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  • As Legendary Pictures moves past Kong: Skull Island (2017) and looks toward the future of the MonsterVerse, naturally news is starting to build for the next appearance of Kong, as the character is set to tangle with Godzilla in 2020.

    February 21st, 2020 update

    Legendary has a new press release available. While it shares little in the way of the movie itself, it does name numerous partners working on merchandise:

    TWO ICONIC TITANS TO CLASH ONSCREEN AND AT RETAIL WITH EXCITING
    GODZILLA VS. KONG GLOBAL PROGRAMS

    The much-anticipated epic action adventure’s retail and merchandise partnerships to provide fans with a robust offering of products and experiences in time for the film’s November 20, 2020, global release

    BURBANK, Calif., February 20, 2020 – As excitement builds for the November 20, 2020, release of Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures’ epic action adventure Godzilla vs. KongLegendary and Toho Co. Ltd. have announced an exciting slate of licensees that will deliver a diverse offering of merchandise and experiences to fans as they gear up to see two of cinema’s biggest icons battle it out on the big screen. International toy titan Playmates has been named master toy partner, with forthcoming products themed to Godzilla vs. Kong, as well as additional product lines inspired by Legendary and Warner Bros.’s Monsterverse and Classic Toho Monsters.

    Also teaming up with the much-anticipated film is an expansive roster of partners, including the leading global manufacturer of licensed apparel and accessories, Bioworld; the preeminent designer and manufacturer of costumes, Rubies; leading pop culture consumer product company Funko; interactive live-action adventure escape room producer 60Out; and virtual reality content studio, The Virtual Reality Company (VRC).

    “Kong and Godzilla permeate every aspect of pop culture, and we are excited to bring them back to the forefront of the zeitgeist with our best-in-class partners,” said James Ngo, Executive Vice President, Franchise Management, at Legendary Entertainment. “We are also working to expand this program into gaming, fashion, sports, food & beverage and more in order to create additional entry points for fans to engage with these two larger-than-life titans.”

    “Godzilla has become a beloved international figure since its first film nearly 65 years ago,” said Keiji Ota, Chief Godzilla Officer (CGO) of Toho.  “We’re thrilled to work with these companies to bring the awesome power of Godzilla vs. Kong to life with toys and products for kids of all ages.”

    Additionally, the Godzilla vs. Kong publishing program, which is being rolled out by Legendary Comics, will include two graphic novels, an art book, novelizations, and children’s books, offering fans a chance to delve deeper into the adventures of the great Godzilla and mighty Kong.

    About Godzilla vs. Kong:
    On November 20, 2020, comes the epic next chapter in Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures’ cinematic Monsterverse, Godzilla vs. Kong, starring Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Lance Reddick, with Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir, under the direction of Adam Wingard. In a time when monsters walk the Earth, Godzilla vs. Kong explores humanity’s fight for its future as the titans are set on a collision course resulting in a spectacular battle for the ages. Fans can join the conversation by using the official hashtag: #GodzillavsKong on social media.

    About Legendary:
    Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to worldwide audiences. Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world’s most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $17 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit: www.legendary.com.

    About Toho:
    Toho Company, Limited, is a Japanese entertainment studio focused on the development, production, exhibition, and distribution of powerful content for motion pictures, television and theater. Founded in 1932, it remains a prominent force in bringing brands and original storytelling with versatile talents to audiences worldwide. Its subsidiaries include Toho Cinemas, the highest grossing exhibition company in Japan. To learn more, visit: www.toho.co.jp/en/.

    November 25th update

    It was hinted at way back in June, but it’s finally official: Godzilla vs. Kong has been delayed. The new date, as reported by Variety and others, is now November 20th, 2020.

    The delay probably shouldn’t come as a huge shock, given that news hasn’t picked up as one would expect this close to the original date, although it still marks a substantial delay.

    June 12th update

    In an article published by Deadline, Warner Bros. executives Toby Emmerich and Peter Roth brought up the possibility of Godzilla vs. Kong being delayed: “[Godzilla vs. Kong] might come out later in the year, so we can deliver an A+ movie,” Emmerich commented, noting that they “will deliver for fans in the way they were looking for.”

    June 1st update

    An early advertisement for Godzilla vs. Kong has appeared at Licensing Expo, paired with another of Legendary’s movie projects, Dune (2020). The image shows Godzilla and Kong locked in combat, with a tagline that reads “ONE WILL FALL”.

    March 15th, 2019 update

    Alexander Skarsgård was recently video interviewed by Collider, with the actor expressing his enjoyment working on Godzilla vs. Kong and how it will be “tonally quite different” from other films he’s been apart of in the last 2 years. Discussion of the movie starts around the 2 minute 53 second mark in the link provided.

    November 17th update

    As reported by Deadline, Lance Reddick is the latest addition to the Godzilla vs. Kong cast. Some of Reddick’s more well known portrayals include Charon from the John Wick movie series, Cedric Daniels from HBO’s The Wire, and Matthew Abaddon from the television series Lost. Reddick is also no stranger to giant monsters, having appeared in an uncredited role as a soldier in 1998’s GODZILLA.

    November 12th update

    With principal photography finally underway, an official press release for Godzilla vs. Kong has been made available, courtesy of Warner Brothers. The notes also include a long-awaited plot synopsis.

    WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ AND LEGENDARY ENTERTAINMENT’S MONSTERVERSE SHIFTS INTO OVERDRIVE AS CAMERAS ROLL ON THE NEXT BIG-SCREEN ADVENTURE
    “GODZILLA VS. KONG”

    Director Adam Wingard takes the helm to bring the long-awaited face-off between these two iconic titans to the big screen.

    BURBANK, CA, November 12, 2018 – Following the global success of 2014’s “Godzilla” and 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island,” and in the lead-up to the 2019 release of the highly anticipated “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Entertainment’s cinematic Monsterverse: “Godzilla vs. Kong.” Beginning production today, the epic action adventure will pit two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.

    “Godzilla vs. Kong” is being directed by Adam Wingard (“The Guest,” “You’re Next”). The film stars Alexander Skarsgård (“Big Little Lies,” The Little Drummer Girl”), Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), Rebecca Hall (“Christine,” “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”), Brian Tyree Henry (“Atlanta,” “Widows”), Shun Oguri (“Gintama”), Eiza González (“Baby Driver”), Jessica Henwick (“Iron Fist”), Julian Dennison (“Deadpool 2”), with Kyle Chandler (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Manchester by the Sea”) and Demián Bichir (“The Nun,” “The Hateful Eight”).

    In a time when monsters walk the Earth, humanity’s fight for its future sets Godzilla and Kong on a collision course that will see the two most powerful forces of nature on the planet collide in a spectacular battle for the ages. As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain and unearths clues to the Titans’ origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.

    Wingard directs from a script written by Terry Rossio (“Pirates of the Caribbean”). The film is being produced by Mary Parent, Alex Garcia, Eric McLeod, and Brian Rogers, with Kenji Okuhira, Yoshimitsu Banno, Jon Jashni and Thomas Tull serving as executive producers. Jay Ashenfelter, Jen Conroy and Tamara Kent are co-producers.

    Behind the scenes, Wingard’s creative team includes director of photography Ben Seresin (“World War Z,” “Unstoppable”), production designers Owen Patterson (“Godzilla,” “The Matrix” Trilogy and “Captain America: Civil War”) and Tom Hammock (“The Guest,” “Blindspotting”), editor Josh Schaeffer (“Molly’s Game,” “Kong: Skull Island”), costume designer Ann Foley (“Altered Carbon”), and VFX supervisor John “DJ” DesJardin (“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Watchmen”).

    Filming is taking place in Hawaii and Australia. A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Entertainment, “Godzilla vs. Kong” is currently scheduled for release on May 22, 2020. The film will be distributed in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.

    November 11th update

    Godzilla vs. Kong Storyboard TeaserCast additions for Godzilla vs. Kongcontinue to roll in. As reported by Variety and Deadline respectively, actress Jessica Henwick – known for her role as Nymeria Sand who first appeared in Season 5 of the popular fantasy/drama television series Game of Thrones – and Japanese actor Shun Oguri in his Hollywood debut will be starring in the 2020 sequel to Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). Like most of the cast before them, their roles are currently not known.

    Meanwhile, director Adam Wingard recently posted on his Instagram account a storyboard teaser for Godzilla vs. Kong. The picture shows only a fraction of a storyboard sketch accompanied by text briefly describing Godzilla’s reaction to something presumably just out of frame in the photo.

    No specifics regarding the picture were shared, though the enthusiastic Wingard did note how shooting for the movie was to begin soon: “This is the only part of the Godzilla Vs Kong storyboards that I can share. We start shooting this week after more than a year of preproduction. It’s finally happening!”

    November 3rd update

    The cast for Godzilla vs. Kong continues to grow as Rebecca Hall of The Prestige (2006) and Marvel’s Iron Man 3 (2013) fame, alongside Baby Driver (2017)’s Eiza González, have joined the movie according to exclusive reports published by Variety and Deadline respectively.

    October 26th update

    In an exclusive announcement from Deadline Hollywood, Emmy Award-winning actor Alexander Skarsgård will be starring in the 2020 movie. Like the previously-reported Demián Bichir, Skarsgård’s role is currently unknown.

    October 20th update

    According to the Hollywood Reporter, actor Demián Bichir of The Hateful Eight (2015) and The Nun (2018) fame is slated to appear in Godzilla vs. Kong. Bichir will be joining Millie Bobbie Brown and Brian Tyree Henry as one of the leads, though his role is currently unknown.

    October 10th update

    As shared in a video via Gormaru Island, the production of Godzilla vs. Kong in Australia was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Village Roadshow Studios. Filming is expected to start before the end of the year, with the movie employing 500 full-time staff and 600 casuals.

    11:05 PM – Actor Brian Tyree Henry of Atlanta fame will be joining the cast of Godzilla vs. Kong, as exclusively reported by Variety. While his character’s role is unknown, he is said to play “a significant role” in the plot. Henry will be starring alongside other confirmed actors including Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, and Kyle Chandler.

    September 14th update

    In the latest issue of Production Weekly courtesy of Gormaru Island, principal photography for Godzilla vs. Kong is slated to begin next month on October 1st. Currently, the only confirmed film locations are in Atlanta, Hawaii, and Australia.

    June 3rd, 2018 update

    As the project continues to develop, casting news is starting to come in. First off, Van Marten, who will appear in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Ziyi Zhang, Memoirs of a Geisha, are set to appear in the film. Ziyi will also appear in Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and will reprise her role from that movie. It’s also been announced that young actor Julian Dennison, from Deadpool 2, will appear in the movie as well in a yet to be revealed role.

    August 27th update

    Casting is still not revealed for the project, although director Adam Wingard noted that characters seen in the 2019 Godzilla film will also appear in the 2020 battle royale flick between the two titular monsters.

    June 2nd, 2017 update

    After moving Kong: Skull Island (2017) from Universal to Warner Bros. in 2015, Legendary Pictures announced the natural conclusion to that news in October of 2015. The company stated that a Godzilla vs. Kong movie was in the works.

    Since then, the company has focused most of their efforts on the 2017 King Kong film and the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters. However, with Skull Island released, eyes are now focused on the next movie to feature the character, which is coming on May 22nd, 2020.

    Naturally, some of the first news on the production is related to the staff who will bring it to life. The first major announcement came with the confirmation of the director. For this responsibility, Legendary Pictures tapped Adam Wingard, who has previously directed You’re Next and The Guest.

    Writing duties are being split amongst a writers room, which is being led by Terry Rossio, the scribe behind the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. He is joined by a huge group of writers, which include former comic author J. Michael Straczynski, who also worked on the Thor movie and World War Z. Lindsey Beer, who is an up and coming writer attached to assignments like Barbie, Patrick McKay, Star Trek Beyond, T.S. Nowlin, Maze Runner, Cat Vasko, Grrl Scouts, J.D. Payne, Star Trek Beyond, and Jack Paglen, Transcendence, are also in the writers room.

    News // February 21, 2020
  • Author: Jack Jordan | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    [continued from Match 230]

    Four months had passed since Godzilla’s battle with Megalon in Chicago, leaving a devastated Windy City to recover from the disaster. Thousands of lives were lost in the attack and millions were left homeless. Dozens of skyscrapers had been demolished, costing the state billions of dollars in damage and lost work. The effects on the stock market were unbelievable, leaving many to fear that the United States would be unable to cope with the damages.

    But despite all of that, the mood of the people was optimistic. Temporary homes and settlements had been established all over the city and adjourning suburbs, allowing a portion of the displaced population to remain local. Many more were taken in by private citizens. Volunteers had come from all over Illinois and the nation to help rebuild the once proud city of broad shoulders.

    And help they did.

    Within the first 3 months, the majority of the rubble had been removed. The large pit created in the battle, referred to jokingly as “the deep dish” by locals, was in the process of being cleared. Designs were being drafted for a memorial park and tower to take its place, though there was some debate raised by various companies about the revenue they would lose to such a construction. Life could have almost been normal if not for the shadow that still loomed over the city: Godzilla had yet to leave Lake Michigan.

    For the first few weeks, the media had given near constant media updates about the search for the Titan as the government scoured Lake Michigan. Surveillance drones maintained a twenty-four hour watch on the shores of the great lake as they waited for signs of movement. Meanwhile, scientists from all manner of fields flocked to Chicago to report on the presence of the kaiju.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discovered that both the temperature and water level of the lake had changed due to Godzilla’s presence. Marine biologists based at Shed Aquarium surveyed the wildlife of Lake Michigan in relation to the alpha predator. Sociologists remarked on the strange affection and ownership Chicago’s citizens had developed toward Godzilla, whose name now adorned sports jerseys all over the city. Behind all of them was MONARCH, which led the search for the monster king. Unmanned submersibles were deployed, starting a grid based search of Lake Michigan.

    And after just 2 weeks of searching, they found him.

    The announcement that Godzilla had been located immediately stirred panic among the people of Chicago. In response, a press conference was called with the world’s foremost expert on Godzilla: Dr. Serizawa. For the next week, the conference was rebroadcast over major news networks alongside footage of the sleeping giant. “Before the MUTO incident in 2014,” Dr. Serizawa calmly told reporters, “Gojira had not been sighted for more than 60 years. Unless he is provoked, it is unlikely that he will return to the city.”

    Public fervor diminished, but inquiries were made about what the government would do if Godzilla did awaken. Military officials showed blustering confidence on air as plans were drafted by the states of Illinois and Michigan in case the titan landed on their shores. Canada increased communication with the U.S. as they prepared for a possible kaiju arrival. Families planned evacuation routes while schools educated children about radiation exposure and safety. All the while, Godzilla slept peacefully, his wounds from the battle slowly healing. Under advisement from MONARCH, the U.S. military made no attacks against Godzilla as he rested, though they remained prepared to strike at a moment’s notice. Meanwhile, far away from the watchful eye of the world, a new threat emerged.

    In the small town of Hourra, Louisiana, strange things had begun to happen.

    Violent tremors had occurred near the town during the last week of August. No one thought much of it; tremors had been reported all across the Midwestern United States since Megalon had been revived. Hearing this on the local news, the people of Hourra went about their lives with little concern.

    At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Sightings of stray animals around the town had decreased, but no one complained about that. Then people started to disappear. It wasn’t until the middle of September that they were first missed. After all, many of the locals lived in isolated homes throughout the swampland. It wasn’t uncommon for such people to come to town only every few months. Hourra was an isolated community, and that’s how they liked it. But when November came and they still hadn’t been seen, the sheriff went out to check on them. And what he found terrified him.

    He had never seen anything like it. The houses had been torn apart. Door frames were burst open, walls knocked down. Even the roof had been torn off of a pair of old two story homes. Inside, among the destruction and wooden scrap, dried blood coated the walls and floors. But most horrifying of all were the footprints all around the houses, large 3 clawed feet that had torn trenches into the muddy ground.

    The sheriff rushed back to town as fast as he could, calling in aid from the state police and every sheriff’s department in the adjacent counties. All told, nine houses had been destroyed and nearly 50 people were missing. With bloodhounds and helicopter support, the sheriff and his brothers and sisters in blue started tracking the footprints into the swamp. If there was any chance that someone was alive, then he had to take it.

    Deeper and deeper into the stinking marsh they went, nearly 30 officers of various departments and jurisdictions. Each carried with them an AR-15 or shotgun, each of them prepared for the worst. And that is exactly what they found.

    The helicopter spotted it first; a sinkhole in the swamp, nearly 500 feet wide. Water cascaded down into the pit, the bottom of it difficult to see even in the early morning light. As the officers approached the pit, an uneasy feeling fell over them. There were no birds chirping or flying overhead. All was quiet except for the sound of their own feet sloshing through the water.
    The current grew stronger as they approached the pit, but careful movement kept them from falling in. Even with their closer vantage point, it was impossible to see inside the sinkhole. A smell like rotting meat wafted up from the enormous hole. Cautiously, the officers set up a perimeter around it.

    A low rumble came up from the earth, like the hiss of a gigantic alligator. The ground shook beneath their feet as clamorous shrieks began to rise up from the ground. Rifles trained down into the darkness, the officers saw nightmarish creatures climbing up the walls at incredible speed. The beasts were large, each one standing between 8 and 10 feet tall, with thin long tails stretching out behind them. The colors ranged from grey to green and brown, but all had leathery skin with bony protrusions jutting from their backs. Their yellow softball sized eyes were fixed on the humans above them, their toothy mouths wide and salivating.

    The officers opened fire on the advancing horde, the muzzle flash of their firearms illuminating the carnage beneath them. Bones littered the floors and walls of the pit; deer, alligator, dogs, cattle, and other unrecognizable specimens. Worst of all, partially eaten human bodies littered the sloping walls of the sinkhole, some still in the ruined clothing they had worn at the end.
    The din of the skirmish rose higher as the creatures began to feel the sting of the officers’ weapons, sending up cries of pain into the daylight. But the pain would not last long; in the face of fear, fire control was completely forgotten. For 10 seconds, gunfire rained down full force on the creatures, but as magazines ran low and fire diminished, the monsters grew bolder.

    Climbing the walls of the pit in 15 foot leaps, the creatures swiftly cleared the rim of the deep hole. Pouncing like jungle cats, they pinned the brave officers to the ground and dragged them back to the pit. Amid the dwindling gunfire and the screams of the creatures, the sheriff radioed back to town. With one hand firing his sidearm and the other on his radio, he gave his last report.
    Back at the sheriff’s office, the message came over the radio in a confusing mass of static, gunfire, and shouting. A response was quickly attempted, but only static came back. With no other recourse, the call was forwarded to the Louisiana State Police headquarters, who in turn sent it to the FBI and Department of Defense. By the time the message got to Dr. Serizawa at MONARCH, an official transcript had already been finished:

    “Monsters *gunfire noise* missing people, killed *gunfire* look like baby *Unknown noise* -zillas! Get everyone to safety! Th-*Unknown noise, louder* RUN! *gunfire, screams*”

    MONARCH immediately sent a team to investigate, but what they discovered only fueled their worst fears: the town of Hourra was gone. In its place remained broken homes, crushed cars, and the visceral remains of the citizenship. Further, any chance of secrecy had been ruined by the numerous police agencies whose officers had heard the distress call. With no alternatives, the decision was made to inform the general public. The president was on the air within the hour to tell the world that monsters were once again loose within the borders of the United States.
    A state of emergency was declared in Louisiana and all bordering states as the military was deployed to fight the monsters. Searches were conducted to discover the location of the creatures, but no evidence beyond footprints could be located. Only the rediscovery of the sinkhole provided any respite for the desperate searchers, who faced increasing public scrutiny with each day that passed. Although it had been emptied, a wealth of information was discovered and analyzed by the eager scientists of MONARCH.
    Based on evidence from both the battles in San Francisco and Chicago, the creatures were not actually related to Godzilla. Numerous footprints of various sizes had been found, revealing that the creatures had both a different shape, stance, and build than the King of the Monsters.
    Fragments of large eggshells were also found deep within the sinkhole, which ran deeper and farther than anyone dared to go in the current crisis. Samples were taken, and back in the lab an incredible amount of information was found. In addition to the vaguely reptilian nature of the beasts (discovered thanks to skin imprints and shedding found around the eggs), there was a faint trace of radiation to be found. But without any knowledge of Godzilla’s life cycle, no true connection could be certain.

    A week had passed before the researchers concluded the most deadly news of all: the oldest eggs had only been laid in the last 3 weeks. Taken into consideration with the various footprints, it was determined that the creatures grew at an unprecedented rate. Grimly, the men and women of MONARCH deduced that it would only be a matter of time before humanity’s next encounter with the creatures. At the rate they grew, they would need copious amounts of food.
    And the day before Thanksgiving, they reappeared.

    On that busiest day of national travel, U.S. Route 51, its four lanes packed with traffic, was beset by strange tremors. For hours, cars experienced sudden turbulence, resulting in numerous accidents and collisions. To accommodate, traffic slowed to a near crawl as first responders tried to help out at the numerous scenes.

    Closer to the city of Hammond, cars were at near standstill when the ground opened up. Dozens of vehicles tumbled into the gaping hole in the earth, their occupants screaming as fate rushed up to meet them. For miles around, the rumbling of the earth and the crashing of metal could be heard. A tremendous cloud of dust and grime rose up from the sinkhole, obscuring nearly a half mile of the highway.

    Stranded on the side of the road, numerous people left their cars once the rumbling had stopped. Some rushed into the cloud to try and help while others looked on. Inside the plume of dust and smoke, nothing could be seen. Would be rescuers shuffled through the cloud, tripping and falling into cars and rubble. Sounds of pain and fright could be heard throughout the hazy gray cloud as trapped drivers called for emergency services.

    Helicopters had to be utilized due to the unbelievable congestion on the road. Cars were backed up for miles in both directions, keeping any ambulance or police vehicles from being able to safely make it to the scene. Half a dozen helicopters were headed to the scene within 10 minutes. A mixed bag of military and medical aircraft, they were ready to evacuate all that they could. The expected to find a terrible accident scene. Instead, they found a massacre.

