Thursday, January 18, 2018

Yosuke Natsuki, Star of the Godzilla Series, Passes Away at 81

Actor Yosuke Natsuki in his office in September 2014. Photo by Brett Homenick.

The Japanese media is reporting that former Toho actor Yosuke Natsuki passed away on January 14 of renal cell carcinoma. He was 81.

Mr. Natsuki starred in three of Toho's monster movies: Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Dogora the Space Monster (1964), and Godzilla 1985 (1984). He also appears in Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961). 

I'll always miss his kindness and rebellious spirit. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Large and in Charge in Roppongi

Just a quick post to show you who now reigns over Roppongi. I'd imagine things are a lot more peaceful there now.

Attending a Special Yoko Takahashi Event

Actress Yoko Takahashi. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Sunday, January 14, I attended a special event with actress Yoko Takahashi. I've blogged about Takahashi-san in the past. She's an actress whose best known credits are the Academy Award-nominated Sandakan 8 (1974) and Kon Ichikawa's The Devil's Ballad (1977). 

It had been about a year since I last met Takahashi-san, so it was great to see her again. She's an extremely friendly actress, and each time I see her is a lot of fun.

ULTRAMAN LEO IS BACK! Ryu Manatsu Returns to Fight Monsters!

Actor Ryu Manatsu. Photo by Brett Homenick.

On January 16, I was happy to meet actor Ryu Manatsu for the first time. Manatsu-san played Gen Otori, Ultraman Leo's human alter ego, on Ultraman Leo (1974-75).

It was a fun meeting for sure, and I hope there will be another one in the near future!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

GODZILLA X KADOKAWA BUNKO! Just When You Thought You Had Seen Everything...

While in a Japanese bookstore today, I noticed another Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters collaboration that I had missed in real time. This time, Godzilla teamed up with Kadokawa Bunko for "Kadofest Saikyo Kettei-sen 2017." In any case, it sure looks more interesting than the actual movie.

SCI-FI FILM HISTORY IN POSTERS! Godzilla and Other Kaiju Hang Around Tokyo's National Film Center!

Today, I stopped by the National Film Center, situated right next to Kyobashi Station, to take in the exhibit called "Film History in Posters Part 3: Science Fiction and Monster Films." The first part of the exhibit focuses on international sci-fi films, such as Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, John Carpenter's The Thing, StalkerVideodrome, among many others. Of particular note was a vintage Star Wars poster that had been signed by a large number of the cast and crew of the original film.

The other half of the exhibit focused on domestic sci-fi films. On display were two enormous posters for Mothra (1961) and King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), which I'd never seen before, and were full of interesting details. There was also a large poster for Battle in Outer Space (1959) that, while not quite as huge as the two others, was just as mouthwatering. It was great to see Blue Christmas (1978) and the little-known Frankie the Spaceman (1957) represented among the more famous kaiju titles. Even War of the Insects (1968) got its due here. Suffice it to say, I was quite impressed with the variety of the exhibit.

"Film History in Posters Part 3: Science Fiction and Monster Films" runs until March 25, so if you have a chance to see it for yourself, do so!

SUPER FESTIVAL 76! Even More Toys Than Before!

Super Festival 76 was held today in its usual location, the Science Museum in Chiyoda Ward. While there were a number of interesting figures on display, I was probably in and out in record time. Not much has changed since I was last there, and the things I was interested in buying (a couple of vintage card sets) were priced higher than I was willing to pay for them. Oh, well. The highlight of the afternoon was seeing Return of Ultraman (1971-72) suit actor Eiichi Kikuchi again. Otherwise, it was a rather lackluster time. Anyway, on with the photos.