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  • This article is a comprehensive K.W.C. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). It covers everything from allowed combatants to the process behind the banners that are featured in each match. We hope this answers any questions you may have had about the K.W.C. and helps you with any matches you plan on writing in the future!

    1. How to Make a K.W.C. Match
    2. The Rules of the K.W.C.
    3. And Now, the Monsters!
    4. General Stuff
    5. History/Background of the K.W.C.

    1. HOW TO MAKE A K.W.C. MATCH

    So! How do I get into the K.W.C.?

    First, write a match or make a video, then send it to us. If it meets our approval, then you’re in! However (and this should go without saying): Do not steal someone else’s work. If you do, then you will be banned from the K.W.C. and any stories that you may have in the K.W.C. will be taken down and all further stories you send in will be ignored and deleted.

    Where do I send it once it is finished?
    PM it to our Verifiers who are GodzillavsJason, or Shippersdreamer at the moment. If they think it is good enough, they will send it to either KaijuX or Greyshot151. Remember to submit your submission to 1 Verifier. Double submissions will only slow down the process.

    You can submit it via private message on the Tohokingdom forums or via email. For our verifiers, it is the following:

    GodzillavsJason – alexwilliams4298@gmail.com

    Shippersdreamer – pikafan01@gmail.com

    I didn’t get a response. Does that mean my match didn’t make it in?

    Not necessarily. Please keep in mind that Greyshot151 aka Tyler Trieschock has a lot of K.W.C. matches to read, not to mention that he has other, non-K.W.C. things to do, so you may not get a response even if they’ve accepted your match.

    It’s been a week and my match still isn’t up yet! What’s taking so long?

    Keep in mind that even if your match makes it in, matches aren’t always posted in the order they are received. You could be waiting for weeks or possibly even months before it’s posted. Anthony Romero, the site owner, does have a little something off the Internet called a real life (as we all do). Be patient, and your match will be up in time.

    How is the banner for my match handled? Do I request what I want on it, or…?

    When you send in your match, be sure to include the location it takes place in (Tokyo, Monster Island, New York, Planet X, etc.), as well as whether it happens at day or night. Once your match has been given final approval by Tyler, he will create your banner to finalize your match or send it to an awesome creator like Jackson Morris or Andrew Sudomerski.

    Anything else I should know?
    All we really ask of your matches is that they’re coherent, have proper spelling and grammar and, most of all, that they’re fun. Other than that, have at it, and have fun!

    2. THE RULES OF THE K.W.C.

    Can two people co-write a match together?

    Yes.

    Can I call dibs on a match?

    Yes. We actually have a whole thread based on calling dibs, which you can find [here].

    Can I call dibs on several matches?

    No. We’ve had some issues about this in the past. It’s unfair to others who may also want to do a particular fight if you’ve called dibs on ten or so matches. Just call dibs on one match at a time. Also, calling dibs on a new match immediately after finishing one isn’t really any different from calling dibs on multiple matches, so please, after completing one match, wait a while before calling dibs on another.

    Can I write Maguma and Gezora vs. Destoroyah?

    No nonsense matches, if you please. One-sided matches are not against the rules, per se – We do have a few, like Match 26: Gyaos (Heisei) vs. Biollante and Match 64: Monster X vs. Gorosaurus. But please try to refrain from insanely mismatched fights like the one mentioned above. Thank you.

    Are rematches (for example, another King Kong vs. SpaceGodzilla) allowed?

    Yes.

    Are subtitles (Biollante vs. Gabara: The Really Epic Battle of Total Awesomeness!) allowed?

    For the most part, no, they are not. The only exception is if the fight is a rematch, in which case it will be titled “Monster A vs. Monster B: Round 2” (or Round 3, Round 4, etc).

    But what about Bagan vs. Every

    Match 56: Bagan vs. Everyone: Fallout was written before this rule was finalized. We will be sticking to this rule from now on.

    It said on WikiZilla that Zilla can shoot acid from his stomach. Can I use that in a match?

    For future reference, please avoid outside resources like Wikipedia or WikiZilla for info, at least when it comes to the K.W.C. If you must have a list of powers handy so you know what a monster can and cannot do, then please use the stats from the Monster Bios. They come straight from Toho, the people behind the movies, and from other official merchandise, thus making the stats here THE official stats.

    3. AND NOW, THE MONSTERS!

    There are so many monsters in the K.W.C. roster! Are there any that aren’t allowed?

    Yes. Only monsters that had Toho involvement are allowed, either by direct creation (Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Gaira, Zone Fighter), distributing the film in theaters or on video (Gamera, Legion, Ultraman, Gomora, Goliath) or other related media (Bagan, Krystalak, Obsidius). Any monsters whose media were not created/distributed by Toho are not applicable to the K.W.C. Among the off limits creatures are:

    • Agamo, Cerebulon, Congar, Kineticlops, Magmo, Preytor, Raptros, Robo-47, Togera, Ultra V, Zorgulon (War of the Monsters)
    • Agon
    • The Amazing Colossal Man
    • Angels, Evangelions (Neon Genesis Evangelion series)
    • Any Ultraman-related kaiju/seijin not listed [here]
    • Audrey II
    • Barugon, Gamera, Guiron, Gyaos, Jiger, Toto, Viras, Zedus and Zigra (Showa Gamera series and Gamera the Brave)
    • Big Man Japan
    • Buraki and Imoogi
    • Charles Barkley
    • Clover
    • Daimajin
    • The Deadly Mantis
    • Death Kappa, Hangyolas
    • Dinocroc, Supergator
    • The Fifty Foot Woman
    • Gappa
    • Garasharp
    • Gehara
    • Gfantis
    • The Giant Behemoth
    • The Giant Claw
    • The Giant Gila Monster
    • Giant God Warrior (Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo)
    • Gigantor
    • Gipsy Danger, Striker Eureka, Cherno Alpha, and Crimson Typhoon
    • Guilala
    • Goldar / Ambassador Magma
    • Gorgo
    • Gundam Mobile Suits
    • Gwoemul (The Host)
    • Insectosaurus, Ginormica (Monsters vs. Aliens)
    • Johnny Sokko’s Flying Robot / Giant Robo
    • King Kong (1933, 1976 and 2005 incarnations)
    • Knifehead, Otachi, Leatherback, Scunner, Raiju, Slattern
    • Konga
    • Kraa
    • The Kraken (Clash of the Titans)
    • The Kraken (Pirates of the Caribbean)
    • Little Kong
    • Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger
    • Mega Shark, Giant Octopus, Crocosaurus, Mecha Shark, and Kolossus
    • Megazord, Dragonzord, etc. / Daizyujin, Dragon Caesar, etc.
    • Mighty Joe Young
    • Negadon, Miroku
    • Optimus Prime, Megatron, Grimlock, or any of the other Autobots, Decepticons, Dinobots, Constructicons, Predacons, etc.
    • Poseidon Rex
    • Pulgasari
    • Raiga
    • Ralph, George, Lizzy (Rampage)
    • Red, Solomon, Acacius (Godzilla NES Creepypasta)
    • Red Baron
    • Reigo
    • Reptilicus
    • The Rhedosaurus (The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms)
    • Sharktopus
    • Spectreman
    • The Staypuft Marshmallow Man
    • Take-Majin (Monster X Strikes Back)
    • Tromie (Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown)
    • Tyrannosaurus, Spinosaurus, Indominus Rex (Jurassic Park series)
    • Vastatosaurus Rex (King Kong (2005))
    • Voltron
    • The Ymir
    • Yongary / Yonggary, Cyker
    • Zarkorr

    Even if a monster is directly related to Toho and Godzilla, they must have either a suit, figure, or a detailed 3D model to use for the banners. Otherwise, they’d look out of place when fighting the “rubber suit” monsters. They must also have a list of known powers (so we know what we’re writing about). These rules mean that none of the monsters from the following sources can be allowed:

    • Hanna-Barbera’s The Godzilla Show (The Power Dragon, Axor, the Earth Eater)
    • Godzilla: The Series (King Cobra, El Gusano, the Crackler)
    • Marvel’s Godzilla comic series (Yetrigar, the Beta-Beast, Rhiahn)
    • Dark Horse’s Godzilla comics (Bagorah, Gekido-jin, Cybersaur)
    • IDW’s Godzilla comics (Magita, Godzilla In Hell demons)
    • Unfilmed Godzilla movies (Gigamoth, Deutalios, Redmoon, Ghost Godzilla, etc.)


    Wow, that’s a lot. Am I allowed to add any new monsters to the roster, then?

    As long as they meet all the requirements mentioned in the previous question, then yes, you can. Just be ready to explain their eligibility if their connection to Toho seems a bit shaky to others. We’ve had some trouble with this before (Agon, specifically).

    Wait a second, what are C-Rex and Cyber Godzilla doing—
    As previously said, the main reason we don’t allow cartoon monsters in the K.W.C. is that they’re cartoons and wouldn’t look right alongside the ‘real life’ monsters. However, as you can see, we’ve found images of those two monsters that are not cartoons.

    Wait another second, there’s a monster in Match 56 that Toho had no hand in whatsoever!

    All right, all right, we’ll address the elephant in the room. If you’ve read Match 56: Bagan vs. Everyone: Fallout, you’ve noticed that a certain underground monster transformed into a certain powered-up form which Toho had no hand in, in any way, shape or form. Those responsible have been sacked. It was a special, one-time-only thing. Don’t expect to see it happen again. So, please, put your illegal monsters away.

    Wait a third second! In Match 133: Mechani-Kong vs. Baragon (Showa), Kumonga (Showa), Titanosaurus and Gigan (Millennium), Mechani-Kong is portrayed as a sentient being in command of his own army of aliens and kaiju and—
    Tom Fairchild, one of the previous heads of the K.W.C., just pretty much says “Screw it” and does his own thing when he writes his matches. He is the exception that proves the rule.

    I see that Zetton and Baltan appeared in Battle Soccer and the Evangelions in City Shrouded in Shadow; could we use those to loophole them into the K.W.C.?

    Afraid not. Crossovers over in Japan generally aren’t Toho involved properties. They are, at best, given Toho’s blessing. Otherwise, Toho has no connections with those whatsoever.

    Why are the names and stats different? I see on Toho Kingdom that the “Rogue Titan” is called Attack Titan or that Legendary Godzilla isn’t addressed as “Godzilla (MonsterVerse)”, or how Monster X is 110 meters and 58,000 tons. What’s up with that?

    There are various reasons for the different naming, but most of it stems from the addition of a monster before Toho Kingdom updates with the official bios, with only prior-hand information to work off of. For the case of the MonsterVerse, Godzilla (Legendary) was added before this news came to light. For all intents and purposes, what we have is what we’ll stick with.

    For the differing stats, most are a result of the K.W.C. staff taking some liberties to give more variety to the numbers.

    Fine. So are transformations and alternate forms allowed?

    To a certain point, yes. Those that have been given the green-light:

    • Gigan’s upgraded chainsaw form and Showa counterpart.
    • Hedorah and Destoroyah’s various forms.
    • Heisei Mechagodzilla becoming Super Mechagodzilla.
    • Showa Mechagodzilla wearing his Fake Godzilla skin, with the following movie designs allowed: 1955196219641965-196619671968-19721973-1975.
    • Battra going back and forth between larval and adult stages.
    • MOGUERA splitting up into Land Moguera and Star Falcon.
    • Mothra Leo is able to turn into Rainbow / Aqua / Armor Mothra.
    • Burning Godzilla is allowed, though it is preferred that he not be treated as a mere “power-up” transformation.
    • Super Godzilla is allowed, but like Burning Godzilla, don’t treat it as a mere “power-up” transformation. You may also use the Japanese or American versions as skins.
    • Monster X turning into Keizer Ghidorah.
    • SpaceGodzilla alternating between land and flying forms.
    • Bagan’s Energy Body.
    • Rodan turning into Fire Rodan.

    And those that have not:

    • Mothra Larva.
    • Mothra Leo Larva.
    • Biollante’s rose form.
    • Cretaceous King Ghidorah.
    • Godzillasaurus and Godzilla Junior mutating into Heisei Godzilla.


    Wait, Showa Gigan wasn’t there before! What’s up with that? Does that mean we can’t use Millennium Gigan?

    Gigan’s transition into other forms takes influence from the IDW comic series, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth. This does not affect Millennium Gigan in any way, but rather allows writers to have more fun with the character. Do not expect other established monsters (King Caesar, Kamacuras, Ebirah) to get this sort of mixed-incarnations treatment in the future.

    Is there a limit to how many different incarnations of the same monster can be in the K.W.C.? I’d love to see Legendary Godzilla vs. Shin Godzilla!

    Sorry to say, but yes, there is a limit. At the time of this writing, there are four Ghidorahs (Mecha-King Ghidorah, Heisei King Ghidorah, Desghidorah and Grand King Ghidorah) as well as Orochi (who’s close enough) and Monster X (with his Keizer Ghidorah transformation). If the incarnation is different enough from the others already included (like the difference between Grand Ghidorah and Desghidorah), it will be taken into consideration. If the difference isn’t all that big, however (like how Grand Ghidorah is basically just Showa Ghidorah on steroids), then most likely not. We don’t need 10 different versions of the same beast running around.

    As of right now, we have four Ghidorahs, three Mechagodzillas, three Godzillas and two Mothras. While this may change in the future, do not write matches expecting a change to occur in time.

    Why are you using Final Wars Ebirah? Showa Ebirah is clearly better!

    Please don’t complain about why we are or why we’re not using certain incarnations of certain monsters. We wanted to use the Final Wars Ebirah and so we are. Not really anything much else to say about it.

    Hey, there’s a monster in a match that’s not even on the K.W.C. roster! The heck?

    Occasionally, you’ll see a kaiju pop up who isn’t technically part of the match it’s appearing in. As long as the monster doesn’t actually take part in the match and affect its outcome drastically, then this is allowed. For example, in Match 65: Gabara vs. Goliath, you’ll see that Minilla makes an appearance, but note how he only appears at the very beginning and ending, and doesn’t actually help fight either of the combatants mentioned in the title.

    Can Legion use her soldiers or Megaguirus use the Meganulons/Meganula? What monsters can summon minions to assist them?

    • Dagahra can utilize his Barems.
    • Legion can summon her Symbiotic Legion soldiers to assist her in battle.
    • The Meganula are also allowed, though try to keep in mind that they’re usually dead by the time Megaguirus is up and about.
    • Mothra can summon Fairy Mothras, as she demonstrates creating duplicates in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) and make ones capable of fighting in Rebirth of Mothra (1996).
    • Zilla can use his offspring in battle, but bear in mind that they do not share a hive-mind system.


    Are there monsters that can come in multiples? If so, who?

    • Gyaos (Heisei), taking from Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
    • Kamacuras (Millennium), from Son of Godzilla (1967)
    • Mechagodzilla (Showa), influenced by Godzilla: Rulers of Earth
    • Destoroyah; yes, you can have multiple Micro, Juvenile, Aggregate, and Flying forms, but only one Final form
    • Hedorah (Showa); yes, you can have multiple Water, Land, and Flying forms, but only one Final form
    • Skullcrawler, as seen in Kong: Skull Island (2017)


    Match 181: King Caesar (Millennium) and Sanda vs. Rodan (Heisei) uses Rodans in a pair. Can there be more than two Rodans? Who else can come in pairs?