    Everywhere cars were crushed and torn open. Their occupants were being devoured screaming by the horde of kaiju which had spewed from the earth. Nearly 4 dozen of the creatures that had massacred the police at the sinkhole were racing through the stalled cars. They shrieked and roared as they ripped open cars and dragged people back to the pit to feed on.

    Within the massive sinkhole, a larger creature stirred. Zilla, hidden by a shroud of smoke and dust, observed her children with approval. For the past month and a half, she had been leading her growing children south. After feasting on the people of Hourra, she needed to find another source of food for them. Burrowing toward a source of incredible seismic activity, she had led them through the earth. But their hunger had grown almost beyond control. Her children snapped voraciously at each other and the largest of them had even eaten a few of the smallest. With little choice left, Zilla had led them up to the nearest source of activity to feed. And feed they did.
    In horror, the pilots radioed back to base about what they had discovered. Surveying the scene from 600 feet above the ground, they provided descriptions of the creatures and their activity as they waited for a response on how to proceed. Within the pit, activity increased as they circled. Green light emanated from underground, turning the cloud into a ghostly vapor. The helicopters kept their distance, not eager to discover what was inside the hole…

    When reinforcement aircraft arrived 15 minutes later, the fate of the first responders was revealed by the twisted, blackened remains of their helicopters. Of the creatures, no sign could be found except for a trail of wreckage leading south. Directly toward New Orleans.

    Within hours, the city was a battleground. Incapable of retaliating without massive civilian casualties, an emergency evacuation was conducted. The National Guard was deployed into the city, intent on rescuing as many civilians as possible while engaging the creatures in a limited fashion.

    As the war between humanity and monsters escalated again, something else happened. Far north, away from the besieged city of New Orleans, within the cold waters of Lake Michigan, a sleeping giant awoke.

    With alerts sounding from every drone MONARCH had watching him, Godzilla rose up from the bottom of Lake Michigan. His jagged spikes pierced the surface of the water, sending a misty spray trailing after him as he picked up speed. Landing at an unoccupied section of the shore, Godzilla snorted as he made landfall. Water sprayed from his nostrils and gills as he shook himself out of the water, stretching after his healing sleep. Recovered from his battle with Megalon, Godzilla began to walk south.

    A growing feeling of discomfort had troubled him as he slept. Another titan had awoken. Like the MUTO’s he had faced in the past, it would grow and breed until even his strength would falter, overwhelmed by their brood. He could not let that happen. And so, with senses far more keen and strange than any other creature in existence, Godzilla followed the sensation south. Whatever had awoken him, he would find it there.

    As Godzilla began to make his way through Michigan, conferences and meetings were being held across all arms of the government. With the battle raging in New Orleans, it was now apparent that King of the Monsters would be making his way to fight this new titan and her children. And when Godzilla and Zilla met, chaos was sure to occur.

    But with all efforts being made to stop Zilla and her spawn in New Orleans, there was little the U.S. government could do as Godzilla drew closer and closer to his target. The only consolation came from Dr. Serizawa, who reminded those in charge that Godzilla had largely avoided populated areas previously. And if Godzilla defeated his opponents in Louisiana, he would almost certainly return to the ocean. And so the powers that be watched with bated breath and trembling hands as Godzilla made it into the New Orleans city limits 2 days after awakening…

    Trampling everything in his way, Godzilla announced his arrival to New Orleans with a tremendous roar. The challenge echoed across the once most populous city in Louisiana as he waited for a reply. He could taste his opponent’s fishy scent on his tongue, the stench of it filling his nostrils. They were here. He would just have to draw them out… but the minutes began to add up as he waited. Impatient, he began lumbering toward the heart of the city, his senses alert. His eyes scanned the buildings as he walked, his ears honed for slightest sound of movement. He was the hunter, and he would find his prey.

    Beneath his feet, the ground trembled. The saurian Zilla was moving, her world a frenzy of activity. For the last 2 days, a feeling of unease had been upon her. Her children were restless, constantly looking for food and shelter as she did her best to keep them safe in their nest. A predator was coming, and she would have to defend them.

    Burrowing up from beneath the surface of the ground, she observed her opponent for the first time, sweeping his head from side to side as he looked for her. The pair of them were not dissimilar; both were vaguely reptilian with large scutes trailing down their spinal column. Both were powerfully built after their own fashion. And both were predators. Pulling herself from the ground, she stalked toward him. Block by block, she closed in on him until she felt comfortable that he had not seen her. With a quick roar, she leaped onto his back!

    Caught by surprise, Godzilla cried out in pain! Though not heavy enough to knock him over, the smaller kaiju had latched onto his back with her claws. With a furious screech, Zilla slashed at Godzilla’s head and neck. His tough hide prevented far deadlier wounds, but he was soon covered in small, stinging lacerations. Bellowing in rage, Godzilla shook his body from side to side in an attempt to knock her off, but Zilla held all the tighter in response.

    Desperate to free himself, the monster king turned toward the Plaza Tower. With sudden speed, he ducked forward, crashing his head into the building in a massive spray of rubble. Zilla, situated at his shoulders, was caught unaware and sent sprawling off of him in a heap.

    Regaining his composure quickly, Godzilla made to stomp on the smaller titan. Eyes wide, she pushed away from him just as Godzilla’s foot came crashing down on the spot that she had been. Circling on all fours, she pulled away from him by a city block. The two creatures locked eyes, holding each other’s gaze.

    Anger filled Zilla’s orange eyes, fierce and motherly.

    Godzilla glowered at her, his own rage peaked. This creature had drawn first blood. It was time to return the favor.

    With a booming roar, Godzilla charged toward the smaller kaiju. Zilla roared back in turn before meeting his charge with claws outstretched. She quickly outpaced her larger foe, moving past him with a quick slash of her left claw. The deadly talons left large marks across Godzilla’s thigh, but not so deep as to draw blood. Turning, Godzilla lashed out with his right claw, but Zilla ducked beneath the comparatively clumsy attack. She drew away from him again, ready to make another swift pass. She would have to find a softer spot to hit.

    Godzilla emitted a roar of frustration as he planted his feet. He could not outrun the smaller titan, so he would have to use his size against her.

    Zilla sprinted toward him once more. With two quick slashes, she raked her claws across Godzilla’s left side and belly before moving past him again. The alpha predator cried out in pain as blood began to trickle from his wounds. His armor was tough, but it did not make him invincible. He had to stop her hit and run tactics. He had to keep her still!

    The smaller kaiju all but smiled as she rounded again on her rival. Blood dribbled from her claws as she went to make another pass. The titan king was too slow, too old to keep up with her. She would make him pay for coming after her brood!

    Godzilla roared at Zilla once more, preparing his next move. If he could time it right, it would bring a swift victory. Zilla screeched her triumph and sprinted toward him again, claws ready. Ducking low and turning, Godzilla swung his long, heavy tail at Zilla with tremendous speed.
    Her eyes went wide as the gargantuan tail raced toward her, reducing a row of buildings on Barrone street to a line of dust and smoke. Unable to slow down quickly enough to dodge the attack, she did the only thing she could. Before the tail could hit her, Zilla jumped. Up and over the attack she soared, but not so quick or high that Godzilla could not strike back.

    Following through with the turning motion of his tail swipe, Godzilla spun to face Zilla as she passed his torso. With amazing speed and precision, the monster king lashed out at the leaping kaiju, using his head like a battering ram. His spiky, heavy skull collided with her chest as she went to leap past him. With a meaty thud, Zilla had the air knocked out of her as she tumbled backward, crashing into the Place St. Charles building.

    The 645 foot tall building shuddered with her impact before crashing inward. Concrete and steel rained down onto the lithe monster, briefly burying her beneath the crumbled building. Moving as quickly as possible, Godzilla pushed into the rising cloud of dust and smoke as he sought to seize the advantage.

    As Zilla clambered out of the rubble, Godzilla lashed out with a powerful kick. Catching her in the stomach with his powerful clawed foot, he sent his opponent sprawling into the next block. As Zilla rolled and writhed, trying to get to her feet, Godzilla charged again.

    Roaring in anger, he stomped his right foot down onto her chest. Once, twice, three times he brought his foot down. Zilla coughed up blood with each strike, her ribs cracking audibly with the impacts.

    With the final stomp Godzilla planted his foot on Zilla’s chest, pinning her in place. The smaller titan struggled desperately to escape, but her opponent was too strong. Her eyes rolled frantically in her head as an eerie blue glow began to emanate from Godzilla’s tail. Frantically she clawed at his leg as the light began to advance up his back, the light glowing brighter and brighter. Calling out into the night, Zilla watched as her enemy raised his head up, inhaling deeply.

    Godzilla leaned forward to deliver the killing blow when suddenly he was pushed off balance! His focus entirely on the pinned Zilla, he had not noticed that her brood had come to her aid!
    From out of their underground lair, dozens of young Zilla had appeared. The bulk of the beasts were nearly 10 feet tall dinosaur-like creatures not yet resembling their parent.

    However, of her original nest in the swamp pit, 4 had survived. They had grown rapidly with each new day and feeding. These young titans stood just below 100 feet tall, their scutes finally starting to develop.

    As they approached adolescence, their bodies had begun to developed muted colors to go alongside the natural grey of their species: lavender, rose, chartreuse, and daisy shown on their backs and belies. Acting as a pack, the group had split in half; two of the juvenile Zilla had crashed into their mother’s assailant while the other pair went to aid their mother.

    Ducking their heads low, the pair of Zilla rammed Godzilla with their shoulder scutes. The spikes sank deep into Godzilla’s leg, drawing blood from the King of the Monsters. With a cry of pain, Godzilla was pushed off of Zilla, falling into the street and buildings a block over. Viciously, his two attackers pounced on his prone form.

    No longer pinned, Zilla attempted to pull herself back to her feet to no avail; Godzilla had pushed her shoulder spikes deep into the earth beneath her. She cried out in frustration, but her young had already come to help her. Not quite strong enough to tear her loose from the ground, the pair began to frantically dig beneath their mother as she struggled to get free, rocking her body back and forth to loosen the dirt.

    The lavender and rose Zilla pair continued their assault on Godzilla, slashing and biting at his prone body. Godzilla thrashed about, his armored hide yielding little blood to the attacks of the young titans.

    Unfortunately for them, he had not lost his breath in the fall. Enraged, Godzilla unleashed his atomic breath at the rose colored Zilla, directly impacting his chest and throat. Unlike Megalon or the MUTO’s, Zilla’s species lacked a robust exoskeleton to resist the attack.

    Like a flamethrower, his attack charred the youthful creature’s body in an instant. The rose colored kaiju’s skin blackened and crinkled, withering the muscle beneath and exposing bone. The monster shrieked in pain as the atomic fire burned his throat, spilling his life’s blood boiling into the street before it pierced his body and lanced into the buildings behind him in a massive explosion. Falling to the ground, the rose colored Zilla writhed briefly before it expired.

    Godzilla lifted himself to his forward claws, the blue glow of his atomic energy still shimmering within his scutes. Around his hands and feet, dozens of the smaller Zilla swarmed. At ten feet tall, the damage they could do against their colossal enemy was limited, but it wouldn’t prevent them from trying.

    The tiny monsters swarmed up his arms and legs, digging and biting at his flesh as others ran up toward his face and eyes. Blood welled up across his arms and legs from the swarming attack. Annoyed, Godzilla released his atomic breath again, incinerating the titans on his arms and legs with a carefully aimed blast. As the glow faded from his craggy spikes, he began to swat at the smaller Zilla on his face and neck.

    Meanwhile, the brood’s mother had freed herself from the ground. Loose earth and asphalt tumbled from her back as she rolled her shoulders, ready to attack once more. Standing beside the three remaining juvenile titans, she watched as Godzilla crushed her children against the surrounding buildings like a bear scratching itself against a tree. She could hear the screeches of terror and sudden death as they were snuffed out by the ancient alpha predator. Beside her, the younger Zillas snarled and shook in anticipation.

    Godzilla finished off the remainder of the Zilla horde and turned toward his remaining opponents. The streets around his feet were littered with the broken and lifeless bodies of the tiny kaiju.

    Enraged, Zilla let out a trumpeting roar as emerald light raced up the length of her spine, illuminating her scutes like a light shown through a crystal. The green fire shown in her eyes before bursting from her roaring maw, the line of fire clearing the distance to Godzilla in an instant.

    The beam of atomic energy hit Godzilla in the chest, eliciting a cry of pain from the monster king. The outer layer of his armored hide smoldered from the attack. In response he began to build up his own atomic breath, the blue light running up from the tip of his tail. Not wanting to be on the receiving end of Godzilla’s deadly breath, Zilla released her children and charged.
    The 4 saurian kaiju swarmed toward Godzilla, the lavender juvenile arriving first. With a quick slash of her claws, she struck Godzilla in the stomach as she passed his right side. The daisy and chartreuse colored juveniles followed a similar path, deviating only to the left after drawing blood from Godzilla’s belly. Godzilla swatted at the young monsters as they passed, catching the daisy highlighted Zilla across the face with his powerful claws. 3 large gashes were opened on the right side of her face, blinding her with her own blood. With a shriek she tumbled, rolling into the base of the Hancock Whitney building as she clutched her face in pain.

    Zilla herself struck last, closing the distance to Godzilla in a single leap. Using her powerful hind legs she kicked and slashed at Godzilla’s chest like a raptor before landing in front of him. The armor already weakened by her radioactive breath, she sliced long bloody slashes into his chest. Godzilla roared in anger and pain as blood ran from the lacerations in his chest. Again he struck at her with his massive claws, only for her to duck out of the way.

    From behind him came the three Zilla children again. The lavender and chartreuse pair struck at his flanks as their daisy color sister made a bold move. Furious and wounded, she shrieked and clambered up his back. Using his dorsal plates like stepping stones, she clawed and slashed her way up toward his head. As the adult Zilla circled around him, Godzilla slashed and shook his body in an attempt to dislodge the small yellow kaiju. Buildings trembled for miles around, shattering glass with each jarring impact as she held onto his neck and shoulders with her claws.
    Firmly attached to his head, she opened her moth to use her own special attack. A burst of fiery gas exploded from her mouth, the orange flames singeing the back of Godzilla’s head. Her siblings, seeing the attack, cried out excitedly, and began to circle Godzilla, attacking with their own immature breath weapons. Roaring in annoyance, Godzilla bent downward and grabbed for his shoulder riding nuisance.

    Caught up in the thrill of her successful attack, the young Zilla was unable to escape the grasping claws which ensnared her. With immense strength and speed, Godzilla tossed the smaller kaiju to the ground. Stunned by the impact, the daisy kaiju was powerless to defend herself as Godzilla stomped down on her back. With two powerful downward thrusts of his left foot, Godzilla had crushed the juvenile Zilla’s spine with a loud crunch. The daisy colored Zilla’s orange eyes, so full of life and energy seconds before, dimmed as blood ran from her open mouth.

    Devastated by the loss of their sister, the lavender and chartreuse Zilla rushed her killer. The lavender Zilla circled as her green brother charged in, attempting to climb up Godzilla’s back as his daisy sister had done.

    Unwilling to allow another climber onto his back, Godzilla struck first. With a quick swing of his tail, Godzilla caught the chartreuse kaiju across the torso. The heavy appendage pulverized the young kaiju’s rib cage and spine, sending his broken body flying into the night. He crashed into the nearby One Canal Place, which collapsed atop him in an expanding cloud of dust and glass.
    With nothing left to lose, the remaining Zilla child ran to meet her fate. As Godzilla lifted back up from his tail attack, the purple beast pounced onto his chest. Sinking her claws deeply into Godzilla’s shoulders, the little monster attempted to do as much damage as possible to her siblings’ killer.

    She slashed with her hind legs across his belly and bit at his throat with her powerful jaws. As blood began to run across the front of his body, Godzilla reached up and grabbed the lavender Zilla in his powerful claws.

    The speed of Zilla and her brood had forced him to rely on his claws to strike, but Godzilla’s primary weapon had always been his teeth. Snarling, he snapped at the purple kaiju’s head and neck before clamping his powerful jaws around her throat.

    With a burbling cry, the young Zilla tried desperately to escape as Godzilla sank his teeth deeper and deeper into her throat. Hot blood poured from the wound, running down Godzilla’s face and neck. Shaking his head like a bull dog, Godzilla tore her throat from her body and dropped her to the ground.

    Incensed, Godzilla looked around for the parent but he could find no trace of her. Relaxing his shoulders for a moment, Godzilla exhaled. His body was sore, he was bleeding from dozens of small wounds, not to mention the slashes across his chest. But he still had one more opponent to face.

    Seeing the lifeless bodies of her children fallen on the ground, Zilla let out a heart wrenching screech. Godzilla whipped around to locate the slender kaiju two blocks away from him, her body shaking with grief and rage.

    Her orange eyes, so like his own, brimmed with tears as green light raced up her spiky back. Each scute was quickly illuminated a row at a time, starting from the tip of her tail to the massive spikes on her shoulders. In a flash, Zilla’s tears evaporated as light and heat bloomed from her eyes. Opening her toothy mouth wide, the smaller kaiju let loose with her atomic breath in a swirling stream of green fire.

    But Godzilla was ready for her. His own atomic breath burst from his mouth, the blue plasma colliding with green in a blinding flash of light between them! Sparks flew as the two kaiju poured forth their power in a struggle for dominance. A pulsing cloud of energy was building at the impact point. Blue and green rays of light danced and swirled within the cloud like an aurora, the colors cascading over the ruins of New Orleans.

    Zilla’s eyes widened in shock as she held onto the thread of her breath. She had never experienced something like this before! Her vision was a haze of blue and green light, keeping her opponent’s form concealed from her. Digging her clawed feet into the earth beneath her, she braced herself against the blast. If she could just manage to hold on, perhaps she could escape, regroup. She had to if she was going to make the murderer of her children pay!

    Godzilla kept his breath firing in a steady flow of power. In his long life, he had mastered the use of his atomic breath. He knew its strengths and weaknesses inside and out. His opponent’s weapon may have been a different color than his own, but its function was the same.

    Zilla had led the attack with a powerful blast, attempting to overpower him quickly. If he had been less experienced, perhaps it would have worked. The struggle of beams was as much an act of balance as it was power. A wrong move could spell disaster if the energies were interrupted at the wrong time. And so he let her push herself to the limit, the meeting point of the beams drawing closer and closer to him.

    A new light shown in Zilla’s eyes. She was winning! She took a difficult step forward, attempting to push the energy back on Godzilla.

    Feeling the balance of the beams shift between them, Godzilla made his move. He increased the power of his breath as blue light began to pulse down the length of the ray. Zilla, no longer braced, stumbled with the sudden push from her opponent. Immediately her green radioactive beam began to wither as the cloud of energy raced toward her.

    Pushing his advantage further, Godzilla stepped toward the struggling kaiju as he fired, keeping his head held low and forward to maintain the balance of the beams. Zilla’s eyes widened in fear as her breath finally gave out, breaking the balance of power in a massive explosion, sending an earthquake-like tremor for miles around. Relinquishing his flames, Godzilla raised his head to the sky and roared in victory.

    With a cacophonous sound, a shock wave of plasma rolled across the landscape as a strange blue and green fireball expanded skyward. Zilla, her lithe frame over 7 times lighter than Godzilla’s, was tossed end over end away from the blast. Careening through the air, the saurian kaiju screamed before smashing headfirst into the rubble nearly 300 meters away, sending up a shower of concrete and steel.

    The smoke cleared before Godzilla saw Zilla again, still laying where she had fallen. Her leathery skin was charred and bleeding, the energy released from the explosion having ravaged her aching body.

    With a weak cry she attempted to lift herself up from the ground, failing to pick herself up on the first try.

    Shakily she rose again, forced to support herself on all 4 limbs due to the pain from her broken ribs. Her hearing was nonexistent except for a constant ringing noise. Blood ran from her mouth and nostrils. The fall had even managed to crack the large scute above her right shoulder, its pointed tip left embedded in the earth.

    Stomping across the black and broken surface of ground zero, Godzilla called out against his opponent once more. His powerful roar echoed across the city, managing to penetrate the ringing in Zilla’s ears. She looked up at the monster king and their eyes met across the battlefield.
    Desperation and pain filled the smaller titan’s eyes, power and confidence the larger. Enraged, Zilla screeched back at Godzilla, but the threat was empty. With a snort that flared his gilled neck, Godzilla stalked toward Zilla.

    Her body weak and frail, Zilla considered her options for a single second before turning tail and running. In her current condition, she couldn’t possibly defeat Godzilla. Her only hope was to escape and rebuild her brood. Alone she could not beat him, but together perhaps they could. Painfully, she ran faster and faster for the glistening water of the gulf.

    Outpacing him even in her weakened state, Godzilla summoned his atomic breath once more. Blue light ran up his back, pulsing from within the craggy dorsal plates. Like a line of fire, the plasma burst from his mouth and flashed toward his opponent.

    But the smaller titan was still too fast, the ray striking the ground where she had stood a second before. Eyes bulging from their sockets, Zilla pushed harder. She would not survive another blast. In the water she would outpace him. She just had to make it! Rearing back, Godzilla fired another blast as Zilla jumped for the gulf, just half a block from the waterline.

    Time seemed to slow as she leaped, the line of blue fire rushing toward the saurian kaiju. Still rising through the air, Zilla watched as her enemy’s attack passed directly beneath her! The flaming atomic breath of Godzilla came so close to her that Zilla could feel the immense heat across her body, scorching the leathery skin of her belly.

    With an immense blast of steam, the beam struck the surface of the water as Zilla arced over it to disappear beneath the waves. Trailing blood behind her, she swam with all that she had. She had to get as far away from Godzilla as possible.

    Enraged, Godzilla stomped his clawed right foot into the ground, cracking the pavement beneath him and rattling structures for miles around. Megalon had escaped him in Chicago, but this one would not! So long as she was alive, he was in danger of being overrun by her spawn. He would not let her escape so long as she posed such a threat.

