Daimajin (大魔神 is a Daimajin, lit. Giant Demon God)1966 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Daiei Film Co. Ltd. It is the first film in the Daimajin trilogy, and introduces the general formula for Daimajin's films which the rest of the trilogy follows. It was released to Japanese theaters on April 17, 1966 on a double feature with Gamera vs. Barugon.
Large tremors send villagers scattering, as they fear that an ancient spirit, named Arakatsuma, is beginning to wake up. The entire village then gathers at their shrine to pray that it will remain imprisoned. This torchlit ceremony, led by their Priestess Shinobu is observed by the local feudal boss, Lord Hanabusa, who respects the beliefs of his villagers, but does not believe in the Daimajin. Hanabusa then sends his chamberlain named Samanosuke down to the ceremony to provide a sense of security, but Samanosuke uses the distraction as a means of staging a coup. He kills Hanabusa and began to storm the castle.
A loyal vassal named Kogenta goes to protect Hanabusa's children, Tadafumi and Kozasa Hanabusa, and prepares to smuggle them out of the kingdom. They make their way to a stable with the help of some other vassals, but are cornered by Samanosuke's guards. They begin to burn the stable down, and the vassals make a vow to meet back in town in ten years from that day. Kogenta and the children escape the building, but have to be cautious of guards as Kogenta takes them to his aunt Shinobu's house. They hide from the soldiers when they come to search the house, and when they are gone Shinobu takes them up Majin's Mountain and leaves them in a cave that is believed to have once been the home of their god, on the assurance that Samanosuke's men will never look there.
Ten years later, Kogenta goes down from his mountain home and into the village. On the road, he encounters a patrol of Samanosuke's guards and is captured. On hearing this, Tadafumi goes into town to rescue him, and a young villager pleads to Shinobu to let him pray at the Idol of Arakatsuma to bring his wrath on Samanosuke who is using the villagers as slaves to build an impenetrable fortress. He is denied, but is assured that their god will hear his prayers and send him, but the boy runs from her house and up the mountain where he mistakes Kozasa for a god.
In town, Tadafumi sneaked through the construction site where Kogenta was being dangled from a pole, but was himself captured, as Kogenta had been used as bait for him. After learning that neither had returned, Shinobu went to Samanosuke to warn him that his continued tyrannical acts would bring the wrath of Arakatsuma on him, which caused him to fire an unloaded gun in her face to test her faith before brutally murdering her with a sword. He then ordered that a group of soldiers be sent to Majin's Mountain to destroy the idol of Arakatsuma.
As the crew travels up the mountain, they capture Kozasa and the boy, and force them to take them to the statue. They try to destroy it with hammers, but see no results, which leads them to try to drive a chisel through the idol's head, which makes the statue bleed. An earthquake then creates a fissure that swallows the demolition team, but not Kozasa or the boy. Kozasa then tries to awaken Arakatsuma, and even goes as far as to offer her life to the god by throwing herself off a nearby waterfall, but is held back by the boy. She begins to cry on the statue, and that causes it to stand up and change into an organic form resembling a giant samurai. Kozasa then offers her prayer to the statue, and informs it that Lord Samanosuke is being unjust in the city. Arakatsuma then transports himself to the village and begins to destroy it in his attempt to reach Samanosuke. In the chaos, Tadafumi and Kogenta are able to escape their prison cell, and meet up with Kozasa. The three then watch as Arakatsuma reaches into the ruined palace and holds up the terrified Samanosuke. He then removes the chisel that was still in his head from the earlier attempt to destroy him, and impales him on a ruined wall of the palace.
Even after his mission iss complete, Arakatsuma, being an immortal god of endless wrath, continues to destroy the village. Again Kozasa offers her life to the Daimajin, but once again it is her tears that bring him to a stop. After the tears hit him he transforms back into a statue before a ball of light flies out of him and disappears into the sky before the statue crumbles to dust.
