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The Daimajin Trilogy Blu-ray Review

The Daimajin Trilogy will appeal to Kaiju fans. 

In the world of Japanese Kaiju cinema, Godzilla and Gamera reign supreme, but there’s more to Kaiju films than just those 2 icons. One of the more underrated characters is Daimajin. Thanks to Arrow Video, The Daimajin Trilogy is being released together in a 3 disc Blu-ray box set.

‘Daimajin’ is the first and best of the trilogy and easily stands as one of the greatest Kaiju films ever made. It’s an effective, eerie and atmospheric story set in a village in the Tanba province where a nearby ancient stone idol/statue that houses an evil spirit known as Daimajin resides. The village lives under an oppressive and violent leader Samanosuke who is bound to get his comeuppance when Daimajin awakens and wreaks havoc. The exploration of a spirit becoming a towering menace was a unique angle for the Kaiju genre and it proves to be a visually stunning one at that. The spiritual angle also stands out here as Daimajin is summoned by people in need of help.

In the second installment ‘Return Of Daimajin,’ the titular statue resides in a lake surrounded by 2 villages (Chigusa and Nagoshi). These peaceful villages are threatened by the evil Lord Mikoshiba who wants to conquer them both. As one might guess, Mikoshiba has one major obstacle in his way- Daimajin. While the sequel has its moments (particularly the climax), it’s a little too busy and sluggish as it mirrors the first one a bit too closely for my liking. 

‘Wrath Of Daimajin’ is the third and final entry. Truth be told, this one feels more like a Gamera film as 4 kids embark on a journey to rescue their fathers and brothers from a slave labor camp. The kids might just get some help from Daimajin. The cinematography, sets, and location shooting are nothing short of stunning, but the middle act is far too eventful and dull as the kids wander along to their destination. By the time Daimajin shows up it’s too little too late (even though the ending is the highlight of the feature).


Presentation: 2.35:1 1080. How do they look? All 3 films contain striking transfers with rich colors. Fans will undoubtedly be pleased

Audio Track: Japanese and English LPCM. How do they sound? Both options are quality although there are noticeable sound defects on the Lossless Japanese track.

* Image gallery for all 3 films.
* Commentary on “Daimajin” by Japanese film expert Stuart Galbraith IV.
* Commentary on “Return Of Daimajin” by Japanese film experts Jasper Sharp and Tom Mes.
* Commentary on “Wrath Of Daimajin” by Asian historian Jonathan Clements.
* An intro to “Daimajin” by film critic Kim Newman.
* A video essay about the special effects titled “Bringing The Avenging God To Life.”
* Alternate opening credits for “Daimajin” US release titled “Majin- The Monster Of Terror.”
* 2 TV spots for “Daimajin,” 1 theatrical trailer and a trailer for “Daimajin and Gamera Vs. Barugon.”
* “My Summer Holidays With Daimajin”- An interview with Professor Yoneo Ota about the film’s productions.
* Alternate opening credits for “Return Of Daimajin” US release titled “Return Of The Giant Majin.”
* Storyboard image gallery and a comparison extra called “From Storyboards To Screen: Bringing Return Of Daimajin To Life.”
* Trailer and TV spot for “Return Of Daimajin.”
* Original theatrical and teaser trailers for “Wrath Of Daimajin.”
* An interview with cinematographer Fujio Morita who discusses his work on the trilogy.


September 25, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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