    With grim determination he made his way to the shore and dove forward into the water. In seconds he was gone, once more on the trail of his quarry. Behind him, the people of New Orleans and the United States at large breathed a sigh of relief. Though the destruction was immense, the monsters were gone. Perhaps now, they could finally begin to rebuild.

    Winner: Godzilla (Legendary)

    K.W.C. // February 20, 2020
  • Looking Deeper at Overlooked Godzilla Costumes
    With Nicholas Driscoll and Marcus Gwin

    Over the years, there have been many, many Godzilla costumes created, and while the Godzilla costumes from the actual Toho movies have received a great deal of attention, the Godzilla costumes from other sources, such as movie cameo appearances and commercials, really need more special attention, as their designs and histories are also quite fascinating. This article (which can hopefully be built upon in the future) is an attempt to start that process of taking a deeper look at some of these often overlooked Godzilla costumes.

     

    John Belushi/Interview costume

    Background Details: Created by Robert Short, originally appeared in Hollywood Boulevard (1976). Also appeared later in an SNL skit with John Belushi, and the airing of an edited version of Godzilla vs. Megalon.

    Date Aired: 1976, Godzilla vs. Megalon broadcast 1977?

    Links: Godzilla Hits the Skids: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) – Den of Geeks!
    Godzilla Vs. Megalon Bumpers (1978 NBC John Belushi bits) – Lost Media Wiki
    12 Strange Non-Japanese Manifestations of Godzilla – Topless Robot
    (Grogan-costumed John Candy is kind of interesting)
    Robert Short’s Godzilla suit was first used in… – Astounding Beyond Belief
    Hollywood Bouldevard (1976) – Trailer (Hollywood Boulevard trailer, suit appears in the trailer)

     

    Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure Godzilla Costume

    Background details: The suit was created by Cleve Hall, who also performed as the monster in the film and described the experience as “Awesome”. In an interview with B Movie Nation, Hall said he could have died that day and he wouldn’t have cared (given how happy he was to have that opportunity). According to that interview, the Godzilla sequence took six days to shoot.
    According to an interview with Ravenous Monster, Hall made a Godzilla costume when he was a junior in high school for a costume contest in Houston, Texas, which garnered the attention of Six Flags Amusement Park. The park hired Hall to create a costume for them, and so began Hall’s lifelong career building monster costumes.

    Date aired: July 26, 1985

    Links: Five Quick Questions with Cleve Hall – B Movie Nation
    Interview with Monster Man Cleve Hall: Chicago Wizard World Satire Edition – Ravenous Monster

     

    Dr. Pepper Godzilla Costume

    Background details: Apparently, the advertising campaign had a budget of 10,000,000 dollars. The commercials were originally independent of the Godzilla 1985 film, and product placement was negotiated after New World learned of Dr. Pepper’s deal with Toho. In addition to the commercials, the suit also appears on shirts one could get via mailaway offer. Interestingly, the shirt alters Godzilla’s eyes to being yellow.

    Date Aired: Godzilla 1985 (1985)

    Links: DR PEPPER BUBBLES UP TO GODZILLA – Los Angeles Times
    Diet Dr. Pepper Can with Godzilla T-Shirt Offer (1986) – the sphinx

     

    One Crazy Summer Godzilla Costume

    Background details: TBD

    Date Aired: August 8, 1986

     

    Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla Nike commercial costume

    Background details: Created by ILM, animatronic face. Directed by Michael Owens. Painter Richard Miller worked on the paint job of Godzilla’s teeth. Richard Miller designed the teeth so that they were dirty from breathing flames, but “white on the ends from chewing up a lot of people.”
    The tail was twelve feet long. Barkley is supposed to be 160 feet tall. The tape was filmed in slow motion to create a sense of size. Godzilla’s flame was created by tracing on top of the film with a pencil and tracing paper, with 72 drawings needed over the three seconds of animation. Smoke was produced from a vat of boiling mineral oil. The scene in which Barkley is crouched down and then lunges for Godzilla was very awkward and difficult to film effectively, requiring many takes–some of which can be seen in the making-of video.
    The tail was sometimes manipulated detached from the body, such as in the scene in which it knocks the basketball skyward.
    Four puppeteers worked together to manipulate the Godzilla face.
    To capture the right look from Charles Barkley when he elbows Godzilla in the face, the director asked him to make the expression first and do the action in reverse–pulling away from the camera. Then, in the commercial, the scene was played backwards. The thirty second commercial required eight days of filming and four weeks of editing.

    Date Aired: 1992

    Links: The Making of Nike’s Godzilla vs. Barkley: Scientific American Frontiers 301 – PBS 1992 (Making-of documentary)

     

    Lottery Godzilla Costume

    Background details: TBA

    Date aired: TBA

     

    Snickers Godzilla Costume

    Background details: Douglas Tait, a 6’ 5” experienced monster and suit actor with appearances ranging from Freddy vs. Jason (as the titular Jason Voorhees) to the Long-Faced Bar Alien in J. J. Abrams Star Trek film, played the part of Godzilla. The suit itself took about two weeks to construct, between November 14th and December 2nd, 2013, when filming started, and was built by Legacy FX, the former Stan Winston studios that would have made the Godzilla for the cancelled American film from 1994. The suit was built around a body cast of Tait and made to be nine feet tall in order to tower above the other characters in the commercial. The suit itself, including a combined backpack and animatronic head, weighed over 120 pounds.
    During parts of the ATV sequence in the commercial, Tait actually rode the ATV while wearing the Godzilla suit, although he reports that a triangular piece was taken out of the neck so that he could see better, and close ups were accomplished with an empty puppet. The waterskiing sequence was accomplished with a combination of green screen and stuntman Tim Soergel waterskiing with Godzilla feet. Tait was filmed against a green screen wearing the suit and standing on a kind of moving gimbal, and the shots were later combined. The commercial was shot between December 2nd and December 6th in 2013. Apparently a making-of feature was made as well, which may have included sequences of Tait improvising in the Godzilla part that didn’t make it into the final commercial.
    According to Tait in another interview with Monster Legacy, the suit was built to resemble the original 1954 Godzilla, and thus used “similar techniques” in its manufacture. Tait stated that corn flakes were mixed into the latex to help create the suit’s skin texture.

    Date aired: Online–February 28, 2014; On air March 2, 2014 during the Academy Awards (originally intended to be a Super Bowl commercial)

    Links: Snickers Godzilla Suit (Behind the scenes video)
    Snickers Satisfies Godzilla – SciFi Japan
    From the suit actor, Douglas Tait’s facebook – pininterest.jp
    Exclusive: Interview with Douglas Tait! – Monster Legacy

    General // February 16, 2020
  • A note from staff

    The original rematch revisited – a translation of Continuation: King Kong vs. Godzilla, as seen in the Japanese publication “Godzilla” Toho Special Effects Unpublished Material Archive: Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and His Era (ISBN: 9784048544658). Taking place sometime after the events of King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), the story introduces new human characters who get caught up in the inevitable grudge match between the world’s two most famous monsters. As usual, VERY special thanks to Noah Oskow for the following translation!

    ~ Joshua S.

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Plot
    Continuation: King Kong vs. Godzilla
    Shinichi Sekizawa

     

    Story

     

    This tale begins with the disappearance of a regularly-scheduled African passenger plane.

    A search and rescue vehicle was immediately dispatched, resulting in the easy discovery of the lost passenger plane. The plane looked to be ensconced in the deep thickets of the jungle, laying crashed with surprisingly little damage. In such a state, could there perhaps be some survivors? …A rescue team was formed, and immediately set off for the site of the crash.

    Amongst the rescue team was one Nomura, an employee of Nichio Products. He had been scheduled to return to Japan in the near future. Nomura’s successor to his position was to have been one Higashi. Higashi and his wife, and the two’s newborn baby, had all been on the downed passenger plane.

     

    The rescue team, having arrived at the scene, assumed they would be able to quickly and succinctly declare that “there were no survivors.” However, Nomura noticed something unexpected. The baby was missing. When he mentioned this to the rest of the team, needless to say they looked inside the plane and searched the surrounding area, but could find no trace of the baby… So could it be that the child had not been on board the plane after all? No, the husband and wife were firmly grasping the baby’s clothing, even in death… If the child wasn’t there, it must have crawled off by itself, or been taken away by someone. It was unthinkable that a baby could crawl off into the jungle by itself, and if something had taken the child, it would have to have been a beast of prey or an inhabitant of the surrounding area… No matter which it had been, the baggage and such should have been correspondingly damaged and ripped apart, but there was no sign of anything of the sort.

    At that time, Nomura sensed a momentary flash of light in the sky above him. Looking upwards, there, in the tops of the huge trees of the jungle, he spotted something sparkling, reflecting the light of the sun. Confirming what this was, he saw that it was the baby’s toy, caught on a tree branch…

    It was decided that some of those from Nomura’s entourage would break off from the main group in order to continue the search for the baby. Mitsuko, the younger sister of the baby’s father as well as his colleague at the company, was Nomura’s lover. Thus, while of course respect for human life was important, it was not as though this baby was a pure stranger to Nomura…

    In a sense, the search party was heading down a straight path, intertwined with the site of the crash of the passenger plane and that of the child’s toy, caught on the branch of a tree.

     

    Elsewhere, in Tokyo, Mitsuko anxiously waited for word that Nomura had saved the baby. She was filled with a deep sense of worry for the safety of the child and her lover. With Mitsuko’s brother’s family having been lost in the airplane accident, Nomura’s safety was now the most important thing in her world… With such thoughts filling her head, she left for work with a deep weight upon her shoulders. During all this, the person who helped cheer her up in various ways was her friend, Yoshie.

     

    Yoshie had her own significant other, a man named Tsukida. Tsukida thought of himself as a handsome man; in reality he was more of a laughingstock. He was a self-acknowledged ideas man specializing in modern and exciting trends. At Amusement Center KK, Tsukida’s place of employment, his subordinate Toyoichi was attempting to set up what was to become his pride and joy, Hinomaru Land, on the Seto Inland Sea. Tsukida was trying to think up some novel idea for the park, but just couldn’t seem to come up with anything.

    Around this time, a report finally came in from Nomura to Mitsuko. The baby’s milk bottle had been uncovered…

     

    The reality was this: one part of Nomura’s search party had gone through the overgrowth and made their way deeper into the jungle. One night during this process, Nomura became aware that an individual from the plains dwellers they had brought along was trying to surreptitiously run away. Grabbing ahold of their leader, Bunbuku, Nomura attempted to have the man tell him the reason why…

    Bunbuku said that they could not go any farther into the jungle. These hinterlands were a cursed place, where within the tribe of the plains dwellers entrance was prohibited from time immemorial, and those who broke this rule were said to surely be met with catastrophe. However, Nomura was a firm believer in modern science, and he had no interest in falling for antiquated superstitions. Attempting to calm the natives, they moved deeper into the jungle, where they came upon some mysterious ruins; the remains of a city ensconced in grass and trees, which they thought may have been an ancient African kingdom that had once flourished in the region…. And there, upon some of the weathered flagstones, they discovered one of the baby’s shoes. Nomura decided to continue the search using these ruins as his base of operations. Then, in the windless night… once again, the plains dwellers began to act restlessly. Asking Bunbuku what was going on, the leader replied that they had heard the voice of an evil spirit… Normura could discern nothing of the sort, but then it was said that Bunbuku and his wild bunch could hear from a great distance… but when Nomura concentrated and listened closely, was there not some faint sound he too could hear…? …Was that the sound of…?!

    It wasn’t some indistinguishable noise. It was the wailing of a baby. Nomura flinched, and jumped up to spur his team on towards the place where the baby’s voice was emanating from. There, they ran into a mind-bogglingly huge wall hewn out of boulders. The wailing voice of the baby could be heard coming from above it.

    Just then, they heard an unsettling rumble in the ground and a fierce roar, and from above their heads boulders began to rain down like an avalanche. Nomura and his crew escaped from the path of danger in a state of deep confusion.

    When the sun began to rise, Nomura was shocked. There was no sign of the native inhabitants, who had clearly been overcome with dread the night before and had fled. Nomura had been abandoned.

    But Nomura couldn’t give up and go home just yet. Even if he was all alone, he would need to rescue the child. So, pulling a wireless radio out from the baggage abandoned by the natives, he called up Kenya Airport to request a rescue helicopter – and all by himself, he headed towards the rock wall.

     

    Nomura, climbing the rock face, perceived the same roar he had heard the night before coming up from behind him! …And then, the wailing of the child, crying as if in great terror!

    Nomura, looking towards the jungle, was shocked. A giant pair of scissors was pushing through the jungle thickets?! It was cutting down trees, chip-chop, just like one cuts the blades of grass on a lawn… and then, he was finally able to see the whole picture… a gigantic scorpion.

    The giant scorpion steadily approached the mountain rock wall…

    Then, a separate roar emanated from the direction of the cliff.

    Nomura, turning towards the roar, was shocked all over again.

    It was, unmistakably, King Kong! King Kong grabbed on to the scorpion, and a great battle began. Then, having dispatched the scorpion, Kong returned to the cliff, and staring at a corner of its rocky surface, lowered himself into the emptiness. Having done this, the baby, which had been crying ceaseless until now, became perfectly quiet, and then even seemed to begin laughing…

    Hiding himself in the shadow of the rocks, Nomura looked on at what was occurring.

    Just then, the form of the great scorpion, which had been briefly defeated, began nimbly to move again, latching on to King Kong’s leg.

    King Kong let out a shriek of “Gyeeeh!!” and as the great scorpion bent its body like a bow, its poisonous tail striking out at the base of Kong’s throat, Kong grabbed that lethal appendage with both hands, and a deadly battle of much greater ferocity than before began to play out.

    Nomura, watching the fierce visage of Kong, suddenly heard another roar; the rotor blades of the approaching rescue helicopter.

    Nomura grasped the baby, and standing on top of the cliff, shot off a rescue flare!

    King Kong, immersed as he was in his lethal battle with the giant scorpion, had taken no notice of Nomura. Finally, King Kong smashed the scorpion with a great boulder, and victoriously beat his fists upon his chest — but soon his expression turned to one of surprise.

    The rescue helicopter was lifting off along with Nomura and the baby.

    King Kong peered at the cliff where the baby had been, and groaning sadly, began to lash out as if crazed with rage. Then, he began walking forward, faster and faster, in a seeming attempt to chase the helicopter.

    Then, a few days later —

    Nomura and the baby were riding in a passenger plane heading towards Japan. Looking down from his airplane window, the eastern shores of Africa at night sparkled beautifully.

    Atop of one of those cliffs on the East African coast, King Kong appeared, moaning sadly as he began rapidly entering into the sea as if to further chase after the passenger plane.

    And then, the form of King Kong finally disappeared into the moonlit ocean.

     

    Tsukida, for so long tormented over what to propose as Hinomaru Land’s selling point, suddenly yelled out “this is it!” He was at an amusement park in the suburbs of New York. Tsukida had been gazing at a life-sized picture of a group of monsters from the last century the park had on display. They had reminded him that at amusement parks in Southeast Asia and Europe, such physical models of real beasts had been placed to great effect and popularity.

    “But are there such things in Japan?”

    “There are, but what I’m thinking of ain’t no concrete imitation. It’s the real deal.”

    “The real deal? …What sort of real deal?”

    “Of, you know, Godzilla… Godzilla, who sank and died in the waters off Atami… If I drag him up and displayed just his skeleton, it could be quite the thing to see… what about that for an idea, huh?”

    Thus did Tsukida, talking to himself, create a deep impression of what his park could be.

    Then, soon enough, when he sent down a diver to search it out, what did he find…?

    There was Godzilla! There he was after all, sunken in a sandbank, rot not having set in at all. The reason for this was said to be that of recent, up until the changing of the Japan current, there had been a great expansion of the famously cold waters of Sagami Bay. In other words, the cold waters had served as a sort of refrigerator, keeping Godzilla’s body intact.

     

    Hidden from view, the massive operation to raise Godzilla from the waters off Atami began. Strangely, this all went along as if it was par for the course. Just as in normal daily life, free from any oversight, Tsukida constantly advertised Hinomaru Land to great crowds of people.

    As the crowds were stirring, the body of Godzilla, pulled upwards by the swarming cranes, emerged from the sea.

    Veterinarians, dressed as if to go rock climbing, examined Godzilla. They confirmed the expected lack of breathing. Yet there had been firm directions from the relevant authorities, and just to be sure a strong tranquilizer had been injected, using what seemed like a pump, into the beast’s body. Then Godzilla was shipped by sea towards Hinomaru Land.

     

    Thus Hinomaru Land achieved an unprecedented PR victory, although what seemed to be smooth sailing was not actually to be. There were those secretly planning to crush Hinomaru Land. These were a cabal from Amusement Center KK’s rival company, Amusement Development KK. For some time within the world of the leisure industry, Amusement Center and Amusement Development were in a position to split the entire business between the two of them, and as they had competed against each other up until now, it was natural that they would be in a frenzy and try to come up with a plan to try to squash Hinomaru Land.

    Nomura had been repatriated to Japan holding his coworker’s baby, and he and his girlfriend, Mitsuko, had decided to raise the child together. Then, one day, Nomura heard something from a foreign telegram which somehow seemed to pull at his heart. On the coast of a certain Southeast Asian country, some children playing in the waters of the ocean had been overwhelmed by huge waves of unexplainable origin. It had been an exceedingly strange event, since there had been no earthquake or anything of the sort.

    According to eyewitnesses, something like a small mountain had suddenly appeared from somewhere only slightly off the coast. This form had been seen two or three times before disappearing, heading off towards the northeast.

     

    That monstrous phenomenon finally showed its form clearly in the Straights of Taiwan. The night in question there had been a full moon, and a passenger ship slid across the surface of the sea as it shone in the moonlight.

    From the first-class deck, the wailing of an infant could be heard. The baby had been jostled from its slumber, and the child’s young mother was attempting to lull the infant to sleep while feeling the salty breeze off the sea.

    As the mother casually look out at the surface of the ocean, her eyes suddenly went wide!!

    Something? …was headed their way… and as she watched on, a monster stood imposingly between the breakers!

    The mother let out a scream!

    It was King Kong… King Kong grasped onto the passenger boat, seemingly searching for something.

    The boat, rocking to the left and right, suddenly took on the manic appearance of a beehive.

    Holding on firmly to her wailing child on the first-class deck, the mother trembled with fear.

    The gigantic face of King Kong approached them. Then, he stretched out his arm …no, his fingers, towards them.

    The ship pitched violently to one side…

    The mother, sliding down the deck, reached out for anything to stop her fall – and in that moment, she let go of her child.

    The infant tumbled into the sea …and King Kong, just as though he was scooping up a goldfish, plunged his great fist into the ocean, lifting the baby out of the waters and staring, eyes narrowed, at the child.

    The crying child…

    King Kong’s eyes took on a surprisingly sad sheen, but he set the baby down on the deck…

    The passenger ship’s SOS was broadcast outwards, catching the attention of the American Eastern Fleet which was navigating the waters nearby, and the ships of the fleet immediately began firing upon Kong!!

    King Kong, finding the attack obnoxious, let out a great roar, and grabbing on to the bow of a destroyer close at hand, began pounding the ship with all his might!

    The destroyer, sucked into the waters, was lifted up horizontally, and sunk into the depths. King Kong followed suit, quickly diving into the sea, and was seen no more.

     

    King Kong had appeared in the Taiwan Straight!

    This news had enough of an effect to defeat any evil thoughts humans might have towards each other. In a frenzy, those camps in Asia amongst the Eastern and Western powers, which so recently at each other’s throats, came together in solidarity and incredible teamwork to participate in operations to search out King Kong.

    And then, the report came in…

    “King Kong had appeared in the Genkai Sea, and suddenly as we approached, he dove into the waves and we were unable to find him again. However, the direction at his time of diving led us to judge that he is likely heading to the Northeast at X speed, leading us to think he is likely aiming towards the coast in Kyushu”

     

    Anxiety suddenly swept over the residents of the Kyushu region.

    Then, the people began to argue the pros and cons of the return of this uninvited guest, King Kong…

    Considering the nature of animal homing instincts, King Kong might have felt the need to return to the small Faro Island… Could that be the reason he was heading towards Japan?

    Or had he previously learned how comfortable Japan was, and perhaps had felt like returning? The theories came one after another.

    No matter how much people pondered this question, nothing truly believable came to mind. The only thing they managed to do was to increase their own unease.

    However, Nomura had somehow managed to gain a flash of insight without doing any actual pondering.

    Could it be that King Kong had connected with the baby, and was heading to Japan for that reason? When Nomura had spied the baby on top of the cliff back in Africa, he had felt that Kong’s eyes had told that story. The innocent, unselfish, guileless laughter of the small infant had pulled at the great ape’s heart.

    That baby was now being raised by Nomura and Mitsuko… But if this was really the case, just why was King Kong trying to search out the location of that child? …Naturally, Nomura couldn’t make heads nor tails of it all. Although this entire idea was vaguely coalescing inside Nomura’s mind, he still felt the urge to reject the concept that Kong possessed some sort of supernatural, animalistic sixth-sense.

    King Kong, imprinted onto the baby, was coming!

    It was the sort of thing that no one would believe even if you told it to them, which is why Nomura told the extent of what he felt to Mitsuko. As could be expected, Mitsuko reacted with an expression that implied she didn’t believe a word he had said… but even so, she responded to Nomura’s desire to find some safe place to hide the child. They decided to leave the infant at Nomura’s family home in a village on the lakeshore of Lake Biwa.

    The day came for Nomura and Mitsuko to take the baby to his family home on the shores of Lake Biwa!

    A major event had suddenly happened at Hinomaru Land. A bomb had been planted on Godzilla by a cadre from their opposing company, Amusement Development KK!

    There was an attempt to contain the explosion… but Godzilla’s entire body has collapsed over, and was now lying on its side on the beach. Even now, the people gathered around were astonished by the immortal power of the great monster, said to be deep in slumber.

    No, that wasn’t all. Although only shallowly, its heart had begun to beat!! It appeared that the shock of the explosion had transferred some life back into Godzilla…

    The surrounding people flew into a frenzy, absorbed in trying to replace a wire rope torn from Godzilla with a new one.

