Unlike any other species of turtles, Gamera has the habit of walking bipedally rather than on all fours, though he occasionally walks quadrupedally in his first three films. Gamera is capable of using his upper limbs in the same manner as Godzilla, as his forelegs have appendages much closer in construction to hands than feet, and is capable of grappling with opponents and manipulating objects. His mouth is filled with teeth, unlike any living modern turtle (several types of extinct prehistoric turtles were toothed, however), with a pair of large tusks protruding upward from his lower jaw. Gamera is also usually seen with very large human-like eyes, adding intelligence to his overall appearance. In the Heisei trilogy, Gamera has retractable bone spikes in each of his elbows.
In his earliest film appearances, Gamera is portrayed as an aggressive and destructive creature that deliberately lays waste to Japan after being awakened. However, he is shown to not be truly malevolent, as he actively saves a young boy at one point. After defeating the much more dangerous monster Barugon, Gamera is gradually seen as a heroic defender of Japan against other monsters. Gamera begins to actively rescue children from other monsters and alien invaders, while fending off attacks on Japanese soil by enemy monsters. Gamera also no longer attacks human settlements, except when temporarily mind-controlled by the Virasians.
In the Heisei trilogy, Gamera is portrayed as being actively concerned for the well-being of the planet from the very start, consistent with his creation as a guardian of Earth. When given the opportunity, Gamera will actively protect humans, especially children. However, Gamera will show a disregard for destruction and death he causes as collateral damage when he is preoccupied with stopping a pressing threat. This is most pronounced in Gamera: Guardian of the Universe when he leaves a path of destruction through Fukuoka while trying to reach the Gyaos trapped in the Fukuoka Dome, and even more so in Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris when he kills thousands of people while trying to stop two Hyper Gyaos in Shibuya. In the latter example, Gamera does take a moment during the battle to actively save a young boy from a Hyper Gyaos. Gamera never once retaliates against the military when he is attacked, even when he is actually injured by them. Asagi Kusanagi, who forms a psychic link with Gamera that allows her to read his thoughts, says that Gamera actively fights for all life on Earth, and humans are just one thing on this list. Gamera tirelessly battles against the Gyaos, as he was created to destroy them, and it is suggested in Gamera 3 that he has traveled around the world to hunt down and destroy all the Gyaos that have appeared. By the film's end, after he has been horribly maimed by Iris, Gamera prepares to face down a swarm of thousands of Hyper Gyaos.
In the Showa series films, Gamera was a gigantic, prehistoric species of tortoise who fed on flames, reawakened by an accidental atomic blast in the Arctic during a dogfight between American and Soviet fighters. In the original film, it is mentioned that Gamera had appeared before, from pictographs depicting Gamera and warning of his ability of flight. It is also suggested that Gamera had at one point lived in Atlantis, though this is not explained in great depth. Gamera's original origins are largely unknown in the Showa era, as there is no indication that he was a mutation in his original film. Gamera was already capable of flight and breathed true flames, rather than radioactive energy when he was reawakened. And while it was known that he fed on flames (and even radioactive materials such as plutonium, much like his counterpart, Godzilla), no explanation for these powers was given. It was also left unexplained as to why he attacked most of humanity in general, yet spared the life of (and indeed actively saved) a young boy who became central to the original film's plot. This later led to him being referred to as the 'friend to all children in the world' in future films.
In the Heisei series films, however, the origin of Gamera was retconned, giving him a much more directly heroic themed origin. In Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, it is explained that Gamera is bio-engineered guardian of the Earth created by the lost civilization of Atlantis with the purpose of defeating Gyaos, another ancient creation capable of killing all human life. The giant turtle is found floating adrift in the Pacific, encased in rock and mistaken for an atoll. Within the rock, investigators discover a large monolith explaining Gamera's purpose, as well as dozens of magatama, which allow a psychic link between Gamera and humans. In the third film of the Heisei era, Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, an undersea graveyard is found with many other Gamera skeletons, suggesting that the Atlanteans created several other prototype guardians before finally creating Gamera. One character in the film refers to these skeletons as "beta versions" of Gamera, possible failures in Atlantis' attempts to create the final version. Another scene provides Gamera with a link to Asian folklore, with a character relating a story in which a giant tortoise is considered the Guardian of the North, with separate, rival creatures defending the East, West, and South.
