In today's blog post we are going to talk about some of the influences of my writing that comes from the music I listen to. Those who know me know that I mostly listen to metal, but may not know that I love classical music, film scores, jpop, and a plethora of multiple genres of music. I am mostly a metalhead, and when I am not listening to metal it is mostly jpop. Music has influences me to do a number of things in my writing. It has inspired me to write lyrics for songs. It has influenced names, plots, and ideas. In today's blog post I will just go over a few of them. The first one will discuss Wagner's Ring Cycle's influence on Imagient King's narrative. Next I will discuss how Iron Savior's song 'Way of the Blade' has influenced me to write a stand alone novel. Then, I will discuss how movie and video game scores have helped me write tension, battles, and flow.
The Ring Cycle known also as Der Ring des Nibelungen are well known pieces of opera dramas written by Richard Wagner. Many of my generation and many others known about Flight of the Valkyries from The Valkyries which is the second drama in the set. But, the opera has four pieces and I have listened to them before, and of course everyone from Tolkien especially Sigurd and Gudrun, The Hobbit, ect have been inspired by it in some degree. Mostly because Tolkien and Wagner both drew from the Volsung Saga.
What you might not know is that the first three books from The Imagient King also takes some ideas from this opera. Although, it is mostly due to certain European myths that influenced me also had influenced Wagner. The most influence is that of the opera Siegfried, that is similar to parts of Leonli's character arc. I'm not saying that the whole book series is influenced by Wagner, as it is more influenced by The Wheel of Time and Journey to the West. But, the more I research Siegfried, the more I see a connection between the path that Siegfried took in his journey and the decisions of Leonli in his journey.
Siegfried was much like Leonli was raised not by his real parents. Siegfried was raised by Alberich and Mime. Alberich wants to reforge a sword so that a hero can slay the giant dragon Fafner who has taken the ring and other riches for itself. The ring is that of the Rheingold, told in Das Rheingold. Leonli is raised by Miriam as a blacksmith, but lacks motivation. Siegfried forges the sword that will kill the dragon. Leonli forges Tsuna's weapon, which will slay the demon.
Both of the characters are somewhat mirrored in the sense that they are orphans who are used by plots of their foster parents to gain power. Siegfried is a puppet to Mime and Alberich to gain power and the gold ring. Leonli is a part of a larger conspiracy that will drive his destiny to fruition, backed by Miriam and a few more players.
In the second act of Siegfried, we have Alberich and Mime quarreling over the treasure. We have Siegfried killing the dragon. Although, you could say that this is symbolic in killing the demon. However, it is much more akin to the fight with a much bigger bad guy in the conclusion of the third book.
However, it is the third act in Siegfried that starts to diverge from Imagient King. The second and third Imagient King books take the final act of Siegfried and a bit of The Twilight of the Gods and turn it into a much more positive direction. You see originally, The Ring Cycle was going to end on a positive note, but Wagner changed it into that of a tragedy. The end of Imagient King is more like the end of Journey of the West or Wheel of Time than to that of The Ring Cycle.
Speaking of music, and influence I am not only writing The Imagient King, but some other book ideas. It's interesting how new music can influence ideas and spark the imagination. The best and most recent example is that of how my new stand-alone book entitled at this point, Pit Fight was created or at least how I got the idea for it. It all started with the song, Way of the Blade by Iron Savior and it is quite the funny story.
They don’t believe in the devil
They don’t believe in heaven or hell
The only believe is the battle
Those words and that verse from Iron Savior's Way of the Blade helped throw ideas into my head one day. Originally, the thought some warriors banding together who don't fear death, who don't fear gods or of heaven or hell. That sparked an idea in me one day. The idea started with that of some atheistic warriors who just go and fight monsters. After all this was how the song began.
Armies of monsters are marching
Bloodthirsty inhuman hordes
Straight out of hell they came to destroy
To kill in the name of gods
How can you not be influenced to write an awesome heroic novel when listening to something like that. It stirs the imagination and song writers like Piet Sielck, Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickenson, Kai Hansen who are all good at painting pictures with words, have helped create ideas. Piet Sielk in particular who writes the lyrics and music for Iron Savior inspired me to create a story or at least put thoughts into my head about atheist warriors. However, it was just an idea, and I take ideas and forge them into working concepts.
The idea of atheistic warriors was abandoned for gladiators. I had a few places where gladiators were commonplace in my giant world building mythos of Computus lore. But, where to place it in the time line that all was difficult to decide. Until, I started reading Malazan and talking about diversity and would create the story for Pit Fight which is pretty much Spartacus starring a Heroic Fantasy protagonist who is from a very African-influenced society called the Akosi.
The Akosi needed research so I had to ask one of my friends for information on Ugandan culture which I decided to be the basis oft the Akosi. A warrior culture derivative by Ugandan warriors, but a bit of my own fantasy flavor mixed in. The Akosi were a culture of imperialistic and martial warriors who wielded steel and rode on war elephants and rhinos.
This all started and was helped by one song, and thanks to this one song I know have a book idea. The book will be worked on next year, and I already have a ton of notes for this project. It will continue to work on it and make it the best book I can make. But, it all is thanks to being inspired by that Iron Savior song.
Then there is what I listen to when I write, which is mostly theme music from video games and scores from films/tv shows. I mostly do this because just like film scores influence a film's sense of tension and tone, it can help a book as well. I know a lot of writer use it for a variety of reasons such as clearing your thoughts and helping for focus. Those are all reasons I listen to it as well ,but I think it helps with tone and addressing pace as well.
You see I understand why various films, video games use music to add emotion to a scene. It adds something that you don't get from the script or from the actors. It helps clarify certain motifs in a written scene that can't be shown visually. It helps tie together something that isn't there.
I think that helps if writers use this idea in a manuscript for a novel. I think it helps add an extra voice to a piece. I'm not saying that all authors have to use this technique, but it is quite helpful for at least me, to write a scene.
For example, if I want to write a battle scene. I am probably going to either have a video game boss battle theme, or a faster classical piece playing. It helps with tone and I can imagine the battle in my head and with the help of the music create a tone and work on the pacing of the battle to the music. It doesn't mean I'm limited by the music, but I use the music to help construct the scene in my head and then write what I imagine. I am literally using the music to manifest my thoughts into paper. If that makes a bit more sense.
Music for me is not superficial, it is a very important part of my life. As you can see I am influenced by the music I listen to. Be it metal, classical, opera, or whatever. It helps me plan, it helps me mange life and it has always been there for me. It is why these influences won't just help me on my journey to be a better author, but a better person.
Sorry, for getting this out late, but it is finally out. In today's blog post and the last in the series of Daikaiju Monster Madness Month, we will discuss some more of the Showa films. This last week I watched, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Terror of Mecha Godzilla, Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters, Invasion of the Astro Monster, and Godzilla's Revenge. I also posted this blog a bit late so I could watch Godzilla Raid's again on Monday. Many of these films excluding Godzilla Raids Again focus on the changing of Godzilla from a symbol of nuclear destruction into a kid friendly superhero. Many of these films are iconic and Godzilla fans form the 70's and 80's have avid memories of these films.
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Megalon has a sort of infamy within the Godzilla fandom. It has one of the most hilarious dubs, and dub not withstanding the story had been parodied by Mystery Science Theater and even commercials. It is a very fickle title in the opinion of many Godzilla fans, and I have always enjoyed it. This film has a lot of nostalgia for me, it is one of the original Godzilla films I watched when I was a kid and I do have fond memories of it. So despite the fond memories let's dig into this film and examine why it is probably hated.
The film starts off with nuclear activity that disrupts the monsters of Monster Island. Godzilla is left alone on the island while Angiurus falls into a fault and Rodan flies alone. This sets the scale for Godzilla is now alone. It sets the tone for the film, and of course is critical of nuclear attacks.
This comes to ahead when those nuclear attacks disrupt the undersea civilization of Seatopia who unleash their most powerful weapon Megalon to destroy the world.
Meanwhile an inventor named Goro Ibuki, his little obnoxious nephew Rokuro and their friend Hiroshi Jinkawa are on a lake. The lake dries up and becomes the base of Seatopia and will exact it's revenge of humanity.
Goro has created a robot called Jet Jaguar and Seatopia agents try to steal the robot. After the attack Goro completes Jet Jeguar. Then Seatopia once again comes and knocks out Goro and his nephew. Goro and his nephew who is a kid genius are sent to be killed, but for some reason Hiroshi is abducted and told of Seatopia's plans, because … reasons.
Jet Jaguar leads Megalon to attack various cities. The heroes free themselves and end up breaking Jet Jaguar free from control. However, the robot gains sentience and goes and gets Godzilla for help. So Godzilla and Jet Jetgaur fight Megalon. The giant bug is beat by the teamwork, but the Seatopians get help from Nebula M aliens and get Gigan to help them.
Godzilla and Jet Jeguar defeat the two monsters and in the end Jet Jegaur reunites with it's inventors.
The film is a fun film, but has a pretty ridiculous plot. The characters are funny, and it is obvious why Mystery Science Theater decided to parody this film. If you haven't checked out that episode I do recommend it, because despite making fun of the film, it does it in a creative and earnest way.
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Technically, this film came out before Megalon, but I watched it the day after. The film is also a pretty silly film. It also features one of the most brutal Godzilla battles since Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla. The film also features the return of King Ghidorah and of Angirius.
The plot of the film is fairly simple giant cockroach-like aliens flee their dying planet to colonize on Earth. To do this they assume the forms of dead humans and work to establish a theme park themed around peace. It is called World Children's Land and in the center they have Godzilla Tower.
However, their plan gets threatened with mangaka Gengo Kotaka is hired as the concept artist for the park. When Gengo acquires the tape that the aliens will use to control Ghidorah and Gigan, it causes Godzilla and Angiurus who hear the tape to come to World's Children's Land and stop the evildoers plans.
Godzilla sends Angiurus to see what the sound was about, and he gets pushed back by the JSDF. Then the both of them head to World Children's Land and while Gengo and his friends try to sabotage Godzilla Tower a fight is about to begin.