    For the case of monsters that come in pairs, there cannot be more than two. There is a list of monsters green-lit to come in sets:

    • Gezora can come in a pair, taking influence from Ganimes.
    • Kamoebas can come in a pair, taking influence from Ganimes.
    • Ganimes can come in a pair, as seen in Space Amoeba (1970).
    • MOGUERA can come in a pair, loosely taking from The Mysterians (1957).
    • M.U.T.O. can come in a pair of male and female.
    • Rodan can come in a pair, as seen in Rodan (1956).


    Can Destoroyah use his chest ray from that one deleted scene?

    Yes, if used as shown!

    Can Godzilla use his—
    If a monster used a power on-screen, they can use it in the K.W.C.

    Can I use the various powers from the Pipeworks video games (Titanosaurus and Varan’s sonic beams, Gigan’s teleportation, Megalon’s magnetic vortexes, etc.)?

    No for all power-ups and moves except for Critical Mass. Since it IS based on a movie precedent, it is the only exception. Keep in mind however that to achieve it, SpaceGodzilla’s crystals are acquired so a monster randomly changing in the middle of a match is a no-go.

    Okay, but what about abilities from Toho approved titles like GODZILLA (PS3/PS4), Godzilla Movie Studio Tour or Godzilla Trading Battle? What about the abilities from the IDW comics, which are Toho approved? Or from Toho’s various other titles?

    Abilities cited from the Kaiju Guide of GODZILLA (PS3/PS4) and the Museum from Godzilla Movie Studio Tour harkens back to the answer of a previous question: unless there is an on-screen demonstration or visual reference of the abilities in question (like Gabara’s oozing poison from his body/horn), then consider it a no. There can be some exceptions, but don’t hold your breath.

    Hey, wait a minute. Gomora’s Super Oscillatory Wave isn’t from—

    Admittedly, we’ve had to bend a few of our own rules to make some monsters more capable fighters in the K.W.C. This is why Gomora has his Super Oscillatory Wave when only the Ultra Galaxy version of the character (which Toho had no involvement in) possessed the ability. To a lesser degree, this is also why Battra can transform back and forth between adult and larval forms or why Mecha-King Ghidorah has new abilities not from the film.

    What’s the rule on writing alternate interpretations of the monsters?

    As long as it’s not too drastic a deviation from the monster’s nature, it’s okay. As such, you can do things like Final Wars Gigan being controlled by Star Hunter Nebula M instead of the Xiliens, treat Heisei Godzilla as a defender of the Earth and have Zilla be accompanied by H.E.A.T. However, writing Showa Baragon as a Yamato Guardian or Kiryu as the weapon of the Spacemen from the Third Planet is a bit too far from the origins and intent of the character.

    Can I make up my own version of a monster for a match? Like, can I have Ghidorah grow an extra five heads, or make Anguirus be able to fly, or have Mothra transform into Megalon?

    Uhh… no? In no way is that allowed. If you want to do that, that’s fine, but it needs to be in an unrelated fanfic, not a K.W.C. match.

    But Tom…!

    Is the exception, not the rule.

    4. GENERAL STUFF

    What the heck does ‘K.W.C.’ even stand for, anyway?

    “Kaiju War Chronicles.”

    I’ve got a cool idea for a match, but I don’t think I can/I don’t want to write it myself. Can I request that one of the K.W.C. writers write it?

    Absolutely! You can request which monsters are fighting and even where they fight, if you care to. However, that’s all. You can’t request who the winner is. That’s up to the writer and they will write the outcome however they see fit. The request can be made [here].

    Also, just because you can request a match, please don’t go requesting match after match after match. After a while, it starts to get annoying. Requests are better saved for a period where nobody’s writing anything and/or no new matches are being posted (and we mean for more than a week or two).

    Is there a limit to how many monsters are allowed in a single match?

    Not at all. For example, Match 100: Everyone vs. Everyone features a whopping 49 monsters.

    Can you tell me if Monster A will make it into the roster?

    What, and ruin the surprise? Not a chance, Sparky. Just be patient and enjoy the K.W.C. matches as they appear while you wait for new monsters.

    Why does Monster B always lose every match they’re in?

    There are several reasons as to why a writer had any given monster lose. Maybe the writer couldn’t come up with a credible way for them to win. Maybe the writer thought it best served the story of the match for them to lose. Maybe the writer just simply doesn’t like that monster. Whatever the circumstances are, don’t get so worked up over their defeat. Lots of kaiju people like lose matches in the K.W.C. Don’t worry if they lost this round. They can always have a rematch, or fight another monster and beat them. Just remain patient, and the monster will win a match eventually.

    5. HISTORY/BACKGROUND OF THE K.W.C.

    So how’d all this get started, anyway?

    Click [here] for a brief history.

    And who writes all these matches?

    For the most part, the matches are written by Christian Salabert (TitanoGoji16) and Thomas Fairchild (Tomzilla). The K.W.C.’s other talented writers are Tyler Trieschock (Greyshot151), Joshua Reynolds (Monster Master), Eugene Tan (Primevalgodzilla V2), Kenneth James (Godzillawolf), Kristian Zatkoff (Living Corpse), Hayes A. Jones (HayesAJones), Jacob Haas (Draglord), Stephanie Hughes (Goji_girl), Lucas Salabert (DeadpoolsbetterThanU), Isaac Altenbach (Beef Bigshot), Thomas Eckert (Saw-U-In-1/2), Michael Menei (GodzillaFan1992), Patrick Alan Green (Lain of the Wired) and Andrew Sudomerski (KaijuX). Others include Forrest Freund, James Webster and Nick Anstett (Gorosaurus Rex).

    Those banners that show the monsters fighting are awesome. Who makes them?

    Christian Salabert was the sole banner artist up through Match 42: Orga vs. Gomora, but he had to stop due to technical difficulties. Starting with Match 43: King Kong vs. Gorosaurus, Titanosaurus and Baragon (Showa), Stephanie Hughes was hired. Before too long, there were more banner orders coming in than one person could deal with alone, and so with Match 69: Frankenstein vs. Zilla, Jackson Morris (Varan58) was brought in as the K.W.C.’s third banner artist. Starting with Match 105: Godzilla (Heisei) vs. Rodan (Heisei) vs. Mothra (Heisei), Christian was able to resume his banner duties until Match 141: Gezora vs. Ebirah (Millennium). Christian and Tom then stepped down and the K.W.C. was given to Tyler Trieschock, who now creates the banners alongside Andrew Sudomerski & Jackson Morris.

    So, who’s made what, exactly?

    For any further details, check out the thread [here]. It has pretty much every little factoid you could want about the K.W.C. matches.

    K.W.C. // April 30, 2017
  • Naturally when a film of this type hits theaters, novelizations and “Making of” books follow suit and for fans of the films, they are a welcome addition to the experience as they “fill in the gaps” so to speak. Here are two quick reviews for books centered around Kong: Skull Island (2017).

    The Art of Kong: Skull Island

    The Art of and Making of Kong: Skull Island is covers the film from pre-production to the finished product and even includes a few deleted scenes (which is something that the “Art of Destruction” book for 2014’s “Godzilla” sorely needed), which are cool to see. There’s a lot of really cool concept art with all the designs of Kong, the other creatures and info on the film from those involved, and it’s a real journey for the reader.

    Something interesting that I noticed is that there are quite a few pages spent on the IWI natives yet their screentime in the film is very limited in the final product. This section gives you some extra background and it helps fill in the gaps while watching the film. There’s such a huge level of passion not only from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, but from producer Thomas Tull who sums it all up the best with his quote: “Godzilla, King Kong, these aren’t pieces of business for me. This is a childhood dream come true. I’m thrilled to be doing it”.

    If you’re a Kong fan or a fan of the the “Making Of” books, this one is a must own.

    Kong: Skull Island – The Official Movie Novelization

    Next up is the novelization of the film. I’m not going to get into too much here (because it’s almost 400 pages and it’s really something you should read for yourself), but I will say that there’s a lot more to the story than what’s in the film which is in this book. It being a book, there’s more room to flesh out each character and it’s more descriptive and it really draws you in.

    I do have my nitpicks such as the author, in the post credits sequence, refers to Mothra as a dragonfly. Also, since the author, Tim Lebbon, is British, some of the descriptive words he chooses might not make much sense to someone outside of the region right away and it’ll probably take you a second to figure it out.

    Nitpicks aside, it’s a great read and well worth checking out!

    General // April 24, 2017
  • From March into April, a survey was conducted on the Toho Kingdom forums for the most-wanted Godzilla figures to be made by NECA (National Entertainment Collectibles Association). The survey allowed members to vote for eight official movie Godzilla designs, whether not yet made by NECA or variants of their existing sculpts, and an additional five miscellaneous designs from just about any other Godzilla-related media, such as the video games or the cartoons. In their votes, members had to give brief reasons as to why they wanted the incarnations they were voting for.

    After 30 days, the survey was ended, the votes for the official and miscellaneous designs were tallied up, and the lists were condensed into a Top 5 and Top 3 respectively. While this by no means guarantees NECA will take these results into consideration, or that any of the following designs will be made, we still appreciate everyone’s involvement during this event!

    With that said…

    Official Designs
      #5. 1968

    Destroy All Monsters (1968)

    Coming in at number five is the 1968 version of Godzilla. Originating from Destroy All Monsters, this incarnation gained tremendous support because of its multiple film appearances. Not only do fans desire to see a basic version of this suit, but almost everyone threw their two cents in with ideas for possible repaints and reissues including a 1971 “battle damaged” variation with a burnt eye and skeletal hand (during his fight with Hedorah in Godzilla vs. Hedorah) and a 1972 version with a bloodied shoulder and forehead (during his fight with Gigan in Godzilla vs. Gigan). Add on that there is very little in the form of figures of this specific Godzilla outside of Bandai vinyls and X-Plus, it came as no surprise to see 1968 find his way onto this list via the fans.

     

      #4. 2004

    Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

    The 50th anniversary incarnation of Godzilla gained a lot of support from the fans do to his sleeker appearance compared to other incarnations. This design would benefit extremely well with NECA’s articulation style. After over ten years, this design hasn’t had much since its debut and it would seem natural for NECA to change that up. While it is a bit harder to think of some possible repaints/reissues available for it, a few fans submitted ideas for atomic blast variants (both blue and red beam variants), an arctic variant, and even a glowing “Keizer” Godzilla based on the scene in which Ozaki transfers the monster his energy.

     

      #3. 1998

    GODZILLA (1998)

    Love it or hate it, the 1998 American Godzilla somehow always finds its way onto these types of surveys. While NECA has stated before they have no plans for this incarnation, it appears as if the fans really hope they reconsider. With a sleek and more saurian-based design, the 1998 Godzilla could be a very unique figure all around. Additionally, there would be a handful of repaint/reissue possibilities for this figure, including a battle-damaged version with wounds caused by the jets just prior to its death, and a color scheme version based on the animated Godzilla: The Series design, which fans hold in higher regard.

     

      #2. 1999

    Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)

    The first of the millennium era Godzillas, the 1999 Godzilla (also known as “Godzilla 2000”) is a strongly popular design amongst fans. While this design isn’t as sleek as others voted up, it isn’t nearly as bulky as the 1990’s versions. Thus, if NECA could manage the aforementioned Heisei designs, 1999 shouldn’t be an issue. Many fans simply want the cinematic design of this Godzilla in a highly articulated fashion, something that Tamashii Nations didn’t do and instead went with a concept version. For reissues, NECA would have options for an orange atomic blast variant, a Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) variant with brighter green and purple colors, and even underwater variants.

     

      #1. 1962

    King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

    It was almost unanimous. Almost everyone who cast their votes included the 1962 version of Godzilla. An iconic design, it would make sense for NECA to cash in on the upcoming 2020 Godzilla vs. Kong film and release a figure based on their pair’s original match up. It has been over a decade since a widely released, six inch figure of this design was released and never once has any company done an articulated variant. Of all the designs voted up, this one may prove the most difficult for reissues, but the atomic blast variant still fits. Additionally, NECA could even do some scene specific recreations, such as when Godzilla emerges from the iceberg or is climbing out of the pit trap.

     

    Miscellaneous Designs
      #3. Super Godzilla

    Super Godzilla

    A powered-up version of Godzilla only ever seen in one video game, Super Godzilla would fit perfectly in NECA’s classic video game series line. However, it may also prove troublesome. Who knows what the rights for this look like, if it falls under the general Godzilla copyright or something else entirely. Regardless, making the figure wouldn’t be too hard. With other lines, NECA has shown they’re good at recycling parts with minimal new sculpt work for heads and limbs. With just their 1994 basis, it’s not hard to imagine this being a possibility. There was no preference for either the U.S. design (no head crest) or original Japanese design (head crest), but the fans have declared that they want this monster in some capacity.

     

      #2. Hanna-Barbera Godzilla

    Godzilla (The Godzilla Power Hour)

    Despite NECA being told “no” by Toho when first starting the line, the fans still want to see this a reality. A starting point for many older fans in the fandom, this cartoon version of Godzilla has never seen a figure. If there’s any company that could do it justice, it would be NECA. With NECA having done figures for over two years now and having done both an NES Video Game Appearance Godzilla and a completely original repaint (Reactor Glow), maybe now would be the time to revisit this idea with Toho and give the fans what they want.

     

      #1. Stan Winston Godzilla

    Godzilla (Lost Project – 1994)

    Without a doubt the most famous unmade American attempt at Godzilla, the 1994 Stan Winston Godzilla design has gained tremendous popularity ever since Sci-Fi Japan ran a series of articles on it. This unique design is a far cry from what fans received in 1998 and even 2014, appearing more like the traditional Japanese Godzillas but with much meaner features. While this may be harder to see get made compared to other designs, in and out of the main line of films, NECA has a history of getting obscure things done for their toy lines. Being the highest voted of all miscellaneous Godzilla designs, the fans have clearly spoken: make the Stan Winston Godzilla.

    General // April 11, 2017
  • This year’s April Fools’ day prank was a two part effort involving myself and Mathew Webber. The scope of the pranks included both the K.W.C. and the forums, hitting Toho Kingdom visitors on multiple fronts. One of those pranks being a new match. The other was a spin on the threads and moderation of the site’s forums. As a result, this year’s summary is broken up into two parts. Read below for more details on both, and feel free to leave a comment to share your thoughts as well.

    April Fools' Day 2017


    K.W.C.

    Hello longtime fan of Tohokingdom, first time reader, or someone that is caught in-between… again. As with every year, Tohokingdom unleashed its newest April Fool’s joke upon the world, and this year the staff of the K.W.C. were lucky enough to take control. Unlike in years prior with “Match 200” or Giant Condor vs. Everyone; 2017 took the joke in a strange new direction. But before I dive any deeper, let me explain where this crazy idea originated.

    Around October, with the critically acclaimed release of Match 185, I was hit with a dozen random ideas for the K.W.C. due to the matches’ premise and bending of the rules. Of these ideas, one was a new April Fools Match featuring the writers fighting each other in a battle royale to the death. The idea was brought forth by Alex Williams, a longstanding Verifier of the K.W.C., and its premise I liked. Upon discussion with Andrew Sudomerski, the Editor of the K.W.C., we decided to modify it slightly by having Christian Salabert & Thomas Fairchild as the two antagonists who return to retake the K.W.C. We contacted the two, and with their approval the idea gained full steam. Alex and I quickly began working on this around December, and then…. Then things stalled.