    At that time, King Kong finally showed himself in the waters off of the Hachiman Ironworks… and then came on land!

    The great chimney stacks, standing close together, were broken just like the splitting apart of wooden chopsticks. Wakato Bridge, the symbol of Kitakyushi City, was smashed down into the waters below by a single blow.

    King Kong began to progress up the San’yo region from the Kanmon Straights.

    It was not as though the humans were simply standing there looking on, transfixed by surprise. They tried to apply the special Soma bullet attack that had succeeded the previous time, but just as they did so, it was blown away by the strong winds of an approaching typhoon, having no effect. Rather, the anesthesia was conversely blown out towards the direction of the humans, resulting in them toppling over one-by-one.

     

    Godzilla’s heart, which had begun to beat slightly, once again ceased its movement… Those involved with Hinomaru Land breathed a sigh of relief… If he were to suddenly come back to life, the situation would quickly turn bleak.

    King Kong kept moving forward in the high winds of the San’yo region. At this rate, the metropolises of Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe wouldn’t stand a chance, and with the previously effective Soma bullet having failed, the only remaining path left was to have Godzilla beat back the great ape.

    King Kong island-hopped from Hiroshima to Shikoku, grabbing tightly onto high-voltage large-scale transmission towers, enveloped in electric sparks. He was storing up energy.

    On the human side, by this point they were rushing about, frenzied, attempting to revive Godzilla via electric shock.

    Godzilla’s neck, arms, core, legs, and tail were bound by wide metal rings connected to high-voltage lines. Then, the main switch was turned on.

    Violent sparks flew into the air!! Electricity like lighting radiated outwards!!

    The shock-treatment strategy ended… but Godzilla’s heart moved not even a beat.

    King King finally drew near to the planned site of Hinomaru Land in the Seto Inland Sea.

    Once again, the second shock strategy was put into effect! But still, Godzilla gave not a single sign of moving his titanic body… The strategy was attempted a third time… No, there was no longer even time to try again – King Kong was almost upon them.

    People hurriedly fled Kong’s approach. On the deserted beach, Godzilla lay all alone… and King Kong headed towards him. Looking at Godzilla, he roared out at his bitter enemy! Next came the expected demonstration of beating his fits on his chest.

    But Godzilla did not move… King Kong stared at his unmoving form, as if thinking “huh?” He began kicking tentatively at Godzilla, but still the great lizard did not move. He punched out at Godzilla’s head with his great fists….and still Godzilla gave no response.

    King King lifted up a giant boulder which lay nearby with both hands. The electric lines were torn off, giant sparks flying outwards!! Godzilla’s great body was bathed in electricity…

    King Kong smashed the giant boulder down onto Godzilla. He seemed to be trying to further hurt his downed opponent, like the heel in a pro wrestling match…

    Seemingly disappointed by the unmoving Godzilla, King Kong let out a yell, and turning his back on his unmoving rival, began to victoriously beat his chest.

    It was at that time… that the seemingly deceased form of Godzilla began to move its tail all at once… moving once again…

    His closed eyes suddenly snapped open… and in an instant, his tail lashed out like a whip, battering against Kong, his back still turned!!

    “GYAOHH!!” Before he knew what was happening, Kong was spun into the air, crashing down into the surf!

    Kong quickly recovered, heading towards Godzilla with a look of intense rage in his eyes, only for Godzilla to let forth a great blast of atomic breath from his maw.

    King Kong staggered backwards!

    Godzilla drew his body up off the sands and rushed at Kong. With a splash, it began. But this first match would be called off due to injury – and the true battle would have to wait until the next day.

     

    Here, it was the humans who proved to be a nuisance. With both giant beasts having decided on holding off their battle until the next day, and each moving off to do training by way of creating their own paths of destruction, things were not staying settled.

    This was all to say nothing of King Kong, who had once again recalled the infant, and began heading out to find it again.

     

    At this point, people could no longer afford to ignore Nomura’s claims of King Kong having imprinted on the child.

    At that time, Nomura and Mitsuko had taken the baby from the shores of Lake Biwa and were returning once again to Tokyo.

    Irresponsible public opinion had begun to angrily voice that if the infant had been removed from the picture, King Kong would never have come to Japan.

    These words inspired a great deal of anger in Nomura and Mitsuko. The child was blameless… More than that, it had been its almost beatific innocence and purity which had caused King Kong to imprint on it in the first place… Could not that serve as some sort of warning to this world, so full of wicked and greedy people?

    Thinking this, Nomura resolved to protect the baby no matter what – even more so from irresponsible public opinion than from Kong himself.

    However, on the other hand, there were those leery people who believed that perhaps the child really was what Kong had come for. It seemed plausible.

    Speaking of Kong, did he really have the ability to track down the infant despite having no idea where it was, when the child was not like some ball directly in front of his eyes? Based upon the academic postulations made by such people, it came to be the baby was flown to Kagoshima in Kyushu in the middle of the night.

    If King Kong was truly pursuing the infant, and he did have the unlimited detection capabilities to track down the child, then it was surmised that this tactic should prevent him from continuing on to Tokyo — which he was nearing closer to by the hour — by having him again switch directions.

     

    Nomura and Mitsuko, holding the child, headed off to Kagoshima in the dead of night onboard a military transport aircraft…

    As this happened, people were watching King Kong’s behavior with rapt attention… however, Kong did not halt his progress.

    So King Kong wasn’t actually interested in the child…? The people began frantically attempting to set up defense operation for the national capital region. It was at such a defense strategy meeting that a report came in that the transport plane carrying the infant had safely arrived at Kagoshima Airport… just in time!

    King Kong halted his progress on the spot. At last, groaning mournfully, Kong did in fact turn around, heading in the opposite direction… Although, to be precise, rather than heading perfectly in the opposing directions, he was actually heading towards Sagami Bay in order to gain access to the sea… it was in fact by this method that he could most quickly head towards Kagoshima Airport.

    Elsewhere, Godzilla had made landfall in Shikoku, and appeared to be lying in wait, watching eagle-eyed.

    As far as King Kong was concerned, the tactic of using the infant as bait and somehow getting Kong to leave Japan had been decided on, but an effective plan for Godzilla was still needed – up until now, all attempts at putting such operations into effect has ended in failure. In a last-ditch attempt, they had no choice but to plan out a similar baiting strategy. If Godzilla’s great rival, Kong, was to appear, he would surely serve as bait to draw in Godzilla. Even if they could not control Godzilla’s fate, they could draw him out into the Pacific Ocean. In other words, this would be like momentarily changing the course of a typhoon.

    And what method would they use?… They would manufacture a gigantic rubber facsimile of King Kong, and using it as a decoy, they would additionally pump the decoy completely full of high-yield, powerful gas, and provided all went well, this gas would blast Godzilla into atoms.

    Thus, the King Kong facsimile, hanging down from multiple helicopters, was flown into the skies above Shikoku!

    Sure enough, Godzilla set forth, seemingly remembering his last titanic battle with Kong at Fuji-Sanroku.

    The helicopters gradually drew Godzilla out into the Pacific.

    Godzilla dove into the sea accompanied by a great plume of water.

    Suddenly confused, a helicopter pilot let out an exclamation of “huh?”

    In an instant, Godzilla had appeared extremely close at hand, kicking off a huge wave.

    At this rate, the helicopters would be in danger. “Cut the ropes!” Obeying the commanding officer’s orders, the ropes were cut, and the helicopter unit just managed to escape…

    The King Kong facsimile lay spread eagle among the waves, floating on the ocean surface.

    Godzilla, not aware that this was a mere decoy, drew close, and just as earlier, when he himself had been at Kong’s mercy, began beating the decoy on the back of the head. Stretching out his tail, he began lashing out with it, slamming the decoy time and again. Yet the Kong decoy simply bobbed up and down, floating on the waves. Godzilla, vexed by the situation, let out a great roar and suddenly bit down on the decoy!!

    And with a huge blast, the high-yield gas erupted!!

    The ocean surface was blasted outwards, setting forth walls of water and torrents of spray! Following the blast, it seemed like Godzilla had disappeared — as though erased from existence…?

     

    Nomura and Mitsuko felt that keeping the child in Japan was simply too dangerous, and although they were trying all possible methods to get the infant overseas, no country had offered them asylum. They had been told that if they were to receive entry then King Kong would surely be arriving hot on their heels. But no matter what they said, the fact remained that the baby was blameless. Nomura continued to run around, attempt to convince various countries, all in vain.

    Even in the Japanese domestic sphere, there was a tide of public opinion stating that the baby should not even be brought back to its home prefecture, and thus the child could not even be moved from Kagoshima itself.

    On that day, King Kong arrived at Kagoshima, and reaching Kagoshima Airport, began rampaging and destroying the airplanes parked on the tarmac.

     

    Nomura put Mitsuko and the baby in a car, attempting to take an overland route to Fukuoka… However, moments before they could do so, something strange had occurred.

    Godzilla had appeared, breaking through the crust of the caldera of the dormant Mount Aso. Godzilla, who had disappeared in a blast of seawater, had tunneled under the earth, reappearing in the dormant volcano’s caldera!!

    What was unlucky was that Godzilla had appeared in the direction of the alpine roads which Nomura had taken to avoid the public gaze, preventing their car from moving any farther ahead.

    Just as he was about put the car in reverse, King Kong approached from behind.

    Nomura put the car in reverse and slammed his foot as far down on the pedal as possible, fleeing. Alas, the car stalled, and Nomura led Mitsuko, holding the baby, away on foot… and as Nomura and the others collapsed, hiding in the shadow of a cliff, King Kong drew near…

    Mitsuko, seeing Kong’s approach, lost consciousness… It seemed that they had come to the end of their road.

    King Kong began peering towards the cliff!! Just then, Godzilla’s tail, slicing through the air, slammed into King Kong’s face!

    King Kong tumbled downwards as though hit by a knockout punch!

    Godzilla, as if announcing his victory, let out a body-shaking roar.

    King Kong moved to make a fierce counterattack.

    Godzilla, attempting to head off this attack, bathed Kong in his atomic breath.

    A battle the likes of which would never be forgotten began to play out on Mount Aso.

    This was a brutal contest on a grand scale. Both beasts fought fiercely, and none could know when or how it would end.

    Nomura urged along Mitsuko, who had regained consciousness, and the two fled with the baby.

    The mortal contest between King Kong and Godzilla continued.

    Nomura and the others took flight! And then, suddenly, a great earthquake!

    “Ah!” Nomura and Mitsuko tumbled off a cliff into a valley… their rapid descent was saved from a grim end by overgrowths of vegetation, but as they looked around, the infant was missing… Hearing the wail of the child from further up the cliff, they realized that the baby alone had not fallen and was now all by himself on the cliff.

    Nomura tried desperately to climb the cliff face, but in vain. Just as this was occurring, the dormant volcano, perhaps shocked awake by the super-heavyweight grudge match between Godzilla and Kong, erupted with a great roar!

    The expelled magma, its heat reaching thousands of degrees, oozed towards the child.

    Nomura and Mitsuko, using a detour, ran up a separate path in attempt to reach the top of the cliff, only to find their path blocked by the lava.

    The infant’s life was like a small flame in the path of the wind.

    Yet what saved the child, ironically, was Godzilla and King Kong. Godzilla’s atomic breath dissipated the magma approaching the child.

    King Kong placed the child on top of his great fist, and stared at it fixedly.

    The child stared back innocently… and finally, King Kong placed the child back in a safe place, and returned to his grudge match with Godzilla.

    Nomura and Mitsuko ran to where the baby lay, gathering him up into their arms…

    As the giant earthquake shook the area where King Kong and Godzilla fought, a new volcano emerged, erupting in a massive volcanic blast. King Kong and Godzilla were enshrouded in smoke clouds as the ash turned day into darkest night. Nothing could be seen…

    At last… as the smoke cleared, both King Kong and Godzilla had disappeared.

    Could they have fallen into the new caldera and melted away? …Or had they perhaps been blown asunder by a concentrated jet made up of the volcano’s massive explosive energy?

    To this day, no one knows…

    Perhaps someday, in some form, the truth will come out, but as of this moment, no such evidence has come forward.

    The issue was how this all had unexpectedly exposed the ugliness of human society. As far as this went, Nomura and Mitsuko just couldn’t find it in themselves to hate King Kong or Godzilla… As the volcanic ash fell down upon them like snow, the two held the baby close, as they would for all time thereafter.

     

    The End

    Translations // February 15, 2020
  • The staff of Toho Kingdom sound off their top Toho film picks. For these lists, each staff member is selecting their top six Toho movies. Why six? Because five is too short and ten feels way too long. In terms of criteria, this is strictly based on which films the staff member would consider their favorite. It doesn’t necessarily tie into the merits of the production itself, so for example don’t be surprised to see more Godzilla movies than Akira Kurosawa films here.

    Each list is separated by the staff member who submitted it. As part of the hiring process, the top six films are asked of the incoming staff member. An odd, but consistent ritual from the early days. As a result, some of these will discuss the movies and why they were selected while others will just be a raw list of the six films.

    Also note that this article is currently a work in progress with more picks and descriptions forth coming.

    Anthony Romero’s Picks

    1. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

    This isn’t just my favorite Toho film, but my favorite movie of all time. I watched it at just the right period in my adolescence, particularly as it hit during the “eXtreme” period of the 1990’s when X-Force was turning heads. The swearing, violence and other elements convinced a young me that this was a more “grown up” Godzilla movie. While that might have been the initial lure, what kept me coming back for more  were the special effects, pacing, music and the great representation of the title monsters. For me this was a near perfect Godzilla film and while I have grown to recognize its numerous faults, its pound for pound my favorite movie and the one I have watched way more than any others.

    2. Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

    Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro

    I never expected to fall in love with this film when I first saw it on DVD. While I know this is an extreme dark horse pick as one’s favorite Hayao Miyazaki movie, I adore this late 1970’s production. Rain or shine, it’s a great piece of escapism to turn on and get swept up in the adventure the characters are having. Although there is some tension to be had, it’s primarily a very fun movie with excellent pacing that keeps the viewer’s interest from the casino break-in to the end credits.

    3. Yojimbo (1961)

    I often flip-flop between this and the next film, but usually side with this 1961 entry for how approachable it is. It’s incredibly easy to turn it on and enjoy it as the pacing is incredible, a reoccurring theme for my list actually. The character development is fantastic, but the way it juggles dark comedy, action and even tension is all phenomenal. The plot is also fantastic, the idea of pitting two gangs against each other, even if it has been remade over and over again.

    4. Seven Samurai (1954)

    Generally regarded as the best Japanese movie and who is to argue? The concept of a group of initially mismatched samurai coming together to defend a village is simple yet executed so well. It’s often been emulated, but the magic of the original has never been replicated. The characters are so well fleshed out that none feel disposable, and as the events of the movie unfold the emotions it triggers only increase. The only reason this movie isn’t higher on my list is the run time. It’s over three hours, so you really gotta dedicate yourself to it for each viewing.

    5. Matango (1963)

    This movie feels slightly overrated these days …although I would like to say I loved it before it became cliché to love it. Or at least would like to make that claim, although have seen publications from before my time confessing their admiration for the movie. While the 1963 film isn’t ground breaking, it’s just well made and sticks with you for the unique portrayal of how society norms can break down in some situations while the Matango mushroom species is thrown into the mix to engage those with a tendency for science fiction.

    6. The Return of Godzilla (1984)

    My sixth choice tends to rotate I find. For a time it was Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) and then the incredible documentary Tokyo Olympiad (1964). However, if I ask myself the question: if I was stuck somewhere for years and could only bring six Toho films, which would make the cut? Well with a question like that I have to side with the first 1980’s Godzilla film. The darker atmosphere of the movie stands out for me, as does the menacing portrayal of Godzilla. One element that really keeps me coming back, though, is the incredible score by Reijiro Koroku.

    Joshua Sudomerski’s picks

    1. Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)

    2. The Cat Returns (2002)

    3. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)

    4. Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)

    5. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

    6. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

     

    Chris Mirjahangir’s picks

    1. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

    2. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

    3. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

    4. Godzilla (1954)

    5. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)

    6. Destroy All Monsters (1968)

     

    Tyler Trieschock’s picks

    1. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

    For me, my favorite movies are the ones that can put a smile on my face and Tokyo S.O.S. does this by bringing the best parts of a Godzilla film in one action-packed premise. Godzilla returns, with my favorite design to this day, and all hands are on deck to best the nuclear leviathan. Kiryu, Mothra, even the JSDF, bring about some stellar effects driven sequences trying to halt the King of the Mon… Huh. Déjà vu. Throughout the entire film, Godzilla feels like a threat, blowing through every obstacle in his way until his final battle with Kiryu ends his reign of terror in a satisfying conclusion. Couple this action with a stellar send off for Kiryu, and the cheesy dialogue or weaker story can’t help myself from calling this my favorite Toho film.

    2. Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

    Gamera 2: Advent of Legion

    If I could sum up this movie in one word it would be: Blockbuster. And I mean that in every meaning of the word. The plot is pretty bare and the human characters are at their weakest in the trilogy, excluding Ayako Fujitani and Toshiyuki Nagashima as Asagi Kusanagi and Colonel Watarase respectively, but wow does everything else appear in style. Once the action begins, the stakes consistently raise with fantastic camera work, effects, choreography and more ending with an over the top finale which will finally give you a chance to take a breath. I love all three of the Gamera movies, but the cheesiness of the first and the slower pace of the third don’t make them too rewatchable. Gamera 2 though is where I think director Shusuke Kaneko struck the perfect balance and it’s my 2nd favorite due to this.

    3. Godzilla (2014)

    Gareth Edwards came the closest to a perfect Godzilla film for me and rewatching the film recently, after watching Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), I have to say I have more appreciation for it. Yes, there is less action, and Aaron Taylor Johnson is bit reserved in his acting, but these gripes aside, excluding the original, I believe this movie has some of the most memorable acting, cinematography, editing, sound, and action in the series. I’ll never forget watching this on the big screen with my best friend, tearing up at Cranston’s monologue, shaking in my seat from Godzilla’s arrival at the airport or feeling pure awe upon watching the atomic ray decapitate a monster. I’ve heard many say this film is awful and while people have every right to their opinion, in this case I would tend to agree as this film leaves me in awe every time I happily watch it.

    4. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)

    Shusuke Kaneko made a Godzilla movie. After the Gamera Trilogy, was there any real doubt this movie wouldn’t be at least great? No… thought so.

    5. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

    I recently rewatched Godzilla vs. Biollante and if director Kazuki Omori did one thing to make me really enjoy this film, it would be that he made it unique to all that came before and after. Godzilla returns, with my favorite design of the Heisei era, and all hands are on deck to best the nuclear leviathan. The Super X II, Biollante, even the JSDF, bring about some stellar effects driven sequences trying to halt the

    King of the Monsters. Biollante especially is breath taking in its execution and while the Kaiju action is relatively brief, it is memorable. While not every concept lands, and there are a ton thrown at you throughout the movie, its darker tone and solid characters make it a far more memorable movie than I gave it credit for and it earns a place in my favorite Toho films of all time because of this

    6. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)

    The first Godzilla movie I watched and it holds a special place ever since. Yes, the human plot is insane, but that insanity is a fun guide through a monster filled brawl of a movie. From Godzilla’s constant battles with Rodan, to the fun character moments of the humans and Kaiju alike, to the final battle with Ghidorah, make this movie my favorite Showa era Godzilla film.

     

    Patrick Galvan’s picks

    1. Seven Samurai (1954)

    Seven Samurai

    One of the landmarks of 20th century art, Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece about poor villagers hiring seven ronin to help defend their home from a gang of bandits accomplishes so much within its 207-minute runtime. No time is wasted fleshing out a large cast of instantly memorable characters—all while developing the tension, drama, humor, and searing humanity of which Kurosawa was a master. The many imitators of Seven Samurai often mimic its premise as an excuse for showing off action set pieces, but this most remarkable film goes a step further and is worthy of its status as one of the greatest films of all time.

    2. The Return of Godzilla (1984)

    When asked to name my favorite Godzilla movie—not necessarily the best but the one that reaches me the most on a personal level—this is the one that always turns up. Directed by Koji Hashimoto, one of Ishiro Honda’s former assistants (and someone who got the job based on a recommendation from his senior), The Return of Godzilla successfully brings Godzilla into a new generation while answering the question of why, aside from monetary reasons, the monster should have been resurrected in the first place. It is also one of the few Heisei pictures to really show off its budget: in addition to Teruyoshi Nakano’s dynamic special effects, the picture has an overwhelming sense of scale, gigantic interior and exterior sets, and a lush audio track that, played with a good sound system in the film’s original stereo release, allows for one of the most immersive experiences the Godzilla series has to offer.

    3. Godzilla (1954)

    What is there to say about the original Godzilla that hasn’t been said before? It’s one of the best monster movies in history, because it is so much more than a monster movie.

    4. Two in the Shadow (1967)

    Two in the Shadow was the third film directed by Mikio Naruse I ever saw, but the first to make me realize I had stumbled upon one of the great unsung masters of Japanese cinema. In the final picture he made before his passing in 1969, Naruse takes a plot that, on the surface, might sound like cheap melodrama (a woman falls in love with the man who accidentally killed her husband, and he with her) and slowly develops a believable relationship between two people who want to be together but are forever haunted by the tragedy which binds them. Some critics have argued that Naruse hit a slump in the 1960s. I would argue otherwise: that many of the films he made in the last few years of his life were quite wonderful, with Two in the Shadow closing off his career on a note of near-perfection.

    5. Matango (1963)

    Ishiro Honda’s strengths as a director stemmed from his natural talent for coercing strong performances from his cast and his interest in social commentary, and when these strengths joined forces in service of a good script, the results were often mesmerizing. All of which is on full display in Matango, a picture employing minimal action set pieces in favor of suspense, tension, and intricate character study.

