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Film / Godzilla vs. Gigan

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Godzilla: Hey Angurius!
Angurius: What do you want?
Godzilla: Something funny's going on. You'd better check.
Angurius: Oh yeah!
Godzilla: Hurry up!
— Godzilla and Angurius's conversation in the... dub.

From 1972, the 12th entry in the long-running Godzilla series, also known as Godzilla on Monster Island. It is the final film to star Haruo Nakajima as the King of Monsters. Godzilla must once again battle his old foe King Ghidorah to save Tokyo, and this time he brought a friend! It's also called Chikyū Kogeki Meirei Gojira tai Gaigan in Japan.

The plot revolves around a young manga artist by the name of Gengo Kotaka, who gets hired as a concept artist for a new theme park featuring a to-scale tower in Godzilla's likeness. He and his friends soon find out that the men running the theme park are in fact aliens trying to conquer the world with kaiju! These aliens are in fact giant cockroaches disguised as humans from some planet in Space Hunter Nebula-M. They plan on summoning & control a couple of monsters with "Action Signal Tapes". Our human heroes activate one of them by mistake, which brings the attention of Godzilla and his pal Angurius, who are just chillin' on Monster Island (in the only scene that actually takes place on Monster Island). They chat.

Angurius pays a friendly visit to Tokyo, gets shot at, and goes back to tell Godzilla what's up. The aliens summon King Ghidorah and a new monster, Gigan, who may prove to be Godzilla's deadliest foe yet. Godzilla and Angurius show up to confront the alien duo with the final battle taking place in the aforementioned theme park, where it turns out the Godzilla tower has a giant laser.

Followed by Godzilla vs. Megalon.

This film contains examples of the following:

