Godzilla and fellow kaiju monsters apologise at Japanese press conference for acts of destruction

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RocketNews 24 (by Oona McGee):

And every formal Japanese-style apology comes with a heartfelt bow.

The world of gachapon vending machine capsule toys just got even weirder with a new lineup of figurines from top Japanese toy producer Bandai. Called the “Godzilla Toho Monsters Press Conference”, the series depicts Godzilla, along with three other kaiju monsters from the acclaimed movie production and distribution company Toho, all appearing at fictional press conferences, complete with microphone stand and name plaque. These types of formal apologies are commonly seen on television news reports around Japan, in cases where high-profile politicians and celebrities formally atone for scandals and wrongdoings, expressing remorse to the public with deep, heartfelt bows. Only this time, it’s a group of well-known movie monsters making amends for their actions.

▼ Here, Mechagodzilla bows deeply, in formal stance with his hands by his side. At the front of the table is a scroll that reads “Hakai Koui” or “Acts of Destruction“, so the public can know exactly what he’s apologising for.

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▼ Godzilla’s archenemy King Ghidorah bows all three heads in regret.

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Hedorah, also known as The Smog Monster, is the only one to forgo the formal bow, replacing it instead with a long stare into the crowd with vertical red-and-yellow eyes.

Together, these figures create one of the funniest and most bizarre monster scenes we’ve ever seen. Available at gachapon capsule toy vending machines around the country from the end of June, these will be on sale for 300 yen (US$2.92) each.

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10 Horrifying demons and spirits from Japanese folklore

 Mental Floss:

Oni (demons) and yurei (ghosts) have played a role in Japanese culture for thousands of years, and stories of new spirits continue to be told today. Much of this list is comprised of hannya, which in Noh theater are women whose rage and jealousy turned them into oni while still alive. Here are just a few tales of demons, ghosts, and women you don’t want to mess with.

1. KIYOHIME

Kiyohime was a young woman scorned by her lover, a monk named Anchin, who grew cold and lost interest in her. Realizing he had left her, Kiyohime followed him to a river and transformed into a serpent while swimming after his boat. Terrified by her monstrous form, Anchin sought refuge in a temple, where monks hid him beneath a bell. Not to be evaded, Kiyohime found him by his scent, coiled around the bell, and banged loudly on it with her tail. She then breathed fire onto the bell, melting it and killing Anchin.

2. YUKI-ONNA (SNOW WOMAN)

There are many variations of this popular Japanese tale. Yuki-onna is usually described as having white skin, a white kimono, and long black hair. She appears in snowfall and glides without feet over the snow like a ghost. She feeds on human essence, and her killing method of choice is to blow on her victims to freeze them to death and then suck out their souls through their mouths.

3. SHUTEN DŌJI

Shuten Dōji is described as more than 50 feet tall with a red body, five horns, and 15 eyes. There’s no need to fear this demon, though. In a legend from the medieval period, warriors Raikō and Hōshō infiltrated Shuten Dōji’s lair disguised as yamabushi (mountain priests) to free some kidnapped women.

The oni greeted them with a banquet of human flesh and blood, and the disguised warriors offered Shuten Dōji drugged sake. After the demon passed out, the warriors cut off his head, killed the other oni, and freed the prisoners.

4. YAMAUBA (MOUNTAIN OGRESS)

Also originating in the medieval period, yamauba are generally considered to be old women who were marginalized by society and forced to live in the mountains—who also have a penchant for eating human flesh. Among many tales, there is one of a yamauba who offers shelter to a young woman about to give birth while secretly planning to eat her baby, and another of a yamauba who goes to village homes to eat children while their mothers are away. But they’re not picky; they’ll eat anyone who passes by.

Yamabuas also have mouths under their hair. Delightful!

5. UJI NO HASHIHIME (WOMAN AT UJI BRIDGE)

In another tale of a woman scorned, Uji no hashihime prayed to a deity to turn her into an oni so she could kill her husband, the woman he fell in love with, and all of their relatives. To accomplish this, she bathed in the Uji River for 21 days, divided her hair into five horns, painted her body red with vermilion, and went on a legendary killing spree. Besides her intended victims, anyone who saw her instantly died of fear.

