GODZILLA AND GAMERA: SEPARATE BUT EQUAL--
THE TWO BIG KAIJU FRANCHISES AND WHY THEY DON'T MEET

by Den Valdron

edited by Chris N
[most of this editor's supplementary info will be added in parentheses and/or presented in blue text, depending upon the extent of the supplement, with some of my incisive remarks, regardless of length, placed in brackets and initialed]

One cannot be a fan of the dai kaiju eiga genre without wondering about a Gamera vs. Godzilla match up. After all, the two only represent the most famous and most successful kaiju series to ever be produced (Godzilla by Toho, Gamera by competitor Daiei), and nothing else comes close to them (the only other dai kaiju characters, not including monster-fighting sentai like Ultraman and Kamen Rider, to hold their own film series was Mothra's late '90's series by Toho and Dai Maijin's late '60's series by Daiei, though both ran only three films each [not counting Mothra's 1961 solo film]--CN).

There are, of course, a few other famous kaiju. Rodan and Mothra come to mind. But though they began with independent movies, their long-term success came as Godzilla's supporting cast. King Ghidorah became a familiar face as Godzilla's running nemesis. Toho's version of King Kong, Anguirus, Gigan, and others were directly incorporated into the Godzilla universe via crossovers with the Big G (Toho planned a solo Kong series, but due to the legal difficulties and red tape they ran into with Universal, the owner of Kong's copyright at the time, they ended up turning the script for one Kong film into a Godzilla film at the last minute, and only producing one solo Kong film, King Kong Escapes, simply to justify the cost of creating the suit and already paying a lot of money to secure the copyright--CN).

Only Gamera stood as a truly independent rival, starring in his own series, and even gifted with a recurring nemesis, Gyaos (if you count the 'Space Gyaos' from Gamera vs. Guiron, even though this version of the flying monster with the sonic lance battled Guiron in that film, not Gamera, though he would go up against the giant turtle again when both were revived in the '90's for Gamera's Heisei Series). Gamera even matched Godzilla with his own Heisei revival series.

So, of course, when considering these two giants with their parallel careers, and considering the way that they influenced and borrowed from each other, it is tempting to try to imagine them occupying the same universe.

My own feeling is that the two kaiju inhabit separate universes and continuities. I'll explain why I take this view. But I'll also discuss the possibility that they are, in fact, in the same reality.

Godzilla, quite clearly, exhibits an interlocking continuity. To the fourteen or so Showa G-films (which also incorporate the first G-film into their continuity, as do all Godzilla series), we have outside films featuring Rodan and Mothra, King Kong and Varan, who later move into (or out of, in the case of Kong) Godzilla land. Meanwhile, creatures appearing in outside movies, Baragon (Frankenstein Conquers The World), Gorosaurus (King Kong Escapes), and Manda (Atragon), later show up here. Monsters appear repeatedly, the Simeons invade twice. The Nebulans invade once, but are mentioned a second time. Space and Weapons technology moves dramatically forward from our world. Even 'monster islands', where kaiju are gathered and/or confined, becomes a recurring concept. Hence, it's easy to see and to stitch the Showa Toho kaiju-films into something resembling a coherent, continuing, and interconnected universe.

Gamera arguably has some trace of internal continuity. Gamera vs. Barugon, for instance, references the original Gamera with stock footage. Gamera vs. Gaos references the first two movies with stock footage. Gamera vs. Viras has Viras going through Gamera's previous adventures in order to identify his weakness, and so on. It's a rare Gamera film which does not incorporate some stock footage to explicitly tie Gamera directly to his earlier adventures, and therefore ensures that the Gamera series is wrapped up in some kind of woven continuity.
There are other carrying bits of continuity. Some of the same actors appear again and again in background roles (though arguably those roles are different; the same was the case with G-films, with many actors returning more than once, but rarely in the same roles). There is a carryover in references to a space program. So again, in the Showa Gamera films, we seem to have a coherent, consistent, and continuing universe.

And then of course, there are a plethora of loose kaiju, some of whom inspired Godzilla, like the Rhedosaurus of The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. Others in this category include Yongary, Gappa, and Guilala. These loose kaiju with single movies from different film companies cannot be said to have enough history to form their own continuity. Yet in their borrowing of thematic elements from the Toho kaiju-films, particularly the G-films, they seem to partake of, or contribute to, in particular, Toho. It might be arguable, and it's a separate argument, that the 'Loose Kaiju' can be fit into the Showa Toho continuity.

But Gamera, with a volume of seven films in his Showa Series, and the series's own continuity, poses unique problems in trying to mesh with Toho's Showa Kaijuverse.

In particular, there are three very big reasons why the Godzilla and Gamera universes are probably not the same...

DIFFERENT ALIENS, DIFFERENT WORLDS

One striking point of divergence between the Showa Toho and Daiei Universes is the different treatments of the aliens.

In the Showa Toho Universe [STU], many of the alien races, including the Mysterians, the Martians, the Xians, the Peacelanders, the Garogain, and the Natals, are all essentially human. Even the nonhuman aliens, the Simeons, the Nebulans, and the Kilaaks, seem comfortable in assumed human guises. The various alien races appear to communicate with each other, and with hidden/lost terrestrial civilizations, to the extent of passing around kaiju and using similar or identical technology in their space vehicles.

The aliens of the Showa Daiei Universe [SDU], on the other hand, seem genuinely alien. The Pairans, the Virasians, and the Zigra are all decidedly aquatic, telepathic, shape and size shifters. Of the group, only the Pairans take human guise. The Toho aliens use kaiju, for the most part, the Daiei aliens (with the exception of the Pairans) are kaiju (it should be noted, however, that the Garogain of the STU have conferred their humanoid agents with the ability to transform into dai kaiju in many instances).

The treatment of aliens, and the approach to them, is completely different. Only in two instances, do the Daiei aliens seem to follow the Toho model. In Gamera vs. Guiron, we're treated to two evil female aliens who coexist with a kaiju. However, it's interesting to note that parts of the costume of these aliens also show up in Gamera vs. Zigra, worn by the slave of Zigra, who is a hypnotized Earth woman. Meanwhile, in Super Monster Gamera, two good and one evil space women are seen manipulating kaiju [note: This editor does not consider the latter Gamera film, produced in 1980, nine years after the Showa Gamera Series ended and 14 years before the Heisei Gamera Series began, to be part of the big turtle's Showa series, but rather part of a one-shot "interim" universe...nevertheless, the connection that Den makes here is still quite interesting--CN].
Meanwhile there are at least a couple of Toho aliens, Yog and Dagora, that might arguably fit better in Gameraland.

