Godzilla Island – Story Arc 5

Godzilla Island – Story Arc 5


Directed by Shun Mizutani

Godzilla has several TV shows throughout his history. In this year’s March of Godzilla, we will be cataloging one such show, Godzilla Island. Godzilla Island was a series of three minute episodes that ran from October 6, 1997, until September 30, 1998. 256 episodes were created, using a combination of toys and stock footage to bring the characters to life. Throw in some characters acting in front of a blue screen and a basketball-shaped annoying robot, and you got Godzilla Island in a nutshell. One advantage to the toymation approach of monster effects is it allows the appearance of all sorts of kaiju from all over G-history. Multiple Jet Jaguars! All sorts of one-shot characters pop up over the course of the series. But as this was created around 1997, no one from the Millennium series of films is present.

Set in the year 2097, where most kaiju live on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Godzilla Island. I guess, I’m not sure if they give it an actual name, since they speak this Japanese language all the time. Anyway, Godzilla Island soon becomes a center of activity for alien invasions left and right. Aliens being the evil Xilien aliens, as seen in Godzilla vs. Monster Zero. The one individual seen even dresses like them, although she doesn’t follow the contention that all females of the species look identical to Kumi Mizuno. Godzilla Island is governed by the Godzilla-Guard, aka G-Guard, which is staffed by one guy and a robot. The G-Guard Commander is less than capable in dealing with invading monsters and aliens, but luckily he is joined by mysterious young girl Torema, who has a powerful space ship and psychic powers.

According to the credits, the series was directed by Shun Mizutani and written by Takahiko Masuda. With music by The Edge. I guess U2’s The Edge, unless there is another The Edge running around, in which case I must bang my head on the desk. We’ll run through the episodes in order broken up by story arcs. Some stories are only a few episodes long, and some last close to twenty. Each episode ends with “tsuzuku” which basically means “to be continued.” So tsuzuku will be our catchphrase of the series. If you missed this paragraph you’ll probably be very confused, as we will probably type tsuzuku more than Godzilla in these articles.

The action is brought to life with toys. It is toymation at it’s finest, almost a decade before Robot Chicken. This allows for lots of monsters to be in lots of shows, lots of monster fights that we would never see otherwise, and lots of new versions of monsters. Plus the fact they had a deal with Bandai Toys to produce lots of exclusive toys for the show didn’t hurt. Come to think of it this is more of a blatant commercial for toys than the He-Man cartoon! But first let’s meet the human actors who will be appearing in most of the episodes:

G-Guard Commander (Jiro Dan) – G-Guard Commander runs the Godzilla Guard unit on Godzilla Island. He’s all alone except for sassy robot Lucas, so of course he’s bored out of his skull normally. He seems to have been stationed there because it’s a low-priority assignment they could dump someone who can’t work under pressure, because that’s exactly what he is. Luckily Torema shows up to save his pants. I do not know if he has a name but it may be Oji.
Torema (Maimi Okuwa) – A mysterious young girl who shows up one day on Godzilla Island right when the dastardly Xiliens begin to attack. She repels the attack, joins the G-Guard, and begins her fight against Zaguresu the Xilien because Xiliens destroyed her home planet (I think that’s what happened – she may have been from future Earth.) Has psychic powers and her own spaceship called the Panatolute.
Zaguresu (Naoko Aizawa) – Evil Xilien woman who invades Earth using giant monsters and her giant Independence Day/V rip-off spaceship. Enjoys laughing evilly while contemplating the latest diabolical schemes. Follows the Xilien leader Giant Emperor’s orders, because that’s what they do on Planet X. Sheep! Her spaceship is named the Vabaruda.
Lucas (Kenichiro Shimamura) – Annoying robot, Godzilla Island-style! Makes sarcastic remarks, and seems to be even mean at times. An annoying Kenny kid in floating metal sphere form. He must be destroyed! Translates from monster language to Japanese.
Narrator – (Yutaka Aoyama) – He’s not a character but the guy who recaps the previous episode in the beginning of the episode. That means thirty seconds of each three minute episode is Narrator recounting events, padding running time beyond levels I want to think about. He’s a typical Japanese male announcer, amazingly excited and epic about even the most mundane things.