Gamera's continuity was rebooted again in Gamera: The Brave. The film begins with the "original" Gamera (whether this is intended to be the Gamera from the earlier Shōwa era series is unknown and unlikely, as the film mixes elements from both continuities) sacrificing himself to destroy a flock of Gyaos sometime in 1973. Decades later, a young boy finds a strange, glowing red rock near his home, with a small egg lying on top of it. A fairly normal looking baby tortoise soon hatches from the egg, but begins to grow at an alarming rate. The turtle, now named "Toto" by his child owner, also quickly develops Gamera's classic abilities to breathe fire and fly, and attempts to ward off another attacking monster but is too weak to succeed. Only after eating the glowing rock found with its egg does the new Gamera achieve its full power, defeating its enemy and flying off into the sky.
The Showa series of Gamera films lasted for eight films, beginning with Gamera in 1965 and ending with Gamera: Super Monster in 1980. The series began as an attempt by Daiei to capitalize on the success of Toho's Godzilla films, but gradually developed its own identity as a series of kaiju films aimed more towards children, an appeal the Godzilla series eventually tried to emulate. Following the release of Gamera vs. Zigra in 1971, Daiei planned for several more films and even began production on Gamera vs. Garasharp, but the studio went bankrupt and the series was shelved. Daiei was later purchased by Tokuma Shoten, who produced a new film, Gamera: Super Monster, in 1980, but the film's reduced budget forced it to rely on stock footage from previous films, and it proved a critical and financial failure. The series was then placed on hiatus for fifteen years.
During a dogfight between American and Soviet planes in the arctic, a nuclear bomb was dropped near an iceberg, the explosion causing the ice to split open. Gamera emerged from the iceberg and began approaching Japan. The J.S.D.F. developed a plan to sedate Gamera and destroy him with dynamite. The plan was set into action, but the explosion did not kill Gamera, only knock him onto his back. Just when Gamera appeared stuck, he tucked his head and limbs into his shell, while fire began to spew from the holes. Gamera began to spin like a disc and took flight, flying deeper into the country. As Gamera laid waste to Tokyo, the J.S.D.F. developed a new plan to stop him, codenamed "Plan Z." Gamera is baited into a large rocket, which closes and traps him inside. The rocket then takes off and carries Gamera off into space, saving Japan from the monster's wrath.
Less than a year after being launched into space, the rocket carrying Gamera was struck by a meteorite, freeing the monster. Gamera flew back to Earth and landed in Japan, where he destroyed Kurobe Dam before taking off and flying away again. Meanwhile, an opal brought back to Japan by a thief was revealed to be the egg of a giant lizard called Barugon, which grew even larger from exposure to an infrared lamp. Barugon hatched and rampaged through the Japanese countryside, eventually attacking Osaka. Gamera was attracted by the creature's presence, and confronted Barugon near Osaka Castle. After a brief battle, Barugon froze Gamera solid with his ice breath, then left him for dead in the castle's moat. While Barugon engaged in several confrontations with the J.S.D.F., Gamera thawed and pursued his enemy. Gamera reengaged Barugon near the ocean, overpowering him and dragging him into deep water, where Barugon finally drowned. His enemy vanquished, Gamera flew away without casing any further destruction.
Gamera appeared during a volcanic eruption to feed on the flames. He then hid in a mountainside until the monster Gyaos appeared from a cave. Gamera fought Gyaos and drove him back into his cave, although his arm was almost cut off. He then saved the child Gyaos was trying to eat and flew him back home. He then returned to the sea to heal his wound. Gamera later returned to attack Gyaos as the creature was attacking a city. He fought Gyaos in the air before he was thrown into the water. He managed to bite off Gyaos' foot before the creature escaped. Gyaos was lured to a container of artificial blood by the J.S.D.F., where the hoped to trap the creature until sunrise, hoping the light would kill the creature. The plan failed, and Gyaos destroyed the trap, producing a fire that attracted Gamera again. This time, Gamera overpowered Gyaos and dragged the creature into the crater of a volcano, killing it. Gamera then flew away, leaving Japan safe.
A group of aliens known as Virasians approached Earth, intending to conquer it, but their ship was intercepted and destroyed by Gamera. A group of reinforcements arrived and attached a mind control device to Gamera, forcing him to attack Japan. Two children sabotaged the mind-control, and Gamera turned on the Virasians. The Virasians then combined into their collective form, the giant squid-like monster Viras. Gamera and Viras battled on land and underwater, with Viras eventually impaling Gamera's stomach with its pointed head. Gamera took flight and flew into the atmosphere with Viras stuck to his chest, where Viras began to freeze. Gamera then spun until Viras was detached and plummeted into the ocean below, where it exploded. Victorious, Gamera bid farewell to the children that helped him and flew away.