The problem, however, is that we can't pick and choose. We can't slip two Gamera movies into the STU and leave the rest out.
Of course, we could conceivably add them all in together and just accept that there are a lot of aliens.
But then, the problem is that there would be way too many: Mysterians, Pairans, Xians, Virasians, Nebulans, Terans, Garogains, Peacelanders, Simeons, Zigrans, Kilaaks, Yogs, Dagoras...
What is Earth? The grand central station of outer space? It's just way too crowded out there, and it defies imagination to think that they're all stumbling over Earth at the same time.

All right, so we shouldn't be looking for plausibility in kaiju-films. But still...
Look at it this way. It's loosely possible to unite the Toho aliens if one is willing to be creative, as the far-flung descendants of a lost Lemurian civilization. It's also loosely possible to sew together the Daiei aliens as all derived from a root race of aquatic alien kaiju.

But it just doesn't seem feasible to unite the two strains. You can't insert the aquatic alien kaiju into Lemurian history, or vice versa.

THE TEMPER OF THE TITANS

However, the really big problem is Gamera's temperament. Simply put, Gamera doesn't act like the kaiju of the Godzilla universe, and in fact, his behaviour makes it impossible for him to coexist in the Toho universe.

The STU kaiju, as a group (at least during the '50's and '60's), are a fairly self-absorbed lot. Quite often they're hostile to humanity, and even when they're relatively benign it's often grudging. Even Godzilla, through his first four movies, is presented as a major threat to the human race. Even where he fights and defeats another threat to humanity, he is often less a hero than the lesser evil.

In Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla (and Rodan) agrees to fight on behalf of humanity, but only reluctantly, after being telepathically cajoled by Mothra. In Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, he's dragooned into the battle against his will. In Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, he's woken up from a sound sleep, and trouble comes to him; he doesn't go to it. In other G-films, such as Son of Godzilla, Godzilla's Revenge, and Destroy All Monsters, he seems content to sulk on remote islands [in the latter film, which took place in the year 1999, he was actually confined to the latter island with the rest of the Earth's kaiju via advanced, man-made technological measures--CN]. In these movies, trouble comes to him, he doesn't go looking to help humans.

Godzilla becomes fairly benign in later movies, but only rarely does Godzilla or any other kaiju actively journey to defend humanity prior to the 1970's, when Godzilla and some of his brethren (particularly Anguirus) appear to be become bona fide monster super-heroes. He does so in Godzilla vs. Megalon, responding to Jet Jaguar's call. He goes out of his way to confront enemies to humanity in the two Mechagodzilla movies, and prior to this, and he and Anguirus do the same thing when humanity is threatened by King Ghidorah and Gigan. And he's a deliberate saviour in Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster.

But I'd argue that the benign nature of the later Godzilla movies is atypical. The other kaiju in Godzilla's world are generally not benign. Of these, only Mothra really qualifies as a working protector of humanity, although that seems largely confined to a small tribe of islanders, though in Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster, she clearly struck out on behalf of all humanity. King Seesar is a benign but mostly dormant kaiju, and basically confined to protecting the denizens of Okinawa. Anguirus seems benign, as is Rodan occasionally (the famed flying monster twice assisted in repelling King Ghidorah from the Earth during the '60's, but he was scarcely seen during Godzilla's 'super-hero heyday' of the '70's).

For the most part, however the Toho kaiju are indifferent to humans. Even the benign ones aren't that benign. Many of the kaiju confrontations seem more territorial than moral, more about contests of power rather than quests of altruism (some of the more humanoid kaiju, like Frankenstein and his genetic progeny, Sanda, actively seeked to protect humans from kaiju menaces, specifically Baragon and Gaila, respectively).

Gamera, on the other hand, is completely different. Specifically, Gamera really is a protector of humanity, and takes the job pretty seriously (at least, following his initial film and the opening sequence of Gamera vs. Barugon, where he destroys a dam to absorb its hydroelectric energy; see below).

Now admittedly, in the first movie, and in his first battle in Gamera vs. Barugon, Gamera behaves like a typical Toho kaiju... Big, mean, and self -absorbed. But even there, there's signs of something more. In his first movie, Gamera saves a child from falling, and then later puts the child safely on the ground.

Somehow, Gamera is connected to children. He follows up with explicit rescues of children in Gamera vs. Guiron, Gamera vs. Viras and Gamera vs. Zigra. Children return the favour, rescuing him in Gamera vs. Jiger by traveling inside him to destroy Jiger's parasitic progeny. So close is Gamera's connection to children that he actually travels into space to rescue a pair abducted by a flying saucer, and follows their cries through interplanetary space in Gamera vs. Guiron. In Super Monster Gamera, he seems psychically connected to a child. Only one Gamera movie, Gamera vs. Barugon, does not feature any children at all.

Come on now. Godzilla would be more likely to scarf the little nippers up like popcorn. At the very least, he'd probably step on the tykes and not care much. Godzilla gives no sign of spending a lot of time looking after children. Gamera? Looking out for kids is practically all he does, particularly in his later Showa films.

Gamera seems to display a psychic link to children and acts specifically as a protector of children. This is unique compared to the Godzilla Showa universe. The only significant parallel is Mothra's attention to the Shobijan.

There are only two G-films which feature any kind of suggestion that the Toho kaiju are capable of any kind of psychic bonding with children. There is, of course, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, which plays in some aspects like a Gamera film [this editor explicitely noted and listed all of the parallels the latter G-film had with a typical Gamera film in my review for Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster--CN]. There is also Godzilla's Revenge, where a small boy makes direct psychic contact with Minya. However, these are exceptions to the rule in the Godzillaverse.
Gamera, in contrst, is like this all the time.

But this is only the most prominent aspect. Gamera is not a passive monster content to sit on his island. He's not fighting for power or territory. Rather, Gamera goes well out of his way to defend humanity. With Barugon, with Gyaos, with Viras, Jiger, Zigra... Gamera needs no more reason than that they're there and pose a threat. When they manifest, Gamera comes to the rescue [in perhaps should be noted that Gamera was initially attracted to Barugon for 'self-absorbed' reasons, when the latter kaiju manifested his prism beam, with the heat attracting Gamera like a moth to a light bulb, though this certainly doesn't negate the main point the author is trying to make--CN].

Let's face it, half the monsters Godzilla fights, just wound up picking the wrong fight. If they'd stayed out of the Big G's way, they'd be doing fine.
So, what does this mean? Perhaps the STU is ready to accommodate a kinder, gentler kaiju? Well, perhaps. But perhaps not.

Try to imagine what the Godzilla universe would be like with Gamera in it. Not only would children be looked after, but Gamera would be constantly going out of his way to intervene on behalf of humanity. Could King Ghidorah attack mankind with impunity, with Mothra coming to Godzilla and Rodan for help and not Gamera? Gamera would be there. Gigan? Megalon? Mechagodzilla? Hedorah? Nope, the turtle champion be on Hedorah like flies on crap. Gamera would be after Baragon, Gaila, and Mechani-Kong. Gamera is simply too aggressive a protector to exist in the Godzilla Showa universe and not intervene against the various kaiju and alien menaces to that world we saw in the Showa Toho kaiju-films [it could be argued that because Gamera wasn't awakened until 1965, he may have missed the attack of King Ghidorah, thus forcing Mothra to intercede instead; if so, that still doesn't explain why Gamera would ignore the subsequent deadly monster attacks in the STU--CN].