    6. High and Low (1963)

    High and Low

    This may seem to be a recurring theme with my choices by now, but it is always admirable when a director takes what could’ve been simple escapism and goes the extra mile to produce something of genuine depth, something which engages the minds of the audience and pushes them to think while they are being entertained. High and Low might’ve been a fine police procedural under the care of most directors; and in Kurosawa’s hands, it becomes infused with unflattering and sometimes terrifying portraits of social conditions in postwar Japan. As the director Takashi Miike recently told interviewers from the Criterion Collection, “If you study Kurosawa’s filmmaking, you see […] [h]e was exploring the idea of the truth and what the real answers were while he was making the film.” And let it be said the closing shot of this picture ranks as one of the most haunting and hauntingly perfect pieces of celluloid this reviewer has ever come across.

     

    Mathew Webber’s picks

    1. Shin Godzilla (2016)

    2. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

    3. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

    4. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)

    5. Matango (1963)

    6. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

     

    Nicholas Driscoll’s picks

    1. Spirited Away (2001)

    2. Swing Girls (2004)

    3. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

    4. Rodan (1956)

    5. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)

    6. Whisper of the Heart (1995)

     

    Thomas Fairchild’s picks

    1. Spirited Away (2001)

    Spirited Away

    Years ago, I walked into my Japanese language learning class, not knowing what to expect, and saw Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Since then, it’s become my all-time favorite film. I covet it so much that for my film making classes, we used to celebrate our production wrap-ups by watching Spirited Away. I’ll never forget the looks of wonder on my students’ faces seeing Miyazaki’s masterpiece for the first time. You owe it to yourselves to see this wondrous work of art.

    2. Godzilla (1954)

    Ishiro Honda’s Gojira is a cultural milestone. It was instrumental in introducing Western audiences to foreign films, which has since changed pop culture as we know it. More importantly, it helped post-war audiences empathize with a nation still reeling from nuclear trauma. Unlike its predecessors, Gojira’s titular monster is more than just a glorified city-stomper or a giant superhero, he is a victim of the horrors of nuclear war. Godzilla is an animal infected by human hubris, a creature that was minding its own business until a hydrogen bomb turned him against his will into a rampaging monster. But are the humans in this film entirely to blame? No, and that may be the most daunting takeaway. Even if we’re not to blame for the sins of our forefathers, the onus is on us to act because doing nothing seals our fate.

    2. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)

    The third and final chapter in Shusuke Kaneko’s Gamera trilogy proved this genre could compete with modern cinema. G3 will always be one of my favorite monster movies. It has everything: pulse-pounding action scenes, amazingly choreographed monster fights, pitch-perfect kaiju designs (Iris is a sight to behold), compelling human character involvement, a riveting score by Kow Otani, and—last but most certainly not least—it established Gamera as being Godzilla’s equal.

    4. Godzilla (2014)

    Gareth Edward’s Godzilla (2014) currently stands as my favorite Godzilla film. Its divisiveness boldly challenges age-old tropes while introducing new concepts and ideas that reinvigorated the Godzilla mythos. I was initially disappointed by Godzilla’s lackluster screen time; however, my perspective has since changed. I’m a firm believer in the quality over quantity rule. This depiction of Godzilla has become one of my favorites, striking me as a hybridized version of his Showa/Heisei counterparts. LegendaryGoji is as ferocious as he is majestic. In the pantheon of monsters, he is truly king. The humans are, for the most part, compelling. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s portrayal of a veteran trying to get home to his family is palatable. My military friends report feeling a stirring connection to him. Ken Watanabe’s performance as Serizawa was substantial and further expanded upon in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). I’m more disappointed by the treatments of Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen’s characters than by Godzilla’s screen time. Cranston either should’ve been the protagonist or received a respectable extension; Olsen did the best she could with a two-dimensionally written role. Her character should’ve been given a few extra scenes of development (e.g., during a monster attack, we see her risking her life by treating civilians). The MUTOs were surprisingly complex antagonists; I hope to see them return in future MonsterVerse installments. Alexandre Desplat’s score is top-notch and complements Seamus McGarvey’s exemplary cinematography. My appreciation of this film rises every time I see it.

    5. Shin Godzilla (2016)

    Shin Godzilla

    Firstly, let’s take a second and applaud this film for being the first Japanese Godzilla film sporting a magnificent-looking, fully computer-generated Godzilla. Shin Godzilla requires multiple viewings to appreciate fully. Its nuanced commentary on bureaucracy and governmental oversight made for a compelling drama. Technically, there is a human protagonist, and he is a competent main character to follow; however, I see the human cast as a whole acting as a representation of Japan. In the face of atomic destruction, be it at the hand of an irradiated monstrosity or by foreign human powers, Japan persevered through unity, perseverance, and innovation. Japan, like Godzilla, evolved. But in this race between two dominant species, whose evolution will beget the end of the other? Whereas Godzilla is capable of self-evolution, suggesting his transformations are only the beginning, humanity may have reached its limits. While the film deconstructs human politics and societal norms, it grudgingly concedes it’s still the best system we have going for us. For the first time in this planet’s history, a species’ fate is in its hands. What the human race will choose to do with this knowledge, according to Shin Godzilla’s overarching theme, remains elusive.

    6. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

    There’s so much to love about this film. It fully embraces its sci-fi premise while boldly taking the Godzilla series into a new direction. Not only does this film star one of my favorite Godzilla designs (BioGoji is iconic), it succeeds in doing the unimaginable: introducing a brand-new monster that overshadows Godzilla himself. Biollante is arguably the most unique, intricate creature Godzilla has ever faced. While I’d love to see her return with a modern VFX makeover, I can’t imagine it topping her first appearance. Moreover, the human characters are interesting, the score is resonating, and the look and grit is a celebration of the ‘80s decade of film. Besides, Godzilla vs. Biollante will always hold a special place in my Tokusatsu-loving heart because I was watching it when my wife informed me that I was going to be a father.

     

    Andrew Sudomerski’s picks

    1. Godzilla (1954)

    2. Throne of Blood (1957)

    3. Akira (1988)

    4. Kong: Skull Island (2017)

    5. Virus (1980)

    6. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)

     

    François Coulombe’s picks

    1. Samurai Saga (1959)

    2. Godzilla (1954)

    3. A Whistle in My Heart (1959)

    4. Ikiru (1952)

    5. The Legend of the White Serpent (1956)

    6. Sandakan No. 8 (1974)

     


    Feeling like mentioning your own top Toho film picks? Feel free to list them in the comments below.

    General // February 13, 2020
  • Author: Landon Soto  | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    An old fashioned town hidden in the jungles of Japan, claimed to be one of the last few existing places that had an almost direct link to the gods, would have their faith finally tested.

    A young brother and sister duo playfully ran far beyond the town limits; they wanted to know what lay beyond the dense trees and fog. They ran, farther until they reached a shore. White sandy beaches and gorgeous waves playfully washed against the shore, the midday sun offered its warmth.

    The kids played in the sand for a couple of minutes, before the water in the distance began to bubble and churn. A very familiar sound filled the air, a sound the children usually heard at night on rare occasions.

    A large, spiky, brownish-red crustacean poked its head out of the water. Beady red eyes on stalks scoured the area, its eyes caught sight of the siblings. The creature began to slowly make its way toward the children.

    This was the creature that they heard on certain nights. Its cry echoed across the land, but it always disappeared quickly. Now this giant crustacean was actively seeking them out. It would take a few minutes, but they could follow the path home, and warn everyone about the monster!

    *****

    Two men guarding the main town entrance were alarmed to see the two kids come from out the jungle. The children pleaded with them to help warn the town, although skeptic at first, believing it to be a practical joke, they too heard the sound of the creature.

    Immediately, people were urged to hide in their bunkers that protected them from intense storms, the sound of the sea beast grew louder and louder as time passed. One man, an elder, swiftly made his way up the side of a small hill, there he spotted the beast. Ganimes.

    The creature was searching, it didn’t need to rush, and food would come soon. The old man, taken aback, swiftly made his way to a shrine that had a sun symbol painted on it. The man put his hand on the symbol and began to mutter. The symbol in the wooden shrine began to glow a bright golden light.

    Gray clouds rolled in, rain poured down onto the settlement, Ganimes was here. The mutant crustacean searched eagerly, unable to find any sign of the people. The monster was close to demolishing the whole town, but it stopped, it felt the presence of another being.

    A pillar of light struck the ground behind Ganimes, ripping a large hole open in the gray clouds, exposing the blue sky. The sudden brightness caught the attention of the crustacean, mesmerized by the sight. A silhouette formed as the light faded, revealed to be the legendary warrior, Utsuno Ikusagami!

    Light bounced off the silver and gold armor of Utsuno Ikusagami, the golden wings on his back shimmered in the sunlight. Ganimes screeched as it raised its terrible claws, charging the shining warrior. Utsuno Ikusagami easily stopped Ganimes, his metal hands gripped the claws of the monster, the silver and gold guardian easily hurled the crustacean overhead, Ganimes landed far from the village, trees flattened under its spiked carapace, mud shot into the air.

    Ganimes screeched in shock as the monster propped itself upward, trying its luck again, the crustacean charged once more. Utsuno turned around to face the creature and stood his ground. Ganimes lunged at the sun god and spewed a bubbly blob that splashed against the helmet of Utsuno Ikusagami.

    Utsuno Ikusagami let out a low grumbling noise as he clutched his face. Ganimes soon slammed into the god, the attack forced the sun warrior to stumble, Ganimes shrieked in pleasure as Utsuno fell to one knee, still clutching the front of his helmet.

    Ganimes screeched, ready to tear apart the hero of the sun. The crustacean menace charged once more, oblivious to Utsuno Ikusagami’s right arm, suspiciously placed behind his back.

    Ganimes raised both his claws, ready to batter and beat the god. Perhaps there was a delectable meat inside that shell of his. However, Utsuno had other plans. The shining warrior immediately rose to both feet and swung his right arm upward, the sword of Karasai in his hand! Ganimes was stunned, but its mind was soon flooded with pain as the blade cut both pincers off cleanly, spurts of blue blood sprayed from both stumps as exposed crab meat met the breeze.

    Ganimes cried out in pain, the sun warrior had successfully baited the crustacean, humoring it before getting serious. Utsuno switched the sword to his left hand and punched the crustacean square in the head, blue blood trickled down its spiky face. The crustacean stumbled about, letting out a low screech.

    Normally Utsuno wouldn’t be so violent toward an animal, even the giant ones; however, he knew the truth. As soon as he arrived, he felt the malice that emanated from the creature, the host inside was extraterrestrial. Yes, this beast was not like the large blue allosaurus, giant primate ‘god’, Kong, or even Godzilla.

    This hostile alien, Yog, took a harmless creature from mother Earth, and mutated it beyond recognition. He could see the countless people this thing had already slaughtered, solely to carry out its own twisted, sinister plot. This vile intruder had gone too far, now it had to answer to him.

    The golden medallion on Utsuno Ikusagami’s helmet shined bright as particles of sunlight were absorbed into it. The Yog creature lifted its head seeing the bright light, the last thing it would ever see.

    A large beam of light fired from the medallion and collided with Ganimes, its body violently exploded, the exoskeleton immediately charred, and the Yog virus was instantly vaporized. The beam stopped and allowed the dust to settle.

    A large circle of scorched Earth took the place Ganimes was standing before. Utsuno Ikusagami turned and saw the old man on the hill waving; the sun god gave his old friend thumbs up before fading into millions and millions of sun particles, floating back to the heavens above.

    The siblings who encountered Ganimes, stared in awe as they caught a short glimpse of the legendary Utsuno Ikusagami, the warrior who saved their lives, and stopped the dreaded sea monster.

    Winner: Utsuno Ikusagami

    K.W.C. // February 10, 2020
  • Over the last few years I have seen a BUNCH of Toho films that I never got around to reviewing, which seems like a lost opportunity as Toho still releases a lot of movies each year, and most of them get very little attention—plus a few more famous ones from yesteryear that I watched, but have no plan to write full reviews of. There were quite a few, so let’s get started!

     

    Gintama (2017)

    Not being a big fan of the manga, I did not have very high hopes for the live-action adaptation, but being a sucker for fantasy/action movies, I went to see this one anyway… and I had a really good time! Sure, the plot is higgledy-piggledy, and a lot of stuff seems kind of hodge-podge dumped on the screen. However, everything is so good-natured, the fun infected like a fun-gi, and soon I had a smile sprouting like a mushroom and—what on earth am I writing? I had a good time. Are the special effects good? Decidedly not much of the time, but there are purposely poor effects (like rubber animal masks, or bizarre beetle costumes) bashed together for grins, not for gawping, and there are some pretty cool moments, such as an unexpected shout-out to Nausicaa of all things. While there are some real acting duds, the mains are fine. Go with mind open, and you will have a stupid good time.

    Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)

    Distributed by Toho, here we have a new Ghibli movie that isn’t really Ghibli. Really, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director of the excellent Secret World of Arrietty (2010) and Marnie Was There (2014), has made what is essentially a Ghibli movie in all but name, and I think the resultant film is worthy, even if it is not as fantastic as Miyazaki’s best (but what is?). The story, about a young girl who gets yoinked into a magical kingdom after poking about where she doesn’t belong, and then dragged further into rescuing a friend and changing the world, would fit perfectly into early Ghibli, and the animation is absolutely gorgeous. Haunting music, delightful characters, and magical storytelling—this is good stuff. But it is also deliberately derivative. Everything from the character designs, to many story beats, to certain beasts and monsters—even the new logo of the nascent movie Studio Ponoc founded by Yonebayashi screams Ghibli. For that reason, to me the film feels like it doesn’t quite have a life of its own despite the undeniable quality of the picture, and I Just wish Yonebayashi and his team had struck out and created something more uniquely their own.

    Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972)

    Honestly I can’t remember if it was 2016 or 2017 that I finally got around to watching this spectacle of silly, but this is a kaiju film that I wish could get a bit more attention, so I want to give a quick shout-out here. Daigoro vs. Goliath is unapologetically silly, with monster action so childish that some fans have disowned the work—and there is no doubt that the plot machinations are sometimes downright embarrassing (kaiju sized water closet?). However, for me, the sheer audacity of dumb that this film strives to be makes it even more endearing, like an elaborate crayon messterpiece scribbled with love by your children. If you haven’t seen this bonkers bit of monster history, don’t hesitate to get your copy and plop down for a great old school monster shindig!

    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable Chapter 1 (2017)

    Being mostly unfamiliar with the source material, my expectations were quite low when I attended this film back in August. This film was also directed by Takashi Miike, and while I have enjoyed some of his films, I tend to find them uneven, and I was no fan of his adaptation of Terra Formars from 2016. However, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was one of my favorite movie experiences of 2017. I loved, loved, loved the main character and his pompadour hair and rough-guy punk talk, I adored the increasingly off-the-wall powers and plot twists, and I was really impressed by how the entire film just swaggers with style. The story, about a punk kid with super powers fighting a group of delinquents traveling about killing people in hopes of creating an army of supermen, is not particularly new, but everything is delivered with oomph and pizzazz, and the special effects were actually quite good. I really hope Jojo gets the sequel(s) the studios were hoping for.

    Ajin (2017)

    What if you could not die? If every time your body was killed, you came back to life, feeling the pain, but overcoming it, healing into something new? And what if the world hated you for it? Ajin, a live-action adaptation of the manga of the same name, explores that scenario with dark and frenetic results. The story presented comes through a gimlet lens in which the scientific community, government, and the public at large are depicted as paranoid and flawed if not downright evil. This is a world in which the titular nigh-immortal Ajin are hunted down and viciously experimented upon via neverending torture. The resulting conflicts are the center of the story, as two Ajin take opposite sides and murder each other with crazed abandon. The manga upon which the movie is based is creative and darkly clever, and the movie adopts many of the same tricks and twists—perhaps, as is often the case with movies like this, cramming in too much story for its own good. However, the main characters are acted competently (even if the same cannot be said for some of the more minor characters, particularly a female Ajin), and the action is often visceral and exciting, with the film’s depiction of the Ajin-generated IBMs coming off quite well. Not the best live-action manga adaptation of the year, but far from the worst or most disappointing (here’s looking at you, Full Metal Alchemist).

    Ghost Man (1954)

    This year I was planning to review the Toho Invisible Man film, and in preparation I watched all the Universal Invisible Man films, the Daiei Invisible Man films, and even the Daiei invisible samurai films (I was shocked they have been so overlooked in the west). Also as part of my preparations, and also with an eye to reviewing it as well, I picked up Ghost Man. Directed by Motoyoshi Oda, I first stumbled on the title while reading David Kalat’s Godzilla book, in which he names the film but seems to think it may have been in the Toho Mutated Man series. Despite the fact that the titular Ghost Man is wrapped up like the Invisible Man traditionally is depicted, the Ghost Man film does not feature any mutated monsters—just a psycho wrapped in gauze. (Interestingly, despite the earlier Daiei film featuring an invisible man clothed in bandages, the Toho Invisible Man film opts for a different sort of camouflage…) Given that the director also made Invisible Man the same year, I was really curious about this film—and it has its highlights, most notably a poster for the same year’s Godzilla release, before that film had its wide release!!! However, for me at least, this movie was quite disturbing. The movie is based on a book in the Detective Kindaichi series, and follows our brilliant detective as he tries to track down a nasty serial killer who strips women naked, murders them, and poses their bare bodies as art objects. The movie features lots and lots of nudity, usually in the form of the abused and murdered women—and I was just not expecting that, and found the proceeds frankly tasteless and awful. The film seems competently made, but the nastiness really put me off.

    Invisible Man (1954)

    I hope I can go back and give this one a proper review someday, but I will just give my brief impressions here for now. To be honest, I really enjoyed this film! While I think my colleague Patrick’s critique is spot on, nevertheless I really liked the characters and found the story to be quite compelling. The story centers on a former special forces operative from the Japanese army who became invisible as part of a military experiment and is now trying to live a normal life. When the public finds out about the invisible men operatives, though, some criminals take advantage of the public outcry and paranoia, and eventually the real invisible man is cornered into revealing himself and fighting the criminals. There are a number of flaws in the way that the plot plays itself out (again, Patrick does a great job enumerating these), but I still greatly enjoyed the film from start to finish, and wish that the movie had an official release Stateside. It deserves more recognition as the exciting, interesting tokusatsu footnote that it is.

    Come Marry Me (1966)

    One of the few non-tokusatsu films in Ishiro Honda’s oeuvre that had an official DVD release, Come Marry Me tells the story of… well, I am honestly starting to forget a lot of the main plot details. The film is kind of a lighthearted romantic film with comedic elements, with the plot concerning a young woman caught between her career and two men vying for her romantic affections. After much drama and dating, she makes her fateful decision—and I was honestly surprised by the outcome. While I found the film quite watchable with energetic and sincere performances, obviously the plot has not stuck with me very well. This is a somewhat insubstantial but perfectly inoffensive romance from a legendary director stuck doing monster flicks. As my Japanese improves, I hope to revisit this one for a more complete understanding and hopefully a better appreciation for what it is as well.

    Ringu (1998)

    Why on earth do they call this movie “Ringu” in America? Leaving the Japanese pronunciation makes the name sound ridiculous in English! Of course, even leaving the name as “Ring” is a confusing title, but I digress. Anyway, I finally sat through the entire legendary “Ringu” film and witnessed the beginning of the long-haired-freaky-people horror boom. And the film has lost some of its impact, at least for me. Unfortunately, watching the film now after the concept of monster women with long unwashed hair has become an overused cliché, the concept of a nasty wet corpse-like woman crawling out of a TV and scaring people so that they have a heart attack and die seems… unconvincing anymore. Still, the film has a great mystery plot going as the protagonists race against time to figure out why the shampoo-impaired Sadako wants to kill everyone, and the mystery drives the story and makes it exciting and engaging for horror fans.

    Destiny: Story of Kamakura (2017)

    Being a huge fan of the Always films, I was pretty flipping excited when I heard there was going to be a new film from the same team of creators—but this time with yokai monsters! And while the end result does not match up to the highs of the Always series, the film still has gobs of sweetness to share. The main relationship of the story between an author and his much younger, absolutely adorable bride as they learn to get along with each others’ quirks, and the quirks of the spirit world they find themselves entangled within, is very charming—at least through the first half of the film. Towards the end, when the story switches gears into a more action-adventure mode, much of the charm is forsaken for what came across to me as CG-glutted, poorly conceived action set pieces. A large monster appears towards the end which looks pretty cool, but the face-off between the beasty and our heroes is undermined by weak writing and shallow world building. Then again, given the world of CGI yokai adventures such as The Great Yokai War and the live-action Kitaro films, Destiny compares relatively well, and to be honest the tendency of many films in this genre is to be bloated and kind of slipshod in the storytelling department. At least this one has very likable leads and some rather imaginative set pieces.

    Let’s Go, Jets! (2017)

    When this movie was released last year, I was tempted to go see it in theaters because I have become something of a Suzu Hirose fan (even though almost every role I see her play is pretty similar), and because I love movies about dance. This one is based on a true story apparently, and the real dance groups are even shown briefly in the credits sequence. Let’s Go, Jets! follows the well-worn tropes of underdog sports/competition dramas—completely unknown group of amateurs in a small, largely unremarkable city/area/village (in this case, a small city in Japan) are inspired by a go-get-‘em coach to work hard at a sport/competitive something-or-other (in this case, cheer dance—which is not quite the same as cheerleading), and go after the biggest competition in their area of expertise (with cheer dancing, there is a world competition each year staged in the USA). This movie takes those old tropes and tries to whip some life into them with spunky performances and spunky music, and Suzu is pretty danged lovable in the lead as she bounds through the thoroughly formulaic script while encouraging the usual band of rag-tag wannabes (the scornful dance pro, the socially awkward punk kid, the overweight one, etc). For this kind of movie, it is still pretty fun to watch but… I watch dancing movies to see dancing, and this film teases the dances over and over and over with no pay-off until the very end. In the middle of the film we see our heroines dash out on to the stage to compete… and then the next scene is them running back off having won their latest competition. We see them practice a lot, but never see a real dance routine until the final ten minutes—and even then, it really is not that impressive, and is made worse by a pair of Caucasian pseudo-actors enthusiastically delivering super-cringe lines. I found this one to be pretty mediocre when I watched it on a flight at the end of the year.