  • Action Girl: Tomoko Tomoe, is a black belt and gets to demonstrate these skills when rescuing her boyfriend and his friends from the disguised Nebulans.
  • Action Girlfriend: Tomoko is the girlfriend of the protagonist Gengo Kotaka and a martial aritst. Unlike other examples, she's more interested in getting him a job than a superhero or crimefighting life.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Gigan, who has a belly saw and no hands.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Inverted. Since this film takes place in 1970's, King Ghidorah hasn't died yet since his previous appearance took place in 1999.
    • The chairman Fumio and his former English teacher and secretary Kubota, as human receptacles for the invaders.
  • Badass Normal: Aside from his sheer size and strength (and maybe the spines on his back), Anguirus has generally always been depicted as otherwise powerless. Yet he is chronologically the first Kaiju to deal a strong enough attack upon King Ghidorah to draw blood, something Godzilla himself wouldn't manage until the Heisei era. Worth noting is that this scene was stock footage from Destroy All Monsters, meaning Anguirus is the first to harm King Ghidorah in such a way in borth release order and the chronological order.
  • Bash Brothers: It's a case of two Bash Brothers against two more in the case of Godzilla & Anguirus vs. King Ghidorah & Gigan! While the latter pair are left disoriented and briefly argue amongst themselves when their mind control is broken, they do manage to recover and try their best to fight on their own terms, but are soon driven away by Godzilla and Anguirus's combined might.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Gigan, King Ghidorah and the Space M Nebula aliens.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Nebulans are a race of cockroach-like aliens who used to be subordinate to another more advanced race that completely trashed their planet, which killed themselves off. However, as hardy as the Nebulans are, things are continuing to get worse on their home planet, which is why they've singled out Earth as a new planet to take over for themselves.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tomoko rescues her boyfriend Gengo and his allies from the Nebula. Then she does the same for Mr.Shima right before he was going to be executed.
  • Brandishment Bluff: Gengo gets held up by an ear of corn. Since he couldn't see it and could only feel something pressing against his back, he thought it was a gun.
  • Character Development: Aside Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla makes one where he's no longer a selfish monster since Son of Godzilla. To elaborate, he was very destructive as the first Godzilla, and that carried over until his first battle with King Ghidorah. After targeting humans less once they found out they have been attacking unprovoked, he becomes a less grouchy neighbor to the point of helping humans fight a common foe. In the next film, he becomes friendly enough to fight alongside other monsters.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early in the film, Gengo offhandedly mentions that Tomoko is a black belt in karate. She ends up using these skills to rescue him and several other characters.
  • Cool Chair: Fumio the chairman puts the CHAIR in chairman in a futuristic-looking one that can swivel.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Dead Guy Puppet: Zigzagged. In the dubbed version, the Space M Nebula aliens dig up human corpses from burial grounds and don them as disguises. The original version says that the disguises are photonic after-images.
  • Decoy Getaway: After escaping from Godzilla Tower, the heroes get their car to drive away by itself (presumably by putting something heavy on the gas pedal). The car gets destroyed by Godzilla Tower's laser, then the aliens relax, thinking they have been destroyed, allowing them to get away for real.
  • Dented Iron: It can be a bit difficult to make out with the exception of a few close-up shots, but Godzilla is still in the process of recovering from his fight against Hedorah from the previous year by the time the Nebulans begin their plan, as his hand that had its flesh burnt off by Hedorah is still skeletal, with the soft tissue in the process of regrowing over it.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: After Hedorah thoroughly thrashed Godzilla for most of the previous film, Gigan keeps up the pace in this one, slicing Godzilla's flesh with reckless abandon. Meanwhile, Anguirus, due to stock footage, is the first and second to do so to Ghidorah as footage from Destroy All Monsters is reused in this film, and once again shows Anguirus drawing blood from the King of Terror. This film takes place chronologically before Destroy All Monsters (which was set in the then-future year of 1999, while Godzilla vs. Gigan was set in the 1970s) meaning this is technically the first time Anguirus does so. Score two for the Badass Normal!
  • The Dragon: King Ghidorah, a literal one, and Gigan, a metaphorical but still giant, destructive one to the cockroach aliens. They are unstoppable killing machines when under mind control of the aliens, but after the humans destroy their headquarters and the mind control technology with it, Ghidorah and Gigan's combat skills become instantly mediocre.
  • A Friend in Need: Godzilla and Anguirus have quite a few moments of these in the film.
    • When Gigan starts kicking Anguirus in the head, how does Godzilla respond? By chucking a boulder at Gigan's head.
    • Anguirus sees Godzilla being attacked by high powered weaponry from the Godzilla Tower at the center of the amusement park where the battle is taking place, while Gigan and Ghidorah look on. Headless of the danger to himself, he charges to the rescue, willing to go headlong into Gigan's buzz saw to try to save his friend. Shows just how far these two have come from their first encounter.
    • Godzilla returns the favor when he sees Anguirus being attacked by King Ghidorah.
  • Friendship Moment: See A Friend in Need above.
  • Gilligan Cut: One occurs where the Nebulans are commenting on how well the plan is going, only for the scene to change to Gigan being struck by maser fire.
