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The Asian ApertureEiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters Book Review
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, July 8, 2014    Share

Finally a book has come that celebrates the extraordinary life of Eiji Tsuburaya, the special effects wizard, behind such iconic creations such as Godzilla and Ultraman. Both characters continue to exist and thrive well into the 21st Century and are a living tribute to Tsuburaya’s unique artistic vision.

Only August Ragone could have written a book about Eiji Tsuburaya that is filled with passion and insight. Ragone is a Japanese Film Expert who appeared on Captain Cosmic, Bob Wilkins, on KTUV television in San Francisco to share his insights on Japanese movie monsters.

Eiji Tsuburaya is one part biography and also a chronicle of every great Toho monster movie to come out of the 50’s through the 70’s. The book tells the incredible story of how Tsuburaya, already in his 50’s, teamed up with Ishiro Honda on a movie that would delight movie audiences all over the world called Godzilla (1954.) While Honda handled the directing of the human actors, Tsuburaya was in charge of creating the suit and carefully crafting a miniature version of Tokyo, as well as, directing all the special effects.

Soon he would create Tsuburaya Productions and win over millions of children worldwide thanks to his TV sensational hero called Ultraman. Eiji and his valuable team kickstarted a monster era throughout the 60’s that had children flocking to toy stores to pick up the latest monster figures and toys. This was well before George Lucas and Star Wars had a similar effect on children back in ’77.

Eiji Tsuburaya is a literary tribute to a creative talent that is a joy to read. I had to finish each chapter as I eagerly awaited each new chapter. It is a book that is hard to put down because Ragone really cares about his subject. After reading Eiji Tsuburaya, you will probably feel as I did and go to Netflix or your favorite streaming site to seek out these lost treasures of Japanese fantasy and imagination and find out for yourself why Tsuburaya is just as important in the East as Ray Harryhausen is in the US.

I only wish I was a little older and living in Japan during the 1960’s when the monster kid era was in full swing.

So if you are a fan of Japanese movie monsters, this is the book that you should run out and buy. Then prepare to spend some time with an entertaining writer who is never boring and knows his facts and is able to awaken the kid inside us all, the kid that will always love monsters.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2014 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2014 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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