Atragon, DVD

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Atragon, released in Japan as Undersea Warship.

ATRAGON is a 1963 science fiction tokusatsu film directed by Ishirō Honda and produced and financed by Toho. It is based on a series of juvenile adventure novels under the banner Kaitei Gunkan by Shunrō Oshikawa (heavily influenced by Jules Verne) and the illustrated story Kaitei Okoku ("The Undersea Kingdom") by illustrator Shigeru Komatsuzaki, serialized in a monthly magazine for boys. Komatsuzaki also served as an uncredited visual designer, as he had on The Mysterians (1957) and Battle in Outer Space (1959). visualizing the titular super weapon, among others.

The film was one of several tokusatsu collaborations of director Ishirō Honda, screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa, and special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya. It features Jun Tazaki, an authority figure regular to tokusatsu, in his largest genre role as the conflicted Captain Jinguji of the super submarine, 轟天号 Gotengo (or Roaring Heaven). While the name of the ship is recited as "Gotengō" in Japanese, it should be rendered as "Goten" in English; as the suffix, 号 (gō), simply denotes the object as a ship. For the English-language U.S. version, released in 1965 by American International Pictures, the supersub itself was dubbed Atragon, which had been shortened from Toho's own foreign sales title, Atoragon. Confusion over the actual Japanese title of the film by non-Japanese speakers, has led many to assume the original title, 海底軍艦 (Kaitei Gunkan), to be "Undersea Battleship"; unfortunately, the Japanese term for "Battleship", 戦艦 (Senkan), is nowhere to be found in the title. Since 軍艦 (Gunkan) should be correctly rendered as "Warship", therefore, the film should be correctly transliterated as Undersea Warship.

As was the case in several other 1960s tokusatsu eiga (visual effects films), producer Tomoyuki Tanaka insisted that a daikaiju be incorporated into the storyline for marketing purposes, and to symbolize the upcoming Year of the Snake, Tsuburaya's art director Akira Watanabe designed Manda—a Japanese dragon–like sea serpent that would subsequently appear in several films in the Godzilla series. The Atragon itself, slightly modified, would reappear in several other movies, including Godzilla: Final Wars and Super Star Fleet Sazer X The Movie: Fight! Star Warriors, as well as the video game Godzilla: Unleashed.

There is also an anime version, a two episode OVA named Super Atragon based on the same novels made in 1995 by Phoenix Entertainment. A dub of the OVA was made by ADV Films.

Video/Audio Quality: A


DVD is NTSC format, All-Region and playable world wide.

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