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Millennium series

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The Millennium series (ミレニアムシリーズ,   Mireniamu shirīzu?) is a term used to identify the films in the Godzilla series released from 1999 to 2004.

It is notable for the fact that most of its movies do not follow a set timeline or occur in the same continuity (except for Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.).


Films

Godzilla film series

After Final Wars, Toho decided to retire the Godzilla series for a few years' time. Upon the release of Legendary's 2014 film Godzilla, Toho decided to bring the character back with their own post-Millennium film: Shin Godzilla, with a 2017 animated Godzilla film slated for release as well.

Monsters introduced

Continuity

One of the most notable features of the Millennium series is its staggered continuity. Unlike the Showa and Heisei series, the Millennium series does not follow one single continuity, and consists mostly of standalone films. The continuity of each film is as follows:

  • Godzilla 2000: Millennium - This film does not refer to the events of any film before or after it. All that is established is that Godzilla has been attacking Japan for some time prior to the film's events. Godzilla.jp's entry for Godzilla 2000: Millennium confirms that it is in fact a direct sequel to the original Godzilla, and that the Godzilla featured in the film is the second Godzilla in that continuity, after the original 1954 Godzilla.
  • Godzilla vs. Megaguirus - Although Godzilla in this film sports the same design as in Godzilla 2000: Millennium, the two films do not share continuity. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus shares partial continuity with the original Godzilla, as Godzilla still attacked and destroyed Tokyo in 1954. However, in this continuity the Oxygen Destroyer was never used and Godzilla simply swam out to sea, only to return and attack Tokai in 1966. Godzilla was not seen again until 1996, when he attacked a plasma reactor in Osaka.
  • Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack - Another standalone film, GMK is a direct sequel to the original Godzilla. In this continuity, Godzilla was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer in 1954, but the J.S.D.F. claimed credit for killing him in order to avoid facing ridicule and assure the citizens of Japan that they were safe. Eventually, Godzilla was brought back to life and possessed by the restless souls of those killed by the Japanese military in World War II, and returned in 2002 to destroy Japan. This film also makes a passing reference to the 1998 American film, as Taizo Tachibana mentions early on that a giant reptilian monster similar to Godzilla recently attacked New York. A soldier asks if the creature was Godzilla, while another responds that the Americans think so, but the Japanese doubt it.
  • Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. - These two films are the only entries in the Millennium series to share continuity, and are often collectively referred to as the "Kiryu Saga." Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla is a direct sequel to the original Godzilla and establishes that Godzilla first appeared in 1954 and was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer. The only change from the events of the original film is that Godzilla's skeleton remained intact instead of being disintegrated. This film also references the events of Mothra and War of the Gargantuas, including stock footage from both films. The next film, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. is a direct sequel to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and makes further references to Mothra, even featuring the character Shinichi Chujo. The events of the film Space Amoeba are also referenced when the corpse of Kamoebas is found on a beach. It is also mentioned that another Kamoebas was seen sometime in the 1980's. Supplementary books for the film establish that the events of several other non-Godzilla Showa era kaiju films occurred in this continuity, including Rodan, Varan, Gorath, Atragon, Dogora, Frankenstein vs. Baragon, and King Kong Escapes.
  • Godzilla: Final Wars - Godzilla: Final Wars, despite its numerous nods to previous films and inclusion of stock footage, is an entirely standalone film that shares continuity with no other films. In this continuity, Godzilla first appeared in 1954, prompting the formation of the Earth Defense Force. In the following years, the EDF battled against the countless monsters appearing around the Earth. In the 1960s the Gotengo lured Godzilla to Antarctica and managed to trap him underneath the ice. For the next several decades, Godzilla remained imprisoned in Area G while humanity was kept safe from other monsters by the EDF. It is not disclosed in what year the main events of Final Wars take place, as supplementary materials only refer to it as the year 20XX, but it is presumed to be sometime in the near future.

Trivia

  • All the Godzilla films of this era take place in Tokyo in some way. The only exception is Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, where Godzilla was heading for Tokyo but is stopped in Yokohama, Tokyo's closest southern city.
  • The Millennium series is the first of Toho's Godzilla series to not feature Godzilla as an antagonist who is defeated or killed by humans in the first film. It is also the first series to feature Godzilla battling another monster in the first film.

References

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Eras and series of the Godzilla franchise
Japanese eras
Showa eraHeisei eraMillennium seriesToho reboot series
American series
TriStar seriesMonsterVerse