    It wouldn’t be until mid-March before both parts were integrated, and even then it was far from complete. Jackson Morris was tasked with making a Shin Godzilla vs. Everyone banner, but creative differences led to the eventual Star Godzilla vs. Shin Godzilla banner. Multiple verifiers were asked to create their own fight scenes, but only one ended up contributing.What I thought would be a collaboration piece of different writers, ended with myself contributing a majority of the work which in the end I think helped keep the story, pace and writing consistent between myself and Alex.

    April Fools' Day 2017

     

     

    Read the original April Fools Match:
    Match 195: Star Godzilla vs. Shin Godzilla

     

     

    In regards to my inspirations for “Match 195”, there are quite a few depending on the section. The most evident is the K.W.C.C., a podcast run by Andrew and the backdrop of the match, which I would highly recommend you to check out. In regards to TK Ville, the idea was based off of a forum member by the name of Kubo who created a fantastic fan fiction series called The Toho Kingdom Forum Adventures. I loved the idea of Toho Kingdom being its own city, and with this match I finally had the chance to pay homage to his work. The other inspiration for me came from an unlikely source. A fantastic series called One Punch Man. This is especially evident in regards to Tom and Christian’s characters with one being overpowered yet restrained while the other is far weaker yet is constantly the one doing the leg work. I would also highly recommend listening to the “The Ruler”, “Dark Energy” & “Saitama Theme” in regards to Tom’s transformation, the final Tom vs. Tyler fight and the Tom vs. Anthony fight respectively.

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the final result, and I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project. We may continue this series, we may not. Whatever course is taken though, I highly recommend everyone always keep your eyes out for what the site has to offer on March 32nd!


    Forums

    In an attempt to listen to user feedback as well as to better connect with the community, the Toho Kingdom Forums was turned into the totalitarian dictatorship people make it out to be. This includes a slight revamping of the rules to where the warning system was changed to a “3 Strikes Policy” where at 3 warning you would receive a permanent ban. However to off shot this, upon receiving 2 warnings you were to be banned for 1 week and warnings expire after 90 days instead of 1 year. The banning procedure was also changed. If you are to be banned for either 2 or 3 warnings you would be at the end of the first day of the new new month (April 1st in this case). The “Comments, Suggestions and Error” Section was renamed to “Questions for the Totalitarian Rule” and the entire sub-forum was promptly locked, as no problems exist anymore.

    April Fools' Day 2017 ModsIn addition to this, a few new rules were put into place protecting the Moderation staff from accusations and to uphold our new tyrannical image. Such examples are;

    • Arguing with a Moderator will result in a warning
    • Being a smart alec (ass) to a Moderator or Staff member will result in a warning
    • Intentionally starting drama or inciting it and/or participating in any of the above will/can result in a warning and/or a free ban (determined at the time by the staff member.)

    Also listening to more requests from the user base, the “Whine Thread” was brought back along with a “Spam Thread” for users to get out all of their bad posting habits. This was grouped into a sub forum within the “General” forum but however, was stuck in “Read Only Access” unless you were part of the Forum Staff or a member of the Forum Police.

    Part of this new forum was the creation of the user group “Forum Police”, which can be seen to the right. A group of users composed of members who the staff held in high regard, are ex-forum staff themselves or trusted users. This group’s job is to mark posts indiscriminately as “Infractions”. Upon a notification of an “Infraction”, members of the forum staff will take over and administer the correct punishment. Not everything is doom and gloom however, as several threads got caught up in the chaos and have been renamed to various things as well as several topics.

    In order to contain the upheaval of chaos and to enforce the iron fist, a fmoderator was bumped to “Admin Status” (Admin in Rank Color Only). This being Beef Bigshot. He promptly attempted a coup but was exiled. Chris55 was given this “Admin status” was well as a fancy “Site Staff” logo. Members of the Admin Team and Moderation Team also received flashy new rank images.

    Some of the board names were also changed as part of the process. Below are the boards as they looked on April 1st, 2017.

    General // April 2, 2017
  • Wondering if there is an after the credits scene in Kong: Skull Island? Many blockbuster franchises, from the Marvel cinematic universe to entries in the Fast & Furious series, boast a sequence at the end of the film that often ties into future entries. That said, and anyone who recently watched Logan can attest, it can be frustrating to sit through the entire credits only to be greeted with no such scene. So does the latest Kong movie offer something after the credits?

    Is There an After Credits Scene in Kong: Skull Island?The answer: yes

    Not only is that answer a resounding yes, but it’s a scene that genre fans will have to see. This scene should not be confused with the home video footage of John C. Reilly’s Hank Marlow, which happens at the start of and during the credits. This sequence happens after the credits are completely finished.

    Due to the magnitude of the scene, it’s recommended to not have it spoiled before watching it. That said, those looking for spoilers can find them further down the page.

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    So while Godzilla (2014) had no after credits stinger, Kong does in a major way. While fans can enjoy the music of Captain America: Civil War composer Henry Jackman, observant viewers can see a credit for Toho and the use of the Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Rodan characters. This citation does indeed link to the after credits sequence.

    The scene starts with Tom Hiddleston’s James Conrad and Brie Larson’s Mason Weaver being integrated by unseen figures at a Monarch facility. The frustrated pair talk about Skull Island and possible revelations to the Russians. They are interrupted by the appearance of Monarch staff, as Corey Hawkins’ Houston Brooks and Tian Jing’s San arrive to inform them that Skull Island was not an anomaly.

    They begin talking of other monster sightings, cueing both a stock image from the 2014 Godzilla film of the nuclear explosion before showing cave drawing pictures. These pictures depict, separately, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Rodan. An additional painting depicts Godzilla battling King Ghidorah.

    Other monsters do exist, and as the movie fades to black the Godzilla roar is heard.

    As a result of this sequence, the movie teases the upcoming Godzilla: King of the Monsters film.

    General // March 11, 2017
  • Over the years the question of what kaiju eat has often remained largely a mystery. Tsuburaya cut the scene of Godzilla eating a cow in the original Godzilla (1954), and he has been mostly left hungry ever since—except when he starts snarfing radiation or, in the case of the American Godzilla, piles of fish. However, it’s hard to imagine just the enormous amount of food necessary to feed these modern day behemoths—the film Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972) attempted an answer and showed that feeding the beasts can be quite the hassle! While some kaiju definitely eat people (Rodan originally munched people meat, for example, as did Gyaos), and some eat livestock (such as Baragon), by and large the question of what makes a good monster lunch has been left largely open to interpretation.

    Godzilla Print Cookie ReviewAfter some investigation, the answer appears to be “lots of snacks and sweets!” So let’s dive into another item: The Godzilla Cookie, or the Godzilla Print Cookie (ゴジラプリントクッキー). This is yet another confection from Sawarabi STK, which to me feels like perhaps the most quintessential Godzilla omiyage, the most balanced, kind of the obvious choice.

    Unlike, say, the Godzilla Yaki or the Godzilla Pie, the Godzilla Print Cookie comes in several varieties. The Godzilla Gaufrette also comes with several designs, but the Godzilla Cookie has more cookies (14 instead of 10), so you can share the cookie with more people. What’s more, the Godzilla Cookie has at least two different versions—the straight up Godzilla Cookie box and the special edition Shin Godzilla vs. Namja Town box. Namja Town is an amusement park created by Namco, and they did a big cross promotion with Godzilla Resurgence (2016) last year, including multiple Godzilla-themed foods and desserts as well as a pretty dang cool augmented reality game. I bought the Namja Town special edition cookies there back in September I believe, but let’s get back to the snacks.

    The actual flavor of the cookies is pretty simple and mild, sweet, with a nice buttery taste with a touch of almond. At first I thought they were kind of bland, but they have really grown on me as I have continued to eat them. Of course, these Goji-cookies are meant to be shared, and most lucky schlubs will only get a chance to snack on one or two. I greedily have too full boxes which I have shared with, err, no one so far. Does anyone want a Godzilla cookie?

    Speaking of the boxes, the original box and the special edition are pretty much identical, the only difference being an image of Namja Town mascot Najavu wearing a Godzilla costume in one corner of the special edition version (the text says “Namja Town Only! Shin Godzilla vs. Namja Town. Godzilla invades Namja Town!”). Other than the cosplaying cat, both boxes are the same, with a big shot of Godzilla from The Return of Godzilla (1984) on the cover (the same shot that appeared on the Godzilla Gaufrette) with text declaring, in effect, “Godzilla has landed/come ashore,” as well as “Godzilla Cookie” in shaky font.

    Godzilla Print Cookie Review

    As a side note, with the advent of Godzilla Resurgence (2016), many goods have been using three kanji to write out Godzilla’s name, instead of writing his name in katakana—so we get 呉爾羅 instead of ゴジラ. What I find interesting about this is that they use a different set of kanji for Godzilla here than they do in China–哥斯拉.

    Anyway, I have gotten off track again. I forgot to mention the coolest part of the Godzilla Print Cookie box—the pop up Godzilla 1984 inside! Both boxes feature a flap top that you can open to reveal a huge foldout Godzilla, a black and white image of G84 growling and lifting a menacing paw! For G-fans like me, it makes for a great addition to an already pretty sweet (yuk yuk) box of goodies.

    Godzilla Print Cookie Review

    The cookies have designs, too—they ain’t called print cookies for nothing! The normal box has four different designs with Godzilla feet, the name Godzilla, and silhouettes of Godzilla in various combinations. Some of the same designs could also be found on the Neapolitan wafers in the Godzilla Gaufrette box. These cookies are seen at the top of the review.

    The Namja Town special edition cookies are somewhat more interesting. There are three designs—one celebrating the 20th anniversary of Namja Town with a G-force logo, and two with Namja Town mascots dressed as Godzilla and Kiryu. This is pretty cute stuff, and if you dig a little to find out more about the Namja cast of cats, you will find there was a reason they chose these particular characters to don the scales or metal plates of their respective kaiju counterparts. Najavu, who is dressed as Godzilla, is the main character, the “hero” if you will, of the Namja Town mythos (yes, there is a back story). Najavu is a calico cat who is fun loving, likes reading humorous Japanese poetry, and has a thing for Najami, the heroine kitty cat. The Kiryu-cosplaying Mojavu, on the other hand, is the mischievous villain, leader of the MojaMoja Gang, who is always trying to defeat Najavu. (Mojavu also has a pet cat named Ootama—a cat who owns a cat for a pet? I would say it’s because Mojavu is the villain, but honestly Hello Kitty has her own pet cat in the unrelated Sanrio universe, so…) At any rate, given that some versions of Godzilla are fairly feline in their design anyway, it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine cats donning Godzilla outfits and duking it out.

    At least, I don’t think it is.

    Look, do you like sugar cookies? Do you like Godzilla? Then basically these cookies are for you. I think the cookies are pretty delicious, and their designs are great fun, especially the cats dressing up as Godzilla characters—if only they had had more of them! I would have been really thrilled to see, say, King Caesar or Gabara as cats, or, to go really weird instead of really obvious, how about cat Destoroyah? Catnip Biollante? The possibilities just go on and on!

    Godzilla Print Cookie Review

    Kaiju Kuisine // February 25, 2017
  • From January into February, a survey was conducted on the Toho Kingdom forums that allowed members to vote for up to fifteen kaiju they would like to see in the Tamashii Nations S.H. MonsterArts line of figures. In their votes, members had to give reasons as to why they wanted the monsters they were voting for, with choices being anything in Toho’s live-action movie library, whether produced or distributed by Toho, or even to request reissues of figures already in the line.

    After 30 days, the survey was ended, the votes were tallied up and the list condensed into a Top 10, showing a rather surprising list of monsters the fans have voiced their demand for. While this by no means guarantees Tamashii Nations will take these results into consideration, or that any of the following monsters will be made, we still appreciate everyone’s involvement during this event!

    With that said…

      #10. Godzilla (1962)

    King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

    Spot number ten was grasped just at the end by the fan favorite Godzilla ’62. With a remake of the iconic King Kong vs. Godzilla underway, fans want to celebrate with a new figure for this vintage look of Godzilla. Fans really hope to see this someday, saying it is amongst their favorite of Godzilla’s designs and was a huge factor in their childhood and even becoming a fan to this day. Other fans stated their desire just to own a figure of this design as there hasn’t been many in the last decade and a half.

     

      #9. Baragon (2001)

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

    It was a close call for spots nine and ten in the end, but the final votes came in with support for Baragon. Almost everyone was unanimous in wanting the 2001 version of the character to go alongside Tamashii’s Godzilla 2001. Despite its smaller role in the film, Baragon has proven to be far popular than its other guardian brothers and has gained tremendous support from the fans.

     

      #8. Godzilla (2002/2003)

    Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

    Strong support for this version of Godzilla was apparent early on as he raked in votes faster than any other Godzilla design. Fans eagerly want this design of Godzilla, claiming it to be their favorite without a lack of new merchandise for it since the early 2000’s. Almost everyone was unanimous in voting for him, stating they would hope to see Tamashii release two variants: one with the battle scar and one without.

     

      #7. Zilla

    Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

    Depending on whom you ask, this result is either expected or completely unexpected. Zilla was immensely popular early on and held steady as the votes came in. Fans pointed out his unique look and stance compared to other kaiju and that he’s one of their favorite monsters because of the animated TV series from 1998. Others pointed out that Zilla would make sense because of the amount of possible re-releases they could do with it (including the 1998 GODZILLA remake and one based on the cartoon series). Whether a figure is made of it or not, Zilla’s support and popularity amongst the fans is unquestionable.

     

      #6. Titanosaurus

    Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

    As a release of the original Mechagodzilla looms overhead, fans have already begun looking toward the future. Titanosaurus was voted up simply for the desire to have a companion to pair with the upcoming (but yet to be revealed when) Mechagodzilla from Tamashii Nations. Additionally, as a popular kaiju in and of itself, fans pointed out that its red color scheme would look well and contrast the more mundane colors of a collector’s shelf.

     

      #5. Megalon

    Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

    One of Godzilla’s most notorious villains simply for its horrendous movie, Megalon came as no surprise as fans voted him alongside Showa Gigan stating “they go hand in hand.” Pointing out wishful thoughts of Megalon’s drills being made of die cast, the fan support was strong with Megalon as he was said to be one of the many of the voters’ favorite monsters of the Godzilla franchise.

     

      #4. Anguirus (1968/1972)

    Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

    Godzilla’s loyal ally, Anguirus had very strong support until dropping mid-way through the survey. Still without a doubt one of the most popular kaiju, fans pointed out they wanted a bigger and better articulated Anguirus when compared to the Revoltech release. Additionally, fans declared that they’d want an Anguirus especially to go alongside a Showa Gigan should one ever be made.

     

      #3. Orga

    Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)

    Godzilla’s first opponent in the millennium era led the votes up until the end when Monster X and Gigan surpassed him. Fan demand for this kaiju stems from a desire to have an Orga to pose and pair with Tamashii’s Godzilla 2000 figure. The monster’s popularity also came into play with many fans listing him as one of their favorites. Additionally, many fans noted their desire to also have Orga’s UFO included if there was any means.

     

      #2. Gigan (1972/1973)

    Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972), Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

    The highest-voted Showa kaiju to make the list was surprisingly the Showa Gigan. Despite a Revoltech figure being released numerous years ago, fans are still hungry for an articulated Showa Gigan. A fan favorite all around, many fans simply prefer this rendition of the cyborg over the millennium version.

