Friday, August 12, 2011

Stopping by Monsters, Inc.

In good company: Monster maker Shinichi Wakasa drives me to his studio, Monsters, Inc. 

One of my many stops during my recent Tokyo trip was Shinichi Wakasa's creature shop, Monsters, Inc. Mr. Wakasa has created the majority of the Godzilla series' best monster suits of recent years, and it was a true thrill to see his monstrous creations up close and personal.

An incredible sight: Greeting me as soon as I entered Monsters, Inc., was Destroyah (from Godzilla vs. Destroyah). 
You can't ask a monster suit for an autograph, so you have to settle for the next best thing...

Say cheese! Brett and Destroyah pal around for the paparazzi. (Photo by Shinichi Wakasa.) 
The rafters in Mr. Wakasa's shop were full of suits, props, and various creations over the years. Just looking at the amount of kaiju history contained thereon would make even the most jaded monster movie fan's jaw drop. Pretty much the entire Millennium series of Godzilla films is on display here!

Just a sampling of what one can see inside Monsters, Inc.

Even more good stuff! Monsters, Inc., has it all! 

The material contained up in the rafters could take an entire blog post, but I think the above photos give you an idea of what's there. It's truly remarkable to see so many suits and props in one place!

Looking over just one of the innumerable photo albums in Mr. Wakasa's collection. This one covers his work on Tsuburaya Productions' Ultraman 80
After snapping some photos of his workshop, Mr. Wakasa took me to an adjoining room and allowed me to thumb through his photo albums. The pictures were, in a word, astounding. I encouraged Mr. Wakasa to publish these photos in a book. I know that, at least among us kaiju fans, it'd be a best-seller!

Hangin' with Shinichi Wakasa. 

Perhaps my favorite album was the one dedicated toe Message from Space, Toei's 1978 space opera. It's long been one of my favorite films, and I marveled at all the behind-the-scenes shots I'd never seen before.

Next we entered Mr. Wakasa's office, and wouldn't you know who was waiting for us...

Me and my old friend: A requisite shot all fans get who enter Mr. Wakasa's office!

Face-to-snout: Could yours truly be Godzilla's next opponent? 

The Big G's next foe certainly won't be Mr. Wakasa. He and G go way back!

A happy moment: Thanking Mr. Wakasa for an unforgettable afternoon! 
It should go without saying that I loved visiting Mr. Wakasa's creature shop. Not only did I get to view so much intriguing movie memorabilia, I got to meet Mr. Wakasa for the first time. I couldn't think of a better first meeting!

Thanks again to Mr. Wakasa for showing me around. I hope to do it again sometime!

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