Gamera came to an alien planet called Terra after a pair of brain-eating aliens captured two boys in their spaceship. Shortly after the Terrans' guardian monster Guiron fought and killed a Space Gyaos, Gamera fought Guiron, and was considered dead after Guiron lacerated his temples with his shurikens. Ultimately, Gamera was revived and confronted Guiron once again. This time, Gamera flipped Guiron upsidedown, sticking his blade-tipped head in the ground, and grabbed a rocket and lodged it into a hole in the side of Guiron's head, then ignited it with his fire breath. The rocket exploded, blowing off Guiron's head. Gamera helped repair the spaceship that brought the boys to Terra, then helped them get back to Earth.
Gamera appeared after a large statue called the Devil's Whistle was removed from an island. Later, the monster Jiger, awakened by the statue's removal, appeared from a volcano, and Gamera arrived to fight her. Jiger fired quills at Gamera, stopping him and allowing her to continue her rampage. Gamera removed the quills and pursued Jiger, confronting her again in Osaka. Gamera held the upper hand in the fight until Jiger extended a stinger from her tail and stabbed Gamera in the chest. Gamera staggered away & fell headfirst into Osaka Bay, where his body slowly began to turn a deathly white. Jiger took the opportunity to toss the Devil's Whistle into the water and resumed her rampage across Japan. A group of children used a mini sub to go into Gamera's body and find the cause of his discoloration. Inside, they discovered that Jiger had infected Gamera with her parasitic offspring. The children fought and killed the baby Jiger and escaped Gamera's body. They then convinced the J.S.D.F. to revive Gamera using electricity. After being revived, Gamera flew to the World's Fair and battled Jiger once again. Jiger used all of her attacks to try and fight off Gamera, but Gamera body-slammed Jiger and stunned her. Gamera then recovered the Devil's Whistle from the ocean and shoved the statue through Jiger's skull, killing her. Gamera then flew back to the island with Jiger's corpse.
Gamera came to the rescue to save a pair of children from the alien invader known as Zigra and his brainwashed human slave Lora Lee. After Gamera saved the children, Zigra took matters into his own hands and revealed himself as a kaiju-sized fish creature. Zigra engaged Gamera in battle underwater, overpowering him with his superiority in underwater combat. Gamera was revived by a bolt of lightning and attacked Zigra again, throwing him onto land, where he was rendered helpless. Gamera used a rock to play his theme song on Zigra's back like a xylophone, then killed Zigra by burning him alive with his fire breath.
As the intergalactic criminal Zanon approached Earth with his powerful spaceship, a young boy on Earth purchased a pet turtle from a local pet store. Believing the turtle would be happier in the wild, the boy let his turtle go into the ocean. Miraculously, the turtle transformed into Gamera and prepared to stop Zanon's plan. Zanon sent his agent Giruge to sabotage the Spacewomen's attempts to stop him, while deploying an army of mind-controlled monsters to kill Gamera. Gamera took on and defeated Zanon's monsters: Gyaos, Zigra, Viras, Jiger, Guiron and Barugon, while Giruge betrayed Zanon and sacrificed herself to stop him. Gamera then flew into space and collided with Zanon's ship, sacrificing himself to destroy it.
Following its failed revival with Gamera: Super Monster, the Gamera series remained on hiatus until the series' 30th anniversary in 1995. Daiei hired little-known director Shusuke Kaneko to direct a reboot to the Gamera series, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. The film, distributed by Daiei's longtime rival company Toho Company Ltd., proved a remarkable success with critics and in the box office, and inspired Daiei to produce two sequels, each with more lavish budgets than the first. Kaneko's Gamera trilogy became some of the most respected and popular kaiju films ever produced, despite budgets only a fraction of the size of contemporary Godzilla films.
In the early 2000's, Daiei was acquired by the Kadokawa Corporation, who began production on a 40th anniversary film. The film, Gamera: The Brave, was released in 2006 to a mediocre box office performance despite decent reception. The film's poor performance placed the series on hiatus for another decade. Despite being released in the new millennium and not sharing continuity with Kaneko's Gamera trilogy, Gamera: The Brave is counted as part of the Heisei series.