The interesting thing about this fight that takes place is that Godzilla and Angiurus take on Ghidorah and Gigan who are assisted by Godzilla Tower. The tower and monsters proves too much for Godzilla who is pushed back, and brutally beaten. It really is one of the most brutal fights in Godzilla's history.
Gengo and his group of would-be saviors with the help of the JSDF plant explosives in Godzilla Tower, and have the bugs shoot the explosions. The funny thing is that Gengo draws a cook lifesize portrait of the heroes which is what sparks the guards to shoot it and blow up the tower themselves. With the Tower no more, Godzilla and his friend defeat Gigan and Ghidorah who flee into space. Then our heroic monsters return to Monster Island.
The film is pretty silly, but features some iconic lines. Some great characters, and some hillarious monster possibilities. Mamagon the monster of strict mothers and Shukra the homework monster. Apparently Mamgon is a borrowed name from a creature from the Ultraman series, which I didn't know about that until later.
Overall, this is a fun film, but has one huge theme. That over reliance of technology will make humanity stagnant. We must always strive to be creative, and not focus too much on technology. The characters are also interesting, and carry themes with them throughout the film.
Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Probably the most political, and social of Godzilla films, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster or Godzilla vs. Hedorah is a trippy adventure that is quite bizarre. Godzilla's main enemy is a bloblike monster with multiple forms.
A scientist investigates a tadpole like organism which attacks ships. He is then attacked by the monster and is blinded in one eye for the remainder of the film. The theme of pollution is almost overbearing in this movie, but it is the main theme of the movie so I will let it slide.
Hedorah eventually mutates so that it can live on land and sucks up smoke from the pipes. It also attacks a dance hall, where two of our main characters are dancing/singing. Godzilla appears and fights Hedorah, but he is defeated in that encounter and Hedorah flees with a new flying form. After the attack, black scorch marks are seen. It is revealed that Hedorah can be defeated by using sparks. It is also discovered that Hedorah is from space.
The JSDF construct giant magnetic panels to shoot electricity to fry the smog monster. Meanwhile Japanese youths organize together a giant hippie fest. (I'm calling it that, because that is exactly what it is.) This attracts Hedorah who is then attacked by the mob of youths, who get their butts kicked until Godzilla arrives. Godzilla arrives and is initially defeated once again.
Hedorah then is led to the giant panels, but when it was fighting Godzilla it knocked the power lines out. This makes the JSDF scurry to fix the power problem. But, we don't have to worry, because Godzilla appears and uses his breath to power the panels and defeats Hedorah. He takes out a circular orb and it immobilizes the creature. However, it tries to escape, but Godzilla grabs it and forces it once again to be hit by the electromagnetic waves which cripples it and eventually destroys it for good.
The main theme for this film is pro-environmentalism, and is very anti-pollution. There is also a message about youth, but it is really hard to tell if it was being positive about the youth of Japan or being cynical. Despite these social problems addressed as themes, the film is a really weird acid trip. It uses pchadelic music along with weird scenes and lights to create a very 60's feel. The film is still enjoyable, but you don't need drugs watching it, you already feel like you are on them when watching the film.
Terror of MechaGodzilla
Now we move onto one of my most favorite Godzilla films, most notably because my favorite kaiju Titanasaurus is in this film. The film's intro sequences start out with flashbacks of Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, where the vicious fight is depicted.
Then we begin with a submarine that is attacked by a giant dinosaur looking for the wreckage of MechaGodzilla. Interpol and a biologist find out that a similar dinosaur was discovered by Shinzo Mafune who was a disgraced scientist. Ichinose, the marine biologist and Interpol agent Kusaka, the two of them visit Mafune's lab, but are greeted by his daughter who says that he is dead.
What they don't know is Mafune is alive and is helping the alien simians in their destruction of earth and revenge against Godzilla. Ichinose and Mafune's daughter, Katsura ends up falling in love with each other. But, Katsura is actually a cyborg as she was killed in the first experiments in controlling Titanasaurus.
Desperate to get his revenge Mafune sends Titansaurus. This encounter allows Interpol to find out that the dinosaur has a weakness, supersonic waves. So the team gets together to build an weapon to stop Titansaurus. However, Katsura arrives to disable the machine. However, all is not lost as Godzilla appears to fight Titansaurus. Meanwhile the simians lay in wait as they will have Mecha Godzilla destroy the victor.
Ichinose tries to visit Katsura, but he is captured by the aliens. He is then tied up, and watches as Mafune and his alien allies unleash both MechaGodzilla and Titansaurus to destroy Tokyo. Meanwhile Interpol agents repair the sonic machine. Katsura who is now controlled by the aliens completely controls both monsters to destroy the city.
Godzilla comes to defend Tokyo, but he is badly outnumbered by the two monsters. Interpol distract the humbering Titansaurus with the supersonic wave oscillator Godzilla can focus on taking on his metallic other half. Interpol agents led by Kusaka save Ichinose and end up killing Mafune and many of the aliens. The remaining enemies try to flee, but are destroyed by Godzilla. Katsura who breaks free of the control commits suicide so that Mechagodzilla can be destroyed and now that it is no longer under controll, Godzilla defeats Titanasaurus.
The film is rather interesting as it was a direct sequel to Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, but didn't do as successful. Many people don't like Titansaurus, but I loved his design. That is mostly because I love dinosaurs, and find the cyborg story arc with Katsura was interesting. I also felt that the human characters in general were better than the original film. But, the fight choreagraphy in both films were great.
Themes include that of love, and being more machine than man, or in the case of Katsura woman. The tampering of monsters, as well as with nature. A big theme is also vengence since that is what drove Mafune to the side against humans. There is a respect of science in this film, as the younger generation was much more eager to support Mafune, even though the old guard scientists thought he was crazy.
Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters
Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters is the big monster mash, and a ton of great fun. All the monsters are brought to Monsterland which is in the Ogasawara island chain. There a special control center was constructed to make sure the monsters stay safe and so researchers can study them with no danger to themsleve.s
Mysteriously, one day Monsterland is attacked and the signal is lost. Then monsters start to appear across the world and attack major cities. Dr. Yoshida who heads the UNSC has captain Yamabe and the crew of his spaceshift to leave the moon and head to Monsterland. There they see that the scientists have been controlled mind-controlled slaves of the Kilaaks who have the ability to control monster.s The leader demands humanity surrender or face destruction.
Godzilla attacks New York City, thirty years before Godzilla '98 making him a hipster. Rodan meanwhile is in Moscow, Mothra attatacks Beijing, Gorosaurs is in Paris, but is identified as being Baragon. These attacks initially were actually one big distraction to open Japan so that the Kilaaks can set up base near Mt. Fuji. They then attack Tokyo and in their arrogance, don't protect the thing that lets them control the monsters. In the same swoop the astronauts destroys the Killaks lunar base and return the alien control systems to earth. This allows the earthlings to unite the monsters to fight the Kilaaks.
The monsters now attack the Kilaaks base, but the aliens have a hidden monster in the form of King Ghidorah. Godzilla and his merry group of monsters team up and defeat King Ghidorah. The Kilaaks then bring out their trump card called the Fire Dragon. Which attacks the control center at Ogasawara Island. Despite this Godzilla attacks the base, knowing that their enemies are the Kilaaks. The space ship battles the Fire dragon and achieves victory for humanity. Then the remaining monsters return home.
There isn't any real themes to this film, it is just a fun ride. If you like giant monsters and some action sequences with humans doing a generic science fiction plot then this is for you. It is a simple film, and I do recommend the dub as it is a pretty hilarious.
Godzilla Raids Again
This is a film that is rather boring to talk about, but it is historically significant for a few reasons. It was the first film with Angirius, which is introduced fighting Godzilla in the first part of the film. The other reason this film is historically significant is for it's atrocious dub which cut scenes and ruined characters and plot points. The dub does have George Takei, but beyond that, it is pretty atrocious. I haven't watched the dub in a while, but what I remember was that it was bad.
The film starts with two pilots named Shoichi Tsukioka and Koji Kobayashi are hunting for fish for a tuna company based in Osaka. While surverying for fish, Kobayashi's plane malfuctions and he is dropped on Iwato Island. When looking for his friend, Tsuioka finds his friend safe with basic injury. Then they hear strange noises and find two monsters fighting. The two monsters who are fighting are Godzilla and Anguirus. The two return and a group of scientists reveal that Godzilla and Anguirus were from the same time period.
Kyouhei Yamane the paleontologist from the first film is present at the meeting. He shows some clips of the original monster attack. This is when the film starts to get boring, because it is silent footage and is played for an extended time. It is a huge part of this film where scene go on for a long time with no build up.
He reveals that they can't stop Godzilla because professor Serizawa took the secret of the oxygen destroyer with him. This is a nice tie in to the first film, and much like the first film this new Godzilla and Angirius were probably awoken thanks to the H-bomb tying into Godzilla's nuclear origins.
Despite this Godzilla appears in Osaka. A blackout and mass evacuation plan is needed. The JASDF lure Godzilla away from the shore with flames and starts to leave.
However, not all goes as planned as some prisoners escape in the darkness. The few of them that escape are followed by the police in a truck. The truck then crashes into a massive building used for some sort of chemicals which causes a massive fire. The fire attracts Godzilla and just a few minutes latter Anguirus swims ashore as well and the two monsters fight each other.
They destroy the tuna canner ythat Tsukioka and Kobyashi work for, which comes up later as well. In the fight, the criminals get what they deserved as they are submerged in water in the subways. Meanwhile Godzilla traps Angirius in the moat of Osaka Castle and burns it to death.
Days later Kobayashi is transferred the to Hokkaido plant. During the part he invites Tsukika and his own fiance Hidemi. There they are notified that Godzilla has destroyed fishing boats. The military and the pilots go looking for Godzilla. Tsukioka finds the monster and notifies the cannery where Kobayashi flies off to switch places.
Kobayashi dives his plane to distract Godzilla as the JSDF plan to bury Godzilla in an avalanche on the small island. Kobayashi is killed, but in his death they found out they can use the bombs they were using on Godzilla to bury him. So the shoot missiles at the mountain and bury the monster in ice freezing it to death.
