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Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition / Godzilla posters

07.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition - Godzilla posters
AKA
--
Year of Film
N/A
Director
Various
Starring
Various
Origin of Film
Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Various,
Type of Poster
Other
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
16 10/16" x 23 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

These three small Godzilla artwork posters were sold together at the exhibition held in February and March 2014 to celebrate the work of the brilliant Japanese illustrator Noriyoshi Ohrai. This set features three of the paintings that Ohrai did for the ‘Millennium’ part of the Godzilla franchise. Although I have the B1 printed posters of each of the films it’s great to see the artwork without any of the titles or credits and, as I discovered when I visited the exibition the artwork for Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla is a lot lighter than how it printed. The exhibition director Tatsuya Ishida told me that the printing process meant that the final poster was a few shades darker than originally intended.

I wrote a report of my visit to the exhibition and that can be viewed here.

Each of the Godzilla final printed posters can be seen in the Film on Paper collection via these links:

Godzilla vs King Ghidorah
Godzilla vs Mothra (1992)
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993)

Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition / Star Wars posters

07.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition - Star Wars posters
AKA
--
Year of Film
N/A
Director
Various
Starring
Various
Origin of Film
USA | UK
Genre(s) of Film
Various,
Type of Poster
Other
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
16 10/16" x 23 6/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

These three small Star Wars artwork posters were sold together at the exhibition held in February and March 2014 to celebrate the work of the brilliant Japanese illustrator Noriyoshi Ohrai. The artwork of the Millennium Falcon was used on a B2 poster that was printed for the 1982 re-release of the original Star Wars in its dubbed Japanese soundtrack form.

The green artwork was done by Ohrai for the international posters for the release of The Empire Strikes Back and was specially commissioned by George Lucas. It was used for the film’s release in several countries including Argentia, Australia and Japan. Of note is that the artwork that was on display at the exhibition and is reproduced here differs in several ways from the final printed poster. Amongst the differences are a different face for Luke Skywalker, Vader’s helmet being larger and more refined on the final poster and a stormtrooper that only features on this version.

The final poster is a montage of characters and vehicles from Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) and I believe this was created for a magazine cover. It was certainly never used as the theatrical release poster of the film in Japan or any other country.

I wrote a report of my visit to the exhibition and that can be viewed here.

Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition / B2 / Montage / Japan

07.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition - montage
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of four B2 sized posters that were printed to advertise the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition that took place in Miyazaki, Japan from February to March 2014. I was lucky enough to have been given these posters by the exhibition director Tatsuya Ishida after being given a personal tour when I visited in March.

This poster features a montage of different paintings by Ohrai.

I wrote a report of my visit to the exhibition and that can be viewed here.

Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition / B2 / Mushashi / Japan

07.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition - Mushashi
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Musashi
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of four B2 sized posters that were printed to advertise the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition that took place in Miyazaki, Japan from February to March 2014. I was lucky enough to have been given these posters by the exhibition director Tatsuya Ishida after being given a personal tour when I visited in March.

This poster features an illustration that that Ohrai created for the cover of Volume 1 in a series of books based on the life of the legendary Japanese swordsman and ronin Miyamoto Musashi that were released in the early 1970s.

I wrote a report of my visit to the exhibition and that can be viewed here.

Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition / B2 / Godzilla / Japan

07.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition - Godzilla
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Godzilla
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of four B2 sized posters that were printed to advertise the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition that took place in Miyazaki, Japan from February to March 2014. I was lucky enough to have been given these posters by the exhibition director Tatsuya Ishida after being given a personal tour when I visited in March.

This poster features a painting that Ohrai created for a 1984 book about Godzilla, published by Tokuma Shoten. The full painting can be seen on the Ohrai exhibition Facebook page.

I wrote a report of my visit to the exhibition and that can be viewed here.

Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition / B2 / Beauties in Myths / Japan

07.11.14

Poster Poster
Title
Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition - Beauties in Myth
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Beauties in Myth
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
2014
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is one of four B2 sized posters that were printed to advertise the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition that took place in Miyazaki, Japan from February to March 2014. I was lucky enough to have been given these posters by the exhibition director Tatsuya Ishida after being given a personal tour when I visited in March.