In fact, any attempt to fit Gamera into the STU is going to have to sit down and explain plausibly why Gamera chooses to sit out so many monster battles, alien invasions, and other threats to humanity.

By the same token, Gamera's pro-active approach to protecting humanity suggests that the handful of non-Toho giants don't fit into Gamera's continuity, either. Let's face it, if Yongary or Guilala had been stomping around in the SDU, Gamera would have shown up doublefastquick to settle their hash. There's a child at risk in Yongary, for pete's sake. On the other hand, if Yongary and Guilala are in the STU, Godzilla's attitude is basically, "Ah, let the new kids have their fun, who cares who they are hurting, as long as they don't infringe on my territory."

IT'S ALL ABOUT STYLE

Overall, the two series had very different tones. The Godzilla series was arguably more adult. Although it evolved over time, it was much more oriented to danger and drama. Godzilla in his first incarnations was a dangerous menace and a thing of terror. Although he became benign and even jokey at times, there was always an edge. Godzilla and his universe was arguably pitched to a slightly more mature audience than Gamera. Teenagers and young adults, with the first two G-films clearly aimed at an adult audience.

Gamera, in comparison, aimed early and aimed hard for the children's market, to the point of having a singable theme song, and having the movies repeatedly revolve around children. Children were major characters in practically all the Gamera movies. And the writing and effects were arguably aimed at children. Gamera could play a theme song on Zigra's back, or use buildings as parallel bars on Guiron's world, or save Expo 1970 from Jiger... All explicitly 'childish' approaches [of course, it should be noted that Gamera films never skimped on the gore factor, with a lot more blood shed during the kaiju battles than in any of the Showa G-films (with the notable exception of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, as Mecha G true a lot of his organic opponents' blood), and Guiron's graphic dismemberment of the Space Gyaos in Gamera vs. Guiron was greatly censored for the American version--CN].

Of course, the early Gameras were quite adult, and the mid-late Godzillas were quite childish and even silly. But on the whole, while the two series approached each other at points, they kept to different areas.

Godzilla was consistently the better produced of the two series, with more elaborate costumes, better sets, and more elaborate effects (at least during the early '60's). Daiei, increasingly impoverished, cut more and more corners with extensive reuse of stock footage (something Toho was almost as notorious for) and increasingly more desperate budgets with poorer costumes, sets, and effects.

Despite various overlaps, it can be argued that the two kaiju film series embraced different styles.

UNION RECONSIDERED, PERHAPS THE SAME UNIVERSE AFTER ALL?

So, are they separate forever? Not necessarily. As we've noted, at least a couple of movies from each series, seem more properly in the other series. The Gamera of his initial eponymous film and Gamera vs. Barugon is a savage creature which would be quite comfortable in the universe of the early Godzilla era, the age of Godzilla, King of Monsters through the first two Showa G-films, Godzilla Raids Again and King Kong vs. Godzilla.

Meanwhile, the Godzilla and Minya of Godzilla's Revenge and Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster seem to have adopted the Gamera-like traits of quasi- telepathic linkage with children and an aggressive drive to protect humanity. If the early Gamera movies resemble the earlier Godzilla movies, the later Godzilla movies resemble the later Gamera movies [in agreement with the author, this editor noted elsewhere, particularly in my review for Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, how the G-films from the end of the '60's into the '70's appeared to reveal attempts to consciously capture some of Gamera's audience by adopting many of the latter's thematic elements--CN]. In short, the two series fit into the same overall arc of development or monster evolution.

Further, there are some interesting correspondences. For instance, both Toho and Daiei feature a generally quadrapedal, crawling reptilian with nearly identical names, Baragon and Barugon, both of which spew temperature-based beam weapons from their maw (Barugon from his tongue), respectively heat and cold. It might be possible to squint and see one as a mutated version of the other.

Or, for instance, Gyaos looks to be a close cousin of Rodan. Perhaps Gyaos is a mutated version of one of the Rodans which was believed to have died in the first movie? Or perhaps it's simply a related or parallel species. (Of course, winged kaiju include an insect, Mothra, a bird, the Giant Claw/Buzzard, an atomically mutated pterodacyl in Rodan...so perhaps Gyaos rounds out the list as a bat, though he possesses no overt mammalian characteristics) It's certainly possible Gyaos took its inspiration from Rodan, and that Barugon was inspired by Baragon.

Meanwhile, Gamera himself, and his squid-like adversary Viras, are echoed in a pair counterparts in Yog, Monster From Space...a giant turtle, Kameobos and a giant walking squid, Gezora. Now perhaps it's just coincidence, after all, a turtle and squid are obvious kaiju prospects. But the latter Toho kaiju-film was produced after Gamera was established, and after Gamera vs. Viras, so the Toho 'one-shot' may well have been a deliberate nod.

Inherently, the kaiju of the two universes may not be inconsistent with each other. Arguably, the SDU kaiju are more consistently outlandish. Consider Gamera's bizarre flight mechanism, Barugon's killer rainbow, Jiger's array of physical weapons, or Zigra and Viras's odd alien nature. But then, King Ghidorah is only slightly less bizarre and Godzilla's own flight during his battle with Hedorah (by way of his atomic breath!) is completely ridiculous. Baragon's powers are odd, but not necessarily unique in the universe of the Toho energy projecting kaiju. Even
Jiger's peculiar physiology may not be any more over the top than Gigan or Megalon. And both Gigan and King Ghidorah are space kaiju. If the Daiei kaiju are at the more outlandish end of the scale, they're still within, or within sight of, the silly end of the Toho range.

In another way, the Gamera Kaiju seem more normal and confined than the Toho Kaiju. Several of the Daiei kaiju, Gamera, Guiron, Barugon, and Jiger clearly seem derived from reptiles. Gyaos might be a flying reptile or a mammalian, but there's nothing inherently bizarre about him [though his sonic lance weapon is quite cool and rather unique--CN]. Zigra is merely a mutated alien shark. The only truly outre' Daiei kaiju is the alien, sentient cephalopod Viras. For their part, the Toho kaiju mostly have the same array...reptiles of various sorts, charitably including Rodan and King Ghidorah. But they sport at least three or four distinct humanoid mammals such as King Kong, Frankenstein, and the Gargantuas; a plethora of arthropods including Mothra, Ebirah, Megalon, Spiega, and Kamakiras; giant robots, including MechaGodzilla, Mechani-Kong, and Moguera; and some unclassifiable oddities including King Seesar [who appeared to be a hybrid mammalian and reptilian entity--CN], Gigan [he seemed vaguely reptilian when looking past his cybernetic add-ons--CN] and Hedorah [I couldn't begin to attempt to classify him into any aspect of the animal kingdom--CN]. The Daiei kaiju could blend right in with a group like that.

