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King Kong Lives / B0 / Japan

26.06.15

Poster Poster
Title
King Kong 2
AKA
King Kong Lives (USA / UK)
Year of Film
1986
Director
John Guillermin
Starring
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Elliott, George Yiasoumi, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden,
Type of Poster
B0
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
39 6/16" x 55 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong Lives is the critically-mauled and commercially disastrous sequel to the ill-advised 1976 remake of the classic big ape monster movie, which was shepherded into life by the legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. I’m not entirely sure why a decade passed before this sequel was put into production, but both De Laurentiis (or at least his company DEG) and director John Guillermin returned and definitely shouldn’t have bothered. The gap is explained in the film by having Kong in a 10 year coma following his fall from the World Trade Center at the end of the previous film.

Linda Hamilton (who should have known better) stars as Dr. Amy Franklin who is attempting to perform a heart transplant with an electronic replacement but Kong has lost too much blood for the operation to proceed. Luckily the adventurer Hank Mitchell (Brian Kerwin) finds and captures another giant ape in the jungles of Borneo and brings it to the US so that the operation can go ahead. It turns out that the new ape is a female and once Kong’s heart is replaced it’s not long before he escapes with ‘Lady Kong’ and chaos ensues. Unfortunately, despite the premise, the entire cast looks as if they’d rather be somewhere else and the shoddy effects can’t paper over the cracks.

This artwork appears on the Japanese B1 and B0 posters. The B0 size of poster is typically used in larger cinemas and in advertising spots in the Tokyo metro. I’ve struggled to find out who the artist is for this poster so please get in touch if you have an idea. There are also two B2 posters for the film (style A and style B).

Steamboy / B0 / DVD release / Japan

05.08.16

Poster Poster
Title
Steamboy
AKA
Suchîmubôi (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2004
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Anne Suzuki, Masane Tsukayama, Katsuo Nakamura, Manami Konishi, Kiyoshi Kodama, Ikki Sawamura, Susumu Terajima, Osamu Saka
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Anne Suzuki, Masane Tsukayama, Katsuo Nakamura, Manami Konishi, Kiyoshi Kodama, Ikki Sawamura, Susumu Terajima, Osamu Saka,
Type of Poster
B0
Style of Poster
DVD release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2004
Designer
Toshiaki Uesugi (AKA Mach55Go!) | Mitsuhiro Sato (Digital composition)
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
39 6/16" x 55 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is an incredibly scarce B0 poster that was printed to promote the 2004 DVD release of Katsuhiro Otomo‘s 2004 anime, Steamboy. It features two illustrations of the main character James Ray Steam by the director himself. The film was Otomo’s first full-length anime to be released since the landmark Akira in 1988. Otomo had been busy in the intervening years, writing and illustrating several manga and contributing to other films, including the 1995 anthology Memories as well as the screenplay for the 2001 anime Metropolis. Steamboy was over 10 years in preparation and was apparently one the most expensive anime movies made at that point. The film has a steampunk theme and is set in an alternate 19th Century Britain.

The poster was designed by Toshiaki Uesugi, a graphic designer and musician who has regularly collaborated with Otomo, and who is also known as Mach55Go! for his musical work. Uesugi’s official site is here and is significantly out of date, but this page features a list of his work, which includes other Otomo collaborations as well as his work on anime like Cowboy Bebop and Macross.

During a 2014 trip to Japan I was lucky enough to be able to visit an exhibition that was dedicated to Otomo’s poster design and I first saw this poster there along with the ultra scarce Akira B0 DVD release poster that can be seen on Film on Paper here. I assumed I would never get the chance to add the Akira B0 to my collection but almost a year later the poster appeared on Yahoo auctions Japan and I was lucky to win the auction with the help of a Japanese friend. This Steamboy poster came from the same seller. The white sticker on the bottom right corner was placed there in 2004 by the company that controls advertising on the Tokyo Metro and details when it should be taken down from display. Take a look at the last picture which displays some hand-stamped marks found on the back side of the poster.

During a 2012 visit to Tokyo I went to a retrospective exhibition of Otomo’s work called Genga (A Japanese animation term for keyframes, literally ‘original pictures’), which featured hundreds of pieces of his artwork and the original hand-drawn pages for the Akira manga. I was also able to wear Kaneda’s jacket and sit on the legendary red bike!

Akira / B0 / 2001 DVD release / Japan

15.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Akira
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Starring
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama,
Type of Poster
B0
Style of Poster
DVD release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Toshiaki Uesugi (AKA Mach55Go!)
Artist
Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Size (inches)
39 6/16" x 55 9/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Katsuhiro Ôtomo‘s landmark manga series Akira was adapted into a feature-length anime film in 1988 and directed by Ôtomo himself. Akira had a huge impact on me when it was shown on the UK’s Channel 4 sometime in the early 1990s. I’d never seen anything quite like it and it opened my eyes to the world of anime films that were slowly being released in the UK, including the likes of Ninja ScrollGhost in the Shell and the great work of Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli.

The film was recently released on blu-ray and the lossless Japanese soundtrack is astonishingly good. There’s still talk of a live-action remake which fills me, and countless other fans of the anime, with great dread. I really hope it doesn’t happen!

This is an incredibly scarce B0 poster that was printed to promote a 2001 DVD release of the film in Japan. It features an illustration of Tetsuo from towards the end of the film by Otomo himself. It was designed by Toshiaki Uesugi, a graphic designer and musician who has regularly collaborated with Otomo, and who is also known as Mach55Go! for his musical work. Uesugi’s official site is here and is significantly out of date, but this page features a list of his work, which includes other Otomo collaborations as well as his work on anime like Cowboy Bebop and Macross.

This page has links to a lot of his work, including the items created for this DVD release, which featured the box packaging as well as a number of posters of different sizes. If you click through to the page for this poster (and select the small ‘next’ button) it takes you to a page with a picture of six copies of it on display in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Metro station and says that any copies that ended up in collectors’ hands were stolen from stations. It also says Otomo himself has 5 copies in his possession. A B1 portrait poster was apparently printed and featured just the left-hand side of the artwork. This collector site says that it’s thought that only 100 copies of the B0 were printed.

During a 2014 trip to Japan I was lucky enough to be able to visit an exhibition that was dedicated to Otomo’s poster design and I first saw this poster there (here’s a picture). I assumed I would never get the chance to add it to the collection but almost a year later the poster appeared on Yahoo auctions Japan and I was lucky to win the auction with the help of a Japanese friend. The white sticker on the bottom right corner was placed there in 2001 by the company that controls advertising on the Tokyo Metro and details when it should be taken down from display.

During a 2012 visit to Tokyo I went to a retrospective exhibition of Otomo’s work called Genga (a Japanese animation term for keyframes, literally ‘original pictures’), which featured hundreds of pieces of his artwork and the original hand-drawn pages for the Akira manga. I was also able to wear Kaneda’s jacket and sit on the legendary red bike!

I also have two Japanese B2 posters for the film; style A and style B, the Japanese B1 poster, as well as the American one sheet, and ace illustrator Tyler Stout’s take on the film.