The Mysterians

Japan Release: 1957
Running Time:
88 minutes

The Mysterians

Japanese Title

[Chikyu Boeigun]

Distributor: Production:


A giant fissure destroys an entire village near Fuji, prompting an investigation in the area. Scientist and police discover the source: Moguera, a giant war machine. The robot is destroyed thanks to a large concentrated military effort. The remains of the robot are revealed to be alien in origin, though, and not long after astronomers witness crafts approaching Earth. In short time, the alien race known as the Mysterians make their presence known. Their demand is a two mile radius strip of land and the right to marry women of Earth, and it's discovered they have already taken some prisoner. Japan responds with a quick build up of military force, preparing to fend off the space invaders...

Live Action Science Fiction Kaiju

Box Office - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews


International Title

The Mysterians

Initial US Title

The Mysterians
US Distributor: R.K.O. (1959) / Time: 85 Minutes

Alternate Titles

Earth Defense Force
[Literal translation]

Phantom 7000


Aliens, SDF & Misc.

Honest John Missile Launcher
Honest John Missile Launcher
Missile Launcher Trucks
Missile Launcher Trucks
Long Range Missile Launcher
Long Range Missile Launcher
F-104J Starfighters
F-104J Starfighters
M2A1 75mm Howitzer
M2A1 75mm Howitzer
C-124 Globemaster II
C-124 Globemaster II



Directed by Ishiro Honda
Writing credits Shigeru Kayama, Takeshi Kimura, Jojiro Okami
Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
Music by Akira Ifukube
Stock Music by Hector Berlioz, Edvard Grieg
Cinematography by Hajime Koizumi
Film Editing by Koichi Iwashita
Production Design by Teruaki Abe, Akira Watanabe
Assistant Director Koji Kajita
Director of Special Effects Eiji Tsuburaya
Joji Atsumi Kenji Sahara
Etsuko Shiraishi Yumi Shirakawa
Hiroko Momoko Kochi
Ryoichi Shiraishi Akihiko Hirata
Tanjiro Adachi, Doctor Takashi Shimura
Morita, General Susumu Fujita
Teko, Captain Hisaya Ito
Sugimoto, Commander Yoshio Kosugi
Tantobo Korda, Doctor Tetsu Nakamura
Nobu Kawanami, Doctor Fuyuki Murakami
Security Officer Yutaka Sada
Adachi's Assistant Ren Imaizumi
Head of Defense Meeting Takeo Oikawa
Soldier Tadao Nakamaru
Svenson, Doctor George Furness
DeGracia, Doctor Harold Conway
Villagers Haruya Kato, Shin Otomo, Senkichi Omura
Army Officer Akio Kusama
Official on Defense Rocket Shoichi Hirose
Scientist Rinsaku Ogata
Announcer Jiro Kumagai
Mysterian Leader Yoshio Tsuchiya


Box Office

Release Date: December 28th, 1957 (Japan)
Distribution Earning: ¥193,000,000 (Japan, Rough Figure)

DVDs and Blu-rays

United States Region 1 The Mysterians Tokyo Shock (2005) Order
Japan Region 2 Earth Defense Force Toho (2001)
United Kingdom Region 2 The Mysterians Bfi (2006)
Japan Blu-ray Earth Defense Force Toho (2010)

CD Soundtracks


Background and Trivia

  • R.K.O. Teleradio Pictures, Inc. submitted the film to the US copyright office on April 30th, 1959 with the registration number LP0000014642. It contained the US and International title of The Mysterians. On December 16th, 1986, a company called Revival Pictures (PWH) attempted to register the film as the copyright claimant under RE0000318808. Toho, however, superseded this with their own copyright claim on December 23rd, 1986, citing Toho under authorship and citing RKO as the original claimant.
  • The 1957 film was followed up by a loosely based sequel: Battle in Outer Space (1959). The later movie features two of the same characters from this film, Doctor Adachi and Etsuko Shiraishi, although both were recast with different actors.
  • Actor Yoshio Tsuchiya was originally considered to play the film's lead, a role that eventually went to Kenji Sahara. However, Tsuchiya was more interested in being cast as the alien leader, despite being warned that his face would be obscured. Tsuchiya was passionate about getting the role, though, despite protests from Toho about having an upcoming star cast in a role that would be unrecognizable. He was eventually awarded the part for his efforts. This fact is found in the book Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo (ISBN: 0922915474).
  • In 1978 the movie was re-released as part of the Toho Champion Festival, which bundled a variety of content together to create longer sessions for cinema goers. The film marked the last such release under this festival and was shown among a variety of shorts including Lupin the 3rd: The Venice Super Express (1978). However, originally Battle in Outer Space (1959) was scheduled to be re-released during this slot before being pulled and replaced. This information is listed in the book Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • During the film, actor Yoshio Tsuchiya ad-libbed a line from the aliens about Earth trying to divide up the moon to sell it after the Mysterians are denied being able to take claim to a part of the Earth. While the line might seem strange, it came from personal experience. In the 1950's, Tsuchiya belonged to an organization that promoted a mission to the moon. The actor was so devoted that he convinced fellow actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura to join. Unfortunately, he discovered that the organization was merely looking to divide up the moon for real estate, planning to use the monetary resources they were gathering for this endeavor. This experience was related by the actor in interviews and can be located in the publication Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo (ISBN: 0922915474).
  • Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya won five technical achievement awards from the Japan Movie Association. One was for his work on The Mysterians. This information is listed in Japan's Favorite Mon-Star (ISBN: 1550223488).
  • Was the largest scale of optical animation seen in a live action Japanese movie up to that time, due to the large amount of rays fired off by the alien and earth defense forces. This fact is mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).

Concept Art


Anthony Romero Star Rating
July 28, 2005