Love Story

review in one breath

Well, our monstrous samurai Kibakichi is back, kicking butt and generally scaring the sushi out of everyone; Everyone, that is, except the beautiful blind girl Omatsu, whose friendship and concern soon has Kibakichi rethinking his obakemono ways. BUT hot on his (wolf) tale is the vengeance-seeking Anju and her head-over-heels admirer Sakuramaru, the most violent and frightfully skilled swordsman of the region. And then finally, the REALLY bad guys enter the picture.



Godzilla Final Wars

ゴジラ FINAL WARS

Genre: Climactic Kaijuu Extravaganza

review in one breath

This film deliberately marks the 50th anniversary of Godzilla and therefore goes all out regarding CG effects and top-notch contemporary talent. And at the helm of this project is none other than the contemporary maestro of cinematic "duels", Kitamura Ryuhei. This is an EXEMPLAR of the kaijuu genre and is an excellent gold anniversary tribute to Godzilla.



Dogora
[Uchu Dai Kaijuu Dogora]

宇宙大怪獣:ドゴラ

Genre: Human Technology versus Huge Jellyfish from Space!

review in one breath

Police investigating a spate of diamond thefts soon discover a strange relation between the thefts and the reported disappearance of several satellites. By the time the scientists and military are called in it appears to be too late, as a huge radioactive organism from space methodically consumes the earth's carbon for energy. Can Japan's leading scientific mind grasp the situation and formulate a remedy before all of humanity is consumed by the JellyFish from Outer Space?!?



Daikaijuu Baran
[aka Varan the Unbelievable]

大怪獣バラン

Genre: Kaijuu Monster Movie

review in one breath

In pursuit of a rare butterfly species, researchers encounter an enormous monster worshipped by local villagers in the remote mountains of Tohoku. But venturing too close in the name of science proves fatal and soon the military is involved in an attempt to ensure Tokyo remains safe. Directed by Honda Ishirô, the father of the Godzilla films, this is an early classic kaijuu tale pitting monstrous forces of nature against human technology and ingenuity.



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