It seems the critical and commercial success of Shin Godzilla is inspiring Japanese filmmakers to take a chance on more serious-minded kaiju movies that blend genres. Such appears to be the case with the upcoming Koujin.
Produced for NHK TV, Koujin is a two-hour creature feature about a kaiju that looks a lot like a monstrous mutated crocodile that terrorizes a Japanese village, leading a one-eyed samurai (Shogun Serizawa?) to fight back. Though from what I’ve been able to translate, Koujin itself might actually be a mutated salamander. Either way, you don’t want this thing coming your way when it’s angry or hungry.
Not a whole lot of info is available about Koujin on this side of the Pacific as of yet, but here’s what we do know about the plot thanks to a translation courtesy of 2014 Godzilla actress Yuki Morita:
The story takes place in 1700’s Northern Japan after the war. A boy, after getting attacked by some strange monster, escapes to the nearby village where Ayane lives and warns the villagers that the monster is approaching. The village residents start trying to find a way to protect their village. Meanwhile, Ayane’s brother has a conspiracy to control the monster and use it. As the story goes on, we find out exactly how the monster was created and the cruelty some humans are capable of.
I could be wrong, but this appears to mark the first kaiju period film since the glory days of the Daimajin flicks.
Yuki Uchida, Takehiro Hira, Yuta Hiraoka, Shingo Yanagisawa, and Yasuo Daichi star in director Zennosuke Matsuura’s medieval monster mash based on a novel by famed Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe.
If I’m understanding correctly, Koujin premieres on February 17th. Or September 17th. Suffice to say, giant monster fans on this side of the world will have to wait even longer one way or another.
For a taste of the samurais vs. kaiju action to come, above is a 15-minute video featuring both the trailer and a behind-the-scenes video, both of which are not in English and do not have subtitles. You can see more in the images below.