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Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla / B1 / photo style / Japan

17.01.14

Poster Poster
Title
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
AKA
Gojira tai Mekagojira (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
2002
Director
Masaaki Tezuka
Starring
Yumiko Shaku, Shin Takuma, Kana Onodera, Kô Takasugi, Yûsuke Tomoi, Jun'ichi Mizuno, Akira Nakao, Kumi Mizuno, Takeo Nakahara, Yoshikazu Kanou, Kôichi Ueda
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Yumiko Shaku, Shin Takuma, Kana Onodera, Kô Takasugi, Yûsuke Tomoi, Jun'ichi Mizuno, Akira Nakao, Kumi Mizuno, Takeo Nakahara, Yoshikazu Kanou, Kôichi Ueda,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Photo
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2002
Designer
Unknown
Artist
--
Size (inches)
28 12/16" x 40.5"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the photo style B1 poster for the release of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, which was the 26th film in the series featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the fourth release in the third generation of Godzilla films, which is known as the Millenium Series, and it marked his fourth showdown with Mechagodzilla. Unlike the rest of the Millennium series, this film shares continuity with the earlier Toho productions, including the original Godzilla (1954).

This poster features the Japanese Actress Yumiko Shaku who stars as Japanese Defence Force Lieutenant Akane Yashiro, a Maser Cannon operator who is made a scapegoat after her actions fail to stop a rampaging member of Godzilla’s species. During the same battle, scientists realise that Godzilla is now immune to Maser fire and, after the skirmish is over, they begin work on a new weapon to stop him in the future. Using the skeleton of the original Godzilla that was defeated back in 1954, scientists create a new cyborg Mechagodzilla that is inducted into the Defense Force and given human controllers as part of the new Kiryu squadron.

Akane is given a role as a pilot despite suspicion from some of her squad mates. The pilots are located in a giant VTOL plane that hovers above Mechagodzilla, relaying instructions to it. During the reveal of the new machine to the public, Godzilla appears and as the two start to battle, Godzillas roar apparently awakens something within the original skeleton of Mechagodzilla and the machine goes on a rampage, destroying much of the city around it, once Godzilla has retreated. After bringing the machine under control the Kiryu squadron continue to work on Mechagodzilla in preparation for the next monster attack. When Godzilla appears once more, another battle commences which sees the remote control technology damaged. Akane decides to risk a descent to earth, where she enters Mechagodzilla and pilots the machine from within.

The film was well received by Japanese audiences and, as can be seen from the description above, was clearly one of the films that had an influence on director Guillermo Del Toro’s recent monsters versus machines film Pacific Rim.

The original trailer can be watched on YouTube.

Rashomon / one sheet / 2009 re-release / USA

22.05.13

Poster Poster
Title
Rashomon
AKA
Rashômon (Japan - original title)
Year of Film
1950
Director
Akira Kurosawa
Starring
Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijirô Ueda, Noriko Honma, Daisuke Katô
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijirô Ueda, Noriko Honma, Daisuke Katô,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2009
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Kent Williams
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa‘s 1950 masterpiece Rashomon is considered by many to be his crowning achievement, which is no mean feat when you consider it’s stacked against films as beloved as Seven Samurai (1954) and Yojimbo (1961). Considered incredibly influential and ground-breaking, particularly in terms of storytelling, cinematography and editing, the film has lost none of its impact in the 60+ years since its first release. The film is essentially an investigation into the truth behind a heinous crime in which a woman is raped and her samurai husband is slain at the end of a dagger, but it’s the way that Kurosawa stages the recollections of the four key eyewitnesses that makes Rashomon so special.

The film begins as three strangers shelter under the ruins of the eponymous gate during a calamitous thunderstorm. Two of the men, a woodcutter and a priest, were witnesses to events that happened in a nearby forrest three days earlier and they begin to recount what they saw to the commoner who’s eager to hear the details of the crime. Each of the recollections feature the husband and wife and a bandit named Tajômaru (Toshirô Mifune) but each of the witnesses recall the events that led to the death of the samurai in very different ways.

Kurosawa uses a number of editing techniques to differentiate the recollections for the viewer and apparently shot the same scene with several different cameras so he could cut to another angle of the same performances as he saw fit. Mifune, a frequent collaborator, deserves special mention for his memorable portrayal of the bandit Tajomaru in each of his different ‘guises’. In the end, the viewer is left to decide which of the witnesses they believe with the director resisting the urge to wrap things up neatly. As the commoner remarks when discussing the validity of one of the recollections: ‘We all want to forget something, so we tell stories. It’s easier that way.’

American artist Kent Williams painted this stunning portrait of Tajomaru that was commissioned by Janus Films for the 2009 cinema re-release of Rashomon. The release followed an extensive 2008 restoration undertaken by the Academy Archive, the National Film Center of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and Kadokawa Pictures. Born in 1962, Williams has lent his considerable talents to a wide range of artistic channels, including printmaking, photography, architecture and film. He is perhaps best known for his work on graphic novels for the likes of Marvel and Vertigo and in 2006 he collaborated with filmmaker Darren Aronofsky on a comic book tie-in for the sci-fi fantasy film The Fountain. His official website contains galleries of his work, as well as a biography, links to blogs and more.

Kent’s 2009 blog post announcing the completion of this piece can be viewed here and confirms that the original artwork was realised with oil and encaustic on linen mounted on wood panel with a distressed wooden beam. This same image was used for the must-own 2012 Criterion re-release of Rashomon and the poster was available to purchase via their web shop for a number of months, which is where I picked it up from. It sadly appears to be no longer available for purchase.

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.

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 the late Noriyoshi Ohrai who was something of an enigma, even in his native Japan. 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.

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

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.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus / B2 / artwork style / 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.

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.