Kazuhiko Shimamoto's Shin Godzilla Dōjin Becomes Surprising Hit at Comiket
posted on by Amanda Ellard
Manga artist Kazuhiko Shimamoto's Shin Godzilla book was a shocking hit at this past weekend's Comiket. The book sold out by the end of the last day on Sunday and the crowd of fans that flocked to the booth of Shimamoto's circle, Urashimamoto, even caught the interest of the event's staff. Shimamoto himself said that the book "was supposed to be ridiculous," yet the announcement of the book, officially titled "Anno Vs. Honō (flame)," on Shimamoto's Twitter on August 2 racked up over 22,000 retweets.
The Shin Godzilla film, which begin showing in theaters inJapan on July 29, is the first Godzilla film from Japan in 12 years and is directed by Hideaki Anno, who happened to be Shimamoto's classmate at Osaka University of Arts.
On July 29, when the film first came out, Shimamoto tweeted "Anno... It's my loss...," which many interpreted as a declaration of defeat of Shimamoto, who really enjoyed Shin Godzilla, to his classmate/rival Anno. In Shimamoto's autobiographical manga Aoi Honō, later adapted into a TV drama, there was also a scene where the character that is a projection of Shimamoto was struck by the impact of the works director Anno oversaw.
Many attendees also tweeted their surprise at the long lines and large crowds for Shimamato's Comiket booth.
On Sunday when asked if he planned to re-sell the book after it sold out at Comiket, Shimamoto stated that the timing was right for the dōjin at Comiket and the book won't be reissued. He was concerned at the time that the comic would spoil the film's plot but he noticed that discussion on Twitter was still avoiding spoilers.
However he tweeted about the possibility of a re-release later that night. "Everyone, thank you so much for kindly coming to Urashimamoto during this Comiket!! There was a much longer line than expected...I'm very sorry to everyone who couldn't buy the book!! ...Please wait a little longer while I consider taking the time to do a resale among other things."
On August 15, Shinjuku Wald 9 theater held a special screening of Shin Godzilla in which shouting, cosplay, and light sticks were allowed. Shimamoto tweeted on July 29 his wishes for such an experience.
Khara, Inc. animation studio tweeted in response on August 8, "in order to fulfill Kazuhiko Shimamoto's wishes, Hideaki Anno asked TOHO, and it seems to have been implemented!" The studio linked to the official announcement of the screening.