Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Japanese Sci-Fi A to Z

Thanks to Christopher Elam over at the OWARI blog, I have a lot more Japanese science fiction movies to track down now. Inspired by my posting of the Giant Monsters vs. Alien Invaders article, he has followed suit with Star Warp's "Japanese Sci-Fi A to Z."

Now I know where the kaiju Manda, a giant dragon-like serpent, originated: 1963's Atragon. Previously I'd only seen him in stock footage from various Godzilla movies and assumed he was just a space filler on Monster Island.

I also know more about the Japanese character Starman, along with a variety of Japanese movies that Tom Rogers apparently hated on principle. Chris has some interesting theories about the freelance writer's career and writing style, but I also can't help but wonder if "Tom Rogers" wasn't just a pseudonym employed by the editors of science fiction and fantasy magazines whenever they needed to give credit to a questionable article. Will the real Tom Rogers please stand up?


  1. I'm happy you enjoyed it! And in all seriousness, would you like a list? I've been in "organized" kaiju fandom so long that I take a lot of things for granted by now.

    ATRAGON is a cool movie, but it's not so much a "kaiju" movie and more a science-fiction movie where a kaiju shows up relatively briefly. There's a DVD of it (with both Japanese & newish English tracks), but I wouldn't recommend paying the outrageous prices some Amazon sellers think they can get for it. You can see the AIP trailer for it (with their dub) on Youtube.

    It's funny you mention that about Tom Rogers, since the Wikipedia entry for The Monster Times suggests that he used a pseudonym of "Jason Thomas!" This issue of Star Warp not only includes him, but also Buddy Weiss (as editor), Allen Asherman, and Doug Murray. The last two are especially familiar to me, though Murray more for a comic than an SF magazine (he created The 'Nam for Marvel in the '80s).