Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (Review)
Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
aka Gojira tai Mosura tai Mekagojira: Tokyo S.O.S.
Noboru Kaneko as Yoshito Chujo
Miho Yoshioka as Pilot Azusa Kisaragi
Mitsuki Koga as Mechagodzilla Pilot Kyosuke Akiba
Hiroshi Koizumi as Dr. Shinichi Chujo
Akira Nakao as Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi
Koichi Ueda as General Dobashi
Koh Takasugi as Colonel Togashi
Masami Nagasawa as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Chihiro Otsuka as Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
Directed by Masaaki Tezuka
March of Godzilla 2 soldiers on with the sequel to Godzilla X Mechagodzilla, Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.! This time, Mothra has been thrown into the mix, main characters have been ceremoniously and unceremoniously dumped, while suddenly the movie goes all sanctity of life on us. It comes out of left field, but before we know it we’re getting pelted from every direction. If we can ignore the message, underneath it all we have a pretty entertaining Godzilla film, much better than its predecessor. In addition to Mothra making a reappearance, we also get a reappearance from Hiroshi Koizumi! He reprises his role of Dr. Shinichi Chujo that he did in the original Mothra back in 1961. Having met Mr. Koizumi about two years ago, I remember he said he was happy that he could reprise an older role, and was proud of his appearances in Godzilla films. The best part is this follows the continuity of this film series, for in this reality Godzilla never attacked Japan again after 1954 until he reappeared in 1998. However, monsters such as Mothra and the Gargantuas plagued Japan, so they created Special Forces to deal with them. Thus the Mothra movie happened, and so did Dr. Shinichi Chujo. Hiroshi Koizumi has been seen here numerous times: Godzilla vs. Mothra, Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster, and Gigantis, the Fire Monster.
This is the second to last Millennium Series Godzilla film, and currently the second to last Godzilla film, period. Rumors abound a low-budget IMAX Godzilla film might happen, but officially Toho has shut down Godzilla for the time being, to renew interest. Until that day, we have to make due with what already exists, a huge library of films, and many TV appearances (some of which we are hard at work tracking down.) Such a horrible predicament!
As stated before, this is a direct sequel to the previous year’s Godzilla X Mechagodzilla, making it the second direct sequel to a Mechagodzilla film (third if you count the fact that the second original Mechagodzilla movie was part of a continuous series of films.) Needless to say, Mechagodzilla must have a good agent who is meticulous with the sequel clause. It always does him good. Mechagodzilla is again built by humans to fight Godzilla in the previous film, and is being repaired after major damage suffered in the fight. He has a few new tricks, and loses an old one due to funding cuts. Funding cuts, the essence of action films! This is also the only Godzilla movie I remember that makes a big deal about rebuilding efforts being stalled, as much of Tokyo where they fought before is still in ruins. The rest of the city is fine, and ripe to be destroyed in the next battle. Who will emerge victorious? Will Godzilla be stopped? Why do the Shobijin dislike Mechagodzilla? Will some dumb girl carry a plant around like a baby? Will the female lead be a depressed ice queen? Will the lame spirituality subplot tank the film? These questions and more can be answered in Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.!
Roll Call! 13 entrants!
Our story begins as Mechagodzilla is being repaired and Godzilla awakens in the sea. All of that is just a few seconds of footage to show us two of the title characters before character number three is introduced. We then go to the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, where a US base in Hawaii tracks an unidentified flying object. No, it is not the citizens from Planet X trying to destroy the Earth once again. I’m sure we’ve all figured out which one of the title creatures can fly, but we will pretend we don’t know. Jets are scrambled as the creature is heading to Japanese airspace. The jets open fire when they realize it is not an airplane, but no effect. The pilots hear far away singing of two women, and Mothra emerges from the clouds. Mothra dodges a missile fired at her, and emits some golden sparkles and vanishes, disappearing off the radar. We have title! SOS! So when you’re near me, darling can’t you hear me, S.O.S.!
