Negadon The Monster From Mars (2005)
Directed by Jun Awazu from his original script and rendered in staggeringly realistic computer graphics, Negadon: The Monster From Mars pays homage to a wide variety of 1950's and 60's Japanese monster movies such as Godzilla, Mothra, and other classics which first brought global attention to Japan's then-emerging post-war feature film industry.Negadon is the world's first completely computer-generated monster movie. The film was in production for over three years and required the invention of special rendering algorithms to reproduce a 1950's style look.Unleashed in Japan in October 2005, Negadon won the Outstanding Production Award at the 20th Digital Contents Grand Prix and was named a Jury Recommended Work at the 9th Japan Media Arts Festival.
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About “Negadon: The Monster from Mars” (Wakusei Daikaiju Negadon)
Original story written and directed by Jun Awazu (Daikaichou Magara Shurai, Magara Gekimetsu Daikessen), with music by Shingo Terasawa and animation modeling by Makoto Miyahara. Kenjiro Kato served as SFX Supervisor. Worldwide distribution is by CoMix Wave.
In the year 2025, the world population explodes to over 10 billion. In search for a new place to live, mankind initiates the space exploration project entitled “The Mars Terraforming Project.” Step by step, mankind successfully transforms Mars into a habitable planet.But when a Japanese freight spaceship returning from Mars crashes on the streets of Tokyo unleashing a giant and vicious monster from underneath the surface of Mars, only Dr. Narasaki and his long-abandoned robot Miroku can save Earth and mankind.
About Jun Awazu
Jun Awazu was born in 1974 in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan. After completing his Master’s Degree in Japanese-style painting at the Aichi Prefecture Art University, Awazu studied 3D CG designing at the Department of Digital Creations at the Trident School of Computing. He worked for two years at a production company as a CG designer and VFX artist, which he left in March 2003, to start his own company and the production of “Negadon.”
Mr. Awazu’s previous works include:
“Daikaichou Magara Shurai” (Magara: The Giant Monster): Winner at the Arts Student CG Contest 2000
“Magara Gekimetsu Daikessen” (Magara: The Final Showdown): Second prize winner in the original story category of the CG and Animation Film Festival 2001.
Negadon The Monster From Mars (2005)
Director/Original Story/CGI - Jun Awazu
Music/SE - Shingo Terasawa
VFX Supervisor - Kenjiro KatoYoshizawa
(Modeling/Animation) - Shin Miyahara
Ryuichi Narasaki - Dai Shimizu
Seiji Yoshizawa - Takuma Sasahara
Emi Narasaki - Akane Yumoto
TV Announcer/Narration - Masafumi Kishi
Negadon: The Monster From Mars - DVD Review
Normally when anything monster related from Japan gets a US DVD release the fans normally get the short end of the stick. Sony has been gracious enough to give us all the Godzilla films in both their American and original Japanese forms, but that has been about it. Vary rarely has any of those releases contained any bonus material. No trailers, no interviews, no photos, no nothing. Just a bare bones release.
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This is however not true with the upcoming release of the fully computer generated Japanese monster tribute “Negadon: The Monster From Mars.” Central Park Media pulls out all the stops and gives us a cornucopia of bonus material to go through. Included is a interview with the films director Jun Awazu, a making-of featurette, an art gallery, a fan art feature, both US and Japanese trailers and two extra shorts “Magara: The Giant Monster” and “Magara: The Final Showdown.” Magara being one of the better kaiju designs I have seen in some time. Indeed CPM gives the kaiju fan a complete overall package more in line with the ADV “Gamera: Guardian of the Universe” DVD. Which to this point has been the best kaiju related release. It is very apparent that CPM had the fans in mind when compiling content for this DVD.
Okay, so the thing comes with all the bells and whistles, but how good is the picture and sound quality? CPM scores high marks for presenting “Negadon” in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The picture quality is next to perfect. The quality of some of the shots is grainy, but it is supposed to be to give the film that 1960s’ retro feel. The sound is presented in both Japanese and English Dolby 5.1 surround that again is very clear and almost perfect. My wife complained that the windows upstairs were shaking while I was watching the movie so you know that’s a good sign. Fans should have no complaints about the look and feel of this DVD.
Already many fans have gotten wind of this features short run time. At a little under one half hour one could understand why many fans will have reservations about this feature. Let me put those to rest, without giving too much away hopefully.” Negadon The Monster From Mars” is an amazing piece of computer-generated animation. The film may be “short but sweet” but you get bang for your buck. This is a well thought out tribute to the Japanese monster films we all grew up on. Negadon captures the vibe of the old-school kaiju films like “The Mysterians” and “Monster Zero” to perfection. I guarantee that you will pull those old films out of your collection for another viewing after watching this one. I know I did. The back-story may seem a little too “A typical” for some but as a tribute piece you really wouldn’t expect anything else. What you get is a giant robot fighting an alien monster both on the streets of Tokyo and in outer space and that’s what everyone wants to see in the end anyway. The one drawback is that you may be left wanting for more. The two “Magera” shorts will help fill that need. Both are great additions to the main feature.
“Negadon The Monster From Mars” is great release from Central Park Media. I believe that all Japanese monster fans will appreciate it on a very personal level as a tribute to the great films that have come out of Japan over the past few decades.
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