     

      #1. Monster X

    Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

    The final monster of Godzilla’s 50th anniversary raked in more votes than anybody else in the survey. Almost every reason included the fact he’s humanoid and would be a wonderful addition to the line. Additionally, the lack of Monster X merchandise since 2004 has meant newer fans haven’t had a chance to add him despite him being one of their favorites.

    General // February 15, 2017
  • I have been an appreciator of film scores for as long as I can remember. In fact, when asked to name my favorite musical artists, I tend to cite—in addition to composers of classical music—the men and women whose recorded notes complement the images when we watch a film. And as the title of this article would suggest, quite a few of the scores in the Godzilla series spring to mind when naming my favorites. Hence why I could not settle for the customary numerical figure of ten when compiling this list!

    I have decided to rank these albums according to criteria largely divorced from the movies themselves. (After all, even a lousy movie can be blessed with a good soundtrack—ergo, endorsement of a soundtrack is not necessarily endorsement of the film it derives from.) I am also judging these scores mostly as standalone experiences and not so much in terms of how they relate or fail to relate to their respective films: so soundtracks which function effectively in context but not so much on their own—à la Alexandre Desplat’s score for Godzilla (2014)—will not make the cut. And scores that sometimes feel mismatched to their given project have the potential to land a spot due to functioning brilliantly on their own.

    Criteria now stated, let’s begin.

    #15. Son of Godzilla

    As with the motion picture it derives from, Masaru Sato’s score for Son of Godzilla (1967) immediately springs to mind when considering the most unfairly dismissed accomplishments in the series. The Main Title theme, which reappears at various lengths throughout the remainder of the soundtrack, captures a playful and energetic mood befitting a tropical environment. And yet the score as a whole is not entirely upbeat; it does have some dark edges to it. The track Kumonga Appears, cued for the arrival of the antagonist monster, is a suitably creepy piece of music but not to the point where it feels like it belongs in a different album altogether.

    In another instance—one which quintessentially demonstrates Sato’s range—the composer deftly transitions between whimsy and dread: Saeko and Minilla, perhaps my favorite track in the entire score. It starts on an empathy-stirring note (recalling the scene where newborn Minya whimpered haplessly as Godzilla stomped away, apparently abandoning the infant reptile to a fate alone in the wilderness) before assuming a rendition of the Main Title motif and then unleashing an eruption of fearsome notes; and then the composer repeats the last two steps; I very much enjoyed how the second iteration of the menacing segment paces itself at a slower tempo than the first.

    A fantastic listen—both in and out of the film.

     

    #14. GODZILLA

    My next selection is a prime example of something I mentioned before: the occasional appearance of a great soundtrack in a rather lackluster movie. Like most people, I do not hold the 1998 film GODZILLA with particularly high regard. And, again like most people, I most certainly consider the 2014 reboot directed by Gareth Edwards a largely superior effort. However, there is one area in which I feel the Roland Emmerich film outclasses the Edwards film…by a long shot! To reiterate: Desplat’s score for the 2014 picture served its purpose to satisfying effect when attached to the film; but when isolated and left to fend for itself, the soundtrack grew a tad dull with a succession of mostly unmemorable tracks. (Some exceptions: the main title Godzilla! and Golden Gate Chaos.)

    By contrast, the score for the 1998 film, composed by the underrated David Arnold, is a thoroughly enjoyable listen packed with exhilarating action cues, catchy themes for character moments, and the employment of a choir rightfully described by David Hirsch in the Ultimate EditionCD pamphlet as “angelic.” (This is particularly true of the conclusion of Big G Goes to Monster Heaven.) I am also very fond of Joe Gets a Bite / Godzilla Arrives: the turbulent notes Arnold employs when Godzilla’s tail and dorsal spines rise into view over a highway coupled with a preceding tone of suspense never fails to dazzle me. Let it also be said that Arnold put together a soothing leitmotif for the character of Audrey and finds just the right moments to incorporate it so that it does not grow tiresome when experiencing the soundtrack by itself—now if only Emmerich and Devlin had upheld their end of the bargain and provided a character who wasn’t, to put it gently, one of the most exasperating female leads in the history of cinema.

    But I digress.

    It is a shame Arnold’s score has been disregarded over the years due to its association with a much-maligned movie. But he must be credited for delivering one of the few thoroughly commendable qualities in the aforementioned production. I have no shame in citing his soundtrack for GODZILLA as a huge personal favorite.

     

    #13. Godzilla vs. Biollante

    Onto another entry embodying the criteria I previously described, though this particular choice addresses how a great score can sometimes fail to relate—or not relate as well as it might have—to its chosen film. As has been reported, Koichi Sugiyama wasn’t exactly thrown into the best possible circumstances when scoring Kazuki Omori’s Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989). Sugiyama, whose closest experience to scoring a monster movie was the theme song for Return of Ultraman, was challenged with providing a lush soundtrack without seeing any footage; so the composer wrote a number of suites, centered around various themes and emotions, and it was up to the filmmakers to cut, edit, and assemble them for use in the movie. Hence why, when you watch the film, you will often hear the exact same track—the exact same recording—being used again and again and again. (It’s also worth mentioning that Sugiyama did not conduct or record the actual soundtrack; said task befell David Howell, the arranger, who similarly carried out his assignment without screening the film.)

    Sugiyama’s score has also been criticized for being too derivative of non-Japanese soundtracks—namely the work of John Williams—and rightfully so. The rapid rhythmic thumping in the Godzilla 1989 suite is all too clearly inspired by the shark’s theme in Jaws (1975); and when listening to the Super-X2 suite, one cannot help but picture Christopher Reeve soaring to the rescue in Superman: The Movie (1978).

    Two paragraphs to exemplify some earlier mentioned criteria. Now onto the meat of this selection. Derivativeness and in-context redundancy aside, Sugiyama’s score for Godzilla vs. Biollante, I feel, emerges as an excellent and delightfully unique musical addition to the franchise! Especially when one regards the suites in their entirety as opposed to the snippets that appeared in the movie. It saddens me to this day that we didn’t get to hear more of the sweeping Love Theme in the film, for the track rises from a solid beginning—what ended up being used—to a truly amazing finish as it goes along. It is a piece of music worthy of any grand romantic spectacle. Sugiyama’s Biollante suite is also beautiful—integrating wonder, mystery, suspense, shock, and empathy into a single six-plus-minute stretch. Requiem, when examined in its entirety, makes for a very lovely and listenable piece of music. Same goes for Asuka.

    And, imitative as it is, I love the Super-X2’s theme!

    The soundtrack also recycles some cues from Ostinato: a collection of re-recorded Akira Ifukube tracks conducted in the mid-80s to accompany an outtake video before landing a commercial release in 1986. The fact that the recycled cues boast a noticeably different style from Sugiyama’s music and were all too obviously recorded under different circumstances (conduction by Hiroshi Kumagai) does stand out a bit, but not enough to take away from the enjoyment factor.

    Oh, I forgot to mention Bio-Wars. Yes, the notorious cue which reworked the classic Godzilla theme into a piece of rock music. I confess I sort of have a soft spot for this suite, though I’m grateful it was only used once in the film.

    Of course, we can debate whether the Ostinato cues and/or Bio-Wars work in context, but believe it or not, these tracks are due partial credit for Ifukube’s subsequent return to the franchise. From the composer’s interview with Steve Ryfle: “I did not accept the assignment for Godzilla vs. Biollante, but after the film was released, my daughter pointed out they had used some of my music in the film. Also, they had made some of my music into a rock theme, and I did not like that! So, my daughter encouraged me to accept the next Godzilla movie so I would have some control over how my music was used.”

    So in a sense, even detractors owe the soundtrack for Godzilla vs. Biollante a certain level of grudging respect. Without this album, we might not have received any of the maestro’s highly celebrated film scores from the 1990s.

     

    #12. King Kong vs. Godzilla

    Growing up watching the heavily edited American cut of King Kong vs. Godzilla, I always thought the stock western music in that particular version felt perplexing and out of its element. Even as a kid, I could tell the score, as well as the film as a whole, had been tampered with to extremely ill effect. Then I purchased the La-La Land Records release of the original Japanese score, and it quickly became one of my favorite Godzilla soundtracks. And remains so to this day.

    While the themes centered around Kong—Main TitleThe Sleeping DevilThe Invincible King Kong, among others—are gems, this soundtrack is rich with plenty of other standout pieces. It was here that the menacing Godzilla march was applied to the character. (Although this terrifying cue is a modification of the beast’s attack leitmotif in the original 1954 classic, it was with the 1962 score that it reached its more common, identifiable form). Some of my all-time favorite variations are contained here: Godzilla’s Resurrection and its later renditions The Terror of Godzilla and Operation “One Million Volts” I. Pitched at various tempos, the march consistently delivers in conveying an atmosphere of ensuing danger. But perhaps my favorite use of it occurs at the tail-end of The Seahawk’s S.O.S. The bulk of this track is very suspenseful and then the first part of Godzilla’s march erupts forth, accompanied by an eerie, almost otherworldly background noise that sounds as though it were written for a UFO instead of a giant reptile. It works, oddly enough.

    Also: some of the best military marches in Ifukube’s career.

    The soundtrack for King Kong vs. Godzilla includes two stock cues composed by none other than Ifukube’s former student Sei Ikeno, my favorite being the very catchy Great News Gathering Team Departure. It’s a real treat to be able to hear this track (originally from the 1959 film Use the Handcuff) in its entirety.

     

    #11. Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II

    Another slam-dunk from the greatest Godzilla composer to date, his third effort in the Heisei series, and the penultimate album in his film scoring career. After the merely efficient score for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) and the majestic score for Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Ifukube catapulted himself back into the realm of greatness for the return of Godzilla’s mechanical doppelganger. In addition to a lofty, percussion-heavy new theme for MechaGodzilla, this album’s rendition of both Godzilla themes demonstrate vast improvement over their somewhat hollow-sounding 1992 counterparts. And even though the Godzilla vs. Mothra album featured a number of mesmerizing choir-enhanced cues, the songs in this album (lyrics written in the Ainu language), go even further in creating awe-inspiring aural beauty. As with several other scores by this composer, this soundtrack tends to be repetitive; but Ifukube, as always, is so good that he afford to rehash his own work; not to mention, unlike the Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah music, a good bulk of the reiterated themes are brand-new, so the repetition hardly matters in the long run.

     

    #10. Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla

    Masaru Sato returns to the list with one of my two or three favorite scores by him. The music for Godzilla’s 20th anniversary film is loud, energetic, jazzy—and yet it does not overplay its hand to the point where it becomes unpleasant. It is over-the-top, but in the best sense of the word—very much like the movie it was written for. I know not what Ifukube thought of the way Sato adapted his Godzilla march in this film, but I get chills listening to its reworking in the track Lightning Strikes Godzilla. I don’t have much else to say about Sato’s final contribution to the series other than it’s just so much darn fun to listen to, and for that very simple reason, it guarantees itself a spot on my list. (Sometimes the reasoning behind our pleasures is magnificently simple.)

     

    #09. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

    One of the most difficult choices in making this top 15 list was deciding which Michiru Oshima-composed MechaGodzilla soundtrack I liked best. (For disclosure: I also hold her Godzilla vs. Megaguirus music with extremely high regard. Consider it an honorable mention, if you will.) Her work in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. stands out as arguably her most diverse of the three: incorporating her highly memorable Godzilla theme, the awe-inspiring leitmotif for Kiryu, and a gorgeous new theme for Mothra, along with the stellar remainder of this soundtrack. Oshima manages to juggle between her primary themes, sometimes within the same individual tracks, with a gracefulness that rivals Ifukube. I also enjoyed how, in this entry, Oshima sometimes spaced out the clusters of percussion notes for Godzilla’s theme, drawing out suspense—such as for the scene where the King of the Monsters rises from the sea before a stunned military defense line. Familiar material, yes, but with an occasional (and appreciated) change in delivery. The battle themes are extraordinary, with Imago Mothra x Godzilla taking the lead in creating a sense of frenetic tension.

    And special mention must be made of End Credits. I can listen to this final cue on a loop, but its denouement, in particular, really stands out to me, featuring some of the most resplendent chorus work I’ve heard in a film score (period!).

    In a sense, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. marks Oshima’s most accomplished work in the series. Why then, you might ask, do I rank this score ever so slightly beneath the score for Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002)?

     

    #08. Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla

    My reasoning has less to do with artistry and more to do with technical delivery. Whereas the music for Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. was conducted in Japan (by the New Japan Philharmonic), Oshima’s score for the 2002 predecessor was brought to thunderous, pulse-pounding life via none other than the Moscow International Symphony Orchestra. Booming and punched up with a noticeable echo, Oshima’s drum-dominated theme for Godzilla has never sounded so powerful; furthermore, the “size” of the music delivery enhances the idea of Godzilla as a lumbering titan and works spectacularly with the character. I regret never having seen the film in a theater, an environment in which those hair-raising drumbeats would resonate with even more authority.

    The same principles spread to the rest of the score, from the electrifying Main Title to the wondrous MechaGodzilla theme. And even though it’s not quite as diverse as the previous entry on this list, this album comprises a satisfying amount of variety: haunting music (Ominous Memories), playful music (Leaving School), somber music (Trust — Sara’s Shorea Plant), and themes of horror-inducing devastation (Running Wild).

    Again, my ranking this soundtrack over its 2003 follow-up is definitely more personal than critical: Tokyo S.O.S. arguably demonstrated greater range and complexity; but the experience of listening to the 2002 music as realized by such a gargantuan team of instrumentalists doubles—triples—what would have already made for an impressive experience under a smaller recording team. One can only imagine how sweeping and majestic Oshima’s closing theme for Tokyo S.O.S.would have sounded under the care of the Russian orchestra….

     

    #07. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla

    The number seven selection marks a point where my opinion will markedly split from the general consensus. Takayuki Hattori is widely deemed one of the weaker composers to work in the Godzilla franchise, derided by many as having been woefully mismatched to the genre. I, however, am a huge enthusiast of this man’s work and, as such, have always had tremendous affection for both of his Godzilla scores. One criticism I will consent to: he sometimes had a tendency, in his two kaiju albums, to write music that sounded out of place in the movie it was written for. (There were moments where the scores felt as though they belonged in different projects altogether.) But this has never detracted from my overall admiration for his talent; keep in mind my preference to judge these scores predominately on their own terms, separate from the films; and I personally feel the divergences, in both albums, were few and far between. By and large, I thought his music worked excellently. Thus, the first score of his to appear on this list—the one for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla(1994)—holds a special place in my heart.

    Accounts vary as to why Ifukube did not score the film—the composer expressed disinterest in the script in interviews; director Kensho Yamashita cited a scheduling conflict as the cause—but, whatever the reason, it might have been for the better. Hattori’s score is a perfect fit, as far I am concerned. SpaceGodzilla’s primary theme utilizes an impressive combination of strings, cymbals, and horns to generate a unsettling vibe necessary for the antagonist monster. The new G-Force theme is suitably heroic and—dare I say it!—a tad more memorable than Ifukube’s still-excellent military themes from Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II.

