Godzilla in Tokyo and Godzilla in Hollywood

2 Apr

The Japanese baseball player Hideki Matsui used to play for the New York Yankees major league team until he began playing for the Los Angeles Angels last December.

(Click here to read the post I wrote last December about him moving from the Yankees to the Angels.)

His nickname is “Godzilla“.

He is currently the spokesman in Japan for the Kirin “Fire” canned coffee and in 新宿 (Shinjuku, Tokyo) there is a huge balloon in his likeness wearing a baseball uniform similar to his L.A. Angels uniform that has “Fire” emblazoned on the front.
The balloon statue is leaning on a giant can of “Fire” coffee.

The campaign is called 「ビッグマツイ」 (“Big Matsui“).

My daughter had to go to Shinjuku today, so she took a couple photos of this giant display with her cell-phone camera when she passed by it.

Here are her photos of the giant Hideki Matsui balloon in Shinjuku (you can see how big it is in proportion to the people standing near it):

"Godzilla" has hit Tokyo again!

Speaking of Godzilla…this time the iconic Japanese monster called 「ゴジラ」 (“Gojira“) in Japan and “Godzilla” in other countries that continually destroys Tokyo in his countless movies from Japan’s Toho Studios.

I wrote a post last summer (click here to read it) about the numerous Hollywood remakes of Japanese movies…including a 1998 remake of Godzilla that was poorly received by both critics and fans.

Hollywood's "Godzilla", circa 1998

I also wrote a post last April (click here to read this one) about both America’s “King Kong” and Japan’s “Godzilla“…and the classic film in which they battled each other.

Well, America’s “Legendary Pictures” has just announced their intention to film another “Godzilla” movie.

The movie is scheduled to be released sometime in 2012.

A major complaint that many people had about the 1998 American remake of “Godzilla” was that both the storyline as well as the appearance of the monster were too different from the Japanese movies.

Legendary Studios has implied that their version of Godzilla will stay true to the Japanese original.

According to their press release:

“…Legendary intends to approach the (Godzilla) film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible….”

That would probably be a good strategy if they want their movie to be successful…especially here in Japan.
Because in Japan many of the characters from Japanese classic movies, such as Ultraman and Godzilla, are still very popular.
Their movies are still made nowadays.

2009 Dec "Ultraman" movie poster

"Godzilla: Final Wars" movie poster; circa 2004

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10 Responses to “Godzilla in Tokyo and Godzilla in Hollywood”

  1. Peter Scallion May 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    It’s great to see the giant Hideki Matsui balloon! I’m sure Godzilla will sell a lot of coffee.

    Of course, this is not the first time a Matsui balloon was a big hit: http://bit.ly/MatsuiBalloon

    Peter Scallion
    The Scallion

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

      Was there really a Matsui balloon in New York too?

      Like

  2. metalodyssey April 4, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I’m gonna miss Hideki Matsui as a Yankee… badly. I’m a life long Yankees fan, every Yankee seems to feel like “family” to me, there is that kind of a connection. “Once a Yankee, always a Yankee” is the motto with Yankees fans.

    There are a couple of exceptions to that rule… Randy Johnson being one of them, he didn’t want to be a Yankee from the onset. He even “shoved” a reporter on a New York City street, just a couple of days in the Big Apple!!

    I’m just thrilled knowing that “Godzilla” won a World Series with the Yankees… it would not have been right if he didn’t and then moved on to the Angels.

    Long live Godzilla! Both Hideki Matsui and the movie monster!

    Stone

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 5, 2010 at 1:34 am #

      >I’m a life long Yankees fan

      Do you live in New York City?

      >There are a couple of exceptions to that rule… Randy Johnson being one of them

      I’m not much of a baseball fan.
      But isn’t he that really tall pitcher?
      He played in Japan at one time, didn’t he?

      I heard that he wasn’t happy playing with the Yankees because they wouldn’t let him wear his “lucky” uniform number.
      Athletes can be superstitious about the number on their uniform like that, it seems.

