You Searched For: Japan

Big Man Japan / one sheet / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Big Man Japan
AKA
Dai-Nihonjin (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2007
Director
Hitoshi Matsumoto
Starring
Hitoshi Matsumoto, Riki Takeuchi, Ua, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Haruka Unabara,Tomoji Hasegawa, Itsuji Itao, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Takayuki Haranishi, Daisuke Miyagawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Hitoshi Matsumoto, Riki Takeuchi, Ua, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Haruka Unabara,Tomoji Hasegawa, Itsuji Itao, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Takayuki Haranishi, Daisuke Miyagawa,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 39 10/16"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla / B2 / Japan

28.01.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla
AKA
Gojira VS Supesugojira (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1994
Director
Kensho Yamashita
Starring
Megumi Odaka, Jun Hashizume, Zenkichi Yoneyama, Akira Emoto, Towako Yoshikawa, Yôsuke Saitô, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Megumi Odaka, Jun Hashizume, Zenkichi Yoneyama, Akira Emoto, Towako Yoshikawa, Yôsuke Saitô, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1994
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B2 poster for Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla, which was the 21st film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was the sixth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The monster movie eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

The story is typically ludicrous and sees fellow kaiju Mothra travel in to space to stop a meteor hitting earth and inadvertently exposing cells from Godzilla (and Biollante) to the radiation from a black hole, which then triggers the creation of an aggressive extraterrestrial closely resembling the famous monster. SpaceGodzilla immediately heads to earth, destroying a space station on the way, and after battling and knocking out Godzilla it imprisons his son on Birth Island and heads to Japan intent on destruction. The Japan Self Defense Forces have time to scramble their latest weapon in the fight against kaiju, the penguin-like robot called Mogeura. But is it enough to stop the rampaging alien?

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Godzilla vs Destroyah / B2 / Japan

06.12.13

Poster Poster

Artist Noriyoshi Ohrai provides another great illustration on this Japanese poster for the release of Godzilla vs Destroyah, which was the 22nd film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the final release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

Prior to release the production company Toho announced that this film would see the death of this incarnation of the legendary kaiju in order to make way for an American version of Godzilla (a film that was eventually released in 1998 to critical derision). The film begins with Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka), the psychic who has has previously used her powers to communicate with Godzilla, discovering that his home on Birth Island has been completely destroyed by an unknown force. Sometime later Godzilla appears near Tokyo covered in glowing, red hot rashes and the Japan Self Defense Force instructs a scientist to investigate what’s causing his condition.

It is soon discovered that Godzilla’s heart, which is effectively a nuclear reactor, is going into meltdown and once it reaches 1200 degrees Celsius it will explode with the force of 1000 nuclear bombs. The JSDF launch the flying attack fortress Super X-III to try to keep control of the situation. Meanwhile, scientists have developed a new formula for the ‘Oxygen Destroyer’ weapon that was originally created by Dr. Serizawa back in 1954 (the original Godzilla film) but fears over its side effects are realised when a number of mutated creatures are found to have been infected by the formula and are growing at an alarming rate. Quickly they evolve into crab-like creatures that start attacking Japan and have several skirmishes with the JSDF who dub the eventual combined creature ‘Destroyah’. Godzilla Junior reappears, greatly resembling his father, and the stage is set for several showdowns between Destroyah and the two Godzillas whilst scientists race to try and prevent a meltdown disaster.

This film features several calls back to the original 1954 Godzilla, including a cameo by Momoko Kôchi who played Emiko Yamane in the original film. This bit of trivia on IMDb hints at an early planned version of the final Heisei era Godzilla film:

An original idea for this movie had Godzilla fighting the original 1954 Godzilla in ghost form. The project, “Godzilla VS Ghost Godzilla”, was scrapped because the producers thought Godzilla didn’t need to fight a clone version of himself for three movies in a row, following Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla(1993) and Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994).

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess / B1 / Japan

28.09.15

Poster Poster
Title
Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess
AKA
Kakushi toride no san akunin (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2008
Director
Shinji Higuchi
Starring
Jun Matsumoto, Daisuke Miyagawa, Kippei Shîna, Masami Nagasawa, Hiroshi Abe
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Jun Matsumoto, Daisuke Miyagawa, Kippei Shîna, Masami Nagasawa, Hiroshi Abe,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2008
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Takehiko Inoue
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40 9/16"
SS or DS
DS
Tagline
--

Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess is director Shinji Higuchi‘s take on Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 original classic The Hidden Fortress. By all accounts Higuchi ups the pace and gore levels significantly. The plot is described thusly:

Makabe Rokurota (Hiroshi Abe), the loyal retainer of Princess Yuki-hime of Akizuki (Masami Nagasawa), is moving the Princess and the prefecture’s ample treasury of gold bars safely to the politically stable Hayakawa area. They disguise themselves as humble firewood peddlers, hiding the gold bars inside the logs they are carrying, so as to pass safely through roadblocks, which are under the control of the local warlord. Along the way, Rokurota comes across Takezo (Jun Matsumoto) and Shimpachi (Daisuke Miyagawa), who have escaped from forced labour in a gold mine. They eventually agree to help out on this foolhardy mission in the hope of escaping Yamana’s oppression and cashing in on the gold reward Rokurota offers them.