    Moving on—and further widening the gap between myself and the rest of the fandom—I am a huge, huge enthusiast for Hattori’s rousing Godzilla march. Fast-paced with quick percussion beats, it quintessentially conveys a sense of majesty and determination—an essential combination for when Godzilla is marching across Fukuoka to clash with his extra-terrestrial foe.

    As both admirers and detractors will agree, Hattori’s greatest strength lies in his flair for subtlety, and it is in the gentler tracks that the soundtrack for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla reaches its pinnacle! The romantic cues, especially the one cued for when Miki and Shinjo speak with each other before the sunset, are wonderful to listen to; the mixture of strings and softly performed woodwinds works to soothing effect. The (clearly John Barry-inspired) Birth Island I track is another earworm piece. Requiem, for the immediate aftermath of SpaceGodzilla’s defeat: gentle, a tad melancholy, and still carrying across a feeling of genuine accomplishment. I am also rather keen on the frolicsome, Sato-esque theme for Little Godzilla.

    The soundtrack for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla uses some non-Hattori music as well. First: a few stock tracks from Ifukube’s Godzilla vs. Mothra and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II albums. Second: the track M25, by Isao Shigeto, which perfectly blends with the tone of Hattori’s music, composed for the film’s closing scene. Third: the song Echoes of Love, performed by Date of Birth, makes for a pleasant, bliss-stirring listen.

     

    #06. Mothra vs. Godzilla

    Now we’re getting to the really good stuff! From the very beginning of the main title sequence, complete with sounds that feel more mechanical than musical, later punched up with an explosive rendition of the Godzilla march and the instantly memorable battle theme, Ifukube’s score for the 1964 classic Mothra vs. Godzilla defines itself as a milestone in the composer’s career. As with its companion film, this soundtrack contains just about everything you could ask for: terror, suspense, gentleness, majesty, heart-pounding combat themes, reverence. The soundtrack contains a good many themes present elsewhere in the franchise, but in terms of conduction and the raw experience of listening to these iconic cues, the soundtrack for Mothra vs. Godzilla remains virtually unsurpassed.

    The intimidating Godzilla march, for instance, has never sounded better! After Attack on the Industrial Compound, my favorite use of the march is Godzilla Appears, for that iconic scene in which the King of the Monsters rises out of the ground, bellowing in defiance. What I find appealing about this track is, first, the conduction. The heart-starting notes that open this rendition of the march and signal Godzilla’s arrival never fail to erect the hair on my arms. And secondly, I love the ponderous, atmospheric delivery of the latter part of this particular cue and the way it slowly tails into silence. As a whole, it perfectly encapsulates the impression of a gigantic, terrifying force of nature slowly pressing onward, unstoppable, its destination unknown, the fate of its victims chosen. And no matter how many times Ifukube repeats the theme throughout the album, it never loses its luster. This is partially due to Ifukube’s sagacious decision to occasionally mix the march with other riveting tracks, such as in the two-cue Electrical Discharge Strike set.

    While I do maintain my stance that the original Yuji Koseki Mothra song, performed by the Ito sisters, hasn’t been matched since its induction in the 1961 Mothra soundtrack, the performance of the song in this album fares very well. Also splendid are Ifukube’s new songs for the Shobijin, with lyrics written in Tagalog. I’m also very much a fan of Reflection of the Little Beauties—starting off with its touching theme for the Shobijin and its segue into a purely musical rendition of the Sacred Springssong, and then a variation of the sinister The Dome is Activated, before culminating with a return to its prefatory tranquility. It’s one of the most enamoring pieces of film music I’ve ever heard.

    A genuine winner in Ifukube’s film score repertoire.

     

    #05. Godzilla 2000: Millennium

    The second and regretfully last—to date—Godzilla soundtrack by the most underappreciated composer in the series. In writing his score for the first film in the Millennium series, Hattori cranked the awe factor to another level, implemented a vast chorus, further enhanced his talents for subtlety, and created what I personally consider one of the most creative and spellbinding film scores in the series. Now, of the two scores he wrote for the Big G, I will admit this one fares slightly less when partnered with its film. There are a small number of cues in the soundtrack that, frankly, do not mesh with the scenes they were written for: Extraterrestrial Life: The Metamorphosis is much too soft and gentle for Orga’s grand appearance and was wisely replaced by composer J. Peter Robinson for the film’s American cut. But even the incongruous elements work to marvelous effect as standalone experiences; and the majority resides on the tier of excellence.

    To start with, Hattori’s new theme for Godzilla is brilliant. Once more, the composer’s gift for combining various emotions shines through: his mixture of horns and string instruments expresses a consummate marriage of mystery and wonder. (I also very much enjoyed the little dabs of niceties placed at strategic points through the theme.) Hattori pitches the theme at various tempos—very slow for Godzilla’s Theme: 2000 Millennium, very fast for Astonishing Resurrection, somewhere in the middle for End Title: Godzilla – Dreaded God—and not once does it falter. My favorite use of the theme—and my favorite track in the entire album—concerns Godzilla Appears in Nemuro, which antes up the tempo and mixes in a wide variety of nuances, the sum of which forms a spectacular piece of music that I can listen to on a loop and never grow tired of. Godzilla 2000: Millennium was a film which aimed to create a sense of reverence for the eponymous monster, and Hattori’s theme captures and enhances that feeling to a tantalizing degree.

    Quiet cues such as Deep at SeaMiraculous Survival, and The Wonder of G Revealed further exemplify Hattori’s bona fide talents for gentleness. The latter is particularly efficient in how it mixes a piano and limited vocal work and finds a moment, in the middle, to weld in a bit of character nuance for when Shinoda and Yuki bid farewell to one another. (That leitmotif resurfaced in Thinking of My Dad.) Earth Invasion is appropriately ominous and gives the feeling of an oncoming calamity from which humankind has little to no chance of escape.

    And, for good measure, we’re also treated to a single instance of Ifukube’s classic Godzilla theme—this one recycled from the Godzilla vs. Destoroyah soundtrack from four years earlier.

    I could rave about this soundtrack for pages, but I’ll wrap up my praises with the following: Takayuki Hattori may never be widely recognized for his contributions to the tokusatsu genre, but as far as I am concerned, he is one of the genre’s truly underestimated maestros. Both of his Godzilla albums rank very high in my list of favorites; and his score for Godzilla 2000: Millennium, even with those few odd cues that don’t quite work in context, resonate with me each time I experience the soundtrack on its own. If news ever comes out that Hattori has signed on to orchestrate another Godzilla movie, count me among the few who will be hollering in celebration.

     

    #04. Godzilla

    As is the case with a great many works of art, Ifukube’s score for the original Godzilla (1954) may have never become a reality had it not been for the composer’s steadfast affection for the project. Undeterred by his colleagues’ warnings that working on a monster film could bring an end to his career, Ifukube undertook the challenge of creating music—and some sound effects—for one of the most important and well-remembered films in the history of Japanese cinema. Although the composer would go on to write other foreboding, ominous scores, his soundtrack for Godzilla pushes the dark elements to a truly despairing, almost gothic level.

    It is also a major favorite of mine because of how different it is when compared to other entries in Ifukube’s career. Notable moments of the score consist of “musical sound effects”—some to emphasize a visual action, others used, literally, as Foley. As many know by now, Ifukube holds claim to the creation of the explosion-like footsteps we hear over the opening credits, not to mention the monster’s original blood-chilling roar. The composer would go on to incorporate musical “blasts” in the tracks Eiko-Maru Sinking and Bingo-Maru Sinking, using piano and gong notes to create a resonant underpinning for when the two ships meet their grisly, flame-wrapped ends. Another ingenious contribution to the soundtrack: the creepy, mechanical-sounding noises at the beginnings of Horror in the Water Tank and Oxygen Destroyer for when Dr. Serizawa demonstrates the power of his superweapon. Growing up watching the film, I always assumed those disturbing noises had been created by the sound department. It was not until listening to the score on CD that I realized it was, in reality, clever use of instrumentation by the film’s composer. The result: a chilling sensation as audiences witness the one weapon capable of destroying Godzilla…and which could, if placed in the wrong hands, signal the end of the world.

    For me, however, there is no greater embodiment of horror in this album than the attack theme for the scenes in which the behemoth mercilessly lays waste to Tokyo. Discarding almost all use of string instruments, Ifukube unleashes an assortment of brass and woodwinds to generate one of the most blood-chilling musical tracks in cinema history—befitting a monster director Ishiro Honda described as a living embodiment of the hydrogen bomb.

    The score also works brilliantly in capturing Honda’s humanism. Ifukube wisely selected a large choir to perform the Prayer for Peace song, the multitude of voices emphasizing the widespread loss and despair following Godzilla’s attack. Tragic Sight at the Imperial Capital and Godzilla at the Ocean Floor are very much alike in composition, but the latter falls slightly more in my favor for its extended complexity and dramatic payoff. Just like the scene it was written for, this penultimate track does not strive for the adrenaline expected of most science-fiction climaxes, opting instead for a sense of melancholia as Godzilla—a victim of the H-bomb himself—is wiped from existence along with the creator of the weapon which has defeated him.

    Before we move onto the final three selections, I wish to salute Erik Homenick, webmaster of akiraifukube.org, whose heavily researched biography chapter covering the 1954 soundtrackprovided much of the historical and technical information described above and does far greater justice to the score—and Ifukube, in general—than I ever could.

     

    #03. Godzilla vs. Gigan

    A far better example of a “Best of…” album than most music collections officially released under such a label, the soundtrack for Godzilla vs. Gigan is predominately composed of stock music: cues pulled from various projects Ifukube had created by that time, amassed into a makeshift score. This includes a few pieces he wrote for a multimedia exhibit featured at the Mitsubishi Pavilion Expo 1970as well as two non-tokusatsu films: The Big Boss, from 1959, and Will to Conquer, also from 1970. As I remind the reader once more of my decision to arrange these selections on a largely intuitive level, I express no guilt in announcing my view that the Godzilla vs. Gigan soundtrack is, in a way, the ultimate method of experiencing Ifukube’s work in science-fiction—up to that point, anyhow. It also avoids repetition found elsewhere and makes for a more immersive listening experience.

    To discuss most of these tracks would practically open room to discussing the scores they derived from, but I wish to shine the spotlight on what came from the earlier mentioned expo. First, there’s a rousing theme utilized in Main Title and The Earth Monsters’ Counterattack. Second, The Tower Destruction Operation. It functions spectacularly as a gut-wrenching piece of music—and every time I listen to it as Godzilla is being blasted by the Godzilla Tower’s lasers, with Anguirus making a futile attempt to save his friend’s life, a dramatic chord is struck in my heart. It’s beautiful.

    Oh: the end credits song, of which Ifukube had no association. It’s nice.

     

    #02. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

    “I was involved in the birth of Godzilla 40 years before, so I felt I should be there when he dies, too.”

    At the risk of giving a trite, predictable elucidation for this number two entry, Akira Ifukube more than justified those words with the final score in the Heisei series, and the final score in his career as a film composer. Perhaps more fitting than any other in his repertory, his soundtrack for the 1995 Godzilla movie marks another cycle of returning cues: the classic Godzilla themes; segments of his Godzilla (1954) and The War of the Gargantuas (1966) scores make modified returns, such as Fear of the Oxygen Destroyer and Self Defense Forces Attack Preparation; Baby Godzilla’s theme from Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II appropriately returns for his matured counterpart; and worked into the end credits is none other than the Faro Island theme from King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962). I use the word “fitting” in a similar context to the quote listed above: as the film marked what was then the end of a franchise (not to mention the end of a movie career) and drew direct connection to the one that started it all, there was perhaps no better justification for returning to familiar material. It’s like a trip down the metaphorical Memory Lane.

    Continuing my praise, another success is Godzilla’s secondary theme—or, third, I guess you could say, though it’s seemingly another modification of the attack theme in the 1954 original and used more in this album than the ones we’re familiar with. The use of brass and percussion fits a wild, angry monster acting out its anger and suffering upon everything in sight. Main Title: The Destruction of Hong Kong makes for a nice compilation piece, as it encompasses several of the score’s primary motifs: Godzilla’s new theme, his classic march, and the Destoroyah theme. And it would be unforgivably remiss to pass over the often-celebrated Requiem for when death comes to the King of the Monsters. As has been stated elsewhere, Ifukube wrote this track as though he were writing music for his own passing; both the instrumentation and the vocals are fairly subtle, with only the former really reaching any enormous acmes in volume, such as the opening harp; and it is, without any doubt in my mind, the most efficient use of chorus work in the entire Godzilla series. The whole: an almost unbearably somber piece.

    Picking out my favorite Ifukube Godzilla scores wasn’t easy, as I have varying degrees of affection for everything he brought to this long-running franchise. Selecting one and placing it above all the others was even more difficult, even when basing the order primarily on subjective, heartfelt reactions. But after much internal deliberation, I feel confident in citing his soundtrack for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995) as my personal favorite in his science-fiction film scoring career.

     

    #01. The Return of Godzilla

    I recall a conversation with a fellow admirer of The Return of Godzilla (1984), who expressed a certain level of gratefulness toward Ifukube’s decision to turn down scoring Godzilla’s 30th anniversary comeback: said gentleman told me he felt the tone of the 1984 movie was so strong and defined that it demanded a totally different style in terms of the accompanying musical score, one which Ifukube might not have been able to provide. The more I think about our conversation, the more I tend to agree with his sentiment. Of course, Ifukube was no stranger to gothic music. But with this 1984 score, Reijiro Koroku outshines even the maestro in elevating dread.

    The score, very western in style—very fitting for a Cold War picture—shares a core strength with the movie: it is extremely atmospheric. Compare, for instance, Godzilla’s theme in this picture to the themes associated with the character before. Ifukube’s marches for the King of the Monsters were largely energetic and primarily utilized when the monster was already on-screen; Koroku’s Godzilla’s theme, by contrast, strives mostly for suspense: placing emphasis on the buildup. The musical notes are, more often than not, brooding rather than bombastic, and spiced with ominous piano tingles—channeling a true sense of horror for when Godzilla is just seconds away from making his grand appearance. But Koroku’s brilliance does not end with suspense: he delivers and then some in terms of terror. The Main Title is particularly gothic and frightening, as is its faster-paced counterpart Godzilla’s Appearance, highlighting the monster’s battle with the air force in Tokyo Bay. The Destruction of the Nuclear Power Plant fares as one of the most unsettling pieces of music in the franchise. Also worth a mention: Super-X Mobilization. Minus two appearances of the Super-X’s rather upbeat theme, this cue is extremely moody and punched up with occasional blaring notes to heighten the spectacle of a giant monster marching through Tokyo. Godzilla’s rampage in the 1984 film is packed with awe-inspiring compositions; and this track ramps the spectacle to an even higher degree. Other atmospheric cues include News of Godzilla and Approach of the Missile, which are not particularly morbid but still convey the necessary vibe of trepidation.

    Koroku’s talents also shine with the other emotions needed in the album. Your Brother Lives is a very pleasant piece of romantic music and makes for a nice recurring theme (like the romance in the film, it’s present enough to make itself known, but not to the point where it feels as though it is consuming the entire narrative); the military marches are memorably energetic and convey a sense of scale for the vast armadas dispatched to defend their homeland; Two People Left carries a genuinely ambiguous sense of sadness for its heroes who aren’t so sure if they will live long enough to see the next morning.