The film is long and drags on forever. The first half has some slow parts, and the ten minutes or so of silent footage isn't needed. A recap was fine, making sure we knew who the monsters were, but it was a good half of the film. The fight in Osaka is interesting, but again drags on for a long time. The characters themselves were interesting, but didn't get enough development time. We also don't see Kobayashi's fiance, which is a huge part of the film. If we were shown her picture, I think that his death would have had a larger impact.
Overall, these films were the last Godzilla films I watched in October. Godzilla is my favorite movie monster and character. Throughout October, I rewatched and analyzed my favorite hero/villain/anti-hero with all his films. I have changed some of my opinions. Including finding new found love for Showa films, a new found dislike for the Heisei era, and still loving the films I loved the most. It has been a great month, so please keep reading my blog if you want more information on my books, what I am up to and the latest news.
This week, I have decided to go into the history books and watch some classic Godzilla films. The five films we tackle this week include the original film that started it all, Gojira. Then we tackle it's American version, Godzilla, King of Monsters. Then Godzilla fights the first movie monster, King Kong. After that clash then we have another iconic monster fight with Godzilla vs. Mothra and then we conclude this week with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
Released in 1954, Gojira was the film that started off the Godzilla franchise. It was far different in tone than any other film. It was a political film just as much as it was science-fiction thriller. It had romance, and it also had a strong cultural theme. It is one of my favorite films of all time, and after re-watching it again for like the hundredth time I have gotten a lot more respect for this film.
The film's ship scene about it being attacked by a monster is actually based on the fame Daigo Fukuryu Maru incident which resulted in some fishermen being tested for atomic radiation due to the H-bomb. This is in a post World War II Japan which had two bombs dropped on it, so it is important that the theme of anti-nuclear weapons is going to be a main theme of this film.
The Japanese freighter Eiko-Maru is destroyed near Odo Island followed by another ship the Bingo-maru a team is sent to investigate with only a few survivors alive. The natives of Odo Island fear that the terrible monster Gojira has been awoken. A reporter finds out that Gojira was once appeased by virgin sacrifices. During a powerful storm, the reporter's helicopter is destroyed and an unseen monster destroys the villager's quaint settlement.
The villagers go to Tokyo asking for assistance. A paleontologist named Kyohei Yamane heads to the island where he finds a trilobite on the island. Then the villager's alarm bell rings and the villagers with Yamane see a monster that resembles a giant dinosaur roaring before returning to it's ocean home.
Back in Japan, Yamane shows his research and is adamant about Japan researching the creature. However, after it is known that it is dangerous and was awoken by the H-Bomb testing the Japanese want to destroy the creature. They try to use depth charges, but that just angers Gojira who arrives in Japan and causes destruction.
Yamane does not want to creature to be destroyed so secludes himself from society. His daughter Emiko goes to break her engagement to Yamane's colleague Dr. Serizawa. She is then shown his Oxygen Destroyer, but the sight shocks her and leaves without breaking off her engagement.
Then Godzilla arrives at Tokyo and creates more chaos and destruction before returning to the sea. The Japanese try to create an electrical fence to scare off the monster, but this does not work. Distraught Emiko breaks the news of Serizawa's weapon to her lover and the two go to Serizawa. Although he is hesitant to use it as a weapon, he realizes that it is the only thing that can destroy Godzilla. Serizawa's willingness to save his country and to take the secret with them is a very important theme in this theme.
Serizawa goes to confront Godzilla with his invention and ends up killing the monster along with himself. His sacrifice is multi-faceted. Not only is he giving his blessing for Emiko and her fiance, but for modern Japan to be shaped despite the tragedies that have occurred to them. Godzilla isn't just a symbol of the atomic age, he is the symbol of a new Japan that will emerge after the war.
Godzilla, King of Monsters
For all instances and purposes Godzilla King of Monsters is not that different of a film that Gojira. It does have a distinct tone however. It forces the tone more towards anti-nuclear and anti-war, and features reworked scenes staring Raymond Burr. I have always like the film, and now that I watched them back to back I can see why the American audience and even the Japanese audience liked this film more.
Godzilla, King of Monsters stars Steve Martin an American reporter who is in Japan for a social call with his friend Serizawa. But, he ends up in the swing of the plot from Gojira. The film starts chronologically in the middle of Gojira with the aftermath of the second Tokyo attack where Steve Martin was witnessed to the Godzilla attack. He then flashes back to why he came to Japan, and then of the events leading up to the attack on Tokyo.
He ends up going to Odo Island and investigating the monster attack. He witnesses Godzilla and writes back to his boss. It puts the focus away from the Japanese characters and more onto Martin as the observer, but he becomes the focus of the film. The love triangle is still there, but it is somewhat mitigated. This works for some instances, because we have a main protagonist with a goal and with an identity as opposed to the multitude of characters we follow in the original film. This of course strays away from the Japanese cultural ties. But, again it is still more easy to focus on Martin so I see why the film did well in the US and did even better in Japan.
We eventually go past the attack on Tokyo and Emiko spills the beans about the Oxygen Destroyer to Steve Martin. Just like in the original film Emiko and Ogata go and convince Serizawa who then of course like in the original sacrifices himself.
For whatever reason the political metaphors were stripped from this movie. The original press of this version also stripped a very important scene with a Japanese mother holding two children reminacing that soon they would be with their father, implying he died in the Pacific Conflict which his what the Japanese call World War 2. But, this was added back in for later releases since it has a strong political and culture impact on the second Tokyo attack. The film takes away a bit of the pathos you feel for the Japanese, I mean it is still there, but the American version feels more of anti-nuclear film than one with many facets like the original film. I still love this movie, but I feel that it does some interesting things, and can still hold it's ground against the original.
King Kong vs. Godzilla
I skipped Godzilla Raids Again and instead moved towards the more popular King Kong vs. Godzilla. The main reason is that I find Godzilla Raid's Again to be pretty boring and wanted to see King Kong fight Godzilla. This film features two iconic monsters fighting, King Kong who is by many considered the grand daddy of all kaiju, and Godzilla who is Japan's biggest menace. The film is important historically as it went away from the darker themes of the first two films and into a more child friendly film.
We start the film off when Mr. Tako who is the head of Pacific Pharmaceuticals wants to do something to boost ratings of a show that his company is sponsering. When he hears about a giant monster on the small Faro Island, he sends two men named Sakurai and Kinsaburo to bring the monster back to Japan.
Meanwhile Godzilla breaks out of a iceburg which he had been trapped since 1955 and destroys both a submarine and a nearby military base.
Then on Faro island the two men get abducted by the natives, who are unfortunatly depicted by Japanese with black face to make them look Polynesian. They bribe the natives with toys, candy, and cigarettes. While there an octopus attacks the village, but King Kong arrives. King Kong is then tricked into sleeping and placed on a large raft and to be sent back to Japan.
On the way there the JSDF tell Mr. Taka and his company to send King Kong back to Japan. They blow up the raft, but King Kong wakes up and escapes. The two monsters meet, and in the first encounter Godzilla wins.
The JSDF then lure Godzilla into a bit where they want him to be defeated, but it fails and try another plan. They use electricity which for some reason the first time in Godzilla's history he does not like electricity. King Kong enters Tokyo and tears through these same power lines. There he captures Fumiko, the sister of Sakurai. The JSDF along with Sakurai lure King Kong to the Diet building and drug him to sleep like they did on Faro Island. They then take King Kong to fight Godzilla on Mt. Fuji. Godzilla has the upper hand for most of the fight, until King Kong gets a second wind thanks to electricity. The two then plunge into the ocean where Kong survives the fight.
There really is no themes except for the greed of Tako from Pacific Pharmaceuticals is what brought this film's plot on in the first place. It's a fun film, and the dub version is quite classic. The movie is just one giant monster slug fest and I love it.
With the success of King Kong vs. Godzila Toho decided to cross-over with it's own monster, Mothra vs. it's famous lizard. Mothra vs. Godzilla showcases a variety of themes including that of nature, greed, and about the power of journalism and public opinion. It is a very interesting Godzilla film in that regard.
The film starts with some reports Ichiro Sakai and his photographer Junko Nakanishi who take pictures of an area ravaged by a typhoon. They discover a strange shiny object and salvage it. Then a giant egg is found around the same waters and local villagers sell the egg to Happy Enterprises and it's boss Kumayama. He wants to turn the egg into a large tourist attraction. We then found out that same shiny object was radioactive, but don't find out why until later.
They meet with Professor Miura who tells them about the radioactivity and discuss the egg at the hotel when the see Kumayama checking in. In his room Kumayama meets with Jiro Torahata. The two of them are confronted by the twin girls known as Shobijin. Seeing only their greed they try to capture the girls who escape. The twins then meet up with Mira and Sakai's group where the journalists treat them with kindness.
The twins then tell the trio that the egg belongs to Mothra and they don't want trouble to occur once the egg hatches. Again the theme of nature and greed are the real two themes in this film. They return to the beach and discover the whole area is radioactive. It seems that the radioactivity stems from the beach and Godzilla appears, which of course is the source of the radiation.
With the attack in full swing the trio go to Infant Island and plea with the villagers and the twins for Mothra to save Japan. They initially do not agree, but are pursuaded to do so. The twins warn them that Mothra is near death, but she will try to help until she dies.
In the chaos of Godzilla's rampage Kumayama finds out that he has been swindled by Torahata and demands his money. He is then shot by Torahata who tries to escape with the money and is eventually killed by Godzilla. Mothra fights Godzilla right when Godzilla reaches the egg and the two fight. Godzilla is immune to her powers and beats her with his atomic breath.
Godzilla continues his rampage and leaves the egg alone. This allows two larvae to hatch. Meanwhile Godzilla heads to Iwa Island. The two worms spray Godzilla in their silk and win the battle against the atomic creature.
Themes of nature and coming together are present in this film and are set as a foil against the greed of the villains. It is quite an interesting way to deal with the themes, and have monsters fighting in the background.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
According to Toho lore with the success of the past films, the company decided to get pretty ballsy and have a huge cross-over film that featured Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan. They would then create a fourth monster, King Ghidorah and feature the three once foes team up against this new threat. This film is then given it's own human plot to revolve around these monsters, and it does it in a rather interesting way.
