Post Godzilla Parody: Why Now?

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Post Godzilla Parody: Why Now?

Postby Matolen » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:53 pm

I wonder what the socio-economic times in Japan are doing to bring about these new slew of daikaiju parody pieces? Any insight as to what is going on? Why are they looking back to this genre now, and using it for laughs?

I am not criticising at all I am actually honestly curious what the current gestalt/zeitgeist is going on...
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Re: Post Godzilla Parody: Why Now?

Postby AVERY GUERRA » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:53 pm

Matolen wrote:I wonder what the socio-economic times in Japan are doing to bring about these new slew of daikaiju parody pieces? Any insight as to what is going on? Why are they looking back to this genre now, and using it for laughs?

I am not criticising at all I am actually honestly curious what the current gestalt/zeitgeist is going on...


Gee I wish I knew. I wish they would take the genre seriously again. Perhaps it's just because the box office for daikaiju films there has been in a slump for some time and they're just trying something...hell...anything new to revive them. That and the increase in cg effects seem to make the suitmation films look and feel so outdated. It's definitely a bit depressing to see our genre treated so.
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Postby Legion » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:24 pm

When a genre becomes played out it's only natural to start parodying and making fun of it. Happens in this country too. How many "___ Movie" films have we seen in the past decade?
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:24 am

Legion wrote:How many "___ Movie" films have we seen in the past decade?


Those bastards are just grasping at straws for whatever might make them a dime though - they hardly count.
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Postby MouthForWar » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:51 am

Because the genre in general is seen as a huge joke in Japan.
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Postby Reaper G » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:48 am

MouthForWar wrote:Because the genre in general is seen as a huge joke in Japan.


That's sad, considering how revered Eiji Tsuburaya was in his day, and confusing, since Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and the Sentai remain popular.
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Postby armandv » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:08 am

MouthForWar wrote:Because the genre in general is seen as a huge joke in Japan.


I disagree. It may seem so to some of us but I've talked to many Japanese locals and they don't see Godzilla as a "huge joke" and many of them feel the character as a source of pride.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:26 am

armandv wrote:
MouthForWar wrote:Because the genre in general is seen as a huge joke in Japan.


I disagree. It may seem so to some of us but I've talked to many Japanese locals and they don't see Godzilla as a "huge joke" and many of them feel the character as a source of pride.


A Japanese friend of mine doesn't really know anything about Godzilla, uh, at all, but she does say she feels proud he has such far-reaching fans.
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Postby Benjamin Haines » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:17 pm

Let's break this down:

Shinpei Hayashiya is a die-hard kaiju enthusiast. He made his own fan film called "Godzilla vs. Seadora" and followed that up with "Gamera 4: Truth," which drew some support from Daiei/Kadokawa. After that, he worked on his first studio-financed kaiju film with Reigo, an apparently "serious" take on the genre (I'm judging by the trailers and such that I've seen, but I haven't seen the film yet so I may be wrong). Now he's moved on to Raiga, and for a change of pace from his previous work it seems to be a more satirical take on kaiju eiga.

Jun Miura helmed the made-for-TV short Long-Haired Giant Monster: Gehara for the NHK network. Based on the fact that the poster design is a throwback to the Showa era in every way, I think it's a safe bet that Miura is a fan of the genre.

And of course, Minoru Kawasaki, another longtime kaiju fan, recently offered his own spin on the genre with Guilala Strikes Back. Considering that this is the guy who made The Calamari Wrestler and the superhero who is able to grow giant by drinking a refreshing beer, the fact that his kaiju film was done as a parody makes sense.


I don't think this is a matter of kaiju eiga being universally seen as a joke in Japan. I also wouldn't say that kaiju being parodied or satirized is a widely accepted trend in Japan, because to my knowledge, Guilala Strikes Back was just as much of a box office dud as the "straightforward" Gamera the Brave. I think the Japanese public in general just aren't biting for giant monster flicks right now, so a few fans like Kawasaki, Miura and Hayashiya are getting creative and doing what they can to try and keep the genre alive.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:16 pm

Right now the most straight-forward kaiju stuff has been from Tsuburaya and they're actually doing pretty well seeing how Ultra Galaxy got two (and a half) series and The Super 8 Ultra Brothers was the highest grossing Ultraman film of all time.

Such a pity Ultra Galaxy has such low production values (fun as it is) and the past two Ultraman films have simply been "event films," as it were (though Super 8 still blew my mind).
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Postby mekakong » Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:25 am

Reaper G wrote:That's sad, considering how revered Eiji Tsuburaya was in his day, and confusing, since Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and the Sentai remain popular.


Unfortunately it seems they're only really still popular to 3-4 year old boys and existing fans of the genre-like us. I feel its mostly because of marketing. Bandai, etc. want to sell toys so all the shows are geared to small children and they even go so far as having the characters using the "toys" instead of a more detailed prop during each episode. This probably affects all peoples' opinion of the Kaiju genre in general.
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Re: Post Godzilla Parody: Why Now?

Postby godziwolf » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:18 am

Matolen wrote:I wonder what the socio-economic times in Japan are doing to bring about these new slew of daikaiju parody pieces? Any insight as to what is going on? Why are they looking back to this genre now, and using it for laughs?

I am not criticising at all I am actually honestly curious what the current gestalt/zeitgeist is going on...


Genres go through cycles like this.

The first wave is the films that establish the genre. This is followed by the golden era -- the peak period where the films are hugely popular and most of the best material gets made. Then follows a period of increasing ridiculousness -- either comedy or more exploitation-style. Then comes a wave of parody -- as the genre becomes increasing seen as passe, it gets hard to make straight films.

This happened to westerns in the US and Italy, and to chambara films in Japan. It appears its happening to daikaiju films in Japan. Fortunately, as in Italy having a western renaissance as it was dying in America, it looks like the US is slowly getting back into a monster cycle.
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