Of course, the Daiei kaiju seem to be existing and operating on roughly the same scale of size as the Toho kaiju, with a median height of 50 meters (about 160 feet in the English system), which has become the established "traditional" height for dai kaiju.

There are overlaps here and there conceptually. Gamera is woken by a nuclear blast from arctic ice. Godzilla is roused by a nuclear blast and later trapped in arctic ice. Nuclear energy or arctic ice seem to be recurring origin points/motifs for kaiju. Others simply appear from underground, like Gyaos and Baragon, are found on deserted islands like Barugon or Spiega, are roused by the destruction or removal of sacred relics like Jiger and King Seesar, or are pawns of invading aliens, like Guiron and Gigan.

The worlds of Godzilla and Gamera arguably resemble each other. Both Toho and Daiei had pre-Godzilla and pre-Gamera encounters with aliens, who may have deliberately or by circumstance left technology behind to spur Earth's development in space and exotic weaponry.

Indeed, in both worlds, space travel has advanced significantly beyond that in our world. In the Toho world, by 1965, Earth was sending exploratory spaceships to the moon and the asteroid belt, and had established space stations in orbit. In the Daiei world, they are constructing giant cargo spaceships with holds capable of carrying hundreds or thousands of tons. Both the STU and the SDU have confirmed lunar colonies by the 1980's and 1990's.

Additionally, outlying kaiju outside of Daiei and Toho also have advanced space programs and advanced technologies in films set in the '60's and '70's: In Yongary, Monster From Beneath The Sea, there is a Korean astronaut surveilance program. In The X From Outer Space, there is a space station and an exploratory trip to Mars.

Exotic technologies and vehicles are seen in both, though arguably different examples. Toho has the Atragon multi-terrain warship, Markalite energy weapons, and Oxygen Destroyer devices, among other details. Daiei is less overt, but it has miniature subs that can travel inside Gamera, and exotic super-nuclear bombs.

Both Toho and Daiei continuities also feature aliens prominently, though generally, each universe has its own brand of alien. But again, there is overlap. Like the non-human Nebulans and Simeons of the STU, the Pairans and Virasians can wear human guises. The Dagora and Yog are space kaiju, at least comparable to the Virasians and Zigra in that respect [though they also differ in that Yog is a being or psychically linked "hive colony" of pure energy, and Dagora is entirely non-sentient--CN]. The humanoid Terans with their pet kaiju, Guiron, would fit comfortably in with the Mysterians, Xians, and other Toho humanoid alien races.

Additionally, some '60's kaiju-films outside of Daiei and Toho also feature hostile or inscrutable aliens. It's a flying saucer encounter in space that leads to Guilala in The X From Outer Space. In Giant Monster Wangmagwi, aliens deliver a kaiju to Earth to wreak havoc, an experience that Toho, in particular, was familiar with.

Finally, of course, all kaiju-films were deliberately set in a world intended to closely resemble our own, with only modest differences (e.g., the existence of dai kaiju, exotic weapons, bits of super science, advanced space programs, periodically invading alien races). Hence, the Tokyo and greater Japan of the STU and the Tokyo and greater Japan of the SDU physically, politically, and culturally resemble each other, because they are both intended to resemble ours. But if they are both drawn from our world, does that not suggest a high degree of similarity and relationship between the two, and even between their world and the 'Loose Kaiju'?

The overlaps are many; the gaps, not necessarily. So could we fuse the two continuums? Possibly. But in doing so, we need to reconcile the two major problems...

PROBLEM: First, we need to integrate the two different lines of aliens and history in the two continuities.

SOLUTION: Evidence suggests that the Pairans may have visited and attempted to uplift Earth's humans in their past. The Pairans may have actually helped create the Lemurian/Atlantean civilizations. Actually, a loose end could be tied up here, the Pairans could have been safeguarding Earth from their base on Tera, preventing Lemurian colonies or sister races from invading Earth, during much of history. The departure of the Pairans in the mid-twentieth century could have meant it was open season on Earth, resulting in a wave of alien invasions. Pairan technology could have been the initial boost, including providing the technological edge needed to create the Earth Defense Force utilized to defeat the Mysterians.

PROBLEM: Second, we need to explain why Gamera isn't constantly riding to the rescue, aggressively saving the world when the likes of King Ghidorah, Gigan, or Mechagodzilla arrive on the scene. But again, there's an explanation.

SOLUTION: Gamera gets pretty savagely beaten up in each of his movies, and although he triumphs in the end, he may be forced to go into hibernation to recover, including a period of prolonged hibernation. Gamera never encounters Godzilla because often, one or the other is dormant after major battles when the other is active. Conflicting schedules? Stranger things have happened. It is notable that Mothra seems to take the role of protector of humanity before Gamera manifests, and after Gamera becomes long-term dormant, the role is taken up by Godzilla. One can almost see a kind of continuity there in the evolving roles and passing the torch of the three monsters.

So, it strikes me indeed that we could, with a little effort, combine Godzilla and Gamera continuities, and fit in the 1950's American kaiju, the late '50's/early '60's European kaiju, and the late '60's and late '70's Asian revivals. Yes, it could be done, with a little imagination and effort.

A united super-timeline incorporating Godzilla, Gamera, and the 'loose kaiju' would look something like this. Admittedly, it's far less detailed and thorough than Chris N's Godzilla Showa Timeline, but it does not seem too incompatible...

ANCIENT PERIOD - The Pairans emerge as an intelligent race. Giant, size-changing, shape-shifting aquatic starfish, they establish colonies which eventually give rise to two sister races, the shark-like Zigra and the squid-like Virasians. Although the Pairans are benign, their offspring or sister races are more aggressive and malign. Still, an uneasy peace exists between them as they explore space together.

- The Pairans visit Earth approximately 10,000 years ago, followed by their sister races, the Virasians and the Zigra. The evil Virasians and Zigra create giant monsters, Gyaos, Barugon, and Jiger to conquer the planet, but are stopped by the Pairans, who create Gamera to police Atlantis, Mothra to patrol Lemuria/Mu, and Guiron to guard Tera.

- The Virasians and Zigra agree not to interfere with Earth. To keep them honest, and to watch over Earth, the Pairans reform an asteroid on the other side of the sun, naming it Tera.

- The Pairans also deal with Earth humans, helping to create a primeval civilization that includes both Atlantis and Lemuria (even today, the Seatopian chief has Atlantean features). With Pairan assistance, the Atlanean/Lemurian civilization advances technologically, creating or modifying ultra-dinosaurs and other large life forms to defend themselves against a potential future Virasian or Zigran invasion. They also master intra-solar space travel, establishing colonies on various worlds in the solar system, though only the Pairans have interstellar travel.