    My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (2017)

    Another movie I watched on a flight to the USA this year, My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday is a sort of supernatural romance type film along the lines of something like The Girl in the Sunny Place or Twilight or Beauty and the Beast. It is difficult to talk about the movie at all without going into spoilers, but in a nutshell (or at least in a train car) our protagonist sees and instantly falls in love with a totally hot babe and, despite being a super shy guy, somehow musters up the chutzpah to chase her down on the platform and confess his impromptu feelings to her face. And instead of being creeped out or offering him a picture of her seven-foot-tall karate-champion boyfriend or otherwise dashing his hopes completely, said girl of extreme hotness is all for the hanging out and the dating. Pretty soon Mr. Suddenly Lucky In Love and Miss Terious Hotness are getting along well, although the lady side of the equation keeps crying all the time for some reason—and when she reveals the reason, the story gets a lot more interesting—or the audience finds the premise so ridiculous that they tune out. (No, she is not a cat or a werewolf or an angel). For me, while the story does not strictly make sense on a logical level, the paradox that is created by the central romance is tenderly and thoughtfully portrayed by the mains, and the conundrum created by their relationship creates a sort of poignant reminder of the transience of human life and the fragility of relationships which nevertheless affect us to the core of our beings. Nana Komatsu, who I felt was so wooden and frankly terrible in Bakuman, is much better here, and I for one am really glad to see the growth.

    Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (2017)

    I am cheating with this one because I saw it in 2018 on my flight back to Japan, and yet it is hard for me not to categorize it with the films I saw last year since it was part of that round trip journey that sort of wrapped up my 2017 activities. Let Me Eat Your Pancreas has to be one of the strangest names for a film I have ever seen—and I have seen it often. The film and the book upon which it is based have proved quite popular in Japan, with several of my students recommending the film version to me (and others recommending me not to see it). Some friends visited me in August when this film was still playing in theaters, and when I was reading off the titles of the films at a local movie theater we were considering attending, I read this title and received a chorus of hoots and laughter, and one friend declared that I could make up anything I wanted as the translations of the titles and they would have little choice but to believe me. Well, believe me when I say that while this movie does not live up to its title in strangeness, the formula-heavy story is still told well with solid performances all around. Let Me Eat Your Pancreas is another story in the “romance with a spunky sick girl” genre which are ubiquitous in Japan. In this one, our stolid, reticent, emotionally stunted loser male protagonist (checking off all the usual lame-o boxes for romantic leads in Japanese fiction) finds himself the object of attention by the most popular girl in school. As she begins spending time with him, she quickly reveals her secret that she is hiding from even her closest friends: terminal pancreatic cancer. The ensuing relationship was enough to keep me awake and interested despite the massive sleep deprivation that comes with international travel and a festering cold assaulting my respiratory system mid-flight (which is more than I can say for Wolf Warrior II and Kung Fu Yoga). The story is not completely predictable either, though all the story beats essentially are—this is Crying Out for Love at the Center of the World 2017 edition pretty much. Yeah, the movie is drenched in sap and dreamy, soft lighting… but for appreciators of this sort of frothy, romantic bilge (such as myself), you can do a lot worse than Pancreas.

    And that’s it for 2017! I hope you enjoyed reading, and here’s to another great year of movies!

     

    2018

    Kids on the Slope (2018)

    One of the pleasant surprises for me recently in my anime-viewing career was the beguiling Kids on the Slope, based on the manga of the same name. The story, centered around an awkward boy moving to Nagasaki and being pulled unwillingly into a friendship with a violent but warm-hearted half-Caucasian classmate, is often surprisingly touching, with endearingly sketched characterizations and a focus on jazz (the aforementioned main characters are both musicians) that adds a lot of emotion to the mix. 2018 saw a decent live-action adaptation of the film… but also a perfectly forgettable adaptation. I say that because for the life of me, even after revisiting a trailer for the film, I can barely remember anything about the film. Nana Komatsu also feels a bit miscast as love interest Ritsuko, as Ritsuko was more of a girl-next-door sort of beautiful in the comics, and Komatsu is so strikingly gorgeous it doesn’t seem to fit. Still, from the fragments of my memory I can’t say the movie was bad… but I can’t altogether recommend it either.

    Before the Coffee Gets Cold (2018)

    This movie actually made a much bigger impression on me than Kids on the Slope, though the impression was not entirely good. I love the sort of out-there premise the movie has, first of all. The gist is that a magical coffee shop exists, and in that coffee shop there is one particular table at which people who want to talk with the dead can do so, though with a number of conditions. The way it works is that applicant must order coffee and sit at the table, at which point they go back in time to meet the person they want to see who has died. The thing is, that person must have visited the coffee shop in the past—if not, then it’s impossible to meet them again. Also, it’s impossible to change the past. You can have a real conversation, but you can’t change the future. Finally, you have to finish your coffee before it cools—if you forget and talk too long, you become stuck, and your ghost will haunt the coffee shop forever. The ways that the movie plays with the rules of this premise are the source of the movie’s real enjoyment, and there are some clever twists at times, and some emotional moments. That said, some of the applicants’ stories are a bit overdone, while on the other hand a romance between a waitress at the shop and a young man felt underdone and poorly motivated. Still, for fans of high-concept, sort of fantasy Hallmark type movies (are there fans of such a specific genre?), I actually would recommend this.

    Gintama 2 (2018)

    2017’s Gintama was a big hit in Japan, so one year later an inevitable sequel followed close after, with mixed results. My coworker actually thought that Gintama 2 was far superior to the previous film, but for me I felt it was a step down. While some of the humorous sequences are still quite funny, and the casting was great, with even more amusing cameos and references to other manga, this particular film felt like it was trying too hard. Sometimes the jokes drag on a few steps too far, and the same goes for the action scenes, which, while crazy and stupid, rarely feel like they have stakes. Late in the movie, too, there is a fight so over-the-top melodramatic I just couldn’t. I couldn’t take it. To me, this felt like a lesser live-action remake, and I was once again pretty sad that the Jojo movie did not receive a sequel after the excellent movie last year. I enjoyed both Gintama films, but ultimately I just find them less satisfying as a whole.

    Mirai (2018)

    I am a big fan of Mamoru Hosoda’s films, especially The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and The Beast and His Boy, so I was greatly looking forward to this release last year, and even went out of my way to attend the film on the first day of release despite being stressed out with work. Unfortunately, this was easily my least favorite of Hosoda’s films so far, despite it being so personal a film for him. On the plus side, the movie has really pretty animation, which captures so much of a child’s world, but also is so accomplished at depicting the movements of a child, the stumble-walk and general maladroit bumbling. The attention to those sorts of small, mundane details make the movie much better than it would otherwise be. However, the premise of the film never really grabbed my attention very well, and the movie never establishes a real sense of narrative tension—at least it didn’t for me. The conceit of the film is that a bratty young toddler is jealous of his new sister—and then he starts getting visited by that same sister from the future, as well as getting transported through time to visit other family members or go on other adventures. These adventures our “hero” goes on are basically like dreams, and so the little kid never seems to be in real danger, and I never really understood why he was going on these trips since he seemed so young as to be incapable of understanding the important lessons he might otherwise take away from them. Plus, each adventure never felt to me to build up to anything. Even when later the boy has a stressful experience in a dream train station, the supposedly scary sequence had me wondering when the movie would end because I couldn’t get invested. When Mirai was released Stateside, it received mostly positive reviews, so you may well get a lot more out of the film than I did—but still, I cannot in good conscience recommend this one.

    My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (2018)

    When I learned that one of the new heroes that appears in this movie was based on Godzilla, I got pretty excited and used it as an excuse to pick up the entire manga run up to that point in English and read through them—something I had been intending to do anyway as I had so often heard of what high quality the Shonen Jump series supposedly achieved. And while now I can vouch for that quality personally, at least in some respects (great character design and fun characters, great art, exciting battles), the actual MOVIE felt somewhat disappointing, if still a decent time-waster.

    The problem with movies like this is that they are inevitably filler. They can’t affect anything in the main story because that is unfolding in the manga, so they always have to be written in such a way as to be exciting WITHOUT making any major revelations or causing any character changes that would reflect on the main story. Plus they have to find ways to shoehorn in all the characters so that the fans can go and see their favorites on the big screen. That’s a lot of constrictions for any story, so it’s no wonder movies like this usually are of middling quality or worse. I think MHA:TH works under those constraints better than many, with an amusing and sometimes exciting story away from Japan and a new (throwaway) villain. But don’t go in expecting anything game-changing.

    As for the Godzilla-based here, Godzillo (not to be confused with the offbeat novel Gojiro), he barely shows up and just basically walks by in one scene, letting out a big signature roar before disappearing from the story. Seems like a waste to me!

    General // February 9, 2020
  • It’s been months since updates have stopped for Godzilla: Defense Force. That said, the game is still quite available. So for those still playing the game, or those just starting, here is a Godzilla: Defense Force card tier list. This should help players decide what cards to focus on or what cards to play.

    This tier list is “end game”. That’s being defined as after a player reaches about a dozen stages into the Moon and has a large number of artifacts. This tier list also assumes the player is using card stacking. The trick involves clicking the mission tab, pausing the game to let G-cells regenerate to full, and then clicking the card selection to choose new cards to play. Afterwards the trick can be repeated to play even more cards. Using this allows players to utilize 6, 9 or even 12-15 cards at a time depending on the level of the DNA Computer.

    If you choose not to do this trick, the tier list is pretty much limited to the S tier as these are the best cards to formulate a three card combo from. That said, even if you do card stack, it can be time consuming and not efficient for easier bosses. In which case it helps to know what cards to focus on so you can play as few cards as possible to achieve victory, speeding your run. This tier list is focused on that as well.

    S Tier: Godzilla '67, Keizer Ghidorah, Godzilla '03, Destoroyah Perfect Form

    S Tier: Godzilla ’67, Keizer Ghidorah, Godzilla ’03, Destoroyah Perfect Type

     

    Godzilla ’67

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Attack +360%  (+180% for each additional level)

    This is the top card in the game. All the best combos include Godzilla ’67. Credit belongs to the fact that it boosts all units with an attack power that’s unmatched by any other card in the game.

    Keizer Ghidorah

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Plane Turret Attack +300%  (+150% for each additional level)

    This game is all about multiplying all boost cards with type specific boosts. Essentially the game works like this: if you mix Godzilla ’67 with Godzilla ’02 the “all damage” boosts are seen as similar and add together. However, if you mix Godzilla ’67 with Keizer Ghidorah the damage boosts multiply instead, granting a huge attack boost to all turret and plane units. Essentially the “all modifier” type is considered different from the unit specific modifier, making mixing the two a priority for card combos. This works for attack, critical damage and production speed. Of these, attack boost is the most universally beneficial and Keizer Ghidorah leads the pack for type specific damage cards, being based on the two best unit types in the game.

    Godzilla ’03

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Production Speed +120%  (+60% for each additional level)

    Dependent on your artifacts, for most of the late game Godzilla ’03 is part of an incredible three card combo with Godzilla ’67 + Keizer Ghidorah. This is because the production speed modifier works nicely with the multiplied damage of those two titans. Not only that but the boost is visible on the listed DPS, which can help certain elements like the money generated by the Shobijin ’66 ally.

    Destoroyah Perfect Type

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Plane Turret Critical Attack +1000%  (+500% for each additional level)

    While the game features considerable focus on the skill attack cards (the hologram cards), the true end game is critical damage. This is an end game only investment, though, as unless your first two artifacts are the FM Missile and the Tracer Bullet the benefit will take a long time to materialize. When it finally does, usually with maxed card levels, the player will generate huge damage that will melt opponents. Destoroyah Perfect Type is the most important card of this playstyle. His damage actually multiples with the Tracer Bullet artifact, unlike Godzilla ’01, and he is the only four star card in the game that boosts turret critical damage. If the player has a high level FM Missile and Tracer Bullet, Destoroyah easily becomes the third best card in the game and functions as part of the best three card combo with Godzilla ’67 + Keizer Ghidorah. In fact, the only reason why he’s not above Godzilla ’03 is because he requires those two artifacts to be at his peak.

    A Tier: Godzilla ’00/Godzilla ’68, Godzilla ’01

     

    Godzilla ’00/Godzilla ’68

    Duration: 30 seconds
    All Critical Rate +24%/+20% (+12%/+10% for each additional level)

    These cards help with the all important critical chance. As a player moves more into a critical playstyle, and starts to do larger card combos, either of these cards can play a key role in making those critical hits land all the time. Of the two, Godzilla ’00 is flat out better as at level 7 this card reaches a +96% critical chance. However, both cards can easily hit 100% when combined with the FM Missile artifact. So if for some reason the player prefers the Godzilla ’68 card, they can use that instead with the same result as long as they have that artifact.

    Godzilla ’01

    Duration: 20 seconds
    All Critical Attack +1000%  (+500% for each additional level)

    Godzilla ’01 is the only all critical damage card in the game. This means he can combine with Destoroyah Perfect Type for some lethal damage output as their modifiers multiply together. So why is Godzilla ’01 so much lower than Destoroyah? The reason is the Tracer Bullet. For some reason, this artifact seems to multiply with Destoroyah but works to add to the boost of Godzilla ’01. This results in a dramatic performance difference in combos with and without Destoroyah that use this artifact, as can be seen in the data we compiled here. That said, 6th best card in the game is still a great position to be in when doing six card combos isn’t that much effort.

    B-Tier

    B Tier: Mothra ’92, Star Falcon/Moonlight SY-3, Mechagodzilla ’74, Godzilla ’02

     

    Mothra ’92

    Duration: 30 seconds
    All Attack +360% (+180% for each additional level – caps at level 6)

    For those looking to go beyond a six card combo, Mothra ’92 stands far above other options. The greatest benefit is the huge duration that this card lasts, at 30 seconds. This makes it easy with the DNA computer to even reach a duration that covers the entire match against a Godzilla. The damage boost it gives to all units, while below Godzilla ’67 due to capping at level 6, is also sizeable. Sadly, this card is very hard to get. If you don’t have it, no worries, the Godzilla ’02 card can be used instead in a nine card combo.

    Star Falcon/Moonlight SY-3

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Plane Turret / Vehicle Turret Production Speed +100% (+50% for each additional level)

    The production speed effect of these cards multiply with Godzilla ’03 for a huge production speed boost. This not only increases damage output but also visible DPS. While this is not as optimal as mixing damage boosts or critical damage boosts, it does still hold a large benefit and makes the B tier for that reason. Of the two mentioned here, the Star Falcon is the better card. However, both can be hard to get and the Moonlight SY-3 is a good substitute. That said, you should use one or the other but not both. The reason being that increasing production speed too much slows down the game, making it hard to combo cards which can result in a negative effect. It’s also why Godzilla ’99 isn’t in the higher tiers.

    Mechagodzilla ’74

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Vehicle Turret Attack +300%  (+150% for each additional level)

    Not only is Mechagodzilla ’74 a great card, but he’s unlocked early in the game in London. As a result newer players looking for a good long term investment can feel safe putting card powder into the original Mechagodzilla. As for why the card stands out, it’s similar to Keizer Ghidorah but boosting tanks and turrets. The turret is the optimal part, adding to Kezier Ghidorah and then multiplying with the all damage modifiers, although the tank part can help when progressing in the game.

    Godzilla ’02

    Duration: 20 seconds
    All Attack +300%  (+150% for each additional level)

    Unlocked in Sydney, this card can give players the first taste of the power in adding all attack modifiers with type specific modifiers. While it’s great as a growth card, it’s also a safe long term investment as if you are playing a nine card combo and don’t have Mothra ’92 then this is your card. If you do have Mothra ’92… well then this could be your tenth card, and it’s for that reason that this makes it into the B tier is that level of utility.

    C Tier: Mothra '04, Mothra Leo, Titanosaurus, Cretaceous King Ghidorah

    C Tier: Mothra ’04, Mothra Leo, Titanosaurus, Cretaceous King Ghidorah

     

    Mothra ’04, Mothra Leo, Titanosaurus

    Duration: 16 seconds
    Plane Turret / Vehicle Turret / Troop Turret Critical Attack +375% (+187.5% for each additional level)

    This is known as the “pushing your luck” trio. Essentially you probably don’t want to do a card combo that’s 10 or more cards often. It’s time consuming and at some point it’s more efficient to time travel than keep struggling out wins with gigantic combos. …however, some times you just really want to beat the opponent you are up against, regardless of how long it might take. In those scenarios, these three are your best bet to get a ludicrously long combo as their boosts to turret critical attack damage will have the most impact.

    Cretaceous King Ghidorah

    Duration: 16 seconds
    Plane Turret Production Speed +35% (+17.5% for each additional level)

    Don’t have the Star Falcon or the Moonlight SY-3? Don’t worry, a lot of players don’t as they are hard cards to get. For those players that don’t, Cretaceous King Ghidorah works as a poor man’s substitute in the normal nine card combo to get a type boost mixed with an all boost around production speed.

    D Tier: Mothra '01/King Ghidorah '01/Mecha-King Ghidorah, Rodan '64, MOTHER/GX-813 Griffon

    D Tier: Mothra ’01/King Ghidorah ’01/Mecha-King Ghidorah, Rodan ’64, MOTHER/GX-813 Griffon

     

    Mothra ’01/King Ghidorah ’01/Mecha-King Ghidorah

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Vehicle Plane / Troop Vehicle / Troop Plane Attack +300%  (+150% for each additional level)

    This is mostly a “growth tier”. These are cards that aren’t optimal, but it recognizes that even toward the end game you will be in situations where your most powerful unit is not a turret. In fact, it takes getting to around stage 29 or 30 on the Moon before you can max a turret on New York ($1.77xx for the final upgrade to the Railgun Tower). Consequently, you can have your most powerful unit actually be a plane, a tank… or even a troop. In those cases, these three cards can be used to swap out either Keizer Ghidorah or Mechagodzilla ’74 in your combo depending on the unit type.

    Rodan ’64

    Duration: 13 seconds
    Turret Production Speed +25% (+12.5% for each additional level)

    Poor Rodan. Before allies came into the game, he actually saw a fair bit of use. He combos really well with Godzilla ’67 + Keizer Ghidorah while their total G-cells were 8, which is the max. This made him efficient for using quick three card combos on easier opponents before you have to start card stacking. However, with allies that can boost the number of G-cells to 9 or increase regeneration, Rodan ’64 becomes a dark horse pick only for those looking to use an ally that generates Moonstones or produces money for a bit longer in a run.

    MOTHER/GX-813 Griffon

    Duration: 20 seconds
    Troop Vehicle / Vehicle Plane Critical Attack +1000%  (+500% for each additional level)

    Again, you have to reach stage 29 or 30 on the Moon before you can max a turret on New York. As a result, you might need a card to replace Destoroyah (Perfect Type) in your card combo. This is where the MOTHER or GX-813 Griffon come into play. They can boost other units to help fill that gap. …the only problem is that these cards are very hard to get, resulting in very few players actually using them when they need them.

    F Tier: Skill Attack cards, everything else

     

    Skill Attack cards

    It’s easy to rag on the Skill Attack cards, aka the hologram cards that summon a monster to attack the opponent. To be fair, though, they do have a use as the player is initially progressing in the game and are quite powerful at that stage. The main problem is they don’t synergize with critical attack, which becomes the end game strategy. In addition, there are a lot of skill attack cards. It feels like the player is constantly getting a more powerful one, which makes them bad investments even in the short term.

    Everything else

    Any critical chance card that isn’t Godzilla ’68 or Godzilla ’03 is worthless. In fact, there are a lot of useless cards in the game that the player will never use. Others might serve a one time or several time use, like the Ultrasonic Wave Generator or King Ghidorah ’64, but the player will quickly outgrow them and never look back.

    General // February 2, 2020
  • Author: Matthew Williams | Banner: Matthew Williams

    The Garogas were desperate to find a way to wipe out humanity and the last members of Peaceland, the Zone Family. Throughout their previous missions to conquer Earth, they had sent out specialized kaiju of their own creation, dubbed the “Terror-Beasts,” and had sent them to lay waste to the populated planet. But every time, their greatest arch-nemesis, Zone Fighter, would show up along with his family to stop them. Red Spark was the first to fall, then Destro-King, followed by Needlar. Each monster they had sent were defeated by Zone Fighter and the reformed Godzilla. Not even the two kaiju that were once controlled by the Space Hunter Nebula M, Gigan and the second King Ghidorah, stood a chance to defeat them. It was until the death of Grotogauros where the destructive alien race finally had it with this war, and had to retreat. And to that day, it was thanks to Zone Fighter and the Zone Family who foiled the Garogas’ plan of conquering the earth, where they were never heard from again.

    At least, that was what the Garoga wanted them to think.

    They had fled, but not nearly as far as humanity thought. A new fortress had been built on Mars, with three Terror-Beasts rebuilt to guard it. The bipedal insectoid Wargilgar, the beaked cyborg Spyler, and the drill headed Zandora. Resources were scarce for the Garoga in this solar system, forcing them to look for other methods of building an attack force. And years of watching the Earth from a distance finally paid off for them one fateful day in 1992…

    In Japan, a battle between two titans was drawing to a close. A golden, bipedal dragon with three serpentine necks screeched at his foe, colossal fan-like wings kicking up heavy winds as his twin tails beat the ground. Opposite him was a black saurian, with bone-white spines jutting out of his back and running all the way down to the end of his tail.

    The King Ghidorah currently battling was not the same which had terrorized the stars for eons. This was a copy created by people from the future, designed to wreak havoc upon Japan in the past to ensure it never achieved global dominance. But to the Garoga watching, hidden in the clouds until the perfect moment, that didn’t matter. What mattered was that he was the near-perfect image of the King of Terror.

    The three-headed monster lunged forward, wrapping his center neck around Godzilla’s throat. The nuclear behemoth, far different from the one the Garoga had contended with two decades ago, clawed at his foe in an attempt to escape. The grip only tightened, crushing the saurian’s windpipe. Soon, foam began pouring from his mouth as blackness overtook his vision.

