It was all the way back in May of 2012 when word of an upcoming Japanese tokusatsu film titled Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo (Kyōshinhei Tokyo ni Arawaru) was met with great anticipation. And for good reason. Sure, it's another kaiju film with a giant monster destroying Tokyo coming from a country that has already produced lots and lots of those. But it wasn't just another kaiju film.
Take a look at the talent involved. First of all, the short was commissioned by Anno Hideaki, the director of landmark anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and to be directed by Higuchi Shinji, one of Anno's key Evangelion artists. As intriguing as the Eva connection is, however, the real hook lies farther back in Anno's past. All the way back to the beginning, in fact, to the days when Anno cut his teeth as a fledgling animator working under Miyazaki Hayao as a key animator on Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind.
Yes, Giant God Warrior Appears In Tokyo has a direct Miyazaki connection. Two of them, in fact. First, Miyazaki himself provided the design for the creature. And, second, the short now stands as the first live action work produced directly by Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli. And I suppose there's also the little matter of it being a direct precursor to Nausicaa itself.
But enough rambling on ... originally commissioned for a museum exhibition the complete short is now available online. Watch it below.