- There is a brief Golden Age, as the Atlantean/Lemurian civilization reigns. Atlantean/Lemurian outposts are established in Japan, East Asia, and Africa. Tera becomes a Pairan embassy, but the Pairans themselves are sworn to non-interference. Meanwhile, colonies are established on Venus, Mars, the Asteroids, the Jovian Moons, Saturnian Moons, and even far out Sedna. A quasi-colony of artificially created silicon life forms, the Kilaaks, are deposited on Mercury. Genetically and size-enhanced dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures are recreated and placed in natural preserves, islands, and hidden valleys. Various forms of other giant animals are also created.

- The Atlantean/Lemurian civilization collapses, the Great Cataclysm occurs, and the island nations sink beneath the waves. Virasians or the Zigra may be responsible. The Pairans are unable to stop the disaster or to restore humanity. The space colonies are left to fend for themselves. They begin to fight amongst themselves. The Pairans resolve to leave the colonies alone, but not to allow them to interfere with Earth.

[A 'protectorship' by the Pairans, the only truly benign aliens in either the Daiei or Toho continuities other than the Peacelanders, might explain Earth's long period of relative tranquility. We managed to get through several thousand years of history without an overt alien invasion. In fact, it's not possible that we could have missed out on alien invasions naturally... King Ghidorah destroyed the Mars colony right next door to us, and yet, somehow, did not follow the fleeing Martians to Earth, nor even contemplate taking Earth as an 'after dinner' snack following his decimation of Mars. What could have stopped Ghidorah?
And yet, after something like 10,000 years of peace, but through the second half of the twentieth century, Earth found itself battling Mysterians, Xians (3), Natals, Nebulans (1 & 1/2), Simeons (2), Kilaaks, Virasians (2), Hellfighters, Zigrans (2) and the Garogain, as well as an apparent solo attack by King Ghidorah (though likely manipulated behind the scenes by the Xians)...14 separate alien invasions within a fifty year span! There is no explanation within Toho continuity. There is no direct explanation in Daiei continuity. But the only possible solution must be that some benign alien race must have been protecting us. And as I've said, the Pairans are the only benign aliens around, not counting the pacifistic Peacelanders. --DV]

[The loss of our 'protection' after 1950 must mean that the Pairans had absented themselves. If Tera was their base, then its empty condition supports that hypothesis. By 1956, when they finally intervened, we had shown ourselves capable of defeating kaiju, of uniting our world for the common good, of controlling nuclear weapons that they thought we couldn't handle, and of saving ourselves (with help) from a rogue planet. Perhaps they concluded that their mission was complete, and we no longer needed their protection. Little did they suspect the number of wolves waiting to pounce upon our poor planet--DV]

- The Xians of "Planet X" in the asteroid belt use King Ghidorah to destroy the Mars colony. The survivors flee back to Earth, establishing a pair of settlements. One lands on an island and regresses, renouncing technology, but later rises again to form the 20th century nation of Saladia. The other goes underground and becomes a degenerate but advanced society, Seatopia, that eventually loses control of all but one of its kaiju.

HISTORICAL PERIOD - The Pairans, bending their own rules a little, create the Maijin statue as a guardian to preserve Earth's vulnerable population from their own or extraterrestrial kaiju. As further insurance, they also create King Seesar. With the dormant Gamera and quiescent Mothra, Earth has four great guardians. Although they pledge noninterference in Earth's affairs, the Pairans also rule Earth off-limits to the Lemurian colonies. The people of Earth will be free to develop on their own, and not as slaves to men or aliens from space.

- The time of Yamato Tekeru and the battle with Orochi, the eight-headed dragon.

- Out on Sedna, the human colony dies off, but transfers their culture to enhanced intelligent cockroaches, which have been engineered or evolved to survive in the harsh climate [though, again, they claim to have evolved following the demise of the human colony--CN].

- Around Saturn, the race of artificially engineered ape-like Simeon servants takes over power from the humans.

- At some time in the past, the Maijin breaks down or is destroyed.

- Around Jupiter, the Garogain decide to build an empire, and set about conquering the other colonies. Peaceland will be the last.

- Over time, other colonies fail, break down, or are abandoned, leaving the Sol system studded with ruins.

- In the asteroid belt, the Mysterians are at war with the Xians, with the Natals caught between them.

- A binary pair of rogue worlds drift into the outer reaches of the solar system. The smaller is affected by solar gravity and falls to the inner solar system. The rogue world has had a major effect passing through the asteroid belt, and the Xians take advantage of the opportunity to destroy the Mysterian asteroid (Mysteroid).

MODERN ERA - Discovery of dinosaurs and a lost world in South America. A Brontosaurus goes walking in London. More kaiju are temporarily discovered in the ruins of Atlantis at the Center of the Earth. A lost underground Martian/Atlantean colony is discovered, menaced by its own Kaiju.

- 1933. Skull Island is found. The original King Kong is found and brought to New York and killed. King Kong or 'Kong' becomes the default name for any giant ape.

- 1945, The Atom Bomb is dropped on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

- 1953. Rhedosaurus emerges in the Arctic and attacks America.

- 1954. Godzilla, the greatest kaiju of the modern era, arises and attacks Japan. Followed by Anguiras (1955), Rodan (1956), and Varan (1958)

- 1955. A Gigantic spider is sighted in California, it's attacked with napalm and either destroyed or forced to flee underground and go into dormancy while it recovers. A Giant Octopus attacks California and is destroyed or driven off by a powerful torpedo attack. A smaller relative of the Octopus later confronts King Kong, Frankenstein, and Gaila (a.k.a., the Green Gargantua).

- 1956. Warning From Space. Humanity recovers under the eyes of the Pairans, who are frightened by the use of atomic weapons. They decide to intervene to prevent humanity from blowing itself up. However, when the first of the rogue worlds enters the solar system, the Pairans assist humanity in destroying the threat. Impressed by planetary cooperation, and the defeat of the new kaiju by humanity, the Pairans decide that humanity can take care of itself, and withdraw to their home world, leaving only a caretaker human staff at Tera. Their contact with Earth, however, advances both Earth's space program and weaponry.

- 1957. Noting that with the departure of the Pairans, Earth is no longer off-limits, surviving Mysterians flee to Earth, where they try to take over. However, the advantage that Pairan contact and technology has given them allows them to form the Earth Defense Force and to construct weapons to defeat the Mysterians. A Giant Mantis attacks New York. A Giant Vulture menaces the Eastern seaboard. Both the Deadly Mantis and the Giant Claw are apparently killed, but are actually shocked into dormancy, their carcasses hauled to Pacific islands where they later revive to confront Godzilla (Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster in the case of the Giant Claw and Son of Godzilla in the case of the Deadly Mantis).

