Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by LSD Jellyfish »

I wanted to add, Legion's role in the film is really unique, and the film integrates a military offense well into the film. In contrast to other alien monsters, Legion actually has a plan, and feels like a force of the Queen, symbiotic, and flower, rather then just a single enemy. I like how the film explains and talks of Legion advancing southward, towards tokyo, and if you're familiar with Japan, the path Legion takes makes sense and is really tangible. I like how there's a concrete end goal/win scenario, that if Legion reaches Tokyo it's over. I like how it keeps breaking through military lines as well. Really well executed concept.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

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I think Legion is one of the most perfectly realized monsters in tokusatsu. It’s not trying to conquer Earth, just further its species, but by coincidence that’s a huge threat to humanity. The adult Legion shows the ability to strategize but not really as a human would. They feel like convincing alien animal lifeforms.

The stakes increase each time they appear too: at first they’re just a nuisance, enriching the oxygen content in the atmosphere and destroying the beer bottles in the brewery. Once they reach Sapporo they become a true threat, since they kill subway passengers with silicon on their person. (These attacks aren’t targeted, however.) The JSDF responds by trying to wipe them out, and as if one stomps on an ant hill or hits a bee’s nest, they retaliate. They swarm Gamera, the big one shows up, etc. I won’t go through the entire movie, but suffice it to say there’s a natural and believable progression to their attacks.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by Ultraman02 »

I liked how "Alien" the Legions are. Silicone-based life, strange biology and wicked energy whips.
Definitely my favourite Gamera monster (Besides Guiron :huge: ).
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

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Terasawa wrote:I think Legion is one of the most perfectly realized monsters in tokusatsu. It’s not trying to conquer Earth, just further its species, but by coincidence that’s a huge threat to humanity. The adult Legion shows the ability to strategize but not really as a human would. They feel like convincing alien animal lifeforms.

The stakes increase each time they appear too: at first they’re just a nuisance, enriching the oxygen content in the atmosphere and destroying the beer bottles in the brewery. Once they reach Sapporo they become a true threat, since they kill subway passengers with silicon on their person. (These attacks aren’t targeted, however.) The JSDF responds by trying to wipe them out, and as if one stomps on an ant hill or hits a bee’s nest, they retaliate. They swarm Gamera, the big one shows up, etc. I won’t go through the entire movie, but suffice it to say there’s a natural and believable progression to their attacks.
Yeah you sum it up nicely.

Also they work well as a "progression" to Gyaos. The film, and monsters, are structured similarly, in that Gamera faces off a bunch of smaller monsters, that have good melee and beam attacks, and eventually Gamera fights a larger version of said creatures. The difference, is that the Gyaos are explicitly cannibals, and don't work together, versus the Legion that work together. And, while the Gyaos are multiplying because the earth is becoming suited to their needs, the Legion are making the earth suited to their needs.
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Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by Tyrant_Lizard_King »

A lot like Biollante (who I believe was constructed by the same team) Legion does not at all feel like a man-in-a-suit. She's easily one of the most convincing suitmation effects to ever come out of Japan.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by Terasawa »

I think the biggest flaw in this movie is that Gamera plays a pretty insignificant role. It’s not the first Gamera movie that gives the enemy monster the more important part but unlike most of the Showa films, Gamera is hardly discussed at all except when he’s on screen. Still, the crew does a good job of making Gamera feel alive when he does show up. He’s not quite as charming as in the previous film (thanks in part to the more monstrous appearance) but he’s just as courageous as ever. Those are the two most important traits for the character, IMO, and what sets him apart from most other giant monsters.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

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That was definitely a problem I had with the film, Ganera’s an afterthought and spends a huge portion of the film “dead”.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

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Well got back from visiting my friend and us doing a double feature with Guardian of the Universe and Legion. He said he quite enjoyed Guardian of the Universe and was surprised when he first saw the saucer mode. That made me happy since he said he was familiar with Gamera, I figured since we both watched MST3K but I guess not enough. He was engaged that's for sure for both films and at the end I asked if there was one he liked more. He said it was very narrow but Legion got his vote by just a smidgen. He just really liked her design and powers. When Gamera pulls his flying to ground mode while sliding across the ground and spitting fire balls my said 'that's freaking awesome.'