The news on the TV tells us that after the past year, Godzilla is still MIA. Darn that lazy Godzilla, can’t you get off your duff and smash the city? Also Mechagodzilla has nearly completed its repairs. Mechagodzilla Maintenance Tech Yoshito Chujo could really care less, as right now he is putting together a model of the F1 fighter, the last fighter designed by Japan. He tells this to his nephew Shun, and goes on about how the F1 is so cool and all that. Shun takes the plane to his grandpa (and Yoshito’s uncle) Dr. Shinichi Chujo! But there is a small earthquake, and then both of them hear small female voices say “Chujo-san!” The two Shobijin come out of the side of some books. Shun is so shocked he drops the F1 plane model, but the Shobijin use their powers of the Force to keep it from falling, and float it back to his hands. They are decendents of the originals from Infant Island, and have come to ask that Godzilla’s bones be returned to the sea. For it is wrong to make a battle machine out of them. Because they say so.
The Shobijin tell them that Mothra will defend mankind from Godzilla. Yoshito has come in, sees them, and doesn’t trust that Mothra will protect mankind, as last time Mothra attacked Tokyo. The Shobijin tell them that if Godzilla’s bones are not returned to the sea, Mothra will become an enemy of mankind. The three humans go outside, and see Mothra is just chillin’ outside their pad. Mothra flies off, and when they get back inside, the Shobijin have gone. They left behind a stone tablet with the Infant Island Symbol on it, the one used in the original film to call Mothra.
Mechagodzilla was 37% damaged after the last battle. He lost his right arm, and the Absolute Zero weapon, says General Dobashi to some reporters. Everything now is back together except the Absolute Zero gun, which is expensive and delicate. Technitians for the Mechagodzilla don’t agree all is working, including Yoshito, even though he is distracted with thoughts of what happened when he was at his uncle’s. One of the reporters talking to General Dobashi asks if Godzilla appeared because he was summoned by Mechagodzilla’s bones. That doesn’t even make sense, they had the bones for years, and Godzilla didn’t do anything until Mechagodzilla was completed. Plus no one in the last film talked about bones attracting Godzilla. But now we have to live with this ridiculous plot point. A new crew comes in to fly Mechagodzilla. Like the last one, they have one girl, Azusa Kisaragi, who smiles as Yoshito, and he says “Yo” back. Yoshito also gets a scowl from one of the male pilots, a hotshot named Kyosuke Akiba. He is the Iceman of the movie.
Let’s go back to the news, where they mention that the parts of the city destroyed in the first movie are still destroyed. Also, Dr. Chujo is preparing to go tell the Prime Minister about last night. He tells his grandson Shun (and the audience) about the original Mothra movie, where Mothra only attacked the city because a businessman kidnapped the Shobijin. Back on the military base, three of the pilots from the last movie (Akane Yashiro, Hayama, and a third guy named Sekine) are all sent to the USA for one year to learn “Kiryu management.” What does that even mean? How can you learn to manage Kiryu if you are 10000 miles away? Also, why send the three best pilots away just before imminent Godzilla attack? Obviously, they got these guys to make a quick appearance, but didn’t want to pay for a full movie’s worth. They are thankfully replaced with the less crappy characters in this film. Yoshito is at the party as well, and this is where we find out that Azusa used to be a maintenance tech like him, only she went into the fighter pilot program to learn to fly Mechagodzilla. Also, Akiba wanders over, and we find out he is a Top Gun pilot, but Yoshito says he is too hard on the engines, the planes are too stressed. Akiba makes like he is going to punch Yoshito, rolling his fist and flying it forward, but it stops inches away from Yoshito’s face. Akiba opens his fist to reveal a dead bug inside. So he was supposed to be catching a bug? That isn’t right, as he had his fist clenched before he shot it out. This means that Akiba keeps a dead bug in his hand at all times in order to mentally psyche out people who criticize him, and fool dumb people into thinking he can snatch bugs out of midair. I’m on to your game, Mr. Akiba!
Yoshito doesn’t like parties, so he goes to stare at the Mechagodzilla in the repair hanger. Who walks in but Akane? Akane expresses regret she won’t get to finish her rematch with Godzilla (thus making the ending of the previous film even more unclimactic) and muses that maybe Mechagodzilla doesn’t want to fight anymore. Yoshito vows to make it able to fight again (Yoshito seems a little too eager to please the female) despite earlier remembering what the Shobijin said. Akane then leaves the movie.