- 1958. Varan the Unbelievable attacks Japan. In America, there is a wave of Giant humans, including The Amazing Colossal Man/Beast, The Fifty Foot Woman, and the Thirty Foot Bride. The Giant Spider napalmed in California only retreated and went dormant, it is found and revived in California. Considerably weaker, it is again apparently killed (forced into dormancy), and the apparent corpse is shipped off to a Pacific island, where it eventually recovers, regains it full strength (and perhaps greater power due to further exposure to radiation experiments) and later confronts Godzilla (see Son Of Godzilla).

- 1959. Behemoth, the sea monster attacks England. Giant Gila Monster sighted in California.

- 1960. A Giant Ape, Konga, rampages through England.

- The Xians are shocked by the Earth's defeat of the Mysterians, but encouraged by the departure of the Pairans. They formulate a plan to take over Earth.

- 1961. Mothra attacks Japan when her priestesses are kidnapped by unscrupulous businessmen, but is ultimately a defender of humanity. Ogra attacks England when her progeny, Gorgo, is captured and put on display in London. In both cases, the monsters are provoked.

- 1962. Reptilicus attacks Denmark.

- 1963. A much larger giant bipedal ape called King Kong battles Godzilla in Japan after the former is found on Farou Island and brought to the island nation against his will by businessmen.

- 1964. Without the Pairans to keep the peace, the Muans seize their chance, but they and their monster, Manda, are defeated by Atragon. Meanwhile, Godzilla encounters the Thing, Mothra.

- 1965. The events of Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster/The Battle in Outer Space/Godzilla vs. Monster Zero [This editor believes the events of the first film took place in the last two months of 1964, but that's open to conjecture, of course--CN]. The Xians attack, again. First, they try to destroy Earth by sending King Ghidorah to attack. This plan is foiled by Mothra, who, lacking the raw power to confront King Ghidorah directly in her larva form, enlists Godzilla and Rodan rather than prematuraly morphing into her more powerful adult stage. Next, using stealth, they make peaceful contact to take over Earth's monsters. Then when that fails due to human intervention, causing the aliens to lose control over Godzilla and Rodan in the process, they use the Natals to test Earth's defenses for a conventional invasion. After this, the Xians withdraw from Earth.

- 1966. The events of Gamera. Woken finally by atomic blasts, the giant fire-breathing turtle rouses. But the nuclear attack has disoriented him and Gamera proves a menace. A now experienced Earth response force manages to remove the monster in a rocketů
Gamera vs Barugon. Returning quickly to Earth after his rocket is struck by an errant meteor, Gamera experiences his first great battle with Barugon. Severely injured, both monsters go into hibernation to recoverů
Frankenstein Conquers The World. Baragon, mutated and weakened after his battle with Gamera, rouses first, and is defeated by Frankenstein [who is in turn taken out by an unexpected battle with a giant octopus--CN]. Godzilla is discovered to be dormant during this period following the battles with Mothra, Rodan and the two encounters with King Ghidorah, thereby missing Gamera, but is roused with Mothra to battle the Ebirah, and the Giant Vulture on Letchi Island.

[Actually, I'm fudging timelines here, since Franenstein Conquers The World had actually been released the year before Gamera vs. Barugon. But given the internal history... Daiei's Barugon starts off as an egg under a heat lamp, hatches and rapidly grows to full size before being thrown into a chasm... Toho's Baragon crawls full grown out of a chasm...
I felt it appropriate to reverse the two. This is my second biggest leap... See Yog, for my biggest, circa 1970--DV]

-1967. Gamera recovers from hibernation, but after defeating Gyaos, immediately returns to dormancy. Godzilla has retreated to an island and discovers a surrogate son, so again, he misses out on a battle with Gamera. He does encounter the giant Spider (now called Spiega in American tabloids and Kumonga in the Japanese press) and the Deadly Mantis (along with two others, now referred to as Kamakiras, or 'Gimantises' in one American press account). Meanwhile, Yongary and Wangmagwi attack North Korea at different times and under different circumstances. Gappa the Triphibian monsters run wild in Japan to rescue their offspring. Guilala is brought in from space, and goes on a rampage. The larger King Kong fights a variety of foes including Gorosaurus and a giant white sea snake on Mondo Island, and a robotic double, Mechani-Kong ('Robot Kong' in the American press) in Japan.

-1968. Gamera emerges to fight the Virasian alien invasion. During this year, most of Earth's kaiju, including Godzilla, are dormant after a succession of ferocious battles. The Teran Guardians, noting the Virasian attack, have a falling out. Three leave to go to the Pairan homeworld to notify them of the Viras. One renegade escapes to Viras. The other two are imprisoned. The Pairans and Virasians have a confrontation in space, which temporarily ends further invasions. Gamera, with no one to fight, gets some much needed rest. The defeated Viras entity is also shocked into near death and dormancy.

-1969. Gamera is roused from hibernation for the third time in as many years, telepathically impelled to rescue two children in outer space. Obviously the plight of two children in a flying saucer would not normally arouse the mighty kaiju. The only explanation can be that their distress was somehow amplified and broadcast across space. There must have been automatic telepathic enhancers on the flying saucer that they inadvertently used to summon Gamera. The saucer was probably equipped with such telepathic enhancers to ensure that it would not be destroyed by Guiron upon its arrival on Tera. The two imprisoned Terans attempt to escape their prison. Guiron destroys a Space Gyaos, Gamera destroys Guiron.
The effort of space travel and a major battle exhausts Gamera, and leaves him unwilling to battle Godzilla, who is remaining on his island and is not currently a threat. There is no other kaiju activity. Telepathic machinery recovered by the children from the Teran flying saucer winds up in the hands of another child, a boy named Ichiro [but feel free to call him "Yoshi" if you want--CN], who uses it to make direct psychic contact with Minya on Monster Island. The machinery, at full throttle, can contact a kaiju through interplanetary space. It has more than enough power to engage a sort of mind talk and astral projection at the short range of only a few hundreds of miles, the differences in operation are also affected by the different wishes of the children involved. Although heavily distorted, a real adventure may have occurred.

-1970. Gamera encounters his most dangerous foe, Jiger, and is almost destroyed. A severely wounded Gamera attempts to hibernate, but is possessed and mutated by a disembodied colonial alien intelligence, Yog, who also manages to reactivate and mutate the dormant Viras and Ebirah. The reconstituted, possessed monsters are called Gezora, Kameobos, and Ganime, who threaten a group of people on Selga Island. Freed of alien possession, Gamera, by this time weakened due to carrying cumulative damage from six major battles (he was unable to use his fire-breath for fly during the entirety of the situation on Selga Island), goes into long-term hibernation. During this time, Godzilla and most other kaiju are either inactive or on Monster Island.