Different monster feature in each episode, so we’ll keep track of them in each story arc. The complete Godzilla Island Daikaiju List is located here. We’ll also list any new monster match-ups that weren’t in any film but now exist thanks to this series, such as King Caesar fighting Megalon or something. The R2 Japanese DVD release is unsubtitled, so most of what is going on will be educated guesses thanks to our limited Japanese speaking ability. But here at TarsTarkas.NET we don’t need no stinking subtitles!

Featuring the monsters –

Anguirus – Godzilla’s first foe and now a close friend. His only power is a spiky back but he’s brave on the battlefield. One of the usual residents on Godzilla Island who shows up to watch the action as stories progress.
Baragon – Big ears, big horn on the nose, likes to dig underground. One of the usual residents on Godzilla Island who shows up to watch the action.
Gigan – Former servant of the space cockroaches, now is suddenly all about being a samurai. This was before his stupid chainsaw upgrade, thank goodness.
Godzilla – The King of Monsters. Godzilla is pure awesome in giant fire-breathing lizard form. Everyone who comes to Godzilla Island wants a piece of Godzilla. And they all get kicked to the curb.
Gorosaurus – Old foe of King Kong who spends most of his days watching whatever happens on Godzilla Island. His special move was to do kangaroo kicks.
King Caesar – King Caesar is King of Zen as well. He’s a Samurai Lion who will kick your behind! He is some sort of Taoist/Shinto priest or something in addition to being a giant monster.
Mothra (Larva) – Mothra, Goddess of Infant Island, and defender of Earth. Larva Mothra is part of a continual chain of Mothras that go through larva and mature forms, though this one will eventually become Mothra Leo.
Mothra (Moth) – The Classic Moth form of Mothra. Eventually dies, as all Mothras do, but this is the first one killed by a volcano. Her son is Mothra Leo.
Rodan – A prehistoric monster awakened in modern day, Rodan is a former foe of Godzilla who has learned to work with him to fight off the evil monsters. Has some hot springs named after him on Godzilla Island. Will eventually become Fire Rodan, because he did so in the Heisei movie series that was still recent, in addition to giving Bandai another toy.

We still haven’t met all the villain daikaiju in the Godzilla series yet, so one more will pop up here. The only problem with this story arc is most episodes are filled with useless padding. It’s the longest nothing you’ll ever watch involving toys of giant monsters! And with a samurai theme! So let’s get on with the snooze-enabling power of Godzilla Island!

Episode 31 – This Kaiju for Hire
One of those cockroach aliens from Starhunter Nebula M as seen in Godzilla vs. Gigan gets onto Zaguresu’s ship, and before she stomps it (Zaguresu was reading an Xilien newspaper which was actually pretty funny) it talks and offers her use of Gigan for a small fee, the exact feeness of which I don’t know as they’re still speaking unsubtitled Japanese. Tsuzuku. I can’t tell you how many times random roaches have come up to me offering me use of giant monsters. Like four times.

Episode 32 – This is Strength!
Gigan flies into Earth, buzzes Godzilla Island, takes a photo of Godzilla, then leaves. Cockroach Guy explains that Gigan is an expert fighter. But nothing happened! Get used to it. Tsuzuku! Gigan spends the end of this episode floating in space.

Episode 33 – A Detestable Premonition
Gigan fires an arrow at Godzilla’s feet, which has a note attached. Torema reads the note, and suddenly Godzilla stomps around to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly-ish music. Yes, a duel has been challenged! Did Godzilla read the note? Did Gigan write it? Just how did he do that with no thumbs and giant knives for hands? Gigan and Johnny Scissorhands are two guys I don’t want to be when it’s time to drain the lizard. King Caesar delays Godzilla for a few seconds (plot point!), and then Godzilla goes to meet Gigan. Tsuzuku.

