You’d better be listening to King of the Kaiju. It’s a podcast where Euri and I talk about kaiju movies, how good various kaiju would be at fighting each other, and also how cuddlable they’d be as plush toys. It’s a monthly entry in the regular Glorio podcast feed. Smash that subscribe button.
Anyway, Euri often tells me that the posters for the films we watch are very good, but I’ve not seen most of them, so I thought I’d go through them here. I’m aware that in some cases, the quality of these scans will be messing up the colours or otherwise compromising their effect, but I’m just gonna pretend that’s not a factor. Let’s do this!
Gamera, The Giant Monster
It’s little unfair to call out a film this early in the genre for being formulaic, but it’s my post and I’m gonna do it, dangit. I can’t escape my jaded modern eyes and their boredom with posters that look exactly like this.
I appreciate the shock value of Tokyo Tower and a Shinkansen train being destroyed, both of which were under ten years old at the time of this film’s release. There’s an argument to be made that this inclusion means Tokyo Tower is destroyed before the film even begins, but only a weak one.
Verdict: Pretty confusing perspective, especially with the building on the right. Sub-par fire effects. I think Gamera’s gums are bleeding from all the train chomps. Two stars.
I like the concept and layout of this one; it does a good job of emphasising Rodan’s fearsome speed in the air, and the only perspective issue I have is with the cannons and their relationship to the people hiding behind a rock in the top left.
The colour scheme is a bit dull, though, and there are a few aspects of the execution that trouble me. The credits in the bottom centre were apparently too dark to be read on the natural background, so there’s a lighter rectangle around them, which is a pretty ugly solution. Also, the photo they’re using to the right of the subtitle is a little unfortunate; it looks like an awkward shot of someone mid-word.
Verdict: Representative, and novel enough to be compelling. Four stars.
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
I really appreciate this one taking the time to label all of the important cast members, especially grub-forme Mothra, who I guess some viewers might not immediately recognise. None of the human or fairy cast get labels, though.
The Rodan-eyed amongst you may also have noticed the musical notation around the edges. I’ve not been able to find a scan that doesn’t cut off the music going down the right edge, or one that has good enough contrast to be able to read the second bar, but I transcribed what I can.
This doesn’t appear to be any part of the main title music (which is mostly just a mashup of Godzilla and Rodan’s themes anyway), or indeed any other part of the soundtrack. I was expecting it to maybe be the music played as King Ghidorah is born, or his first appearance in Matsumoto City, but it’s not. If anyone out there can work this out, or has a scan of the poster where more of the music is visible, please let me know.
Verdict: Full of detail and mystery. Five stars.
I appreciate that Gezora and Kamoebas are labelled here, but why is Ganimes left a mystery? I seem to recall that the poor guy didn’t get much screen time either, so to have such a central role in the poster but be uncredited seems like an unnecessarily mean slight.
Verdict: Mean to a good crab. Two stars.
Yongary, Monster from the Deep
I think I like everything about this one. The art is fantastic, Yongary is using three destructive powers at once, there are tiny real-world people pasted on top of an otherwise hand-drawn scene, and the colours are extremely eye-catching.
Verdict: I want this hung above my fireplace that I definitely have. Six stars.
Rebirth of Mothra
Among all of the posters here, this one stands out. Despite having three humanoid characters and five (six, arguably?) kaiju, it comes off as understated and minimalist. Ghidorah manages to be surrounded by an explosion without introducing visual clutter. A simple background and an avoidance of unnecessary scenery goes a long way.
Verdict: Thoroughly honed. Five stars.
Daigoro vs. Goliath
This one is notable as it appears to contain more kaiju than are actually present in the film. See that fella in the top left with the broken horn, strapped to the rocket? Yeah, that’s just Goliath again. He’s not actually a projectile that comes out of Daigoro’s head.
Daigoro’s mum is a very good and important inclusion, but her prominence here stings a little, given how little importance she has in the actual film. I am glad to see our wild inventor uncle get accurate representation, motion lines and all. It’s fantastic to see Daigoro in his toilet cubicle represented, and I’m sure he’s thrilled to get to hold and take care of all of his little human friends.
Verdict: Daigoro’s mum was robbed, which cost too much in my heart. Three stars.