Godzilla 2000: Millennium

GodzillaGodzilla’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.

written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Wataru Mimura
directed by Takao Okawara
music by Takayuki Hattori

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

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

GodzillaAnti-Godzilla task force G-Grasper presses Hajime Kudo to help them develop a black hole weapon to suck in Godzilla and trap him inside. Three months later, a child is running to a friend’s house to show off his insect collection when he spots a super secret science experiment. He watches the test firing of the Dimension Tide. The cannon fires a black hole at an empty warehouse, imploding the building and trapping much of the mountainside as well. It also creates a wormhole. Later that night the boy hears a great rushing of wings and follows it to the wormhole just as a giant insect flies in. He also discovers some sort of egg and takes it home. It starts oozing and he dumps the icky egg into a storm drain.

Two construction workers and a pair of young lovers are the first to die violent deaths from a giant dragonfly- like creature. The Meganulon evolves into a Meganula and flies away. Godzilla is spotted by radar out to sea, with the Meganula nearby. The G-Grasper VTOL unit “Fighter Griffon” is sent to investigate. They find the carcass of the Meganula floating on the surface. As they take samples, Godzilla rises. Major Tsujimori attaches a tracking device onto the beast.

The completed Dimension Tide is launched into orbit. The plan is to launch the black hole at Godzilla from space.

Meanwhile destruction of much of the water system by the Meganulon has caused Tokyo to be flooded. Using some of their Godzilla tracking equipment, G-Grasper finds more eggs in the flood zone. A unit sent to destroy the eggs instead finds they have hatched into thousands of Meganula.

By angering Godzilla, the beast has been herded to a remote island where the Dimension Tide will be fired at him. But the Meganula fly around the island, confusing the targeting system. The black hole is launched anyway. It pounds into the island creating a giant hole and destroying most of the Meganula. But it has missed the King of the Monsters. The remaining insects flee the island. Godzilla leaves, apparently for Tokyo.

Back at the flooded city, the Meganula gather at a giant larva, transfer their life energy to it, and die. The larva splits apart. Megaguirus splashes out of the water and flies off, emitting a deafening and destructive high frequency sonic pulse.

Godzilla surfaces at Tokyo Bay and is attacked by Megaguirus, which is defending and trying to enlarge its territory. The mutated insect slams Godzilla to the ground. He gets up and blasts at the bug, but misses. It uses its sonic pulse in an attempt to disable Godzilla. The lizard grabs the Megaguirus and the pair wrestle. The insect jabs its stinger into Godzilla, sucking away some of his life force before he can break away. The flying creature sneaks around to attack, but Godzilla snatches its pincher with his tail and flings him into a building. It picks itself up for another attack and jams its stinger inside Godzilla again. This time, Godzilla rips it away from him and shoves his adversary’s stinger into the ground. With a mighty leap, he body slams Megaguirus from above. The insect slips from his grasp and flies off. As they face each other, the giant dragonfly unleashes a ball of energy that stuns Godzilla. It flies in for the fatal blow and aims the stinger for Godzilla’s face! There’s a horrible crunching sound as the world gasps! But Godzilla has grabbed the stinger with his mouth! He crunches down on the stinger like a soda cracker. Megaguirus, grievously wounded, backs away. The King of the Monsters blasts Megaguirus with his nuclear fire, bringing down the insect in a burning heap.

Godzilla continues his destructive path through Tokyo to the Science Institute. It’s revealed that secret Plasma Energy experiments have been conducted there. As he brings the building down, the Dimension Tide is falling out of orbit due to monster-caused damage to some land based components. It’s fired one last time before it disintegrates. Godzilla unleashes a nuclear blast at the incoming black hole. There’s a massive explosion and implosion that reduces central Tokyo to rubble. When the smoke clears, Godzilla is nowhere to be found.

