Latest Blog - News Articles

  • A note from staff

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of Continuation: King Kong vs. Godzilla, as seen in the Japanese publication “Godzilla” Toho Special Effects Unpublished Material Archive: Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka and His Era (ISBN: 9784048544658).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

    ~ Joshua S.

    ———————————————————————————————–

    Plot
    Continuation: King Kong vs. Godzilla
    Shinichi Sekizawa

     

    Story

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

    The giant scorpion steadily approached the mountain rock wall…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Then, a few days later —

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

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

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

     

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

    “But are there such things in Japan?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

    The mother let out a scream!

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

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

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

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

    The ship pitched violently to one side…

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

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

    The crying child…

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

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

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

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

     

    King Kong had appeared in the Taiwan Straight!

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

    And then, the report came in…

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

     

    Anxiety suddenly swept over the residents of the Kyushu region.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    King Kong, imprinted onto the baby, was coming!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    King Kong staggered backwards!

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The helicopters gradually drew Godzilla out into the Pacific.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    King Kong moved to make a fierce counterattack.

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

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

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

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

    The mortal contest between King Kong and Godzilla continued.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    To this day, no one knows…

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

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

     

    The End

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

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

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

    Anthony Romero’s Picks

    1. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

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

    2. Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

    Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro

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

    3. Yojimbo (1961)

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

    4. Seven Samurai (1954)

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

    5. Matango (1963)

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

    6. The Return of Godzilla (1984)

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

    Joshua Sudomerski’s picks

    1. Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999)

    2. The Cat Returns (2002)

    3. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)

    4. Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)

    5. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

    6. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

     

    Chris Mirjahangir’s picks

    1. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

    2. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

    3. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

    4. Godzilla (1954)

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

    6. Destroy All Monsters (1968)

     

    Tyler Trieschock’s picks

    1. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

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

    2. Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

    Gamera 2: Advent of Legion

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

    3. Godzilla (2014)

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

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

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

    5. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

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

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

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

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

     

    Patrick Galvan’s picks

    1. Seven Samurai (1954)

    Seven Samurai

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

    2. The Return of Godzilla (1984)

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

    3. Godzilla (1954)

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

    4. Two in the Shadow (1967)

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

    5. Matango (1963)

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

    6. High and Low (1963)

    High and Low

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

     

    Mathew Webber’s picks

    1. Shin Godzilla (2016)

    2. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

    3. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

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

    5. Matango (1963)

    6. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)

     

    Nicholas Driscoll’s picks

    1. Spirited Away (2001)

    2. Swing Girls (2004)

    3. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

    4. Rodan (1956)

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

    6. Whisper of the Heart (1995)

     

    Thomas Fairchild’s picks

    1. Spirited Away (2001)

    Spirited Away

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

    2. Godzilla (1954)

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

    2. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)

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

    4. Godzilla (2014)

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

    5. Shin Godzilla (2016)

    Shin Godzilla

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

    6. Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

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

     

    Andrew Sudomerski’s picks

    1. Godzilla (1954)

    2. Throne of Blood (1957)

    3. Akira (1988)

    4. Kong: Skull Island (2017)

    5. Virus (1980)

    6. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)

     

    François Coulombe’s picks

    1. Samurai Saga (1959)

    2. Godzilla (1954)

    3. A Whistle in My Heart (1959)

    4. Ikiru (1952)

    5. The Legend of the White Serpent (1956)

    6. Sandakan No. 8 (1974)

     


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    *****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Winner: Utsuno Ikusagami

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

     

    Gintama (2017)

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

    Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)

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

    Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972)

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

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

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

    Ajin (2017)

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

    Ghost Man (1954)

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

    Invisible Man (1954)

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

    Come Marry Me (1966)

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

    Ringu (1998)

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

    Destiny: Story of Kamakura (2017)

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

    Let’s Go, Jets! (2017)

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

    My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (2017)

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

    Let Me Eat Your Pancreas (2017)

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

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

     

    2018

    Kids on the Slope (2018)

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

    Before the Coffee Gets Cold (2018)

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

    Gintama 2 (2018)

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

    Mirai (2018)

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

    My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (2018)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Godzilla ’67

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

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

    Keizer Ghidorah

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

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

    Godzilla ’03

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

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

    Destoroyah Perfect Type

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

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

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

     

    Godzilla ’00/Godzilla ’68

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

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

    Godzilla ’01

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

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

    B-Tier

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

     

    Mothra ’92

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

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

    Star Falcon/Moonlight SY-3

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

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

    Mechagodzilla ’74

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

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

    Godzilla ’02

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

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

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

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

     

    Mothra ’04, Mothra Leo, Titanosaurus

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

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

    Cretaceous King Ghidorah

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

    Rodan ’64

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

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

    MOTHER/GX-813 Griffon

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

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

    F Tier: Skill Attack cards, everything else

     

    Skill Attack cards

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

    Everything else

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ”Deploy Jikiro!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Winner: King Ghidorah (Heisei)

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

    – Ishiro Honda

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

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

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

     

    Kiryu-Goji Appears in Kyoto

    Story by Patrick Galvan

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

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

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

    Crazy weather, I remember thinking.

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

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

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

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

    The most horrifying sound I’d ever heard.

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

    “What the…?” I said aloud.

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    GMK Godzilla: The Haunting of Itsukushima

    By Thomas Fairchild

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Showa Godzilla: It Couldn’t Be Worse

    Story by Anthony Romero

    38 billion yen…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I started to panic. I knew what this meant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    I feel the rumblings getting closer.