Episode 34 – A Long Duel
Godzilla and Gigan stare at each other from sundown to sunup, at which time Gigan uses the rising sun to reflect into Godzilla’s eyes, and then charges at Godzilla when he’s blinded. The fact that something happened is surprising enough that we can go to Tsuzuku. Seriously, nothing happened in this episode! What the heck?

Episode 35 – Match Call!
Gigan charges, gets right next to Godzilla, stops, and then flies back to his original position. Yes, the entire previous episode did not matter in the slightest. This annoys Zaguresu to the point that she calls in Battra to make something happen. Gigan shoots a laser beam at Godzilla, who leans, and Battra ends up taking the blast.

Back off, Battra!

More waiting, until.. Godzilla and Gigan then charge at each other like Seven Samurai, and pass by each other. Then Godzilla falls! WTF??? Yes, Godzilla lost! Tsuzuku!

Godzilla lost the samurai duel? I guess now we have a Rocky plot going on. Gigan is Mr. T, and King Caesar will be Apollo Creed. Just imagine King Caesar making Godzilla chase a chicken, King Caesar fighting the Predator, and Gigan pitying the fool.

Episode 36 – Godzilla Dies!?
Mothra shows up to use magic dust to blind Gigan while Rodan flies away with Godzilla. Rodan seems to save Godzilla all the time. Maybe Rodan runs a taxi service and gets paid handsomely. Gigan then wanders away while Rodan deposits Godzilla in some healing hot steam baths. Tsuzuku, because hot steam baths are a real cliffhanger…

Episode 37 – For Sure Next Time!
Godzilla wakes up in the steam bath, and soon King Caesar joins him in a totally not-gay way. They are chummy, until Gigan shows up. But as they get out to face Gigan, Gigan just goes for a dip in the steam bath for himself! Sigh… Gigan’s psychological warfare methods are very boring, I agree with Zaguresu (who has spent time asleep in this story arc waiting for things to happen.) He probably defeats many enemies by boring them to death. Finally Gigan gets out of the tub to face Godzilla, but doesn’t face Godzilla. AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!! I hate this story arc! Tsuzuku.

Episode 38 – The Decisive Battle Last Night
Godzilla meditates and King Caesar hits him with a board. This is some Samurai stuff, so you guys who like samurai films should like this. And probably the guys who liked the scene of King Caesar and Godzilla bathing together a little too much will like this as well. Torema sees a shooting star and makes a wish. A blue fairy appears to make this story arc’s plot finally go forward! The next morning, it is time for the Godzilla/Gigan showdown. Almost, as we have to Tsuzuku. Will the writers manage to stretch this should-be-a-two-episode story for another eight episodes? Find out!

Episode 39 – The Conviction of King Caesar
The monsters all gather to watch, Godzilla closes his eyes during the standoff, and he has a glowing green aura that is green enough to tsuzuku! Yes, nothing happened in this episode, either, except Godzilla closing his eyes. Next episode he’ll open them again. Tune in for Episode 56, where Godzilla looks like he might sneeze but ends up not sneezing.

Episode 40 – See! Wonderful Fighting Technique
Godzilla opens his eyes and fires off some atomic breath randomly into the air. Gigan uses that opportunity to charge, but the atomic breath curves 180 degrees in midair and hits Gigan in the back. Then Godzilla charges and hits Gigan with a roundhouse kick. That’s enough to get Gigan down, and Gigan decides to stay down! The battle is won! Godzilla is celebrated, and he gives a knowing stare to his mentor King Caesar. Cockroach guy gets splatted, but Zaguresu has more evil things in store for Godzilla Island, because we still have 216 episodes to go! Tsuzuku!

Did this really require 10 episodes? And since when did King Caesar become a Zen Samurai Master? Is he Toshiro Mifune? Questions we will never get answered! Tune in next time, as March of Godzilla Island continues with Story Arc 6 – The Undiscovered Country!

New monster match-ups – Mothra vs. Gigan (this was before they fought in Godzilla: Final Wars)

Rated 4/10 (Floating in Space, Reading notes, Blinding the opponent, King Caesar’s Zen)

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