Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is without a doubt one
of the most overrated Godzilla movies of all time
and easily the most overrated Heisei
movie of all time. Its content definitely does
not merit its fan base. The movie has a stale
and drawn-out plot, poor acting, weak special
effects, and a rather ineffective revival of two
very beloved Showa kaiju. The excellent music
and the interesting fight scenes are two positives
aspects of this film, but unfortunately they are
basically the only positive aspects.
In the year 1992, the United Nations
Godzilla Countermeasures Center (U.N.G.C.C.) is
formed to deal with the ever-present Godzilla
threat. The first weapon they create is Garuda.
The highly advanced and bulky jet lacks the fighting
capability needed to contend with Godzilla. To
rectify this problem, the twenty-third century
technology found in the robotic head of Mecha-King
Ghidorah is used to create Mechagodzilla.
When the year 1994 rolls around,
Mechagodzilla is ready for action. Powered by
helium-3 pellets and coated with artificial diamonds,
it is the ultimate fighting machine. Several pilots
are chosen to operate the vehicle, and among them
is the pteranodon expert Kazuma Aoki. The poor
scientist is obviously not at home in the intense
training environment at G-Force, and his goofiness
Meanwhile on Adona Island in the
Bering Sea, a party of scientists arrives to investigate
something strange. Two eggs, each several times
larger than a human, are discovered. One appears
to have hatched, and both have ancient vegetation
growing on them. As the scientists study the odd
phenomenon, an eerie figure looms in the gloomy
sky. Rodan, a large form of pteranodon affected
by radiation, arrives. The un-hatched egg glows
strangely in response to the creature’s
arrival. Before the monster can do very much damage,
a reptilian tail slaps the ocean and the waves
give way to a wild-eyed Godzilla. Godzilla and
Rodan become locked in combat, and ultimately
Rodan is subdued and knocked out by Godzilla’s
thermonuclear breath. The scientists escape and
return to Japan.
In Kyoto, Azusa Gojo studies the
egg. After encountering the pteranodon-crazed
Kazuma, Azusa learns that the egg glows when it
is frightened or uneasy. Also, the psychic Miki
Saegusa senses something in the mysterious plant
life that grows on the egg. She and the psychic
children at an institute for psychic research
discover that the plant life transmits a music
all its own. The music is reproduced on audiocassette,
and something amazing happens! The egg glows and
hatches. It isn’t a pteranodon at all; it’s
Baby Godzilla, and it thinks Azusa is its mother.
After Baby hatches, Godzilla appears
in Yokkaichi. Mechagodzilla is readied, but Kazuma
is nowhere to be found. This causes little hindrance
as the crew prepares for battle. Mechagodzilla
flies into the sky and lands to face Godzilla.
The robot fires beams from its mouth and eyes.
The energy it absorbs from Godzilla’s beam
culminates into its powerful plasma grenade. Finally,
it fires missiles into Godzilla, which conduct
a deadly energy stream. Godzilla is left on the
ground, foaming at the mouth, as the missiles
begin to surge energy back into Mechagodzilla!
The robot becomes immobile and Godzilla regains
his strength. Godzilla continues to destroy more
JSDF forces before he journeys into Kyoto, where
he wrecks havoc looking for Baby. He retreats
when he cannot locate Baby, who has been isolated
The defeat of Mechagodzilla prompts
the creation of a new plan. It is decided that
the “G-Crusher” will be formed, a
weapon that will focus on immobilizing Godzilla
by targeting the secondary brain at the base of
his spine. Kazuma, who had been punished to a
mediocre parking lot position due to his absence
from the first battle, manages to convince Dr.
Asimov that Garuda can be modified and combined
with Mechagodzilla. The resulting Super Mechagodzilla
would be far more powerful. Dr. Asimov agrees,
and Kazuma is reassigned to robotics.
Meanwhile, the psychic children
from the institute come to visit Baby. The children
have made a chorus from the plant music, and when
they sing, Baby becomes riled and gains extra
strength. Rodan awakens on Adona Island, also
in response to the chorus. The winged creature’s
power increases and it becomes Fire Rodan.
