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GIANT GOD WARRIOR APPEARS IN TOKYO
April 24, 2013 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Studio Ghibli presents Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo, a short tokusatsu film. (In Japanese, no subtitles.)
posted by brundlefly (71 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
The writeup says it was commissioned for a museum exhibition, but it doesn't say what that was. Because I'm not exactly sure what museum exhibit this would go with.
posted by GuyZero at 4:46 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The YouTube description links to a Tumblr post that says the following:
It has been confirmed that “Kyoshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru (Giant God Warriors Appear in Tokyo”, a short Tokusatsu (special effects) movie created by Studio Ghibli and originally screened in theatres alongside “Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo” will be included on the “Evangelion 3.33” Blu Ray/DVD released on 24 April 2013.

“Kyoshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru” (Giant God Warriors Appear in Tokyo) is a short Tokusatsu movie created as a promotional video for the “TOKUSATSU – Special Effects Exhibition” at “TOKUSATSU – Special Effects Museum”, which has Anno Hideaki (Eva’s director) as museum director, in Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. The movie was proposed to be shown with “Evangelion 3.0” by Suzuki Toshio and Anno Hideaki agreed with that. As a movie version, its pictures and sounds will we re-modified and it has the total length of 10:07 minutes. The movie features “Kyoshinhei” (Giant God Warriors) from “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” and it was made to show the fascination and the fun of Miniature Tokusatsu.
posted by brundlefly at 4:50 PM on April 24, 2013


GZ, the bit at the end is taken pretty directly from Nausicaa, so I'm guessing it's the Studio Ghibly museum.
posted by lekvar at 4:57 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Totoro!! Save Us!!!

(The short film is beautiful - in a terrbible way).
posted by helmutdog at 5:11 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. The monsters are pretty cheesie looking. (But they're supposed to be; it's part of the genre.)
2. When he unleashes that beam, the special effects are damned cool. I've seen worse in major Hollywood epics. Good pyrotechnics!
3. They trashed the Tokyo Tower! (That's obligatory; it's in the rules!)
4. Gojira is supposed to show up and save the day, isn't he?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:18 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


How very . . . Japanese.

I imagine at this point the original cultural background for "Let's trash Tokyo!" is long past and has been replaced by senior animators saying "I grew up watching Tokyo get trashed. I loved those bits. It's my turn now!"
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:24 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


man, I have no idea what's going on and it doesn't look that spectacular. BUT! Nausicaa is like my favorite thing ever, having recently read the manga, and i really hope that there's more of this to come!
posted by rebent at 5:31 PM on April 24, 2013


Huh, I'd heard about a short film being included with 3.33, but didn't realise it was this. I've been reading Shingeki no Kyojin, so it's probably just the mood I'm in, but there's something especially terrifying about a disaster being caused by an alien intelligence like this. Even if the end result is the same, a giant monster is somehow so much more frightening than something like an earthquake or an asteroid.
posted by lucidium at 5:34 PM on April 24, 2013


I'd give my left chiko nut for a full-on live-action adaptation of the Nausicaa series. The anime is amazing, but the full manga story deserves to be seen by a much bigger audience. If Peter Jackson still has the epic-fantasy itch after doing The Hobbit, I'd be game.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:35 PM on April 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is definitely a thing.

I do like the modeling work instead of snooze-inducing CG. Bravo on that!
posted by selfnoise at 5:47 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm... Studio Ghibli? Hideaki Anno? Live action?

This is... Well, when I saw him shoot the beam out my first response was "Dude, don't be such a dick."

Then I saw how much devastation it was, but it was like... not very devastation? Like, OK, big glowy beam, I can see wreaking a bit of a trail of fire or something, and some smoke, but like nuke type effects? Really? It seemed so out of sorts.

I totally see Eva there, I mean, my god. Which made me ponder a live Eva film (you know, the one that's always rumored).

I wish it made sense, I have no clue what they're saying (it's been years since I even *tried* learning a little Japanese, and I've forgotten pretty much all of the very tiny fraction I had learned).

The herky-jerkiness I almost see as being like Adam Jones' (from Tool)'s videos...
posted by symbioid at 5:49 PM on April 24, 2013


I've been reading Shingeki no Kyojin, so it's probably just the mood I'm in, but there's something especially terrifying about a disaster being caused by an alien intelligence like this.

They're bioengineered weapons, not aliens.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:51 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


mr_roboto, maybe I should have made it clear that I'd only just started reading, and I thought in that context it would be understood that I meant "alien" in the sense of "unknown", but that was pretty mean.
posted by lucidium at 6:09 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't want to have found it underwhelming and a bit cheesy, but I think I did. It's mostly interesting because it ties in with Nausicaa; by itself I think it's not much.

