Tag Archives: youkai

I like monsters

25 Aug

KISS has announced that they will release an album of all new songs sometime next year (2012) titled “Monster“.

KISS...still the hottest band in the world!

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always liked monsters.

When I watched the Disney cartoon “Peter Pan” as a child, for example, I didn’t care for Peter Pan or any of his friends. They were too “regular”.
Unlike Peter Pan with his pansy outfit and little knife, Captain Hook had a sword and a sharp hook instead of a hand.
(Admittedly though, Peter Pan could fly, which would be fun and Hook didn’t dress much better than Peter Pan.)
Captain Hook was the first movie character that frightened me…and even at that young age I enjoyed being frightened a bit.

Who cares about a practical prosthetic when you can have one that puts the fear of god in people?!

When I was a bit older, I saw Star Wars for the first time.  I was only seven years old when the first movie in the series was released, so I was a bit too young to fully understand the story.  But I still  enjoyed it a lot.  Especially when “Darth Vader” made his entrance!
Luke Skywalker was the hero…but Darth Vader stole every scene in was in.

The "Dark Side"

And of course I’ve always like the “traditional” monsters…Frankenstein’s Monster, The Werewolf, and Dracula.

And when I came to Japan, I learned about 妖怪 (Japanese monsters).

"Ge-ge-ge Kitaro" is Japanese cartoon inspired by traditional Japanese monster and ghost stories.

Even my favorite superhero character has always been “The Incredible Hulk“. He’s anger-incarnate. A huge pissed-off monster! The coolest of the superheroes.

Hulk will smash even Superman

Even the music I listen to reflects my interest in monsters.
I like heavy metal music. There’s a reason that the soundtracks to many horror movies are full of heavy metal music…heavy metal is to music as horror is to movies.

If you’re not interested in heavy metal, you may not know that that genre of music is further divided into sub-genres.
The sub-genre of metal music that I like the most is “Shock Rock“. It’s just as visual as it is musical. Shock Rock artist—such as KISS, W.A.S.P., Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and Lordi—often look like monsters.

Alice Cooper

Anyways, as I mentioned at the top of this post, KISS will be releasing a new album soon.  The last time they they released a new album was about two years ago…it was titled “Sonic Boom“.

As I mentioned, KISS‘s new album will be titled “Monster“.  It’s an excellent album title…I can’t believe they haven’t used it before!

So far only five song titles have been confirmed by the band.  They are: “Hell Or Hallelujah”, “Born To Be A Sinner”, “Out Of This World”, “Are You Ready?”, and “Wall Of Sound”.

I’m looking forward to getting this album.

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Happy birthday 水木しげるさん!

8 Mar

Today is the 88th birthday of 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki).

Mr. Shigeru Mizuki
(born 1922 March 8)

He is an anime artist that I like.

His most famous work is the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou“) anime series.

This series is about a group of 妖怪 (ghouls) led by Kitaro who protect humans from other, less-kind ghouls who want to hurt them.

It’s a fun series.

And Mr. Shigeru Mizuki, the artist, is a person with an interesting life story.

When he was a child he enjoyed drawing and listening to an old neighbor lady’s ghost stories.

And when he was a young man, both he and his brother were drafted by the Japanese Army to fight in World War 2.
The army sent him to help defend their base in New Guinea.

While he was there, he lost his left arm (the arm he used to draw his art with) in the Allied bombings.
Unbelievably, he taught himself to draw using his other hand.

While he was in the base hospital recovering from his injuries, he met and became close to some of the local tribes-people.
The chief of the tribe offered him some land and a position in their tribe if he married the chief’s daughter.
He decided that the offer sounded good and told an officer in the army that he wanted to stay on the island after being discharged.
The army officer told he that he could stay there…but he should first return to Japan to say goodbye to his parents. He decided to follow that advice.

But upon returning to Japan, he decided that he couldn’t go back to New Guinea because his parents were ill and had no one else to care for them since Mr. Mizuki’s brother was convicted of war crimes by the Allies and executed.
So he stayed in Japan and cared for his parents…and he became a popular anime artist.

I wrote another post about 水木しげる (Shigeru Mizuki) and the 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」 (“Ge-ge-ge-no-Kitarou“) animeclick here.