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

    This is Steve Martin signing off from Tokyo, Japan.

    Monster Sightings: Godzilla Videos

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

    General // January 28, 2020
  • Author: Joshua Reynolds | Banner: Tyler Trieschock

    A cool breeze blew across the tropical paradise. Infant Island, once used as a nuclear testing ground over half a century ago, was resilient. Only a third of the island had become barren. The rest was still lush. If the fools in the States would have done their proper research back then, they would have discovered that the island wasn’t unpopulated like they had come to believe. No. There was a population. A population determined to live. The islanders hid deep in the heart of Infant Island, far away from the prying eyes and sins of the rest of the world. However, when the blast came unexpectedly, it tainted the island.

    And it awoke something.

    Their God, long shrouded in mythology, had been uncovered. Mothra was reborn after millions of years. A protector, she was guided by two mystic protectors. They went by many names to the islanders and the few people that visited it afterward. The Cosmos, the Elias, but the most well known was the name the natives had bestowed upon them: Shobijin. There were only two of them, Moll and Lora.

    There was only one instance of Mothra showing aggression to the rest of the world. And that was back in the 1960’s when the Shobijin had been kidnapped by the greedy. Mothra rescued them at the cost of billions of dollars.

    Now, decades later, that Mothra is aging. She has spawned the next generation. With a watchful eye, she has guided this new generation into becoming something special. Moll and Lora gave this second one its own title: Leo. Like all of his kind, this male member of the race started life as a grub-like larva before maturing into a majestic, butterfly-like entity…

    Moll looked up at their protector with worried eyes. Leo seemed anxious. His antennae fluttered constantly and faint bolts of mystic power coursed through his multi-colored wings. “Something’s wrong.”

    Lora approached her sister. She tried to comfort her. “I’m sure its just maturity setting in. His mother has been missing for a little bit now.”

    Behind them, the Natives began to bow once Leo’s head lifted and his brilliant, emerald-colored eyes fixated on them.

    “Something isn’t right, Lora.” Moll declared, turning to gaze at her sister. “Mothra has never been gone for this long. It’s been three days!”

    Lora bit her tongue, “Always so concerned, my sister.”

    Suddenly, a strange noise echoed through the island. The twins and those that worship the divine moths spun around. Their eyes looked up to the clouds. Fear gripped them tight. Something approached fast. It was an insect, but something completely opposite to a Mothra. It was more akin to a dragonfly. Its body covered in a purplish exoskeleton and its eyes shined a blood red. The noise that came from its mouth was like that of a nightmare, a terrible screech that was only enhanced by the intense buzz generated by the beating of its wings which moved so fast they were virtually invisible.

    Suddenly, a beam of energy shot at it from behind. Megaguirus dodged, allowing the orange beam to vanish into a cloud. Emerging from behind one of the mountains, Mothra flew. She chirped as she approached. Megaguirus hissed, her head looking back toward her divine enemy. Such power… it was just begging to be drained.

    “Mothra!” Both Shobijin declared in unison, in shock and awe.

    Leo lifted his head and moved in his wings. However, as soon as he did, a cry from his mother ceased it. Leo’s wings went flat against the stone floor in which he lay.

    “This is where she went. What does this other creature want!?” Lora begged the question as the hundreds of natives rushed to their village huts for shelter.

    Moll shook her head, “I don’t know.”

    Megaguirus spun in the air, faster than Mothra could stop. Suddenly they collided in midair with a tremendous bang. Bolts of energy flew in every direction from Mothra’s wings and a strange, pollen-like storm began to cloud both of them. Megaguirus’s shrieks muted the chirps of Mothra as they began to fall. The large, leathery wings of the dragonfly began to flap while her claws clamped Mothra’s steady. She held both herself and Mothra in the air, head moving side to side and avoiding several point blank beams. An extremely high-pitched scream came from Mothra. Megaguirus’s scorpion-like tail plunged deep into Mothra’s midsection.

    Mothra tried firing, but her beams were sucked right back into her antennae. Her energy was being siphoned.

    “Mothra!” Moll once again shouted, “No!”

    “That monster is eating her energy!?”

    Watching from the ground, Leo’s wings moved again. The second generation began to move. As soon as his body lifted off the ground, Megaguirus’s head tilted. She spotted him instantly. Her tooth-like jaws seemed to widen into a grin. Her tail tore out of Mothra’s fuzzy abdomen, bringing with it a glob of yellow and green-colored goo. The dragonfly’s claws tore apart, tearing Mothra’s wings halfway through. She released the Infant Island deity. Mothra fell, unable to sustain flight with each of her wings shredded. She crashed into the side of a mountain, a rockslide following suit. She was buried…

    “MOTHRA!”

    Mothra Leo flew in as fast as his majestic wings would allow. From the three gem-like objects between his antennae, streams of multi-colored energy erupted. Megaguirus flew up and forward, spiraling around the beams. Her speed took the youthful moth by surprise. In no time, she closed the distance. Her claws clamped around the base of the moth’s head. Megaguirus spun in the air, dragging Leo with her. Upon instinct, green bolts erupted from his wings. The lightning-like strikes struck Megaguirus, coating her in a series of small explosions. She released the moth and flew back.

