Monster Magnitude 9


It’s like the giant monster version of Ghostbusters – whenever monsters big enough to snort clouds appear in Japan, an elite group of dai kaiju busters, known as Kitokutai, spring into action to stop them. How they do that, I don’t know. But they’re kept busy as monster attacks seem to be an every-day occurrence and are regarded as just another natural disaster.

The Japan Meteorological Agency predicts when these monsters will show up. (Cloudy today with a chance of Godzilla.) When the giant creatures do arrive, Kitokutai, answer the call. Mind you, these people, even though they’re “monster specialists” (big deal – so am I), don’t have any weapons with which to repel these gigantic wrecking balls. Their actual job is to call upon their skillz to help minimize collateral damage. Heck, if the pay is good, I could totally see myself doing that for a living.

MM9 MM9, which is short for Monster Magnitude 9, isn’t a movie, but a weekly TV sci-fi drama now airing in Japan. As butt-squeezingly cool as it all sounds, it was already done in 2007 as a tongue-in-cheek homage to giant monsters as Big Man Japan. Masaru Daisato, a lonely 40-something schlub, inherits the job of protecting Japan from a wild array of monsters looking to scratch their private parts with a skyscraper.

Masaru’s just a regular guy with the same problems as you or I (mostly you) until the alarm sounds. Then he has to be raced to a sub-station where massive amounts of electricity normally used for heavy metal concerts is pumped through him and he grows 200 feet tall. And he has Eraserhead/Kid ’N Play hair the size of a bamboo forest. Or King Kong’s broom.

Big Man Japan

If you haven’t seen Big Man Japan, quit dicking around and watch it. The monsters in that one are so outrageous, you’d think they were designed by someone on Bubblicious-flavored crack. Even Big Man himself is a Jager spin on sumo wrestlers and WWE “sports entertainers.”

Where was I? Oh, yeah…from what the show’s website tells us is that “[MM9] is based on a story by sci-fi writer Hiroshi Yamamoto, which was originally serialized in Tokyo Sogensha’s Mysteries! from 2005-2006, and published as a book in 2007.” Didn’t see the series, nor did I read the novel. Hey, I’ve been busy.

The guy behind MM9’s cool monsters is Shinji Higuchi. Not only does he have a name that rolls right off the tongue, he was the special effects guy responsible for the Heisei era Gamera movies. If you’ve seen Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys (1999), that had one of the all-time most kick ass realistic battle scenes between two giant monsters ever filmed. (In Kyoto train station. I shouldn’t have to tell you that.)

MM9So how and where do you see MM9? Beats the rice outta me. Start with Craigslist™. If that doesn’t work, try this thing everyone’s calling the “Internet.” You may have heard of it. Word has it you can look at chick’s boobs on there for free. Or so I’ve been told.

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