The Endangered Japanese Giant Salamander: a Real-Life, Gentle "Monster."

Japan-based bloggers and authors Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda filmed an amazing little documentary for National Geographic's Wild Chronicles about the troubles facing the endangered Japanese Giant Salamander.

"As a kid I dreamed of growing up to direct kaiju creatures on the silver screen," says Matt, "so getting this chance to stalk some real-life giant monsters in the wild was an incredible treat."

Called "oosanshouo" (OH-san-show-oh) in Japanese, anime fans may recognize these gentle giants as the inspiration for the huge salamander-creature that appears towards the end of Howl's Moving Castle and Ranka's super-kawaii smartphone pal from Macross Frontier, among many others.

SOS: Save Our Salamanders (altjapan)