    Leo chirped and flew, his body speeding up. Megaguirus flew up, but Leo spun. His body became a blur. Megaguirus’s eyes widened, shifting her exoskeleton in the process. Leo, for a brief moment, moved faster than she. He collided with her, turning his entire body into a projectile. A thunderous echo boomed through the mountains and hills of Infant Island. The dragonfly began to fall as Leo circled overhead…

    As she fell, Megaguirus’s wings stretched out and her tail stiffened. A fiery power gathered in front of her body. Leo looked down, just in time to see the building ball of energy fire. It moved fast, even faster than Megaguirus and Leo’s enhanced speeds. Unable to escape, Leo was struck by the orb of energy that was composed of his mother’s power. His body was shot upward, vanishing into the clouds.

    But a few dozen meters from the ground, the dragonfly’s wings began to move at a blur. She recovered and flew up, shooting toward the clouds like a bat out of hell. Before she could reach them, a powerful blast of emerald-colored energy parted it. The beam missed the predator by dozens of meters, but the impressive shot hit the ground and made the entire island shudder as if an earthquake.

    Leo erupted from the clouds, beams and bolts launching from his forehead and wings respectively. Megaguirus moved to the side, dodging the immense firepower. Leo chirped, turning in the air to face his speedy rival. By the time he did, Megaguirus buzzed away again.

    A sharp pain raced through Leo’s back. Megaguirus’s stinger plunged into the center of his back. The dragonfly cried aloud as she began to drain Leo’s energy.

    Unable to sustain flight, Leo began to fall with Megaguirus balancing herself on his back via her stinger. She guzzled his energy, siphoning it like a sponge does water. The ground raced upwards, faster and faster, to meet the insects. Finally, Leo hit like a meteor. The lush jungle cratered and a cloud of dust and dirt flew around them. Megaguirus’s body lowered, virtually lying across her victim’s body. The dragonfly’s eyes flashed, changing colors to green as she fed.

    A distance away, Mothra’s head lifted. Her body was over half-way buried. She’d never escape. She looked up, watching as her son was helplessly drained. Her antennae fluttered. A beam of energy fired from each. It was weak, but it’d due. The twin beams struck Megaguirus’s forehead, covering it in a small shower of sparks and smoke. The dragonfly shrieked, ripping her tail free. Her wings flapped, carrying her up.

    Leo whined softly. His head moved, looking at his trapped parent. He tried moving his wings, but he didn’t have the strength to get into the air. Megaguirus drained him of too much. Weakly, he began to move forward.

    Mothra chirped again, her blue eyes flashing a golden light. She spotted the insect zooming in fast. Her head lifted and twin streams of energy shot forth, striking Megaguirus’s wings. They were quickly engulfed in fire. The prehistoric predator flew upward, spiraling out of control before vanishing on the opposite side of the surrounding mountains. Gathering her strength, Mothra whined in pain as she struggled against the thousands of tons of rock. The boulders shifted, but as they did, more fell upon her. Slowly, she began to crawl out of the landslide. Her body was ragged and half-crushed, leaving a gory trail of insect pulp behind. She began to crawl, fighting to stay alive as her innards spilled from her crushed thorax.

    Mothra’s antennae touched those of her offspring. She didn’t have much power left. But what she did have, her son would need it if he were to survive and bring forth the next generation. Her mandibles released a cry as wisps of golden energy surged from her torn wings, through her body, and into her antennae.

    “Mothra… she’s…” Lora looked on in awe, streams of tears running down her cheeks.
    “She’s passing on her energy.” Moll finished her sentence, holding back tears.

    They both knew what this meant. Leo’s body absorbed the energy his mother was transferring. Mothra’s body transferred all of her powers as fast as she could. Her wings and antennae fluttered slowly as golden particles lifted from her and fell upon her child. Leo’s eyes began to shine brighter. His colors began to shift. As Mothra’s colors dulled and her snow white fur grayed, his became a patchwork of beauty. His wings changed, the lightning-like patterns becoming a display of blues, greens, and other tropical colors.

    Mothra’s head collapsed as the very last of her energy was bestowed upon Leo. Her wings remained still and all life faded from her blue eyes. Leo released a mournful cry, but he’d have to wait to memorialize his mother. Leo had become something new. A new form of Mothra unlike that of any other.

    Moll and Lora gasped. Holding hands, they looked upon the revived moth with wide eyes. “He’s… he’s become Rainbow Mothra!”

    Rainbow Mothra, the ultimate form a divine moth could reach. There had only been a handful of moths that had reached this state. It had been centuries since it had been needed.

    Leo’s new wings pushed off the ground. He was quickly airborne. And as soon as he was, Megaguirus’s nightmarish cry pierced the air. The dragonfly flew in from above, her wings now burnt black. Her tail lowered and claws opened. Her tooth-lined jaws screamed with an insatiable hunger. Beams of energy lanced from the jewels on Rainbow Mothra’s forehead. The dragonfly buzzed around them, avoiding all three streams with ease.

    As they rushed one another, Rainbow Mothra’s body flashed with energy. His body became but a blur. He moved faster than Megaguirus! She was taken off guard. Before she could react, Leo’s body collided with hers in a ram that exceeded Mach 15. Megaguirus’s body flew back from the impact, her left claw flying in the opposite direction along with numerous teeth that broke free of her skull. Her exoskeleton cracked like glass, spilling a vile fluid.

    Leo began to circle overhead as Megaguirus fell. She screamed in a mixture of agony and rage. Her wings began to beat faster than the eye could see. Before she hit the jungle canopy, she flew away. Leo’s head tilted. His wings flapped and he took chase, firing beams from his forehead and lightning from his rainbow wings. The dragonfly cried in fury as she spun about. Her remaining claw opened wide. Leo closed in, aiming to ram her again. But her speed picked up. She dodged at the last nick of time. Her claw clamped around Leo’s wing and her stinger thrust up, tearing into the base of it. She began to siphon the moth’s power once more.

