04.05.2018: Conversing with Keita Amemiya

Kyle speaks with the visionary artist and director from Japan, Keita Amemiya!

Let’s get this out of the way now: if you are unfamiliar with Keita Amemiya’s film and television archives, make sure you listen to our first episode covering his work (episode #229). In that episode, we primarily cover Moon Over Tao (1997) and the tv mini-series from the year 2000, Tekkouki Mikazuki (but only just touched on Mirai Ninja, the Zeiram series, Mechanical Violator Hakkaider and Garo).

I would also suggest listening to the cross-over episode I recorded with Kyle and Matt from the Kaiju Transmissions Podcast in their latest episode. It was a ton of fun and I would absolutely consider it part of the same essential listening as the our own look at this visionary’s work.

But back to this interview, I was thrilled when I discovered that Keita Amemiya was going to be a guest at Monsterpalooza’s spring show in 2017. I’ve been a fan since I saw the original film back in college and it wasn’t until I moved to Portland that I discovered more of his films and eventually television series – many of them are available in English and liked to below.

Please do seek out his work!

1. Z-WALK #1 by Koichi Ohta from Zeiram (1991)
2. ENDING THEME (94EDIT) by Koichi Ohta from Zeiram 2 (1994)

Links to Keita Amemiya’s films via Amazon (all linked to should have English language options)
Cyber Ninja / Mirai Ninja (1988)
Zeiram (1991)
Zeiram 2 (1994)
Mechanical Violator Hakkaider (1995)
Moon Over Tao: Makaraga (1997)
Tekkouki Mikazuki (2000 – TV miniseries)
Garo (2005 – TV series)

Keita Amemiya on Twitter
Keita Amemiya on Instagram

CROWD (Keita Amemiya’s company)

And if you really want to go the extra mile in your Amemiya exposure, suit actor Mizuho Yoshida (suit actor for Zeiram, Mikazuki and Godzilla from GMK) hand worked with Amemiya on many films… And he has been on the podcast a couple of times (episode 193 and episode 199).

4/12 – Don’t miss our listener party Friday night of MONSTERPALOOZA if you’re planning on being there!

Don’t forget that our Daikaiju Re-Discussion for Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1997) is happening later this month. If you’d like to send in your thoughts, questions and reviews, please do so before April 25th.

03.31.2018: Pacific Rim Uprising Daikaiju Discussion

Gretchen, Dave, Kyle & Martin cancel a second apocalypse in this daikaiju discussion for Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)

Are you “War Ready”? I think we might be!

Welcome to another installment of our daikaiju discussions, in which we review one film from the giant monster landscape. This month, we are discussing the newest of new in giant robots vs giant monsters vs giant robots cinema: Pacific Rim Uprising (2018). I was joined by Gretchen, Dave and Martin for a chat after seeing the film play out on the big screen. Don’t forget, kids: Pacific Rim Uprising should be playing on a screen near you.

Please be warned, this is a SPOILER INCLUSIVE episode – that’s why you’ll hear the alert during the episode. If you have any desire to see this film, don’t listen to this until after you’ve seen the moviethanks!

We’re keeping this one singularly devoted to the new film, so we’ll be putting a news episode together very soon!

1. Nerdist’s Pacific Rim Uprising 1975 audio
2. Pacific Rim Uprising, A Look Inside — promo video 
3. Rise of the Jaegers by Lorne Balfe from Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)
4.  Go Big Or Go Extinct (Patrick Stump Remix) by Ramin Djawadi from Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)

Nerdist’s PACIFIC RIM 1975 Tokusatsu tribute
Deleted Scenes via MTV
Tokyo Comic Con Reel
Pacific Rim Upsiring: A Look Inside
A New Beginning Featurette
Did John Boyega diss Godzilla? No, but if you want to see for yourself, go here.

Next month, we’re heading back to the list of re-discussion films with 1996’s Gamera 2: Advent of Legion. We originally watched this film back in November of 2011, episode 23 of the podcast (back when we would have the discussion as just a segment of any given episode!!). Anyway, we’ll be watching the Mill Creek Entertainment blu-ray release which is available through Amazon. If you’d like to be included in the discussion episode, make sure to submit your thoughts questions and reviews before April 25th!

03.25.2018: Keita Amemiya’s Moon Over Tao & Tekkouki Mikazuki

Gretchen, Kyle & Clancy took a look at two particular works of a Kaijucast favorite, Japanese artist & director Keita Amemiya.

If you re unfamiliar with the creator of this episode’s subject matter, Keita Amemiya is an artist in Japan. He is quite prolific as a film and television director and producer. And while Amemiya has never produced any Godzilla movies, two of his works do feature some rather strange beasts and large monsters….so that’s what we are covering in this episode.

In 1997, Keita Amemiya directed Moon Over Tao (aka Tao no Tsuki). This film is a mashup of samurai adventure, Japanese fantasy and science fiction genres and while it’s not very widely known in the kaiju fandom, Moon Over Tao was imported legitimately by Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock  back in 2001 and is still available on DVD with both Japanese and English language options. The film features a gloriously imaginative beast, the Makaraga, as the film’s big bad guy, in addition to a trio of very Ultra-seijin style alien gals played by Zeiram’s own Iria, Yuko Moriyama. Check the show notes below for a link to that DVD on Amazon because it is definitely worth your time and dollars.