A princess from a small kingdom of Selgina is arriving to Japan due to the threat of her assassination. A police detective named Shindo is sent to be her bodyguard, but her plane is mysteriously blown up on the way to Japan. Around the same time, a meteorite shower appears and one of them crashes in Japan. A geologist named Murai and his team of scientists go to investigate the meteor.
Quite sometime after the princesses plane blows up a prophetess appears in Japan claiming to be from Venus announcing to the world various disasters. Her prophecies come true predicting Rodan and Godzilla's advancements to the Japanese mainland.
The princess's uncle sends assassins to take out the princess after it is revealed that she is alive. Shindo then tries to protect the princess. They discover the golden bracelet was given to a fisherman which is the princesses showing that the prophetess is indeed the amnesiac royalty. It is around this time that she warns the twins of Infant Island of an attack, where Godzilla appears and destroys their ship. Godzilla and Rodan start fighting in the process destroying Japan.
Our princess turned prophetess warns that King Ghidorah has come to Earth and will destroy the planet and she is here to warn people. The twins are brought to the prime minster at first with a plan to use Mothra to destroy Godzilla, but in a twist the twins claim that Mothra won't be able to defeat Ghidorah. The twins state that only if Mothra, Godzilla and Rodan work together will their plan work.
Mothra comes and tries to stop Rodan and Godzilla to fight. But, like two bickering children they refuse and Mothra goes and fights Ghidora alone. Mothra is thrown around by Ghidorah's gravity beams, but Godzilla and Rodan have a change of heart and the three of them work to defeat King Ghidorah.
Meanwhile the princess tries to appease the gods in her insanity, but Shindo rescues her from the assassin. The bullet hits her in the head and she remembers who she was. The assassin is not so lucky as a rockslide caused by Ghidorah kills him. Now with the princess back to normal the monsters team up and scare away Ghidorah from Earth.
The themes in this film are kinda dated, because we have a lot of anti-scientific rhetoric in this film. There is a lot of sensationalism. Not just in psychic powers, but in the distrust of science. It isn't an overarching theme, but it is clearly threaded into the plot since the princess's prophecies come true. Beyond that the most obvious theme is that of the monsters working together against a common foe. It is very much so pressured throughout the end of the film that the monsters should work together. This gets straight up comical near the end of the film while the twins translate the needy Mothra's appeal to Godzilla and Rodan who are like spoiled children.
Overall, it is a fun flick with a interesting human plot. It isn't the best Showa film, but it is still rather interesting. It also is the first film where Godzilla is seen as not purely a menace, a theme that would continue on in many films of the rest of the Showa film.
In this week of Daikaiju Monster Madness we will talk about the millennial series which include Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: All Monsters Attack also known as it's fan name as GMK; Godzilla vs. Megaguirus; Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla; Godzilla: Tokyo SOS; and Godzilla Final Wars.
It has been 50 years since Godzilla has attacked Japan and the country has thrived. Then out of nowhere reports of a Godzilla attack in the US emerges. This is a reference to Godzilla 1998 by Tri-star and I love the simple jab as they sort of say that it really wasn't Godzilla. Then an American submarine is attacked and the SDF go and see what the problem is and glimpse a fin that may or may not be Godzilla.
Meanwhile a film company is interested in making a series about ESP and the legends of Giant Monsters in a rural Japanese town. At first the village elder does not let them, but after being persuaded by an aspiring reporter named Yuri he allows it believing it will bring tourism to his tiny town.
Around the same time some hooligans on bikes attack and harass the local townspeople and knock over some shrines. They enter into a tunnel and it is collapsed by a monster. Soon after more young kids are killed by Mothra. The deaths of Japanese youth is quite important as it is a theme in this film that I will discuss later on.
Yuri is an interesting character in this film because she is the depiction of the modern woman in Japan, and she is also quite enjoyable as a character. One of the great female protagonists in a modern Japanese films. Yuri gets a book about the Guardian Monsters and links it to the recent disasters. So she returns to the rural town for more information.
An old and senile man is brought into the police chief for destroying a shrine. He tells Yuri that Godzilla is coming and that the Guardian Monsters are arriving to stop Godzilla and protect the homeland, but not necessarily the nation. When she tells her father who is a naval commander he does not believe her and ignores her pleas.
The old man scene when it is video taped reminds me of the beginning of Tri-Stars 1998 Godzilla film. It is also in this scene that a new ret-con to Godzilla's origin is established. Godzilla is fueled by nuclear energy and the hatred of all who were killed in the Pacific Conflict which is what the Japanese call World War II. This is also a theme that is addressed later.
Before the film reaches it's second act we have a salary man who was trying to commit suicide fall down a shaft and find King Ghidorah. That same man was seen in the police station, and it's interesting how they tie many of these characters together. The first act comes to a close when it is revealed that Yuri's dad was a kid when Godzilla attacked Tokyo for the first time.
The second act begins with Baragon appearing and attacking the town where the old man is kept. Baragon attacks a hot spring resort. After the attack Yuri's dad finally understands that what his daughter was saying was not mere superstition.
Baragon saves the old man so he can go awaken the final beast King Ghidorah. At the same time Godzilla appears off Shizouku in a scene that looks shockingly familiar with a scene from the Tri-Star Godzilla film. Godzilla actively kills people on his way to confront Baragon which shows a more darker nature of the monster. I really enjoy this darker tone as Godzilla just kills people out of spite, it helps the mood and tension that this Godzilla is the spirits of the dead.
Godzilla fights Baragon, and eventually kills him. Mothra's cocoon is seen on the lake hibernating. It is at this time that Yuri uses the Godzilla footage that night to show Japan about the Guardian Monsters. The military try their hardest to defeat Godzilla, but it is to no avail.
Mothra appears from it's cocoon and King Ghidorah wakes up. The Three monsters fight in Tokyo, but the two of them are defeated. Mothra sacrifices herself to no avail, because King Ghidorah also is defeated. While escaping the monster attacks Yuri drops a a stone that revives the monsters souls that go into Godzilla. It must be symbolic or something, because it really doesn't do anything.
Yuri's dad does a sneak attack and enter's Godzilla's mouth where he fires a missile. This allows him to leave Godzilla's body and just when Godzilla is going to kill Yuri and her friend, the missle causes Godzilla's signature move to tear Godzilla a part in the most brutal way possible.
In the end Godzilla's heart is seen still beating meaning that it isn't the last Godzilla film. There are themes of nature and reciprocity in this film however the main theme is that the ills of the youth will doom Japan. It is that the Japanese youth have forgotten the sacrifice of the old. At the same time the film hits on hard that Japan has to come to terms with it's war crimes in the Pacific Theater. It is a very complex theme that I think does get to be a bit too much preachy, but is executed in a great way. I love this film, and think it is one of the better films in the Millennial series.
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
This film is simply a revenge film that has many plot points that drag on throughout the course of the movie. The main plot point is about revenge for Godzilla from this JSDF, and the other being the plot of the Meganula or giant dragonflies. Eventually these plot points merge into a coherent plot and the pay off takes a long time, but the film does redeem itself in the end.
The film sets itself first in Osaka where the JSDF attack Godzilla. In the attack the superior officer of Kiriko Tsujimori is killed. This makes her vow vengeance against Godzilla. She collects talented people for one purpose to kill Godzilla. Including our somewhat main protagonist a self-taught engineer. The plan is to develop a micro black whole to kill Godzilla.
It is during one of these tests that a dragonfly extinct species called Meganula is mutated and it lays eggs. A boy picks up the egg, but then discards it. Mutant Meganula break out and start to kill people and mutate further.
These dragonflies attack Godzilla on an island that the G-Graspers have planned to use their new weapon called Dimension tide which drains Godzilla. After this battle the Meganula return to their underwater nest to feed Godzilla's energy to the egg which hatches into Megaguirus. The giant dragonfly destroys Tokyo further and disables Dimension Tide.
Godzilla enters Tokyo, but the territorial dragonfly fights Godzilla. She absorbs Godzilla's energy and uses an attack similar to it's atomic breath. A funny incident includes Godzilla body slamming onto the of the dragonfly and eventually biting off it's arms. Godzilla eventually wins by grabbing her tail and blasting it with it's atomic blast a few times.
In the meantime Dimension Tide is brought back online. It is revealed around this time that Godzilla was drawn to plasma energy which was illegally kept in Tokyo, it was noted that this is what kept drawing Godzilla to Tokyo. Vengeful Kiriko pilots a ship called Gryphon and draws Godzilla to a spot so that Dimension Tide sends a black hole to engulf Godzilla. Everyone cheers, but the end of the show has Godzilla's iconic roar boasting claims that Godzilla is not done for yet.
Themes in this film include revenge which is the main theme in the film. The other being unexpected consequences for actions including revenge. But, mostly due with the fact that in trying to stop Godzilla the G-Graspers are responsible for Megaguirus. These two themes tie into the film to create an interesting sense of tension that does pay off in the end.
Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla
Much like the previous film the theme of Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla is that of vengeance. This film also has a few other themes that run parallel with other films, and have it's own character focused story. We have a female lead in the form of Lt. Akane Yoshiro and her main motivation is that of vengeance.
This film also includes a reconnected version of MechaGodzilla called Kiryuu. This version of the monster uses the bones of the original 1954 Godzilla destroyed by Dr. Serizawa's experiments.
It starts off with Akane's backstory about an event featuring Godzilla and her as a maser operator. In the incident she panics and hits another car leading to their deaths. Years later she is given a nice non-stressful desk job. However, she wants to redeem herself and destroy Godzilla.
A doctor who works on bio-androids making half life and half mecha. Much like the previous Heisei MechaGodzilla film, this film is Life vs. Biolife. However in this film it is given a darker slant as MechaGodzilla is the uncontrollable side of nature because of Godzilla's bones are in it.
Akane trains, and is berated by many of her teamates, but she is chosen ultimately to pilot Kiryuu. Their first battle takes place between Godzilla and MechaGodzilla. Kiryu looks like it is winning, but when the bio computer acts up losing control Godzilla gets away.