[The Yog connection is my biggest leap here. However, I'd like to offer a defense. Many of the kaiju seemed to evolve or change appearance slightly, and I would suggest that mutations, and even temporary mutations, were common to dai kaiju--DV]

[Godzilla during the Showa Era, for instance, went through several costumes, each with a different appearance. Despite the changing appearance, they were all considered, with the possible exception of the first, to be the same Godzilla. Meanwhile, King Kong in his two Toho appearances, and in the appearance in the De Laurentis remake and its sequel a decade later, went through at least three visibly different costumes, and experienced different size scales, but again, was arguably the same creature. Both Rodan and Mothra changed size and appearance in their transitions from their own movies to the Godzilla stable. With respect to size, several supporting kaiju, particularly Baragon and Gorosaurus, may be considered to be 'off scale' with their previous appearances.
Even psychological changes took place, Godzilla's personality evolved considerably through his career, becoming increasingly benign and intelligent, and Anguirus moved from deadly enemy to steadfast friend.
Now, we can simply ignore all of these cumulative changes and differences. Or we can accept and embrace the notion that the Toho kaiju were subject to periodic sudden bouts of minor mutation or evolution--DV]

[There is less support, but a similar argument can be made for the Daiei kaiju... Barugon grows incredibly rapidly from an egg. Space Gyaos appears to have mutated a silvery hide distinct from the original Gyaos (not to mention being able to function without problems in the sunlight--CN), both Viras and Zigra attain full kaiju size through rapid metamorphosis--DV]

[We should also note that both Toho and Daiei kaiju battled and suffered serious injuries from time to time. Godzilla and Gamera were the most frequent battlers, of course. But Rodan, Mothra, and Anguirus also engaged in near fatal battles. Others, like Gorosaurus and Baragon, recovered from near-fatal wounds. This implies a remarkable healing ability that may be connected to mutation. Indeed, both Frankenstein and Reptilicus have healing abilities capable of regrowing severed limbs, or growing a new body from a severed limb.
Regular or major injuries may result in more sudden intense periods of mutation, simply because the healing factor is kicked into high gear--DV]

[Further, we'll observe that both Toho and Daiei kaiju appear to experience long and short periods of dormancy. Gamera, Jiger, and Gyaos survived long periods of dormancy from ancient times, periods of perhaps thousands of years. Gamera appears to have been knocked unconscious or dormant during some of his battles.
Meanwhile, Godzilla was caught napping quite soundly in Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, managed to be dormant and encased in ice for a few years between Godzilla Raids Again and King Kong vs. Godzilla. The Rhedosaur and the Deadly Mantis appear to be artificially created 'prehistoric survivors' awakened from long periods of dormancy in the ice floes.
Therefore, it doesn't seem unreasonable to think that kaiju may have the ability to go dormant for years or even centuries at a time...--DV]

[If we accept that periodic mutation can change the appearance or even vary the size of established kaiju, if we accept that it might be triggered or accelerated by healing, and that it may be accompanied by periods of dormancy, then it is open for us to take a series of steps. What if the American giant spiders, giant mantis, and even giant octopus continued to mutate, particularly if they were badly injured or became dormant? Is it possible that the creatures that menaced the United States were only thought to be killed? Is it possible that, because of concerns over potential radioactivity, the corpses would be hauled out of the territorial United States and deposited on deserted Pacific Islands where they would presumably not pose a menace? Is it possible that the creatures were merely dormant, and while dormant, their healing process accelerated their mutations, changing their appearance and making them the creatures that Godzilla later encounters?
Let's note that while their appearance is shocking, no one finds it earthshaking to discover these creatures out there on that island...were they expected, or at least, were their corpses expected?--DV]

[And if we're prepared to accept that these mutations took place, and there may continuity between the '50's American monsters and the insectoids that Godzilla encounters, then is it not reasonable that Barugon may have, in recovering from injuries inflicted by Gamera, had their healing process spur a period of rapid mutation which produced Baragon?--DV]

[The final step in this process is to acknowledge or accept that Gamera, while hibernating in a healing state, might experience radical though temporary mutation. And that Gamera, if woken during healing and under alien control, might or would appear visibly different from normal. Viras, of course, being a wholly metamorphic composite creature, could change or mutate relatively easily. Anyway, that's a theory, take it or leave it--DV]

- 1971. The Pairan telepathic machinery of the flying saucer has lost much of its power, but is still sufficient to reach and affect Godzilla. When Gamera is not available to battle Hedorah the Smog Monster, Godzilla is called into service. Godzilla, somewhat reluctantly, continues to fulfill or take over the dormant Gamera's role as protector of humanity, under the influence of the Pairans' telepathic machinery.

[Several races, the Xians, Muans, Seatopians, Nebulans, and Kilaaks exhibited the power to control kaiju. None of them, however, seemed particularly interested in sharing this gift with humans, and at the end of encounters with each (Destroy All Monsters being the notable exception) the kaiju, in escaping alien control, seemed to be outside of any control. Around 1964-65 there was a considerable melting in their attitudes, arguably through the telepathic influence of Mothra.
However, from the time of Godzilla's Revenge and Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, there was a visible change in Godzilla's attitude and outlook, and even in his intelligence and potential telepathic ability. There's no real explanation for this in the context of the Showa Godzilla Series alone...The major previous calming influence, Mothra, is entirely absent--DV]

[However, the ability to psychically communicate and morally influence kaiju seemed more particular to the Gamera cosmos. Immediately prior to Godzilla's great 'change of heart', Gamera picked up a psychic distress call from children in a flying saucer in space. Given the range and remoteness, the only possible explanation is that something in the saucer amplified the children's psychic distress call to the point where Gamera could pick it up on Earth, and then follow it across more than twice the distance between the Earth and the sun--DV]

[So, within the context of the two series, it seems logical to assume (indeed, it solves a problem) that Godzilla's change of heart is probably connected to the psychic technology found or activated by the children in the flying saucer--DV]

[Of course, upon the return to Earth, Gamera immediately went into healing hibernation, so the psychic machine would no longer work on them. It may have made its way among children as tradable or shareable junk or toys, without any real idea of its true nature and importance, until it wound up with children who were fixating on Godzilla...the latter of whom happened to be awake, and therefore could be influenced.
It's not perfect, but like I said, it solves the problem of Godzilla's drastic change of heart--DV]

- 1972. Godzilla battles Gigan and King Ghidorah, aided by Anguiras. The Nebulans make their effort to conquer Earth, allied covertly with the Seatopians. Although they withdraw, they still owe the Seatopians a favour.

- 1973. Godzilla battles Megalon and Gigan, and is aided by the robotic sentai Jet Jaguar. The Seatopians call in their favour with the Nebulans. The Zone Fighter comes to Earth, following the Garogain invasion of Peaceland. Godzilla occasionally assists Zone fighter against the aliens and their giant Terro-Beasts.

- 1974. The Simeons detect the rogue primary Gorath entering the Sol system and fear that their world is in danger. They attack Earth, using Mechagodzilla. The giant machine is confronted by Anguiras, Godzilla, and the long dormant King Seesar, and the latter two ultimately work together to trash the deadly robotic kaiju.