    Of course, it would be impossible for me to discuss this soundtrack without saluting the final three Koroku-composed tracks heard in the motion picture: Godzilla to OshimaGodzilla Lands on Oshima, and Godzilla Into Mihara. Never before or not since in the franchise has there been a more consummate assembly of tragic, melancholic cues. With all due respect to Akira Ifukube, I must confess I find the last track, played when Godzilla descends into the volcano, even more tear-jerking than Requiem from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. It is so elegiac, so emotionally overwhelming in its use of strings. I only wish the Star Sisters pop song Goodbye Godzilla had been discarded for use in the film and Koroku’s unused Ending been chosen instead. Now I personally have a soft spot for the song (even though it does not fit whatsoever with the tone of what has preceded it); but the somber, piano-heavy cue Koroku originally wrote is so much more suiting. With perhaps a few reservations, I might even go so far as to cite it as my favorite track in the entire score—and therefore my favorite track in the entire Godzilla franchise.

    Personal bias might play a factor in my placing Koroku’s score at the number one spot—I have never made a secret of the fact that The Return of Godzilla is my all-time favorite movie in the Godzilla franchise—but, sappy as it sounds, I cannot imagine my life without this score. I wouldn’t even know where to start in guessing how many times I have listened to it; it continues to dazzle me every single time I watch the movie; and it has regularly been a source of inspiration when I’ve been in a creative mood and seeking inspiration. And just as I continue to believe the series has not seen a better film since the 1984 classic, I remain convinced no composer has conjured a more memorable soundtrack for the franchise since Koroku raised the baton and scored The Return of Godzilla.

     

    General // February 14, 2017
  • Japanese has a number of borrowed words from other languages, just like English does. Unlike English, however, Japanese usually marks foreign words by writing them in katakana (with the most notable exception being loan words from Chinese). Thus we end up with the Godzilla Gaufrette (ゴジラゴーフレット), “gaufrette” coming from French. The English word is Neapolitan wafer, but “Godzilla Neapolitan wafer” sounds much less cool. The actual confection comes from Sawarabi STK, which also made the Godzilla Pie.

    Godzilla Gaufrette ReviewLike the Godzilla Pie, though, the Godzilla Neapolitan wafer doesn’t look much like the traditional Neapolitan wafer, which usually comes in a sort of waffle-patterned rectangular wafer with several layers of wafer and cream. The Godzilla version consists of two circular wafers with some tasty cream slathered in between—something like a

    Of all the Godzilla snacks I bought and shared with my friend, the Neapolitan wafer was the favorite, and I also quite liked the taste as well. It’s a sort of uncomplicated but delicious sweet concoction, fragile and easily crunched, but satisfying.

    The box is less elaborate than the one for the Godzilla Pie, but still pretty awesome—“Godzilla Gaufrette” is written with ravaged letters fit for a G-poster, and the 1984 Godzilla is seen lurking on the side, along with famous landmarks in Japan such as the Tokyo Tower and Mt. Fuji, as well as “Godzilla comes on land” written in kanji. The lid shows another shot of The Return of Godzilla (1984) version of the King of the Monsters looking grumpy, and the whole box is a striking hexagonal shape.

    Overall, the Godzilla Gaufrette is one of my favorites of the Godzilla snacks I have tried so far. It’s one of the biggest G-snacks, and has some of the best flavor, as well as cool designs (though the designs were also used in the Godzilla Cookies). If you have a chance to try this one (and the wafers aren’t already well past their expiration date), the Godzilla Gaufrette makes for an easy recommendation.

    Godzilla Gaufrette Review

    Godzilla Gaufrette Review

    Kaiju Kuisine // February 12, 2017
  • A note from staff

    After months of research, writing, translating, and reviewing, it’s finally done – a complete translation of an 11-page story summary for Resurrection of Godzilla (Tanaka Proposal) from the Japanese publication “Godzilla” Toho Special Effects Unpublished Material Archive: Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and His Era (ISBN: 9784048544658). The text here is part story, part script, so some sentences may sound a little rough, while the events of the story take place sometime during 1980. The only noteworthy change I made from the original text was changing the name of “Bagan” to “Bakan”, to keep it consistent with what’s on the site regarding the shapeshifting monster. Oddly, while “Bagan” is used throughout the project summary, “Bakan” appears in the author’s comments several times. But for now, if you would like more insight into this story’s history, I’d highly recommend checking the linked page above! A very special thanks to Digiwip for creating the models of Bakan’s forms, his work went above and beyond anything I could’ve hoped for. This was a challenging but exciting undertaking, and I hope you all enjoy everything Akira Murao and Tomoyuki Tanaka’s fantastic story has to offer.

    ~ Joshua S.

    ———————————————————————————————–

    (1) Brainstorming
              Mitsutoshi Ishigami (Dentsu)
              Yoshio Shirai (Movie Critic)
              Akira Toyama (Yomiuri Shinbun)
              Masashi Nishizawa (Tokyo Shinbun)

    (2) Story Writers —one part each—
              Yoshio Aramaki (SF Writer)
              Shinichi Sekizawa (Scenario Writer ・ Music Lyricist)
              Akira Toyama (Tokyo Shinbun Reporter)
              Taku Mayumura (SF Writer)
              Ryuu Mitsuse (SF Writer)

    (3) Scenario Writers —one part each—
              Ryuzo Nakanishi (Scenario Writer)
              Akira Murao (Scenario Writer)

    ———————————————————————————————–

    “Godzilla” “Bakan” “Super-Weapon” important action scenes

    1 Northern Alps ・ Mount Ontake
       Explosion, Monkey God Beast, news heli
    2 Shinshu-Matsumoto skies
       Dragon God Beast, F-4EJ Phantom
    3 Kujuukuri Beach “Kanto Nuclear Research Facility”
       (Futuristic city buildings)
    4 Pacific Ocean ・ Iwo Jima offshore
       Large whirpool, cargo ship “Shigefuku-Maru”
    5 Kuroyon Dam
       Self-Defense Force attacks, Water God Beast, news heli
    6 Dam’s downstream canyon
       Tank army, Monkey God Beast
    7 Over the sky
       Army fighter planes, Dragon God Beast
    8 Iwo Jima offshore ・ Undersea cavern
       Godzilla, Shockirus
    9 Southern Alps ・ A canyon ・ Over the sky
       Super-Weapon ・ Super-Weapon
       Monkey God Beast, Dragon God Beast
    10 Undersea cavern offshore ・ Godzilla resurrection
       Nuclear submarine, Godzilla
    11 Over Pacific Ocean
       Small twin engine plane, Dragon God Beast, Godzilla
    12 Kujuukuri Beach’s battle
       Support submarine Giant Bus
       Flying Angel
       Self-Defense Force elite army, Godzilla, Bakan
    13 Space ・ Earth orbit
       Military satellite Red Bird
    14 Tokyo Bay ・ Miura Peninsula
       Godzilla
    15 Bayonnaise Rocks
       Laser cannon, laser nuclear fusion, Godzilla
    16 America ・ West Coast
       Nuclear power plant, Godzilla

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Resurrection of Godzilla

    Characters
       Masao Inamura (61) Atomic Physicist
       Akiko (27) the daughter, Ancient Biology Assistant Professor
       Reika, Inamura’s wife who passed away 28 years ago
       Shinpei Muraki (31) Big Newspaper Company’s Photographer

       Isao Kagami (28) Cargo Ship Crew
       Others

    Monster Characters
       Godzilla
       Bakan
              Water God Beast
              Monkey God Beast
              Dragon God Beast

       Shockirus, blood-sucking mite living off Godzilla
       Meat-Eating Plant

    Mecha Rapport
       Flying Angel
              Japan-US joint development VTOL plane.
              Equipped with Super Napalm Bullets as its main attack weapon.
       Giant Bus
              A giant Trident submarine’s support submarine, it has several giant arms for working that are capable of withstanding up to 200,000 horsepower.
       Red Bird
              Military satellite in space orbit with a laser cannon.
       Super Nucleus “Reikanium”
       Others

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Story

    The Northern Alps are shrouded in dusk. Mount Kiso Ontake, a place worshipped as a sacred mountain, explodes with an earth-shattering boom, awakening from what’s possibly tens of thousands of years of sleep, and begins showing signs of volcanic activity.

    To investigate this sudden wonder of nature, photographer Shinpei Muraki (31) of the big news company World Press rushes to the location in a helicopter. In the middle of collecting data, he finds and rescues a female hiker who was running away from the downpour of volcanic ash.

    Muraki carries the fear-stricken girl to a safe zone. Curious about the big fern-like plant the girl holds tightly in her hands, Muraki flies back up again for more data collecting.

    Suddenly, slipping in and out of view from the crater of erupting smoke jumps something huge, a beast resembling a dinosaur. Catching sight of it, Muraki clicks his camera shutter in a panic—

    “A monster?! It can’t be…”

    Because of the approaching darkness and the helicopter running out of fuel, in the end Muraki is unable to confirm the appearance of the creature.

     

    Deep in the Northern Alps and completely wrapped in darkness, something huge can be seen in the developing photos, though not very clearly. It is disappearing into the dark while knocking down many trees. However, growing near the roots of the fallen trees are giant ferns, the same plant that the female hiker Muraki saved was holding.

    Then, that night—

    Because radar spotted a sudden “UFO” appearance in the skies of Shinshu-Matsumoto, a Self-Defense Force jet plane F-4EJ Phantom is scrambled to survey the area. Not long after, the plane crashes into a pterosaur-like flying organism. However, as the creature was unidentified, the incident and the pilot’s death are treated as an accident via unknown circumstances.

     

    The pictures of the dinosaur-like “something” that Muraki photographed at Mount Ontake finally develop. While off-focus, Muraki is able to determine that whatever the creature may be was indeed captured in his photographs, and that it is absolutely huge. After hearing of the F-4EJ Phantom that mysteriously crashed in the Shinshu-Matsumoto skies, Muraki discovers that a giant flying organism was captured in the plane’s gun camera, and comes to a shocking revelation.

    (It really is a monster…!)

    While worked up, Muraki cannot prove the existence of the monster with just his pictures alone.

    (Something is happening…)

    Following his intuition, Muraki strongly pushes for his story to gain attention at his place of work. However, no one at World Press news heeds Muraki’s words, and his story goes unpublished.

    Muraki is prepared to fight alone when out of the blue he is contacted by someone from the T University Ancient Biology Laboratory, who takes his plight seriously and wishes to see his pictures.

    And upon seeing the assistant professor coming to retrieve the photos, Muraki raises his voice in surprise. The female assistant professor, introducing herself as Akiko Inamura (27), turns out to be none other than the female hiker Muraki rescued at Mount Ontake.

     

    Muraki’s story about the possible existence of a monster is what Akiko showed a curious amount of interest in the most. According to her, the truth was that while she was performing series of tests herself, Akiko began to suspect something strange was happening at the mountain.

    As for where Akiko’s research led her, she was holding it in her hands when Muraki rescued her: the big fern-like plant.

     

    From the Paleozoic-Permian Period to the Mesozoic-Triassic Period, the earth was covered with fern-type plants. The ancient plant from about 230 million years ago was, somehow, beginning to grow in the modern day, but only at one particular place.

    The Fossa Magna fault line, which runs from Shizuoka to Itoigawa, is especially prominent near the mountain district of Mount Ontake, all the way up to Mount Shirouma in the Northern Alps. It was here where the ancient fern could be spotted. Moreover, in this particular area plenty of dinosaur fossils have also been previously excavated.

    With the ancient fern’s rapid increase in numbers, Mount Otake’s explosion, and the sudden appearances of a dinosaur and giant organism resembling a pterosaur—

    Muraki and Akiko promise one another to further investigate these puzzles that share such common ground, and to discover what else ties them together.

     

    That night, because he saved her life, Muraki is introduced to Akiko’s father, Masao Inamura (61), a nuclear physicist representing Japan, and once again Muraki finds himself surprised.

     

    In the pine forest of Kujuukuri Beach where the Kuroshio Current washes ashore, a futuristic city filled with groups of buildings spreads all over.

    As part of a future energy policy, the government gathered its wisest minds and built the “Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute”.

    With a nuclear power plant and various attached facilities, the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute performed its business using a large number of the latest researching equipment. Marking the start of a new generation of nuclear power plants, this research institute first made waves by experimenting with a “Laser Nuclear Fusion Plant” – a project carried out and advanced by Inamura himself that captured the world’s attention.

    Laser nuclear fusion – in other words, hitting the nucleus of deuterium, tritium, etc. with a powerful laser beam to raise a mild nuclear fusion, and using this reaction to power a safe nuclear power plant, free from the danger of explosivity and radioactivity.

    The key to the success of this “laser nuclear fusion” process was the nucleus in the middle, made possible by the long-time research of the not-yet-invented superatom of Inamura’s design: the one new material that led to the success of the laser nuclear fusion plant.

    Inamura named the superatom nucleus “Reikanium”, but refrained from making the manufacturing method public. This was due to his fear of what the military would do, as the laser nuclear fusion plant’s research could be used to create a “laser hydrogen bomb” – a weapon far more powerful than conventional nuclear weapons. In fact, there were already movements starting in the military forces of every nation, pressuring Inamura to make the manufacturing method made public.

    However, Inamura firmly refused to give into these demands, taking his own research of the laser nuclear fusion plant, and devoting himself to “the peaceful use of nuclear energy”.

    “Aiming for an absolutely safe source of nuclear energy—”

    Knowing the true form of the nucleus, Inamura also kept watchful eyes on its continued peaceful use.

    Looking back at movements commonly against the construction of nuclear power plants at various locations, the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute was constructed on the basis of understanding of its local residents, and the reason the facility and the locals could coexist so peacefully was due to the trust the residents had in Inamura.

     

    Akiko introduces Muraki to Inamura—

    For quite some time, Inamura’s way of life, with his unshaken composure and firm stance on the peaceful use of the nucleus, has had Muraki hold deep feelings of respect towards the scientist.

     

    That night, father, daughter, and the daughter’s savior have fun and lively conversations, and open their hearts to one another. Among their discussions, the topic of Akiko’s mother is brought up – and, for a moment, Inamura’s face shows deep sorrow. Seeing this, Muraki changes the subject, though he still had questions about it.

    Afterwards, Muraki is told about “Reika” from Akiko’s own lips. Her mother, a beautiful Chinese girl who had been tied in a deep love with Inamura, died while giving birth to Akiko, but Akiko herself didn’t know many details about her mother.

     

    While the three are sitting in a circle, news of the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute’s charter cargo ship the Shigefuku-Maru’s disaster bursts into their location.

     

    Not long before this—

    On the Pacific Ocean, while sailing over the coastal waters of Iwo Jima, the Shigefuku-Maru encounters a sudden giant whirlpool accompanied by thick fog. The ship is swallowed up by the watery vortex, which resembled the leaves of trees—

    Before long, the hull breaks in two just as an “SOS” transmission is sent, and the wrecked ship sinks deep into the sea while carrying her crew.

    The place where the ship sank is referred to as “Japan’s Bermuda Triangle”, or the Devil’s Sea triangle, and is feared by sailors.

     

    The news of the Shigefuku-Maru’s disaster reaches the ears of research institute staff and citizens, shocking everyone.

    Because of the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute’s construction, many of the ship’s crewmembers were locals who gave up their poor fisherman lives to aid the institute’s cause. In addition, the cargo consisted of radioactive waste, which in accordance with an international agreement was to be dumped into the Mariana Trench at a depth of nearly 11,000 meters.