This poster features an example of one of the ‘beauties in myths’ paintings that Ohrai created to feature on the cover of SF Magazine, a popular Japanese periodical during the 1980s. Ohrai was asked to choose a theme for a series of covers that were printed over the course of a year and he decided to mix high-tech and sci-fi elements with women from history and mythical stories, for example Messalina, the infamous third wife of Roman emperor Claudius.

I wrote a report of my visit to the exhibition and that can be viewed here.

The Empire Strikes Back / B1 / Ohrai style / Japan

21.03.14

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
Ohrai
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
28 11/16" x 40 7/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

This is the artwork style Japanese poster for the release of George Lucas’ sci-fi classic The Empire Strikes Back, which features a fantastic illustration by the Japanese artist Noriyoshi Ohrai which, in my opinion, is the best artwork for the best film in the six film saga. I’d have a hard time choosing between this and Tom Chantrell’s classic design for the greatest overall Star Wars poster artwork.

As well as this Japanese B1, the artwork featured on a Japanese B2 as well as several other international posters, including an Australian one sheet. Sadly it was not to be used for the US or UK campaigns. In 2010, for the ESB 30th anniversary, Lucasfilm released a limited edition one sheet of the poster taken from the original artwork transparency – see this article for more info.

Noriyoshi Ohrai is 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 Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. He is also know for a series of Godzilla posters, some of which can be seen here. 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 and 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 him can be seen by clicking here.

The Empire Strikes Back / B2 / Ohrai style / Japan

14.12.11

Poster Poster
Title
The Empire Strikes Back
AKA
--
Year of Film
1980
Director
Irvin Kershner
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Ohrai
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1980
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

A fantastic illustration on this Japanese B2 for The Empire Strikes Back by the Japanese artist Noriyoshi Ohrai which, in my opinion, is the best artwork for the best film in the six film saga. I’d have a hard time choosing between this and Tom Chantrell’s classic design for the greatest overall Star Wars poster artwork.

As well as this Japanese B2, the artwork featured on a Japanese B1 as well as several other international posters, including an Australian one sheet. Sadly it was not to be used for the US or UK campaigns. Last year, for the ESB 30th anniversary, Lucasfilm released a limited edition one sheet of the poster taken from the original artwork transparency – see this article for more info.

Noriyoshi Ohrai is 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 Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. He is also know for a series of Godzilla posters, some of which can be seen here. 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 and 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 him can be seen by clicking here.

Tentacles / B2 / Ohrai style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Tentacles
AKA
Tentacoli (Italy - original title) | Macki (Poland)
Year of Film
1977
Director
Oliver Hellman
Starring
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini
Origin of Film
Italy | USA
Genre(s) of Film
John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins, Henry Fonda, Delia Boccardo, Cesare Danova, Alan Boyd, Sherry Buchanan, Franco Diogene, Marc Fiorini,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Ohrai
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1977
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 5/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

King Kong Lives / B2 / Ohrai style / Japan

17.05.11

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
B2
Style of Poster
Ohrai
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Visiting the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition in Japan

07.11.14

Noriyoshi Ohrai is one of my favourite poster artists, responsible for many iconic pieces of art used to advertise films including The Empire Strikes Back, The Goonies and several fantastic posters for the Heisei series of Godzilla films. Until recently the artist was almost a complete enigma to me since there was little information about him online beyond the basics and there are certainly no English-language books that have been written about his life and career.

When it was announced that an exhibition featuring practically all of Ohrai’s original artwork would be held in Japan during February/March 2014, which was to be the first time any of Ohrai’s art had been seen in public since his last exhibition in 1981, I knew that I had to make every effort to attend.

NoriyoshiOhraiExhibition_B2_Godzilla_Japan-1

One of four B2 posters used to advertise the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition, featuring one of many paintings that the artist did of the King of the Kaiju, Godzilla.

In March 2014 I flew over to Tokyo and then a few days later took an internal flight down to the Island of Kyushu with my friend and fellow poster collector Toru Onozatu (AKA Poster-man). The exhibition was located in the Art Center in downtown Miyazaki, which is the city that Ohrai has called home since 1973. We were very lucky to have been given a personal tour by the curator Tatsuya Ishida who kindly guided us around the exhibition’s multiple rooms that were spread over two floors. I recorded his comments as we walked and they are featured throughout this article.

