Godzilla Movies

Koichi Kawakita Passes Away

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G. H. (Gman)

GiganAdmin4838 XPDec-10-2014 5:39 PMTeam Ghidorah

Koichi Kawakita, the lead special effects director for the Heisei Godzilla series, passed away December 5th. He was 72 years old. Currently the cause of death is being withheld. Full report from August Ragone:

Koichi Kawakita Passes Away

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."
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16 Responses to Koichi Kawakita Passes Away

Danzilla93

BaragonMember210 XPDec-10-2014 5:55 PM

Damn, you beat me to it by only a few minutes.  I'll share my thoughts here...

I hope you all will join me in praying for his family and friends.  Kawakita-San was only 72 years old, and he died on his birthday.  Lets hope it was natural and painless.

Kawakita’s films touched all of us, especially the newer generation of Godzilla fans in Japan and America. His incredible effects helped redefine tokusatsu and the King of the Monsters forever. For me, he was one of my personal idols. His films were the ones I grew up with and watched the most… and his were the Godzilla films that truly defined for me how a kaiju should look, move, act, change, and display personality on film. His work defined my childhood and my love of monsters. A part of my childhood had died with the passing of this legend. But, like all legends, he lives on through the monsters he helped to bring to life, and the fans like us who have been inspired by them.

Please rest in peace, Kawakita-San. You will be missed by every person here, and every person, young or old, that loves the monsters you knew so well.

 

 

 

 

"Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible." -Rod Serling

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Danzilla93

BaragonMember210 XPDec-10-2014 6:05 PM

It was my incredible privilage and honor to meet Kawakita-San in person this summer at G-FEST.  He was incredibly gracious and kind, and signed several pieces of memorabilia he brought with him from Japan for me, as well as a few of my DVD's.  I will forever be thankful and grateful that I got to meet this man face to face... he never knew how much his films meant to me, but I hope he knew he and his films were loved and cherished around the world.

In tribute, please enjoy this in depth interview conducted with Kawakita at this year's G-FEST with the Kaijucast:

http://kaijucast.com/2014/11/21/11-21-2014-godzilla-fx-director-koichi-kawakita/

"Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible." -Rod Serling

The Godzilla Novelization Project: Follow Along Today!

The King of the Monsters

Mothra LarvaeMember2 XPDec-10-2014 7:03 PM

This is very sad. For all of the criticisms that could be leveled at some of Kawakita's work, he defined Godzilla for the Heisei series and brought some of my favorite monsters and battles to life. He really had enthusiasm for what he did and it's sad to see such a great architect of the kaiju genre pass away.

"When man falls into conflict with nature, monsters are born." - Professor Hayashida, The Return of Godzilla

Durp004

BaragonMember425 XPDec-10-2014 7:28 PM

The heisei series is my favorite series and a lot of that is due to Kawakita's work. Sad to lose such a great artist, thankfully we'll always have his movies to remember him by.

HeiseiKing

Mothra LarvaeMember0 XPDec-10-2014 8:44 PM

This is sad news today, but he will always be remembered  in our hearts and minds of his incredible work he did in the heisei films, like durpoo4, am a huge fan of heisei and this news really sucks, I hope his family is well. and hope he had a wonderful life, knowing he made alot of people happy because of his work.

Rest in peace Koichi Kawakita, you will always be remebered.

Linkzilla

Mothra LarvaeMember0 XPDec-10-2014 9:34 PM

:( Oh, wow. Some of my favorite monsters, movies, and moments in the franchise are such because of his amazing work. He brought Godzilla to life in a way few other films have. May he rest in peace.

4Kaiju

Mothra LarvaeMember16 XPDec-10-2014 10:55 PM

Thank you Koichi Kawakida for creating one of the best Godzilla designs ever.

I have a drawing tribute in the works.

 

Dont like it when people die too early.

 

G. H. (Gman)

GiganAdmin4838 XPDec-10-2014 11:11 PMTeam Ghidorah

As many know I'm not the greatest advocate of the Heisei series effects, mainly the second half of the series-- But they were successful and he was a part of that success. More than anything Kawakita should be recognized as one of the many who kept the tradition of Japanese visual effects strong. This is one of my favorite quotes from him regarding tokusatsu, suitmation and miniatures:

Our generation should lead younger people and preserve our tradition for the coming years. As long as we respect the traditional techniques, I think we’ll be able to build on everything from here on out.”

Kawakita had been teaching toku techniques at Universities recently. Those who know how to shoot the basics of this artform are slowly dying and he felt he had a duty to pass that along before he did. I can't for the life of me figure out how Godzilla fans could possibly turn their nose at Toho returning to traditional Japanese effects for 2016 after this. Love it or hate it, Godzilla is tokusatsu and without him Kawakita, his predecessors and proteges wouldn't have this job. Keep pushing this artform. I don't wish his efforts to be in vain. 

"'Nostalgic' does not equal 'good,' and 'standards' does not equal 'elitism.'" "Being offended is inevitable. Living offended is your choice."

The King of the Monsters

Mothra LarvaeMember2 XPDec-11-2014 5:28 AM

I really hope now that Toho chooses to film the next movie with suitmation and dedicate it to Kawakita. It would be fitting.

"When man falls into conflict with nature, monsters are born." - Professor Hayashida, The Return of Godzilla

Daikaiju Danielle

Mothra LarvaeMember0 XPDec-11-2014 5:50 AM

 I can't believe he's gone now. :( It was only a couple months since I met him at Gfest!

 

 Rest in Peace, Koichi Kawakita.

 

"Daddy's home- cake every night,"

Gojira2K

Mothra LarvaeMember0 XPDec-11-2014 7:43 AM

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Ernest Hemingway.

Jamaal

Mothra LarvaeMember84 XPDec-11-2014 7:57 PM

It is with great sadness that this news is received.

Kawakita-san had a great impact on the series. His work on the Heisei films is most significant. Godzilla vs. Biollante remains one of my favorite entries in the series, due in great part to his innovative and visionary SPFX.

This is a great loss for the fandom and the genre.

Huge-Ben

BaragonMember330 XPDec-12-2014 2:43 PM

His special effects were considerably good! I actually watched godzilla vs biollante when this thread suddenly popped up! Good bye kawakita, may your legacy live on forever!

@Danzilla93,

I will join you in that nation wide prayer for the loss of this man!

http://hugeben.deviantart.com/  check out my gallery of Godzilla artwork! Follow me on [email protected]

Gojira2K

Mothra LarvaeMember0 XPJan-10-2015 5:22 PM

Also in honor of him, I found this image of him with my favorite Kaiju, Biollante:

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Ernest Hemingway.

Huge-Ben

BaragonMember330 XPJan-12-2015 2:10 PM

^Biollante will always be his best work. I don't care what people say, biollante alone would have made Stan Winston's head spin. The guy will be souly missed no doubt. I seriously think after the fact that after the let down of biollante at japan's boxoffice, that his drinking problem made the later heisei series what it is today. Spark after spark. The guy had an amazing talent and in my opinion was worthy of handling the special effects.

Koichi Kawakita, thank you for your talent and for creating some worthy special effects.

http://hugeben.deviantart.com/  check out my gallery of Godzilla artwork! Follow me on [email protected]

Godzillatheking123

BaragonMember307 XPJan-14-2015 6:05 AM

May you rest in peace Mr. Koichi Kawakita. I will remember him for the "burnt form" Godzilla in Destroyah.  

 

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