6. TENGU

Tengu are impish mountain goblins that play tricks on people, featured in countless folktales and considered purely evil until about the 14th century. They were originally depicted as birdlike, with wings and beaks, though now the beak is often replaced with a comically large nose. They are known to lead people away from Buddhism, tie priests to tall trees and towers, start fires in temples, and kidnap children.

Many legends say the tengu were hypocritical priests who must now live the rest of their lives as mountain goblins as punishment. Locals made offerings to the tengu to avoid their mischief, and there are still festivals in Japan dedicated to them today.

7. OIWA

A revenge story made popular by the famous kabuki drama Yotsuya kaidan, Oiwa was married to a rōnin (masterless samurai) named Iemon; he wanted to marry a rich local’s daughter who had fallen in love with him, and, in order to end their marriage, Oiwa was sent a poisoned medicine. Though the poison failed to kill her, she became horribly disfigured, causing her hair to fall out and her left eye to droop. Upon learning of her disfigurement and betrayal, she accidentally killed herself on a sword. Her ghostly, deformed face appeared everywhere to haunt Iemon. It even appeared in place of his new bride’s face, which caused Iemon to accidentally behead her.

Oiwa’s spirit followed him relentlessly to the point where he welcomed death.

8. DEMON AT AGI BRIDGE

This story begins as so many horror stories do: With an overly-confident man who boasted to his friends that he didn’t fear to cross Agi Bridge or the demon rumored to reside there. As oni are known for their ability to shape-shift, the demon at Agi Bridge appeared to the man as an abandoned woman. As soon as she caught the young man’s eye, she transformed back into a 9 foot green-skinned monster and chased after him. Unable to catch the man, the demon later changed into the form of the man’s brother and knocked on his door late at night.

The demon was let into the house and, after a struggle, bit off the man’s head, held it up and danced with it before his family, and then vanished.

9. KUCHISAKE-ONNA (SLIT-MOUTHED WOMAN)

In an urban legend from 1979 that swept through Japan, Kuchisake-onna wears a surgical mask and asks children if they think she is beautiful. If they say yes, she takes off the mask to reveal her mouth slit from ear to ear and asks the question again. The only way to escape is to give a noncommittal answer, such as “you look OK.” Barring that, you can distract her with certain Japanese candies. But if the children say yes again, she will cut their mouths to make them look like her.

10. AKA MANTO (RED CLOAK)

With a demon for just about everything, why shouldn’t the Japanese have a few for their bathrooms? Aka Manto, one of the more popular demons, hides in women’s bathrooms. In one version of the story, Aka Manto asks women if they would like a red cloak or a blue cloak. If the woman answers “red,” Aka Manto tears the flesh from her back to make it appear she is wearing a red cloak. If she answers “blue,” then he strangles her to death. Unfortunately, if you encounter Aka Manto, there may be no escaping: Some versions of the story say if you don’t answer or if you pick a different color, he will immediately drag you to hell.

Additional Sources: Japanese Ghosts & Demons: Art of the SupernaturalJapanese Demon Lore: Oni, from Ancient Times to the Present; “How the Demon at Agi Bridge in Omi Province Ate Somebody,” from The Demon at Agi Bridge and Other Japanese Tales.

Godzilla PS3/PS4 game’s release set for July

Godzilla PS3/PS4 game’s release set for July

Anime News Network:

Bandai Namco Games announced it will release the new Godzilla game on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe in July.

The game will get a retail release for PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe and a PlayStation 3 release via the PLAYSTATION Network.

Players will be able to control both the classic TOHO version of the monster and the 2014 American film Godzilla in the game. The game will also feature the Type 92 Maser tanks, Super X 2, Super X III, Super Mecha Godzilla, and MFS-3 — as well as Godzilla’s rivals: King Ghidorah, Biollante, Mothra, Mecha Godzilla, Jet Jaguar, Hedorah, and Destoroyah.

The “ultra-destructive Godzilla action” game commemorates the 60th anniversary of the titular monster by letting you play the monster itself against human civilization, as you clear missions by destroying buildings and weapons. The game recreates the camera angles that invoke the sense of scale, the fireworks explosions, and the latest techniques from the original tokusatsu (special effects) films.

Famitsu magazine described a backstory that takes its cues from TOHO‘s first Godzilla movies: Godzilla, who appeared in Tokyo in 1954 and was brought down by the secret weapon Oxygen Destroyer, has somehow made landfall again. As the players complete missions to destroy civilization, Godzilla will increase size and physical strength. Godzilla starts at 50 meters (164 feet) and can grow to double that size. Players gain points when Godzilla destroys the town, but the resistance from humanity becomes more difficult as the game goes on.

