Editor's Choice

Editor's Choice

April 18, 2004|By Michael Pakenham

Kaiju Big Battel: A Practical Guide to Giant City-Crushing Monsters, by Jonathan Aurelio, David Borden, Rand Borden, Camille Dodero, Robert Ford. Hyperion. 163 pages. $14.95.

Kaiju Big Battel is an epic conflict of good versus evil," declares the introduction to this volume. "Scattered throughout the galaxy is a monstrous mob of Kaiju -- maniacal villains, ominous alien beasts, and gigantic, city-crushing monsters who threaten Earth. Thankfully, the Kaiju Heroes are there to protect the good people of Earth from evil Kaiju rule." And so begins the very elaborate, high-spoof fantasy that originated in Japan and is spreading rapidly. The book contains immense detail -- lists, diagrams, lots of characters. I am particularly fond of Dusto Bunny and Kung-Fu Chicken Noodle. There's lot of genuinely valuable advice, to wit: "What to do if Hell Monkey takes you hostage and climbs to the top of a skyscraper." And "What to do if Gomi-man slimes you." I'd wager you don't know. You can never know when this knowledge might save you. Great nonsense fun, with quizzes and teaching aids.

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