Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Retracing the Steps of Android M11!

Android M11 ran here! Photo by Brett Homenick.

On Tuesday, October 31, I took a trip to Keihinjima (an island in Ota Ward right next to Haneda Airport) to check out a filming location for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). It was the setting for the iconic (infamous?) scene in which Android M11 stops the jeep that Terasawa and Emmy are driving right in their tracks.

In the two photos above, you can see the spot where M11 started running to catch up to the jeep. (In the movie, flames from M11's burning car are partially obscuring the view of the street.)

In the photo above, as well as the one below, you can see where M11 passed the jeep on foot. (This is where M11 grins as he overtakes the vehicle while running.) Interestingly, this scene was shot on the street on the opposite lane (where traffic goes in the opposite direction) of the one in which M11 started running.

As you can see, Jacob and I did some mugging for the camera. I guess we couldn't help ourselves, given how silly things got in that scene.

When it comes to the photo below, this is around the spot where M11, well, does exactly what you see in the photo below. He stops running and braces himself to stop the jeep with his bare hands. I copy the pose below. This scene was shot on the same street on which M11 started running. So, interestingly, the filmmakers kept switching lanes, perhaps because they couldn't shut down that much of the street.

In the photo below, I get ready to run in the same spot from which M11 started running after he ripped off his burning clothes.

In the photo below, I give my approval to the same filming location spot.

Did I mention that this location is almost literally a stone's throw from Haneda Airport? It's true. Had the filmmakers turned their cameras around, you would have scene airplanes taking off and landing nearby. 

So, if seeing the iconic filming location of one of the Godzilla series' most laughable moments isn't enough to convince you, I'd imagine this excellent view of Haneda Airport ought to be.

And that's a wrap!

Halloween in Shibuya!

Shibuya "welcomes" you to Halloween. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Tuesday, October 31, marked the return of Halloween to Shibuya. Unlike previous years, the presence of police and random security guards was beefed up to absurd proportions, resulting in incessant shouting and whistle-blowing from these so-called authorities. If you stood in place for more than a couple of seconds, you were hounded until you moved on. If you wanted to stop to take a picture, some rando sporting a uniform would get in your face and demand you keep walking. 

Still, despite the best efforts of Shibuya City to ruin everyone's Halloween, it seems a lot of people still managed to have a good time. I sure do hope they tone down the jackboots next year, though. It's really not a good look for Shibuya's powers that be, who otherwise try to project a "friendly" image. Anyway, with that stupidity out of the way, let's check out some highlights!

Tokusatsu DNA at the Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro!

Toho tokusatsu props on display at Tokusatsu DNA's pop-up store in Ikebukuro. Photo by Brett Homenick.

From October 26 through November 7, the the Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro will host a Tokusatsu DNA pop-up store on its 8th floor. Naturally, the store features many items that I haven't seen for sale anywhere else. The coolest part of all, however, was seeing a couple of Toho props from the late '90s, namely Shinichi Wakasa's original upper-body Godzilla suit used for underwater shooting in Godzilla 2000 (1999), and Shinichi Wakasa's King Ghidorah neck guignol (puppet) from Rebirth of Mothra III (1998). So, instead of a thousand words, here are almost as many photos -- enjoy!


'Godzilla Minus One' Ballyhoo Stomps into Shibuya!

Toho Cinemas Shibuya. Photo by Brett Homenick.

While out and about in Shibuya on Halloween, I did manage to notice some promotion for Godzilla Minus One (2023). The photo above was, naturally, at Toho Cinemas Shibuya. 

The photo above was a Koala mattress advertisement with a promotional tie-in for Minus One inside Shibuya Station. Now you too can sleep like Godzilla!

Shinagawa Station's Resident Dinosaur Strikes Back!

Shinagawa Station's resident dinosaur. Photo by Brett Homenick.

During today's hustle and bustle, I happened to find myself in Shinagawa Station, which should be fairly well known among Godzilla fans for its connection with the kaiju classic Godzilla (1954). In fact, the above tile on Platform 1 of the JR Yamanote Line seems to commemorate that fact, though the creature depicted looks different enough from the Big G to avoid scrutiny from Toho's lawyers. Nevertheless, I think we can agree that this creature is, as Forrest J Ackerman might say, monsterrific! Kaiju fans around the world ought to thank him for keeping a small piece of monster movie history alive.

Bob's Big Boy Conquers Japan!

Bob's Big Boy in Tokyo. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Earlier today (Tuesday, October 31), my friend Jacob and I were returning to Omori Station via bus when I spotted a rare sight in Tokyo: an honest-to-goodness Bob's Big Boy! Well, here's it just called Big Boy Restaurant, but that's splitting hairs.

At first, I thought I'd just take a few pictures and leave it at that -- perhaps returning someday to check it out. But Jacob wanted to eat there, so I decided to have an early dinner. Unlike the Bob's Big Boy restaurants back home, there were no hamburgers on the menu.

There were plenty of steaks on offer, but not your average, American-style hamburger. I thought that was worth noting.

We both ordered steaks and helped ourselves to the drink bar. We were both quite satisfied with our meal. I felt the quality of the steak was on a par with Gusto and Saizeriya, which are very similar restaurants here. 

It was certainly a pleasant surprise. To be honest, I wasn't sure that Bob's Big Boy was even still a thing in the U.S. -- let alone Japan! I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to eat there.

I'm not sure if I would return any time soon. As fun as it was to eat there, the food was very similar to any number of diners in Tokyo. Omori Station is a bit out of the way for me, so there is the question of convenience.

Bob's Big Boy's children's menu. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable meal and was very much like seeing an old friend again. It's been way too long!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Out and About in Shinjuku in the Fall!

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (left) and the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building (right). Photo by Brett Homenick.

While in Shinjuku earlier tonight, I snapped some photos of the Shinjuku Sumitomo Building and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Both buildings feature prominently in the Godzilla series, namely Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) and Godzilla 1985 (1984), respectively. The photos came out quite nicely. Also included are a few other random spots in the area, including the Shinjuku Eye. Enjoy!