      >Long live Godzilla! Both Hideki Matsui and the movie monster!

      Do you like Godzilla movies?
      What did you think of the 1998 Hollywood version?

      (By the way, I noticed that you put a link to my site on yours. Thanks.
      I put a link to yours on my site, too.)

      Like

      • metalodyssey April 5, 2010 at 7:01 am #

        I am a big fan of Matthew Broderick… his Godzilla movie is tremendous! Scary as they come… especially the ending, where all the Godzilla eggs are hatching babies!

        I live in Pennsylvania, used to live in Connecticut. The drive to NYC has always been roughly and hour and a half from either point.

        The Phillies are only an hour and minutes from me too… lot’s of Phillies fans where I live. They were World Champs in 2008.

        Growing up as a kid, I took in every Japanese made Godzilla movie I could get my eyes on. There was one Japanese movie that really scared me when I was a kid… I believe it was called “Battle of the Gargantuas”? I may be off a word or two on that title. Nonetheless, very creepy looking monsters were those “Gargantuas”.

        Stone

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

        >I am a big fan of Matthew Broderick

        Really? I can’t think of any of his movies that were very special to me.

        >his Godzilla movie is tremendous!

        In it’s own right, it’s a good movie…but because it’s a “Godzilla” movie, most Godzilla fans dislike it.

        >all the Godzilla eggs are hatching babies!

        I believe that was to set up a sequel…but since that movie didn’t do too well at the theaters, they never made “Godzilla II”.

        >I live in Pennsylvania, used to live in Connecticut.

        I’ve never been to either of those states, but we visited NYC once years ago. It’s a fun city…but Tokyo’s better, in my opinion.

        >The Phillies are only an hour and minutes from me too

        I grew up in Pinellas County, Florida…where many baseball team go for Spring Training.
        I saw many teams there practicing…but, as I said above, I don’t care much for baseball.

        >There was one Japanese movie that really scared me when I was a kid… I believe it was called “Battle of the Gargantuas”?

        You must mean the ’60s movie 「フランケンシュタインの怪獣 サンダ対ガイラ」…which would translate to “Frankenstein’s Monsters: Sanda vs Gaira“.
        But I guess the title of the U.S. release version was “Battle Of The Gargantuas”.

        Here’s the trailer:

        Like

  3. Metal Misfit April 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Giant Matsui looks like he’s going to start moving at any moment. That’s be creepy. 😀

    I knew Godzilla was still an active franchise in Japan but I didn’t realize Ultraman was. I used to have an Ultraman figure but I had no clue who he was other the just a cool looking superhero.

    Are they “big budget” movies equivalent to America’s “summer blockbusters” or are low-budget B-movies?

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

      >Giant Matsui looks like he’s going to start moving at any moment. That’s be creepy.

      And maybe he’d start smacking people like flies with that giant bat! 😉

      >I used to have an Ultraman figure

      Many stores in Japan sell Ultraman (as well as Godzilla) figures, T-shirts, lunch boxes, etc for kids (boys)…but I have never seen the merchandise in America when I lived there (I used to watch both Ultraman and Godzilla on TV though).

      >I had no clue who he was

      Didn’t you watch the TV show?

      >Are they “big budget” movies equivalent to America’s “summer blockbusters” or are low-budget B-movies?

      They are mainstream movies with a fairly big budget usually released when kids are on summer vacation.
      But studios in Japan don’t spend the immense amount making movies that Hollywood does.
      Japanese movies are made for a domestic audience…American movies and music are aimed at an international release.

      Like

  4. iconmatthew1 April 3, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    Wow I didnt realize they still made this many Godzilla movies he’s like the James Bond of monster movies lol.

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 3, 2010 at 11:49 am #

      Godzilla and Ultraman are pop-culture staples in Japan.
      Their toys are popular with every generation of boys in Japan. Many stores sell their merchandise.

      Like

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