A map of Japan showing the location of Miyazaki on the Island of Kyushu at the bottom of the country.

A map of Japan showing the location of Miyazaki on the Island of Kyushu at the bottom of the country.

The Art Center in Miyazaki, location of the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition

The Art Center in Miyazaki, location of the Noriyoshi Ohrai exhibition

The exhibition featured almost all of Ohrai’s original art for film, book covers, video games, editorial work, biology text books and more, with only a tiny handful of the film art missing (some with their current location unknown). A lot of the art still belongs to Ohrai himself but some of it had been flown to Miyazaki from collectors including George Lucas (for some of the Star Wars pieces), as well as the Japanese studio Toho who lent several of the Godzilla artworks to the exhibition. It was certainly a unique situation that all of these paintings were gathered together under one roof.

A Star Wars poster printed in Japan to commemorate the release of a dubbed version of the original film in 1982, painted by Noriyoshi Ohrai. The huge (around A1 size) original art was on display at the exhibition and this small print was available to buy in the shop.

A Star Wars poster printed in Japan to commemorate the release of a dubbed version of the original film in 1982, painted by Noriyoshi Ohrai. The huge (around A1 size) original art was on display at the exhibition and this small print was available to buy in the shop.

The exhibition began with a room containing a floor-to-ceiling pyramid of paperback novels and magazine covers that Ohrai worked on over a 30 year period, and this was surrounded by walls covered in framed posters of Ohrai’s film and commercial work. It was certainly a thrill to see them all together like that. The rest of the exhibition, in which photography was not permitted (I’ve included a handful of cheeky snaps), went through themes, beginning with Godzilla, moving onto book and magazine covers and a display of gigantic, incredibly detailed video game cover artworks. Also featured were some incredibly impressive portraits of famous figures, plus a room featuring Ohrai’s ‘Beauties in Myths covers for SF Adventure magazine. The last room contained posters for the Star Wars franchise, plus more film posters and several war-related paintings.

I wanted to share the visit with Film on Paper readers and the following pictures will hopefully give you an idea of what this memorable experience was like, plus I’ve also had the biography from the back of the exhibition catalogue translated into English and that is included at the end. Also featured are several photographs of pages from the catalogue since I was unable to actually photograph the artwork.

Exhibition director Tatsuya Ishida (left) and my friend, and fellow collector, Toru Onozato examine some of the many book covers painted by Ohrai in the first room of the exhibition.

Exhibition director Tatsuya Ishida (left) and my friend, and fellow collector, Toru Onozato examine some of the many book covers painted by Ohrai in the first room of the exhibition.

One side of the book covers pyramid in first room of the exhibition, these being mainly war related imagery.

One side of the book covers pyramid in first room of the exhibition, these being mainly war related imagery.

Mr Ishida explained to Toru and I that Ohrai worked on about 1300 book covers during his career and that the pyramid of books contained only about a third of his total output. In 1986 alone he worked on 130 book covers and he was completing a new illustration every 3 days or so.

A close-up of three of the hundreds of book covers that Ohrai painted during his career.

A close-up of three of the hundreds of book covers that Ohrai painted during his career.

For each book he would read it first and then think about what would make the best cover. He wasn’t just being given a title and then making something up. Mr Ishida explained that Master Ohrai did quite a lot of work for a few specific book authors and he developed a particular style for each one so that their books became instantly recognisable. In the 1970s he would get paid about 150000 Yen for each book cover.

Some of the book covers that Ohrai painted for the novels of the Japanese author Sakyo Komatsu.

Some of the book covers that Ohrai painted for the novels of the Japanese author Sakyo Komatsu.

Some of the book covers that Ohrai painted for the novels of the Japanese author Sakyo Komatsu.

Some of the book covers that Ohrai painted for the novels of the Japanese author Sakyo Komatsu.

Noriyoshi Ohrai was born in Akashi City, Hyogo prefecture in 1935. His family was evacuated to Sendai City, Kagoshima Prefecture after their house was bombed during the war and Mr Ishida told us that Ohrai went to an art university in Tokyo but dropped out after a while. Mr Ishida said, “he told me that the reason why was because he felt he had nothing more to learn from the teacher”.

