During the kaiju boom of the 1960s in Japan, Godzilla undoubtedly reigned supreme. But he was by no means the only giant creature tromping around Tokyo. Toho had other heavy hitters like Mothra and Ghidorah; Tsuburaya Productions owned TV with their Ultra series; and Daiei Film had the thunderous stone warrior Daimajin and the plucky turtle guardian Gamera. In fact, if any non-Toho kaiju could be said to rival Godzilla for renown, it would be Gamera. Now, the space terrapin, who is friend to all, will return for its own series. Take a look at the trailer for Gamera: Rebirth below.
Gamera: Rebirth will be the first such Gamera project since 2006’s Gamera the Brave. Its official trailer reveals that it will be an animated project. If I had to guess, this won’t be too dissimilar from the series of Godzilla anime films Netflix released from 2017-2018.
The project’s official Twitter account had the following statement (please excuse the poor Google translation). “From the Showa era to the Heisei era, the production of the new work ‘GAMERA -Rebirth‘ of the giant monster Gamera that has been loved by monster fans all over the world has been decided! Global distribution on Netflix!” Gamera: Rebirth will stream on Netflix worldwide, it will release on September 7. The series will have six episodes.
The Gamera series began in 1965 with Gamera, the Giant Monster, an attempt by Daiei Film to make their own version of Godzilla. However, right away, Daiei chose to focus more on children, thinking they’d be the target audience anyway. So after the first, relatively straight-forward kaiju film, the series shifted to a full-color special effects explosion. Gamera took a new rival kaiju in each film, with kids as the main protagonists. This lasted until 1971 when Daiei Film… filed for bankruptcy. Rival studio Kadokawa Pictures bought Daiei and later relaunched in 2004 as Kadokawa Daiei Studio.
The ’60s and ’70s Gamera films were not everyone’s cup of tea. The effects, though impressive, had a definite handmade charm to them that, even though the movies were much gorier than the Godzilla films, made the series look cheesy. Mystery Science Theater 3000 even featured most of the movies on their show in the ’90s. However, in the mid-’90s, filmmaker Shusuke Kaneko and special effects director Shinji Higuchi made a trilogy of reboot films that are, for my money, the finest kaiju movies ever made.
Kaneko gave the project his blessing in a Twitter post, which indicates he was working on an idea himself. A real eyes-emoji moment there.
When I came up with my own idea for Reiwa Gamera and made a proposal, KADOKAWA has already started a new project, and it’s content that makes me think that’s what happened, so I can expect this too. With that in mind, I would like to support the team from the position of a baseball commentator who has experience as a manager of the Gamera team until they win the championship and pitch again.Shusuke Kaneko
We’re glad that kaiju-loving Americans now have something to look forward to.
Originally published on November 17, 2022.