    “Leo!” Lora shouted from the ground.

    As if hearing her cries, the moth’s body shined brighter than the sun. Megaguirus’s claw suddenly clamped shut on nothing and her tail fell loose. The moth vanished in the light. Then, from the sudden flash, a swarm of smaller moths. Each one flew around Megaguirus like angry gnats. Her body was coated in explosions, showering her in fire and the energy she lusted for. The dragonfly fell, her claw and stinger swiping at anything she could hit. But each contact with the smaller insects merely caused more detonations across her exoskeleton.

    She hit the ground like a rock and a tremendous cloud of dust and broken trees catapulted into the sky. Her screams of agony rang loud as she fluttered on the floor. The swarm of tiny moths seemingly vanished just as she made impact. But the damage was done. Numerous breaks in her exoskeleton spat green and yellow ooze. The dragonfly had to leave. She flipped herself over, leaving several pieces of purple exoskeleton clinging to the ground…

    Her wings beat softly and her body lifted off the bloody grass. She got but a few meters high before something caught her senses. Megaguirus’s crimson eyes looked up. Above her, Rainbow Mothra had reformed and a brilliant light was channeling from his wings and into the mid-section of his body. Megaguirus’s wings began to move slower. Her jaw fell limp, hanging from her mouth as all of her limbs dangled. It was if she was in a trance. Rainbow Mothra continued gathering his energy. The dragonfly was being drawn to the gathering of power like a moth to the flame.

    She closed the distance slowly but surely.

    She reached out with her claw. It opened wide as if she could grab and take the tremendous power.

    Rainbow Mothra chirped. The tremendous energy he had been summoning flashed. The air warped and for a brief second, Megaguirus’s senses returned. Her eyes widened and she screamed in horror. A tremendous boom followed as she was hit point blank by the biggest, most powerful Mineral Chest Beam the moth could muster. The beam was so wide that it swallowed Megaguirus’s form entirely. Her entire body was shot down like a canon. The very energy she desired tore her apart in seconds. Her exoskeleton was vaporized, followed by her muscles and organs. Her deafened screams ceased.

    Leo looked down. There was nothing left. The area where she hit was a burning crater. There was no signs of life. Megaguirus was sent back to extinction…

    Rainbow Mothra chirped. He flew over his fallen mother. He cried softly as energy trailed behind him. A golden light fell upon Mothra. As the light shined down upon her, Mothra’s body began to sink into the soil. A proper burial for the fallen moth…

    Winner: Mothra Leo

    K.W.C. // January 20, 2020
  • Author: Andrew Sudomerski | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    [Continued from Match 88]

    A new year dawned over the horizon. The brittle chill rushed to fill the void, brushing large trees aside. Snowy slabs shook loose from their resting place under the harsh winds and crashed down onto a sheet of thick ice. Native fauna ran with the wild gust down the mountainous slope and steered clear from the one who was climbing to its peak.

    Large, earthy claws sunk into the mountainside as he pulled himself along. For Anguirus, his trek to find a safe haven had been long and arduous. It had felt like an eternity ever since he had encountered Mothra, but he continued to persevere nonetheless. The icy Japanese Alps gave him no comfort, even worse still were the cries he heard in the wind. Distraught souls continued to haunt him ever since the day he had slain the monster god. His unease swelled, but he disregarded them once again.

    When he reached the top, the brown ankylosaur saw an enormous lake, which brimmed with thick ice, surrounded by pure white snow and other peaks. A magnificent sight for those beholden to see it! Without a trace of doubt, Anguirus hurriedly charged down the ridge, with a tumbling avalanche following in his wake. There was not a living creature in its proximity; therefore, nothing would hinder his long awaited slumber.

    The loud rumbling disturbed the serenity, yet there were no ghosts to be found. As the commotion died down, Anguirus dipped his long snout into the frozen lake and broke the surface layer. He drank the chilled water and ice chunks alike with no discrimination, a much needed refresher from his travels. Then at long last, he would finally rest. His eyelids shielded his tired eyes from the harsh winter as he dozed off…

    ***

    Uneasiness filled the air with hollow chanting, which woke Anguirus from his snooze. Most of it was indiscernible, but there was one word that stuck out in the midst of the mantra. “Angira! Angira!” the souls cried out. Anguirus wasn’t sure what to make of this, but he wasn’t going to let his guard down. He bore his fangs at the unseen spirits and waited to see what they would do next. White vapor escaped Anguirus’s mouth as he released a curt growl.

    One by one, the mysterious choir faded into the howling winds. The crisp air took a nosedive and became unbearably chilly. Soon only the wind kept him company until the ankylosaur heard the distinct snowy crunch echo nearby. He turned to its source and raised himself onto his hind legs to look imposing. He had fought many in the past that far outclassed him and expected as much with the intruder.

    Then a honk caught Anguirus’s attention.

    He looked down and what he saw unnerved him, yet remained steadfast. His primitive mind registered it as a mirror of himself, but he couldn’t be further from the truth. The golden monster certainly boasted many similarities, but they were fundamentally different. The creature carried nobility in spite of its diminutive size. Its short tail hosted a spiky club at the end of it, and its carapace curved along its neck, annunciating its regality. It stood on four long legs, like that of a dog or a horse. Upon closer examination, its golden, bumpy scales exuded frosty mist while the pronounced, paler spikes that jutted out its body were akin to solid ice.