Godzilla for the PlayStation 3 arrived in Japan on December 18 for 7,600 yen (about US$64). The first copies of the game included an early unlock code for the Hollywood Godzilla (2014) as a bonus extra. Pre-orders included one of three randomly distributed “Heat Up Godzilla” reproductions of theater bonus figurines.

Monster CEO Noel Lee files fraud lawsuit against Apple-owned Beats

The HTC deal was a “sham transaction” to “exclude Monster and Lee from future profits from the sale of the “Beats By Dr. Dre” product line and, ultimately, the sale of Beats as a company, to Apple,” the suit alleges.

Having severed ties with Monster and approving the acquisition by Apple, the Beats executives “made millions off the work of Lee and Monster,” the suit says. And since Beats “misappropriated the ‘Beats By Dr. Dre” technology and manufacturing and distribution channels, Monster and Lee lost millions of dollars,” the complaint says.

In the aftermath, “I came to realize that I think I’ve been duped,” Lee said during the interview here.

Apple declined to comment on the lawsuit and Beats has not responded to a request for comment.

Beyond the financial and intellectual property harms that Monster and Lee claim, they also say that Beats aims to “deceptively rewrite history” by erasing Monster’s participation in the rise of the premium headphone lineup.

Beats co-founder Iovine is described in the suit as “a respected but ruthless music mogul.” As for Dre, “other than his celebrity status as a rapper, Dre’s primary contribution was to bless Monster’s headphones when he exclaimed: ‘That’s the shit!’” the suit says.

That’s one of the reasons for filing the suit, Lee said. “To right the record.”

The U.S. headphone market amounted to about $2 billion in 2014, according to The NPD Group, with half made up by premium products such as Beats By Dr. Dre. Beats has about 60% of the premium market, compared with Monster’s single-digit percentage.

As the smaller company, Monster is trying to strike back at Beats, which is now attached to Apple, NPD analyst Ben Arnold said. The move could also be an effort to help Monster “gain market share,” he said.

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A fascinating exploration of the evero-increasing size of Godzilla

 

Godzilla Size

Laughing Squid:

Researcher and writer Craig McClain explores the constantly increasing size of Godzilla according to Cope’s rule in a recent article at Deep Sea News. McClain’s article, which is at least partially in response to a similar one from earlier this year at Wired, concludes that Godzilla should be 288.4 meters tall in 2050 rather than the 170 meters suggested previously.

In 1954 Godzilla was a mere 50 meters (164 ft). In the newest movie, Godzilla is estimated to be 150 meters (492 ft). For comparison the Empire State Building in New York City stands at 381 meters (1250 ft). Incarnations of Godzilla went from 13% of the height of the Empire State Building to nearly 40% of the height in just 60 years. It took cetaceans 55 million years to go from 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) to 30 meters (98 ft) in length.

image via Deep Sea News

Check out this link:

 A fascinating exploration of the evero-increasing size of Godzilla

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New ‘Godzilla’ trailer pits Godzilla against other monsters

Think that all the destruction and chaos glimpsed in previous trailers for Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was the result of just one monster? Think again.

The new Asian trailer for the movie not only gives us our best look yet at the eponymous atomic lizard, but also other kaiju.

Amid scenes of explosions, resolute humans staring into the distance and artfully composed carnage, the latest trailer reveals Godzilla facing off against some kind of mutated flying creature that’s part bird, part pterodactyl as Ken Watanabe solemnly intones, “Let them fight.”

The trailer also suggests a shift in focus for the movie, with Godzilla being restored to his occasional role of humanity’s defender against other menaces. “Can you kill it?” asks Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Watanabe as we see the flying creature terrorize the occupants of a building. “I believe something can,” Watanabe responds. As Godzilla is revealed, Taylor-Johnson whispers, “A monster …” only to be corrected, “No — a god.”

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3D ZBrush Model of Japanese kirin, from the original ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Monster Manual

 

kirinGold

Comic artist Patrick Sean Farley of Electric Sheep Comix has created an incredible series of 3D models in ZBrush based on creatures from the original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.

You can view more monsters from the collection on Patrick’s website.

Check out this link:

3D ZBrush Model of Japanese kirin, from Monster Manual

kirinGold2