All posts tagged: Kaiju

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Kaiju and Kikaiju: The Strange Beasts of Pacific Rim

Guillermo del Toro’s long awaited sci/fi epic, Pacific Rim, is soon upon us, and to prepare, we should take a look at the inspirations beneath it that run decades deep.  For those heathens unaware, Pacific Rim can be swiftly described as Giant Robots Vs. Giant Monsters.  Essentially, del Toro, having named the alien enemies in his film “Kaiju” is following the classic elements of Kaiju vs. Kikaiju, the two legendary boughs of Japanese action fantasy. The roots inevitably lead us to Nippon in the post-war 1950s.  Kaiju (literally “strange beasts”), best represented by the mighty Gojira (Godzilla) first spawned in 1954 from the Toho studios and former Kurosawa assistant Ishiro Honda, who was inspired by the American monster film from Ray Harryhausen, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953), in which a reawakened Rhedosaurus from the Arctic wrecks havoc.  Gojira would become successful enough in Japan to launch the entire Kaiju genre, and with the re-edited American version, it would become an international sensation.  Many strange beasts followed – Mothra, Rodan, Ghidorah and Gamera.  From the …