Months later, though, questionable seismic activity is detected. Godzilla may have somehow escaped the black hole.

screenplay by Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Wataru Mimura
directed by Masaaki Tezuka
music by Michiru Ohshima

Human Cast: Misato Tanaka (Kiriko Tsujimori), Shosuke Tanihara (Hajime Kudo), Masato Tanihara (Motohiko Sugiura)

Monster Cast: Godzilla, Meganulon, Meganula, Megaguirus

Notes: As with several of the Millennium Series of movies, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus dispenses with most of the previous Godzilla continuity and creates its own. In flashback sequences, Godzilla appears in 1954, 1966, and 1996. Don’t leave your seats! There’s more action following the end credits.

LogBook entry by Robert Parson

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack

GodzillaJapanese naval experts are assisting the U.S. Navy in the search for a missing submarine near Guam. They spot Godzilla, who has apparently been reawakened after 50 years by the radiation released by the smashed sub.

A pair of earthquakes with moving epicenters rock the Mount Myoko region. At one, a terrified truck driver sees a monstrous face in the crumbling debris. Later at a beach party at Lake Ikeda, a group of drunken revelers are pulled underwater. A larval Mothra comes ashore.

TV Reporter Yuri Tachibana has been researching “Guardian Monsters” and decides to investigate the mysterious events. Baragon, Mothra, and Ghidorah are identified in an ancient book as being the protective creatures of legend. Meanwhile, Godzilla is described by an old man as having the collective souls of those killed during World War Two, seeking revenge against those who wish to forget the war. Baragon surfaces from underground and heads toward Gotenba. The red dog-like creature with a horn on its forehead is eliminated by Godzilla when they battle briefly at Hakone.

King Ghidorah awakens from his mountain slumber, while Mothra hatches from her cocoon floating on the lake. They converge in Yokohama. The butterfly and the golden monster wage a fierce battle with the King of the Monsters, destroying nearly the entire city. Godzilla beats back the three headed monster. As it lies wounded, he blasts at it with his nuclear breath, but Mothra takes the brunt of the blast. JDF forces launch an attack against the beast, only to face annihilation. Mothra rises again but as she closes in she’s vaporized by a point blank blast from Godzilla. Her life essence, though, is transferred to Ghidorah, who had been wounded. He rises and is able to fend off a brutal blast from Godzilla, pushing the blast back against the monster, who falls backward into the bay. The Guardian Monster presses the attack underwater.

Yuri’s father, Commander Tachibana, who witnessed Godzilla’s original attack 50 years earlier, pilots a small submarine armed with special mining explosives to attack the weakened lizard as Ghidorah holds fast. Godzilla blasts at the Guardian. The golden creature rises from the water, with Godzilla close behind. From the air it pelts the lizard with monstrous lightning bolts. Godzilla blasts at Ghidorah, who explodes in a massive fireball that fills the night sky. The fire forms into the shapes of Baragon, and Mothra before it engulfs Godzilla, who sinks into the water. Tachibana’s sub is swallowed up by Godzilla, who is regaining strength. He fires the missile from inside Godzilla, ripping the monster to pieces. Tachinaba manages to escape from the belly of the beast and is reunited with his daughter.

Deep in the waters of the bay, a giant heart lies beating…

screenplay by Keiichi Jasengawa, Mashiro Yokotani & Shusuke Kaneko
directed by Shusuke Kaneko
music by Kow Otani

Human Cast: Chiharo Niiyama (Yuri Tachibana), Ryudo Uzaki (Admiral Taizo Tachibana), Masahiro Kobayashi (Teruaki Takeda)

Monster Cast: Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Baragon

Notes: Once again, previous Godzilla continuity is eschewed in favor of creating a different mythology. GMKG is more mystical in nature and casts King Ghidorah against type as a hero. This is one of the more interesting entries with better character development, lots of monster action, and plenty of property damage.

LogBook entry by Robert Parson

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

Godzilla: Final Wars

GodzillaThe alien Xilians tap into a genetic code known as M-Base to take control of most of the Earth’s giant monsters. Between their advanced technology and the attacks of the kaiju, much of the planet is laid waste, and remaining humans used as breeding stock for a food supply. The world is doomed!

