Books, Biollante, and Best Friends


We were saddened last week when we learned of the passing of Kazui Omori (大森 一樹, March 3, 1952 – November 12, 2022). His filmography is extensive and spans decades1 and many genres including suspense films and musicals.2 As screenwriter and director Omori-san left his mark on the Godzilla Heisei series: Godzilla vs Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995).

Godzilla vs Biollante Encyclopedia (ゴジラvsビオランテ大百科) published by 立風書房 (Rippu Shobo Publishing Co., Ltd.) on 12.25.1989, 80 pages

In 1991, I thought Godzilla was dead, having been dormant since his fail into Mt. Mihara at the end of Godzilla (1984). Little did I know that Godzilla had returned to the big screen in 1989. While on a family trip to California in 1991 and shopping in Kinokuniya at JapanTown in San Francisco, I stumbled upon this small Japanese Godzilla vs Biollante book.

I couldn’t believe there had been another Godzilla movie two years earlier. In those days there was no Internet, nor social media to provide real-time news. I was ecstatic and determined to see this movie. And with that Godzilla was back into my life!

Eric left) and Jon (right)

When I returned home I shared the news with my childhood and lifelong friend Eric. At that time, Eric insisted that I meet his new friend Jon, who was a big Godzilla fan and who had seen Biollante in Japan. Shortly after, we called Jon’s house. We were not even sure of his name! But we knew he loved Godzilla. And when we mentioned that his mother knew we were calling for Jon. That phone call was the start of a great friendship. During the call, Jon told me about seeing Biollante and his love for Godzilla. It was so cool to meet someone else just as passionate about Godzilla as I was. We started to hang out, going to shops, conventions and attending the Philadelphia Animation Society. There we found the latest Heisei movies on VHS that we enjoyed watching together. We shaped each other’s lives in such significant ways. Three years later, Jon was my inspiration for my first trip to Japan and my life was never the same. All of these wonderful experiences and memories are intimately tied to a new book, a new movie and a new friend. Omori’s Godzilla vs Biollante shaped my life in ways I could never have imagined. For that I am forever grateful.


1 Godzilla Fandom: Kazuki Omori
2 Wikipedia: Kazuki Omori