The Takezo and Shimpachi characters (called Tahei and Matashichi in the original) were famously to serve as inspiration for George Lucas when he created Star Wars’ R2D2 and C3P0. The three reviews for this film that are on IMDb don’t exactly paint the film in a great light:

‘The two peasants are given more screen time and fleshed out more, but not to any productive effect. In the original they were the model for R2D2 and C3PO. In the updated version, they become Jar Jar Binks with sappy emotions.’

This poster has artwork that is credited to Takehiko Inoue who is a Japanese artist that was born in 1967 in Okuchi, Kagoshima and is best known for his work on manga, with two titles in particular, Slam Dunk and samurai tale Vagabond, that are popular across the globe. His Wikipedia page details a history of his work and also notes that he’s a huge fan of basketball and is a published sports writer. Inoue has also done design work for video games, including Lost Odyssey on the Xbox 360. I can’t find any record of any other film poster work but I can only assume he has done some.

Godzilla vs Biollante / B1 / Japan

18.07.13

Poster Poster

A colourful montage on this Japanese B1 poster for Godzilla vs Biollante, which was the 17th film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the second release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

This film was the belated follow up to the 1984 series reboot, Return of Godzilla, and the concept for the film was actually the result of a fan competition to decide the plot, which had seen Shinichirô Kobayashi, a dentist and part-time scriptwriter, emerge as the winner. His script was heavily altered before filming began. Considered something of a box-office failure, Godzilla vs Biollante features the legendary beast facing off against a brand new foe that hadn’t featured in the franchise before and this was used to excuse its poor showing. Toho would return to familiar enemies in the films that followed in the franchise, such as 1991’s Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.

In this film, which follows on from events in ‘Return of…’, a team of American paramilitary soldiers working on behalf of a US genetics company attempt to collect material left over from Godzilla’s last attack on Tokyo. Whilst escaping with a sample, the team are attacked by a mysterious lone operative and the material is stolen. Meanwhile, Genshiro Shiragami, a Japanese scientist working in the Middle East, is about to return home with his beloved daughter Erika when a terrorist strike destroys his lab and kills Erika. Five years later, a grief stricken Shiragami is working on experiments for the government to try and develop a way to defeat Godzilla should he return. What his benefactors don’t realise is that Shiragami has also conducted a secret trial in which he combined the cells of Godzilla with those of a rose (the psychic energy of which he has also been studying) and the cells of Erika. The result is a creature he calls Biollante, and before long Godzilla is released from his volcano prison and heads straight for a confrontation with the new kaiju.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Spirited Away / B2 / back seat style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Spirited Away
AKA
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Japan - original title) | La città incantata [The enchanted city] (Italy)
Year of Film
2001
Director
Hayao Miyazaki
Starring
Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Back seat
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Godzilla vs Mothra / 1992 version / B1 / Japan

28.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Mothra
AKA
Gojira vs. Mosura (Japan - original title) | Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1992
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Saburô Shinoda, Akiji Kobayashi, Akira Takarada, Makoto Ohtake, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Hurricane Ryu' Hariken
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Saburô Shinoda, Akiji Kobayashi, Akira Takarada, Makoto Ohtake, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Hurricane Ryu' Hariken,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B1 poster for Godzilla vs Mothra, which was the 19th film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the fourth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era. There was an earlier film in the franchise called Mothra vs Godzilla (1964) but this film is not a remake of that story.