    That was, until the spines on his back flashed blue, a moment before a wave of nuclear force erupted from Godzilla’s body in all directions. The Nuclear Pulse sent King Ghidorah flying back, smoke curling off his body as screams left his three jaws. Suddenly, the clouds above them parted, as a Garoga ship descended at rapid speeds. A tractor beam left its underside, surrounding the golden dragon in a shimmering field of energy as it lifted him off the ground.

    Godzilla, taking in the leftover energy of the pulse, charged up another ray. Azure bolts of energy danced along his spines for a brief second, until he fired a ray with two purple spirals around it. The Spiral Ray slammed into the restrained dragon’s stomach, blasting away flesh and leaving deep burns. King Ghidorah howled for a moment until he went unconscious. The Garoga ship ascended as soon as it had descended, King Ghidorah in tow. Godzilla charged another ray to blast the ship out of the sky. The flying saucer disappeared into the clouds, which were soon parted by an atomic ray which struck nothing.

    The three-headed monster was transported to the fortress, and placed inside a colossal chamber deep within. The room was filled with gas designed to keep the dragon asleep, as the scientists from a control room above the main chamber monitored their capture. As the Garoga think tanks discussed how to bend King Ghidorah’s will to their own, alarms signaled that the dragon was beginning to stir. As the Garoga rushed to up the dosage of gas, more alarms blared.

    Six snake-like eyes opened, taking in a completely different scene to the one he had last been in. The wound in his stomach was healed, but he could tell not all was right. King Ghidorah flapped his wings, pushing himself off the ground and onto his feet. More slits in the walls opened, pumping more knockout gas into the chamber. Finally, King Ghidorah looked up to see the scientists.

    All was silent for a moment as gears churned in the three-headed monster’s mind.

    Gravity Beams tore into the walls, reducing them to rubble with ease. The Garoga turned to flee, only for a single ray to shatter the pane of glass they had been looking through. In an instant, some of the greatest minds of a galactic empire had been turned to ash. If his mouths weren’t preoccupied with spraying death and destruction across the walls of his prison, King Ghidorah would have laughed. He had just been freed of one group of masters, he would not succumb to another. Less than a minute had passed, and already the outside world as open to him.

    King Ghidorah crawled out of his containment chamber, looking around his surroundings of the barren wasteland. Already, a sudden chill ran down the hydra’s spines and scales. The planet was too cold for his liking. He turned to see the base the aliens had built. Hissing in anger, he turned his wrath upon the greater structure of his captors.

    In the Garoga Fortress, the Baron Garoga stared at the screen, displaying live feed of King Ghidorah’s rampage through the secret base. The hard work of his people, being torn apart by a creation of the lower race they found themselves bested by time and time again. Before he could scream, the feed changed and showed the hideous face of a Red Garoga, who served as a commander of the facility.

    “Leader, we have begun the evacuation! And we’re awaiting orders!” The commander hastily reported.

    “Very good commander, send in Wargilgar, Spyler, and Zandora to combat King Ghidorah!” The gold headed alien order.

    “Yes sir!” The Red Garoga obeyed before cutting off the feed.

    King Ghidorah continued his destructive rampage on the base, with half of it being reduced to a pile of debris. Three shrilling cries caught King Ghidorah’s attention. The heads of the Garoga creation turned to see where the cries came from, and saw the three Terror-Beasts already being released to combat him. Wargilgar shrieked loudly to show his intimidation, being almost as tall as the dragon. Next to him, Spyler cackled when he raised his claws, he was ready for this battle and was quite energetic for it. And then there was the third, undoubtedly the strangest Terror-Beast of all, Zandora. The drill head creature clapped his shovel hands while he emitted strange sounds that sounded like laughter, as if he was trying to taunt Ghidorah.

    The mutant Dorat sneered at the Terror-Beasts, annoyed by the sounds they made. But since they were so eager to fight him, this would be a good time to test his ability to fight without a guiding hand.

    Spyler and Zandora both charged in at once, combing their strength to ram themselves against King Ghidorah, ignoring the Gravity Beams that were fired by the dragon. The three-headed monster shrieked when he felt the two strange creatures tackling him, with enough force to cause him to stagger back. Spyler cried out when he continue his assault, swiping his pincers on King Ghidorah’s scaly hide. Zandora helped along by pummeling their foe with his shovel hands. The two heads of King Ghidorah reached down, biting down on Spyler’s neck and shoulder. The beaked monster cried out, clamping on the right head’s neck to force him off. All was naught as he was slowly being lifted. Spyler cried out to Zandora to do something and quick, but the left head of the hydra spat out a Gravity Beam on the drill monster’s back. Zandora cried out, patting on his scorched back as he limped away. Spyler squeezed the neck tighter, only for Ghidorah’s two heads to slam him down to the Martian soil.

    The Terror-Beast cried out when his knees roughly landed on the surface of Mars, where he was promptly lifted up again. Wargilgar helped his comrade when he extended the double-barreled cannons out of his mandibles, firing explosive bullets on King Ghidorah’s exposed chest. The fused Dorat abomination groaned as his heads released Spyler. Wargilgar took a few steps closer as he fired another round from his cannons, which kept him busy. This gave Zandora the chance to ram the hydra with the red tipped drill on his oddly shaped head. The golden dragon cried out when he landed flat on his back, kicking in his desperate attempt to get back to his feet. Zandora laughed mockingly at the downed kaiju and gave him a good taste of molten hot steam that expelled out of the tubes on his neck. Miniature explosions emitted around the white cloudy vapors when they touched King Ghidorah’s golden scales, causing his heads to shriek in agony when they spewed their Gravity Beams at the Terror-Beast.

    Zandora cried out when fell down, flailing about as until he flopped around onto his chest. He pierced the barren surface with his drill and tunneled his way down, shoveling the excess with its odd shaped hands. King Ghidorah was about to use his gravity rays on Zandora, but his attentions shifted to Wargilgar when he heard him moving in to attack. The Terror-Beast shrieked when his mandibles sprayed a stream of fire, scorching the golden hydra’s thick hide. King Ghidorah’s three heads cried out when they retaliated, the left head lunged forth, ignoring the flames as he clamped his teeth down on Wargilgar’s long neck. Spyler immediately got up when he heard his partner’s painful screech; he repeatedly brought his claws down on King Ghidorah’s left head several times until it released its ally. Spyler didn’t stop his assault; he swung his claw up to stun the middle head, as he grabbed a hold of the right head. Wargilgar chittered in glee when he lowered his head and began to chew down the Dorat mutant’s neck with his mandible, ripping bits of the tough scales.

    Irritated, King Ghidorah’s central head snapped at Spyler’s arm, forcing him to back off. The strange bird-like creature cried out when he grabbed his bitten wrist, where alien blood seeped from it. The middle head fired a Gravity Beam at Wargilgar. The long-necked insect shrieked angrily when he grabbed the right head again with his claws. Wargilgar was electrocuted by another gravity beam from the Dorat mutant, which finally got him to step back.

    Wargilgar readied himself to exhale a gout of fire from his mandibles, but Ghidorah thought of a neat trick that he could do. Strong gusts of winds were made when the mighty dragon flapped his wings, blowing Wargilgar’s flames back at him and ignited against him as he screeched painfully. He immediately stopped spewing his combustible breath, but the damage had been done. Its body was now coated in a blaze before it was partly extinguished by the strong gusts. Spyler shielded his face with his claws, blocking off the cloud of dust and debris that were blown away, while Wargilgar squealed when he slipped and landed on his chest, crying out to get back up. Spyler tried to move closer, but it was so hard to do when the gale force grew stronger. King Ghidorah made it more difficult for him when his middle head spewed a gravity bolt at him, but Spyler barely held onto his footing when he rested on his right knee. The Laser Terror-Beast then spread his arms, unleashing a series of flashing lights from the orange sockets on his chest.

    In a matter of seconds, King Ghidorah’s shrieked when his vision immediately went blurry the instant he gazed upon the tremendous lights. The three heads cackled and waved around as they couldn’t see anything. As if luck wasn’t on his side, the ground shook beneath his feet before it collapsed, having the Dorat mutant cry out when his feet and tail were stuck a tunnel that Zandora had created. Wargilgar and Spyler both recovered and narrowed at King Ghidorah, where they both slowly advanced to him, and began to stomp and kicked his heads. The irradiated hydra panicked as he couldn’t see properly, and flapped his wings to pull himself out of the open chasm. Zandora began to laugh as he held onto the blind hydra’s soles, tugging so that he couldn’t escape. When Spyler began to strangle the right head with his claws, Wargilgar slammed his foot down on the left head. King Ghidorah shrieked in agony when he felt his buried body being boiled up by Zandora’s emitting steam. Small bursts of sparks came out of King Ghidorah’s body as it began to dry up, causing him to writhe in agony, even when he was on a cold planet like Mars.

    In a desperate effort to get out of the hole, King Ghidorah’s two tails flailed about until one of them batter Zandora’s back, raking his hide with the sharp spikes on the tip. The Earth Eating Terror-Beast cried out as his grip slipped away. Feeling that his legs were now freed, King Ghidorah’s central head fired a Gravity Beam at Wargilgar’s chest. The insect creature screamed loudly when he staggered back, then was blasted again when the central and left head combined they’re concentrated electric rays, making him topple down to the ground. Spyler cried out in shock when he tried to snap the hydra’s right neck, but like Wargilgar, he was met with two Gravity Beams that struck his belly.

    King Ghidorah flapped his wings to ascend him out of the gaping hole, where he slowly managed to get his legs out. Zandora tried to reach for one of the two tails, but the three headed monster jumped when his wings carried him into the air, causing the tail to slip away from the Terror-Beast’s grip. King Ghidorah kept flapping his wings as he adjusted himself, as he turned around to fly directly at his enemies. Spyler spread his arms, his knobs fired up the tremendous lights again. Ghidorah prevented him from using that cheap trick when he fired his Gravity Beams, striking at the socket-covered chest. Spyler groaned as it staggered back, but when it looked up, the next thing it saw was the hydra’s soles.

    With one single mid-flight kick directly at the chest, Spyler was easily lurched back as he cried out in pain. His feet made contact with the ravaging fire that engulfed the remains of the ruined Garoga secret base. King Ghidorah’s three heads cackled in malice, all unleashed their gravitational beams, creating a series of explosions that engulfed the Laser Terror-Beast. Spyler was then met with an electric bolt striking his face, as it was more than enough to have him slowly collapse on the burning debris, groaning before he went unconscious.

    Wargilgar moved in to save Spyler, but King Ghidorah denied this when he flew by the Garoga insect, clubbing him with his two tails. Wargilgar crashed on the ground as he lay on his back, his head looked up to see the three-headed monster. He watched the soaring Dorat mutant making a left turn, assuming that he was going use his beam weapon again. Extending his double-barrel cannon and carefully aiming at the incoming hydra, Wargilgar fired the cannons as the rounds struck King Ghidorah’s chest. The hydra shrieked when he felt a fireball erupting from his chest, forcing him to roughly land on his feet, nearly tripping to fall flat on his chest. The heads leered at Wargilgar, wrathfully screeching at the orange-blue creature.

    Before he could make his next move, dirt and debris shot up to the air when Zandora emerged from the subsurface and quickly drew out his hands that sprayed out molten hot steam. The three heads of the mighty hydra screamed in agony when they felt the miniature explosions and sizzling vapors that burn through their faces, forcing him to jerk his heads back and rear up, tall enough to tower over his bizarre enemies. King Ghidorah flapped his mighty wings to create winds that were almost as powerful as a hurricane’s, and although they were powerful enough to blow the emitting steam back at Zandora. The severe burning white clouds, along with their explosive properties, didn’t seem to cause any harm on the Terror-Beast’s hide, nor was it strong enough to push him away. Zandora chuckled when he slowly moved closer to the dragon, still firing his steam from his shovel-forehands. But King Ghidorah soon got him to stop by firing the Gravity Beams, which had the subterranean Garoga weapon wildly wave his hands and cried out.

    Wargilgar got up to his feet and charged in, repeatedly firing his mouth cannon. Four rounds managed to land a direct hit on the three headed monster. King Ghidorah shrieked in pain by the explosive rounds that left burn wounds on his hide, but then he shrieked louder when Wargilgar rammed his ant-like head on the wound. The Destruction Terror-Beast began to chew through the scales, but it was a fatal mistake for him when the central head of the three-headed dragon looked down and opened its maw.

    The Baron Garoga watched in disappointment when the screen showed Wargilgar’s long neck blowing up in chunks of flesh when the central head spewed gravitational lightning, causing the head of the Terror-Beast to fall while the body collapsed. The golden alien banged his desk with his fist when King Ghidorah let loose a sinister cackle. He had no other choice. He didn’t want to send in any more Terror-Beasts and have them go to waste, but he would only send in one, just to save what was left of his secret base. He then gave his order to his henchmen.

    ”Deploy Jikiro!”

    From the side of the Garoga Space Station, a red rocket was launched as it made a beeline toward Mars. The Baron Garoga was putting his hopes into one of the strongest Terror-Beasts that his people had ever created. Should he fall, then his plans for vengeance on both the Earthlings and the Zone Family would be delayed.

    With Wargilgar dead, Spyler now a burnt husk, Zandora was now the last of the trio. The Earth-Eating Terror-Beast cried out a furious shriek when he charged in, lowering his head as his drill spun at rapid speeds. King Ghidorah swung his three heads to the side, ramming them against Zandora and knocked him down on one of the buildings of the Garoga secret base. The structures were flattened as the creature made a weaken cry. Despite lacking any eyes, his drill-shaped head tilted up as if he were looking back at the towering kaiju that stood before him. King Ghidorah cackled at his fallen enemy and slammed his foot down on Zandora’s chest to crush him. Zandora cried out when his tubes sprayed steam, which made the dragon retreat to avoid any further injury. Zandora’s groans turned into laughter when he got up, lashing out his shovel hands to whack King Ghidorah’s chest.

    The hydra stepped away from Zandora, folding his wings to shield his heads when the strange creature sprayed more steam onto him. King Ghidorah could feel his wings burning away as they were about to dry up. It seemed like Zandora wasn’t going stop his molten vapor spray anytime soon. There was one thing that he could do, and it was going to hurt a lot. Bracing himself to endure the superheated steam, King Ghidorah unfolded his wings that he used for defense, where his three heads were being scaled. The hydra made his last attempt to turn the tables around when he spewed Gravity Beams at Zandora.

    The Terror-Beast cried out when he stumbled back, but he wasn’t going let a mere bolt stop him from continuing the fight. Zandora sped forth and slapped King Ghidorah’s central with his shovel hands, the right head sprang up like a snake, nipping at the alien’s wrist. Zandora cried out when he wrapped his other arm around the neck of the dragon, which had the left and central heads fired their beams at the Terror-Beast’s bizarre looking head.

    Zandora let go of King Ghidorah as he fell on his back and felt his aching waist. The mutated Dorat mercilessly refused to let him get back up to have a chance as his heads kept shooting out electric volts. Zandora didn’t make another sound when he felt sparks and explosions bathing his body. It didn’t take long, for the Terror-Beast exploded into several chunks that rained down everywhere, with his damaged red drill landing next to the severed head of Wargilgar.

    King Ghidorah’s three heads cackled now that the trio had fallen, his burnt wounds began to cool down by the Martian air. Although his wings were damaged, they were still functional whenever he needed to take off to the skies. The hydra turned to face the remains of the Garoga’s secret base as he resumed on his destructive rampage.

    However, for the Futurian creation, his victory was short lived when he noticed a missile falling from the sky. King Ghidorah’s central head was about to ready his Gravity Beam to shoot it down, but the object erupted on its own, several hundred meters above the surface of Mars. A thick light gray cloud of smoke shrouded the air, as a large object fell through. A huge parachute was deployed so that it would soften the impact when it touched down. The entity appeared to be a robot, built for combat and destruction, obviously indicative by the Gatling gun seen on the right hand. Arguably said to be the strongest creation the Garogas had invented, the Magnetic Terror-Beast Jikiro was ready for combat the moment he gently landed on the ground.

    The machine detached his parachute and made a metallic screech when he raised his arms. King Ghidorah shrieked back at the new threat, but Jikiro responded by firing rounds from his Gatling gun hand. The robot showed no emotion when the mutant Dorat shrieked painfully from the barrage of light bullets that pierced his hide, but he ceased his fire when King Ghidorah fired Gravity Beams at him, as sparks busted out of his tough armor. The draconic wings flapped as they carried the dragon to the air. Jikiro watched King Ghidorah flying directly toward him, all three of his heads shrieking madly. Jikiro aimed his right barreled gun hand as his tail lit up a bright golden light. Jikiro fired the Lightning Ray at the incoming threat.

    King Ghidorah crash landed as he shrieked in agony as he felt his aching limbs go numb after bracing through the lightning bolt that was as powerful as his Gravity Beams. Jikiro screeched when he moved closer to gaze down with his crimson robotic eyes. The machine lifted his left hand while he waved his right arm. Then King Ghidorah’s body was lifted a few feet in the air without even moving a muscle, as if he were being levitated. The golden dragon was being drawn toward Jikiro, as his chest made contact with left hand like a piece of metal being connected to a magnet. King Ghidorah’s three heads tried to tear through the Terror-Beast’s armor with their jaws, but not even the strongest bite could leave a single dent on the metallic hide. Jikiro made another metallic cry, when his gun-hand fired a shot of lightning up close to King Ghidorah’s waist. The hydra was freed from the magnetic forearm when Jikiro shoved him away with a mighty heave. The dragon stumbled back before falling flat on his chest and groaned as blood seeped out from the wound that he received below his ribcage.

    Jikiro screeched when he stepped closer to the injured mutant, aiming his gun hand. But just then, King Ghidorah’s central head lifted up and fired a gravitational beam at the Terror-Beast’s head. The eyes of the robot flickered for a moment when he shrieked, stepping back as King Ghidorah rose up to regain his footing. No matter how painful his injuries were, he wasn’t going surrender to the Garogas and let their war machine best him.

    The bionic Terror-Beast pulled a huge pile of debris with his magnet hand and caught it as he slowly marched toward King Ghidorah. The Garoga war machine cried out when he swung the pile of metal and concrete at the hydra’s right head, leaving behind a few scrapes on the scaly skin. King Ghidorah cried out angrily when he fired Gravity Beams at Jikiro, causing a shower of sparks and flares to burst out for each electric bolt that lanced the robot’s armor. Jikiro screeched when he took minor damage, as he quickly drew out his right hand, rapidly firing light bullets like an assault rifle. King Ghidorah cackled when the destructive rounds pelted against his golden scales. He used his still functioning wings and took flight, passing by Jikiro as his tails raked against his metal hide.

    Jikiro prevented King Ghidorah from flying any farther when he turned to use his magnetism, and once again, the three headed monster came to halt before he was pulled backward. King Ghidorah’s scaly back was stuck with Jikiro’s magnetic hand as the machine constantly pummeled the three necks with his right hand. King Ghidorah tried to pull himself out of the machine’s grasp, but even with the significant height difference, the magnetic power that it wield made it impossible to do so. With a great amount of strength, Jikiro threw the shrieking mutant to the side, only to be pulled back to him with his magnetic hand. This, however, gave Ghidorah a vantage point where he reached out and sank his teeth into Jikiro’s left arm. The machine reacted to the dragon’s attempt to tear away his magnetic hand by firing lightning into the dragon’s chest, separating the two.

    Mechanical shrieks emitted from Jikiro’s mouth when he used his magnetism again. But all of a sudden, King Ghidorah’s three heads shrieked in fury when he burst in with speed and slammed his towering body against the heavy robot. The two behemoths toppled down the surface of Mars, with Ghidorah being the first to get up on his feet. The three-headed monster took a few steps back, cackling as he fired golden rays at the downed machine that was slowly pulling himself up. Despite his armor being fairly durable, Jikiro was beginning to take some serious damage from the beams that kept striking him.

    Jikiro fired another round of light bullets, in which Ghidorah took notice and used his folding wings to shield himself. The Terror-Beast ceased his rapid fire and aimed his magnet hand behind while he waved his gun hand and began to pull something. This time, it was Wargilgar’s headless carcass. The machine caught the body and hurled it toward King Ghidorah while he unfolded his wings. The three heads shot out their beams at once, incinerating the hurled Wargilgar corpse into smithereens.

    Jikiro then tried to pull the charred body of Spyler with his magnet hand, but all the sudden, a gravity ray burst out of the jaws of Ghidorah’s central head, tearing through the left arm. Sparks rained out of Jikiro’s shoulder stump, as the destroyed limb landed on the ground. The situation was dire. Without his magnetism, Jikiro was now left at the mercy of King Ghidorah’s wrath; the Garogas hoped their ultimate weapon of destruction would be spared. With his Gatling gun-hand now the only functioning weapon left, Jikiro used it to fire lightning. King Ghidorah didn’t stop when he was electrocuted by the robot’s last weapon. His left head spewed out ray as Jikiro fired another bolt.

    The two beam weapons struck each other and triggered a massive explosion in the center between the titanic creatures. King Ghidorah took flight and shot through the thick smoke, surprising Jikiro by slamming his foot at the machine’s dragon-like face. Jikiro waved his remaining arm when he staggered back, where he was then raked again by the sharp spikes on Ghidorah’s tails when he passed by. As the bioengineered dragon steered himself, Jikiro turned to face the incoming threat, where his gun hand unleashed another high voltage bolt. King Ghidorah shrieked loudly when he was struck. It made his limbs feel numb again. But he had to press on as his three heads combined their golden rays to block Jikiro’s second use of his electrical beam.

    The Magnetic Terror-Beast kept firing his Lighting Ray for as long as he could, but within a second, it was being pushed back at the combined gravitational beams. His systems started to overheat, smoke lingered from the Gatling gun hand from overuse of the voltage weapon. Soon, Jikiro was overwhelmed by King Ghidorah when the electric-like beams tore through him and finally made contact with the right hand.