They have to update the data and tests have to be made. It is during this down time that Akane befriends the Doctor's daughter and we see her trying to break out of her shell and not just live for vengence. This is important for her character development and it ties in later in the film.
The second fight lets Akane confront Godzilla a third time and the second time with Kiryu. Yet again the system fails as the bones don't want to kill Godzilla. However through sheer will she pilots Kiryu and in an explosive battle seemingly traps Godzilla in ice. However, Godzilla escapes and her fight will have to continue another day.
The themes of revenge is central here, and the fact she doesn't defeat Godzilla is important. It shows that she can't stop blaming herself and she has to move on. This film is a sort of redemption to her character arc, and it works. There is the messing with nature theme as well, but that will be concluded to an extent in the next film which is not as good in my opinion.
Godzilla: Tokyo SOS
Godzilla Tokyo SOS takes place after the events of Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla and although they use characters and take place after, they are two different films. They take the revenge plot and take it out the window. Then they take that life vs. biolife and take it to 11 in terms of annoyance. There are themes of regret, love, tampering with nature, forcing of natures (mostly of Kiryuu to kill Godzilla), and the main theme of the film that is plastered into our heads 'Remember no human may touch the souls of the dead'. There is also a theme of correcting the deeds of the past. The film in short has not focus and does not do what it's predecessor did and thus is a weaker film.
The beginning of the film shows Mothra becoming an enemy of humanity. We then switch to Mr. Choji from Godzilla vs. Mothra who has the Mothra twins appear before him. They tell him that Godzilla's bones must be returned to the sea so that Mothra will not become their enemy.
Meanwhile after it's fight agianst Godzilla, Kiryu is under repairs. Chujo who was there with his uncle knows about the warning of the twins. He is attacked by a pilot who thinks Chujo is a coward and a disgrace to the organization. After the attack he is taken to a hearing by the pilot's father who doesn't want to lose his son in an attack against Godzilla and wants to see if Mothra is a viable alternative to Kiryu.
Godzilla attacks Japan, and in the chaos the government does not let Kiryu get launched partially because the repairs are not done. So Godzilla attacks Japan and Choji and his grandson are attacked by Godzilla, but summon Mothra to fight Godzilla.
Mothra arrives and attacks Godzilla, but is badly beaten. So Kiryu is sent out to help Mothra. Godzilla still defeats both of them, but Mothra's eggs hatch and not one, but twin Mothra larvae appear. The worms come to help Mothra, but get beaten up by Godzilla. Mothra sacrifices herself to protect her children. The engineer then goes and repairs Kiryu. He is however trapped in the mechanical monster when it faces Godzilla.
Godzilla's roar after being subdued by the Mothra twins, makes them unable to control him. Kiryu then takes Godzilla and takes him to the trench taking both of them to the sea. The engineer escapes thanks to the female and male pilots. Then the show ends with Godzilla seemingly defeated.
The film falls flat compared to it's predecessor. It also makes the end of the previous film have no real closure. Akane's revenge arc feels empty, and in return we get this chaotic mess of a film.
Godzilla Final Wars
We end the millennial films with the most over the top Godzilla film sense the Showa era. Godzilla Final Wars. This is a film that is so silly and outrageous that it could have only came from someone who loved the cheesiness of early Godzilla films. The plot is simple, the characters don't really have purpose except for the plot, but it is done in an entertaining way.
We start with Godzilla being led to the Antarctic where thanks to a mechanic machine called Gotengu falls into ice and remains frozen. In this time other monsters appear and Japan creates the Earth Defense Force made up of humans and mutants alike. Commander Gordon pilots the Gotengu and fights the dragon called Manda. However the ship is damaged and he is court marshaled.
In the meantime strange occurrences start occurring. They discover a creature called Gigan who is not of this earth. The creature has M-gene which is similar to that of mutants depicted by a female biologist. The biologist, a special mutant and the professor are all teleported to Infant Island by the twins where they discuss that Mothra defeated Gigan 10,000 years ago.
Giant Monsters then attack cities and the EDF has to stop these monsters. The monsters vanish and then aliens appear proposing the end of the UN and the start of a Galactic Nations. As the threat of a planet called Goranth will hit earth. Alien mania sweeps earth, but those who saw the vision of Mothra as well as a TV reporter don't buy it.
First they find out that Gorath is not real, and ambush other Xilian spies. They confront the UN member of Japan to reveal he is an alien and the Xilian ploy is revealed. The Xilian general kills the controller and declares war on humanity. He also controls the mutants to destroy the cattle.
They escape and get to the Gotengu and awaken Godzilla. The awakened monster follows Gotengu as it believes it's battle has not yet been done. It battles Zilla in Syndey, and one by one after that defeats all the monsters easily.
The Gotengu appears in Tokyo and one of the mutants sacrifices himself to let them into the alien spacecraft, but they are forced inside regardless by the Xilians. The Xilian controller unlocks the special mutant's powers and he betrays his friends until the biologist stabs him with an amulet the Mothra twins gave them. He returns to normal and now with his powers unlock defeat the Xilians.
Godzilla with help of Mothra defeat Mecha Gigan and Monster X. We find out that Monster X is really Kaiser Ghidorah, and Godzilla after given a power boost defeats the monster. He moves to destroy the Gotengu, but Manilla appears who was helped by a boy and a hunter earlier in the film stop Godzilla and the two of them return home while humanity can rebuild.
Personally I love that the film doesn't take itself serious. It isn't great writing, the characters are flat, but it is enjoyable. It is just science fantasty dressed up with monsters fighting one another. If you like classic Showa films, as well as just fun then this is something you would probably like.
We are onto week two of October which means this is the second week of my reviewing Godzilla films. Today we will look over the Heisei Godzilla cinematic universe. A term I created to discuss the interconnected films in the Heisei era. Starting with Godzilla 1984 aka Return of Godzilla and ending with Godzilla vs. Destroyah. The Heisei era of Godzilla films are characterized with a continuing narrative post Return of Godzilla aka Godzilla 1984. Although, I already started did a review of Godzilla 1984, we will start with Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II (1993), Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994), Godzilla Vs. Destroyah (1995), Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth (1992), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), and Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989).
Each of these films have common themes including screwing with nature has it's repercussions. In addition each of these films try to kill Godzilla, but Godzilla survives in some manner or another. They tackle issues of Geo-engineering, about how the past comes back to haunt the present, and that are in many Godzilla films before and after the era. Another thing that these films have in common is that of the character Miki Saegusa, a psychic whom is supposed to be the pathos for Godzilla.
I will start with a brief recap on my thoughts of Godzilla 1984 the film that started this so called Godzilla Cinematic Universe. Godzilla 1984 aka Return of Godzilla is a direct sequel to the original Gojira film, and features a very dark tone that would continue with at least the next film in the franchise, Godzilla vs. Biollante, but would be discarded for the rest of the 90's era films.
Godzilla vs. Biollante takes place not so long after the events of Godzilla 1984 and brings in a new character in the form of psychic Miki Saegusa who early on in the film goes to a Psychic Institute after having a dream where she sees other children at the Institute also have the same dream of Godzilla. Although, Miki is a minor player in the actual plot, she is still important.
The film's main focus is on a plant species that has been exposed to G-cells the cells that make Godzilla such a destructive force of nature. They recover the g-cells after the events of Godzilla 1984, and are used to create a super plant by a company called Sarudia whom want to turn the Middle-Eastern desert into a grassland that would rival America's breadbasket. The plant is attacked by terrorists and Dr. Shiragami's daughter Erica is killed.
Five years later Dr. Shiragami has isolated himself from society. He is asked by another company to work on creating a weapon using his research to kill Godzilla. Although he initially declines, an earthquake caused by terrorists blowing up Mt. Miura where Godzilla was imprisoned causes a reaction that injures some roses which we find out has the soul of his deceased daughter makes him change his mind.
He works on the project and eventually an American based genetics company and the Sarudia Company try to steal the research and G-cells. They are attacked by a plant creature. The creature then escapes to the lake where it grows and is named Biollante.
A terrorist organization known as Alien holds Japan ransom if they don't get the anti-nuclear bacteria they will blow up Mt. Miura forcing Godzilla free. In the exchange the terrorist is killed by SSS9, the special agent sent by the Sarudia Company. Unfortunately, the bomb still goes off and Godzilla is set free.
Godzilla heads towards Biollante, drawn to it because it has the same cells as it. A battle occurs where Godzilla fights Biollante and wins. Godzilla now heads to powerplants to regain energy, and ends up killing probably the best colonel in the film. In his last dying attempt his team place the anti-nuclear bacteria in Godzilla. It at first doesn't do anything, but they theorize if they heat up Godzilla it will work.
Godzilla heads towards Osaka, and Miki uses her psychic powers to force Godzilla into a trap that should heat him up allowing the bacteria to do it's work. However, Biollante appears and the two fights, Godzilla again ends up the victor. After Biollante's death Godzilla is seemingly falls dead, and then Shirogami is killed by SSS9 whom himself is killed by the same weapon used to kill Godzilla. In the end they agree that man is the real monster and Godzilla and Biollante were just their creations. Godzilla gets up and flees the scene.
The other themes in this film include bio-terrorism and it's threat in the 20th and 21st century. Then there is the morality of science and recreation of life using science. These moral gray issues are contested and a pro-nature vibe and theme is seen throughout this film as it is in most Godzilla films of this nature. The acting is great, all around even the cheesy and corny lines are done well.
The film's story is a standard 80's action flick, and apparently was created in a writing contest. But, because this film did so bad in the box office, they decided to reboot their old Godzilla villi ans for the upcoming films, which unfortunately are a mixed bag.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is the next film in the Heisei era, and it reboots one of Godzilla's most classic foes. Besides Biollante it is my favorite film of this era, and it continues to use Miki Saegusa, but she doesn't appear to do much in this film so her appearance is not really understood.
In this film an alien craft appears and the JSDF fear that it has a connection with Godzilla. The JSDF go and fight the craft and are destroyed in the process. Eventually the craft lands and the people come out saying that they are from the future and have ill tidings about Godzilla.
Although that is the main plot of the film, we are introduced to our motley cast of characters including a paleontologist, a reporter and author, Miki Saegusa, and an old time Japanese military officer from WW2 or as it is known in Japan as the Pacific War.
