Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

GodzillaA heavily armed Anti-Megalosaurus Force is sent to protect Tateyama from an attack by Godzilla during a strong typhoon. The monster is believed to be a new Godzilla, related to the creature that attacked Tokyo and was killed decades ago. Maser gunner Akane Yashiro takes aim, but misses the beast. It retaliates and kills most of her unit. She is later busted down to a desk job.

Scientist Tokumitsu Yuhara joins a team at the Defense Agency, Science and Technology. Their goal: to find a way to use the skeletal remains and spinal cells from the original Godzilla to build a bio-mechanical robot to kill the new Godzilla. Three years later, the leader of the robot squadron enlists Akane to pilot the cyborg, known as Kiryu. She is not easily accepted by the other team members, who fear she will cost them their lives.

The Godzilla shaped robot is unveiled to the world, and its support aircraft, just in time for the reappearance of Godzilla. The White Herons lift Kiryu and carry it to Tokyo to face the beast.

Missiles are launched against Godzilla with minimal effect, but he backs away when blasted by the masers. As they prepare to launch the Absolute Zero weapon, Godzilla’s roar stirs the DNA memory inside Kiryu. It locks up allowing Godzilla to escape. The cyborg then goes berserk and rips a path of destruction through Tokyo, just as the real Godzilla would, until its batteries run out.

Efforts are made to repair the ‘bot, but there are concerns its Godzilla DNA may cause it to run amok again. Because of her actions to rescue squadron members during the tragedy, Akane is finally welcomed by most, but not all, of the unit.

Godzilla again approaches Shinagawa. JDF fighters are shot out of the sky by his nuclear blasts. Ground based weapons fare equally as well. After initial hesitation, the Prime Minister allows Mechagodzilla to be put into action.

The White Herons drop Kiryu into battle. It body-slams Godzilla before the monster can destroy the hospital. The lizard picks himself up only to be slapped by missiles. The two giants approach each other and grapple. Kiryu flies back and attacks with his maser, but it’s slammed back by Godzilla’s nuclear blast. The two wrestle again, with Kiryu jabbing a blade into Godzilla that stuns the monster with millions of volts of electricity. He snaps the blade using a pulse of his nuclear fire and knocking the robot away. As Kiryu lies damaged, Godzilla stomps in for the fatal blow. He is distracted when shots from a White Heron glance off his body. Kiryu gets up and presses the attack again. The cyborg seems to be getting the upper hand when it grabs Godzilla by the tail and flings him away. The monster lies injured and stunned. Kiryu is about to launch the Absolute Zero weapon when Godzilla knocks it over with a nuclear blast. The weapon misfires and vaporizes a pair of skyscrapers.

With much of the mechanism malfunctioning, including the remote controls, Akane decides to operate Kiryu manually from inside the robot. She lands her White Heron and enters the damaged machine. Mobile maser units distract the creature while Akane prepares the robot. She brings Kiryu to its feet, but is ambushed by Godzilla. She manages to get it up again. She snatches Godzilla and flies out to sea. With the robot and monster deep underwater, she fires the Absolute Zero weapon. There’s an explosion of ice with much of the ocean freezing over. From out of the quiet of the ice, Godzilla smashes free and swims away. Nearby, a heavily damaged Kiryu rises from the water. Even with the massive damage to the nation, the bio-robot is declared a success since it drove away Godzilla. There is hope the monster can be defeated.

screenplay by Wataru Mimura
directed by Masaaki Tezuka
music by Michiru Oshima

Human Cast: Yumiko Shaku (Akane Yashiro), Shun Takuma (Tokumitsu Yuhara), Kana Onodera (Sara Yuhara)

Monster Cast: Godzilla, Kiryu, Mothra, Gaira

Notes: Most previous Godzilla continuity is abandoned again, with this movie as yet another sequel to the original Gojira. In this timeline, the AMF was formed to repel attacks by giant monsters who have also appeared, but this is the first appearance of “another” Godzilla. Don’t leave your seats! There’s exciting character development after the credits!

WARNING! SOCIO-POLITICAL COMMENTARY FOLLOWS: most Godzilla movies have anti-nuke or “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” messages. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, though, has a distinct Pro-Life viewpoint:

  • Kiryu is considered by many to be alive.
  • Kiryu refuses to deliver a killing blow to Godzilla in their first battle.
  • Several characters question their value but ultimately decide that all life has meaning.
  • This movie was produced and released during one of the periods in which stem cell research was hotly debated, although they side-step the issue by using “spine cells” from the 1954 Godzilla to create Kiryu.
  • Several facets of the abortion debate are referenced. In one case, Yuhara’s wife dies during the birth of their second child. In the English language dub, Yuhara says the “baby” also died, but the English subtitles state the “fetus” died. This may or may not have been an intentional reference to the preferred terminologies used by the Prolife and Prochoice movements.

That’s a lot of heavy lifting for light entertainment.

LogBook entry by Robert Parson