The plutonium transport ship Kairyu-Maru ran aground on a floating atoll in the waters off Japan, narrowly avoiding a disastrous radiation leak. A joint government-private sector expedition was sent to investigate the atoll, discovering various small orichalcum beads and a large ancient tablet in the center of the atoll. Suddenly, the atoll began to shake and break apart, revealing the monster Gamera within it. Gamera swam to Fukuoka, where the J.S.D.F. had trapped two giant man-eating bat creatures called Gyaos, with one escaping. Gamera killed the escaped Gyaos as it tried to fly out over the ocean, then proceeded towards the Fukuoka Dome. The Gyaos sensed Gamera's approach and escaped, with Gamera taking flight and pursuing them. When the Gyaos attacked a village in the Japanese countryside, Gamera arrived and killed one with a fireball. The second Gyaos fought Gamera briefly before retreating. Despite insistence from witnesses that Gamera was trying to save them from Gyaos, and the ancient prophecy on the tablet claiming he was destined to stop the Gyaos, the J.S.D.F. designated him as the larger threat and attacked him at Mount Fuji. As Gamera was attacked, Gyaos swooped down and attacked him as well. Seriously wounded, Gamera fled to the ocean floor to recover. Asagi Kusanagi, a teenage girl that had formed a telepathic bond with Gamera through one of the orichalcum beads, claimed to be able to read his thoughts and insisted he was fighting to save the world. The last surviving Gyaos, meanwhile, evolved into Super Gyaos and descended on Tokyo, plunging the capital into a state of panic. After recovering from his wounds, Gamera traveled to Tokyo and destroyed Super Gyaos' nest, then engaged it in battle. After battling Gyaos in the city and in the skies, Gamera was sent crashing into a refinery and was consumed by flames. As Super Gyaos believed itself victorious, it witnessed Gamera absorb the fire and blast it with a giant plasma fireball, which instantly decapitated Gyaos. Gamera roared victoriously before swimming back out to the sea.
A year after Gamera defeated the Gyaos, an alien species called the Symbiotic Legion arrived on Earth in a meteor and planted a gigantic plant in Hokkaido. As the plant prepared to launch its seed into space, which would annihilate the surrounding area in the process, Gamera arrived and destroyed it. Enraged, the Soldier Legion swarmed Gamera, biting into his shell and drawing blood. Eventually, the Legion were distracted by nearby power lines, giving Gamera the chance to fly away and escape. The gigantic leader of the Legion, the Mother, traveled with her swarm to Sendai and planted a new flower. The J.S.D.F. began evacuating citizens before the flower could seed, but the helicopters transporting the civilians were prevented from taking off when the Mother Legion attacked the Sendai airfield. Sensing his human counterpart Asagi Kusanagi was on one of the choppers, Gamera arrived and attacked the Legion, holding her off long enough for the choppers to escape. Legion gored Gamera with her sharp legs and blew his shoulder off with her laser beam, then left him for dead as the flower began to seed. Gamera limped to the flower and held himself in front of it when it seeded, preventing the seed from launching but falling victim to a nuclear force explosion that leveled the entire city. Gamera was apparently killed by the explosion, giving the Legion free reign to move on to Tokyo, which was still recovering from the previous year's battle. Several people, including Asagi, surrounded the fallen Gamera, praying for him to recover. Asagi held out the bead that bonded her to Gamera, which shattered in her hand as huge amounts of energy were absorbed by Gamera's body. Gamera was revived and flew to Tokyo to stop the Legion, while Asagi noticed that her bond with Gamera had been broken. Gamera engaged the Mother Legion outside of Tokyo while the J.S.D.F. trapped and annihilated the Soldier Legion. Despite his best efforts, Gamera was unable to defeat Legion. Out of options, Gamera absorbed a large portion of Earth's Mana energy, which gave him enough power to perform his ultimate attack: the Ultimate Mana Blast. Gamera's plastron opened and fired a huge beam of plasma that vaporized the Mother Legion. Gamera looked at the J.S.D.F. forces that had aided him before roaring victoriously and flying away. Realizing Gamera's dedication to defending the Earth from any threat, humanity was left to wonder of the consequences if he ever deemed them a threat to the Earth.
