Godzilla was the very first Kaiju (strange monster) or more accurately Daikaiju (giant strange monster) and all others have followed in the giant radioactive lizard’s footsteps. So with great excitement and anticipation I attended the Kaiju panel discussion at the Rose City Comic Con. They specifically focused on the Kaiju of Pacific Rim, which is, in my humble opinion, the best movie of the year (and yes I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness and I thought it was fantastic).
There were three speakers on the panel: Kyle Young of Kaijucast.com (shameless plug), Jeff and Brian. These guys know their Kaiju. They even gave me a couple of suggestions for movies I haven’t seen and I thought I was fairly up on my Japanese monster movies. Kyle specifically suggested a trilogy called Daimajin that was recently released in the US as an excellent example of feudal monster movies based upon Yokai, which is the Japanese equivalent of our mythological monsters like ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, or Sasquatch.
They had a lot of interesting things to say about the Kaiju of Pacific Rim. For example Knifehead was patterned after a Goblin shark. Also that the names had meanings, like Otachi translates roughly as big sword or that Raiju is a reference to a Yokai.
Their final word of advice for Kaiju fans and specifically fans of Pacific Rim was to follow Travis Beacham on Tumblir. Something I intend to do as soon as I have 5 minutes to spare.
Overall it was an excellent panel discussion. My only quibble is that there wasn’t enough discussion of Godzilla or other classic Kaiju. Given that Pacific Rim is A) a fantastic movie and B) they only had an hour I can understand that they couldn’t cover all of the Kaiju they would have liked to. Since the panel drew a larger crowd than they expected and with a new Godzilla movie coming out in 2014 I am hoping to attend more like it at future cons.
Oh and one last thing. Kyle grabbed a bunch of promotional Godzilla posters from the San Deigo Comic Con and I was able to snag one. Thank you Kyle! K.