Godzilla, though, has been trapped in ice in the Antarctic for 50 years. Since he does not have the M-Base, he would be free from the alien influence. A team of mutants led by rogue flying submarine commander Captain Douglas Gordon head to the South Pole to spring the King of the Monsters out of his suspended animation.

Gigan attacks the Gotengo as it awakens Godzilla. The beast evades Gigan’s attack and destroys the alien cyborg. Godzilla chases the Gotengo to the alien mothership. He faces a series of monsters on the way, but defeats them all.

The Gotengo approaches the alien ship and launches a full attack, but it cannot break through a force field. The mutant Kazama sacrifices himself by flying into the ship and crashing into the field generator. Gordon orders the Gotengo to ram into the ship. Before the masers can be fired a group of aliens materialize on the bridge, killing the crew and taking Gordon and Shinichi Ozaki into custody.

Monster X smashes into downtown Tokyo from space. In the ruins of the city, the monsters battle. Monster X brings Godzilla to his knees. Mothra arrives, but a new and upgraded Gigan clips one of her wings causing her to crash to the ground.

Xilian leader X reveals that the human mutants are related to the Xilians through the M-Base, but Ozaki is a Kaizer, more than human and more than mutant. Monster X and Gigan are getting the upper hand against Godzilla, but the wounded Mothra comes to his aid. She sacrifices herself and kills Gigan in a massive explosion.

With his newly awakened powers, Ozaki engages in a hand to hand combat with X. Godzilla blasts at the alien ship, allowing the humans to escape their captors. They also find the humans who had previously been replaced by aliens. They flee, with Ozaki staying behind to continue the fight.

The humans have to shoot their way past aliens on their way out, while Ozaki and X wage a fierce fight. Ozaki’s new powers give him the strength to defeat X. But the ship begins to self destruct. The destruct command also causes the death of the remaining aliens. The humans escape in the Gotengo as the alien ship is destroyed.

Godzilla and Monster X continue their fight. Godzilla’s nuclear blast interacts with the beams from the alien monster creating a massive explosion that rips through the countryside. The two monsters somehow survive, and Monster X transforms into the three headed Kaizer Ghidorah. They unleash fiery blasts at each other, with Godzilla falling to the ground. Ghidorah use his energy beams to thrash Godzilla about. It bites into Godzilla and starts siphoning off his energy. Ozaki channels his new powers through the Gotengo and reenergizes Godzilla. The King of the Monsters makes fast work of Ghidorah, blasting off one of its heads, and using the energy beam from another head to sever the third. He tosses the space monster around like a rag doll and throws it into orbit before destroying Ghidorah with a massive blast of his nuclear breath. He then turns and blasts the Gotengo, bringing down the flying sub.

Manilla, Godzilla’s son, convinces the monster that the time for fighting is over. Godzilla stomps away, with Manilla trailing behind. The few humans left begin the task of building a new civilization.

written by Wataru Mimura & Isao Kiriyama
directed by Ryuhei Kitamura
music by Keith Emerson

Human Cast: Masahiro Matsuoka (Shinichi Ozaki), Don Fry (Captain Douglas Gordon), Rei Kikukawa (Miyuki Otanashi), Kazuki Kitamura (Xilian Leader)

Monster Cast: Godzilla, Manda, Mothra, Gigan, Zilla, Rodan, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Anguirus, King Caesar, Manilla, Ebirah, Hedorah, Monster X, Kazier Ghidorah

Notes: A Monster Mash of Toho Proportions, Godzilla: Final Wars was the most expensive Godzilla movie produced at about $20 million. Despite its title, Toho has hinted they are only giving the series a rest.

Final Wars features a battle in Sydney, Australia between Godzilla and Zilla, which has the same design as the American-made Godzilla. Zilla is destroyed in short order. Generally speaking, the movie features some excellent scenes of global destruction by the aliens and the monsters.