I mean, granted, it's barely longer than a trailer, and I couldn't understand the voice-over. But if you're going to present something as STUDIO GHIBLI'S FIRST LIVE-ACTION GIANT THINGIE DESTROYS THE WORLD!!111 you'd better be swinging for the fences.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 6:14 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I went to this exhibit! Spoon and Tamago did a brief article about it. There were lots of original props and example sets, though the only place they let you take pictures was in the model city used for this short film. They're not very good, but I did get some pictures of it.
posted by 23 at 6:16 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


lucidium: "Huh, I'd heard about a short film being included with 3.33, but didn't realise it was this. I've been reading Shingeki no Kyojin, so it's probably just the mood I'm in, but there's something especially terrifying about a disaster being caused by an alien intelligence like this. Even if the end result is the same, a giant monster is somehow so much more frightening than something like an earthquake or an asteroid."

get out, I just finished Shingeki no Kyojin (aka Attack on Titan). Wow, it is amazing.
posted by rebent at 6:16 PM on April 24, 2013


mr_roboto, maybe I should have made it clear that I'd only just started reading,

I'm pretty sure he's referring to the giant warriors, though it's still irrelevant.

Shingeki no Kyojin is definitely the anime everybody should watch this season, though the third episode was distressingly vanilla shounen compared to the first two.
posted by 23 at 6:19 PM on April 24, 2013


I had never really thought about it before but that would be a pretty neat story to tell. Who defeated those things? The last desperate days of humanity. Independence Day with more of Pyrrhic victory. God save us from prequels but considering it would take place hundreds or thousands of years in the past it would be kind of hard to really screw up.
posted by JARED!!! at 7:06 PM on April 24, 2013


The effects of atomic power on Japanese sci-fi is fascinating. I really enjoyed this; especially the miniatures. The God hovering over the city was nice and creepy.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:27 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nausicaa was my favorite comic as a kid. I think a live-action version would be not bad.
posted by anewnadir at 7:33 PM on April 24, 2013


This reminds me of the time I hacked God Warriors into Civilization II ( complete with a sprite drawn into the unit spritesheet using Corel Photo-Paint! ) and sent them forth to ravage the Earth.

I first read the Nausicaä manga in the early 90s. To this day, this half-remembered image of a dozen God Warriors standing over a burning city -- eyes aglow -- gives me pause. They perfectly represent nuclear terror, inhumanity, insanely out of scale fifth order effects and science gone wrong.
posted by Kikkoman at 7:37 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mustn't run away.
posted by SPrintF at 7:39 PM on April 24, 2013


Anno Hideaki commissioned this? Wow.

Kikkoman: “I first read the Nausicaä manga in the early 90s. To this day, this half-remembered image of a dozen God Warriors standing over a burning city -- eyes aglow -- gives me pause. They perfectly represent nuclear terror, inhumanity, insanely out of scale fifth order effects and science gone wrong.”

Man, everybody should read that awesome, awesome manga. What a stirring thing. And not just the God Warriors, who were indeed imposing and somehow primeval – just the general sensation that went over me in reading it that all living things, no matter how gross they seem, no matter how odd, even if they seem to be trying to kill me, are amazing and wondrous and worthy. And that's dumbing it down a bit, honestly.

So, basically, I'm totally excited to watch this. Thanks.
posted by koeselitz at 7:52 PM on April 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Like times one billion
posted by roboton666 at 7:55 PM on April 24, 2013


I'll never look at my box of tonkatsu the same way again.
posted by ged at 8:18 PM on April 24, 2013


Good find. On the topic of kaiju, I'll add that Hiroshi Yamamoto's MM9 is a pleasant 'science police vs. giant monsters' story cycle I don't see any previous mentions for on MeFi. (And on the topic of Hiroshi Yamamoto, I'll add that The Stories of Ibis is an amazing fix-up/collection--particularly the later, longer stories.)
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:31 PM on April 24, 2013


Man, this is going to get taken down so fast.

Watch it soon.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:36 PM on April 24, 2013


Tell Me No Lies: “I imagine at this point the original cultural background for ‘Let's trash Tokyo!’ is long past and has been replaced by senior animators saying ‘I grew up watching Tokyo get trashed. I loved those bits. It's my turn now!’”

I think that's generally true, but it would be wrong to say it's true in this case. The man who designed these creatures was four years old when the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and he did these designs specifically intending the God Warriors to be towering, lumbering representations of the horrors of nuclear weaponry.

