12.13.2014: Godzilla News Roundtable

Photoshopped (clearly) image of Godzilla attacking Tokyo.

Discussing and speculating on Toho’s future plans for Godzilla. Disclaimer: This image was photoshopped and is absolutely not official.

This week has been a big one for Godzilla fans. Toho’s new Godzilla plans for a new film, the Godzilla head on top of the Shinjuku Hotel Gracery, the Guiness Book of World Records announcement and Bandai Namco’s plans for a domestic release of their Japanese Godzilla game for the Playstation 3 (and PS4). In the last episode, August Ragone shared some insight into this news blitz and made some predictions, but Jeff, Bryan and Rachel joined Kyle for a roundtable discussion of this news. Additionally, Bryan brought over his Playstation 3 so that we could all check out the new Japanese demo.

Some devastatingly terrible news was released as well. Koichi Kawakita, Toho’s special effects director from 1989 – 1997 and the founder of Dream Planet Inc. passed away on December 5th. At the end of this episode, we discuss his incredible legacy and his impact on our love for the Godzilla films. If you are unfamiliar with Kawakita, please listen to the interview from G-Fest XXI.


1. Godzilla and the Polluted Ocean by Riichiro Manabe from Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster (1971)
2. Godzilla 2000 US Trailer Audio
3. Mothra Metal by Isao from Mothra Song The Best (1998)
4. Godzilla The Game (2015) Trailer Audio
5. Super X Theme by Reijiiro Koroku from Godzilla Returns (1984)
6. Requiem by Akira Ifukube from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

August Ragone’s New Godzilla Coverage
Hollywood Reporter’s Coverage of New Godzilla
Godzilla The Game Official Facebook Page
Koichi Kawakita Passes Away

We did not talk about this during the episode, but the 4th annual Kaijucast Emergency Broadcast date is set for January 11th! More information will be posted as it becomes available, but mark your calendars, anticipate awesome live guests and get ready for your chances to win some really fantastic prize packs!

KOICHI KAWAKITA TRIBUTE: (This is the same piece I wrote for the episode)

Rest In Peace Koichi Kawakita

Koichi Kawakita (1942 – 2014) was hired by Toho in 1962 where he worked with Eiji Tsuburaya in the composite department. In 1989, he took over for Toho Special Effects Director Teruyoshi Nakano and helmed the special effects for Gunhed (1989), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1993), Yamato Takeru (1994), Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla (1994), Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), Rebirth of Mothra (1996) and Rebirth of Mothra II (1996). While the merit of the movies as a whole could be debated by the critics and fans, Kawakita’s effects direction was nothing short innovative and inspired. He loved the movie business and it was quite obvious that he loved what he was doing. Kawakita wasn’t content to let traditional tokusatsu disappear with the advent of CGI. Even after leaving Toho, he continued to work with special effects, adopting techniques to be used and taught to a new generation of tokusatsu fans at the Osaka University of Arts. His company Dream Planet gave him more opportunities to work with other productions and to expand his interests. In 2010, Kawakita launched his own line of Godzilla collectibles in an effort to keep the King of the Monsters alive in the heart of Japan. This year, he helped spearhead the Big Godzilla Special Effects Exhibition in Japan and visited the United States for both G-Fest XXI and a special Tokusatsu event in Los Angeles. I am absolutely grateful that I was able to meet to the man who I still hold in such high regard. His death came completely out of nowhere and as such, I am still reeling from this news.

The heisei series means so much to me, and it was seeing those effects that hooked me into the kaiju genre. I’m going to use this time to celebrate the man who breathed life back into a genre that the rest of the world had forgotten about. Please join me in raising a glass in honor of a man who changed the way I look at life.

Sayonara, Kawakita-san.