Godzilla vs Mothra is, adjusted for inflation, the most financially successful entry in the entire series. The story sees a meteor crashing to earth and awakening not only the legendary lizard but also uncovering an egg of the benevolent giant moth, plus an evil version of Mothra called Battra that was created by Earth’s ‘life force’ to protect the planet itself from threat. Godzilla sets off on one of his usual rampages and Battra attacks Tokyo in anger at the pollution that mankind has caused. The trio of monsters face-off against each other in several battles and there’s also a subplot involving an Indiana-Jones-like treasure hunter and ethereal creatures known as Cosmos who are involved in the bigger conflict.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Ichi the Killer / B2 / style A / Japan

08.02.16

Poster Poster
Title
Ichi the Killer
AKA
Koroshiya 1 (Japan - English title - means 'Hitman')
Year of Film
2001
Director
Takashi Miike
Starring
Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Tadanobu Asano, Nao Ômori, Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, Shun Sugata, Toru Tezuka, Yoshiki Arizono, Kiyohiko Shibukawa,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Style A
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2001
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters printed for the release of director Takashi Miike‘s controversial 2001 film Ichi the Killer. A notably prolific director, Miike released 6 other films in the same year as Ichi alone, although it would be this one that would gain the most international notoriety. Based on the manga series of the same name by Hideo Yamamoto, the film focuses on the machinations of rival yakuza gangs within a crime syndicate and their interaction with Ichi (Nao Ômori), a shy and seemingly meek loner with a very dark side.

The film begins with the supposed disappearance of the gang boss Anjo, who vanishes from his apartment with millions of Yen, much to the confusion of his men. The audience sees the bloody aftermath of the fate that Anjo suffered at the hands of Ichi but a clean up crew led by Jijii (Shin’ya Tsukamoto) returns his apartment to a spotless state before his henchmen, led by the sadistic Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano) arrives.

The hunt for Anjo begins and Kakihara wastes no time in kidnapping a rival gang leader, Suzuki (Susumu Terajima) and hangs him from meat hooks to try and get him to confess. When it becomes clear he’s got the wrong culprit, Kakihara is forced to apologise and then cuts off his own tongue as a punishment. After being kicked out of the syndicate, the gang continues to hunt for Anjo. The audience learns that Jijii has been psychologically manipulating Ichi for years and has trained him in preparation to be used as a kind of weapon against whoever he decides to target. Suzuki has offered Jijii a large sum of money to take out Kakihara and his gang in revenge for their earlier attack and they must hunt for Ichi before he can get to them first.

It’s fair to say that, in true Miike style, the film doesn’t shy away from violence and sadistic torture and there are some truly brutal sequences. It’s not hard to see why it attracted controversy and was even banned outright in a few countries soon after its release. Despite some very ropey CGI there are several scenes that still shock today and Miike uses editing and sound design to great effect.

This poster, which I’ve named ‘Style A’ features the standout character of Kakihara (here with the number 1 seen on the back of Ichi’s killer’s outfit projected onto his face). The other style also features Kakihara but in a very different situation.

The Streetfighter’s Last Revenge / B2 / Japan

06.01.16

Poster Poster
Title
The Streetfighter's Last Revenge
AKA
Gyakushû! Satsujin ken (Japan - original title) | Revenge! The Killing Fist (literal English title)
Year of Film
1974
Director
Shigehiro Ozawa
Starring
Shin'ichi Chiba (as Sonny Chiba), Reiko Ike, Kôji Wada, Tatsuo Endô, Akira Shioji, Tsuyoshi Ôtsuka, Frankie Black, Shingo Yamashiro, Masafumi Suzuki, Etsuko Shihomi
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Shin'ichi Chiba (as Sonny Chiba), Reiko Ike, Kôji Wada, Tatsuo Endô, Akira Shioji, Tsuyoshi Ôtsuka, Frankie Black, Shingo Yamashiro, Masafumi Suzuki, Etsuko Shihomi,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1974
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A rare mix of photography and artwork features on this Japanese B2 for the release of (what would later be re-titled) The Streetfighter’s Last Revenge. The final entry in a trilogy of films starring legendary Japanese martial artist Shin’ichi ‘Sonny’ Chiba, the film followed the original The Streetfighter and Return of the Street Fighter which were all produced in one year (1974). The original film was Chiba’s breakout international hit and was released in the USA and elsewhere in 1974, but this sequel would have to wait 5 years before it was given a cinema release in the States. When it did finally arrive it was significantly altered and had large amounts of violence removed.

The reason for the delayed release is likely to do with the drop in quality over the first two entries as this review (and several others) on IMDb testifies:

‘If you love THE STREET FIGHTER (and you probably do if you looked up this entry) don’t even bother with this final entry in the series. This one sucks out loud, and has only one decent fight scene which lasts for about a minute. Our hero now has taken on a more “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE”-type persona since he now is a master of disguise (???). Skip this.’

This film and the others in the trilogy are now in the public domain (so can be streamed from multiple sources online). Director Quentin Tarantino is a big Chiba fan and these are the films that the character of Clarence (Christian Slater) is watching in a cinema triple-bill when he first meets Alabama (Patricia Arquette) in Tony Scott’s True Romance (Tarantino wrote the script).