The main theme of this film is time travel and also Japan coming to terms with it's past. The Japanese military are seen as honorable and loyal to their nation, and putting historical white washing aside, the themes do address Japan's past and looking at it with fresh new eyes. Which is always a good thing when dealing with these sensitive issues.
The futurists plan to take a group back in time and change history by erasing Godzilla. Along the trip we have these things called Dorats who Miki realizes too late were left on the island. Instead of Godzilla, Japan is attacked by King Ghidora. The psychic turned detective Miki deduces that the futurists put the dorats back in time on purpose so that King Ghidorah takes his place in history. This is revealed to be a plan of the radical group within the futurists to make sure Japan does not rise to dominate the world economy.
Godzilla still reappears, as a historical anomaly, but he is not the Godzilla from 1940's the dinosaur that was mutated by radiation. Instead, this Godzilla is one bent on destructive rage of Japan. Godzilla destroys King Ghidorah and starts rampaging on Japan. One of the futurists who is a descendant of the author goes forward in time to revive and make King Ghidorah a cyborg, making Mecha King Ghidorah. The cyborg battles Godzilla and seemingly wins. Everything goes back to normal, and you think the good guys win, but actually, Godzilla survives, because of course we have to keep the franchise going strong.
The themes include that of historical interpretation since the Japanese focus on WW2 in their time travel. The brave Japanese battle the Americans and are saved by a dinosaur. That dinosaur is wounded and then is radiated to Godzilla. That is all fine and good, but the Japanese are portrayed as heroes while the Americans although not portrayed as bad guys, are made to look goofy. This is all fun and games, but the film is supposed to force this theme of accepting the bad of the past, but side step completely Japan's wrongdoings in the war. Maybe, I'm just over-thinking, but this theme is the only thing I don't much care for in the film. Overall, I enjoy this film, and this is the last of the Heisei films that I like.
Godzilla vs. Mecha Godzilla II
Continuing the trend of taking old Godzilla foes and re-imagining them is Godzilla vs. Mecha Godzilla II. The film starts off as a giant pterasaur egg is found on an island. A team consisting of scientists go and collect the egg, but are attacked by Rodan. The scientists take the egg back with them after Godzilla shows up and fights Rodan. Godzilla then leaves the island.
The scientists take the egg back and analyze it. Miki Saegusa reappears in this film alongside a female scientist who has a link with the egg as well as a pterasaur otaku who pilots Mecha Godzilla's special jet back attachment The Garuda. These are the three main characters of the film.
The egg hatches thanks to Miki Saegusa noting that some grass found at the egg site sings and that power is amplified and makes the baby hatch. The baby is not a baby pteradon, but is a baby Godzilla who imprints on the poor female scientist.
The JSDF use Baby Godzilla to lure Godzilla in a fight where Mecha Godzilla armed with Garuda fight Godzilla. Mecha Godzilla is pushed back, but becomes Super Mecha Godzilla and fights Godzilla in a far more superior manner. However, after baby's cries Rodan comes and ends up dying giving it's lifeforce to Godzilla whom becomes Super Godzilla and defeats Mecha Godzilla and Garuda.
Miki is then asked to send Baby Godzilla with a message to take Godzilla away from Japan. The plan works, and Japan is sparred from more attacks by Godzilla, at least for now.
The Themes in this movie are mostly that tampering with nature and an ecosystem can be disastrous particularly with that of Baby Godzilla being moved from his home which is the main reason Godzilla attacks Japan in this film. Another theme is that it is the first film where Miki starts to feel empathy for Godzilla. After all, she did do a mind meld sort of with him in the previous film. The tag line at the end was that it was life vs. artificial life, and pretty much sums up the fight.
Godzilla Mothra- Battle for Earth
This next film Godzilla and Mothra- Battle for Earth was the end and the beginning of the Godzilla Heisei era in many ways. It was far more successful than the past few films in the series, but because of it's success and it is generally well reviewed the next films continued to make it's same mistakes. In addition it allowed Mothra to get her own trilogy in the 90's.
The film begins with an asteroid that lands in some islands in the Pacific. A Japanese Company wants the meteor recovered and send a 'not Indiana Jones' to retrieve it. Along with one of the company members as well as it's secretary whom is 'not Indiana Jones' ex-wife embark on shenanigans. I think their banter is supposed to be funny, but it just falls flat and you don't know why these two even love each other. They discover that the asteroid is an egg and take the egg back with them.
Two faires called Cosmos tell them that the egg belongs to Mothra and they should not deal with the egg. Godzilla appears to destroy the egg, but is stopped by 'not Indiana Jones' cutting the rope where the egg hatches into a Mothra larvae. Mothra larvae gets it's butt kicked until Battra's larvae form appears and sinks Godzilla with it into a deep trench.
The fairies are then captured by the company to be used in their marketing campaigns. The fairies respond by calling Mothra which causes it to come save them. Which doesn't make any sense, because of course the JSDF are going to attack a monster. I could almost make a case that the real antagonists of this film could be Cosmos. They are the cause of everything, no serious they summon Mothra. The reason Battra is defeated, and then why Mothra has to go commit suicide by fending off a meteor that apparently Battra was supposed to be defeated.
I am not even finishing the summary, because I just eluded at it. This film's human story is atrocious because the human characters are not characters they are cardboard cut-outs of tropes that are not even written well or enjoyable. I don't know why this film was so successful, and unfortunately that same style was used in the last two films.
Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla
Godzilla now has to fight it's space version cousin. Again, we discuss G-cells, but this time we go timely-wimey with space/time mechanics that don't make sense. Space Godzilla looks cool, but this film makes little sense.
Pretty much Space Godzilla is an evil version of Godzilla who locks Young Godzilla in crystals and then sucks up energy that will destroy the planet. Godzilla fights Space Godzilla with help of Super XIII, and pretty much those last two films where they tried to kill Godzilla, is seen as bad. Miki only briefly appears and instead the pathos is switched this rogue soldier who wants revenge on Godzilla, but ends up showing appreciation for him. It is a basic plot, and doesn't fit the last few Godzilla portrayals and is back peddling at best, and at worst is just a corny and cheesy film.
The themes include putting empathy on Godzilla much like Miki was used in the past few films. Instead Miki is put into a position where they want to weaponize Godzilla using telepathy. But, the telepathy never actually works. There is also a subplot about Miki being captured by the yakuza. It makes no sense, and since the Project M does not work, the whole plot point is pointless. The film had promise, but they kept making the same mistakes of the last film.
Godzilla vs. Destroyah
With the failure of Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla for obvious reasons, Toho decided to end it's Godzilla run especially with Tri-Star doing their own Godzilla film.
This film starts off with Godzilla dying by going nuclear. The JSDF then enact plans to try to destroy him. One plan is to use the oxygen destroyer the one that killed the original Godzilla in 1954. Miki does not agree with this plan. But, at the same time another scientist named Dr. Injun creates micro-oxygen which is eerily similar to Dr. Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer.
Injun creates an experiment and one of the microbes emerges from pre-cambrian earth and mutates into creatures that attack the JSDF. These action scenes are funny, because they are similar to Gamera vs. The Legion.
Much like in Legion, the smaller creatures combine to create Destroyah who first fights and defeats Young Godzilla the grown up and radiated version of Baby Godzilla from Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II. Young Godzilla is seemingly killed by Destroyah, but then battles Godzilla. Godzilla defeats it not one, but twice. The JSDF manage to cool Godzilla down, but he still blows up making Tokyo an atomic wasteland. However, in the explosion Young Godzilla is revived and will be the new Godzilla.
Themes include that the past has come back to haunt you. Much, like the themes in some of the earlier Heisei films, so it gets that right. This film doesn't have the mistakes of the past three films, but was a decent way to end the Heisei era. Godzilla would come back in five more years, and we will talk about the Millennial Series next week.
Overall I feel that the Godzilla Heisei Cinematic Universe did some interesting things. It was the first film franchise to take a product and tie it all together in a way that was only through films. Yeah, Star Trek and Star Wars have their films, but Star Trek was based on a TV show and Star Wars only had those three films. Godzilla's Heisei series could be seen as inspiration for Marvel and DC's Cinematic Universes and they could use a history lesson to not repeat what happened to Godzilla.
This month I will be doing something a bit different with the blog. Those of you who know me personally already see my undying love for kaiju, particularly for that king of daikaiju, Godzilla. So in celebration of Shin Godzilla and October, I'm going to watch all the Godzilla films I own. 30 films in total. Then every Sunday I will write a review of all the shows I have watched.
Starting this tradition off will be me watching two Godzilla films and then reviewing them. The reviews will all be similar. I will analyze the story, characters, themes, and acting to rate where I think they fit on the Godzilla totem pole.
Today, we will be looking at two Godzilla films. The first one is Godzilla 1984 aka known as Godzilla Returns. Then we will go back to 1966 and watch Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster aka Ebirah: Horror of the deep.
Godzilla 1984 aka Godzilla Returns
Toho had stopped making Godzilla films in the eighties, due to the financial failure of Terror of MechaGodzilla. Multiple times in the 80's a reboot had been attempted, and more films even one attemped to get an American director. Most of those plans fell through, and eventually Toho brought a team to create a sequel to the original 1954 Godzilla film. That would become Godzilla 1984, and would return to the darker roots of the monster.
Godzilla 1984 begins on a boat where fisherman during a volcanic eruption see Godzilla appear. Godzilla awakes and wrecks havoc on the world once more. We are introduced to our main character Goro Maki a reporter who finds Hiroshi Okumura, the sole survivor of the tragedy.
Goro wants to report the findings, but can't as Okumura's professor from his college days Makoto Hayashida has confirmed that the monster is Godzilla and the government forces a gag order on all reports dealing with Godzilla. During this time Maki sees Hiroshi's sister Naoko and for some reason or another is drawn to her. He is the one who reunites brother and sister.
Eventually, Godzilla sinks a Soviet sub looking for nuclear energy. This creates an international incident which almost makes the US go to war against the the U.S.S.R., but the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Seiki Mitamura stops the contention by releasing the information about Godzilla. To make matters more complicated the Soviets and the US want to test nuclear weapons above Japan if Godzilla appears. The Prime Minster gets them to call off their nukes, and instead favors the SDF new weapon called Weapon X.