I am not Japanese and have never been there, so this is utterly wild speculation, but I've always had a feeling that the original cultural background of the 'Let's trash Tokyo!' impulse was almost a flipping of that horrifying bombing and an attempt to recontextualize it in order to deal with it in a way that made sense – to make the perpetrator a monster that could be soundly defeated, etc. I have a feeling that, to that first generation of survivors, the idea would have seemed repugnant; it was later, among their children and grandchildren, who (maybe not always consciously, but still) wanted a new way to face down the past, that trashing Tokyo became a beloved cultural trope. (This seems oddly common among the children and grandchildren of generations that go through terrifying times – take, for instance, the young generation of Germans in the late 60s and early 70s who suddenly got totally addicted to world music and crazy rhythms from around the world.)

So, in an odd way, one may say we've sort of come full circle; the destruction has come back around to being an intentional if indirect reference to the nuclear bombings. (But then, as I said, I'm not Japanese, and I probably have no idea what I'm talking about, so please don't take my word for it. I'm much more interested in what those who are more in the know might have to say about this.)
posted by koeselitz at 8:37 PM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Nausicaa is pretty damn scary.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:48 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what was going on entirely, other than what I could draw from what I saw. The captions YouTube translated from Japanese were so broken they were incomprehensible.

Something something eating soap something something.

Looked cool though. The only thing that bothered me is the change in size of the monster from floating to walking.
posted by Malice at 8:55 PM on April 24, 2013


Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu T'okyo wgah'nagl fhtagn
posted by not_on_display at 9:06 PM on April 24, 2013


I have no idea what I'm talking about either, but I think you're probably right.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:28 PM on April 24, 2013


If Peter Jackson still has the epic-fantasy itch after doing The Hobbit, I'd be game.

He was tied to a live action Neon Genesis Evangelion film a few years ago. All I can say is damn the studio powers for making The Hobbit into a three part film and enslaving him to the Tolkien IP. They'll make him work on an adaptation of The Silmarillion next, then The Children of Húrin, Unfinished, Farmer Giles of Ham...
posted by Apocryphon at 9:39 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kikkoman: "fifth order effects"

What do you mean by this? I'm genuinely curious, Google doesn't seem to help much.

Also, eponysterical.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:07 PM on April 24, 2013


Apocryphon: "If Peter Jackson still has the epic-fantasy itch after doing The Hobbit, I'd be game.

He was tied to a live action Neon Genesis Evangelion film a few years ago. All I can say is damn the studio powers for making The Hobbit into a three part film and enslaving him to the Tolkien IP. They'll make him work on an adaptation of The Silmarillion next, then The Children of Húrin, Unfinished, Farmer Giles of Ham..
"

Don't worry. Guillermo del Toro has got you covered.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:08 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chocolate Pickle: "2. When he unleashes that beam, the special effects are damned cool. I've seen worse in major Hollywood epics. Good pyrotechnics!"

They're generally good, except for the relatively close-up stuff, like that building being sliced in two and spewing melted whatnot. Those parts look horrible.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:10 PM on April 24, 2013


I don't get the attraction. This looks like overheated shit.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:14 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


[brief translation, probably some errors, but it's late, and damn it, the narration track was hard for me to hear]

The dialogue and titles at the beginning are a conversation between the narrator and her brother, who suddenly appears out of the blue in her apartment to warn her of an impending calamity. She doesn't believe him, and then the "Giant God Warrior" (kind of a terrible gloss, if you ask me) appears.

The narrator then wonders if she should have spread the word (on social media, hah, good luck!) the previous day when she was warned by her brother.

She would have screamed at the top of her lungs if she had realized that all she had known and loved would be destroyed in an instant.

Barking dog, a title (presumably the brother) pleading with her to get away quickly.

She then describes the monster.

[general mayhem, then all the bioweapons descend]

There's then a long rambling bit about all life being annihilated and some stuff about rebirth, while the narrator says we all have the ability to escape this destiny. We have the choice to make a better world.

Something something seven days of fire.

"Before a new world is reborn, we will be visited by destruction."

