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Gamera: Guardian of the Universe

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Gamera Films
Gamera: Super Monster
Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
Gamera 2: Advent of Legion
Toho Kaiju Film
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Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
Directed by
Shusuke Kaneko
Produced by
Tsutomu Tsuchikawa
Written by
Kazunori Ito
Music by
Kow Otani
Distributed by
Toho Company Ltd.
Rating
Not Rated
Budget
$4,500,000
Gross
$6,000,000
Running Time
96 minutes
(1 hour, 36 minutes)
Designs Used
HeiseiGame, HeiseiGyao

Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (ガメラ 大怪獣空中決戦?, Gamera Daikaiju no Kuchu Kessen, lit. Gamera Giant Monster Midair Battle) is a 1995 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company and the ninth entry in the Gamera series. This film is the first in Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera trilogy and the first Gamera film to be released by Toho.

In 1998, BBC2 used the footage of the final battle between Gyaos and Gamera during its Monster Night (an evening of programming dedicated to the giant-monster movie). It was used as part of a feaure when the presenters of the evening would pretend to bet on the outcome of fights between various monsters.


Plot

Ten thousand years ago, an advanced civilization called Atlantis possessed a technology that no other civilization on Earth could ever match. To boast their scientific power, they created a species of flying reptilian creatures, called Gyaos, to eliminate the rampant pollution caused by their ignorance. However, with the extreme abundance of pollution, the Gyaos grew stronger and stronger, and started breeding so fast that the scientists couldn't keep them under control. Eventually, the Gyaos began feasting on the Atlantians themselves! For protection, an enormous species of turtle called Gamera was created to fend off the attacks of the Gyaos. The onslaught of the demons was eventually halted, and these creatures were forced into hibernation. Despite the best efforts of its people, Atlantis was ruined. So, the scientists preserved the last remaining Gamera and bequeathed him to the next civilization, so that he might protect them from the fury of the Gyaos, should they ever rise again...

The year was then 1995; off the eastern coast of the Philippines, the Kairyu-Maru was trudging through the darkness of night. Its crew, and the crew of its Marine Safety escort, hoped that nothing would go wrong. The ship was carrying plutonium, and even a small leak would be disastrous. Without warning, the Kairyu-Maru ran aground on a mysterious floating atoll. The atoll moved away from the vessel and passed underneath both the ship and its escort. Fortunately, no plutonium was leaked, but the crew was shaken up, and reports of similar events started occurring throughout the area. A team of scientists landed on the atoll as it approached Japan. There, they found several small stone amulets, and a stone slab at the center of the anomalous formation. A strange writing was engraved on the slab, which was later deciphered. It revealed the names of Gamera, the guardian, and Gyaos, the shadow of evil. The atoll suddenly started to quake, and the slab was destroyed. As the scientists were thrown into the water, one was shocked to witness the giant eye and tusk of a mighty creature…

Meanwhile, three man-eating harpies, which were later identified as the Gyaos, were lured from the Goto Archipelago to a baseball stadium. With its retractable domed roof, the stadium would be the perfect area to trap and study the monsters. However, one of them escaped and flew toward the harbor, where Gamera suddenly burst from the water and knocked it out of the sky. Gamera waded through the town towards the stadium, intent on destroying the Gyaos. However, the leathery horrors escaped, and Gamera left the city to hide and gather strength.

One of the amulets found on Gamera's mighty carapace was given as a present to a young girl named Asagi Kusanagi. Through the artifact, she found herself spiritually connected to Gamera, and also discovered that she was able to bestow to the guardian the power he needed to fight his enemies.

The Gyaos found a place to hide and feed in the Kiso Mountain range, but Gamera soon arrived and saved three people from the terror of these monsters. Gamera flew in pursuit of the only remaining Gyaos, but the guardian monster was shot out of the sky by the Japanese military, whom the self-defense force saw as the greater threat. Gamera eventually escaped, but was forced to find a place to rest and gather more strength.

Meanwhile, the last Gyaos had grown to enormous proportions and was now besieging Tokyo. Gyaos landed atop the ruined Tokyo Tower, inadvertently wrecked in a military strike against the beast, making the landmark its nest. The following day, Gamera burrowed into the metropolis. It destroyed the nest and chased Gyaos across the city until the two began battling in the heart Tokyo. Gamera cut through Gyaos' leg and took off into the sky, where the dazed fiend chased him into the outer atmosphere. As the two savage beasts endured the immense pressures of re-entry, Gamera ripped off Gyaos' leg and shoved himself away from the flying demon. The guardian crashed into an oil refinery, and the resulting explosions surrounded him with flames. Gyaos furthered the explosions with its sonic beam and landed nearby, but Gamera absorbed the raging fire and recovered. He then destroyed Gyaos with a single massive fireball, and gave a final glance to his human companion, Asagi, as he returned to the sea.