Gamera's use of Earth's Mana to revive himself and defeat Legion severely depleted its presence on Earth, allowing clutches of Gyaos eggs across the globe to hatch and evolve into more powerful forms called Hyper Gyaos. Gamera, believing himself responsible for this situation, traveled across the globe aggressively hunting down and eliminating all of the Gyaos he could find. When two Hyper Gyaos appeared in Shibuya, Gamera arrived and caused horrific destruction and countless deaths in his attempts to kill them. The J.S.D.F. determined that Gamera was now their enemy and decided to hunt him down and kill him. Meanwhile, a girl named Ayana Hirasaka, who blamed Gamera for her parents' deaths during his battle with Super Gyaos in 1995, discovered a strange creature in a shrine, which she named Iris and began to raise in the hopes it would one day kill Gamera and take revenge for her. When its attempt to bond itself to Ayana failed and she was taken away, Iris rampaged through the village where she lived and killed countless villagers before escaping to the countryside. When Iris detected Ayana was in Kyoto, it began to fly there, attacking J.A.S.D.F. planes along the way. Gamera arrived and attacked Iris in the air, but was shot out of the sky by the jets, who still believed him the bigger threat. Iris arrived in Kyoto as a typhoon struck the city, intent on recovering Ayana. When Gamera touched down in the city, Ayana ordered Iris to kill him. Gamera and Iris battled in downtown Kyoto, setting the city ablaze. Iris impaled Gamera with its spear-tipped arm, and the two monsters tackled each other into the Kyoto train station. Gamera fell unconscious from his wounds and appeared dead, leaving Iris to bond with Ayana. Iris forced Ayana into its chest against her will, showing her visions of the people it had killed. Gamera regained consciousness and interrupted the fusion by punching into Iris' chest and grabbing Ayana. Iris reacted by impaling Gamera's hand against a wall with its spear hand, then drained his blood through it. Iris copied Gamera's plasma fireballs and prepared to fire them at Gamera. Gamera used a fireball to sever his own hand, then caught Iris' fireballs with the stump, using his Mana manipulation powers to form a fiery plasma fist. Gamera plunged this fist into Iris' chest wound, causing the creature to explode from the inside. Gamera set Ayana down in front of Asagi Kusanagi and her friend Mayumi Nagamine, who tried desperately to revive her. Gamera roared loudly, causing Ayana to awaken. Ayana wondered why Gamera saved her, then began to sob and beg for forgiveness. Sensing a swarm of thousands of Hyper Gyaos approaching, the wounded Gamera exited the station and waited for their arrival. Nagamine remarked that it appeared Gamera would continue to fight, even if alone, while Asagi stated that Gamera wasn't alone, knowing humanity was ready to fight by his side once more.
- Main article: Toto.
In 1973, Gamera appeared to save a Japanese village from a swarm of Gyaos. Gamera was severely wounded by the Gyaos' sonic beams and overwhelmed by their numbers, so he self-destructed, taking the Gyaos with him. Gamera's sacrifice was gradually forgotten - The country was now at peace after 33 years without any monsters appearing, and Gamera was seen as a memory of a time when Japan was constantly besieged by disastrous monster attacks. Over thirty years later, a boy named Toru discovered a turtle egg on a glowing red rock on an island near his home. The egg hatched into a baby turtle that Toru named "Toto," a nickname his late mother once called him. As Toto grew, he began demonstrating unusual abilities, including flight and the ability to spit fireballs. Toru gradually began to realize that Toto was a baby Gamera, and started to hide him in a barn as he grew increasingly large. Eventually, Toto escaped, much to Toru's dismay. When a giant sea lizard called Zedus attacked Toru's village, Toto reappeared, now eight meters in height. Toto battled Zedus while Toru and his family escaped, but was brutally maimed and nearly killed by the more powerful Zedus. The J.S.D.F. captured the comatose Toto, believing him to be the reincarnation of Gamera and the only chance to stop Zedus. When Zedus attacked Nagoya, Toto escaped from the facility where he was being held and, now grown to 30 meters in height, attacked Zedus again. Toto was still no match for Zedus, and was tossed headfirst into a skyscraper. Toru ran to the building and approached Toto, begging for him to not sacrifice himself like his predecessor did years before. Toru presented Toto with the stone his egg had been found on. When Toto ate it, he was re-energized and began to fly, slamming into Zedus and knocking him off the building. Toto and Zedus battled again in the street, with Zedus launching his tongue at Toto. Toto caught the tongue and tore it out, leaving Zedus reeling in pain. Toto then launched a fireball at Zedus, which collided with the beast's head and killed him in a fiery explosion. Toto then collapsed from exhaustion, and was surrounded by the J.S.D.F. Toru and several other children blocked the J.S.D.F. from attacking Toto, giving him time to recover and fly away. As Toto flew off into the horizon, Toru tearfully said "Sayonara... Gamera."
In the 2015 reveal trailer for the upcoming Gamera reboot shown at New York Comic-Con, Gamera is shown killing a swarm of Gyaos in Tokyo ten years in the past, at the cost of thousands of human lives. In the present day, a new tentacled kaiju appears in Tokyo, and Gamera arrives to battle it.