And then the canon pops out of snagglepuss' mouth.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:17 PM on April 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


A little overblown, and I am somewhat disappointed that Miyazaki approved this thing. Nausicaa the manga and the film was fucking cool and fucking scary.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:19 PM on April 24, 2013


I don't get the attraction. This looks like overheated shit.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:14 PM on April 24

I guess have been raised on Godzilla and Ghibli, for me this is like SUPER FUCKING AWESOME TIME, so there.
posted by roboton666 at 10:20 PM on April 24, 2013


But then again, I traded my indie-cred for top-40 shlock, so what do I know?
posted by roboton666 at 10:21 PM on April 24, 2013


Please. I'm 44 years old. I've already forgotten more Kaiju movies than you've even seen. This isn't even good camp.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:24 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell: I'm 38, I'm not that far behind you! I liked it, but then again, I like Maroon 5, so I'm not really one to be a trusted critic of anything.
posted by roboton666 at 10:30 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw that exhibit last summer - it was pretty amazing. The mushroom cloud looked so cute and fluffy in person.
posted by betweenthebars at 10:32 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Background on the nostalgia component.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:47 PM on April 24, 2013


KokuRyu: "A little overblown, and I am somewhat disappointed that Miyazaki approved this thing. Nausicaa the manga and the film was fucking cool and fucking scary."

Yeah, this is really just sort of a very reductive and therefore relatively meaningless rendition of what I guess would have been those maybe four panels in the manga that described the seven days of fire (which four panels were a lot more interesting in general, really.)

Also, the link plays it up, but it seems like the extent of Miyazaki's input and design was

"Hey, Hayao, we're doing a little short, mind if we use your sketches of the God Warriors from Nausicaä?"

"Eh, sure."

which, yeah, doesn't sound like him too much, but how old is he now? *does math* 72 - huh, that's not super old, really - younger than I thought, somehow. Well, who knows. Has he been doing much work lately?
posted by koeselitz at 10:47 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The small head of the monster has a kind of mentally deficient look to it.
...sort of a dysfunctional lumbering dolt feel. For me this makes it more terrifying.
He's got atomic laser mega destructo power and an IQ of 65. Smart monsters are
much less scary.
posted by quazichimp at 10:49 PM on April 24, 2013


I did like the look of the monster - at times it reminded me of Ultraman monsters, which is fun. With two boys we watch just a ton of Ultraman every day on YouTube.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:54 PM on April 24, 2013


Perhaps Miyazaki isn't the only talented creative at Studio Ghibli?
posted by Brocktoon at 10:56 PM on April 24, 2013


Well, clearly he is not the only creative at Ghibli. They've produced dozens of films on which he wasn't the central creative person writing and directing - many of them quite good. (I'm a big fan of Hiroyuki Morita's The Cat Returns.) But the thing is that the God Warriors are totally his design; they were a central thing in Nausicaä. And, well - frankly, since Ghibli was always his thing ever since he founded it in the wake of the success of the Nausicaä film, he has notoriously been at least a little involved in almost everything, even if it only meant consulting on scripts or producing or helping with character design. He's always maintained some control over what the studio releases, too, as far as I know. So it would seem a little uncharacteristic for him to passively just let a project slide by that doesn't seem in his vein at all. But maybe things have changed a bit; I only know that he's worked hard in the past three decades to make sure Ghibli stuff has sort of a signature look and feel, and this doesn't really have that at all. Perhaps he's working on handing it on to a successor.
posted by koeselitz at 11:48 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Reading some of the critical comments here, it seems like people might be missing something major...




This film was done with stop-motion miniatures, not CGI. Practical fucking effects, people! We're talking full on Harryhausen, here.

Watch it again.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:04 AM on April 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I was just looking through a bunch of 'best anime movies of all time' lists to figure out which ones I wanted to get, and every single list was completely dominated by Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki anime.

I kind of wish people who made those lists would go something like, "Yeah we all know Studio Ghibli makes great stuff, if you haven't seen it obviously you should go here (link) for a list of all of their best stuff. However if you know about Studio Ghibli you probably don't need to be reminded about every anime they've ever done, so here's a list of OTHER anime movies that are pretty darn good."

I personally don't like much of it. I see the appeal, and I understand why people do. I have no legitimate criticism of the works. I just don't much like the stories and art style, as a personal taste, and with every list being dominated by Studio Ghibli it's hard to sort through it all to find the other gems that may be on page 56 or whatnot.

Anyway yeah, there was a wow factor with seeing the giant hovering over the city, but it was gone as soon as he stood up and shrunk down.

And thanks for the translation KokuRyu! It put the pieces together for me.
posted by Malice at 12:13 AM on April 25, 2013


>This film was done with stop-motion miniatures, not CGI

Yes, this post is kind of burying the lede! I've heard that it's ENTIRELY non-digital techniques, but surely the comps are digital? The lasers are definitely old-school though! I'd love to see a making-of.
posted by Erasmouse at 1:08 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hah! No- look at the 4:23 mark for example, you can see the white lines around the foreground people.. film comps! That's awesome! The sets being blown up is so sad yet so magnifient (5:28 mark)!

