Godzilla’s movements are being tracked by the Godzilla Prediction Network, a small private research group, lead by Yuji Shinoda and his daughter Io. They are accompanied by reporter Yuki Ichinose. As they exit a tunnel, they literally come face to face with the King of the Monsters. They escape by driving in reverse back through the tunnel. Godzilla continues inward from the sea, wrecking damage throughout the countryside. The three manage to stay ahead of the monster.
Meanwhile, the Crisis Control Intelligence, lead by Mitsuo Katagiri, is raising an ancient structure from deep under the sea. As they continue their studies on the ocean’s surface, Katagiri is called away to Tokai, where Godzilla is approaching a nuclear power plant. Shinoda and Katagiri have opposing goals: the head of the GPN wants to study Godzilla, the leader of CCI wants the beast killed.
The JDF arrives to defend Tokai. Officials declare that a new missile will cut through Godzilla “like crap through a goose.” Helicopters and tanks attempt to stall Godzilla with standard ordnance as he approaches the beach, but he continues to advance. The new missiles are fired at Godzilla, but have limited success. Meanwhile, the structure at sea zooms into the air. It flies slowly past Godzilla, but examines his DNA. It fires a massive energy beam at the monster, knocking him over. The two trade shots, with Godzilla using his atomic fire. He’s pushed back into the ocean, but his blast has shattered some of the rock covering the structure to reveal something metallic. Godzilla returns to the sea. It’s now believed the structure is some sort of space craft that crashed into the ocean millennia ago, and was awakened by the sunlight.
Shinoda asks Katagiri to use CCI labs to study Godzilla skin samples, and agrees to share information. He discovers that Godzilla has incredible regenerative powers and is virtually indestructible. He calls the new cell structures “Regenerator G1.” Shinoda hopes to put the information to medical purposes.
The following morning, the UFO breaks out of its stone shell and lifts off, landing at City Tower in Shinjuku. There, it downloads information about Godzilla. CCI plants bombs in City Tower, but Yuki is in the building trying to find out why the alien ship is interested in Godzilla. Shinoda dashes off to rescue her. They manage to escape as the tower comes crashing down.
The alien ship, though, is untouched. The aliens are planning on creating their own kingdom on Earth, using Regenerator G1 to help them take new form. Godzilla arrives to do battle. The aliens subjugate Godzilla and acquire G1 cells, and create a tentacle creature with a flattened head.
Godzilla recovers from his injuries and smashes the alien ship with a nuclear blast. The G1 cells have mutated the alien into a hunchbacked monster with giant claw arms and a vaguely Godzilla-like head. It knocks Godzilla into a building with an energy blast from its shoulder. Godzilla gets up and while he’s distracted Orga telepatheically directs the remains of the ship to slam into Godzilla. The King of the Monsters gets up and begins wrestling with the mutated monster.
Orga bites Godzilla and tries to absorb more G1 cells in an attempt to become a Godzilla clone. The space monster tries to swallow Godzilla, but with his head inside the alien’s throat he uses a massive blast to destroy the creature from within. He then turns and smashes his human nemesis, Katagiri, before stomping through the city.
Human Cast: Takehiro Murata (Yuji Shinoda), Mayu Suzuki (Io Shinoda), Hiroshi Abe (Misuo Katagiri), Naomi Nishida (Yuki Ichinose)
Monster Cast: Godzilla, Orga, Mutated Orga
Notes: This begins the “Millennium” series of Godzilla movies, and is the first following the U.S.-produced Godzilla. Although there is no acknowledgment to that movie as part of the Godzilla continuity, there are several visual references to the U.S. movie, the most obvious is a recreation of the giant eye used for much of the 1998 movie’s promotion. Otherwise, the U.S. version of Godzilla 2000 is roughly eight minutes shorter than the Japanese version. Many of the alterations, and the logic behind them, are described in the audio commentary.
LogBook entry by Robert Parson