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Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters: Defending the Earth with Ultraman and Godzilla Hardcover – November 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811860787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811860789
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.9 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,407,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters, San Francisco based writer August Ragone has produced a fond, generously illustrated biography of the tokusatsu (special effects) genius " Time magazine, December 13, 2007

"The difference between this book and other coffee table volumes that have covered daikaiju before, though, is the staggeringly researched detail that Ragone has put into the text itself. This is not just a picture book to flip through, nod approvingly at and stick on the shelf; this is a record easily in scale with the monsters Tsuburaya created a critical and historical look at the creation and output of an industry that spanned (and has continued to span) the decades. —Tooth and Dagger, October 2007

"Anyone with a taste for reading about frantic production schedules and creative jury-rigging solutions will find much to enjoy in Ragone's text." &mdashPowell's Books.com, November 2007

About the Author

August Ragone has written and commented on Japanese film and pop culture for more than twenty years. He lives in San Francisco.

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More About the Author

August Ragone was born in San Francisco and is the Rondo Award winning author of the highly regarded "Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters" (Chronicle Books, 2007). August has commented on Japanese film and popular culture on radio, television, in print, online, and at events for more than three decades. While still a teen, he severed as "Japanese Film" & "Godzilla Expert" for legendary horror host Bob Wilkins at KTVU TV-2.

From his experience living in Tokyo and meeting Japanese filmmakers, August has written liner notes for numerous DVD releases, edited and authored over 100 subtitle scripts (so far), and has also contributed to periodicals such as the Japanese Fantasy Film Journal, Filmfax, Video Watchdog, Asian Cult Cinema, Henshin! Online, Oriental Cinema, G-Fan, Super7, Otaku USA, Monster Attack Team, and Famous Monsters of Filmland.

The Baghdad-by-the-Bay native has also been an event promoter, starting with the "Japanese Fantasy Film Faire" (1979), the first Anime event held outside of Japan, as well as producing live music and multi-media events including The Sleazefest, Incredibly Strange Wrestling, The Greaseball, Godzillafest, and Shock It To Me!.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
Nice design as well, hefty, hardcover book.
J. B. De Zwart
Overall, this book is definitely worth your time and money to read over and treasure.
lordhoot
If you are a fan of Godzilla and/or Eiji Tsuburaya this is the book to get!
Timothy Mccormick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Matt Chevreaux on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those gem of a book that crosses genres. August Ragone shows us behind he scenes of the man who created Godzilla and Ultraman. Well written at a level anyone can enjoy, and with a host of never seen before pictures (at least in America) of the behind the scenes making of these icons makes this a great read. Lots of information not readily known outside of Japan. Can't wait for volume 2!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martin Arlt on July 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a meticulous, thoughtful, well-written, and beautifully laid-out tribute to a true master of special effects. It is a fascinating look, not only into Tsuburaya's life and career, but also the way the film industry works in Japan. An interesting read for non-fans; a must-have for fans of the genre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Gavins on February 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A Japanese book titled The Films of Eiji Tsuburaya has become a hard to find collectors item and for that reason I have never owned it. That indicates a level of interest which this new English language book meets very well. There are lavish illustrations and insightful text written by those who were fortunate to be able to research this topic firsthand. Pleasantly surprising is the section written by the now deceased Guy Mariner Tucker. The fact that Tsuburaya had such a hand in tokusatsu and kaiju eiga enables the writing of a book that covers multiple productions from Godzilla to Mighty Jack. Well done and well priced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter M. on June 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a book which first appears to be just a biography of Japan's greatest monster-maker (and I don't say that to diminish its subject, not at all), the reader is also treated to a good glimpse of the filmmaking world Eiji Tsuburaya devoted his life to. Not like the multi-mega-bucks budgets and the high stakes publicity buzz or manufactured star power of Hollywood in the USA, you get the real sense that filmmakers in Japan pursue their craft with a genuine devotion to an art form and a noble profession. Mr. Tsuburaya was clearly no exception. Japan has and has had its media stars, but this book leaves you with the impression that dedication to the work is as or even more important that any public acclaim or fat paychecks. In fact, it is abundantly clear that Tsuburaya's love for his work came at the expense of his health and perhaps longevity in his later years.

This book is not just about a guy who made rubber monster suits. It's about a man and the team of loyal and dedicated artisans he assembled that, collectively, with their "sensei's" guidance, expertise, vision and instinct created some of the most impressive cinema visual effects ever. Inventing many and perfecting most of their techniques, often with skeletal production budgets--certainly not with the avalanches of money equivalent Hollywood productions get for their SFX--you can begin to understand the sheer skill and talent these craftsmen had to fool the eye and immerse the viewer in their worlds. Not always; on occasion there might be a scene in a Tsuburaya film which appears rough around the edges or a bit stretched in quality. This can virtually always be attributed to the Tsuburaya production team being pushed or rushed for time, and/or simply not having the budget they were expecting or promised.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan L. Seidensticker on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was purchased as a Christmas gift for my husband, who wanted to stop opening gifts so that he could read it! His love of Japanese movies seems to be growing with every page he reads of this book... and I think I may have "created a monster" - husband is promising to show the baby tons of Godzilla & Ultraman dvds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this to be a very enjoyable & informative book--the only thing that takes away from the reading experience is the Author's or Publisher's decision to run the captions for the photos VERTICALLY along their sides.

Whether this was done to emulate traditional Japanese character-style writing or just to save space, I can think of nothing more annoying than constantly having to crane your head or turn the book sideways to read a photo caption.

I hope the next printing involves placing the captions under the photo, so the reading experience flows better.

Otherwise it's a great book...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy on March 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Phenomenal book. Great quality, design, and content. If you have any remote appreciation for this kind of film making and monster design, this book is an absolute love letter... A must have!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ang Kheng Yeong on August 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Written in chronological order, this book depicts the man's life from birth till his demise and beyond. This book is more heavily on Godzilla than Ultraman (and UltraSeven), but nevertheless, the influences that both has seemed eternal and endears to generations of follower.

How I wish to visit UltramanLand! Or get into a monster costume at Tsuburaya Productions and smash up some buildings... haha!

Wonderfully written with many articles contributed by various key figures in the life of Eiji Tsuburaya. Lots of photos in it as well. The only grouse I have about this book is the descriptions for all the photos, always inserted at a strange 90 degree, I have to [...] my head just to read them, very uncomfortable.

But on the whole, this is the must-have for the "Tsuburaya" fan.
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