Akira Watanabe

From Wikizilla, the kaiju encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
Akira Watanabe
Akira Watanabe
Born May 13, 1908
Fukui, Japan[1]
Died 1999
Occupation Production designer,
special effects director
First work The War at Sea from
Hawaii to Malaya
Notable work Godzilla (1954)

Akira Watanabe (渡辺 明,   Watanabe Akira), nicknamed Mr. Nabe (ナベさん,   Nabe-san), was a Japanese special effects production designer who worked frequently on Toho's tokusatsu films during the Showa era. He is notable for approving and finalizing the designs of popular monsters such as King Ghidorah, Baragon, and Godzilla himself. Watanabe joined Shochiku in 1929, but transferred to Toho in 1941 at the recommendation of special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya, and worked on his first film for the company the following year. He departed from Toho in 1966 after serving as Tsuburaya's production designer on Invasion of Astro-Monster. He co-founded Japanese Special Effects Productions (later Japanese Special Effects Film Co.), with which he became a special effects director in his own right, directing the effects for Nikkatsu's Gappa and the Japanese-American co-production The Green Slime.

Selected filmography

Special effects production designer




  • The 2012 San Diego Comic-Con "mood piece" for Godzilla (2014) was first leaked to the internet by a YouTube user named "Akira Watanabe."[2]
  • Another Akira Watanabe would later work as a lighting assistant on the 2024 short film Godzilla: Attack on Tokyo, though his name is spelled with different kanji.


  1. Special effects staff members' positions did not begin to be credited individually until The Mysterians in 1957. As such, Watanabe was credited for "special technology" alongside Eiji Tsuburaya, Hiroshi Mukoyama, and Kuichiro Kishida.
  2. Credited for "special technology" alongside Hiroshi Mukoyama and Masao Shirota; see first note.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Credited for "special technology" alongside Eiji Tsuburaya, Masao Shirota and Hiroshi Mukoyama; see first note.
  4. Credited as storywriter and "associate" in the Japanese version; credited as special effects director in the American version.
  5. Only credited in the American cut; Japanese Special Effects Film Co., Ltd. is credited in the Japanese version.


This is a list of references for Akira Watanabe. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Encyclopedia of Godzilla. Gakken. 1 January 1990. p. 101.
  2. Watanabe, Akira (10 September 2013). "Fatman Trailer". YouTube. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013.


Showing 3 comments. When commenting, please remain respectful of other users, stay on topic, and avoid role-playing and excessive punctuation. Comments which violate these guidelines may be removed by administrators.

Loading comments...
Real World