Director Ryuhei Kitamura is new to the franchise, with Versus as his most well known movie prior to Final Wars. His entry in the Godzilla series is wildly different stylistically than any of the previous movies.

Don Fry is an American professional wrestler known as The Predator.

LogBook entry by Robert Parson

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

GodzillaShobijin, fairy twins from Infant Island warn that Godzilla’s bones, which are now part of Mechagodzilla, must be reburied. Mothra will protect Japan in Mechagodzilla’s place. Officials reject the offer.

The carcass of a Megalo Matamata, a giant sea turtle, is found washed up on beach. It’s believed to have been killed by Godzilla. Later, a submarine is attacked and sunk by the King of the Monsters. He is lured to Shinagawa district of Tokyo, the site of the last battle and still in ruins. He crashes through to the Minata district, where repairs to Mechagodzilla are continuing.

Mothra, in her butterfly form, arrives and confounds Godzilla by beating up wind and dust, then grasping him and tossing him aside. They continue to fight into the evening. Meanwhile, the Fairy Twins await the hatching of a new Mothra at Himago Island. The Prime Minister decides to launch Mechagodzilla, even though repairs are not quite complete.

Godzilla fires a blast at Mothra, striking one of her wings and causing her to crash to the ground. As he advances against the flying creature, Mechagodzilla arrives to press its attack. Lasers, masers, and missiles are fired at Godzilla with minimal effect. Godzilla fires a nuclear blast through a skyscraper, striking Mechagodzilla and slamming it to the ground. Before Godzilla can destroy his robot doppelganger, Mothra flies into him. Godzilla fires another blast, hitting it with a deadly blow. Back at the island, two Mothra larvae hatch from the egg.

Mechagodzilla gets to its feet and renews the battle. While there’s some initial success, the remote controls are sluggish and the monster again brings the ‘bot crashing down. The larvae arrive and confer with the dying butterfly. Godzilla uses his nuclear blast against the three, but the flying creature sacrifices itself and takes the full brunt of the blast, exploding in a massive fireball.

Yoshi Chujo volunteers to enter Mechagodzilla to make repairs. While on his way, the larvae press their attack against Godzilla. Yoshi manages to repair the remote controls, but battle damage jams his exit from inside the robot. He lies and says he has left in order for remote operators to control Mechagodzilla. The robot is again put into service and the pair wrestle near the center of Tokyo. Godzilla is thrown against the capital building. He gets up, but the robot uses a hand-mounted drill against the monster. Injured, he backs away, but Mechagodzilla’s Hypermaser is deployed against it. As Godzilla falls, the Mothra larvae spin a cocoon around it.

The Shobijin remind the humans that “no human being may touch the souls of the dead” and Godzilla should be returned to the sea, including the remains of Godzilla that are within Mechagodzilla. The Prime Minister agrees to scrap the Mechagodzilla project but orders it to destroy Godzilla. The cyborg refuses to kill Godzilla and instead carries it off to sea. Before it can sink Godzilla and itself into the Japan Trench, a White Heron is able to shoot a hatch open, allowing Yoshi to escape. The Mothra larvae return to Himago Island.

screenplay by Mashiro Yokotani & Masaaki Tezuka
directed by Masaaki Tezuka
music by Michiru Oshima

Human Cast: Noboru Kaneko (Yoshito Chujo), Miho Yoshioka (Azusa Kisaragi), Hiroshi Koizumi (Shinichi Chujo)

Monster Cast: Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Mothra, larval Mothra, Megalo Matamata

Notes: The original Japanese language version of this is Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. This is the only movie in the Millennium Series to continue the continuity from a previous Millennium Series movie (Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla). The Megalo Matamata is also identified as Kamoebas from an obscure Toho movie Space Amoeba. However, this also appears to be an homage of sorts to Gamera, the giant flying turtle from Daiei Motion Picture Company. Gamera rivaled Godzilla in the 1960s and also experienced a resurgence in the 1990s with a trio of movies that began with the excellent Gamera: Guardian Of The Universe.

LogBook entry by Robert Parson