NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS
Author: Keith Aiken
Central Park Media brings the award-winning film to North America
Additional Material: Robert Saint John
Source: Central Park Media, CoMix Wave
Official US Site: Negadon Attacks
Official Japanese Site (in English): Wakusei Daikaiju Negadon
Last October, writer/director Jun Awazu unveiled the world’s first completely computer generated kaiju movie at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Entitled NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS (Wakusei Daikaiju Negadon), the 26-minute long film is an affectionate homage to the classic Japanese monster movies of the 1950s and 60s.
The story takes place in the year 2025. The Earth’s population has swelled beyond 10 billion people, and the planet’s resources are nearly exhausted. The nations of the world have united to form the IMDO (International Mars Development Organization) to execute the Mars Terraforming Project in the hopes of making the red planet a habitable world.
Dr Ryuichi Narasaki joins the project, and builds a mecha called Miroku (MI-6) to aid in the terraforming effort. But, when his daughter Emi is killed in an accident involving the robot, and the army reveals their desire to use Miroku as a weapon, Narasaki feels his life has lost all purpose.
On its eighth trip between Mars and Earth, the spaceship Izanami has found a mysterious object in ancient ruins buried beneath the surface of Mars. The crew decides to take the object back to Earth for further study.
Narasaki’s former assistant Seiji Yoshizawa tries to convince the inventor to return to work on a second Miroku prototype to no avail. That is, until the Izanami returns to Earth, crashing into Tokyo’s 25th district and unleashing its destructive passenger from Mars…
Creator Jun Awazu was born in 1974 in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan. After studying 3D CG design at the Department of Digital Creations at the Trident School of Computing, he spent two years working as a CG designer and VFX artist. In March 2003, he started his own studio to create NEGADON. His goal was to capture the feel of the “Golden Age” of kaiju films without using elaborate miniatures or monster costumes. Production took more than two years and required the creation of a special program to reproduce the look of film from the 1950s.
Following NEGADON’s premiere at TIFF, the film was shown at a handful of festivals all over Japan. It won the Outstanding Production Award at the 20th Digital Contents Grand Prix, and the Jury Recommended Work at the 9th Japan Media Arts Festival. On December 15, it was released on Region 2 DVD.
In January 2006, Central Park Media acquired North American rights to NEGADON: MONSTER FROM MARS. Launched in 1990, New York-based CPM was one of the pioneer companies responsible for introducing a wide range of anime to America, and their catalog includes such popular titles as MD GEIST and Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES. Central Park Media is planning to release NEGADON on R1 DVD this summer, and they are currently at work on a wealth of extra features that will include material not on the Japanese disc.
As an added bonus, Central Park Media is running the “Design A Kaiju” Contest. Until March 25, fans around the world are invited to submit their own original kaiju designs to CPM. The company will pick their favorites and run them on their website this April… plus many of the designs will be included in a special gallery on the NEGADON: MONSTER FROM MARS DVD. For complete entry details please visit the contest page of Central Park Media’s NEGADON website.
If you can’t wait until this summer to see NEGADON, the US theatrical premiere will take place at Anime Syracuse in Syracuse, NY on Saturday, March 25. Full details and ticket information can be found at the Anime Syracuse website.
Be sure to check back with SciFi Japan for much more coverage of NEGADON: MONSTER FROM MARS, including some great exclusives courtesy of CoMix Wave and Central Park Media!
A MESSAGE FROM JUN AWAZU
The writer and director of NEGADON: THE MONSTER FROM MARS is thrilled by the interest his new kaiju film has received from fans in the United States and Canada. As the North American release draws near, he has written a special message to all kaiju fans in North America. The English translation is fresh from Central Park Media…
“Hey, you guys in America! What’s up?
I’m Jun Awazu, the creator of NEGADON: MONSTER FROM MARS.
Do you like Kaiju (Giant Monsters) and Robots? If you like them more than double cheeseburgers, then you’ve got to watch NEGADON. Don’t confuse NEGADON with cheap monster movies you can find in a dollar store, OK?
There are tons of Kaiju movies in Japan, but none of them match NEGADON. You know why? Because NEGADON is the one and only all CG Japanese Kaiju movie. Maybe only one in the world, too, I guess.
There is more than that. Guess what?
NEGADON is “a movie created in a garage.” Well, not actually created in a garage, but our team members, including all staff and cast, were as few as only 11 people. Me included, of course. I created most of the video by myself on my PC using 3D Studio Max and After Effects software.
Let me tell you one more thing. In the movie, I paid a lot of tributes to the grand old masterpieces like GODZILLA, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE MYSTERIANS, MOTHRA, ATRAGON, and JOHNNY SOKKO AND HIS FLYING ROBOT. If these titles turn you on, you’ve got to watch NEGADON.
NEGADON is a cool and deep Kaiju movie. It’s new but full of nostalgia. Tell you what, if you’re a hard-core Kaiju fan, sick and tired of Hollywood monster movies, then NEGADON is definitely for you!