In order to lure Godzilla to death
via G-Crusher, it is decided that Baby will be
used to attract him. Azusa, feeling responsible
for Baby, accompanies the creature to their destination,
but along the way, Rodan destroys their transport.
Rodan grabs their containment box and brings it
to the ground, where it proceeds to peck at it.
Suddenly, Mechagodzilla appears. Garuda also arrives,
piloted by none other than Kazuma Aoki. Garuda
grapples with Rodan but the pterosaur sends the
clunky craft spinning into a building. Mechagodzilla,
forced to pick up the slack, fights Rodan and
easily defeats him with its plasma grenade.
The situation becomes far more
complicated when Godzilla arrives. A quick exchange
of beams causes Mechagodzilla to overheat. Kazuma
finally fixes Garuda and he sends the machine
back into battle. Garuda merges with Mechagodzilla
to become Super Mechagodzilla. The combined mech
hovers and hits Godzilla with everything it has.
Miki Saegusa, chosen for this mission for the
sole purpose of accurately locating Godzilla’s
secondary brain, hesitates before revealing that
she has discovered the secondary brain. The G-Crusher
is fired and Godzilla’s secondary brain
is ruptured, paralyzing Godzilla from the waste
As Godzilla is pummeled by Mechagodzilla’s
technology, Baby becomes distraught. It bursts
out of the container and calls Rodan. Rodan rises,
but is downed by Mechagodzilla’s “mega
buster” beam. Rodan falls onto Godzilla
and infuses him with his energy. Godzilla regenerates
and rises. Godzilla’s powerful new spiral
blast fires at Mechagodzilla, and it is this new
power that overtakes the mech and sends it to
the ground. Luckily, everyone inside Mechagodzilla
survives the defeat.
Meanwhile, Azusa leaves Baby behind
in a touching farewell. She knows that Baby must
be with its own kind. Godzilla approaches Baby,
but the tiny creature is frightened. Miki uses
her telepathy to transmit the plant music to Baby,
and Baby’s fear subsides. It follows its
new guardian Godzilla into the sea.
The acting in this film leaves
much to be desired. The absolute worst offenders
are the American actors, Shelley Sweeney and Leo
Meneghetti. Their dialogue lacks believability,
as it comes across far too flat and monotone.
Concerning the use of English as a whole in this
film, some of the Japanese actors were forced
to have English-speaking roles. While they obviously
did a satisfactory job with a language they’ve
likely had to use solely in this film, there are
moments where the dialogue is difficult to understand.
The use of English throughout is obviously a method
by which to portray the film’s international
plot elements, but it is unfortunately very jarring
from both the American and the Japanese actors.
As far as the other actors are
Takashima’s does relatively well with
his character. Unfortunately, his role as a rather
flat, pseudo-macho stereotype gives very little
depth in which to explore. Ryoko Sano’s
character is likely among the most developed and
interesting characters in the movie. She accurately
portrays her character’s burden of responsibility
for Baby Godzilla, and it's her skillful handling
of this role that adds dimension to her scenes.
Odaka is really the highlight of this film,
even though she plays a rather minor character.
Not only does she reprise her role as the enigmatic
psychic, Miki Saegusa, but she also really shows
some interesting emotion and drama. She excellently
handles her character’s dilemma of Godzilla’s
right to live, and it is her excellent acting
that helps to create a shift in the audience’s
view of the monster. Akira
Nakao is the last actor worth mentioning.
His acting is very straightforward, and his role
as the stereotypical military commander has little
depth or dimension. Despite this fact, he is one
of the few actors who manage to reprise his role
in future films. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
II is the first movie he would play Commander
Takaki Aso, and he would reprise his role in Godzilla
vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) and Godzilla
vs. Destoroyah (1995).
Humans aside, the monsters were
handled with a satisfactory amount of sophistication.