I’ve struggled to find out who is responsible for the artwork on this poster so if anyone has an idea please get in touch. The US poster uses the same art and photograph, which was almost never the case, but I suspect that the distributor (New Line) was trying to save money by reusing as much as possible.

Ghost In The Shell / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Ghost In The Shell
AKA
Kôkaku kidôtai (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1995
Director
Mamoru Oshii
Starring
Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Ōtsuka, Iemasa Kayumi
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Ōtsuka, Iemasa Kayumi,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1995
Designer
Teruhisa Tajima
Artist
Hiroyuki Okiura
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla / 1993 version / B1 / Japan

12.04.13

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
AKA
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (alternative title) | Gojira VS Mekagojira (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1993
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka, Yûsuke Kawazu, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda, Leo Meneghetti, Daijiro Harada, Tadao Takashima
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka, Yûsuke Kawazu, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kôichi Ueda, Leo Meneghetti, Daijiro Harada, Tadao Takashima,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1993
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A colourful montage on this Japanese B2 poster for Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, which was the 2oth film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters) and was marketed as the 40th anniversary of the series. The film was also the fifth release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The monster movie eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era. Despite sharing the same title with a 1974 film, this is neither a remake or a re-imagining of the earlier version.

The story sees the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center (UNGCC) created in order to stop the legendary monster. Two machines are manufactured from the salvaged parts of Mecha-King Ghidorah, a mechanised abomination last seen in 1991s Godzilla vs King Ghidorah; one is a flying gunship called Garuda and the other is the titular Godzilla-like robotic beast. When a mysterious egg is discovered on an island in the Bering sea, both Godzilla and Rodan – the irradiated pteranodon seen in several previous films in the series – appear and battle over it, allowing a team to escape to a research centre in Kyoto. When the egg hatches it is revealed to be Baby Godzilla (AKA Godzilla Junior) and once again the legendary Kaiju is summoned to Japan by its psychic powers. The UNGCC decide to mobilise their new defence weapons and both Rodan and Godzilla are pitched against the metallic foes.

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Princess Mononoke / B2 / Ashitaka style / Japan

27.03.13

Poster Poster
Title
Princess Mononoke
AKA
Mononoke-hime (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1997
Director
Hayao Miyazaki
Starring
Yōji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yūko Tanaka, Kaoru Kobayashi, Masahiko Nishimura, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Akihiro Miwa, Mitsuko Mori, Hisaya Morishige
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Yōji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yūko Tanaka, Kaoru Kobayashi, Masahiko Nishimura, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Akihiro Miwa, Mitsuko Mori, Hisaya Morishige,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Ashitaka style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1997
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Studio Ghibil animation department
Size (inches)
20 8/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Princess Mononoke was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of the legendary Japanese animation outfit Studio Ghibli. Apparently around 144,000 cels were hand drawn for this film with Miyazaki personally overseeing each one and making hand-drawn amends to over 80,000 of them.

A fantasy drama set in the Muromachi period of Japan, the film follows the plight of a young warrior called Ashitaka who is stricken by a curse whilst defending his village from attack. After learning that he may be able to obtain a cure from the Great Forest Spirit (Deer God), Ashitaka travels west to try and locate it and ends up becoming involved in the battle between the animal inhabitants of the forest and the greedy humans of Irontown, who are attempting to strip the land of an important mineral called ironsand. The animals have a special ally in the form of San (AKA Princess Mononoke) a human raised by wolves, and Ashitaka must join forces with her to put an end to the conflict before all is lost.

The film was picked up for distribution in North America by Miramax Films and after the then chairman Harvey Weinstein proposed multiple edits to the film Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki sent a Katana sword to Miramax with the simple message: ‘No cuts’.

This B2 poster depicts Ashitaka but other poster styles were printed for the theatrical release of the film in Japan.

Naked Lunch / B1 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Naked Lunch
AKA
Hadaka no lunch (Japan)
Year of Film
1991
Director
David Cronenberg
Starring
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker
Origin of Film
Canada | UK | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1992
Designer
Unknown
Artist
H Sorayama
Size (inches)
28 9/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion / B1 / Japan

06.07.15

Poster Poster
Title
Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion
AKA
Gamera 2: Region shurai (Japan - original English title)
Year of Film
1996
Director
Shûsuke Kaneko
Starring
Toshiyuki Nagashima, Miki Mizuno, Tamotsu Ishibashi, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Ayako Fujitani, Hiroyuki Okita, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yukijirô Hotaru, Hatsunori Hasegawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Toshiyuki Nagashima, Miki Mizuno, Tamotsu Ishibashi, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Ayako Fujitani, Hiroyuki Okita, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yukijirô Hotaru, Hatsunori Hasegawa,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1996
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion is actually the 10th film to star the turtle-esque daikaiju (giant monster). The first film in the Showa period, entitled simply Gamera, was filmed in black and white in 1965 and released a year later in the US as ‘Gammera the Invincible’. Subsequent films during the Showa period were all ‘Gamera vs…’ a different kaiju and ended with Gamera: Super Monster. Fifteen years later the series was rebooted during the current Heisei period with Gamera: Guardian of the Universe.  Attack of the Legion is set a year after the events of the last film and begins with a meteor crashing into a mountainside that is carrying swarms of an insect-like extraterrestrial.

