Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) remains one of the most popular entries in the Godzilla franchise, and G-FEST XXI has chosen the occasion of the Big G's 60th anniversary to honor this beloved film with the first-ever reunion of its two leading actors in the U.S., from July 11-13 in Chicago. The two Toho stars are looking forward to signing autographs and answering G-fans' questions!
KATSUHIKO SASAKI, who starred as Akira Ichinose in Terror of Mechagodzilla, makes his first convention appearance in North America at G-FEST.
The son of actor Minoru Chiaki (Seven Samurai, Godzilla Raids Again), Mr. Sasaki also stars in Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) as inventor Goro Ibuki.
His work can be seen in numerous other Toho titles like Battle of Okinawa (1971), The Evil of Dracula (1974), The Last Days of Planet Earth (1974), Conflagration (1975), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). In recent years, Mr. Sasaki has become a prolific voice actor who has dubbed the voices of such American stars as Robert De Niro, Liam Neeson, Alec Baldwin, and William Hurt for various Japanese releases of American movies. Mr. Sasaki is the most identifiable actor from the 1970s cycle of Toho films, and G-FEST is proud to host his debut appearance in the U.S.
G-FEST is also pleased to announce that TOMOKO AI, who played Katsura Mafune in Terror of Mechagodzilla, will make her first convention appearance in the United States. Ms. Ai looks forward to meeting her fans and celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Godzilla series this summer.
Prior to her performance in Terror of Mechagodzilla, Ms. Ai played a recurring role in Tsuburaya Productions' Ultraman Leo (1974-75) as Monster Attacking Crew (MAC) member Haruko Matsuki.
Ms. Ai worked with acclaimed Godzilla series director Ishiro Honda (Godzilla '54, Godzilla vs. the Thing), and acted alongside such Toho luminaries as Akihiko Hirata (Godzilla '54, King Kong vs. Godzilla), Goro Mutsumi (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Espy), and Toru Ibuki (Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster). Her starring role in one of the most popular Godzilla movies of all time make her one of the most anticipated guests in G-FEST's history.
Adding to the 60th-anniversary excitement is a live Skype Q&A with Toho star YOSUKE NATSUKI. Mr. Natsuki wished to attend G-FEST in person, but unfortunately some long-term ailments prevent him from joining the convention. However, not only will he be at the convention in spirit, he will participate in a live Skype chat with G-FEST attendees, directly from Tokyo!
Mr. Natsuki starred in Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monsters (1964) as Detective Shindo, Dogora the Space Monster (1964) as Inspector Komai, and Godzilla 1985 (1984) as Professor Hayashida. He also appeared in Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961), Hiroshi Inagaki's Gen and Acala (1961), and Shue Matsubayashi's Attack Squadron! (1963), among many other titles. From Ishiro Honda to Akira Kurosawa, from Toshiro Mifune to Takashi Shimura, from Kumi Mizuno to Yumi Shirakawa, Mr. Natsuki has worked with them all, and he will share his stories at G-FEST in a live Skype session all the way from Tokyo! (This interview has regretfully been cancelled.)
G-FEST XXI takes place in Rosemont, IL, at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare from July 11-13. Don't miss it, be there!
UPDATE (6/25): Yosuke Natsuki's scheduled Skype interview has regretfully been cancelled. For more details, please follow this link.