    And because the ship’s disaster site was way off course, Inamura gains suspicions like “Illegal waste dumping?” as a possible reason. Inamura appeals for a large-scale investigation from the government, in order to search for the disaster’s cause and to collect the radioactive waste as soon as possible.

    However, despite the investigation being started immediately after the disaster, no traces of the Shigefuku-Maru in the area of the ocean around the site could be found.

     

    Meanwhile, while chasing the monster of the Northern Alps, Muraki and Akiko discover the silhouette of a giant organism from their helicopter, a strange silhouette residing at the bottom of Kuroyon Dam. Surprisingly, the shape of the silhouette at the bottom of the dam is totally different from the one Muraki saw at Mount Otake, or even the one that attacked the Self-Defense Force’s Phantom jet in the Shinshu-Matsumoto skies. The mysterious creature appears to be some kind of sea dragon.

    A third monster?—

    A formation of Self-Defense Force’s F-4EJ Phantoms come flying in after Muraki’s report, and they swiftly launch a missile attack at the giant silhouette at the bottom of the dam.

    The giant silhouette resembling a sea dragon squirms out of the bottom of the dam, eventually letting out a sharp roar, and finally reveals its disgusting form on the twilight surface.

    It has a length of over 60 meters, green slimy skin all over its body, a face somewhat reptile-like with a wide-opening mouth, and hands with fish-like fins for swimming—

    “That’s the Water God Beast! A monster that appeared in the legends of my mother’s country – the Water God Beast!”

    Akiko, standing dumbfounded, lets out a voice almost like a shriek to Muraki upon seeing the beast.

     

    With Chinese blood running through her veins, Akiko held a deep admiration for her mother’s homeland.

    Akiko’s interest in ancient Chinese literature was indicative of this.

    Amongst her many books was a religious-type legend called the “Chu Ci”, which described the appearance of the “Water God Beast” – and, at that moment, the creature revealing itself on the Kuroyon Dam’s surface was exactly the same thing.

    The legend had it that there were two more monsters named the “Monkey God Beast” and the “Dragon God Beast”, and that which ruled the three monsters was the powerful magic beast named “Bakan”.

    At Mount Ontake, the one Muraki saw was none other than the “Monkey God Beast”, while the flying monster above the Shinshu-Matsumoto skies was the “Dragon God Beast”.

    The Sidewinders launched by the F-4EJ Phantoms are sucked into the dark waters of the dam by the Water God Beast’s giant body and eventually burst. The Water God Beast, enraged by the assault, turns to counterattack with a sharp roar.

    A liquid beam bursts forth from its mouth, striking the Phantoms one after another as they attack in waves. Touched by the liquid, the Phantoms’ wings start to melt as smoldering white smoke rises from the fuselage, and the supersonic jets finally explode in a burst of flame.

    And then, in the middle of the battle, the surface of the dam’s wall starts to crack, eventually collapsing with a loud noise, pouring forth huge amounts of lake water-turned-muddy waves as it slowly swoops down towards the residents living downstream.

    In the middle of this disaster, the Water God Beast is swallowed into the muddy rapids and disappears.

    Soon after this, the Self-Defense Force’s tank unit carrying evacuating residents on the road along the downstream canyon are attacked out of nowhere by another monster.

    With the features of a Tyrannosaurus, and the body of a pithecanthrope—

    It is undoubtedly the “Monkey God Beast”, as told in the Chinese legend, and the same beast that Muraki saw at Mount Ontake.

    The Monkey God Beast, with swift movements, breaths flames at the transport truck unit and the convoy tank unit, causing them to blow up in blazing flames. And just as soon as it had appeared, the Monkey God Beast disappears elsewhere.

    However, moments later and up in the skies, a fierce aerial battle was beginning.

    The Phantom fighter unit that had come to reinforce the transport truck unit attacked by the Monkey God Beast suddenly comes into contact with another monster, a flying creature rising from the ground.

    Retaliating against the Phantom unit’s air-to-air missiles and Vulcan cannon attacks with a lightning beam fired from its mouth is, undoubtedly, the “Dragon God Beast” of legend itself. And after downing several Phantoms, the Dragon God Beast retreats, leaving behind a sharp roar before disappearing into the night sky of the Alps.

     

    With the appearance of the three monsters – the Water God Beast, the Monkey God Beast, and the Dragon God Beast – the people of Japan are in an uproar.

    Monsters that couldn’t be defeated by the Self-Defense Force’s conventional weaponry—

    Pictures of Muraki’s scoop decorate newspaper pages every day, while Akiko commentates from the viewpoint of ancient biology:

     

    About 230 million years ago, the Japanese islands weren’t like the current island formations, but were instead connected to land, right at the coast of the Asian continent. The Fossa Magna was exactly where the coastline used to be.

    The coastline was thickly covered by a fern-type plant, and for creatures walking the path of evolution from amphibians to dinosaurs, this was exactly the place they needed to thrive.

    Among these, there were some that by total chance went into deep sleep while still alive, dinosaurs that ended up being shut deep underground while their relatives moved more inland. The birth of the Japanese islands was caused by a change in the earth’s crust, and while those above ground went extinct, the traces of those who survived sleeping within the earth were eventually passed on as legends.

    However, the dinosaurs that fell asleep underground were awakened from their slumber due to the shifting of the earth’s crust. And upon awakening, the ancient fern multiplied due to the abnormal weather of the present day environment.

    And now, the three monsters currently awakened are most likely hiding somewhere near the Fossa Magna due to following their homing instincts.

    These comments from Akiko are picked up by the government’s “Monster Task Force”, and Muraki and Akiko are invited to become a part of the task force’s members, and ordered to divulge more detailed information regarding the three monsters.

     

    In the middle of all this, Isao Kagami (28), a crewmember of the doomed Shigefuku-Maru in the Pacific, is miraculously rescued, and his mysterious personal experience yields a truly astonishing testimony.

    It is exactly as Inamura feared. For the sake of profit, the Shigefuku-Maru had been going to that area of the ocean a number of times to dump radioactive waste illegally. Moreover, in the undersea cavern he was brought to by the big whirlpool, Kagami claims to have seen something horrifying.

     

    A giant cavern with faint gas drifting around the whole screen

    As part of the undersea cavern is connected to the outside, clear blue seawater steadily flows in, and a light coming from this hole in the water faintly illuminates the cavern’s insides.

    Kagami, who was washed up on the rocky area of the undersea cavern, confirms the survival of several other low-ranking crewmembers, and the surviving men regroup and rejoice with one another.

    However, the bizarre plants growing on the cavern’s beach come swooping down on them with countless whip-like, long tentacles.

    In this sudden attack, one of the crewmembers is caught by the tentacles, strangled, and dies immediately. His body starts to melt due to a mucus secreted by the plant, and a hole like a mouth near the plant’s trunk begins to feast upon him!

    It was a giant meat-eating plant.

     

    At the cruel death of their companion, and with the countless tentacles of other meat-eating plants aiming for their next prey, the surviving crew flee the beach in a panic. Not knowing what to do, they eventually arrive at a rocky area where the meat-eating plants are not growing.

    However, at this rocky area, another terror is waiting for them.

    They are arthropods as large as cows. These mysterious mite-like creatures pounce upon the men retreating to the rocky area, sucking up all the blood from their bodies.

    The unfortunate victims shriveled into what look like mummies and perish—

    With a picture of hell unfolding before his very eyes and unable to do anything, Kagami runs desperately from the mysterious creatures and arrives at strangely zigzag-shaped rocks sticking out from the water’s surface, and is startled.

    The row of strangely-shaped rocks move slowly up and down as if breathing, and further down something that looks like a giant arm—

    “—!!”

    Kagami is left in shock, realizing he was standing on top of a giant monster. The blood-sucking mysterious creatures were sticking to it as well, and begin closing in on him.

    Kagami takes a deep breath and, to escape from everything, dives into the water and heads towards the light under the sea.

     

    “Giant monster-?!” Everyone present is stirred by Kagami’s story, and the monster Kagami sketches is something totally different from the Water God Beast, the Monkey God Beast, and the Dragon God Beast.

    It has hideously burned skin on its charcoal-colored body, with sharp claws and dorsal fins similar in appearance to strangely-shaped rocks. Inamura, who is holding the sketch, mutters in a low voice.

    “It’s Godzilla!! I can’t believe it’s sleeping in a place like this…”

    Years ago, because of accumulated nuclear tests over time, the tests awakened from ancient sleep “Nuclear’s Incarnation: Godzilla”—

    As if condemning the illegal dumping of radioactive waste, Godzilla has now made it clear that it exists. Moreover, if Godzilla were to awaken, it would pose as an immense threat, for the nuclear civilization that humanity has peacefully built up would be targeted.

    Wanting to confirm Godzilla’s existence himself, Inamura joins an investigative team heading to the Devil’s Sea triangle and departs.

     

    Meanwhile, the search for the three hiding monsters continued. Centering around the Self-Defense Force and Akiko, after noticing the increased state of the ancient fern and the instinctive behavior of the creatures, it is deduced that the monsters are lurking somewhere in a canyon in the Southern Alps, and a team is sent out to investigate with the help of Muraki. It doesn’t take long for the search to yield results as, inside a zigzag-like crack in the canyon, Muraki and Akiko find the Monkey God Beast hiding within the wide-open trench.

     

    Hearing this, the Self-Defense Force once again launches an assault, this time using the Japan-US Army joint development Super-Weapon, Flying Angel. With an angular airframe, Flying Angel is a VTOL support fighter that looks like some kind of sci-fi vehicle, contrary to its gentle name, and carries with it an assortment of powerful weaponry.

    Passing through the zigzagging canyon with great speed, if there is anything that can effectively attack the hiding body of the Monkey God Beast in the lengthy hole in the earth, it is surely none other than Flying Angel.

    Upon finding the ape-like monstrosity, Flying Angel begins launching its Super Napalm Bullet attack against the Monkey God Beast.

    At the same time, the government-dispatched investigative team heading towards the Devil’s Sea triangle falls into danger near the undersea cavern where Godzilla sleeps, as a teardrop-shaped nuclear submarine of unknown nationality starts attacking them.

    Their aim was Inamura—

    Since Inamura won’t publicize Reikanium’s manufacturing method, the unknown perpetrators resort to desperate measures: finding and capturing the scientist. The only person willing to risking his life to save Inamura is the Shigefuku-Maru’s survivor, Kagami.

    Kagami, realizing not only that he committed a conduct violation by the illegal dumping of radioactive waste, but also how he betrayed Inamura’s trust, was filled with deep regret.

    While screaming “The doctor’s nucleus is to be used for the sake of creating peace for humans!”, Kagami rushes towards the perpetrators and, because of this action, startles them into turning their submarine the wrong direction. The nuclear submarine crashes into the undersea cavern, causing a huge explosion.

    At that moment, a huge amount of strong radiation is released into the cavern.

    And almost instantly, from the water’s stirring surface, a huge black body stands up.

    A piercing roar shakes the air.

    Godzilla has been revived.

    Another roar—

     

    Flying Angel’s Super Napalm attack is concentrated on the hole where the Monkey God Beast resides, covering the canyon’s insides with the exploding napalm’s flames.

    And, suddenly, the Dragon God Beast leaps out of the hole and rushes to the Flying Angel’s formation. Flying Angel, with fast movement being its specialty, immediately flies away to safety – but why was it not the Monkey God Beast but instead the Dragon God Beast?!

    In that moment, as if feeling some kind of presence, the Dragon God Beast heads south while roaring aggressively over and over, breaking away from Flying Angel’s attacks.

    Right then, south from that area, Godzilla begins moving.

    The radioactivity of the destroyed nuclear submarine is washed up by the Kuroshio Current towards the Pacific Ocean.

    The destination of this spilt radiation is the Japanese islands—

    And now, Godzilla is once again lured by the radiation…

    “Human’s greed has now revived Godzilla.”

    Inamura’s words resound hollowly.

     

    In the skies above the Pacific Ocean—

    To search for Godzilla who is supposedly heading for Japan, a small twin engine plane seating Muraki takes off. All of a sudden, dark clouds appear in the sky, and with the striking of lightning comes the form of the Dragon God Beast, who attacks Muraki’s twin engine plane.

    Diving down while sharply turning, the twin engine plane evades desperately while a lightning beam from the Dragon God Beast’s mouth closes in.

    The twin engine plane narrowly escapes while grazing the surface of the sea—

    The sea ahead violently starts to ripple, and the sea level suddenly rises.

    A roar shakes the atmosphere!

    Standing there is Godzilla.

    Godzilla, with its pure fighting instinct, shoots an atomic ray at the Dragon God Beast as it pursues the twin engine plane. Disengaging from the plane, the Dragon God Beast returns fire at Godzilla with a lightning beam attack while in the sky. But in their brief duel, Godzilla eventually catches the Dragon God Beast by its wings, firmly wrestling with it and plunging with it into the ocean.

    And just like that, the two monsters disappear into the sea and don’t resurface.

    “The Dragon God Beast in the sea…?”

    Muraki has a bad feeling in his heart about the Dragon God Beast, the Water God Beast, and the Monkey God Beast.

    That same day, Muraki makes the scoop yet again with pictures of his near-death encounter with the flying monster filling up pages, and a report about how Godzilla is definitely moving closer to Japan.

    However, Akiko expresses her dislike of Muraki’s reckless data collecting through tears of distress.

    Around this time, a flame of love towards Muraki had already started to burn in Akiko’s heart.

     

    “The three monsters – the dragon god, the water god, and the monkey god… Why do they never appear at the same time?”

    This question puzzles Muraki. While peeking through a microscope, Akiko mutters an answer.

    “Bakan holds the answer, I’m sure of it…”

    The cells magnified under the microscope are those of the Monkey God Beast, and yet, when exposed to water or air, the cells change subtly.

    “…?!”

    Akiko’s face strains.

     

    The next morning, a floating wreck resembling a nuclear submarine washes up on Kujuukuri Beach, and from the seawater, high concentrations of radioactivity are detected.

    Along with giant claw marks left on the floating wreck, various objects from the submarine of unknown nationality that exploded at the Devil’s Sea triangle have made the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute’s staff and local residents familiar with the incident fall into despair, as they believe Godzilla is definitely coming closer.

    Kuroshio Current arrives carrying radioactivity—

    Lured by that radiation, Godzilla heads to Japan—

    And soon, Godzilla will be setting foot on Kujuukuri Beach, no doubt prepared to assault the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute, Japan’s symbol of nuclear civilization.

    Inamura’s worst fear is about to come true.

     

    Thus, at Kujuukuri Beach, led by the Flying Angel unit, the Self-Defense Force’s elite – their strongest line of defense – is deployed, while offshore, the Trident submarine’s support submarine Giant Bus hides its super giant hull.

    With its strong giant arms, Giant Bus is used to holding Trident submarines with a total length of 200 meters while underwater. The underwater Super-Weapon spreads out its arms while waiting for Godzilla, like a sea anemone waiting for its prey.

     

    The defensive line’s gun barrels are all pointed to the coast, where finally Godzilla’s slow, heavy, stomping body appears.

    All gun barrels fire, while Godzilla’s atomic ray counterattacks.