Dr. Chujo talks with his friend Prime Minister Igarashi, but Igarashi is still suspicious of Mothra and won’t destroy Mechagodzilla until Godzilla is gone. Dead turtle on the beach! Big turtle! Not Gamera, it’s a Kameba, from the movie Yog – Monster from Space, and although there are promotional shots of Godzilla fighting it, all we get in the movie is a dead body. I can’t even find those supposed promotional shots, either. So enjoy the picture of the dead turtle, its all we get. Colonel Togashi takes all the recruits down to see the dead turtle, and Azusa shows off her daikaiju knowledge by identifying it. Not seen in the last 18 years, they say, but in reality he was last seen on an episode of Yuke! Godman in 1972. Kameba was killed by a slash to the neck, caused by Godzilla! Thanks to a crappy translation, the subtitles tell us “Its cervix has been deeply torn open, a fatal wound.” Nice to know the upper portion of the uterus has been ripped apart! Godzilla either fought it or he’s so good in bed he killed it! (Yes, cervix is Latin for neck, but there is no reason for the Japanese guy to be speaking Latin.) Also, a US submarine detects something…with a heartbeat…Godzilla! The sub goes smashies.
Mechagodzilla still has two weeks of shakedown time before he is declared fit to fight, and he still has no Absolute Zero Gun. Akiba accuses Yoshito of not wanting to fight Godzilla, due to reservations about Mechagodzilla’s fitness and his uncle making waves with the Shobijin message. This insults Yoshito’s honor, he takes a swing at Akiba, who promptly dodges and trips Yoshito. Yoshito sulks out in the courtyard, along with Azusa, who is relaxing in her form-fitting sleeveless black shirt. But his obliviousness to her curves is short-lasting, as he is summoned to the Self-Defense Force HQ to answer questions about the Shobijin. While there, one of the head generals apologizes for Akiba, who is his son that he didn’t want to become a fighter pilot. After that, we get to the point, the men ask if Professor Chujo was telling the truth. Should Mechagodzilla be shut down? We don’t get to see what Yoshito answered, but afterwards he runs into his uncle and the two talk. The uncle tells him that Yoshito should have said what he thought was best, he wasn’t looking for family loyalty. We never do learn what Yoshito said.
Godzilla! The Japanese Navy finds Godzilla, and fire missiles and torpedoes at him. That familiar underwater Godzilla footage reappears after skipping a film, only to have explosions overlaid on it by the torpedoes. Say goodbye to the CGI Godzilla swimming shot, as it will not be seen again! There is no time or money to repair the Absolute Zero, so instead they install three maser units in Mechagodilla’s chest. This is in addition to the fourth unit in his mouth. Also, they will try to lure Godzilla to the already destroyed area of Tokyo, to minimize damage. The military is launched. This is where we would normally get a cool Akira Ifukube score as all the helicopters, tanks, and masers get into place, but, alas, foiled again. Professor Chujo is preparing to evacuate when his daughter tells him that Shun is missing. Chujo sees the Infant Island tablet is also missing, and goes after the boy. Godzilla surfaces, he has a scar on his chest from the Absolute Zero, so they know it is the same one. They also see that the wound hasn’t healed, so they now have a target. Tanks, masers, and rocket launchers fire at the target, Godzilla is getting pounded but they have little effect besides anger. Godzilla roasts the men who dare fight back. Projections show that Godzilla seems to be heading to Mechagodzilla’s hanger.
Professor Chujo finds Shun at the local school, he has taken all the desks and made the Infant Island symbol in the yard to lure Mothra. This interests a news reporter in a helicopter far too much, as he reports excitedly about the desks, ignoring Godzilla tearing up the city. Mothra is here! After saying hello to Shun and Chujo, Mothra goes to fight Godzilla. Mothra buzzes Big G, and then flaps her wings, creating wind that pushes Godzilla back. Mothra then grabs Godzilla on the head, and pushes him forward, ending up sliding him along the street. The military brass quizzes Yoshito about the symbol, and then decides to hold Mechagodzilla back to see what happens. Mothra loses a leg to Godzilla’s mouth, and is slammed into a building. Mothra then attacks with her scales (what shows up as gold sparkles.) Professor Chujo says that it is her last weapon, thus she is probably close to death, as she can’t fly without her scales. We then cut to Infant Island, where the Shobijin are singing the Mothra song to a giant egg.
