Godzilla Raids Again (ゴジラの逆襲?, lit. Godzilla's Counterattack) is a Gojira no Gyakushu1955 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the second installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on April 24, 1955, and to American theaters as Gigantis, the Fire Monster on May 21, 1959.
Two pilots named Tsukioka and Kobayashi are hunting for schools of fish for a tuna cannery company in Osaka. Kobayashi's plane malfunctions and is forced to land near Iwato Island, an uninhabited strip of rocks formed by volcanic eruptions. Tsukioka then looks for Kobayashi and finds him safe, with only a wrist sprain. While talking, the two men hear some strange sounds and find two monsters fighting. Tsukioka immediately recognizes one of the monsters to be Godzilla. The two monsters then fall off a cliff, into the ocean.
Tsukioka and Kobayashi report to the authorities in Osaka, and find out that the other creature, Godzilla was fighting Anguirus. A group of scientists with the two pilots researched Anguirus in a book written by a Polish scientist. Anguirus and Godzilla lived around the same time millions of years ago. Anguirus hated hostile creatures, which explains the intense rivalry between Anguirus and Godzilla.
Dr. Yamane, who experienced Godzilla's first attack, was also present at the meeting, and shows a film of Godzilla attacking Tokyo just one year before. He then explains that the monster Tsukioka and Kobayashi saw is another Godzilla. Yamane states that there is no way to kill Godzilla, and that Dr. Serizawa, the inventor of the weapon used to kill the previous Godzilla, the Oxygen Destroyer, had died and burned the formula. Yamane, though, suggests that the military should use flares on Godzilla to attract the monster away from the shore. Godzilla becomes angry when he sees lights because the hydrogen bomb's bright explosion had awakened him.
One day unexpectedly, Godzilla shows up on the shore of Osaka. Jets are sent to shoot flares from their planes to lead Godzilla away from the shore. Godzilla sees the flames, and, as Yamane predicted, starts to walk away.
Meanwhile, a prison truck transports dangerous criminals to another part of the country. All of the criminals, using body language, decided that this would be a great opportunity to escape from prison. The prisoners beat up the two policemen guarding the back door of the truck, and run away. A few of them find a gasoline truck, and put the petal to the metal. The truck crashes into an industrial building and starts a massive fire.
The fire attracts Godzilla to the shore of Osaka again. A few minutes later, Anguirus swims to shore and attacks Godzilla. The two creatures fight an intense battle, while destroying several buildings, including the tuna cannery that Tsukioka and Kobayashi work for. Godzilla finally bites Anguirus' neck, and throws him on a moat near Osaka Castle. Godzilla then fires his atomic ray, and burns Anguirus to death.
Tsukioka and Kobayashi are transferred to a Hokkaido plant. During a company party, Tsukioka and Kobayashi are notified that Godzilla destroyed one of the company fishing boats. The military, and Tsukioka begin a massive search for Godzilla. Tsukioka spots Godzilla swimming to the shore of a small, icy island. He notifies the cannery, and Kobayashi takes off in his plane to switch shifts with Tsukioka.
Kobayashi dives his plane towards Godzilla to distract him from walking back into the ocean. Tsukioka then transferred to the air force, travels on a jet with an old college friend. They drop bombs on Godzilla but are unsuccessful. Godzilla then wades towards shore. Koboyashi dives towards Godzilla again but Godzilla fires his atomic ray on Kobayashi's plane. The plane then crashes on an icy mountain, killing Kobayashi.
Tsukioka grieves but then notices that the military can shoot missiles at the mountain, and bury Godzilla in an avalanche. The jets fire the missiles, and bury Godzilla in snow to his waist.
The jets return to base to reload, and Tsukioka is authorized to fly in his own jet. The jets return to the icy island, and shoot missiles at the mountain, burying Godzilla to his neck. Tsukioka then shoots his missiles burying Godzilla completely. Tsukioka looks to the sky, and says, "Kobayashi, we buried Godzilla for you."