    Glowing red eyes peered directly into Anguirus’s soul. They held a righteous wrath undisputedly similar to the distressed ghosts. Anguirus howled as his gold counterpart, prepared to throw down.

    Angira felt the same when he unleashed a soul-filled scream.

    Anguirus slammed his forearms to the ground and wildly charged at his foe, uprooting trees and kicking dirt and snow in the process. Angira gracefully galloped to meet his opponent head-on, with minimal disturbance to the snow-covered foliage that surrounded him. The two clashed with a resounding sonic boom upon impact, alleviating the surrounding forest of their frost coated burden. They clawed and slashed at each other and then Angira drew first blood by ramming his spiked nasal horn into Anguirus’s neck. Before it could even begin to bleed out, the arctic cold froze the blood, effectively clotting it as Angira pulled away. Anguirus temporarily wavered at the odd neural sensation that ran down his neck, but not before retaliating with a vicious slash across Angira’s face. Sparks and blood poured out from the wound as the gold beast screeched, again with the gash freezing over. Even if contact had been just for a moment, Anguirus felt his claws shiver from the frost.

    The brown ankylosaur went in for another swing, but the golden freezing monster foresaw the attack. Opening his mouth wide, Angira caught the other hand in his grip and sunk his teeth into the earthy scales. Anguirus screeched as blood oozed from the wound, only to be immediately frozen over by the ice beast’s body temperature. He felt his hand go numb as anxiety built within him. However, not all was as it seemed.

    Anguirus forced himself upright and dragged the smaller creature with him. The anklyosaur recalled this attack from an old friend; with an incredible heave, Anguirus threw Angira over his shoulder and slammed the spiked monster into the earth. The ensuing shockwave rocked the forest, but Angira held on with utmost ferocity despite the pain. Anguirus inhaled the cold air through his nostrils to fill his lungs. Even with the frostbitten wound on his neck, he had to take the risk. Releasing the stored air, Anguirus hollered at the icy beast with a high-pitched shrill. The ultrasonic roar splintered the trees nearby and saw cracks formed from the vibration. It took its toll on his neck wound, but the output was more than worth taking the brunt of the pain. Although Anguirus barely felt it, he witnessed Angira release his grip and noticed that some of the icy spikes started to fall off. The golden creature was stunned and perplexed, but Anguirus wasted no time.

    Although his numbed hand was far too injured to move about on, the ancient reptile had a contingency plan. Once again, he found himself on his hind legs, but this time did a simple twirl. Anguirus faced his spiny carapace toward his gold counterpart and anchored his feet into the thick snow bed and crust beneath it. With a magnificent bound, the anklyosaur propelled himself backward and pinned Angira between his shell and a nearby rock wall. The arctic spirit wailed under the immense pressure of Anguirus’s sheer mass. However, Anguirus couldn’t keep the imitator crunched forever and dropped back on all fours. Anguirus swiftly turned around to face Angira, even if his frostbitten hand made it uncomfortable. He had expected the wounded dragon to be shattered and panting. Much to his surprise, the broken Angira clubbed him directly in the face with his spiked tail and threw him to the ground.

    Even maimed, Angira imposed his regal presence. The numerous cracks oozed blood, which quickly became the adhesive to patch his wounds. The splintered spines reformed, and the sacred monster’s crimson eyes glared with intensity as he sprinted into action. Anguirus didn’t even have the chance to prop himself up before he was rammed by the smaller monster. The brown monster’s large body paved the landscape as he crashed into the very lake that lured him here. Ice shifted as the surface layer cracked under Anguirus’s weight and displaced the water beneath it. Its immeasurable chill stung his wounded hand and quickly enveloped all his senses. He writhed and sprawled in the ice cold lake and tried to regain feeling in his body.

    Angira approached the outer rim and dipped his forepaw into the water. It froze nigh instantaneously and with little effort he pulled it out. He took another step; another patch turned into solid ice. Even after Anguirus found his footing, fighting against the freezing lake had taken the energy from him. He sluggishly tried to charge, but stumbled over himself before he could meet halfway. Anguirus managed to pull his head out of the water before it froze over; even then, the running water that rolled off him became unwilling icicles. Anguirus narrowed at the ice monster that stood before him and the two locked eyes.

    Angira growled. The beast peered into Anguirus’s very essence. Angira’s eyes were wrathful and judgmental. Their redness lit ablaze as they ventured deep into a world beyond the physical. Every beastly impulse Anguirus had acted on, every human being he had killed, they were all accounted for. The ankylosaur felt his neural processors being washed over by an unnatural feeling. Anguirus was not a complex creature, yet he was unsure of what he felt. Was he truly being cleansed of his past transgressions? Or had his tenacity been overwritten by fear? He had faced larger and more powerful monsters, so why was it that this golden lookalike had the most influence over his very being?

    “Mosura… Mosura…” the chanting returned. There were more souls present. Was it Mothra? Had her death called him here? He had felt remorse for defiling sacred land, so why was he being punished for it now? A burning sensation skulked within, one he felt disgusted with. Fear or purification? He did not know. This trance lingered for what felt like another eternity. Yet it came to an abrupt end. The audience vanished with the wind. Angira’s eyes dimmed and no longer held the same animosity he did just moments before. There was a tenderness to them that had been absent before. With a snort, Angira turned around and began to walk away.

    Anguirus was lost and confused. He didn’t know what to make of the current matter. His instincts urged him to continue the fight, but his gut told him it was futile. The more his soul was in conflict, the more he felt desperation overwhelm him. Be damned of what happened; he would see it through to the end, because Anguirus was a creature of the world. The frozen coat crumbled as adrenaline shot through his body, which gave him the strength to break free from his icy prison. Channeling his newfound strength into his legs, the large ankylosaur leapt high into the air.

