The Last War is a disaster film directed by Shue Matsubayashi with special effects work by Eiji Tsuburaya.
It is 1961, some 16 years after the atomic bombs ended the Pacific Front and World War II. Japan has rebuilt itself and become a stronger nation. However, war is brewing between the Federation and Alliance world powers.
In Japan, a charming family is living their life amidst all the turmoil that is about to erupt. Mokichi Tamura, the hard-working father who has big dreams for his son and daughter; his wife, a concerned mother always wary about her children's future; and his younger sister comprise the older generation. Saeko, his first daughter, wishes to get married to a young sailor named Takano. Her father has no idea about this, as he has already made his own plans in regard to her future. Saeko informs her mother of her intentions, and her mother informs Mokichi without her permission or knowledge. So, when he eavesdrops on the two lovers planning to break the news to Saekos father, he is already cognizant of the situation and welcomes them with open arms.
On a global scale, conflict is intensifying. At the 38th parallel, a firefight breaks out between Federation and Alliance forces due to an airspace violation by the latter. The Alliance jets wipe out the Federation tanks and chaos ensues worldwide, with Japans Prime Minister issuing a statement begging the two forces to ceasefire. The actions the two forces have taken make Japan fearful, with most people worrying that the island nation will be a prime target for nuclear attack.
This work provides examples of:
- Apocalypse Wow: Eiji Tsuburaya's 10-minute destruction sequence at the end of the film.
- Cool Car: The then-brand new 1961 Chevrolet Impala driven by Frankie Sakai. A huge large American car like that certainly sticks out among all the tiny Japanese cars of the time.
- Dueling Movies: With The Final War from Toei.
- Expy: The Federation and Alliance are stand-ins for the US and USSR.