When the mutant dinosaur Godzilla attacks Tateyama in the year 1999, the Diet decide to commission a robot constructed from the original Godzilla's bones, with help from Japan's top scientists. Four years later, the cyborg, called Kiryu, is finished and inducted into the Japan Self-Defense Forces along with its human pilots as the Kiryu Squadron. At the same time, Godzilla shows up once again, even though the JSDF seemed to finally defeat him. In the midst of the first battle, Kiryu's soul is awoken by Godzilla's roar, and brings with it the memories of his death years ago. This action makes Kiryu extremely angry and he proceeds to destroy the city around him. Horrified, the Kiryu Squadron can only watch in terror and alarm as the rampaging cyborg destroys more city property than Godzilla did. Kiryu is brought back to headquarters for further work. Meanwhile, Kiryu's main pilot, Lieutenant Akane Yashiro, tries to settle matters involving second lieutenant Susumu Hayama, scientist Tokumitsu Yuhara and his distressed daughter, Sara, who thinks that using Kiryu to fight is wrong and that it should be friends with Godzilla. Kiryu was put out of commission, until Godzilla once again attacked. The prime minister of Japan realized how dire the situation was, and he sent Kiryu into battle. Missiles and lasers were fired. The two creatures clashed, slowly knocking into each other. Missiles, masers, the wrist blade, and all of Kiryu's lesser weapons were used to contend with Godzilla at a close range. Kiryu sent Godzilla into a centrifugal throw as it began to charge its ultimate weapon: the Absolute Zero Cannon. Unfortunately, Kiryu was downed before it could be used. Its pilot, Akane Yashiro, managed to take manual control of the robot as the machine was recharged. Kiryu was sent back into battle, disabling Godzilla's heat ray and unleashing its Absolute Zero Cannon! Godzilla managed to survive the brutal attack, although gained a massive chest injury, but Kiryu's power supply was exhausted. Godzilla returned to the sea, as Japan could only watch on in a bittersweet stalemate.
ProductionIn this continuity, the original Godzilla's skeleton was not vaporized by the Oxygen Destroyer and Gaira (now a bigfoot creature) was destroyed by maser weapons. Kiryu is only referred to as Mechagodzilla three times in the film; for the rest of the film he is referred to as Kiryu. Japanese Baseball star Hideki Matsui has a cameo in the film due to his nickname "Godzilla".
Box Office Performance
Budgeted at roughly $8,500,000, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla opened in Japan on December 13, 2002, and earned $2,253,231 in its opening weekend. It went on to gross approximately $16,000,000 in Japan, making it the second biggest of the Millennium Godzilla films at the box office. It sold approximately 1,700,000 admissions.
- Yumiko Shaku as JXSDF Lt. Akane Yashiro
- Shin Takuma as Tokumitsu Yuhara
- Kana Onodera as Sara Yuhara
- Kou Takasugi as JXSDF Colonel Togashi
- Akira Nakao as Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi
- Yūsuke Tomoi as JXSDF 2nd Lieutenant Susumu Hayama
- Junichi Mizuno as JXSDF 1st Lieutenant Kenji Sekine
- Kumi Mizuno as Prime Minister Machiko Tsuge
- Yoshikazu Kanō as Hishinuma
- Takeo Nakahara as JXSDF Chief Ichiyanagi
- Kōichi Ueda as Dobashi
- Midori Hagio as Kaori Yamada
- Akira Shirai as Shinji Akamatsu
- Naomasa Rokudaira as Dr. Gorō Kanno
- Shinji Morisue as JXSDF 1st Lieutenant
- Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui as Himself
- Tsutomu Kitagawa as Godzilla
- Hirofumi Ishigaki as Kiryu
Mike Pinsky of DVD Talk gave the film three stars out of five, saying: "While I did have some minor complaints, [this is] a fine entry in the series." Pinsky said "the plot is more interesting than most giant monster movies," and "the battle scenes, which are the main reason anyone watches these films to begin with, were great." Matt Paprocki of Blog Critics said the film is "pretty flawed, [but] those of us who still love seeing Japan get trampled are in for a treat." Stomp Tokyo praised the "great monster fight action" but criticized the "uncompelling non-monster scenes." Giving the film a "B+" score, Mark Zimmer of Digitally Obsessed said that it's "a good deal of fun and one of the better entries in the series."Digital Monster Island gave the film a "B" score, calling it "a fun and exciting film that should please most kaiju fans."
As part of Crackle's Youtube assignment, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla has luckily been featured as one of the first full-length feature films to go onto Youtube legally. It was fully uploaded on August 24th 2010. Unfortunately, the video is private... but fortunately, you can see it, and many other Heisei & Millennium films, on Crackle's website.
- The continuity of what has been dubbed the "Kiryu Saga" by fans reaches beyond the continuity of the Godzilla series; the film makes reference to the events of such classic Toho kaiju eiga as Mothra and War of the Gargantuas. The sequel to GXMG, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., also makes reference to the 1970 film The Space Amoeba, and even includes the monster Kamoebas (from Space Amoeba) in the monster cast. A book, released in Japan on the heels of the film's release, lays out a timeline of monster attacks included in the "Kiryu Saga". Included in the timeline are the monsters Varan (from the 1957 film by the same name), Moguera (from 1958's The Mysterians), Maguma (from 1960's Gorath), Dogora (from 1964's Dogora), Baragon (from Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), King Kong, Gorosaurus, and the Giant Sea Serpent (all from 1967's King Kong Escapes), and the remaining monsters from The Space Amoeba, including Gezora and Ganimes.
- The Godzilla in this film is similar to Godzilla 2000, but there are several differences. First off, this Godzilla is back to the classic Charcoal Grey, instead of green. Second, his dorsal spines are more flesh-colored like in the 90's movies. Finally, his Atomic Breath has its trademark blue color instead of reddish-orange. The similarities are his posture & roars (the latter of which stayed consistent throughout the Millenium series).
- Titanosaurus was originally supposed to appear as a hero, for the first time, once again helping Mechagodzilla, though he was removed. However, his name is imprinted on a fish tank, during Godzilla's appearance at a festival.
- The trilobite from the 1954 Godzilla film makes a reappearance.
- Oddly in English Dub, Sarah's voice was child in Japanese version while her voice is deep.