Ohrai moved to Miyazaki from Tokyo in 1973 because it’s his wife’s hometown. He bought an old farmhouse and converted part of it into a studio.

A view inside Ohrai's studio in Miyazaki. This photo was on display in the exhibition and I've taken this from the Facebook page for the exhibition.

A view inside Ohrai’s studio in Miyazaki. This photo was on display in the exhibition and I’ve taken this from the Facebook page for the exhibition.

One side of the room of the exhibition that contained printed posters of Ohrai's work, including several Godzilla ones.

One side of the room of the exhibition that contained printed posters of Ohrai’s work, including several Godzilla ones.

Ohrai started out doing illustrations for newspapers then moved onto book covers and eventually started doing more and more posters after the huge success of the one he painted for The Empire Strikes Back.

The gorgeous Japanese B1 poster for The Empire Strikes Back, painted by Ohrai. This poster led to many more film-related commissions.

The gorgeous Japanese B1 poster for The Empire Strikes Back, painted by Ohrai. This poster led to many more film-related commissions.

Large reproductions of the newspaper adverts that Ohrai painted during the early part of his career. These were displayed in the first room of the exhibition.

Large reproductions of the newspaper adverts that Ohrai painted during the early part of his career. These were displayed in the first room of the exhibition.

A corner of the first room in the exhibition that contained printed posters of Ohrai's work.

A corner of the first room in the exhibition that contained printed posters of Ohrai’s work.

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Nico / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Nico
AKA
Above The Law (UK)
Year of Film
1988
Director
Andrew Davis
Starring
Steven Seagal, Pam Grier, Sharon Stone, Daniel Faraldo, Henry Silva
Origin of Film
USA | Hong Kong
Genre(s) of Film
Steven Seagal, Pam Grier, Sharon Stone, Daniel Faraldo, Henry Silva,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Meteor / B2 / Japan

01.06.15

Poster Poster

Arriving at the tail-end of the 1970s, a decade that saw the release of a number of successful disaster movies like The Towering Inferno and Earthquake, Meteor ended up as an all-star clunker and is easily one of the worst entries in the genre. Helmed by the British filmmaker Ronald Neame, who had seen success with 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure, the film focuses on the outcome of the eponymous lump of rock barrelling towards earth after being knocked off course by a comet. Sean Connery plays Paul Bradley, a scientist who masterminded the creation of a space-based weapon named Hercules that was originally intended to protect earth from such a threat, but was instead taken over by the military and aimed at the Soviet Union due to escalating Cold War tensions.

The plot sees the US and Russia agreeing to work together after much (dull) handwringing and Paul Bradley works with his opposite number from the CCCP Alexei Dubov (Brian Keith) to ensure the Russian’s own weapons platform can combine forces with Hercules and fire both payloads at the rock. Meanwhile, fragments of the asteroid begin hitting earth in some unconvincing sequences featuring uniformly awful special effects. Eventually, and improbably, a large chunk hits Manhattan, which just happens to be where Paul Bradley and most of the other characters are located, leading to some sequences of mild peril that end up with Connery covered in mud and a few dead background characters. The special effects are truly, inexcusably awful and I can’t think of one well-executed sequence. The rock hitting New York is mostly done with what is clearly red-tinted stock footage of buildings being knocked down by controlled demolition.

The biggest problem with the film is that most of the actors look bored and, with the exception of a crazy-eyed Martin Landau, like they’d rather be somewhere else. It doesn’t help that the Cold War machinations, whilst maybe more relevant in 1979, are totally boring today and way too much of the film is spent focused on discussions to try and resolve differences between the two nations. Sadly, Meteor is one to be avoided and check out this article on Cinetropolis for further proof.

Whilst the film is a stinker, the same can’t be said for this moody artwork showing an obliterated Manhattan that was illustrated 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.

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.