Gamera's shell is extremely resilient and strong. Missiles and other weaponry merely bounce off of it, along with most of his opponents' attacks. There have been a few times where his shell has faltered, most notably when Guiron hammered at the same spot several times and began cutting through. Gyaos' sonic Beam, Zigra's Paralyzing Beam, and Barugon's rainbow ray cannot penetrate Gamera's shell, shown in the films when he withdraws into his shell to avoid the attacks. Gamera's stomach, however, is softer and not as resilient, and he has been cut and gouged in his stomach to the point of bleeding (his blood is blue in the Shōwa era series, but green in the Heisei films). This is most visible when Viras impales his stomach with the tip of its head, and when Iris impales Gamera straight through his entire body by stabbing him through the stomach.
In the original film, it was said that Gamera's cellular tissue was so dense that conventional weapons were useless against him. However, in the Heisei series, tanks were able to injure Gamera to some extent, while he was easily knocked out of the sky by missiles.
In the Showa series, Gamera fed on fire and was attracted by other heat sources, such as power plants and Barugon's "rainbow" ray attack, and in his first movie he was lured to a rocket by fire. He could breathe intensely hot streams of flames from his mouth when caught in a dangerous situation. The Heisei version, on the other hand, could fire explosive plasma fireballs from his mouth, usually very quickly, and with varying accuracy. At the end of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Gamera absorbs fire and fires a "Super-powered" plasma fireball and in Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, he breathes in the oxygen produced by a Legion plant and fires an "Oxygen-Powered" plasma fireball. The Heisei version could also absorb and manipulate "Mana", or the living essence and energy of life on Earth, and release an extremely powerful stream of pure plasma and fire from an opened, organic "cannon" in his chest. In Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, Gamera blasted his own arm off and absorbed plasma fireballs shot by Iris and used his stump arm to grow back his arm in a plasma form. From this, it appears Gamera has the ability to manipulate fire. However, as shown in this film, this ability to regenerate limbs in plasma form seems to be only temporary, as the plasma arm disappeared after defeating Iris.
Perhaps most famously, Gamera also has the ability to fly. Generally Gamera will pull his arms, legs, head, and tail into his shell, fire flames out of his arm and leg cavities and spin around like a frisbee. This mode of flight had an added advantage in the later films, where he would use the sharp edges of his shell to cut enemies while spinning, similar to a circular saw. He has a second way of flying, where he only pulls his legs and/or tail in, fires flames from the leg cavities, and flies like a jet. In the Heisei era films, Gamera's arms would extend and stretch out into wings similar to the flippers of a sea turtle while using this form of flight, giving him added aerodynamics and control.
The Heisei films gave Gamera one more additional weapon: a pair of sharp spikes protruding from his elbows. In his first Heisei era appearance, these spikes were hidden during the majority of the film, extending only when needed in battle. In later appearances they were permanently extended. In Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, another pair of spikes can be seen behind hind legs along the Achilles' tendons.
When seriously or gravely injured, Gamera can enter a coma-like state in order to heal. This often fools his opponents into thinking that he is dead. This ability has been used in almost every film.
Gamera's only major weakness is cold. The monster Barugon was able to achieve success against Gamera using his freezing spray, and scientists nearly defeated Gamera during his first appearance using special cadmium freezing bombs. This weakness was only shown in Gamera's earliest films, and has not been explored since. Gamera's internal organs are also vulnerable to parasitic actions, as shown when he fainted and turned a deathly white when the baby Jiger was growing in his lungs.
Body Mechanisms (Showa)
- Oil Bag: Gamera can drink oil and similar liquids which are stored in this organ.
- Coal Sack: Gamera can eat coal, like the oil bag it contents are sent to the Melting Furnaces.
- Melting Furnaces: Gamera can ingest coal, oil, fire, magma and uranium and they are sent here to be burned.
- Thermal Energy Conversion Intestines: This is where burned material is converted into thermal energy.
- Thermal Energy Heart: Works like the hearts of other organisms, but because it was made for thermal energy it has extraordinary power in comparison.
- High Fever Muscles: Gamera's muscles can produce ten thousand times the force of any human and can withstand high temperatures (High Fever), more so than any conventional metal and are very durable.
- Shell: Gamera's shell is known for it invulnerbility, the only known time it has been breached was by Guiron, who struck the same place over and over again. His underbelly does not have this resistance however.
Body Mechanisms (Heisei)
- Cells: Because of his superior ability to regenerate, Gamera can recover quickly even when wounded
- Shell: Compared to his Showa counterpart its defensive abilities have fallen. It can withstand Gyaos' ultrasonic scalpel, but could not completely withstand the missile assault from the Japanese SDF, resulting in him being knocked from the sky. Legion was also able to damage it with its attacks.