Soon after the city of Sapporo is covered with strange plants and it becomes clear that the creatures are nesting underneath the city and encouraging them to grow into a giant flower in order to form a kind of launchpad for another meteor-like spore to be blasted into space so they can colonise another world. Just before the creatures are able to trigger a launch explosion that would flatten the city, Gamera flies in and tears the flower out by its roots. Soon he is battling the smaller creatures, which a soldier nicknames Legion (after the Biblical demon army), as well as a gigantic queen which bursts out of the ground and flies off to try and create a nest in another city. Before long Tokyo is being threatened by the creatures and Gamera is all that stands in the way.

The film was a critical success in Japan and was followed in 1999 by a sequel called Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys.

I’m unsure who is responsible for this artwork but I’m confident that it’s not Noriyoshi Ohrai, who painted several fantastic Godzilla posters. If anyone has any ideas please get in touch.

 

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!

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus / B1 / Japan

01.05.15

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
AKA
Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jî shômetsu sakusen (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2000
Director
Masaaki Tezuka
Starring
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the B1 poster for the Japanese release of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus which was the 24th film in the long-running franchise featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the second release in the third generation of Godzilla films (known as the Millennium Series), which are all standalone (with the exception of Godzilla: Tokyo SOS) and were mooted as ‘alternative universe’ stories. It ended up as the least financially successful film in the Millennium series, with the special effects director Kenji Suzuki apparently taking the blame. Referencing the first film, the story sets up a universe in Godzilla attacks the first Japanese nuclear power plant in 1966 which led to the formation of a section of the Japanese Self Defence Force called G-Graspers, dedicated to fighting Godzilla.

After nuclear energy is replaced by ‘plasma energy’ in 1996 it is hoped that the kaiju will no longer attack Japanese cities in search of nuclear energy, but the plan fails and plasma energy is also eventually outlawed. Later in 2001 an experimental satellite weapon called the Dimension Tide is fired and opens up a wormhole through which a prehistoric dragonfly appears, lays an egg and disappears back through the wormhole. A young boy discovers the egg and takes it with him when he moves to Tokyo, but when the egg starts oozing a strange liquid the boy throws it into the sewers. The egg is actually hundreds of smaller eggs which start to grow on contact with water and evolve into large dragonfly larvae which soon hatch and become adult Meganulon.

When Godzilla attacks Tokyo once more, the dragonflies are attracted to his energy and engage him in battle, but they are no match for the kaiju’s power and are almost all obliterated. Those that survive return to the sewers and, with an amount of energy taken from Godzilla, they inject a large cocoon that hatches as Megaguirus, queen of the Meganulon, and she immediately heads towards Godzilla, ready for an epic showdown.

The artwork on this poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai, my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. He also worked on a number of Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition. I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by Noriyoshi Ohrai can be seen by clicking here.

The Fall of Ako Castle / B2 / Japan

23.07.12

Poster Poster
Title
The Fall of Ako Castle
AKA
Ako-Jo danzetsu (Japan - original title) | Last of the Ako Clan (International - literal title) | Swords of Vengeance (USA - video title)
Year of Film
1978
Director
Kinji Fukasaku
Starring
Sonny Chiba, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tsunehiko Watase, Masaomi Kondo, Toshirô Mifune, Kyôko Enami, Kasho Nakamura, Shinsuke Mikimoto
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Sonny Chiba, Kinnosuke Nakamura, Tsunehiko Watase, Masaomi Kondo, Toshirô Mifune, Kyôko Enami, Kasho Nakamura, Shinsuke Mikimoto,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1978
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

The Fall of Ako Castle (AKA Swords of Vengeance) is the late director Kinji Fukasaku‘s take on the real historical event known as the Forty-seven Ronin, which took place in early 18th Century Japan. The tale of revenge focuses on a group of samurai who were left leaderless after their feudal lord is forced to commit ritual suicide (seppuku) after assaulting a court official. The ronin spend two years planning their revenge attack and once it is complete are forced to also commit seppuku for the act of murder. The story was popularised in Japanese culture as emblematic  of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that all good people should preserve in their daily lives.