In 2000, Amemiya produced a six-episode television series for Fuji TV called Tekkouki Mikazuki about a young boy who discovers that he has a connection to a gigantic robot called Mikazuki. The series, also helmed by Amemiya, features just about every Tokusatsu element imaginable: kaiju, mecha, sentai, miniatures, science patrol – it has to be seen to be believed. I had always hoped that Media Blasters / Tokyo Shock  would have imported this to the United States. It would have made sense since they did just that with four other Amemiya pieces: Zeiram, Zeiram 2, Mechanical Violator Hakkaider and Moon Over Tao… unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. Since there’s been no stateside release, your best bet for watching Tokkouki Mikazuki is to check out the fan-subtitled copies that were uploaded to Youtube (link below).

Hopefully someone will deem these two entries in Keita Amemiya’s filmography worthy of a blu ray release – both here in the states and in Japan! We also really hope that our enthusiasm for these titles will encourage you to seek out these entries in Keita Amemiya.

1. Main title by Koichi Ota from Moon Over Tao (1997)
2. Crescent Moon by Dokken from Tekkouki Mikazuki (2000)
3. Black Moon Symphony from Tekkouki Mikazuki (2000)

Moon Over Tao on DVD
Tokyo Shock’s “Keita Amemiya Collection”
The entire 6 episode run of Tekkouki Mikazuki on Youtube
Something I forgot to mention in the episode:
Tekkouki Mikazuki “Trial Edition” videogame footage

There are only a few more days to submit your thoughts questions and reviews for Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) – make sure to turn in your homework by March 27th to be included in the episode!


03.14.2018: Expanding The Legendary Monsterverse

Jeff, Gretchen and Kyle take a closer look at the beasts so far in Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse!

Hey, will you look at that? It’s another live Kaijucast panel episode!

For this installment of the podcast, we’re reaching back into the archived recordings and to last year’s Expanding the Legendary MonsterVerse presentation at Rose City Comic Con. Jeff and Gretchen joined me on stage to discuss the monsters and mayhem in the films so far. For those who are counting, that really only includes Godzilla (2014) and Kong Skull Island (2017). However, as with many examples of modern storytelling, this lore is taking place across several platforms. In addition to the movies, there are comic books / graphic novels where more can be told and shown to the enthusiastic reader – titles like Godzilla Awakening and Skull Island: The Birth of Kong exist to dive deeper than just watching the films. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that video games haven’t been part of the platform…maybe previous encounters haven’t gone so well?

Thanks to everyone who came out to see this panel – we’ll definitely be submitting some more programming to the 2018, so if there’s anything YOU’D like to see us talk about for this year’s convention, let us know!

1. Project Monarch by Henry Jackman from Kong Skull Island (2017)
2. Back To the Ocean by Alexandre Desplat from Godzilla (2014)

Yo, peoples! Don’t forget to head to the theater starting on the 23rd of this month to go see PACIFIC RIM UPRISING! And as long as you’re doing that, why not send in your homework for our discussion on this upcoming film? Make sure to send in your thoughts, questions and reviews before March 27th to be included in the episode!

02.28.2018: Godzilla Planet of the Monsters Daikaiju Discussion

Time travel with the Kaijucast 22,0o years into the future to discuss Godzilla Monster Planet (2017).

Can you believe another brand new Japanese Godzilla film is upon us?? Also can you believe that Clancy was the only soul brave enough to come over and watch the movie for the discussion? The movie’s name is Godzilla Planet of the Monsters and it’s the first official Godzilla anime – in a trilogy of course. Also, I was going to be all indignant about using “Planet of the Monsters” (which is the official English Title) instead of “Monster Planet” (which is clearly the winner of the awesome movie title contest) but it looks like I’m in the minority! Fine, I’ll concede but I’m not re-recording this episode!

I really wanted to do something a little different for this Daikaiju Discussion — sort of a half-baked version of what I want these discussions to become. That includes a little less conversation and a little more in-depth look at the movie and the components that make up the film.

Please let us know if you like it; that kind of feedback will definitely help shape the format. Thanks to everyone who sent in your homework – you guys rock!

Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017) on Netflix
WikiZilla’s Anime Godzilla Timeline on Youtube (highly suggested for deep divers!)
Manga Tokyo’s interview with director Hiroyuki Seshita
Godzilla Monster Planet due for Japanese Blu Ray/DVD Release on May 16th

Note: For this episode, several of these songs play at a low volume level during the episode
1. Nichei News by Michiru Oshima from Godzilla x Megaguirus (2000)
2. Subspace Flight by Takayuki Hattori from Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017)
2. A Sign by Takayuki Hattori from Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017)
3. Withdrawal Behavior by Takayuki Hattori from Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017)
4. GODZILLA by Takayuki Hattori from Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017)
5. The Beginning by Takayuki Hattori from Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017)
6. Commander by Takayuki Hattori from Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017)
7. Monster Planet by Takayuki Hattori from Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017)
8. Godzilla Planet of the Monsters (2017) English Language trailer
9. Godzilla Kaiju Wakusei (2017) Japanese Language TV Spot
10. WHITEOUT by XIA (2017)

Next month we’ll be viewing and discussing the new Legendary Pictures film, Pacific Rim Uprising (2018). The movie opens on the 23rd of March, and I know the timing is tight on this –so sorry!– please make sure to see the film as soon as you can and turn in your homework by March 27th to be included in the discussion episode.