"I nearly died on Lagos Island, along with my entire garrison, but the dinosaur saved us all. Now all the prosperity that I built... it's being destroyed by the very same dinosaur as we speak. How ironic!"
— Yasuaki Shindo
The eighteenth Godzilla
film and the third in the Heisei series. Though Godzilla vs. Biollante
was a creative film, it didn't exactly get in the yen. After some legal wrangling in a failed attempt to remake King Kong vs. Godzilla
for Toho's 60th anniversary Milestone Celebration
, Toho instead settled on bringing back Godzilla's Arch-Enemy
, King Ghidorah. Creatively
, it's Japanese title is Gojira Tai Kingu Ghidora
The film explored the origins of Godzilla, and the plot was influenced by Japan's growing influence and the fear that Japan Takes Over the World
. This wasn't helped with the portrayal of American soldiers in World War II and the antagonists being Western Terrorists from the future, though the director said it wasn't an Anti-American film. At any rate, this entry did well at the box office, inspiring the return of other old Godzilla foes in future films.
People come from the future (they are appropriately named the Futurians) to offer to erase Godzilla from history, under the claim that in their time, Japan had long since been destroyed by the radioactive beast. After going further back in time to World War II and observing the dinosaur that would become the King of the Monsters save a Japanese brigade from the Americans, they teleport Godzillasaurus into the sea.
But another monster takes his place: King Ghidorah, a mutation of three pets of the Futurians called Dorats that were left on the island to be irradiated. The Futurians use King Ghidorah to terrorize Japan, so as to prevent the Japanese Empire from being born. With the help of a renegade Futurian, our human heroes lay their hopes in reviving Godzilla. But would it be wise in reviving such a destructive monster? And if the past had been changed, why can they still remember the King of the Monsters...
This film contains examples of the following:
- Action Girl: Not as great as others, but Emi is able to hold off M-11 pretty well in the chase scene and is able to go toe-to-toe with Godzilla while piloting Mecha-King Ghidorah.
- Asshole Victim: Wilson and Grenchko are both killed by Godzilla after their Evil Plan is foiled.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Wilson and Grenchko, with King Ghidorah as The Dragon.
- But Not Too Foreign: Emi Kano is half Japanese. Guess who defects to the good guys in the end.
- Choke Holds: King Ghidorah does this with Godzilla, to the point foam comes out of his mouth. This doesn't take Godzilla down, though.
- Clip Its Wings: Happens to King Ghidorah twice in the film. Both times his wings are ripped to shreds by Godzilla's atomic breath, the first being when he first fights Godzilla and the second being when he returns as Mecha-King Ghidorah.
- Cyborg: Mecha-Ghidorah
- Death by Adaptation: In the manga adaptation, Emi is killed by Godzilla after dropping him into the ocean in the climax/
- Disc One Final Boss: Wilson, Grenchko and King Ghidorah are all killed by Godzilla half-way through the film, who then proceeds to be the main threat for the rest of the movie.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The car M-11 drives explodes being flipped up-side down for some reason. Obviously, being an android, M-11 survives the explosion.
- Expy: The Futurians are the plot equivalent of the Xiliens from Invasion Of Astro Monster, in that they initially claim to want to work with the (modern) humans to defeat some monster menace but are actually scheming to use said team-up to turn against the humans afterwards.
- Freudian Excuse: Ever wonder why Godzilla's hell-bent on attacking humans post-mutation in this series? Getting attacked by the US army and abandoned by the Japanese garrison may stem from this.
- Giant Equals Invincible: Subverted with the Godzillasaurus. He can take on gunfire and rocket launchers, but he can be injured by ship-borne artillery and rockets.
- Godzilla Threshold: Gets crossed to defeat King Ghidorah. Turns out it wasn't a good idea...
- Gratuitous English: While there are androids and characters that speak English, Terasawa says, in the most hammiest way possible, "MAKE MY DAY!!!". Note: This occurs in the Japanese version.
- Harp of Femininity: Strangely, a harp plays when Godzilla first surfaces.
- Heel-Face Turn: Emi Kano, after King Ghidorah wreaks havoc on Fukuoka. M-11 as well, after Emi does some reprogramming. And King Ghidorah... kinda sorta.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Emi wears some in the raid on the Futurians.
- Historical Villain Downgrade: In general, the Japanese troops in the World War II scenes are portrayed much more sympathetically than U.S. troops. This is not uncommon in Japanese media, which controversially overlooks unflattering facts about the behavior of its military during the Imperial era.
- Insane Troll Logic: In the dub, the justification for Godzilla becoming the main threat at the end of the movie quite literally amounts to "Look at how big that thing is! It won't be friendly!".
- Japan Takes Over the World: By 2204, Japan has become rich enough to buy off the "nations" of South America and Africa. The real reason the Futurians went back in time was to prevent this from happening.
- My God, What Have I Done?: It's clear that Emi begins regretting the whole operation the minute the other Futurians mention King Ghidorah's name.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: According to the Futurians, this rule used Mr. Shindou as an example should he ever met his past self in World War II.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Nice job giving Godzilla a unnecessary power boost, Shindou and company!
- Technically, it wasn't their fault. On the below Poor Communication Kills, they were gonna inform of Godzilla's existence anyway, so that it wasn't necessary to nuke the thing. The problem is that M-11 interfered, so they had no way to telling the government.
- Off with His Head!: King Ghidorah's middle head gets blown off in his defeat. It gets replaced by a metal head.
- Oh Crap: Wilson and Grenchko when they see Godzilla standing right in front of their ship, and fully ready to destroy it.
- Older than They Look: Shindou looks pretty good for someone probably in his seventies.
- Poor Communication Kills: Our heroes are about to inform the government that Godzilla still exists anyway, so it's not necessary to nuke him. Then M-11 railroads the plan and the crew of the nuclear submarine dies upon finding Godzilla.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Dorats. Miki agrees, once she gets over her shock. King Ghidorah, not so much.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: M-11 and the other robots of the Futurians.
- Recycled Soundtrack: In addition to the obvious Godzilla and Ghidorah motifs, Ifukube revamped several of his compositions for Daimajin, such as Godzilla's reunion with Shindo and the chase scene with M11.
- Stable Time Loop: The only explanation for why everyone remembers Godzilla, as this SciFi Japan article suggests.
- Super Speed: M-11, fast enough to keep up with a jeep and outrun World War II bombs.
- Super Strength: M-11, strong enough to lift a vehicle
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The second Godzilla's origin is certainly a Stable Time Loop, suggesting a model of time travel where the past can't be changed, only completed, but the fact that King Ghidorah is introduced where he didn't previously exist and that Godzilla's fate as remembered in 2204 is changed indicate that we have an alternate universe thing going on. To put it simply, they screwed up the time travel badly.
- This Sci-Fi Japan article suggests that the Futarian's plans were based on a incorrect theory and that they didn't prevent the creation of the Godzill they were aiming to, but instead the original. And even then, they didn't even remove the first Godzilla from history, as he's clearly referenced in later films (VS. Destoroyah), and events from pre-G.KG Heisei films are mentioned in later films (VS. Spacegodzilla), meaning that the entire subplot is a Stable Time Loop and the entire "replace-Godzilla-with-Ghidorah" plot was a total bust.
- We Can Rebuild Him: How King Ghidorah is resurrected as Mecha-King Ghidorah to fight Godzilla.
- Western Terrorists: But from the future!