3.26.2011

Godzilla-mania

A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series, 2d ed.My Godzilla fandom has been at an all-time high lately, since I just completed my DVD collection of all 28 Godzilla movies in the original Japanese! I always loved watching giant monster (kaiju) movies on TV as a kid, but my adult interest really began a few years ago with the incredible DVD releases by Classic Media. Those "scholarly" DVDs really opened my eyes to the art of the kaiju film, as well as exposing me to how much better these movies are in Japanese. After buying all the Classic Media releases, I rented every other film (with the exception of a couple movies that were never released on DVD in the US, which I bought after searching the web for various sources). After watching all 28 movies (and completing my Godzilla review index), I thought my interest would fade, but then I received A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series for Christmas. This fantastic book has a detailed chapter on almost every movie, and as I read the synopsis of each plot, I immediately wanted to watch them again! Since my favorite Godzilla movies are the Showa era films (1954-1975), I decided I would buy these on DVD, which didn't take long since I had several already. But then I couldn't stop, so I moved on to the Heisei era (1984-1995). I decided I didn't want to get any American DVDs that didn't include the Japanese audio, so I stumbled upon a great site called SumoGorilla that has these rare Japanese language versions available. Finally, I finished buying the few films of the Millennium era (1999-2004), so I was able to complete my dream Godzilla DVD collection!

You would think that would be enough, but I simultaneously started getting hooked on kaiju toys, thanks to the incredibly detailed Revoltech figures made by Kaiyodo in Japan! These are some of the most detailed and accurate toys I've ever seen, so I had to buy Godzilla's friends and enemies like Mothra, Anguirus, Rodan, Gigan, and even an awesome maser cannon (the iconic weapon used against Godzilla in most of the films). I've also bought lots of Bandai figures, starting with the ones available in the US (you can still find them at Toys R Us) and later ordering some imports from Japan. The Bandai figures are really simple with only a few joints, but they still look incredible on my toy shelf! Finally, although I already have a couple CDs of Godzilla movie soundtracks, I just ordered a CD of more theme songs, plus another filled with sound effects. I have no idea why I want a CD of a bunch of kaiju roars and growls, but I can't help myself!

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