Wednesday, August 8, 2018

With Two Toho Greats!

With Teruyoshi Nakano.

On Sunday, August 5, I attended another nice event with the one and only Teruyoshi Nakano, along with Toho SFX technician Takashi Naganuma.

It was another great time (aren't they all?), and I look forward to doing it all over again.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


That's not quite how I remember MOGERA, Mechagodzilla, and Jet Jaguar. Photo by Brett Homenick.

One of the highlights of Wonder Festival was spotting this trio of cosplaying ladies dressed up as three of Toho's best known mechanical monsters: MOGERA (from Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla), Mechagodzilla (from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla), and Jet Jaguar (from Godzilla vs. Megalon ... Don't even think about calling her Jet "Jeager"!). This is one instance where a picture's worth a thousand words (and then some), so without further ado, here they are.

WONDER FESTIVAL 2018! More Photos from the Event!

The Godzilla Store at Wonder Festival. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Below are a few more shots from Wonder Festival 2018. I was pleased to see animator/designer Minoru Kujirai at the show. I hadn't seen him in more than two years. My only purchase was the new Hideyo Amamoto photo book available through the Godzilla Store. Would you believe I still haven't opened it yet? Anyway, let's get on to the photos. 

WONDER FESTIVAL 2018! The Summer's Hottest Event!

Just a fraction of the crowd attending Wonder Festival. Photo by Brett Homenick.

A full six and a half years after attending my first one, I finally paid a second visit to Wonder Festival. What took me so long? Mostly, it was timing. Usually, there'd be a more enticing (and closer) event or get-together taking place the same day. This was the first time in years where that wasn't the case. So I endured the scorching heat (and lengthy train ride) to attend. 

Wonder Festival takes place twice a year (winter and summer) in the massive Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba City. The event takes up several convention halls (the photo above is of just one of them), and if you don't have a handle on where the specific booths you want to visit are located, good luck finding them. Anyway, enough blabber. Here are my first set of photos.

WHEN ULTRA-AUTHORS COLLIDE! A Special Talk Event on Tsuburaya Productions!

Shigemitsu Taguchi (left) remembers his Tsuburaya days with Masahiko Shiraishi. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

On Friday, July 27, I attended a special Q&A event in Jimbocho with former Tsuburaya Productions writer Shigemitsu Taguchi and Godzilla series SFX veteran Masahiko Shiraishi, both of whom have recently written Tsuburaya-related tomes.

Masahiko Shiraishi. Photo by Brett Homenick. 

Masahiko Shiraishi is an author and researcher who has written meticulously researched histories about Tsuburaya Pro's early Ultra-series. Shiraishi-san is no stranger to tokusatsu, as he worked under SFX director Koichi Kawakita on the Heisei Godzilla series.

Shigemitsu Taguchi. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Shigemitsu Taguchi is best known for writing episodes of Return of Ultraman (1971-72), Mirrorman (1971-72), Ultraman Ace (1972-73), Jumborg Ace (1973), Ultraman Taro (1973-74), and Ultraman Leo (1974-75).

Sunday, July 22, 2018

SPOOKS ON THE LOOSE! Attending a Scary Dramatic Reading!

With Masanori Machida.

Earlier today, I attended another dramatic reading in which Masanori Machida participated. Given that the Obon holiday is fast approaching, the theme of the day was scary stories with an emphasis on ghosts. The lights were dimmed, and the stories were appropriately scary. It's a little unusual for Westerners to experience such a Halloween-like atmosphere in July, but hey, I like it!

Naturally, Machida-san and the other performers were very nice. I had a great time chatting with them after the show. It certainly made enduring the blistering heat worth it!

Animating Toho's War Movies!

Sadao Iizuka. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today, I attended another presentation by Toho optical effects pioneer Sadao Iizuka. This time, the focus was on some of Iizuka-san's contributions to Toho's war movies of the 1950s and '60s. 

As usual, it was a fascinating event. Iizuka-san was his usual friendly self. I always look forward to these events.