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Motoyoshi Oda
- Written by Shigeaki Hidaka, Shigeru Kayama, Takeo Murata
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Masaru Sato
- Cinematography by Seiichi Endo
- Edited by Kazuji Taira
- Production Design by Teruaki Abe, Takeo Kita, Akira Watanabe
- Special Effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hiroshi Koizumi as Shoichi Tsukioka
- Minoru Chiaki as Kojikawa Kobayashi
- Setsuko Wakayama as Hidemi Yamaji
- Takashi Shimura as Doctor Kyohei Yamane
- Masao Shimizu as Zoologist Tadokoro
- Sonosuke Sawamura as Hokkaido Branch Manager Shingo Shibeki
- Seijiro Onda as Commander of Osaka's SDF Terasawa
- Yoshio Tsuchiya as Member of Osaka's SDF Tajima
- Minosuke Yamada as Chief of Civil Defense
- Yukio Kasama as President of Fishery Koehi Wamaji
- Mayuri Mokusho as Radio Operator Yasuko Inouye
- Ren Yamamoto as Commander of Landing Craft
- Takeo Oikawa as Osaka Chief of Police
- Shin Otomo as Convict Leader
- Senkichi Omura as Convict
- Shoichi Hirose as Convict
- Junpei Natsuki as Convict
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Main article: Godzilla Raids Again/Gallery.
- Main article: Godzilla Raids Again (Soundtrack).
- Gigantis, the Fire Monster (United States; Gigantis, el Monstruo de Fuego; Mexico)
- Godzilla's Counterattack (Literal Japanese)
- The King of the Monsters (El Rey de los Monstruos; Spain)
- The Return of Godzilla (Le Retour de Godzilla; France; De Terugkeer van Godzilla; Belgium)
- Godzilla Returns (Godzilla kehrt zurück; Germany)
- The King of the Monsters (Il Re de Mostri; Italy)
- Japan - April 24, 1955 [view poster]
- United States - May 21, 1959GtFM [view poster], 1961GRA
- Italy - 1955
- Spain - 1955
- France - 1957
- Germany - 1958
In 1959, Warner Bros. theatrically released a heavily edited version of the film, under the title Gigantis the Fire Monster. For a long time, this change in name was thought to be because Warner Bros. did not have the rights to "Godzilla." However, Paul Schreibman, the producer of the American version, said that he changed Godzilla's name to "Gigantis" to give the audience the impression that they were seeing a new monster. He has since regretted that decision.
On November 7th, 2006, Classic Media, after releasing both the Japanese and American version of Gojira in a 2-disc DVD two months previous, released both the Japanese version and American version of Godzilla Raids Again. Prior to this release, the film had been unavailable on North American home video since Video Treasures' VHS release in the early 90s. A notable difference between the original Gigantis and the U.S. version featured on this DVD, is the fact the Gigantis title card has been replaced with a newer Godzilla Raids Again one, by request of Toho. Despite the title change, the name "Gigantis" was left intact.
The film sold approximately 8,340,000 tickets in Japan, making it the third most-attended Godzilla film in Japan. It grossed around 1,700,000 yen, or $1,670,080.
The film was generally poorly received by fans and critics, thinking of it as a rushed sequel. It is, however, praised for being the first Godzilla film to introduce the formula of Godzilla battling other monsters, which would become a staple of the franchise.
- Released: 2001
- Region: Region 2
- Language: Japanese
Classic Media (2012)
- Released: July 1, 2012
- Region: Region 1
- Language: English, Japanese
- Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Black & White, NTSC
- Other Details: 1.33:1 aspect ratio, 160 minutes run time, 1 disc, Japanese version
- Raids Again was the first Godzilla film to have two monsters.
- The Godzilla suit used for this film, the GyakushuGoji, was slimmer and lighter than the previous ShodaiGoji suit used in 1954, putting less pressure on the actor, and making every fight scene with Anguirus easier.
- The J.S.D.F.'s tactic of enforcing a blackout in Osaka to protect it from Godzilla is the same tactic used by Japan during WWII to protect cities from Allied bombing raids.
- In the American version of Raids Again, Godzilla's roar was altered to sound like Anguirus' roar. His normal roar is still heard in many instances, though, and the roars are interchanged erratically.
- Raids Again is the only Godzilla film to date where Godzilla's dorsal plates do not glow prior to releasing his atomic breath.
- This is the first film in which Godzilla is defeated by human inventions. However, Raids Again is the only Showa era film wherein the J.S.D.F. wins out over Godzilla with a coordinated tactical strike, and with no aid from another monster or some sophisticated form of technology.
- In contrast to the first film, which was very serious that depicted little smiling and no laughter from its primary characters, the characters in this film are more lively.
- There are no scenes which feature Godzilla using his heat ray from the full suit-view. Every time he does, the hand-operated puppet head is used. This is due to the film's small budget.
- Gigantis, the Fire Monster, was distributed by Warner Bros., who would distribute Legendary Pictures' Godzilla over 55 years later.
- After this film's release, Toho took a 7-year break from making Godzilla films. However, during these 7 years they continued to make Kaiju films, and brought in some of the most recognisable monsters other than Godzilla from the Showa era, including Rodan and Mothra.
This is a list of references for Godzilla Raids Again. 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: