Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kaiju Big Battel! Live anime monsters duke it out in Brooklyn

Wrestling and anime fans, get the best of both worlds this spring when the next Kaiju Big Battel comes to Brooklyn.

The live monster mash, which features tournament-style performances of a surreal hybrid of American pro-wrestling, Japanese monster movie mayhem and lowbrow pop culture, will also be in 3-D when it plays out at the Greenpoint venue Warsaw on April 3.

Since formed about 10 years by the Massachusetts-based Studio Kaiju, Kaiju Big Battel has gone from an underground phenomenon to a touring event that sells out clubs nationwide as fans clamor to watch characters like Steam Powered Tentacle Boulder and Uchu Chu the Space Bug duke it out in the rings in what the New York Times describes as “equal parts competitive spectacle, performance art and manga-style cartoonish whimsy” (unsurprisingly, it’s very popular among teenage boys).

The Warsaw has been a site of some of the most legendary “battels” since 2002, and more epic battles are expected this time around as Neo Teppen, a secret-powered Martian, will face intergalactic pest Uchu Chu for the Kaiju Championship.

The multi-media event typically features video installations, monster movie props, a towering “Danger Cage” and a crushable miniature cityscape the monsters battle in and on that makes for some choice weapons.

When the mayhem comes to Brooklyn, the borough’s own Bryan Scary and the Shredding Tears, a Brooklyn-based quintet that follows in the psychedelic tradition of rock and roll legends like the Beatles and Electric Light Orchestra, will also be performing. Known for their theatrical, costumed shows, they will be sure to fit right in.

For those uninitiated, here’s a brief backstory to bring you up to speed on the cast of characters: courtesy of Studio Kaiju: Kaiju Big Battel is a modern conflict of epic proportions. Planet Earth is under threat: scattered throughout the galaxy is a monstrous mob of maniacal villains, menacing alien beasts, and giant, city-crushing monsters that are waging war against one another.

Presiding over this mayhem is the Kaiju Commissioner, an enigmatic human-arbiter appointed by a clandestine cadre of world leaders to regulate Kaiju rage. If the Kaiju Commissioner doesn’t do his job perfectly the entire world could get caught in the crossfire.

Currently, the Kaiju Universe maintains an active roster of approximately 50 monsters, including a factory-worker-turned-soup-can called Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle, a dirty hare-sage dubbed Dusto Bunny, a loser sea beast known as Call- Me-Kevin, and a despicable, square-headed mad scientist known as Dr. Cube. In addition to the Kaiju Commissioner, a few privileged humans also get a piece of the action, including Referee Jingi, a mustachioed official who enforces fairness and civility in the ring, Davio Salbino, an urban renewal expert who reconstructs crumbled cityscapes between Battels, and one tuxedo-wearing, mouth-running MC, Louden Noxious.

Experience the show live when Kaiju Big Battel in 3-D comes to Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave.) April 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. The event is all ages. For more information, visit


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