July 7, 2015

Of Monsters and Ultramen: Google Doodle Pays a Tribute to Ultraman's Creator



Woke up at 2:30 AM today (Yes, 2:30 AM, we have a somewhat regular office job now, which takes up my time, which explains the infrequency of my blogging output these days).  So anyway, what do we see on my tablet but a nifty interactive Google Doodle featuring Ultraman!



Turns out it's a tribute of sorts to Mr. Eiji Tsuburaya, the creator of Ultraman, whose many versions only the die-hard fans can keep track of.  (Apparently there are more or less 38 Ultraman versions.)  




Anyway, back to Tsuburaya-san.  He's also head of special effects for many Japanese sci-fi films, especially when they involve wanton destruction of entire cities brought about by humongous monsters.  How we loved that as a kid, seeing Ultraman battle it out with the monster of the week, them trampling boxy buildings and trees and power lines, complete with ensuing sparks, fire, smoke, and debris. The entire scenario always looked staged and fake despite the very best efforts of Tsuburaya's production team, but that's okay.  Funny, we don't recall seeing long- and close-up shots of city folks fleeing in panic while a massive fight was going on above them.



So today's Google Doodle is a set of mini-games all that gets strung together into a monster film, whose horrific (or comedic) value depends on how you played each one out.  

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