Staff

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Tsuyoshi Ihara   as   Yoshinari Yonemori
  • Akira Onodera   as   Naoya Kusangi
  • Shinobu Nakayama   as   Mayumi Nagamine
  • Ayako Fujitani   as   Asagi Kusanagi
  • Yukijiro Hotaru   as   Osako
  • Hatsunori Hasegawa   as   Satake
  • Hirotaro Honda   as   Mr. Saito
  • Akira Kubo   as   Captain of the Kairyumaru
  • Kojiro Hongo   as   Captain of the Nojima
  • Takashi Matsuo   as   Taxi Driver

Appearances

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

Monsters

Gallery

Main article: Gallery:Gamera: Guardian of the Universe.

Soundtrack

Main article: Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (Soundtrack).

Theatrical Releases

U.S. Release

The U.S. release of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe was released on April 16th, 1997.

Box Office

The film did fairly well, with a success of $6,000,000.

Reception

Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, saying: "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe is precisely the kind of movie that I enjoy, despite all rational reasoning. How, you may ask, can I possibly prefer this Japanese monster film about a jet-powered turtle to a megabudget solemnity like Air Force One? It has laughable acting, a ludicrous plot, second-rate special effects and dialogue such as, 'Someday, I'll show you around monster-free Tokyo!' The answer, I think, is that Gamera is more fun." Peter H. Gilmore of Monster Zero said, "All in all, this is a vibrant and energetic film. The monster battles are full of physical grappling as well as energy weapon exchanges, and the excellent suitmation is well augmented by judiciously used CGI." Popcorn Pictures said, "This is just a great, fun kaiju film. ... Gamera finally has a film to rival Godzilla (but he's still second best to the Big G, though) and rid the infamous legacy that has dogged him throughout his motion picture life."

Video Releases

ADV Films (2003)[1]

  • Released: March 18, 2003
  • Region: Region 1
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Other Details: 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 96 minutes run time, 1 disc, Japanese version

Trivia

  • This is the second movie where Gamera battles his archenemy, Gyaos.

References

This is a list of references for Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Kaiju   Films
Godzilla Films Godzilla (1954 film)Godzilla Raids AgainKing Kong vs. GodzillaMothra vs. GodzillaGhidorah, the Three-Headed MonsterInvasion of Astro-MonsterEbirah, Horror of the DeepSon of GodzillaDestroy All MonstersAll Monsters AttackGodzilla vs. HedorahGodzilla vs. GiganGodzilla vs. MegalonGodzilla vs. MechaGodzillaTerror of MechaGodzillaThe Return of GodzillaGodzilla vs. BiollanteGodzilla vs. King GhidorahGodzilla vs. MothraGodzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzillaGodzilla vs. DestoroyahGodzilla 2000: MillenniumGodzilla vs. MegaguirusGodzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out AttackGodzilla Against MechaGodzillaGodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.Godzilla: Final WarsGodzilla (2014 film)Godzilla 2
Gamera Films GameraGamera vs. BarugonGamera vs. GyaosGamera vs. VirasGamera vs. GuironGamera vs. JigerGamera vs. ZigraGamera: Super MonsterGamera: Guardian of the UniverseGamera 2: Advent of LegionGamera 3: Awakening of IrysGamera: The Brave
Daimajin Films DaimajinThe Return of DaimajinWrath of Daimajin
Mothra Films MothraRebirth of MothraRebirth of Mothra IIRebirth of Mothra III
Miscellaneous Films GODZILLAKing Kong (1933 film)Japanese King KongKing Kong Appears in EdoSon Of KongThe Beast From 20,000 FathomsRodanThe MysteriansVaranH-ManThe Birth of JapanGorathAtragonMatangoDogoraFrankenstein vs. BaragonWar of the GargantuasKing Kong EscapesSpace AmoebaDaigoro vs. GoliathThe X From Outer SpaceKing Kong (1976 film)King Kong LivesYamato TakeruKing Kong (2005 film)CloverfieldGo! GodmanMonsters

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