(it looks like a puppet/suit though for most shots, no? It doesn't look stop-motiony in much of the action.)
posted by Erasmouse at 1:20 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


What a jerk.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 1:56 AM on April 25, 2013


Just release Mei and the Kitten Bus already.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:30 AM on April 25, 2013


Do they say who did the voice over? I swear the voice actress sounds familiar, but I don't see her name in the credits.

Have to admit that Studio Ghibli wouldn't have been my first guess if I had seen that video cold.
posted by aroweofshale at 3:12 AM on April 25, 2013


This is the greatest thing. I have been waiting since the early 80s for this.

It's like a prequel to Nausicaa; the monster is one of the God Warriors! And Anno Hideaki's involvement makes this even more epic. The shots of the God Warrior group at the end is lifted directly from Nausicaa.
posted by ruthsarian at 6:00 AM on April 25, 2013


I saw 3.33 last night and thought this was a really bizarre opening, even for NGE... glad I now have this explanation

Now if only someone could explain the rest of the fucking movie
posted by MangyCarface at 6:08 AM on April 25, 2013


I would point the curious to this frame from Miyazaki's original manga version of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

That's what Studio Ghibli has to do with this and why they're suddenly involved in a live action short.
posted by Naberius at 6:21 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've heard that it's ENTIRELY non-digital techniques, but surely the comps are digital? The lasers are definitely old-school though! I'd love to see a making-of.

It is entirely non-digital, the museum showed a "making of" documentary and displayed all of the props. At the end, you could walk through the set and enjoy looming over Tokyo.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:55 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


mr_roboto: "This film was done with stop-motion miniatures, not CGI."

Suitmation, not stop-motion. But yeah! I love the little puppet dog.

Erasmouse: "Yes, this post is kind of burying the lede!"

Yeah, my apologies! I think I thought the "Tokusatsu" link would get across what kind of film this was, but I definitely should have elaborated instead of rushing to post. I just thought it was so neat!
posted by brundlefly at 8:31 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why so many? Looks like one did just fine. The other monsters came to steal its shine? I hate when that happens.
posted by Flex1970 at 8:59 AM on April 25, 2013


For those who missed the connection here, one of Hideaki Anno's first gigs in the industry was animating the God Warrior sequence in Nausicaä. If anyone's got the right to do a tokusatsu reimagining of that bit, it's him.
posted by fifthrider at 9:30 AM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Joakim Ziegler: 'Fifth order effects' was hyperbole on my part. In its place, read 'second order effects' or 'unforeseen consequences'.
posted by Kikkoman at 10:19 AM on April 25, 2013


...it is Megumi Hayashibara, isn't it.

I watched it again. It feels different enough from the usual Studio Ghibli fare that I have a bit of a disconnect going on.
posted by aroweofshale at 10:40 AM on April 25, 2013


Seeing the calm way the people in that video just stand around and look at the monster, I have a lot of respect for the people of Tokyo. Their stoicism in the face of an onslaught of Kaiju is something I really respect. :P
posted by Mokusatsu at 12:50 PM on April 25, 2013


I thought it was great. Scarier than the entirety of the new Evil Dead movie.

Lots of very jaded folks in my age range, though.
posted by smallerdemon at 8:35 AM on April 26, 2013


one of Hideaki Anno's first gigs in the industry was animating the God Warrior sequence in Nausicaä.

Been thinking about this for a day or so and I was just going to comment that this film almost seems kind of a delayed gratification to anyone disappointed the God Warrior in the animated Nausicaä was such a let down in terms of carnage. He was like a Chekov's bang flag gun.
posted by yoHighness at 12:05 PM on April 26, 2013


Sadly the vid's been taken down, but--

Found some footage of the sets! They are crazy!
Tiny Tokyo!
More tiny Tokyo!
27 solid minutes of Tiny Tokyo!
Enchantingly cheesy animatic!

Brundelfly: Yeah, my apologies! I think I thought the "Tokusatsu" link would get across what kind of film this was, but I definitely should have elaborated instead of rushing to post. I just thought it was so neat!

It is super neat!
posted by Erasmouse at 1:31 PM on April 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought the SFX was great, but the voiceover was pretty dumb. Miyazaki is notable because his heroines are, while not always complex, always likeable. The narrator in this case embodied none of the qualities of a Miyazaki heroine, which is what kind of killed it for me.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:04 PM on April 28, 2013


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