Godzilla shoots his breath, but all the wind from Mothra flapping causes it to fall back on him, resulting in a huge explosion. Mothra keeps on flapping and using scales, but is getting weaker. Prime Minister Igarashi decides Japan won’t just stand by and watch their friend die, Mechagodzilla will be launched! As well as White Herons 01, 02, and 04 (03 and 06 were trashed in the last film.) Yoshito tries to tell Akiba about some power problem, but Akiba just acts arrogant. Mechagodzilla is launched and is carried off. Yoshito is then given his boss’s car, as his Uncle and Nephew have not checked in at the evacuation stations. Godzilla destroys Tokyo Tower while trying to blast Mothra, and some of the debris lands on Professor Chujo and Shun. Godzilla then fires again, hitting Mothra in the wing. Mothra is down, and Godzilla closes in to finish her off, but is soon raked by Mechagodzilla lasers. Mechagodzilla lands, the Shobijin are sort of upset (but get over it) and Godzilla is mad as usually. Mechagodzilla blankets Godzilla with missiles as he walks toward him. Godzilla tries to breath-blast back, but Mechagodzilla rocket jumps behind a building. Godzilla is on the other side, so we get a neat shot where Mechagodzilla fires missiles in three directions around the building at Godzilla. Big G manages to breath-blast the group on the left, but is hit on the right and on the top by the other two groups. Godzilla then fights back by firing his breath through the building, hitting Mechagodzilla.
Mechagodzilla is down, and Godzilla closes when Mothra flies across, Godzilla hits her instead with breath and she crashes. Mothra contacts her egg, and the egg hatches. It’s twins! Just like in Godzilla vs. Mothra! The Shobijin tell each other “Hio!” and “Mana!” The twins set sail for Tokyo.
Mechagodzilla has gotten up by now, and fires one of his shoulder units at Godzilla. Godzilla shoots it down, but through the explosion the second one flies, and hits Godzilla. Instead of pushing him back, a switch is activated and it explodes! That’s a neat twist on the last film. Yoshito finds his uncle and Shun thanks to the stone tablet giving him directions, they are still alive, but injured, and he takes them to an aid station. Mechagodzilla tail whips Godzilla, and then tosses him over his head. Mechagodzilla suddenly starts having slow reaction time, this is due to the power problem Yoshito tried to warn Akiba about. Akiba pilots Mechagodzilla forward, but Godzilla trips Mechagodzilla, then breath-blasts him in the face while he’s falling. This knocks Mechagodzilla out of the game, as the robot is non-responsive as the twin larvae come ashore. One twin shoots some web around Godzilla to distract him, and tries to hide, but Godzilla spots him and blasts him with breath. This makes him flip up in the air and land near his brother, who has gone to check on Momma. Momma Mothra is still hurt on the ground, and the two twins and her has a conversation in Mothra-ese. Godzilla comes back, and fires at them. Momma Mothra swoops to the air and takes the blast, causing her to burst into flames and explode.
Mechagodzilla is still non-responsive, but Yoshito radios that he is nearby and can help repair. He gets into a space costume(??) and takes his repair kit he magically had with him, says goodbye to his relatives, and goes to go fix Mechagodzilla. The White Heron jets will lure Godzilla away from Mechagodzilla so Yoshito can get close, but the pathway is blocked. Yoshito sees the subway and a motorcycle, and is soon riding his way along the subway tracks. This crazy motorcycle scene is nowhere as long or as pointless as the one in Godzilla: Final Wars. Meanwhile, one of the Mothra larvae takes a flying leap to bite the end of Godzilla’s tail. Big G is less than pleased, and whips his tail around trying to get the bug off of him. Impacts from the Mothra-whipping causes debris to fall in the subway on Yoshito, knocking him off the bike and causing him to lose the repair kit. The twin fairies show up, levitate the case to him, and then show him the way out of the subway that leads right next to Mechagodzilla. He calls in to base for help to repair, as he needs to reroute some cables. Yoshito must also get inside Mechagodzilla and made repairs, but doesn’t have a Batman device like Akane did in the last film, and has to climb up by hand. He does the repairs inside, but Mechagodzilla is hit by a stray blast from the Mothra-Godzilla-Mothra battle, and he’s now trapped inside. Yoshito tells the base that he exited, and they fire up Mechagodzilla.