- Main article: Daimajin (film)/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Kimiyoshi Yasuda
- Written by Tetsuro Yoshida
- Produced by Masaichi Nagata
- Executive producing by Mitsuru Tanabe
- Music by Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Fujio Morita
- Edited by Hiroshi Yamada
- Production design by Hisashi Okuda
- Assistant directing by Eiji Nishizawa
- Special effects by Yoshiyuki Kuroda
- Main article: Daimajin (film)/Credits.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Miwa Takada as Kozasa Hanabusa
- Yoshihiko Aoyama as Tadafumi Hanabusa
- Jun Fujimaki as Kogenta
- Ryutaro Gomi as Samanosuke
- Ryuzo Shimada as Tadakiyo Hanabusa
- Tatsuo Endo as Gunjuro
- Shosaku Sugiyama
- Chikara Hashimoto
- Saburo Date as Ippei Cyjuma
- Otome Tsukimiya as Priestess Shinobu - The Shrine Maiden
- Keiko Kayama as Haruno
- Eigoro Onoe as Gosaku
- Gen Kimura as Mosuke
- Hideki Ninomiya as Young Tadafumi
- Shizuhiro Izoguchi as Take-bo
- Yutaro Ban as Mondo
- Hideo Kuroki as Magojuro
- Akira Shiga
- Jun Osugi
- Jun Katsumura
- Kazuo Moriuchi
- Akira Amemiya
- Shinjiro Akatsuki
- Kanji Uehara
- Masako Morishita as Young Kozasa
- Hatsumi Yoshikawa
- Chikara Hashimoto as Daimajin
- Main article: Daimajin (film)/Gallery.
- Main article: Daimajin (Soundtrack).
- The Hideous Idol Majin (International title)
- Majin, the Monster of Terror (United States)
- Majin, Monster of Terror
- Majin, the Stone Samurai
- The Vengeance of the Monster
- The Giant Majin
- Fury of Mountain God
- Majin the Hideous Idol
- The Devil Got Angry
Daimajin was exhibited in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 15, 1966 at the city's Kokusai Theater. The film was also screened in Japanese with English subtitles at 55th Street Playhouse in New York City in August 1968.
In 1967, American International Television licensed Daimajin for syndication as Majin, the Monster of Terror. It was dubbed into English in Rome by the English Language Dubbers Association.
ADV DVD (2002) [The Complete Daimajin Trilogy]
- Region: 1
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
- Special features: Trailers
- Notes: Out of print. Packaged with Return of Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again. Reissued as a single disc in 2005.
Mill Creek Blu-ray (2012) [Daimajin Triple Feature]
- Region: N/A
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
- Special features: Trailers for all three Daimajin films, interviews with cinematographer Fujio Morita on the making of each film (28, 31, and 28 minutes).
- Notes: Out of print. Packaged with Return of Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again.
- Region: A or B
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese and English (Mono)
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: 100-page book with essays by Jonathan Clements, Keith Aiken, Ed Godziszewski, Raffael Coronelli, Erik Homenick, Robin Gatto, and Kevin Derendorf; audio commentaries by Stuart Galbraith IV (Daimajin), Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp (Return of Daimajin), and Jonathan Clements (Daimajin Strikes Again); Daimajin introduction by Kim Newman; "Bringing the Avenging God to Life" video essay about the trilogy's special effects by Ed Godziszewski; AI-TV opening credits for Majin, the Monster of Terror and Return of Giant Majin; "My Summer Holidays with Daimajin" interview with Professor Yoneo Ota about the trilogy's production; "From Storyboard to Screen: Bringing Return of Daimajin to Life" comparison of storyboards and scenes from the finished film; interview with cinematographer Fujio Mori; Japanese and American trailers for all three films (with the exception of an American trailer for Daimajin Strikes Again); image galleries; postcards
- Region: A
- Discs: 7
- Audio: Japanese (2.0)
- Subtitles: Unknown
- Special features: Reproduction of the Return of Daimajin shooting script; interviews with cinematographer Fujio Mori, Daimajin suit actor Chikara Hashimoto, composer Akira Ifukube, special effects director Yoshiyuki Kuroda, cinematographer Fujio Morita, and director Tomoo Haraguchi; storyboard reproductions; still gallery; theatrical trailers
- Notes: Uses a new 4K transfer. Packaged with Return of Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again. To be released on September 24.
- This films sets up several conventions that are followed over the course of the trilogy.
- Daimajin is unleashed by people to solve feudal issues, which culminate in the toppling of an oppressive leader.
- Daimajin does not appear until late in the film's plot.
- Daimajin's alignment is often neutral, and he will attack anything which hinders him.
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