Star Wars / B2 / 1982 re-release / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Star Wars
AKA
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (full title) | La guerre des étoiles (Canada - French title / France)
Year of Film
1977
Director
George Lucas
Starring
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Re-release
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1982
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 6/16" x 28 14/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Runaway Train / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Runaway Train
AKA
A 30 secondi dalla fine [30 seconds from the end] (Italy)
Year of Film
1985
Director
Andrei Konchalovsky
Starring
Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner, John P. Ryan, T. K. Carter, Kenneth McMillan, Stacey Pickren, Walter Wyatt, Edward Bunker
Origin of Film
USA | Israel
Genre(s) of Film
Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner, John P. Ryan, T. K. Carter, Kenneth McMillan, Stacey Pickren, Walter Wyatt, Edward Bunker,
Type of Poster
B2
Style of Poster
Artwork
Origin of Poster
Japan
Year of Poster
1986
Designer
Unknown
Artist
Noriyoshi Ohrai
Size (inches)
20 7/16" x 28 15/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Godzilla: Final Wars / B2 / Japan

08.05.14

Poster Poster

This is the B2 poster for the Japanese release of Godzilla: Final Wars, which was the 28th film in the long-running franchise featuring the King of the Kaiju (giant monsters). The film was also the sixth release in the third generation of Godzilla films (known as the Millennium Series). Final Wars was something of a milestone for the film’s production company Toho Company Ltd as it marked 50 years since the release of the original film that started it all and also marked a break in the production of Godzilla films, with Toho declaring they wouldn’t film another Japanese entry in the franchise for at least 10 years and then dismantling the stage used for most entries.

Final Wars is set in 2044 and sees the Earth Defence Force dealing with an alien threat in the from of the Xiliens who secretly unleash Kaiju across the planet, including Rodan, Ebirah and Anguirus. After cities like Sydney, Shanghai and Paris are almost destroyed the aliens remove the Kaiju in an act of supposed benevolence and warn the earth about an impending impact from an asteroid called Gorath. The UN is disbanded and an alliance called the Space Nations is formed to tackle the new threat. A few members of the Earth Defence Force distrust the aliens’ intentions and discover that they were responsible for unleashing the Kaiju and that they really intend to harvest humanity for food. The group hatch a plan to unleash Godzilla from his frozen tomb in Antarctica where he’s lain for 40 years to help them tackle the threat.

The film is something of a greatest hits compilation, featuring as it does monsters and human characters from the franchise’s past, and the montage nature of this poster suits it well. Toho spent almost $20 million producing the film, which was the highest budget in the franchise to date, but unfortunately the medley of monsters and anniversary tag didn’t help it’s critical or commercial performance. It’s eventual box-office takings totalled just $12 million and made it the worst performing film in the series for 27 years.

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 Star Wars related posters, including this lovely 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film. He also worked on other posters in the Godzilla franchise, some of which can be seen here. 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 Beastmaster / B2 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

The Goonies / B2 / style A / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

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.

The Beastmaster / B1 / Japan

10.12.12

Poster Poster

Cult filmmaker Don Coscarelli wrote and directed this 1982 sword and sorcery flick starring Marc Singer as the titular prince and the gorgeous Tanya Roberts as Kiri, his love interest. Dar (Singer) is the son of King Zed (Rod Loomis) who, in a bizarre sequence, is stolen from his mother’s womb and placed inside the belly of an ox on the orders of evil priest Maax (Rip Torn). When born the prince is gifted with the ability to telepathically communicate with animals and after being adopted and raised by a lowly villager, Dar is trained to be a skilled swordsman. One day the village is attacked and burned by the rampaging Jun horde who are under the control of Maax, and the warrior sets on a quest for revenge with his animal friends, including an eagle, two ferrets(!) and a black panther.

According to the IMDb trivia page for the film, the black panther was actually a tiger with its fur dyed and whenever the animal took a drink the dye would wash off around its mouth, which is noticeable in several scenes. Also, rather brilliantly, the eagle often refused to fly on cue so in order to shoot footage of it in the air it was dropped from a trapdoor in a hot air balloon.

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 brilliant 1982 B2 to celebrate the release of the Japanese dubbed version of the original film and the excellent design for The Empire Strikes Back. Perhaps his most iconic film work is the series of posters he illustrated for the Heisei era Godzilla films, including this fantastic B1 for Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.

The other Ohrai posters I’ve added to the site so far can be seen by clicking here (note that I also have this poster in B2 size).

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 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.