Godzilla attacks a nuclear plant, drawn by the energy. This incident is important for two reasons. The first being this is the first time we actually see Godzilla in all his glory, but it is also important because this is when we find out that Godzilla has a magnetic part of his brain like a bird which homes in like a bird. Professor Hayashida wants to use this to try and trap Godzilla in Mt. Miura.
Professor's proposal is gawked at by most of the Japanese cabinet, but the plan is still allowed to take place as long as Project X doesn't end up destroying Godzilla. It is pretty much their back-up plan.
Godzilla comes to Tokyo and starts destroying it. Weapon X confronts Godzilla and we get some tension of our main characters as they try to escape Tokyo in the ensuing chaos. Weapon X uses Cadmium rounds to make Godzilla go to sleep. This allows Hiroshi and Hayashida to flee and set up the trap while Maki and Naoko stay and escape Godzilla's rampage.
Although the cadmium rounds work, a misstep by the Soviets allow a nuke from their satellite to launch, which gets intercepted by the Americans. This creates an EMP field which temporary disables Weapon X, but causes a lightning storm that revives Godzilla. Once he is awakes he makes quick work of Weapon X, ultimately destroying it by sending a skyscraper on top of it. Then Godzilla is lured to Mt. Miura where he falls into the crater and dies.
The story works as a return to form, many reviewers have called it boring. It defiantly is not the most action packed Godzilla films. The tension is not really there and the sense of dread unlike the original Godzilla is not there either. They force tension with the scenes in Tokyo with Maki and Naoko, but those are ultimatly pointless scenes. We already know people are running from Godzilla, so adding those scenes to try and put in ethos doesn't really fill the void.
The story may fall flat and is quite boring, but the characters and acting are phenomenal. Ken Tanaka as Goro Maki the main character is quite an interesting character who has a motive in the beginning, and stays with the scientists through his somewhat attachment to Naoko. I feel his character arc would have been improved by making Naoko a stronger character. She just simply exists, and isn't really a strong female character. This is remedied in Godzilla films to come as they will all star female cast members who kick butt and are memorable.
The real actor who steals the show is the prime minster played by Keiji Kobayashi. His acting in the film is the best. He is always trying to do something best for his country. The scenes with him are enjoyable, because he just has that presence that controls the scene.
The themes of this film go back to the original Godzilla with threat of nuclear war. This is in the end of the Cold War, and Japan a country that had seen not one but two atomic bombs. The director wanted to bring back the fear of nuclear weapons, and the nuclear threat was important theme used. Godzilla himself is a nuclear weapon, a living nuclear weapon as they say in the film.
There is a hint of anti-Soviet propaganda as it is the Americans who defeat the Soviets weapon. The Soviets are the ones who are attacked by Godzilla, and you almost see them as the victims. But, the biggest victims is that of the Japanese people. The destruction of Godzilla and nuclear weapons is ultimately defeated not by Super X. Godzilla is defeated by man using nature to get rid of it's problems. Working with nature can man defeat it's demons. This theme of the power of nature as an ally is what defeat's Godzilla.
They use the magnetic homing trait of Godzilla to lure him into the volcano. The volcano destroys Godzilla. Life finds a way, yes I stole that from Jurassic Park. Godzilla was created by power-hungry humans, and was destroyed by humans working together with nature instead of exploiting it. This is a very Miyazaki theme, although this predates the Miyazaki films that use that trope, it still fits to describe this film.
In all Godzilla 1984 is an interesting Godzilla film. It may not have the best story, but Godzilla films have never had the best story or plot. If you want to see Godzilla as a bad guy and not a good guy mixed with themes of man vs. nature and a cold war rhetoric then this film is for you.
Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster
Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster came hot from the heels of other 60's era Godzilla film. Godzilla continued to fill in for Gamera as the protector of Japanese youth. The main characters are all 60's Japanese teenagers and the film has a very hippy vibe. The teenagers use their head and are creative against the man. Although, the man is a terrorist group called the Red Bamboo who have at their disposal a giant lobster named Ebirah: The Horror of the Deep.
The story starts off with a psychic telling a mother that her son is still lost at sea. Ryoto goes in search of his brother. First he teams up with some friends to win a dance contest. After befriending these individuals he goes to look at boats. Once on a boat they see a suspicious person in the boat who says that it is his boat.
The three stay on the boat with the crazy man who may or may not be a wanted criminal who is a lockpick. While they sleep, the boat maniac Ryoto has already sat sail in search of his brother. On the way they are attacked by Ebirah and wash up on Demon Island.
On Demon Island they see the evil organization called Red Bamboo who enslave Infant Islanders to make a yellow liquid which stops Ebirah from attacking them. They rescue a girl named Dayo and hide in the caves on the island.
It is in the caves that they see Godzilla hibernating in a cave. Not wanting to stay in a cave for Godzilla and wanting to know more about the Red Bamboo the group of five head into the Red Bamboo base. They find out that Red Bamboo are making nuclear weapons.
The five of them escape, but in the escape are split up. One of the dancer friends, Nita is captured by the Red Bamboo and is forced into labor like the islanders. Meanwhile Ryoto jumps on a surveillance balloon and lands on Infant Island , where he is reunited with his brother.
In the ensuing chaos and now in dire straits the remaining three decide to wake-up Godzilla. They do this using some wire that Dayo mistook for a necklace from the Red Bamboo base. The wire and a sword as a lightning rod that they found earlier wakes up Godzilla. Godzilla battles Ebirah in the sea, allowing Ryota and his brother to escape the monsters wrath.
While in captivity Nita brings the islanders together and they decide to delude the yellow liquid and make phony copycat to teach the terrorists a lesson. Meanwhile Godzilla appears on two occasions, one time to scare away the Red Bamboo and another time to destroy the base. In the destruction, the captives are set free, but one of the scientists sets the nukes off to blow the island to smithereens. They try to stop it, but to no avail. Instead the Infant Islanders awaken Mothra who saves the islanders and Godzilla who defeats Ebirah, also tries to fight Mothra briefly before Mothras creates a dust storm allowing it and Islanders to leave.
The film is a very cheesy 60's take on Godzilla. Continuing with the very silly Godzilla who is more of an anti-hero than a villian. The common themes of nuclear weapons is addressed like in many Godzilla films. This film also has a few more themes such as brain over brawn, which is show in the case of the lockpick/safecracker and even Nita as he suggests that they delude the yellow liquid allowing Ebirah to get rid of the terrorists.
The acting is typical acting, and no real characters stand out. Too many characters to focus on and none really have character arcs. I will say I noticed that all the male actors had a thing for Dayo as they kept touching her on the ass. It might have been just a nitpick, but seriously everyone was touching her in the butt. Overall, the film is hilarious. It isn't bad, but it isn't good. The writing falls flat and characters do interesting things, but the writing isn't anything worth crying over. If you like Godzilla as an anti-hero and Deus Ex Mothra endings then this is for you.
Listen, punks I'm going to tell you about the toughest punk at Sarayashiki Junior High, Yusuke Urameshi and why Yu Yu Hakusho is the best anime series of all time. The reasoning is besides co-starring Kazuma Kuwabara the second toughest punk at Sarayashiki Junior High School there are many reasons for this. The focus on characters whom are all enjoyable, the fusion of genres and tropes as well as the witty humor to contrast some of it's darker undertones.
Yu Yu Hakusho is an anime series that is based off of the manga of the same name by Yoshihiro Togashi, who has also worked on Hunter x Hunter. The main attraction to his work is that of his characters. He has created tons of memorable characters who have influenced my own writing. These characters may be based on popular tropes or mythological creatures, but they are powerful characters whom have strong character arcs and paths. Yusuke Urameshi, the series main character has one of my favorite character arcs of any shonen manga/anime I have ever read or watched. Yusuke is the most dynamic character in the series as he changes from a punk who has not motivation or desire to change himself into a hero respected by many friends and enemies alike.
Yusuke is not the only character as his supporting cast mostly consisting of Kuwabara, Hiei and Kurama also have character arcs themselves. Hiei for example and to a lesser extent Kurama start off as antagonists, and then later after various obstacles involving Yusuke overcome their differences and over the course of the series become friends and rivals. Yusuke's enemies many of which become his allies and rivals over the course of the series are dynamic as well, not just because they change from good guy to bad guy, but because they change overtime due to the actions of our main protagonist. This wrapping up of character arcs where they intersect with each other is another endearing thing about the series, even though the arcs may not have the most plot, they have ton of character development which in my opinion is more enjoyable than a lot of plot twists and plot dumping.
It is not just the characters that I enjoy, but the fact that Togashi is able to combine multiple genres into one, to make it far more superior to other shonen shows such as Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and many others. Yu Yu Hakusho starts as a Mystery/Detective story with supernatural elements. That element never really goes away and makes it a bit different than the adventures of other shonen at the time like Dragon Ball or JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
As the series progresses the genre changes on multiple occasions. The series is notable for it's fighting tournaments. There are technically three main tournaments, The Genkai Tournament, The Dark Tournament and the Demon World Tournament. Of those The Dark Tournament is the longest, and takes up most of the time. Although the detective/mystery element appears once again during the Chapter Black story arc, by the end of that arc Yusuke is no longer a spirit detective. It switches to a full on shonen trope show with a final tournament arc similar to Dragon Ball and a few other older manga/anime of that era.
The anime and manga can be serious at times with tense situations, but it is the witty humor to contrast some of the darker undertones that along with the characters and genre make it special. This is most visible in the English dub, but is still present in the manga and in the Japanese subs. Togashi's humor to paint a situation even in the darkest of times with a glimmer of hope is a great skill to have. There are high stakes such as during the battles with the Saint Beasts or the end of the Dark Tournament with Togoro's gambit. There is even a Lord of the Ring's moment after the Dark Tournament when everyone thinks Kuwabara has died, when in reality we found out he did not. (Sorry:Spoilers)
The dialogue that combines some of the dark supernatural elements and some pretty tough situations. The series discusses trafficking of drugs/demons/humans, the criminal underground, the afterlife, and in the final arc it gets a bit political. A running theme through the last few arcs is that humans are of course just as evil as the demons that they paint as evil, and it shows with characters taking sides and being pittied against one another. But, in the end they just needed some punk from middle school to punch them in the end.
