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Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) starring Yumiko Shaku, Shin Takuma

What is the measure of success for a movie? When the audience gets so wrapped up in the movie, that you start rooting for the protagonist. That’s exactly what happened during my first viewing of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. The basic plot has Godzilla attacking Tokyo, for the first time since 1954, being a monster that the Japanese Defense Forces cannot stop. During the attack, Akane Yashiro (played by Yumiko Shaku) freezes, and she blames herself for the deaths of her squad. The Prime Minister of Japan initiates a risky plan, authorizing and funding a plan to build a cybernetic robot, Mechagodzilla, built around the skeleton of the original Godzilla. The team is led by Tokumitsu Yuhara (played by Shin Takuma), a widower whose young daughter is still trying to deal with the loss of her mother.

When Godzilla next resurfaces, Mechagodzilla attacks, and nearly defeats Godzilla, driving him off  — however, its’ ““DNA computer” malfunctions upon hearing Godzilla’s roar, and the humans (with Akane piloting it remotely, attempting to revenge herself on the monstrous Godzilla) lose control temporarily. A second chance occurs later in the film, with what may be one of the best Godzilla fight scenes ever filmed. But what makes this film a success is the human element. By this point in the film, I was totally engrossed in the story, and rooting for the human antagonists in general, and Akane in particular, as she puts everything on the line to stop Godzilla’s rampage.

Does she succeed? You’ll need to watch the movie yourself–I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I recommend Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, and rate it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Editorial review of Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla, courtesy of Amazon.com

Japan’s favorite city-wrecker faces his most formidable enemy–a robot version of himself–in this sci-fi adventure, which packs enough action to satisfy fans of giant-creature brawls. As with the previous films in the unofficial ““Godzilla Millennium” series (which reinvented the Toho canon following the release of Godzilla 2000), Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla dismisses all of the monster’s previous rampages after its initial appearance in 1954, including his three showdowns with MechaGodzilla. Here, the massive robot is constructed using DNA from the 1954 Godzilla (still moldering in Tokyo Bay) to combat a new one that threatens Japan. Director Maasaki Tezuki (Godzilla vs. Megaguirus) favors action over story, which may displease hardcore Godzilla fans, but the battles are spectacular, and clips from older Toho titles like Mothra and War of the Gargantuas are always a welcome sight (as is a cameo by the Yankees’ Hideki Matsui!). As with other Columbia-TriStar Godzilla DVDs, this widescreen disc offers viewers two language options: the original Japanese dialogue track (with English or French subtitles) and an English-dubbed track. –Paul Gaita

Trivia for Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

  • Famed Japanese baseball player Hideki Matsui, a member of the New York Yankees from 2003 to 2010 and a ember of the Los Angeles Angels since 2010, appears as himself. He hits a massive home run as Kiriyu is flown toward Godzilla for the first time and helps a group of children get to a safe place during the sequence when Shinagawa’s population is evacuated to make room for the fighting monsters. Matsui’s nickname in Japan is Gojira (Godzilla).
  • Director Cameo: [Masaaki Tezuka] The maintenance worker who walks past Akane in the scene following the end credits.
  • Mechagodzilla’s nickname is Kiriyu, which means machine dragon or mechanized dragon.
  • In Dr. Yuhara’s first scene, he is showcasing a mechanical Trilobite and then is asked to help construct Kiryu from the first Godzilla’s bones not long after. In Gojira (1954) a Trilobite was discovered in the first Godzilla’s footprints.
  • Intended to be the first installment of a trilogy, but only one sequel was produced: Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003). The next film, Godzilla: Final Wars (2004), had no connection with the previous two.
  • Cameo: [Takehiro Murata] Man picking up cans. Murata has had roles in numerous Godzilla films, including the lead role in Godzilla 2000 (1999).
  • All the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) Ground Forces Soldiers and Officers are wearing U.S. Army Ribbon Awards.

movie quotes from Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

[Hayama sees Akane and Dr. Yuhara sitting together at a coffee bar]
JSDF 2nd Lieutenant Hayama: [to Akane] You seem to have a lot of older fans. Are you giving off some kind of pheromone?
Tokumitsu Yuhara: [stands up] How dare you!
JSDF 2nd Lieutenant Hayama: [Pushes him away] Back off!
Akane Yashiro: [Akane hits Hayama in the back and pins him to the table] Hayama”¦ that’s enough.

2003 Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi: Kick his ass!

Akane Yashiro: I’ll show you what Kiryu can do!

Originally published at Family Friendly Movies

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