The Kaiju Connection

Giant Monsters and Ourselves


In stock

About the Book

What makes a kaiju a kaiju? What makes an ape a large ape, and why do we sympathize with some, such as King Kong, and not with others, such as Konga? And what makes a giant person become a “monster”? This book provides a new perspective on kaiju and reveals that our boundaries for the genre are perhaps not so solid.

This work focuses primarily on newer kaiju works, ranging from Colossal to Shin Godzilla to Godzilla vs. Kong, but also touches on classics such as King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, Godzilla Raids Again, and lesser-known works such as What to Do With the Dead Kaiju? and Agon.

Like our ancestors we have collectively adopted giant monsters into our culture, especially our pop culture. Within the domains where giant monsters walk, we experience the rigidity of our moral structures, and the fleeting borders of our definitions of humanity. Within the kaiju film genre rest our own assumptions about what makes a monster a monster, and, more importantly, what makes a human a human.

About the Author(s)

Jason Barr is an associate professor at Blue Ridge Community College. His work has appeared in African American Review, Explicator, The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, and The Journal of Caribbean Literatures, among others. He lives in Weyers Cave, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Jason Barr
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 210
Bibliographic Info: notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9351-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5150-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
1. Categorizing the Kaiju 13
2. Toys and Dinosaurs and Nostalgia 26
3. An Appreciation of Godzilla Raids Again 34
4. Science and Faith: The Solo Kaiju Adventures 40
5. “The Third Fire”: Agon, the Atomic Dragon 56
6. The Wor(l)ds Get Stuck in My Throat: Aliens from Sea and Space 62
7. Reigo, Raiga, Ohga: The (Sometimes Loving) Basement of Kaiju Film 76
8. An Ode to Baragon and Barugon 89
9. It Turns Out Gamera Is Really Neat: The Heisei Trilogy 99
10. The Legendary Dr. Serizawa 109
11. Kong, Again and Again: The Son[s] of Kong 121
12. Toward the Past and the Future at the Same Time: Colossal and Godzilla vs. Kong 143
13. Men as Kaiju: Big Man Japan and Kaiju Mono 160
14. When Even Humans Are (Almost) Kaiju: The Amazing Colossal Man and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman 173
Conclusion 189
Filmography 195
Bibliography 197
Index 201