Continuity within Godzilla films has
been consistent, to say the least. The Showa series barely paid heed to it, but made
a effort to try and keep the films connected with small references.
The Heisei series was very different from its predecessor. Each film during the 1980s through mid 1990's worked off the previous entries for tight continuity in the series. When Godzilla
2000: Millennium (1999) was first announced it was explained
that the movie would be part of a whole new series. One that was
not connected with the Heisei or Showa series, and the film would
pioneer a new series of films radically different from the two previous
ones. So was born the Millennium (or Mireniamu) series: a series
of films in which each movie was not forced to work off the previous
At first, producer Shogo
Tomiyama was planning for three stand alone films. From
these three movies Toho would decide which to dedicate a
series about. They had also considered if the Heisei series should be revisited. This
entire plan, however, was aborted after a meager box office showing by Godzilla 2000:
Millennium (1999) and Godzilla
vs. Megaguirus (2000) stumbled out of the gates, becoming a box office flop. It was then discussed that the 2001
Godzilla film might mark the closure of what would have been a short
Thankfully, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) was a box office success. This saved the franchise, and allowed for Masaaki Tezuka's "Kiryu Saga" and what is being called
the last Godzilla film for a decade: Godzilla: Final Wars (2004).
The Millennium films are not entirely stand alone,
though. They often have a connection with at least one other Toho
film. Below is a run down on the continuity seen in each of the six Godzilla
films of the Millennium series.
2000: Millennium (1999):
The only true stand alone
film, makes no reference to any Godzilla film before it.
vs. Megaguirus (2000):
References an altered Godzilla (1954), in which Godzilla is not killed by the Oxygen Destroyer.
Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001):
Stresses the point that Godzilla has not attacked
since 1954 and makes numerous references to Godzilla (1954), like the Oxygen Destroyer. The film also jokingly refers
to GODZILLA (1998) in some suggestive dialogue. This occurs during a scene where it's mentioned that a monster attacked New York a few years ago. In the scene, a solider asks a colleague if the monster was Godzilla. This sparks the famous line about being what America claims, but the Japanese scientists never confirmed it.
Against Mechagodzilla (2002):
Makes reference to
a slightly altered Godzilla (1954), in which the bone fragments of Godzilla survive the
Oxygen Destroyer. Also Mothra (1961), and The
War of the Gargantuas (1966) are mentioned as well.
Tokyo S.O.S. (2003):
Breaking the mold from the other
Godzilla films in the Millennium series, is a direct sequel to the
previous year's Godzilla
Against Mechagodzilla. As expected, the film references
its predecessor greatly, along with Godzilla (1954) and Mothra (1961). In fact, actor Hiroshi Koizumi returns to reprise his role
from Mothra as Doctor Shin'ichi Chujo. The film also references Space
Amoeba (1970) with Kamoebas, who is stated as being a mutated
variety of snapping turtle. He is mentioned as first appearing on Sergio Island,
the island that Space
Amoeba takes place on, 34 years earlier and having attacked
in the mid-1980's.
Books have been released, however, which state that
the "Kiryu saga" actually extends far beyond what is hinted
at in the two movies...
In the 2002 book Godzilla
X Mechagodzilla: Super Complete Works,
there is a list of kaiju who are part of the same timeline as Godzilla
Against Mechagodzilla (2002). This part of the book is pictured to the left.
Another book, called Godzilla
X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS Fantastic Collection, took it a step further by including a timeline of when the kaiju
attacked. It also mentioned three monsters left off the material
released in 2002: Frankenstein, the Giant Sea Snake and King
Kong (whose absence in 2002 is understandable as books around this time avoided showing pictures of him or his mechanical
double likely for murky copyright reasons).
The timeline of events leading up to Godzilla
Against Mechagodzilla (2002) is as follows:
1954 - Godzilla appears
1956 - Rodan and the Meganulon appear
1958 - Varan appears
1961 - Mothra appears
1962 - Maguma appears
1963 - Manda appears
1964 - The Dogora appear
1965 - Baragon, Frankenstein and the Giant Octopus appear
1966 - Sanda and Gaira appear
1967 - King Kong, Gorosaurus and the Giant Sea Snake appear
1970 - Gezora, Ganimes and Kamoebas appear
1987 - Kamoebas appears
Each year that a monster appears corresponds to a
movie released that year which features the same kaiju, with the
exception of Kamoebas' attack in 1987. However, this doesn't necessarily
state that each of those films is part of the "Kiryu saga"
continuity. An easily spotted example of this is the 1962 film Gorath,
which featured Maguma, as the movie takes place in the late 1970's
and early 1980's. The film also showcased the destruction of the Moon,
which is clearly seen in Godzilla
Against Mechagodzilla (2002).
If the list is taken literal, then Frankenstein
vs. Baragon (1965) might have occurred, except with the
alternate ending in which Frankenstein battles the Giant Octopus.
Also, the Giant Octopus is absent from 1966, meaning an altered The
War of the Gargantuas (1966) might have taken place in which
the opening bout between Gaira and the Giant Octopus didn't occur.
In 1967, King Kong, Gorosaurus and the Giant Sea Snake appear, three
kaiju who starred in the 1967 film King
Kong Escapes. However, Mechani-kong is absent from the list,
meaning either he never appeared or that the list simply left off
the mechanical kaiju, as Kiryu isn't mentioned in 2002 or 2003 in
So feasibly, the following films might be in the
Kiryu saga continuity: Godzilla (1954), Rodan (1956), Varan (1958), Mothra (1961), Atragon (1963), Dogora (1964), Frankenstein
vs. Baragon (1965), The
War of the Gargantuas (1966), King
Kong Escapes (1967) and Space
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004):
What is being marketed as the last Godzilla film
in at least a decade. The production is a complete stand alone film in a continuty sense.
That said, the movie has a wealth
of references to prior Toho films, including
the collapsed star Gorath from the 1962 movie Gorath,
the Xilien from the 1965 film Invasion
of Astro-Monster and the Gotengo from the 1963 film Atragon.
The production also includes stock footage to represent past kaiju attacks. However, given that Godzilla is locked away in ice and some of these were Godzilla films, it's assumed that none are in the same continuty. The movies used as stock footage are: Varan (1958), Frankenstein
vs. Baragon (1965), The
War of the Gargantuas (1966), Space
Amoeba (1970), Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) and Godzilla
vs. Megaguirus (2000).