Mechagodzilla only has one working eye now, as he engages Godzilla near the Diet Building. As this is one of the last remaining landmarks in Tokyo, you know it will be trashed as well. And it is, as the two monsters wrestle a bit, then both go flying into the government building. Mechagodzilla stands up, and transforms his right hand into a drill. Holy Megalon! Mechagodzilla drills his hand into Godzilla (something Megalon never figured out to do!) and Godzilla is ticked off. Mechagodzilla then fires his 3-Way Hyper Maser at Godzilla, right where he drilled a hole. Mechagodzilla also adds the mouth maser, and at the end Godzilla is hurt. The Mothras then coat Godzilla with webbing. Inside, Yoshito realizes what Mechagodzilla wants: To be left in peace. Lame. LAME!!!
Everyone starts to hear the Shobijin sing, and Prime Minister Igarashi says he will dismantle Mechagodzilla after Godzilla is defeated. But…Mechagodzilla no longer is responding to commands. Below the one remaining eye, a red line appears (this is completely different from the already established red eyes, so the film is ignoring its predecessor again.) Mechagodzilla walks toward the cocooned Godzilla, hugs him tight (using the 3-Way Hyper Maser doors to help clamp on) and rockets away, off to the Sea of Japan. This freaks out Command, who think Mechagodzilla has gone rogue again and is saving Godzilla. Luckily, Yoshito is still inside, and can tell them that Mechagodzilla is taking them to die. He is ready to die as well, but Azusa in the White Heron 02 has noticed the door hatch is jammed, and figured out Yoshito is still inside. She says he is an idiot for wanting to die with a machine. She shoots the door open so Yoshito can jump out. I’d make a comment about how I don’t know how they are going to catch him, but just wait and see how they do! It is crazier than anything I could come up with!
Mechagodzilla decides this is a good time to rotate, so Yoshito ends up falling out of the hatch, and hanging on at the end of it for dear life. He sees the computer say “Sayonara Yoshito” and then shut the inner door (The original Godzilla is suddenly much politer than he was in 1954) and Yoshito lets go. Akiba is also in the White Heron 02, and ejects, catching Yoshito in midair and taking him down as a shared parachute. Seriously. That’s how they solve that problem. Amazing. I would have just had the Shobijin levitate him to safety, but whatever. Mechagodzilla wraps wires around Godzilla, and the two plunge into the sea, to die together. Prime Minister Igarashi declares it a victory, because even though they lost a lot, they recognized and accepted responsibility for their mistakes. Also they did nothing wrong in Nanking or Korea during the war. Okay, maybe not the last part. The twin Mothras swim home, with the Shobijin riding atop them. They say goodbye telepathically, and then Yoshito in a life raft salutes Mechagodzilla. Lame. Enough with the saluting at the end of Godzilla films! We end with the Mothras going off to sea.
No we don’t, as the credits still keep going, as the sea slowly turns into some sort of DNA after the credits end. It is a secret lab, that has Godzilla 1954 DNA stored! As well as other vials, which probably contain other monsters! It ain’t over for this reality! Now we are done.
Not quite done, first we must wrap this up, then follow with the interview! Godzilla Tokyo SOS is one of the better entries in the Millennium Series. We got to see some of the old actors again, and it had a few familiar elements, despite being related to one of the more boring entries. Mothra was almost 100% the same as Godzilla vs. Mothra, except without a giant robot Godzilla. What would have been interesting and not done before is two adult Mothras, instead of the caterpillar twins. The fun part of the tape was the commercial for Hamtaro in the beginning dressed in Godzilla costumes. If anyone in America ever complains about things selling out, they should just look at all the Japanese merchandise that gets produced. Some of it will rot your brains.
And now TarsTarkas.NET is proud to interview….Gamera!
Rated 6/10 (Hamtaro Mothra, Hamtaro Godzilla, Hamtaro Mechagodzilla, Shobijin 1, Shobijin 2, Tablet Directions)