    He had it figured out: he would employ into his rolling ball attack and savagely beat his lookalike. There was a feeling, perhaps from the sudden rush of adrenaline that was more primal and feral, one that made him lose his line of reasoning. For him, this was a fight he had to win, no matter the cost.

    Before he could do anything, he felt several, excruciating points of agony lance into his exposed underbelly. Any forward momentum he had was stopped once the golden spears reached the underside of his carapace. The bleeding wounds froze over from their cold touch. In that moment, he saw that Angira had extended the spikes on his carapace and made them lances, all without turning to face him. He felt the poles wriggle as Angira shook himself, ever so loosening from Anguirus’s soft underbelly. While some of the spear-tipped icicles found their way out, others snapped and remain embedded within Anguirus. Either way, the prehistoric animal dropped back into the ice-covered lake with no cushion to catch his fall.

    Anguirus was tired. He yearned for rest, yet had been denied time and time again. His eyes glanced at Angira one last time as he saw the golden freezing monster withdraw and reform its spikes. The frost guardian turned around and approached Anguirus’s prone form. He knew he was done for. No strength to pull from, no tenacity to persevere. Truly, a humiliating day! Before his eyelids embraced him in darkness that would comfort him in his final moments, he locked with Angira’s eyes for the last time.

    They were filled with pity.

    Anguirus accepted his fate and disappeared into his mind’s void.

    ***

    Lazy eyes opened up. What he saw was stunning and beautiful.

    Lush greenery surrounded him. The sun rained down with splendor, not a raincloud in sight. Next to him was the lake, which had long since thawed out, and reflected the sun’s rays. The native fauna teemed with life. Anguirus shifted and got to his feet, incidentally disturbing the wildlife in the process. It hadn’t been purposeful, yet couldn’t be avoided. He scanned the area, unsure if this was the same place he had been at…

    His senses told him it was the truth. The snapped trees they had crushed were still there. His body tinged with light pain, the only signifier that he was involved in battle. Otherwise, he had nearly recovered from whatever wounds were sustained. He sniffed the ground and tried to trace for his former opponent, but he came up with nothing. Aside from the scars left on the battlefield, the second Anguirus was nowhere to be found.

    Part of him felt light as a feather. This may have been induced from a much needed hibernation, yet it also felt like something much more than that. The guilt he carried was gone. His mind couldn’t comprehend the concept, but he didn’t care about it either way. It was the most jovial he had felt ever since winter began. That, to him, was all that mattered.

    Winter passed and spring flourished. Anguirus dipped his head into the vitamin rich water and drank from it. His grueling voyage finally came to an end. But the road of life was a much different journey that still had more bumpy paths to come. Nevertheless, he would face them, now endowed with newfound wisdom from the other Anguirus.

    Anguirus would live to see another day.

    Winner: Anguirus (2001)

     

    K.W.C. // January 10, 2020
  • Authors: Tyler Trieschock, Vincent Rodger, Harley Jameson & Andrew Sudomerski | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    Twas the afternoon before Christmas, when all across the pacific,
    A bitter cold took hold, making life for all creatures horrific;

    Once bustling waters lay still and devoid,
    Now black, and nearly lifeless like a dark, shifting void;

    A bitter hunger grasped all on one particular isle,
    An island home to the world’s monstrous exiles;

    Baragon, Gorosaurus and Varan searched for food to no avail,
    The island hearing of their failure in repetitive, unending wails;

    Kumonga, Manda and Rodan slept in ravenous yearning,
    Biding their time until their prey came returning;

    Standing proud yet alone in a valley surrounded by isolated hills,
    Anguirus endured the cold and hunger with his immeasurable will;

    The two exceptions to gluttony were son and father,
    A pair of beasts that only needed to eat if they cared to bother;

    Junior and Godzilla truly only needed to consume nuclear power,
    But the two knew the island was sinking into chaos with every passing hour;

    While Godzilla ignorantly slept atop his fracturing kingdom,
    Junior began a trek across the isle to help his dominion;

    He could gather food from the darkest depths of the now frigid sea,
    It would at least satiate the monsters from committing a murderous spree;

    Before the young saurian made it, a trumpet like call echoed from afar,
    Not recognizing the screech, Junior found the echo quite bizarre;

    Without hesitation, Junior tracked the panicked sound,
    Junior walked to the beach where an ally was found;

    The dependable ankylosaur, Anguirus, scanned the still waters with precision,
    Whatever caused the call would not escape his curious vision;

    Both Junior and Anguirus then spun from a thunderous crash,
    The dinosaur, Gorosaurus, emerged from the jungle with a titanic smash;

    No care or empathy expressed itself from the newly arrived allosaur,
    All the green reptilian wished was to consume whatever emitted the roar;

    In unison, the trio wandered tirelessly across the deserted beach,
    Yet their search discovered no creature that let loose the mysterious screech;

    But then, from the sea, a wave of water violently uplifted,
    Every monster’s sight in response immediately shifted;

    A lumpy orange creature arose with a trumpet like chorus,
    A deep sea saurian which had fought Godzilla, the mighty Titanosaurus;

    Anguirus, Gorosaurus and Junior readied for a hasty clash,
    While Junior echoed a roar of deterrence, Gorosaurus bore his teeth to gnash;

    But as blood gradually turned the surrounding salt water red,
    The monsters noticed across Titanosaurus an unmistakable dread;