Despite it's shonen tropes, and sometimes violence for the sack of violence to end conflict, the show has always had a strong impact on me. I loved watching it as a kid, and I rewatch the series all the time. It is a fantastic and fun adventure seeing those characters mature with me as I watched the anime series growing up or reading the manga. The witty humor and dialogue, plus the dark undertones the series presents is a bit different than the pointless violence of Dragon Ball Z or the romantic fiction of Rurouni Kenshin, and despite the fact I like those other shows, it is Yu Yu Hakusho that has always risen in my eyes to be the superior anime series.
I don't have much to talk about on this blog post, but there is a bit of good news this week. This weekend I begin the second draft of my first book in the Imagient King series. I want to thank beta readers for reading my first draft and continue to give me positive feedback. But, I have to start working on what I need to fix in my second draft. I have compiled my own notes as well as some notes I have gotten from my friends and beta readers. I want to thank you all for giving me feedback and having interest in my book. I may not be the best writer, but you all give me hope that I can improve.
Next step is the second draft, I already have worked on my edited outline and will fix some things for my second draft. Once second draft is done everyone we will have a second beta readers session. I want to be done with the second draft by no later than January, but December is when I want to ideally be done by. That month will get pushed back depending if I want to do NaWriNoMo novel, which I have ideas for a one shot dark fantasy novel, but I might wait until I'm done with my second draft.
Once I get done with my second draft, I will have a second beta reader session after a revision process and continue to take feedback and look at what I like and don't like about my second draft. Hopefully after the second beta reader session around March if I am in a good position I will send my edited second draft to an editor and hopefully get the book professionally edited. That will mean more edits, more rewrites, and more drafts. But, if I want to publish this book in the next few years it is the next logical conclusion. So I want to once again thank everyone.
Today's blog post is going to be a bit different because I have seen a mentality going around that art should be free. That all art should fundamentally be free. It is something that has sparked much discussion from my artistic friends be them musicians, graphic artists, animators, or authors. It is a view that many blame on millennial generation that grew up with the Internet where everything was free, and they didn't have to pay for art. Be it illegally or artists legally posting stuff for free.
Let's walk through a scenario, you are a hard-working and passionate member of a clean-up and maintenance service. But, for you hard work and determination, all the hours you put into your craft, your job, all the energy and effort that you put in for your hard work and service your company decides that you did a great job, but instead of paying you they pat you on the back and tell all of their friends how great of an employee you are. How does that make you feel?
That type of response that you are feeling, is the same that happens when an artist doesn't get payed for the amount of time, energy, and resources it took to accomplish their art. Be it, music, animation, comics, books, ect and the list goes on. Art is something in my opinion that takes someone working with their own imagination and creativity and tools of the trade to create something, a craft that is perfected by hard work and determination.
It is no different than the time and energy a carpenter, a mechanic, a baker, or a clean-up/maintenance person does at their job. All these jobs are important so why as a society do we demonize artists for wanting some money for creating something that we enjoy?
How did we become a society that values art in this way? That art is not worth paying for? I could go on with theories and hypothesis on how and why certain people view art as less worthy of pay. Many say that it is the millennial generation and the Internet that has caused this mentality, but the mentality has existed before. The old tag-line of Baby-Boomers berating Generation X and younger for being lazy and not getting a job has always existed in society.
If we just look into a labor costs, such as most of our economic wage system is centered on, the cost of labor is one of the largest factors in paying a livable wage. An 8 hour work shift at a service industry is doing about as much work as an 8 hour work shift drawing a character for a comic.
An 8 hour work shift on drawing a character for example doesn't go into the gritty reality of an artist. Multiple times an artist will have to discard a draft and start over. They have to pay usually out of pocket for drawing programs, utensils, paper, and other tools of the trade. Authors, animators, scupltors and others are also apart of this too. They have to pay for tools to get a job done, and it is out of pocket. There are free writing programs, and you could technically use a paint or another free,open-source program for doing art, but there is still the time, and energy that goes into the creative process.
Voice actors and stage actors as well as illustrators and authors have to do multiple drafts, multiple takes, multiple versions before the finished product. This takes time and energy and a copious amount of stress and copying mechanisms to get a product done and finished. Time that could be used for other artistic methods and projects.
Art requires sacrifice of time, it requires dedication and effort. For some artists it takes less time, but it still is a skill-set that needs to be learned. Just like any other job. And, like any other job artists need to be payed for that sacrifice. They may not be working a 9-5 job doing sweat shop level labor, but it is still an extensive process that artists sacrifice their sweat, their blood and their tears. Artists deserve respect from society and until that happens it will force artists to work 9-5 jobs plus work on their art which will push back their art months at a time, not allow them to practice and do multiple takes. It doesn't allow an artist to sharpen their skills.
For up and coming artists this is the most problematic for them, they have no way to get out of this escapist ideology of trapped between survival and doing the things they love. If they can't afford to eat, pay bills, rent how can an artist thrive in this environment and the answer is many don't. So they give up their dreams and go do something that they can survive on. This creates a bottleneck and until artists can survive in society, art in reality can't be free. You should respect art by promoting your local artists be them musicians, or comic book artists, novelists, or just a painter.
Hello, and welcome to Elementology 101, where A.L. Hornbeck will discuss his magic system called Elementology. The magic system of my greater Computus lore is called Elementology because it relies on elements and, catalysts, and attributes as it's foundation. Imagientechs and magic are a way to draw upon this magic system, but they are mostly techniques on how to manipulate and control this system. In this blog post we will discuss what elements, catalysts, and attributes are. Then show how they are used in practice.
There are two types of elements in elementology there are primary elements and there are secondary elements as well as a pseudo-third element called Tertiary. The reason that Tertiary is somewhat of a pseudo element is something we will discuss when I talk about Catalysts and attributes. The primary elements are Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Light, and Dark. These are basic magical fantasy elements. They are the core of this magic system and also the first six elements.
The only thing to note about elementology besides the elements is it all powered by spiritual energy, at least the magic part of the system. There are three ways to generate spiritual energy or ki, or chi, depending on the culture that uses the term. Everything that is sentient as well as alive has the potential to use spiritual energy, generally only sentient individuals have been seen using spirit energy, but everything else in the Computus Galaxy that is living has spiritual energy within them.
It is a potential form of energy that can be called upon in three distinct ways due to the energy flow in the individual. Those types are focused, burst, and cycle. Focused Energy is typically done by mages and those who have trained in a form of theory to focus energy to a point and then release it. It is calculated and precise type of spiritual energy flow. The second type of energy flow is called burst which is gratuitous amounts of energy being uses at once in massive bursts of energy. This energy type drains a lot of energy, but a lot of energy is exerted making attacks or defense much more potent. The third type is cycled it is the weaker of all three energy types, but it regenerates energy back much more organically to the user, so that they can do more with less.
Now that you know what the spiritual energy does, how it affects the magical system is a mage or an Imagient or pretty much anyone else generating magic or techniques such as Imagientechs can use these energy types to generate one of the six basic elements.
The main rule of elementology is that when magical energies or elements collide they create catalysts. During a collision two things happen. One is that imagicite dust is created as a reaction. That imagicite dust is unrefined and generally not workable into a material. The other outcome is a catalyst. Generally when collision it is not controlled and the catalyst is brief such as when a fire mage hits a water mage and they block it with the various elements steam is produced as well as some unrefined imagicite dust.
A steam mage to create steam would have to draw upon their knowledge of fire and water to create steam as an attack. For example a ninja who uses smoke to attack can either use something that natural makes smoke such as a smoke bomb or if they can draw upon spiritual energy to create magical smoke. The easiest way to do this is to know a bit about fire element and apply dual fire in a technique which means no smoke bombs needed to create a smoke affect and allowing them to escape.
Steam itself is a catalyst, it is also a secondary element as well. Effectively all the secondary and tertiary elements are also catalysts, they can only created or reproduced if and only if the primary elements involved or in the case of tertiary elements the attributes are used. A catalyst is an affect that happens when two magical elements collide either in battle with one another or being used by a mage to create a stronger element.
The table above does a good job of showing the examples of the primary elements and what they do to each other when they interact amiss other elements. I also listed the attributes, but not their actual tertiary elements they make. This is mostly because primary elements and their respective catalysts are more important on laying a ground work on how the system works.
Primary elements are created via the use of spiritual energy to manifest the primary element. For mages they learn techniques on how to do this. For an Imagient, they just learn their Imagientech and it becomes second nature. The way these two people can harness elementology is different, but if a Wind Mage is taking on an Imagient who controls fire and they fight each other with the two elements one must know that if the magical elements hit that both attacks will create a catalyst which is sand.
Secondary elements can then themselves be applied to attributes to make certain things called tertiary elements. Which are not true elements because they need an attribute. An attribute is by definition something that is being caused by something else. For example Heat and Cold are attributes because they are caused by something being hot. A weapon is a weapon, because it is being used as such. To make things more confusing there are primary and secondary attributes. Which are well, the main difference between the two are that the secondary are generally applied ideas that are not really tangiable like the primary attributes. One does not simply pick up something that is positive or kinetic, those are more of the lines of meta-magic, which I will not necessarily go into detail with.
There are other attributes and tertiary elements that I am not listing, but the main one I will discuss for example is Poison. Poison is created magically, not naturally by knowledge of acid element and negative attribute. Biologically you have acids in your body, but that is not the acid we are talking about. Acid in elementology isn't even necessarily something that is considered an acid in chemistry either. An acid is just what happens when the Dark and Water elements collide. That acid if given some negative attribute will turn into poison. A ninja or a spy or assassin or anyone else who knows a bit about those elements and attributes can create poison that will magically poison a target, hopefully not the user.
I hope this is a good introduction to my magic system called elementology. If you like this blog and want me to continue with detailing the magic system, please like and comment on the blog. Next week, I will go into detail with what is an Imagientech, and how the system is used.