    At that moment, both of Godzilla’s arms and legs are clamped onto firmly by the extended arms of Giant Bus from under the sea. The arms, capable of holding a Trident submarine of 200,000 horsepower, don’t even flinch at Godzilla’s desperate struggle.

    And so, with Godzilla unable to move, the Flying Angel unit’s Super Napalm Bullets engulf Godzilla in a blazing hot fire.

    Then suddenly, the sea surface nearby violently bubbles and rises, and the Water God Beast somehow appears.

    The Water God Beast proceeds to spit a liquid beam from its mouth – a beam capable of melting anything and everything it touches – against the immobile Godzilla. The atomic monster’s body begins bubbling with white smoke as the skin struck by the beam starts to melt.

    At the same time, the Flying Angel unit’s Super Napalm attacks strike both Godzilla and the Water God Beast.

    However – the Water God Beast’s liquid beam also melts Giant Bus’s arms.

    Godzilla roars as it immediately destroys Giant Bus and proceeds to wrestle with the Water God Beast. During their bout, Godzilla’s atomic ray and the Water God Beast’s stray liquid beams take down the Flying Angels one by one, until finally the entire unit is wiped out.

    With Godzilla having the upper hand in the fight, the Water God Beast finally retreats into the sea, and for the moment the battle appears to be over.

    The Water God Beast suddenly leaps from the ocean and takes to the air, and its face and body transform quickly, somehow shapeshifting into the Dragon God Beast, which launches its attack against Godzilla.

    People watching nearby stand still, dumbfounded—

    Godzilla falters for a moment from the sudden attack from the sky, but then fixates its gaze on and starts making its way toward the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute.

    The Self-Defense Force’s gunfire concentrates heavily on Godzilla—

    The Dragon God Beast also fires its lightning beam at Godzilla’s body.

    At last, Godzilla’s atomic ray takes down the Dragon God Beast, and it flies towards Godzilla – but as everyone watches, the creature’s form somehow changes into the Monkey God Beast!

    The Monkey God Beast, with its quick movements, uses its flame attack on Godzilla repeatedly, to the point where Godzilla is forced back into the ocean. The Monkey God Beast’s form turns into that of the Water God Beast moments later as it pursues its foe, continuing their fight at sea.

    Akiko tells Muraki while shaking in fear.

    “That’s Bakan! The three-form monster Bakan!”

    The “Water God Beast”, “Dragon God Beast”, and “Monkey God Beast” thought to have been three monsters were in actuality one monster – “Bakan”.

    The one as told in Chinese legend, the ruler of the “Water God Beast”, “Dragon God Beast”, and “Monkey God Beast”: the Demon Beast Bakan—

    That Bakan is, at the moment, fighting against Godzilla while transforming its body into its three forms, one after another.

    In the water it turns into the Water God Beast, on land it becomes the Monkey God Beast, and when ascending into the sky it transforms into the Dragon God Beast…

    Bakan’s fighting instinct allows it to freely transform its cells of its own will, changing its form and even its special characteristics – truly a magical beast.

    The grand battle continues.

    However, due to the constantly-changing and repeated attacks from Bakan, Godzilla is rapidly exhausted. Even so, the atomic mutant continues to be guided by its instincts towards the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute, all while simultaneously fighting Bakan. The Self-Defense Force’s gunfire continues.

    Wounds cover Godzilla’s body—

    And finally, just before the research institute’s nuclear reactor’s building, Godzilla runs out of energy and collapses on top of the facility.

    The nuclear reactor breaks into pieces—

    Seemingly dead, Godzilla doesn’t move a muscle, and Bakan roars triumphantly over and over.

     

    The Demon Beast Bakan has defeated even Godzilla—

    Before the rampaging Bakan, the Self-Defense Force’s desperate, futile attacks continue.

     

    At the nuclear reactor’s building where Godzilla collapsed, the still-functioning “radioactivity detector meter” does something unusual, right around the time the building crumbled.

    The deadly radiation that should have burst forth destructively instead disappears while dispersing into the atmosphere, as if being absorbed by something, while the meter continues to detect it. Suddenly, the unmoving Godzilla’s dorsal fins, which look like strangely-shaped rocks, begin to luminesce strangely.

    And then, amidst a piercing roar, the giant black body covered in wounds moves!

    Because it collapsed on the nuclear reactor’s core, it absorbed the radiation into its body. Godzilla is revived once more.

     

    Godzilla and Bakan’s grand battle begins again—

    Because Godzilla absorbed so much radiation into its body, the battle progresses in Godzilla’s favor, and finally Bakan’s giant body is taken down by a powerful atomic ray.

    Bakan, whose entire form is flooded by the intense ray and covered in white smoke, sinks into the sea.

    Godzilla has defeated the Demon Beast Bakan.

    Godzilla, too, disappears into the sea, as if to tend to its wound-covered body.

     

    And so Bakan, who struck fear into the hearts of Japan’s people, is defeated by the revived Godzilla.

    However, this time a new fear in the form of Godzilla weighed on people’s hearts.

    The Japan Self-Defense Forces and Western forces were now totally powerless as their Super-Weapons were lost in the fight against Godzilla, a monster who could appear again anywhere at any time.

    The Self-Defense Forces eventually discover Godzilla lurking at the bottom of the entrance to Tokyo Bay, healing its wounds and seemingly aiming for Tokyo.

    If Tokyo were to be attacked…

    It would be catastrophic for not just the Japanese economy, but for the worldwide economy, leaving humanity in a crisis.

     

    Because of this imminent threat, an appeal from the Western forces through the Japanese government is made to Inamura, who at the time was bedridden from a sickness of an unknown cause, requesting for his research regarding the “Laser Nuclear Fusion” system and that of the super nucleus Reikanium, so to be used as a weapon against Godzilla.

    Making use of the special characteristics of the super nucleus Reikanium, Godzilla’s body would be turned into a giant nucleus and fired at from earth’s orbit with a laser beam from the military satellite “Red Bird”, triggering nuclear fusion within Godzilla’s body itself.

    Against the immortal Godzilla who can withstand the explosions of atom and hydrogen bombs, to trigger a nuclear fusion using its own body —

    It would indeed be an ultimate weapon beyond imagination to defeat Godzilla, and the last hope for humanity.

    However, Inamura stands fast to his beliefs, using them as an excuse not to go through with the plan and stubbornly refuses the appeal.

    Though Tokyo is still safe, Godzilla’s movements continue to be observed, and the many criticisms from people against Inamura’s decision are handled by Akiko, who pitifully apologizes for her father’s attitude.

    While the Japanese government continues to persuade Inamura, trajectory changes and preparations are made to the laser-firing device equipped to the military satellite Red Bird by the Western military.

    Then the worst case scenario occurs: Godzilla rises from the depths, its target indesputably being Tokyo. After setting foot on the Miura Peninsula, heavy damage is sustained, and the bodies of many victims begins piling up.

    With Godzilla on the move, Akiko returns to her family house on the Miura Peninsula to get her mother Reika’s keepsake, but is put in imminent danger as Godzilla draws ever closer.

    But even with the knowledge of his daughter being in imminent danger, Inamura remains in one of the research institute’s rooms, standing by his unwavering decisions through his own stubborn determination.

    Inamura’s attitude makes Muraki jump to the conclusion that this stubbornness is a result of Inamura wanting to monopolize his research and the new substance. Muraki hurls insults at the man he once respected, then rushes out to rescue Akiko alone.

    Burning wooden houses with an atomic ray, and using its powerful arms, legs, and tail, Godzilla mows down skyscraper buildings and other structures in its way with ease!

    And in Godzilla’s path is Akiko.

    Godzilla approaches.

    While roaring flames engulf Akiko’s family home, Akiko finally escapes while carrying her father’s thick diary and the picture of her mother, Reika.

    However, the whole neighborhood is already in a sea of roaring flames, just like in the air raid 30 years ago.

    Flames become like the wind and travel the ground, burning people trying to escape.

    Godzilla slips in and out of view inside of the flame—

    Akiko, in an attempt to evade the burning flames and the approaching Godzilla, escapes through a manhole leading into a sewer tunnel, joining other people who have already taken refuge there, all of whom wait while half-praying for the hell on earth to pass.

    However, the devil’s arms are reaching out towards Akiko and the others.

    A large number of rats gather out of nowhere, running through the sewage hole like they’re terrified of something. Then, from behind, there is the loud whooshing noise, and a yellow gas approaches.

    The rats that fail to escape the gas are engulfed by it, and lay twitching on the ground as if slowly dying.

    The yellow gas was leaked from an industrial complex that Godzilla destroyed – the deadly poison gas was now flowing freely into the drainage pipes.

    The gas closes in on Akiko and the others taking refuge in a corner of the sewers. But as she was able to sense this danger before the others, Akiko manages to escape with the least possible causalities. Accompanied by a handful of survivors, Akiko proceeds deeper into the sewer system—

    The drainage pipes are like a maze—

    Behind them, the yellow gas keeps closing in, while on the surface, Godzilla’s destruction continues.

     

    However, through hard work and a collaborative effort, Akiko and her group manages to escape the ensuing danger, and finally reach the surface safely.

    The place they are now is the starting point station of a mountain-climbing ropeway to 〇〇 Mountain, which overlooks the whole view of the Miura Peninsula.

    A totally undamaged neighborhood—

    However, the roaring flames engulfing the city are gradually closing in on the place where Akiko and her group escaped to.

    The group decides to use the ropeway to cross the mountain.

    And so, with the generator’s power, the ropeway Akiko and her group ride starts to move towards the summit.

    Burning down the untouched town, the flames move closer to the foot of 〇〇 Mountain —

    Slowly, the ropeway continues climbing towards the summit.

    The fire approaches—

    And then, the fire finally engulfs the power room with the generator, and the ropeway stops dead in its tracks, leaving Akiko and the others stuck hanging in midair.

    The locked room stuck in the middle of the ropeway offers no escape, leaving everyone trapped inside.

    Before long, the flames that burned down the power room gradually begin spreading to the mountain forest.

    It’s a desperate situation.

    A child cries while being held by their mother—

    (If only father bit the bullet and used the Reikanium, these people wouldn’t have to die…)

    Her father’s face, her mother’s face, and Muraki’s face all flood Akiko’s heart.

    The fire spreading to the mountain forest slowly but surely approaches the suspended ropeway box.

    Akiko and her group prepare for certain death.

    Suddenly, near the ropeway’s window, a single rope ladder smoothly unfolds and drops down.

    The rope ladder dangles from a helicopter hovering in the air—,

    And the one flying the helicopter was Muraki, who had come to rescue Akiko.

    One by one, people climb up the rope ladder and enter the helicopter.

    And finally, one last person—

    At that moment.

    GOOOH-!! A booming roar shakes the atmosphere.

    Before the hovering helicopter stood Godzilla, who had circled around 〇〇 Mountain.

    With one last person about to climb, the helicopter is unable to move the dangling rope ladder away from the suspended ropeway.

    Godzilla’s giant body slowly approaches the hovering helicopter.

    An instant later, as Muraki’s helicopter rescues the last person, the chopper barely manages to escape Godzilla’s reach, narrowly missing crashing into the monster’s face.

    Muraki immediately lands and drops Akiko and her group off in a nearby safe zone. But just as Muraki is about to exit himself, Akiko screams as the helicopter is caught in Godzilla’s atomic ray and explodes into flame.

    Caught in the explosion, Muraki flung to the ground and left seriously wounded, on the verge of death…

     

    Delivering her father’s diary and her mother’s picture to Inamura, Akiko reports about the increasing casualties while in tears, begging her father to consent to the army’s appeal — to use the Reinconium and the laser nuclear fusion as a weapon against Godzilla.

    “Father please, Mr. Muraki might die. But, he saved us with his life on the line, so don’t let his sacrifice be for nothing—”

    Akiko breaks down crying while speaking.

    In Inamura’s heart, he recalls those happy days he spent with Reika. And in that moment, the world goes silent, and something that had been heavily weighing on his mind dramatically crumbles away.

    Finally, Inamura accepts the appeal.

     

    Godzilla, who was heading to Tokyo, is lured by plutonium carried from the Kanto Atomic Energy Research Institute, and begins changing direction from the Tokyo harbor back out towards the Pacific Ocean.

    Around the same time, in space, the military satellite Red Bird focuses its laser cannon onto one point: an area on the Izu Islands on the Bayonnaise Rocks.

    And then, with three spots on the earth’s surface used for making a triangular shape based on that one point, the laser cannon’s reflecting device is set up.

     

    Despite his sickness, Inamura works day and night to the point of exhaustion, all while keeping watch from the escort vessel’s bridge, which patrols the waters where the plan is set to take place. With the plutonium bait set, Godzilla finally arrives at the designated point.

    As Godzilla is enveloped in small explosions of the super nucleus Reikanium, in that instant, a button on the switch Inamura holds in his hands is pressed.

    The three spots on the earth’s surface are concentrated, fired, and reflected as they converge from a single point from space into a long beam that surrounds Godzilla.

    While the laser’s light forms a beautiful pyramid-shaped triangle, in the center the Reikanium’s reaction begins, transforming Godzilla’s body into a nucleus and turning the monster white-hot.

    A tremendous nuclear fusion is occurring inside Godzilla’s body.

    And then, Godzilla’s body turns even more white-hot – an instant later, its generates a massive fireball, which rises into the sky before everyone’s eyes.

    A giant nuclear fusion explosion occurs at the Bayonnaise Rocks.

     

    The explosion terminates Godzilla, along with everything in that area of the ocean—

    On the merry escort vessel’s bridge, everyone onboard is cheering. Meanwhile, Inamura sees the illusion of his wife, Reika…

    Bending his strong determination, Inamura took his own research for military use as a laser hydrogen bomb. As if understanding his agony, Reika’s phantom nods gently, reassuringly at him.

     

    Suddenly, Inamura collapses to the floor, and a nearby military physician raises Inamura’s arm – and is shocked to learn that Inamura has already passed away.

    35 years ago, Inamura was exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, and that same radiation continued to eat away at Inamura’s body throughout his life. His wife Reika, too, was a victim of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, and the true reason for her death during childbirth was due to an atomic bomb disease.

    Enchanted by the great energy that is nuclear power, Inamura started walking the path of nuclear physics. But the radiation that continued to invade his body and that had consumed his wife’s life, he hated it more than anything.

    Akiko, feeling deep sorrow for her parents, holds her father’s diary tightly to her chest.

    “That’s why father couldn’t allow Reikanium to be used as a weapon. Nuclear power took his beloved wife, and he wanted to investigate its true form. Aiming for a truly peaceful use…”

    Akiko, breaking down crying, is held gently by Muraki.

    And then, on the last page of Inamura’s diary, the following words are written.

    “Godzilla is immortal. As long as there’s a nuclear threat in the world, Godzilla will be revived however many times.”—

     

    On the spot where the laser hydrogen bomb exploded, Muraki and Akiko toss a small bouquet from their hands.

    And then, elsewhere in the Pacific, on the West Coast of America—.

     

    The surface of the sea suddenly begins to ripple. Water rises, a great splash ensues, and a familiar giant black body emerges.

    It’s Godzilla!! A tremendous roar!! A nuclear power plant stands on the coast—

    Godzilla, as if to prove that it will continue to live as long as there are nuclear weapons on Earth, tenses all the muscles in its body to the point of trembling, and musters continuous, earth-shattering roars.

     

    Translations // January 22, 2017