    A feeling of crushing defeat overcame the Garogas when the screens showed a large detonated explosion on Jikiro’s last arm, shattering it into dozens of pieces of fire and steel. The Terror-Beast emitted a static screech as smoke and sparks came out from the stumps of his shoulders. Jikiro looked up at the cackling King Ghidorah, who was ascending high in the air. Without his weapons, Jikiro was now completely helpless in this battle that was now a loss to the Garogas. The three heads of the golden dragon open their maws as they fire their Gravity Beams at the doomed robot, piercing through the mildly worn out armor.

    And thus, the Magnetic Terror-Beast Jikiro was engulfed in a huge fireball that put an end to him. The damaged head hit the ground, having now suffered the same fate as the previous incarnations of the machine. Only this time, it was from something the Garoga could only blame themselves for. King Ghidorah’s three heads made a haunting, triumphant shriek before they kept firing their rays at the remaining structures of the Garoga’s secret base. The Baron Garoga could do nothing other than watched and witnessed. The abducted creature that had almost been theirs tore through everything, until one of the stray Gravity Beams struck the camera that was monitoring the whole scene, cutting off the feed.

    The Baron Garoga stepped out of his office, moved toward a large window that showed the vast space and Mars, where he could then see replica of the real King Ghidorah from afar. The mutant had finished his destructive wrath and left the cold planet to head straight for the blue world they had tried to dominate countless times, Earth.

    “We wanted a new Ghidorah, and we found it.” He contemplated what this meant for his kind, their plans of dominating Earth now even further away. Then, another thought came to him. “I do wonder, what will you do when you reach Earth? Shall you merely wander, your lust for destruction satisfied here, or will you fill the vacuum left by the first Ghidorah’s passing?” He turned away from the window, ready to try and bargain for more resources from the greater Garoga Empire.

    Winner: King Ghidorah (Heisei)

    K.W.C. // January 30, 2020
  • “Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy.”

    – Ishiro Honda

    Several decades ago, Godzilla dethroned humanity as the master of the world. Brought low, we watched helplessly as our mightiest weapons and machines failed to kill the beast. We fell silent when our sciences couldn’t explain his nature. With a purposeful grimace, Godzilla pulled high-tension wires down and set our greatest cities ablaze.

    My name is Steve Martin. I’m a foreign correspondent for United World News. Regretfully, I must inform you that Godzilla has returned—and there’s more than one. As I write these words down, several Godzillas are attacking all over Japan. Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Itsukushima are all under siege. I’m also getting mixed reports of a mysterious Godzilla sighting in Hiroshima. I don’t know how much more time, if any, we have left. But I’ve taken the liberty of collecting as many eyewitness testimonials that I can.

    We can survive Godzilla’s wrath. We can and we will. These survivors are living proof of that. Let their stories be heard.

     

    Kiryu-Goji Appears in Kyoto

    Story by Patrick Galvan

    At the time of the Great Kyoto Incident, I’d been living in the former capital of Japan for three years. The first two years had seen the rainy season—or tsuyu, as I’ve learned to call it—arrive predictably in the month of June. On the third year, however, the rains came early. I was stepping outside my apartment, expecting to walk into a lovely mid-May morning, only to see a mass of cumulonimbus clouds spreading throughout the skies above me. I mumbled my displeasure, realizing my trip to Arashiyama would have to wait. Arashiyama was one of the major sightseeing destinations in the western outskirts of the city, and I’d hoped to go there to track down some of the locations where Akira Kurosawa had shot his wonderful 1946 film No Regrets for Our Youth. I’d looked forward to climbing Mount Yoshida and finding the spot where, at the beginning of the film, Setsuko Hara and her admirers had stopped for a picnic and looked down on Kyoto Imperial University; I’d planned to find the banks of the stream where, at the end of the film, Hara had sat in silence and somberly remembered the naïve innocence of her past.

    But the moment I saw those clouds and heard the distant tapping of rain, I knew I would have to put it off for another—much calmer—day.

    Once I was done huffing my disappointment, I stood idly outside my apartment, watching the clouds before returning inside and retrieving my umbrella. Rain or no rain, I still had the entire day to myself and figured I might as well make something of it. At the very least, I could take a walk around town. Umbrella in hand, I marched off into the city. As I did, the first rumble of thunder sounded out. A very rhythmic thunder, with “claps” reminiscent of a heartbeat. Thump. Thump. Thump.

    Crazy weather, I remember thinking.

    After walking about aimlessly for twenty minutes, I set off in the direction of Kiyomizu-dera, one of the many Buddhist temples in Kyoto. I wasn’t sure if the temple would be open to visitors on a rainy day like this, but at the very least I could admire the beautiful infrastructure from the outside and enjoy the scenery to be found along the way. I was passing through a narrow street fringed on both sides by low-lying buildings, walking in the midst of ten or twelve other people, when I noticed those earlier mentioned “heartbeats” were still acting up. Normally, thunderclaps varied between soft rumbles to long, trebling meteorological explosions; and sometimes whole minutes passed between them, as thunder was dependent on lightning cutting through the atmosphere. But today, each clap sounded exactly the same—same pitch, same length—and occurred two or three seconds after the one before it.

    It was odd from the start, but I continued to give it no particular mind.

    I passed a few gift shops and rounded a street corner, at last coming within view of Kiyomizu-dera. As I continued my approach, an ambulance siren sounded off from a few blocks away. Probably an automobile accident, I told myself. The rain was becoming more intense, pouring in sheaths off the sides of my umbrella. Despite having come all this way, I was contemplating turning around.

    That was when a new sound rattled the air. A blood-curdling, otherworldly screech—like the warning cry of some wild animal.

    The most horrifying sound I’d ever heard.

    I paused in my tracks along with everyone else and we turned toward the left side of the street, staring up over the rooftops. It was then that the “heartbeats” became so intense the ground beneath us began to tremble; loose chunks of pavement clattered near my feet. It was also then that I realized these “heartbeats” were not, in fact, a phenomenon triggered by lightning in the sky. Rather, they were being generated by something physical pounding into the ground again and again. Something huge and immense was moving toward us.

    “What the…?” I said aloud.

    As if in reply, the ground shook again, this time with enough force to send all of us staggering. I lost grip on my umbrella as I fell and from over the rooftops came a barrage of bricks, shingles, and shattered planks. Instinctively, I rolled onto my knees and covered my head with my hands, grimacing as tiny bits of brick pelted my back and a half-shattered chunk of shingle landed into my shoulder. When the debris stopped falling, I rose to my feet and, doing my best to ignore the pain racing through my arm, took off running with everyone else. We ran to the stone stairs leading up to the temple entrance, and I was just reaching the top when someone crashed into me and I was sent careening to the ground, the stone surface rushing up to strike my forehead.

    I must have lain there for a whole minute before attempting to get up again, a throbbing sensation pulsating just to the side of my right temple. I managed to open my eyes as I regained my footing, glancing over my shoulder. And through my still clearing vision, I saw it.

    Another house was violently broken apart as an enormous column of flesh and muscle crashed into it, kicking up a cloud of dust. My eye traveled upward as the dust eventually thinned at a height of about twenty meters, where that column—an enormous leg covered with thick gray scales—connected into a torso swollen with muscle. I continued to look upward, my blood running cold as I watched water cascade in sheaths off jagged plates of bone protruding from the thing’s back and saw the talons on its forearms glistening in the rain. After what seemed like forever, my eyes wandered up the thick, muscular neck, ultimately arriving (at a staggering height of fifty-five meters) at a colossal set of jaws lined with conical teeth. Behind those jaws sat the coldest eyes imaginable—eyes which calmly surveyed their surroundings, as though relishing in the panic that was ensuing bellow. I continued to stand there, watching until the monster released a guttural snarl from within its throat and then tilted its head back, parted those jaws, and that same horrifying, other-worldly screech rattled the air.

    I took off running again, head throbbing as I bounded up the remainder of the stone steps and collapsed against one of the wooden posts at the temple entrance, suddenly aware of the warm feeling of blood pouring out across my forehead.

    The sound of another building being torn to shreds nabbed my attention and I glanced over my shoulder again. Gouts of fire were now starting to rise from the debris at the creature’s feet, pumping thick black smoke into the sky. The monster had stopped again; now it just stood inertly in the middle of the city, the only movement coming from its elongated tail, which repeatedly rose and thudded against the ground, pulverizing what little remained of the shredded buildings behind it. Abruptly, the monster straightened its back and the jagged spines adorning its back suddenly began to cast off strobes of neon blue light.

    Too afraid to watch on, I scrambled to my feet and limped inside the temple, amongst crowds of covering people, losing my balance and collapsing when the ground shook in a series of violent tremors. The unmistakable roar of an explosion sounded from outside as I let my face sink into the cold stone floor of the temple. Consciousness started to drift away as bits and pieces of rubble rattled on the roof of the temple. When I regained consciousness in a field hospital outside the city, the Incident was over.

     

    GMK Godzilla: The Haunting of Itsukushima

    By Thomas Fairchild

    My name is Rumi Yamaguchi. Ever since I was a little girl, the ocean fascinated me. One of my earliest memories was visiting a beach with my family. Without waiting for permission, I chased after the receding waves like the unstoppable force I believed myself to be. My first lesson in humility came when I lost my balance and slipped face-first into the mud. Wiping away the wet sand from off my brow, I looked to my parents and grandparents with outstretched arms. I remember crying, helplessly. But the fates were unmoved; the waves rapidly returned to shore and, after scraping me against the seafloor, threatened to pull me into the ocean. I feared for my life. Thank goodness, my grandfather grabbed me in just the nick of time.

    Recently, my parents visited me in my dorm. My mother joked that I was studying to be a fish. I told her being a fish and studying to be a marine biologist are two different things. But my father was unconvinced. Unlike my mother, who expressed her disapproval through non-confrontational quips, my father was blissfully more transparent about things that were on his mind. He couldn’t seem to fathom why I was studying to be a marine biologist when, well, being near the water frightened me. That conversation haunted me for months, and now I know why. It’s because he was right. Growing up, my grandfather was the only one who encouraged me to pursue my interests. But what is it about the water that made me want to stay away? It couldn’t be the animals because I could talk about marine life for hours. Not even Turritopsis dohrnii could outlive my enthusiastic ramblings. So, if I wasn’t secretly afraid of something pulling me underwater to consume me, then what was keeping me from exploring the creatures of the sea?

    This past summer was unbearably humid. Every day felt like being crammed inside an oven. But when Yuki Tachibana, a classmate of mine from Hiroshima University, invited me to go jet skiing with some friends, my parents’ words, still lingering in my mind like a ghost, prompted me to take a leap of faith. Yuki’s face was priceless when I told him I’d go. I don’t think he was expecting me to say yes.

    The next day we took a ferry ride to Miyajima Island. Blue skies hung over our heads as we sailed past the Itsukushima Shrine’s world-famous Torri gate. To the tourists’ dismay, the Torri gate was covered in scaffoldings in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. No worries, there’s still much to see and appreciate. According to legend, Miyajima is home to the gods. Its soil is considered to be so pure and revered neither the dead nor the dying can set foot on its shores. I come here often mainly to see and feed the deer, though I do like visiting the shrine in order to pay my respects to the ancestors—and wish for good grades. But not this time. My party had other plans. After docking at the pier, we made our way a few miles down the road to an old aquatic rental shop. I partnered up with Yuki, selected a green jet ski to ride, and then waited for the others to join us on the dock. While waiting, I saw this little boy playing down by the water’s edge, waving a Jizo statue over his head. Jizo statues honor children who have died before their parents. It’s distasteful to play with them. His mother finally realized what he was doing and pulled him away. She seemed more concerned with how others might judge her parenting than of the statue’s condition because the boy dropped it in the sand. The mother hurried off with her son in a huff, leaving the Jizo statue where it rested. I wanted to stand it back up, but it was time for us to head out onto the water. My anxiety didn’t hit until we were no longer in shallow water. Despite my pleadings for everyone to have a good time and not to worry at my expense, they stayed close to my side. I will always love them for that.

    The next few hours turned out to be pleasantly fun. For the first time in my life, I was not only riding a jet ski, but I was also behind the steering wheel. The whole experience felt cathartic. There were a few close calls; our ski flipped, and I wasn’t exactly great at swimming. Years of being afraid of the water would do that to you. But Yuki helped me out, and we eventually all found ourselves racing each other near the Itsukushima Port. One of the ferries, probably the same one we traveled on earlier, was returning to the mainland. I turned to wave at the passengers waving at us.

    Then I saw pale eyes staring up at me from under the water.

    I could barely make out its other features. At first, I thought I was hallucinating, like my worst fears returning to haunt me one last time. Then the creature rose upright in front of one of our racing friends. It lunged at a speed that belied its massive size, gobbling them up in its foul crunching jaws. By then, I had Yuki in a vice-like grip. He swerved our jet ski around in the opposite direction, confused by my sudden frantic behavior. I cranked my neck back to see where the sea monster had gone.

    For a split second, it looked like it had vanished. Then its shadow fell over us. With preternatural speed, the creature plowed through the water, kicking up massive tidal waves. We were instantly swept up in its wake. A split second before going down, I saw our other friends in their ski tumble beneath the waves. It was the last time I ever saw them. At that point, I was holding on to Yuki’s hand for dear life as we were pulled down into the cold depths. Then everything went black.

    When I came to, I was gasping for air on the same beach from earlier. I felt the water lapping over my trembling legs; it felt good to breathe. Several yards away, I was relieved to see an old man fetching an unconscious Yuki from the surf. He gently rested Yuki next to me. Somehow, I found the strength to hunch over Yuki to perform CPR. While pushing down on Yuki’s chest, I kept thanking the old man—I even called him grandfather, which is strange because my grandpa passed away when I was a child. The old man politely indulged me with a knowing smile. Suddenly, Yuki coughed up water. I held him in my arms and smiled, genuinely grateful to have him in my life.

    I looked for the old man to thank him for saving our lives. But he was nowhere to be seen. It honestly looked like he was never there, to begin with.

    With a lump in the back of my throat, I whispered, “Arigatō, sofu.”

    Yuki and I held each other close, sobbing gently on the other’s shoulder. Across the water, we saw plumes of billowing smoke drowning out the blue sky. Distant sirens blared. I could barely see the creature wading through the devastated ruins of Miyajimaguchi, its heavy stomps reverberating for miles. But then a tongue of dark smoke curled up to spare me its haunting appearance.

    Somehow, I pulled away from the terrifying sight to see Yuki crawling to the fallen Jizo statue, his hands trembling as he tried lifting it. I slipped my hands over his to help the sculpture—to help us—find the strength to stand again.

     

    Showa Godzilla: It Couldn’t Be Worse

    Story by Anthony Romero

    38 billion yen…

    I’m not a gambling man, in fact I’ve never gambled. …or I guess I had never gambled before. Stocks never felt like gambling to me. I knew there was a risk, but investing in this company after their IPO went so well felt like a no brainer.

    I had invested a lot… I had borrowed a lot. A lot was riding on this. My savings, my mortgage, my wife’s inheritance…. [long pause] Everything was riding on this. But at first it was great, I could see my investment grow quickly. I could see us paying off the house in no time, vacations wherever we wanted, being able to live it up, and all thanks to my smart investments.

    Then came the scandal. CEO misconduct, misreporting of revenue and even illegal practices. The company imploded, almost overnight, and with it their stock. I had gotten the news during an extended business trip to Osaka. Or should say I couldn’t avoid the news. It was everywhere.

    So I tuned it out. Locked myself away in my hotel room… and just started drinking. Trying to forget the pain, all the money I had lost, my failure, and what this meant for my family. I honestly lost myself a bit. Became derelict about my job, or even communicating with anyone in general. Spent a lot of bonding time with that hotel shower, fighting off hangovers.

    [chuckles] …and I remember it clearly. I remember saying to myself as I was wallowing in my room that things couldn’t possibly get worse. Then seconds later, or maybe minutes I’m not sure, is when I heard the sirens. They were distant, I didn’t think anything of them… some emergency test I figured. But then they got louder, they got closer. I realized more sirens were going off.

    Tsunami? That was my first thought. With my splitting hangover I sloppily tossed on my clothes. I opened my front door into the hotel hallway and it was empty… but what was creepy is how many doors were open. There were traces everywhere that people had left in a hurry. I then got back inside and opened my drapes and saw the large, sickening sight of the smoke in the far distance going into the air.

    Was it an earthquake? I then heard helicopters flying very low overhead as they traveled in the direction of where the smoke was originating. My adrenaline was pumping, helping to wash away the pain from my headache, despite the noise from the low flying helicopters making it feel like someone was squeezing my temple. That’s when I saw them. Giant maser tanks making their way down the street. Huge vehicles, I’d honestly never seen one before. They took up both lanes of traffic as they made their slow advance toward the smoke in the distance.

    I started to panic. I knew what this meant.

    I wasn’t thinking straight I will admit, because if I was I probably would have turned on the TV… gotten some information on where to go or where the danger was. Instead I was grabbing a backpack with a laptop inside and really not much else, maybe some oatmeal packets or whatever else I kept in the outside pockets, and rushing out the door. Thinking straight or not, my objective was pretty clear: run in the opposite direction that the masers were going.

    So I rushed down the hotel stairs, and the eerie quiet of my hotel hallway was replaced with sounds of panic at the lobby level. It was chaos. Most had already left the hotel, but a few were still making their way out to the streets where a sea of people were all fleeing in the same direction. I made my way out and joined them, being pushed around as I did.

    I felt like I was swimming out there. That only made my panic worse, all the confusion and feeling trapped in that sea of people all moving in the same direction. Then we heard the explosion. Well we thought it was an explosion, but more likely a fire beam… or atomic fire or whatever the appropriate name for it is. Anyway random people started to scream after that which only made things worse as the pushing intensified. We heard more explosions, this time actual explosions. A lot of them. They were still distant, though, and eventually… they stopped.

    As the panic subsided a little it got quieter, or at least as quiet as a huge group of people moving in a single direction can be. It was then that we felt the tremors. At first it was easy to ignore because we were moving, but then we heard the source: a large stomping sound. A few people started sobbing, others got more aggressive in their pushing. We all realized the danger was real…. Well “real” is a bad word, it was emainate. Much closer than we thought, much closer than I thought when I first saw that billowing cloud of smoke from my hotel window.

    We then heard buildings start to crumble behind us. Some stopped and turned to see the source, but I kept running. Partially because I didn’t want to slow down, partially because I didn’t want to know anymore how close that… thing actually was to us. I then started to really panic: where the hell was I going? I really didn’t know this city that well, and no longer recognized any landmarks. I was too far from my hotel. We then heard a loud roar. I watched as glass windows in the taller buildings quivered.

    Still not wanting to turn around, I figured this was it as my breathing started to get labored from a minor panic attack. That was when suddenly the building to the right of us began to collapse. I had to watch as a few people were crushed by the debris, before avoiding eye contact and fleeing as far away as possible from the falling rubble amongst the mass of people all trying to do the same. It was a sickening sight. Seeing those people crushed. It was also a haunting feeling knowing I survived simply because I happened to be running on one side of the street versus the other.

    The noise, the destruction was unavoidable. It was everywhere. Left, right, straight. It wasn’t clear where safety was, especially as another ray, or fire beam, decimated a building in the distance. The cloud of smoke and dust from the debris being kicked up didn’t help either. Even if I knew the city well I wouldn’t have been able to navigate it anymore.

    We were all running, full panic. You could hear our collective panting, as many were exhausted but didn’t want to stop. Didn’t want to give up. And so we didn’t… How long were we running? Felt like hours, although I’m sure it wasn’t.

    Eventually we noticed the stomping, the roaring, the destruction… it had gotten more distant. This gave us a kind of second wind. Like that… that last burst of energy to run past the finish line in a marathon. And so we ran, and then a few of us, myself included, kind of collapsed.

    I was sitting there, panting, feeling like a lung was going to burst. Covered in dirt, debris and sweat. I tried to decrease my panting, decrease my noise… I just wanted to listen. To confirm that the creature was in fact still moving away from us. He was.

    I don’t know how long I was like that. Eventually ambulances started to arrive. They assessed those in the crowd and grabbed those who appeared the most injured. They got me in the third wave, or at least third wave that I saw. Seems I had a pretty bad gash on one of my legs, probably from when the building fell and debris was flying everywhere. My adrenaline was so high, though, I guess I hadn’t really noticed the pain. Or maybe it had mixed so much with my exhaustion it was hard to separate the two.

    I was then approached by a doctor who, after tending to my wound, asked if there was anyone I needed to call. That kind of snapped me back. Up to that point it was hard not to focus on… the destruction, the need to survive, on… Godzilla.

    Anyway, I told him yes and called my wife on instinct. I wanted to tell her I was okay. I was alright. When I heard her pickup the phone I had that dumb realization that it had been days, days since I talked to her. Since I locked myself up in the hotel room. What was I going to say? Thankfully she talked first, asking “honey is that you?” For a minute I felt relieved, like things were normal and I could tell her I was safe… but she immediately started talking about being declined from a withdrawal from the bank and how that was impossible, especially with the recent inheritance. She related how she spent days with them only to come to the same conclusion: the money was gone. I could tell she was confused, frustrated. I could feel that confusion starting to build into anger as, although she tried to hide it, she suspected this was all because of me. I think she was searching for me to reassure it wasn’t, this was all a misunderstanding… that we weren’t in financial ruin.

    So once more I was face to face with my failure. And then, without even thinking, I just blurted it out: “at least things couldn’t be worse…”

     

    I feel the rumblings getting closer.

    If you witnessed these harrowing events, share your testimonies down below. The world must know what happened here. The human race must know monsters exist and we must be ready to defend ourselves, no matter the cost. I don’t know what Godzilla wants. I don’t even know if it’s possible for Godzilla to be reasoned with. Maybe he’s not the only one that needs reasoning. All we can do now is strive toward a better future.

    This is Steve Martin signing off from Tokyo, Japan.

    Monster Sightings: Godzilla Videos

    “You have your fear, which might become a reality, and you have Godzilla, which is reality.” – Lt. Hideto Ogata (Gojira, 1954)

    General // January 28, 2020