  • Green Aesop: The Nebulans come from a planet that was ruined by its previous inhabitants through pollution and negligence towards the environment. Also should serve as a Does This Remind You of Anything?.
  • Help Mistaken for Attack: Inverted. After hearing the action signal tape that Gengo is playing (before he's aware of it's purpose), Godzilla orders Anguirus to go check on Japan to investigate. When Anguirus arrives at Sagami bay, there is no destruction happening (yet) and the JSDF fears that Anguirus came to cause trouble, scaring him away with artillery and maser beams.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In spite of Godzilla's shift to heroism (this also applies to his allies Rodan, Anguirus, Mothra) since Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, the JSDF, for obvious reasons, make it clear they don't want any giant monsters on human-occupied territory by shooing away Anguirus.
  • Impairment Shot: After getting beaten up by Gigan, we get a shot from Godzilla's POV of him fading in and out of consciousness.
  • Kensington Gore: The blood used for the monster fights is extremely bright and opaque, almost resembling paint.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Subverted. After successfully driving away Anguirus, the JSDF send in tanks, army troops, Air Force and maser cannons to stop Ghidorah and Gigan. Ghidorah burns down all the ground units while Gigan literally swats away all the fighter jets. Even the highest ranking general admits to the human protagonists there's nothing he can do against them. However, the JSDF proves to be a great help in taking down the Nebulans, as they load TNT into the Godzilla Tower's elevator as part of Gengo's plan to stop the aliens.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Gigan wakes up Godzilla who was very weakened by the cockroaches' laser cannons, by throwing him on top of what remains of the bombed Godzilla tower.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: The dominant species who originally inhabited Nebula Space Hunter M.
    "The dominant species was very like you. A little different…not much though, not much…because just like you they set about ruining the planet."
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The only '70s film with a Japanese subtitle (Earth Destruction Directive), presumably as a callback to the more elaborate titles of the '60s.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: During one of Gigan's rampage scenes, two Kelly dolls are used as stand-in for civilains in a building about to be crushed.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: The film's soundtrack is almost entirely recycled music from other films, all of which were scored by Akira Ifukube.
  • Rule of Three: This applies to how Godzilla and Anguirus defeat Ghidorah and Gigan in the end.
    • Godzilla holds down Ghidorah while Anguirus smashes him with his spiky back three times.
    • Godzilla flips Ghidorah and slams him to the ground three times.
    • Godzilla fires his atomic breath at Gigan causing Gigan to collapse into the ground from the sky three times.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After being released from the cockroaches' mind control by the human protagonists, Ghidorah and Gigan get beaten up badly by Godzilla and Anguirus (the latter two mistook Ghidorah and Gigan for causing destruction simply out of malice) and they retreat back into space.
  • The Shadow Knows: Somehow, the disguised aliens' shadows are of their true roach forms. No explanation is given how this is possible, considering their disguises are bodysuits and not a glamour.
    • The original version of the film says that the aliens' disguises are photonic after-images, which would explain the above.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Keep the planet clean, or the roaches will TAKE OVER THE WORLD!
  • Stock Footage:
    • The footage of Monster Island is from Destroy All Monsters, with shots of Godzilla with his son originating from Son of Godzilla.
    • Godzilla and Angrius swimming in the ocean is repeated three times.
    • Several segments of the fight with King Ghidorah come from earlier fights in other Godzilla movies. (Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Destroy All Monsters).
    • When Gigan hides behind some trees, footage from War of the Gargantuas is shown, including one of the Gargantuas "filling in" for Gigan.
    • A Mothra larva also has an unintentional cameo in one of the reused shots.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Godzilla's second wind comes out of nowhere and he stomps on King Ghidorah and Gigan.
  • Suddenly Speaking: "They chat". They also talk in the Italian and Spanish dubs, but the French version has no dubbing OR text, and the German version cuts these scenes entirely.
  • Teen Genius: Fumio the chairman is a 17-year-old who appears to do coordinate geometry and orbital calculations as hobbies. Subverted since he turns out to be an alien in disguise, and was rather dull in his original life.
  • Tsundere / Violently Protective Girlfriend: Tomoko is both of these to Gengo.
  • Weaponized Landmark: The Godzilla Tower turns out to have a laser powerful enough to hurt Godzilla.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Karate expert Tomoko Tomoe is terrified of roaches. Ends up being partially justified, since the Nebulans are giant cockroaches, albeit masquerading as humans.
  • Your Size May Vary: The Godzilla Tower is said to be 50 meters tall (Godzilla's height), yet Ghidorah and Gigan look a fraction of its size when flying next to it (and Ghidorah is 100 meters tall).


Video Example(s):


Gigan's Rotating Cutter

In a buzzsaw-based variation of this trope, Gigan's signature weapon (other than his hooked hands and optic laser) is the giant buzzsaw that runs down his torso, from his chest to his upper abdomen, called the Rotating Cutter. With Godzilla pinned down by the Godzilla Tower's laser gun, Anguirus resolves to save him, but Gigan stands in his way. Though Anguirus bravely takes Gigan on, his abilities at close-quarters combat and charging the foe head on are rendered moot in a very gory scene once Gigan activates the Cutter...

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChainsawGood

Media sources: