Kaiju: Japanese Movie Monsters!

I learned a new word yesterday:Kaiju, which is a Japanese word that means “strange beast,” but often translated in English as “monster.” Essentially, they are the giant, city-stomping, roughly-humanoid monsters in Japanese special effects movie franchises such as Godzilla,Gamera,Mothra, Rodan, The Space Giants, Ultraman,etc.Since these are monsters, and are always brought to life with the help of costumes and some puppetry, I feel that they definitely belong in my blog.

I was inspired two times yesterday on kaiju.
First, an entry by my friend voodoochild9, in which she’s making some great little Beatles cartoon strips and one plot involves the boys turning into movie monsters Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan and Gamera.I definitely want to stick around for that.

The second instance of kaiju yesterday features in the blog of Jorge Garcia(“Hurley” in the show Lost), as he explains a film term he’s never heard before.

I’ve always liked Godzilla, but I think I liked the array of monsters in the Gamera series the most. However, the show “The Space Giants” probably had more monsters whose names I can actually remember, and I watched it after school every day as a kid.

My favorite kaiju of all, however, comes from the Gamera series.He is from the fifth Gamera movie, and he’s called Guiron:

Guiron has all the basic traits of being a costumed-human-as-monster: legs and arms, human proportions, etc. Except for two things: he often travels on all fours, and above all, his most obvious feature—THAT HEAD. He has a gigantic blade that he sports on his head, which is nearly as long as his body.A really nifty fact is that due to the lack of distinction in Japanese between the “l” and “r” sounds, Guiron is actually named after the guillotine.
Hence, my lead into this great spoof artwork I found:

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