- Power: Gamera possesses superhuman strength, with physical strength alone Gamera was able to tear off Legion's nose horn.
- Gamera's Brain: Gamera's semicircular canal was developed to withstand his rotation, even in disk flight his eyes and brain are unaffected by the rapid spinning. Gamera was also made to be very intelligent.
- Telepathy Brain: Gamera was created to communicate with people using the jewels left behind by the ancient civilization. With these he could sense Asagi Kusanagi's spirit.
- Thermal Energy Conversion reactor (Plasma Conversion Furnace): Gamera's blood can absorb heat, flames, high voltage current and nuclear fuel. These energies are converted into electrons, protons and atomic nuclei and stored as plasma energy to be used. Life energy from the Earth, Mana, can be converted as well. The power of the total release of Plasma is unknown.
- Elbow Claw: Sharp nails on both elbows, they are strong enough to tear into the flesh of Gyaos. In 2 they could also damage Legion who lost her Egg Chambers to them. Originally they were tucked away inside the body, in the second movie they were always out by default and in the third movie they had two tips for extra damage.
- Chromosomal Manipulation: Like the Gyaos of the Heisei era, Gamera could manipulate his own genetic structure to adapt to his environments. Although his mass never change, his appearance altered over the course of the three movies as his body evolved for combat.
Techniques (Gamera Trilogy)
- Hard Slap: Hand Strikes mainly used in dog fights.
- Lashing Claw: An attack to tear into the flesh of the opponent using his sharp claws. Used to take Ayana out of Iris' body.
- Break Fang: A bite attack using sharp fangs and a strong jaw. The grip is so secure Gyaos had to cut of its own leg to free it self.
- Shell Cutter: A body attack using the rotating shell and the shell's sharp edges, used against Iris.
- Plasma Fireball: Gamera's special move, in the throat oxygen and plasma energy from the body's chamber are combine and compressed together. The condensed energy is ejected from the mouth as a fireball with a Ultra Discharge phenomenon.
- High Plasma: A plasma fireball shot at an output of at least 120% its normal power. It was used in the first movie after absorbing fire from the explosion in the oil refinery and in the second after inhaling the oxygen rich atmosphere. The second instance showcased Gamera's lung power as his inhale created hurricane force winds.
- Ultimate Plasma: Gamera summons energy from the Earth, mana, and absorbs it into his body, pushing the limits of his Plasma Furnace to the point that Gamera's Plastron (the covering on his stomach) opens and the energy is expelled outward. It is said it can only be used once during Gamera's lifetime, whether this is because of the strain on his body or the effects on the Earth is unknown. Due to the large amount of mana absorbed the technique has adverse affects on the global ecosystem resulting in the outbreaks of Gyaos worldwide.
- Vanishing Fist: A one-shot technique used against Iris, Gamera absorbed the plasma Iris fired and used the stump of the hand he blew off to create a fist of plasma by manipulating the energy.
Techniques (Gamera: The Brave)
- Fireball Ejection: Gamera fires a fireball from his mouth, he can overload his furnace in as similar manner as the Fireball Ejection Suicide, to fire a highly condensed and powerful fireball.
- Fireball Ejection Suicide: Gamera overloads his internal furnace until he explodes, used to destroy the Gyaos.
- Gamera (1965)
- Gamera vs. Barugon
- Gamera vs. Gyaos
- Gamera vs. Viras
- Gamera vs. Guiron
- Gamera vs. Jiger
- Gamera vs. Zigra
- Gamera: Super Monster
- Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
- Gamera 2: Attack of Legion
- Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
- Gamera: The Brave
- Gamera (2016-2017)
- Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
- Gamera: Gyaos Destruction Strategy
- Gamera: 2000
- CR Gamera
- Gamera: Battle
- Monster Gear
In this manga, Gamera fights a selection of monsters both new and old in a baseball stadium.Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe in 1996.
Gamera vs. Barugon manga, which takes place between the events of Gamera 2: Advent of Legion and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris. The comic serves as a retelling of Gamera vs. Barugon to incorporate it into the Heisei timeline.
Gamera: The Brave, Gamera's battle against the Gyaos in 1973 is gone more into detail within the "Special Link" chapter.