Godzilla appears very feral and has a wild-eyed
look in this design. As far as the character Godzilla
is concerned, he is at first given little more
development than a mindless monster. Slowly throughout
the film, very human emotions such as love and
compassion for his soon-to-be adopted son begin
to emerge. The Rodan design isn’t too special
in this movie. It does resemble a pterosaur more
so than its Showa counterpart; however, the prop
is still very stiff. The wings aren’t used
with a great deal of care, and Rodan becomes the
victim of an age-old Toho problem, the “hovering
flap”. As for the characterization of the
creature itself, it is very enigmatic. Not only
does the creature treat Baby Godzilla as a beloved
brother, but it also aids its archrival Godzilla
in order to save Baby. Concerning Baby Godzilla’s
design, it’s a very cutesy form of Godzilla,
but it works. Baby’s character is also handled
nicely. It has a very innocent demeanor, a loveable
nature, and emotions with which the audience can
easily empathize. Though Minilla had his charming
moments in the Showa timeline, Baby is obviously
an improvement. Mechagodzilla is yet another “monster”
in the film. Its smooth and modern design is an
improvement over the Showa Mechagodzilla, but
it lacks a lot of character that the original
possessed. This Mechagodzilla is far more sterile
than the original, and of the three trans-era
incarnations, it is the least interesting. Another
mech that this film boasts is Garuda. While it
is more of an impressive plane than a robotic
monster, it does add another dimension of interest
to the film. Adding it to Mechagodzilla to create
Super Mechagodzilla is a nice touch. It really
helps to increase the intimidation factor of the
There are several noticeable lapses
in special effects in this film. The miniatures
are unrealistic, and their true size is easily
discernable. The countryside fights are embarrassing.
The sandy ground with the sparse foliage, meant
to portray a perspective landscape, gives little
more impression of size than the very similar
landscapes of the latter Showa entries. Rodan
suffers some special effects faux pas as well.
Whenever it crashes into Godzilla, sparks fly.
While it does present the visual aid of portraying
a crashing blow, it is far too jarring. Also,
while Rodan flies above water and it splashes
into the air, the lights of the underwater explosions
are clearly visible. Finally, “Aoki’s
pteranodon bike” is a special effect that
also deserves some minor criticism. The flight
composites can be pretty bad, and it is sad that
the only moments where its flight appears natural
are when one of the wings is obviously being suspended
This film does excel in one department,
and that is the fights. Several Godzilla fans
will castigate the makers of this film because
the final battle is merely one major beam battle.
Those looking for a mêlée fight need
only look at the first battle between Godzilla
and Rodan. This movie is instead for the fan of
beam battles, and while many fans may not like
it, it presents a great battle scene for those
who do. The beams themselves are sophisticated.
From the traditional thermonuclear breath to the
technological plasma grenade, the beams in this
movie boast few lapses in consistency and style.
Ifukube’s music is perhaps the best
aspect of this film. Super Mechagodzilla’s
theme is certainly the earworm of this soundtrack.
A traditional, a modern, and a techno-modern sound
really come together to boost the intensity of
Mechagodzilla’s character. Rodan’s
theme makes a triumphant return in this movie,
and unlike several Showa entries, it luckily does
not jumble together with Godzilla’s theme.
It slows down to a wonderfully context-perfect
tempo as Rodan dies, as well. Another theme worth
mentioning is the chorus, which is haunting, beautiful,
and enigmatic. It is a little out-of-place, as
it does seem more fit to a movie containing Mothra.
Another lovely, haunting, and melancholy string
piece accompanies Baby Godzilla. It is far more
fitting than the “plant theme”, and
it is a very wise addition to the movie. There
are several other fantastic themes in this movie,
in particular the military themes. The upbeat,
yet urgent sound compliments the fights nicely.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II absolutely
excels in music, and it is perhaps the movie’s
vs. Mechagodzilla II certainly has its problems.
From the poor acting to the special effects flaws,
the film lacks in many areas. It does have its
pros, such as the fight scenes and the music,
and these reasons are crucial for the film’s
massive fan base. It may not be much with which
to rate a film so highly, but it does attract
fans. Overall, it is a pretty average film, but
the love that many fans hold for it is certainly
far above average.