As for me I dunno it used to be that 2 was my favorite in high school since it was a bit of a war movie with lots of tank action and so on. Now I think it's Guardian of the Universe since I appreciate more Gamera and Gyaos chasing each other. I also think Guardian of the Universe moves by a lot faster since we jump back and forth between two threads those looking into the mysterious atoll and those following the Gyaos.

In two weeks we plan to meet up again and he is eager to see Gamera 3 and I plan to show him GMK just to get all the Kaneko kaiju films done.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

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daveblackeye15 wrote:Well got back from visiting my friend and us doing a double feature with Guardian of the Universe and Legion. He said he quite enjoyed Guardian of the Universe and was surprised when he first saw the saucer mode. That made me happy since he said he was familiar with Gamera, I figured since we both watched MST3K but I guess not enough. He was engaged that's for sure for both films and at the end I asked if there was one he liked more. He said it was very narrow but Legion got his vote by just a smidgen. He just really liked her design and powers. When Gamera pulls his flying to ground mode while sliding across the ground and spitting fire balls my said 'that's freaking awesome.'

As for me I dunno it used to be that 2 was my favorite in high school since it was a bit of a war movie with lots of tank action and so on. Now I think it's Guardian of the Universe since I appreciate more Gamera and Gyaos chasing each other. I also think Guardian of the Universe moves by a lot faster since we jump back and forth between two threads those looking into the mysterious atoll and those following the Gyaos.

In two weeks we plan to meet up again and he is eager to see Gamera 3 and I plan to show him GMK just to get all the Kaneko kaiju films done.
Gamera 3 is the best, kaiju kino, but it's best when the films are still fresh in your mind.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.
Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by king_ghidorah »

G3 is indeed the best. Hell, best toku film after 54

That being said I think G2 is the most action packed and GOtU is just a well rounded, traditionally paced kaiju movie. They each have their merits and I couldn’t fault anyone for whichever film they choose as their favorite.

Also. Totally agree that Legion is amazing and feels like the most “alien” form of life that I’ve seen in film in decades. It’s motivation doesn’t involve people at all. People are a nuisance but unimportant.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by Kaltes-Herzeleid »

Honestly after having re-watched Legion and then GotU I'm not entirely sure which I think is better. I think GotU has better and more charming characters but I love the scope and scale that Legion reaches. The escalating threat the Legion poses and how it really is a conflict between two opposing armies and that Gamera and the human race win by the skin of their teeth. It's a hard earned, satisfying victory.

And of course the huge jump in quality with the effects. I can't think of a kaiju movie or series where the effects have had that immense of an increase in the quality of the visuals so quickly in the entire genre. I remember reading that Kawakita got shitfaced after seeing GotU out of embarrassment about how much better the effects were that his. Can't imagine how he felt after seeing Legion.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by Gigantis »

I personally still call this my favorite of the entire trilogy. We have perhaps one of the most awesome looking alien kaiju in history, an incredible sense of awe and scale that the plot reaches, fantastic world building,, great effects, wonderful cast of characters... i can never find out why people call this one there least favorite.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by eabaker »

tyrantgoji wrote:i can never find out why people call this one there least favorite.
In my experience, preferences among the three movies are pretty evenly distributed among fans.

For my part, the main reason that it's my least favorite are that, unlike the other two entries, the focus is a little more on plot rather than on story, with the (admittedly likable) characters there to provide exposition more than to contribute to any kind of meaningful emotional arc. The first and third focus more on the relationship between monsters and humanity, which is usually my favorite element of the best movies in the genre.

It's still great, though. Like, really great. Just not as really great.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by Terasawa »

There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visual reference to Kon (“Cornjob”) Omura when the JSDF is mobilized.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Post by Living Corpse »

This movie still has what I believe to be the best military-kaiju team up.
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