The story has been brought to the cinema screen at least six times, with perhaps the most famous version being Chushingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki (1962), featuring Toshirō Mifune as one of the ronin, who would also go on to feature in Fukasaku’s version. Next year Keanu Reeves is set to star in 47 Ronin, a Hollywood version of the tale that sees him play a half Japanese half British character who joins the samurai in their quest for revenge.

Superstar actor and martial artist Sonny Chiba headlined Fukasaku’s version and is perhaps best known in the West for his role in 1974’s The Street Fighter, which firmly established him as a martial arts legend. Fukasaku had earlier directed several successful samurai period and yakuza films such as Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973) and the Japanese portion of 1970s Tora! Tora! Tora! His final film, Battle Royale (2000), is perhaps the one he is best known outside of Japan.

The film’s original trailer is on YouTube.

Godzilla vs King Ghidorah / B1 / advance / Japan

03.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs King Ghidorah
AKA
Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorâ (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1991
Director
Kazuki Ohmori
Starring
Kosuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Tokuma Nishioka, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kenji Sahara, Kôichi Ueda, Sô Yamamura
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Kosuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Tokuma Nishioka, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Kenji Sahara, Kôichi Ueda, Sô Yamamura,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Advance - artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1991
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 13/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A stunning piece of artwork on this Japanese B1 poster for Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, which was the 18th film in the series featuring the King of Monsters. The film was the third release in the second generation of Godzilla films, which were part of the Heisei era of Japanese monster movies (daikaiju eiga). The monster movie eras are named after the Japanese emperor at the time, so the first generation of Godzilla films were part of the Shōwa era.

The story sees the legendary monster facing off against one of his greatest foes, the three-headed dragon monster King Ghidorah. The origin of the monster has changed over the years and this film is no exception; in this story Ghidorah is the result of the irradiated fusing of three genetically-engineered bat-like creatures called ‘Dorats’. The monster is then unleashed on Japan by the villains in the film, time-travellers from the 23rd century called the Futurians. By the end of the film Godzilla has to battle Mecha-King Ghidorah, a resurrected cyborg version that is brought to Tokyo from the future – typically brilliantly bonkers story-telling!

The artwork on the poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai who is something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. I’ve been unable to find much about him beyond a few pages like this one on the Star Wars Wookiepedia. He’s responsible for a number of Star Wars posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the brilliant design for The Empire Strikes Back.

Ohrai painted a poster for each of the Heisei era of Godzilla films, which were always accompanied by a photographic-style poster. I will be adding more of the Ohrai Godzilla posters over the coming weeks.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here.

Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked / B1 / Japan

16.03.15

Poster Poster
Title
Space Runaway Ideon: Be Invoked
AKA
Densetsu kyojin ideon: Hatsudou-hen (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1982
Director
Yoshiyuki Tomino
Starring
Yôko Asagami, Yô Inoue, Yoku Shioya, Kaneto Shiozawa, Fuyumi Shiraishi, Hideyuki Tanaka, Nobuo Tanaka, Keiko Toda, Rumiko Ukai
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Yôko Asagami, Yô Inoue, Yoku Shioya, Kaneto Shiozawa, Fuyumi Shiraishi, Hideyuki Tanaka, Nobuo Tanaka, Keiko Toda, Rumiko Ukai,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Unknown
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B1 for the release of the second film based on the anime TV series Space Runaway Ideon that was created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, who had previously  worked on the legendary anime Mobile Suit Gundam. Never given an official Western release (to the best of my knowledge) the series plot is summarised on its IMDb page:

It is the year 2300 and on the distant colony world of Solo, a team of archaeologists discover three alien vessels that, when formed together, become a giant fighting robot – The Ideon. However, they come into contact with an alien race known as the Buff Clan, who claim the Ideon’s energy source of Ide as their right. A simple case of fear and mistrust triggers an intergalactic war, with the Ide and the fate of the universe at stake.

According to the series’ Wikipedia page ‘the series originally met with rather low ratings and was cancelled after only 39 of its scheduled 43 episodes aired. As a result, the producers were forced to insert a short segment at the end of the final episode that ended the series in the middle of the action. Demand for a release of the final unaired episodes followed the show’s cancellation, and two movies were produced to end the series.

The two movies, A Contact and Be Invoked, were produced by both Sanrio and Sunrise and released as a double bill by Shochiku in 1982. A Contact featured clips from the first 32 episodes of the TV series interspersed with newly animated footage. In addition a few new scenes, the movie also created new death scenes for character such as Damido, Mayaya and Daram. Be Invoked featured a modified version of the final episode of the TV series (removing the ending sequence), in addition to those episodes that never aired, finishing off the Ideon saga once and for all.’

