Wednesday, January 21, 2009
He's a Jaguar, You Know
I got to watch Godzilla vs. Megalon again today, and enjoy the Jet Jaguar theme song. It doesn't get any more comprehensible, but it is a fun movie to watch with other people. I'm not totally sure, but I think it is the third time that I have put it on when Herc and Sarah have come over.
I genuinely love the old kaiju movies. There is something sincere about them, which is odd when you consider they are goofy films about giant monsters crushing Japan. Most of the movies don't even pretend to be anything else; they stick a guy in a huge rubber suit, tack on a cliche message about meddling in God's domain, and have at it.
Godzilla vs. Megalon is one of my favorites, though, if only for Jet Jaguar. He's a big robot, designed by people, though he becomes sentient somehow during the movie. He has his own theme song, which I haven't fully translated. The first line cracks me up every time. Roughly translated, it goes, "He was made by people, he's a robot but... Jet Jaguar. Jet Jaguar. He's a jaguar after all."
Jaime disagrees with me, and thinks "He's a Jaguar, you know" is a better translation. I don't agree linguistically, but I have to agree that, "He's a jaguar, you know" is an awesome line. I'm going to start using it in daily conversation. (President Obama's pick of the Secretary of the Interior is John Thompson. He went to Yale. He's a jaguar, you know.)
Something of my fascination with Japan can be explained be these films, I just know it. There is a grandiose mythos attached to a goofy, simple architecture. Everything is mismatched yet uniform. I know there is a way that this makes some kind of connection in my brain.
And if not, hey I got two guys in rubber suits duking it out on a sound stage in Tokyo. Maybe, just maybe, that's enough.
(No, it isn't.)