    The wounds were many, so grisly it rattled Junior’s core,
    He wondered what could have done this to the powerful dinosaur;

    The waters swirled behind Titanosaurus, sending him fleeing onto dry land,
    Behind him in his wake, an emerald devil strode onto the sand;

    Malicious and old, this draconic leviathan showed no remorse,
    Dagahra let loose a growl at the trio, inquiring the whereabouts of his fleeing main course;

    Gorosaurus nearly turned his head to help, but a foot struck the dirt,
    Junior roared at the devil to flee or it would feel unparalleled hurt;

    Sensing the hostility, Dagahra let loose a breath of irritation,
    He wished not a battle, but his eternal hunger fueled his determination;

    The emerald leviathan called forth for the beast’s surrender,
    Yet the young king roared in defiance of this new contender;

    Eyes narrowed with bloodlust, Dagahra partially enraged,
    And with a mighty blast from the dragon’s maw, the battle engaged;

    Indigo energy spat from Dagahra’s jaws in every direction,
    The draconic being would not stomach this pathetic attempt at protection;

    With the devil distracted, Titanosaurus continued to flee,
    His form faded into nothing as he flattened dozens of trees;

    Anguirus, Junior and Gorosaurus cried in horrendous pain,
    Their enemy was powerful, but they could withstand the strain;

    Anguirus burst forth first, his maw held wide in rage,
    Shocking Dagahra at the durability of this creature from an ancient age;

    Teeth pierced flesh and warm blood splattered all over the earth,
    Anguirus would remove this draconic evil from his turf;

    The ankylosaur would not relent no matter how much Dagahra tried,
    A grim smile formed on the leviathan as he prepared to turn the tide;

    Energy surrounded his maw and the devil’s wing cones parted,
    Dagahra was now ready to end what the ankylosaur foolishly started;

    Overwhelming thunderous energy blasted Anguirus backward,
    Even with the shocking display, Junior boldly pressed onward;

    Dagahra smiled as he watched Anguirus plummet and howl in pain,
    Surely now the monsters would realize this fight was in vain;

    The youngster’s fins flashed a sun-bright cerulean blue,
    A fiery beam scorched the sand but then it struck true;

    Dagahra retreated, howling in agony from the scorching attack,
    Enraged eyes fell upon Junior, while the devil’s head scales shined black;

    The beach shook with ravenous fury, intentions entirely unmasked,
    Gorosaurus charged with such ferocity, to stop him would be a foolhardy task;

    A two-pronged kangaroo kick smashed against Dagahra’s head,
    The leviathan soared into the ocean, crashing violently onto the sea bed;

    Devilish eyes parted in rage from under the dark sea,
    No more pride, no more hesitation, he would silence these pathetic enemies;

    The open ocean exploded from Dagahra’s immeasurable rage,
    His wing canons blasted Barem as the emerald devil began to engage;

    Parasitic starfish coated monster island’s allosaur,
    Acid like ooze coating his skin causing him to painfully roar;

    Dagahra focused on Gorosaurus’ maw, taking advantage of his jaws parting,
    Bubbles began to form, the allosaur was unmistakably frothing;

    Green scales struck sand from the dinosaur’s titanic fall,
    With only one creature remaining, Dagahra readied to end the brawl;

    A flap of his draconic wings allowed Dagahra to fly,
    His jaws clasped Junior’s neck causing the creature to utter a cry;

    Higher and higher, the monsters violently ascended,
    Dagahra’ final destination open ended;

    For the draconic monster, he needed no destination,
    Gravity would be the factor to end the altercation;

    Jaws parted allowing Junior to begin his fall,
    His cataclysmic return ending in Monster island’s jungle sprawl;

    Thoroughly beaten, bludgeoned and bleeding profusely,
    The monster king’s son held on to consciousness loosely;

    Next to him, in terror, Titanosaurus looked on in fright,
    Hearing a haunting bellow which announced it won the fight;

    The ground trembled as Dagahra confidently landed nearby,
    Titanosaurus spun in horror, the end was unmistakably nigh;

    Rustling in the trees attracted both monsters in surprise,
    From all directions the inhabitants of Monster Island began to rise;

    Baragon upheaved the soil, Rodan set forest aflame,
    Manda slithered into sight, Varan glided into frame,

    Long, jagged legs pierced the earth marking Kumonga’s entrance,
    To Dagahra irritation, all of the monsters of the island were now in attendance;

    From behind the devil, Anguirus stumbled on the field,
    His head held low, his burn wounds freshly sealed;

    With a weak, yet determined screech Anguirus rallied his brethren,
    Dagahra vented a breath of agitation, it seemed he would have to kill all seven;

    Indigo energy struck Baragon and floored the dinosaur,
    With an ally downed, the others moved to even the score;

    Varan charged first with his claws sharp and bare,
    A devastating tail swipe smashed the sacred god with little fanfare;

    But Dagahra could not react to Rodan in time as it neared,
    The fiery Titan’s talons skewered while its volcanic wings seared;

    Manda snapped forward, encircling the devil’s back thighs,
    Anguirus closed the distance, allowing Baragon and Varan to arise;

    The reptilian pair jumped atop Dagahra, a planning forming fast,
    They could not match the devil in power, for the difference was too vast;

    But what they lacked in power, Kumonga displayed with intimidation,
    A stinger which held a poison that ensured any opponent’s annihilation;

    Surrounded by monsters, Dagahra scorched and clawed,
    Battering his foe’s until he felt a strange prod;

