30 Days of Godzilla – Day 20: Coolest Incarnation of MechaGodzilla and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla (1993) Review
30 Days of Godzilla: Day 20: Coolest Incarnation of MechaGodzilla: I like them all, I think they all have a unqiue and cool design and purpose that each one feels too different to say one is cooler than the other. I love the Showa era’s menacing alien robot of destruction, I love the Heisei era’s mechanized protector who is there only real chance at stopping Godzilla, and I love Kiryu from the Millennium era, which feels like a mixture of Showa’s destructiveness but also Heisei’s protectiveness. He’s a MechaGodzilla with the soul of the Original Godzilla in it and I find that really cool also.
30 Days of Godzilla-Review: Gojira tai Mekagojira aka Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla aka Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 1993 aka Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II 1993:
Previously in a Godzilla review
“It’s a fun film that I think old and new fans will enjoy like Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. It managed to bring back a popular monster and add some new stuff with fresh ideas so that older fans can appreciate the new take and newer fans can feel welcomed to seeing these monsters for the first time. I wonder if they’ll ever do that again in the Heisei?”
And now the thrilling conclusion?
This was promoted to be the last Godzilla film of the Heisei era, as Toho didn’t want to risk competing with TriStar’s American series. Also going into this thought process was the death of Ishiro Honda the Director of the Original Godzilla. This being the last was to honor him. Even during the promotions of the film, it was marketed as Composer, Akira Ifukube’s last performance. So how did MechaGodzilla become the opponent?
Before Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Toho had wanted to make a King Kong vs. Godzilla remake in the Heisei style. This film would of had Kong fall in love with a scientist who in turn makes him a cyborg. However Toho could get the rights to Kong so they had to come up with something else. In comes Mechani-Kong, a Toho mecha that was introduced in Toho’s 1967 film, King Kong Escapes. Which would of involved the idea of Mechani-King injecting a team of humans into Godzilla to fight Godzilla from the inside. Mechani-Kong would then fight Godzilla from the outside. However Turner Entertainment wanted a high payment from Toho because Mechani-Kong looked too much like Kong.
So that idea was scrapped. Eventually got Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah but the script ideas for the Kong and Mechani-Kong films would not be for nothing as they were used to help with this film, Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla.
MechaGodzilla was the next logical step for Producers Tomoyuki Tanaka and Shōgo Tomiyama as King Ghidorah and Mothra were both successful, why not MechaGodzilla. Mecha is where Special Effects Director, Koichi Kawakita, shines best. Having shown off his skills for mecha in the movie that got him Toho’s attention, Gunhed. There was also Super X2 and Mecha-King Ghidorah. Initally Kawakita wanted MechaGodzilla to be able to seperate into a land and air units, but instead they opted to have MechaGodzilla combine with another machine, the Garuda.
In this film however, MechaGodzilla wasn’t the only one modernized, both Rodan and Minilla are as well. Minilla to appeal toward the female audience like with vs. Mothra. Director, Takao Okawara objected to Minilla as he didn’t have a high opinion of the character from the 1960’s. Despite his complaints Minilla was introduced into the film, renamed as Baby Godzilla, and in the end from a narrative standpoint, Baby Godzilla worked out.
I’ll just say it here and now, I love this film. I would recommend it to anyone who’d ask me about. It’s probably my second or third favorite Heisei film. But why do I love it?
To say it simply it is a gorgeous film to watch and an even more emotional movie for me to watch. Like with everything I’ve said about the previous Heisei films. The production, directing, special effects, music, action everything is top notch and everyone involved brings their A-game. The tension and intensity of the climactic final fight between Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla is intense. Also it’s rather interesting because the conflict is the Humans vs. Godzilla to protect Japan, but it’s also Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla to protect himself and Baby Godzilla. At that point who do you root for? (Godzilla obviously you peasants).
The real emotional stuff comes from our two female leads, and their connections with the Kaijuus they know. Reoccurring character Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) who for the most part connected with Godzilla mentally using her psychic powers, saw him a a threat but seeing Baby Godzilla and seeing that Godzilla is just trying to survive and actually comes to see him as more than just a threat, he’s a living being. She really begins the question killing Godzilla or even harming him.
There’s also scientist Azusa Gojo (Ryoko Sano) who gets imprinted by Baby Godzilla.
Azusa over time begins to really warm up to the baby, really accepting the role of his mother. It becomes increasingly more heartbreaking when the U.N.G.C.C (United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center) examine the Baby in order to find a weakness of Godzilla as well as using him as bait to kill Godzilla himself. Azusa is appalled by this notion, to her Baby wasn’t just some decoy to use for humans to use, it was her child, and near the end when they must separate, it’s an emotionally hard scene to watch. She loves Baby like her child but she knows that he can’t be around humans who would use him for their own gain.
Overall the cast and characters are great an leave impact on you. You really get a sense of emotion and struggle from the humans. It makes it all the more engaging. Ifukube’s music and Okawara’s directing are great.
As I said before Kaijuu wise I like MechaGodzilla in this film. It’s a robotic protector of humanity that feels like there is no option left. I do also like how Mecha-King Ghidorah was the base and starting point that helped create MechaGodzilla as well as how Godzilla doesn’t feel like a Japanese threat, but a Global threat as the U.N. gets involved.
But humans aren’t the only one’s with emotional stuff going on. Rodan, Godzilla, and Baby all stand out as unique creatures with a lot of complexities. Rodan in this film starts off as a sort of rival for Godzilla, as the two fight each other, but for the same reason, Baby Godzilla. Rodan sees Baby Godzilla as his little brother so he’s protective of him, Godzilla is the same way.
After Godzilla defeats him, it seems like it’s all over for him but the rather chilling Children’s choir that sung for Baby Godzilla, awoke him. Having absorbed Godzilla’s radiation, Rodan becomes, Fire Rodan and looks amazing and awesome to see.
Godzilla in this film we really do connect with him and in some way we sympathize with him. He’s been alone for so long, that seeing another Godzillasarus that he can raise and take care of. He shows off his paternal instinct.
Baby Godzilla is great, and I think many will say a vast improvement from Minilla. He’s like a little pet, trying to survive and live with his mother, Azusa. He has feelings, he gets happy, hungry, afraid, sad. etc. It all works for this film.
A real touching and emotional scene is after Godzilla is paralyzed, a weakened Rodan hears Baby’s cry. So in an act for his brother and for his safety, Rodan gives off his life energy and radiation to Godzilla, healing him and supercharging him in order to defeat MechaGodzilla.
If this was the final film of the Heisei era, I think it would of been a great finale to end on. We truly see Godzilla as more than a destroyed, he’s a kaijuu, he has his thoughts, feelings, and need to survive like anyone else. He cares about his child, Baby and with him and Baby walking out to see together, you get a sense of maybe times will change and Godzilla won’t be as reviled by humanity, but maybe mutual respect.
Overall I love the film, I love everything it does and the emotions it really shows. It’s one of Heisei’s best and a real treat for emotion or action. If you were a fan of this series it’s a must watch, and for newer people, it’s very welcoming. It does a lot of things right and not a lot wrong. New or old, it’s a Godzilla film worth watching, if you see it I hope you feel the same way.
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