There is a signature on this art but I can’t read it so if anyone has any idea who should received credit for this please get in touch.

Godzilla 2000 / B1 / Japan

12.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla 2000
AKA
Gojira ni-sen mireniamu (Japan) | Godzilla 2000: Millennium (alt. longer title)
Year of Film
1999
Director
Takao Okawara
Starring
Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki, Shirô Sano
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Takehiro Murata, Hiroshi Abe, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki, Shirô Sano,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1999
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the Japanese B1 for the release of Godzilla 2000, the twenty-third film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the first release in the third generation of Godzilla films, which is known as the Millennium Series. Studio Toho decided the film would be a reboot meaning it had no continuity with earlier films in the series, except for the 1954 original.

Set in 1999, we learn that Japan has suffered other Godzilla attacks since the 1950s and the Godzilla Prediction Network (GPN) was formed in response by scientists who aim to predict his next landfall. In 1999 he appears at the same time as the Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI) find a mysterious rock-like object at the bottom of the Japan Trench which takes off during an operation to salvage it. Godzilla follows and is blasted by the object causing him to retreat, but not before his atomic breath causes the rock to break open revealing an unusual blue alien craft.

The craft flies to Tokyo and begins to download information from the city’s computer network as the aliens try to discover more about Godzilla’s regenerative properties, named by the GPN scientists as Regenerator G1. When Big G arrives and once again attacks the craft, the aliens steal some of his DNA during the battle and use it to attempt to reform themselves as a giant Millennian. Unfortunately Earth’s atmosphere is different to their own and the creature mutates into the hideous gigantic Orga and begins a final battle with Godzilla.

The film featured a new design of for the famous beast with a notably meaner looking face and large scales on his back, replacing the tired costume used for previous films in the series. Godzilla 2000’s relative success at the Japanese box-office saw Columbia Tristar decide to release the film in the US (the last Japanese Godzilla film to get a cinema release was Godzilla 1985). The distributor decided to edit the film for pacing reasons and removed about 8 minutes from its running time, whilst also completely re-editing the sound design and also injecting quite a bit of humour into the dubbed script. Unfortunately, poor box-office receipts meant that future entries in the Millennium series were released straight to DVD in the States.

The trailer for the US release can be viewed on YouTube.

 

Boiling Point / B2 / Japan

04.06.14

Poster Poster
Title
Boiling Point
AKA
3-4 x jûgatsu [The Third and Fourth of October] (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1990
Director
Takeshi Kitano
Starring
Takeshi Kitano, Yûrei Yanagi, Yuriko Ishida, Gadarukanaru Taka, Dankan, Eri Fuse, Makoto Ashikawa, Hiroshi Suzuki
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Takeshi Kitano, Yûrei Yanagi, Yuriko Ishida, Gadarukanaru Taka, Dankan, Eri Fuse, Makoto Ashikawa, Hiroshi Suzuki,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1990
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Boiling Point was Japanese legend Takeshi Kitano‘s second film as director and his first as screenwriter and shouldn’t be confused with the Wesley Snipes clunker of the same name that was released in the UK around the same time. As with many of Kitano’s directorial efforts the film features Yakuzas as a prominent story element. Yûrei Yanagi (AKA Masahiko Ono) stars as Masaki, a feckless loser stuck in a dead-end job at a gas station who also plays (badly) for a local baseball team.

One day the coach of the team is attacked and almost killed by yakuza thugs following a confrontation in which Masaki is threatened by the same gangsters. He decides to head to Okinawa to meet a contact who can supply him with a gun in order to take revenge. This contact happens to be the psychotic Uehara (Kitano himself in an extended cameo) an unpredictable, dangerous yakuza who also wants revenge against the same gang. Masaki is taken under Uehara’s wing, leading to violent and surprising encounters in the Okinawa underworld.

Kitano’s character is thoroughly unlikeable and most of his actions are reprehensible in the extreme. Following on from the critical and commercial success of Violent Cop, audience and critical reaction wasn’t quite as favourable to Boiling Point and today its often said to be one of his lesser films, if not still a must watch for fans of the actor-director.

This striking B2 poster features the simple image of a metal baseball bat on a blue-green background. The Japanese title translates as ‘3-4, October’ and relates to the score of a baseball match seen in the film and the month of October, an important one in the Japanese baseball calendar.

Check out the other posters featuring Takeshi Kitano in the Film on Paper collection by clicking here.