    Within seconds, Dagahra fell stagnant without uttering a single roar,
    The monsters fell back while Kumonga continued to impale its stinger more;

    Six strikes pierced flesh, six doses of poison ensured the kill,
    Six monsters emitted a cry of victory then felt a startling chill;

    A menacing laugh echoed, shocking every creature within sight,
    Dagahra arose amused, finding pleasure in the looks of fright;

    He was a creature made to consume the vilest toxins and pollution,
    Kumonga’s poison was nothing to such a creature of his evolution;

    Lifting onto his back legs, Dagahra let loose a mocking screech,
    If the monsters wished to experience death, it was a lesson he would happily teach;

    The brawl ended before it restarted with a roar which silenced all motion,
    To go against the bellow would result in complete destruction;

    From the edge of the battlefield, all looked toward the setting sun,
    A mighty monstrous king stood over his badly beaten son;

    Enraged eyes looked across the jungle toward the emerald titan,
    Spines channeled nuclear power and began to eerily brighten;

    Dagahra for the first time felt a shiver of terror take hold of his form,
    To fight against the King of the Monsters would be like a creature fighting a storm;

    The devil let loose his intention to the behemoth which was king,
    To consume Titanosaurus, not his allies or offspring;

    With overwhelming presence, Godzilla looked to the undersea dinosaur,
    Titanosaurus felt death grip him, he would surely be no more;

    As Godzilla pondered how the situation would unfold,
    His oldest ally, Anguirus, attracted his gaze which was cold;

    The ankylosaur looked on with a defiant stare,
    Without a sound thought, Godzilla understood how to end the affair;

    An order roared out to all the monsters which could listen,
    Titanosaurus would go unharmed, it was the king’s final decision;

    With a ferocious bellow, the toxic devil ignored his better judgment,
    And charged on all fours toward a battle that would be utter torment;

    The other monsters readied to assist but a thunderous roar stopped all in their stride,
    Godzilla would end this renegade, not out of necessity but pride;

    Nuclear behemoth and emerald leviathan crashed with immense force,
    Dagahra clamped his jaws on black hide as dense as it was coarse;

    Before Godzilla’s blood could fall upon the shaking frozen soil,
    Atomic fire burned from his jaws causing Dagahra’s blood to boil;

    Dagahra retreated backward but countered with his own volley of fire,
    Thunderous toxic beams struck Godzilla until both creatures began to tire;

    Their beam war ended and Dagahra jettisoned upward,
    Slamming his bulk into Godzilla with such force the King fell backward;

    Emerald claws pressed down upon the King’s throat,
    Barem blasted onto the behemoth who could not roar but emote;

    Cat like eyes narrowed, crimson energy began to flash,
    Godzilla’s arms swung upward launching Dagahra away with a mighty crash;

    With an earth-shattering stomp, Godzilla recovered and roared a request,
    The emerald leviathan would unleash all its power, a simple test;

    Dagahra bellowed in rage and parted his maw in spite,
    A mighty indigo ray burst forth to wipe Godzilla out of sight;

    The ray flew forth vaporizing all shrubbery it grazed,
    Yet the determined King awaited the indigo ray, unfazed;

    With his jaws burning crimson and spines flashing the brightest light,
    A spray heat ray burst forth to finally remove the draconic blight;

    The two rays collided yet the winner proved quite clear,
    Dagahra’s indigo beam vanished and within the dragon surged fear;

    Godzilla’s fiery ray burned down Dagahra’s gullet, his body filling with flame,
    The ravenous appetite of Dagahra replaced with anguish and pain;

    A great inferno swallowed Dagahra’s rotting corpse in a flash,
    His flesh and bone gradually reduced to nothing but fine ash;

    The monsters roared in celebration of their hard-fought victories,
    Allowing the moment to overshadow their wide-ranging injuries;

    But soon the monsters of the island discovered one enraging truth,
    Titanosaurus, the cause of the brawl, was now aloof;

    No traceable sign remained of the undersea dinosaur,
    Causing the monsters of the island to mock him as a coward in roar;

    Hunger silenced their calls and soon the monsters angrily returned to their dens,
    The frigid air and snow flurries of the night acting as their unwanted friends;

    With morning the chilled breeze remained, yet something filled the air,
    A putrid, horrendous smell that shockingly began to ensnare;

    The creatures of the island gradually made their way to the eastern shore,
    Where the sand was stained crimson in a display of true horror;

    Rotting corpses of whales and squids covered the beach from end to end,
    To the monsters of the island the sight was nearly too much to comprehend;

    Teeth shredded open flesh, beak shattered bone,
    Mandibles siphoned fluid, the dead began to groan;

    Watching the ravenous feast in the far-off tide,
    Titanosaurus looked with a lingering sense of pride;

    The gift had been tedious but it seemed to take,
    Soon nothing would remain from the monsters’ ravenous wake;

    Rising on a nearby mountain, Titanosaurus spotted a new creature,
    It’s identity apparent from the dorsal spines, its most defining feature;

    Godzilla’s presence loomed over all within his domain,
    Striking fear into the very core of the undersea creature’s brain;

    The nuclear leviathan’s head turned with his glare aimed out toward the sea,
    His stare apparent sparking Titanosaurus to flee;

    But Titanosaurus heard him roar as he dove out of sight,
    He could return one day, with or without a fight.

    Winner: Anguirus (Showa), Baragon (Showa), Godzilla (Heisei), Kumonga (Showa), Manda, Rodan (Legendary), Varan

     

    K.W.C. // December 25, 2019