Sunday, January 7, 2018

GODZILLA X KADOKAWA BUNKO! Just When You Thought You Had Seen Everything...

While in a Japanese bookstore today, I noticed another Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters collaboration that I had missed in real time. This time, Godzilla teamed up with Kadokawa Bunko for "Kadofest Saikyo Kettei-sen 2017." In any case, it sure looks more interesting than the actual movie.

SCI-FI FILM HISTORY IN POSTERS! Godzilla and Other Kaiju Hang Around Tokyo's National Film Center!

Today, I stopped by the National Film Center, situated right next to Kyobashi Station, to take in the exhibit called "Film History in Posters Part 3: Science Fiction and Monster Films." The first part of the exhibit focuses on international sci-fi films, such as Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, John Carpenter's The Thing, StalkerVideodrome, among many others. Of particular note was a vintage Star Wars poster that had been signed by a large number of the cast and crew of the original film.

The other half of the exhibit focused on domestic sci-fi films. On display were two enormous posters for Mothra (1961) and King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), which I'd never seen before, and were full of interesting details. There was also a large poster for Battle in Outer Space (1959) that, while not quite as huge as the two others, was just as mouthwatering. It was great to see Blue Christmas (1978) and the little-known Frankie the Spaceman (1957) represented among the more famous kaiju titles. Even War of the Insects (1968) got its due here. Suffice it to say, I was quite impressed with the variety of the exhibit.

"Film History in Posters Part 3: Science Fiction and Monster Films" runs until March 25, so if you have a chance to see it for yourself, do so!

SUPER FESTIVAL 76! Even More Toys Than Before!

Super Festival 76 was held today in its usual location, the Science Museum in Chiyoda Ward. While there were a number of interesting figures on display, I was probably in and out in record time. Not much has changed since I was last there, and the things I was interested in buying (a couple of vintage card sets) were priced higher than I was willing to pay for them. Oh, well. The highlight of the afternoon was seeing Return of Ultraman (1971-72) suit actor Eiichi Kikuchi again. Otherwise, it was a rather lackluster time. Anyway, on with the photos.

YASUHIKO SAIJO INTERVIEW NOW UP! Vantage Point Interviews Has the Scoop!

Yasuhiko Saijo. Photo by Brett Homenick.

I'm pleased to announce that my interview with Ultra Q (1966) star Yasuhiko Saijo (who played Ippei Togawa on the program) is now online at Vantage Point Interviews. The interview was conducted last September, and it chronicles Saijo-san's acting career at Toho, as well.

Last night, I was able to visit Saijo-san again, and despite the cold temperatures, it was a lot of fun. Check out the interview today!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

ULTRA-HEROES EXPO 2018! Ultraman Takes Tokyo Dome City!

Thanks to a very kind invitation to a couple of friends of mine, I attended the Ultra-Heroes Expo 2018 today in Tokyo Dome City. It was quite reminiscent of Ultraman Festival in Ikebukuro, though this exclusively focused on Ultraman Geed (2017), which I've never seen. I even attended the live stage show with various Ultra Brothers and assorted kaiju duking it out for the amusement of the audience. (This was actually my first time seeing such a show in Japan.) It was quite fun, but it was absolutely packed with people, which of course is never fun. Anyway, enough said. On with the photos!

Hangin' with the Ulf-Man

Yesterday, December 29, I visited Ulf Otsuki again at his home. Unlike our usual meetings, we didn't watch a movie. Instead, we had a bit of a night on the town. It was an interesting change of pace.

Seeing Ulf again was certainly a great way to close out 2017!

End-of-the-Year Meeting with Kato-san

Shigeo Kato. Photo by Brett Homenick.

I've fallen behind in blog updates in the past few days, but I'm finally ready to get up to speed. Anyway, on with the updates. On Wednesday, December 27, I returned to Kamakura to pay a visit to retired Toho actor Shigeo Kato. At the age of 92, Kato-san is still going strong, and we had a great conversation about his days at Toho as an actor.

I'm sure we'll get together again very soon in the New Year. And I'm really looking forward to it!