Violent Cop / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Violent Cop
AKA
Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1989
Director
Takeshi Kitano
Starring
Takeshi Kitano, Maiko Kawakami, Makoto Ashikawa, Shirô Sano, Sei Hiraizumi, Mikiko Otonashi, Hakuryu, Ittoku Kishibe, Ken Yoshizawa
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Takeshi Kitano, Maiko Kawakami, Makoto Ashikawa, Shirô Sano, Sei Hiraizumi, Mikiko Otonashi, Hakuryu, Ittoku Kishibe, Ken Yoshizawa,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus / B2 / Japan

10.09.14

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
AKA
Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jî shômetsu sakusen (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2000
Director
Masaaki Tezuka
Starring
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Misato Tanaka, Shôsuke Tanihara, Masatô Ibu, Yuriko Hoshi, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kôichi Ueda, Kôichi Yamadera, Yûsaku Yara, Kôji Katô, Tsutomu Kitagawa, Minoru Watanabe,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2000
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 13/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the B2 poster for the Japanese release of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus which was the 24th film in the long-running franchise featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the second release in the third generation of Godzilla films (known as the Millennium Series), which are all standalone (with the exception of Godzilla: Tokyo SOS) and were mooted as ‘alternative universe’ stories. It ended up as the least financially successful film in the Millennium series, with the special effects director Kenji Suzuki apparently taking the blame. Referencing the first film, the story sets up a universe in Godzilla attacks the first Japanese nuclear power plant in 1966 which led to the formation of a section of the Japanese Self Defence Force called G-Graspers, dedicated to fighting Godzilla.

After nuclear energy is replaced by ‘plasma energy’ in 1996 it is hoped that the kaiju will no longer attack Japanese cities in search of nuclear energy, but the plan fails and plasma energy is also eventually outlawed. Later in 2001 an experimental satellite weapon called the Dimension Tide is fired and opens up a wormhole through which a prehistoric dragonfly appears, lays an egg and disappears back through the wormhole. A young boy discovers the egg and takes it with him when he moves to Tokyo, but when the egg starts oozing a strange liquid the boy throws it into the sewers. The egg is actually hundreds of smaller eggs which start to grow on contact with water and evolve into large dragonfly larvae which soon hatch and become adult Meganulon.

When Godzilla attacks Tokyo once more, the dragonflies are attracted to his energy and engage him in battle, but they are no match for the kaiju’s power and are almost all obliterated. Those that survive return to the sewers and, with an amount of energy taken from Godzilla, they inject a large cocoon that hatches as Megaguirus, queen of the Meganulon, and she immediately heads towards Godzilla, ready for an epic showdown.

The artwork on this poster is by Noriyoshi Ohrai, my favourite Japanese artist and certainly in my top five greatest film poster illustrators of all time. He’s responsible for a number of other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. He also worked on a number of Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. In March 2014 a retrospective exhibition was held in Japan of Ohrai’s work and I made the trip over to Miyazaki to see the exhibition. I’m very glad I did as it featured most of his original artwork and a whole array of posters and book covers. A full report will follow soon.

The posters I’ve managed to collect by Noriyoshi Ohrai can be seen by clicking here.

Alligator / B2 / black style / Japan

17.09.12

Poster Poster
Title
Alligator
AKA
Arigêtâ (Japan)
Year of Film
1980
Director
Lewis Teague
Starring
Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael V. Gazzo, Dean Jagger, Sydney Lassick, Jack Carter, Perry Lang, Jim Kelly, Henry Silva, Bart Braverman
Origin of Film
Japan
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Black style
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1981
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Alligator, the 1980 giant beast in the sewers b-movie, was directed by Lewis Teague (Cujo, The Jewel of the Nile) and had its screenplay written by John Sayles, who was also behind the Roger Corman-produced hit Piranha (1978). The story sees a baby alligator bought by a young girl in Florida, and subsequently named Ramón, flushed down the sewers in Los Angeles by her animal-phobic father. The film then jumps to twelve years later and the reptile has grown to the size of a bus after eating the corpses of dead pets that have been injected with a secret growth formula and dumped into the sewers. After human body parts begin showing up with alarming regularity the world-weary detective David Madison (genre stalwart Robert Forster) is sent into the sewers to investigate what’s behind the murders, along with reptile expert Marisa Kendall (Robin Riker – as pictured on this poster), the girl that originally flushed Ramón into the sewers.

The film features an infamous scene where Ramón escapes from the sewers and rampages through a high-society wedding murdering anyone who crosses his path. This scene can be viewed on YouTube.

This is one of two Japanese posters for the film that I’m aware of, and I’ve called this the ‘black style’.

The original trailer is on YouTube.