Tsukioka is to flying over the ocean looking for schools of fish. He finds a large school of tuna, and radios the location back to headquarters. The word is relayed to a fishing ship at sea. Hidemi is one of the radio dispatchers at headquarters. On an open channel, they set up a date for that night.
Tsukioka is dispatched to rescue Kobayashi, who encountered engine trouble while looking for schools of fish. After reuniting with his friend they become alarmed by loud, strange sounds. They look up to find a giant bipedal monster fighting with another, four legged beast with a spiked, hard back and spiked tail. The pilots escape when the monsters fall into the ocean and continue to battle underwater.
A conference is called with military officials and scientists. One of the scientists says both creatures are from the same family of prehistoric fire monster. The bipedal beast is known as a Gigantis, the other is an anguilasorous. He reads from a textbook that they may have been awakened by nuclear testing. Dr Yamane, visiting from Tokyo says it will be impossible to kill the monsters. He shows a movie with a Gigantis ravaging the city. As the movie ends, Yamane says the Gigantis could only be killed by the oxygen destroyer, but the developer has died. He says, though, the monsters appear to be sensitive to light and could be lead away from the city.
Planes, ships, and submarines are dispatched to seek the Gigantis, which has been spotted and appears to be heading to Shikoku. Instead, Gigantis shows up in Osaka. Some flares dropped by airplanes distract Gigantis and he moves away. A group of prisoners is being transferred out of Osaka, when they overpower their guards and escape. Following a high speed chase, their stolen truck slams through a barrier and crashes into a gas storage facility, catching fire.
Gigantis hears the explosion and is attracted by the flames. He makes his way back toward Osaka. Tanks and planes fire on him as he makes shore, but they are ineffective. He blasts one of the attack planes with his nuclear breath, causing it to crash. The other creature, now called Anguirus, comes ashore and attacks Gigantis. The military continues to fire on them as they fight. Gigantis uses his fiery breath against Anguirus, having little affect, but catch the nearby buildings on fire. The flames spread as the monsters continue to battle. The fight rages on with buildings crumbling as the monster fall on them.
Gigantis finally gains the upper hand by by biting into Anguirus neck. Mortally wounded, Anguirus tumbles into the water. Gigantis sets him on fire, causing more buildings to catch fire. Gigantis leaves, but the city is in flames.
The fires die down by morning. Osaka is in ruins. Buildings are burnt, twisted, broken, and crumbled. Very little is left standing. Hidemi’s father makes plans to rebuild the ruined cannery. He transfers Koabyashi to the Hokkaido branch, which will be temporary headquarters for the cannery. Tuskioka and Hidemi stay in Osaka to help in the reconstruction.
Now based in Hokkaido, Kobayashi is hard at work in his air search for fish. Hidemi and Tsukioka arrive in Hokkaido and tel him the reconstruction is nearly complete. Gigantis is reported to have destroyed a fishing vessel. A world-wide alert is issued – Gigantis could strike anywhere, even the U.S.!
Tsukioka is flying over the ocean, and is among those involved in the search. Back at headquarters, Kobayashi enters the radio room and ask for advice from Hidemi on what women want. Tsukioka reports Gigantis is swimming toward Kamiko Island. Kobayashi rushes off, leaving his notebook behind. Hidemi opens it and discovers Kobayashi had been secretly in love with her.
Kobayashi arrives at the island and takes over the watch so Tsukioka can return to report back. He tells the military officials they can trap Gigantis into an inlet and then attack the monster. The war planes and frigates leave to do battle with Gigantis, with Tsukioka now pressed into service with the air force.
Kobayashi reports back that Gigantis is making his way back to beach for the open ocean. In an attempt to stall him until the military arrives, Kobayashi buzzes Gigantis. Moments later, the military jets arrive and drop bombs on the beast, which fail to kill him. Kobayashi buzzes Gigantis again, who blasts at the plane with his nuclear breath, causing it to crash into a snowy mountain. Tsukioka watches as his friend dies, but the resulting avalanch that partly buries Gigantis gives him an idea. He instructs the fighter pilots to drop their bombs on the mountain in hopes Gigantis will be completely buried. They drop bomb after bomb, but it’s not enough. A tearful Hidemi reports to her father that Kobayashi has died. The planes return to base to be armed with more powerful rockets.
The fighter jets return and begin launching rockets into the mountain. An avalanche of snow and ice fall onto Gigantis. The beast, now neck deep, sweeps the sky with his nuclear fire, but to no avail. Seeking revenge for the death if his friend, Tsukioka fires into the mountain once more. This finally buries the monster. Tsukioka mourns Kobayashi’s death as he returns from his mission. The nation prays for those killed by the beast and those killed in the attack on Gigantis. Back in Osaka, Tuskioka and Hidemi are relieved – they can live their lives in peace.
original story by Shigem Kayama
screenplay by Takeo Murata and Sigeaki Hidaka
directed by Motoyoshi Oda (original Japanese version) and Hugo Grimaldi (U.S. version)
music by Masaru Sata (see notes below)
Human Cast: Hiroshi Koizumi (Syouichi Tsukioka), Setsuko Wakayama (Hidemi Yamaji), Minoru Chiaki (Kouji Kobayashi)
Monster Cast: Godzilla (AKA Gigantis), Anguirus
Notes: This was was originally released in U.S. theaters as Gigantis, The Fire Monster and was later renamed. The Japanese language version was released in 1955. The U.S. version of Yamane’s film includes a segment on the prehistoric lives of the Fire Monsters. This segment does not exist in the Japanese version. The Japanese version ends with Tsukioka flying back to headquarters following the death of Godzilla; the English version adds an epilogue with Tsukioka and Hidemi reflecting on the monsters and looking forward to a peaceful life. Other than this, the U.S. version had a few shortened scenes that did not significantly impact the storyline. Much of the original music from the Japanese version was replaced in the U.S. version. The U.S. version also opens with stock footage of missiles and nuclear explosions with a voice over warning about the dangers of nuclear proliferation.
LogBook entry by Robert Parson