Gaijin Channel producing web series covering Japan's traditional special effects films

TOKYO —

Tokyo-based production group Gaijin Channel is producing a new on-going documentary web series covering Japan’s traditional special effects films, including Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman and more.

Around the world these films have become infamous for their bad dubbing, campy monster suits and miniature buildings, and arguably provide the definition for the word “cheese”. Yet with a history of over half a century, the monsters and heroes of these unique special effects productions have become an integral part of Japanese popular culture. Why do they remain popular in today’s age of CGI? Why are they still being produced? And how much do we really know about them?

Shot on location in Japan, SciFi JAPAN TV delves into the world of Japanese monsters and sci-fi, featuring the latest and hottest events in Japan as well as simple yet in-depth discussions with the filmmakers who bring the films to life.

This continuing series of short web documentary features is produced by the Gaijin Channel team in Tokyo, Japan in co-operation with the SciFi Japan website. Each episode is approximately 5 to 10 minutes in length, and is distributed free of charge to an international audience via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/GaijinCh.

The series is released bilingually with both English and Japanese subtitles.

  • -1

    gogogo

    Wont be watching, the entire series is a cliche

  • 1

    LiveInTokyo

    Wont be watching, the entire series is a cliche

    So was the one they did with Pirates of Tokyo Bay. As a "gaijin" myself it was a little embarrassing to watch.

  • 0

    MasterBape

    A touch of nostalgia for some, the older shows at least, for others, there is a large portion of non-Japanese residents who are just into video games and movies/tv shows.

    The original Batman series is still popular despite being "camp" and "cheesy".

  • -1

    y3chome

    These old style series defined cheese and were great. they didnt take themselves seriously so they can get away with it.

  • -1

    Dennis Bauer

    Nothing like a Godzilla with a zipper on its back :p

  • -1

    Thunderbird2

    Around the world these films have become infamous for their bad dubbing, campy monster suits and miniature buildings, and arguably provide the definition for the word “cheese”. Yet with a history of over half a century, the monsters and heroes of these unique special effects productions have become an integral part of Japanese popular culture. Why do they remain popular in today’s age of CGI? Why are they still being produced? And how much do we really know about them?

    They remain popular because most people have the ability to suspend their belief for long enough to enjoy what they're seeing. Miniature buildings are not unique to Japanese SFX movies... any pre-digital SFX film used miniatures. Bad dubbing? So watch the subtitled versions, duh. They are no worse than dubbed Hong Kong, French or German films.

    I've been a fan of Japanese SFX films and TV series since the 70s, and I have never thought of them as 'cheese'.
    I won't be watching it though, as I suspect it'll be taking the rip... and the name Gaijin Channel just sounds like someone has a chip on their shoulder.

  • -1

    superfish

    I won't be watching it though, as I suspect it'll be taking the rip...

    the writeup is stupid but i just watched the Godzilla episode and its very good! not taking the rip at all.

  • -1

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Nuts. Was hoping for a gaijin channel on TV.

  • 0

    Keith Aiken

    I won't be watching it though, as I suspect it'll be taking the rip...

    Except your suspicions couldn't be more wrong... ripping on Japanese FX films and shows is the complete opposite of what we're doing on SCIFI JAPAN TV.

    SciFiJapan.com is a film news website put together by the guys who have worked with Japanese studios and their distributors on a number of projects.... we've provided audio commentaries and extra features on Toho DVDs and Blu-rays released in the US, UK and Australia; worked on the Godzilla comic books and GODZILLA: THE SERIES animated show; did publicity for the 50th anniversary theatrical release of the original GODZILLA; and much more. Our friends at Gaijin Channel -- who are non-Japanese people (which is what "Gaijin" means... no chip there) living and working in Tokyo -- pitched the idea of doing an ongoing web series devoted to tokusatsu productions, in which the people behind these films and shows talk about their craft in their own words.

    Everyone involved with SCIFI JAPAN TV is doing the show because we love the stuff, and because the Japanese filmmakers trust us to do right by them. If you're not watching because you suspected the show would be mocking the genre then you've missed our coverage of a tribute to original Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakajima in his hometown; the 77th birthday of Toho FX director Teruyoshi Nakano; a look at Studio Ghibli's toku exhibition; and interviews with filmmakers who have worked on the likes of Godzilla, Ultraman and other Japanese FX favorites.

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