Gamera is being attacked by 4 Gyaos' laser beams. Gamera kills a first Gyaos with a point-blank fire blast and then stomps on its head. The 3 Gyaos keep firing at Gamera, but Gamera gets in his shell and charges up a fire blast which he fires at one of the Gyaos. Another Gyaos comes in and bites Gamera's arm, and Gamera throws it to the ground and fires at it, killing it. The 2 remaining Gyaos hover about, and Gamera fires another fire blast at one of them. From the smoke the Gyaos flies toward Gamera and unleashes a flurry of beams. Gamera punches it to the ground. However, the Gyaos continues its onslaught of beams just as the other Gyaos turned out to have survived and flies over to Gamera. Gamera begins spurting blood, and the two Gyaos feast on Gamera's entrails. Gamera, acknowledging he's been defeated, triggers his Fireball Ejection Suicide, killing both him and both Gyaos.
- Main article: Gamera/Gallery.
- Gamera made frequent appearances on the third season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where five of the Showa era films were mocked. The only original Showa films not featured on the program were Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Jiger.
- Gamera appears under the name Ghamoo-ra as a guardian beast in the Blackfathom Deeps instance dungeon in the World of Warcraft MMORPG. Additionally, a smaller tortoise named Gammerita is seen patrolling the eastern coast of The Hinterlands, and is the focus of two separate quests.
- Gamera was briefly referenced in the Captain Underpants and the Wrath Of the Wedgie Woman as a "cool Japanese movie".
- In an episode of Ultraman Max entitled Prophecy of Baradhi , two kids are playing with a Godzilla figure in the SokogekiGoji design, and a Gamera figure in the IrisuGame design. The two kids are interrupted by the arrival of Antlar, and run away carrying their figures. Curiously, this episode was directed by Shusuke Kaneko, who had directed all three of the Heisei Trilogy films, and also directed Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
- Gamera, along with Godzilla and some other kaiju, appear in side stories of Dr. Slump.
- An episode of the animated series Justice League Unlimited (S5E03 "Chaos at the Earth's Core") had a team of superheroes consisting of Supergirl, Green Lantern, Star Girl, and S.T.R.I.P.E. briefly battle a nuclear-powered giant turtle in Japan that was a homage to Gamera, right down to the flame-spinning flight.
- In an episode of Dragon Ball, Master Roshi summons a Baby Gamera to use as a means of transportation. It makes him dizzy. He later flies with Gamera to an island to put out a fire.
- Gamera has made frequent appearances in Akira Toryama's Shonen Jump Mangas.
He first appears in Doctor Slump as one of the kaiju that Doctor Monsters wants to play Jump-rope with.
- Gamera is a bonus track on the album Millions Now Living Will Never Die by post-rock band Tortoise.
- Gamera has made a few cameos in The Simpsons, in episodes such as "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo."
- A spoof of Gamera named "Cragera" made an appearance in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy movie Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure.
- In the Detective Conan series, there is a parody of Gamera called "Gomera." It looks more like Godzilla rather than a gigantic turtle, however.
- In the Pokémon anime, the water turtle Pokémon Squirtle performs the move Hydro Pump in much the same way that Gamera flies.
- The Digimon JumboGamemon is an homage to Gamera, with Game being short for Gamera.
- In the rap song "Paragraph President" by Blackalicious, Gamera is mentioned in a line of lyrics: "City burnin' like Gamera, scamina, blaze-up the space, plus I got it on camera."
- In the Cartoon Network show Johnny Test, Susan and Mary Test mutated a sponge that would have a monster form and it became an actual monster due to the mutation and Johnny quickly found a book of 1,000 monster names and he dubbed the monster Gameroid.
- In episode 16 of MAD on Cartoon Network, Ridley had a roar similar to Gamera's.
- In the 2012 Tim Burton film "Frankenweenie" a turtle named Shelly (who is ironically owned by an Asian character) is accidentally exposed to a growth formula, and the turtle mutates into a giant Gamera-like monster that rampages through a carnival.
- In episode 17 of Yakitate!! Japan, When the examiner ate Japan no. 8, which is a Green Turtle Bread, He spins rapidly and breathes fire while doing so. This strongly resembles Gamera's Spinning move. It also revealed Gamera as the Emperor of All Turtles, which is non canon, and just a parody.
- In Godzilla: Final Wars, a boy is playing with some toys one of which is a Squirtle. He makes Squirtle fight another monster, but he loses, so he throws the Squirtle toy into a fire place, signifying the rivalry of the Godzilla and Gamera franchises.
- The Pachimon character dubbed Tobozu is taken directly from Gamera's original suit design, but altered with orange-colored skin, a complete absence of a back shell, bizarre fleshy spikes on top of its head, and extra en-longed teeth protruding from its lower jaw.
Some of Gamera's roars would later be reused for the Godzillasaurus.
- According to an interview with Simon Strange by Toho Kingdom, Gamera was considered for Godzilla: Unleashed.