- 1975. The Simeons try again, using Mechagodzilla and the elusive Earth kaiju Titanosaurus. Godzilla once again comes to the rescue. The Simeons, defeated, are either destroyed by Gorath's close approach, or have survived their close call and are no longer interested in an invasion.

This begins a long period of kaiju dormancy, as most kaiju are confined on a few islands, including Monster Island, and the telepathic technology derived from the Pairan saucer is used to keep them docile.

- 1976. The lost kaiju is found. King Kong, not seen since defeating his robot double, is found on an island. He is transported to New York as a publicity stunt and goes on a rampage. Similarly, a gigantic bipedal simian is loosed in Korea. In Burma, a giant Gargantua-like creature, dubbed the Peking Man, is discovered and exhibited in Hong Kong. All of the attempts to exhibit dai kaiju (including the Mothra, Gorgo, Gappa and previous Kong incidents) have resulted in disaster. The UN passes Kaiju Protection Treaties, intending to avoid further provoking the monsters. This results in a period of long term peace and prosperity in which the kaiju are absent from human affairs.

- 1977. The Gorath Crisis unites the world. At first, Earth seems doomed, but with the covert aid of Pairan supertechnology from Tera, loaned by the guardians of Tera (or contributed by visiting Pairans themselves), Earth is moved temporarily out of the path of Gorath. The moon is apparently destroyed, but this is actually a Saturnian satellite which had been captured by Gorath on its journey to the inner solar system and eventually destroyed [Note to Den by this editor...thank you for coming up with a plausible resolution to the moon conundrum...I will be incorporating that into my own theories--CN].

- 1980. The events of The War In Space. Earth goes into space and encounters a Lemurian colony on Venus. It battles Hellfighters. The Venusian remnant colony is destroyed.

- 1985. The events of Gamera vs Zigra. Zigran invasion from space. Earth's moonbase is attacked. Gamera goes back into hibernation.

- The Zigra, defeated, ally with the Virasians. Combined, they are able to defeat the Pairans and plan a new invasion of Earth, with the assistance of a renegade Teran agent.

- 1990. The events of Super Monster Gamera. Gamera faces his greatest test, as, allied with the Teran guardians, he faces off against an onslaught of Viras and Zigra, collectively calling themselves the Zanon, as well as Barugon, Jiger, Gyaos, and Guiron. Although triumphant, Gamera is so badly injured upon directly engaging the Zanon starship that he goes into long term hibernation, and is not around for the Kilaak invasion [I personally would not and do not include the events of this film as part of the Showa Daiei Universe, but rather as an alternate reality which I sometimes call the "Interim Daiei Universe" for a variety of reasons, but with a bit of tweaking, Den has made an argument for fitting it into the established canon--CN].

[I don't actually have a date for Super Monster Gamera. I do know, however, that Gamera vs. Zigra is set in 1985, the only Gamera film to be set explicitly in the future as far as I can tell. However, Super Monster Gamera features the giant turtle battling again with Zigra, so that battle must have been in Gamera's past, so it has to be later than 1985. Hence, I picked an arbitrary date a few years later--DV]

[Viras and Zigra were both representatives of alien races, so I assumed that they had formed an alliance, called the Zanon. The alliance suggests that the two races were known to each other, in communication, and quite possibly related--DV]

[If the Pairans were the peacekeepers, the alliance might have been key to overcoming them, and setting the stage for a joint invasion of Earth. The humans involved on both sides of the invasion are themselves reminiscent of the Terans, who may lead us back to the Pairans. The fact that the Virasians and Zigrans add Guiron to their number suggests that they've taken at least temporary control of Tera--DV]

- 1999. The events of Destroy All Monsters. Kilaak invasion. Shocked by the destruction of Venus, and worried for the safety of their own world, Mercury, the Kilaaks resolve to strike first. Earth's moonbase is attacked. All of the active kaiju, including Godzilla and Mothra, who are then confined to Monster Island via advanced technology, are enlisted. Gamera and several other kaiju are dormant, however.

- 21st Century. The Xians make their final attempt to conquer Earth, which has now reached through the Sol system, establishing new colonies and allying with other Lemurian colonies (see the Nintendo video game Godzilla, Monster of Monsters!).

ADDENDUM ON ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS

A few further ruminations regarding the above 'Supertimeline', particularly some additional thoughts on Ancient Civilizations.

The Showa Gamera definitely appears to have Atlantean historical connections. Oddly, the Showa Gamera series makes no mention of Lemuria.

In contrast, the Showa Godzilla series makes several references to Lemuria (vis-Ó-vis the Asian name for that continent, Mu), including two extant relic civilizations, and a Lemuria/Mars connection. There doesn't seem to be much evidence or mention of Atlantis.

Meanwhile, among the Loose Kaiju, there are various kaiju who seem scattered around the Pacific rim of fire, or Pacific coasts, and suggest Lemuria; as well as others who seem native to the Atlantic coasts. To complicate matters, there is at least one Atlantis/Mars connection.

I speculated that the Pairans had, in Earth's past, created an 'Uplifted' human society, Lemuria and/or Atlantis. Most likely, Lemuria and Atlantis were the same civilization, so the proper, though awkward term would be Atlantean/Lemurian or Lemurian/Atlantean [or simply interconnected due to being the two sole super-civilizations vying for dominance of the Earth at the time, with certain sub-colonies of both civilizations merging at various points and places, in the opinion of this editor--CN].

If they were the same civilization, that would account for a number of correspondences, including the simultaneous (or same) Mars colonies, the technological heights, and the proliferation of kaiju in both oceans. There would be no special reason to particularly distinguish the space colonies, though I'll continue to call them Lemurian colonies.

An expanding Atlantean/Lemurian society establishing its own space colonies in the solar system might well have been aggressive enough to want the Pairans to leave it alone and pursue non-interference.
But surely, the Pairans would have acted to save Atlantis/Lemuria from the Great Cataclysm that destroyed both Island continents?
Maybe not. I can conceive of one circumstance that might have left the Pairans paralysed and unwilling to act: Civil War between the Atlantean and Lemurian factions. The Pairans would have had no way to choose sides, and would have stood by helplessly as Earth's civilization destroyed itself.

So essentially, instead of two long established rival civilizations going to war, I'm proposing a slight variation. A sudden civil war between two factions of a unified, geographically fragmented, civilization.
The Pairans might well have felt guilty, since they'd helped to create that civilization in the first place.
They might find themselves disgusted at the continuing warlike ways of many of the Lemurian colonies, watching in horror as the Mars colony was destroyed.
They might well have acted to place the aboriginals and primitives of Earth off-limits from their wayward grandchildren.
And, given a fear that Earth's new civilization was developing a super-weapon that might enable them to destroy themselves again, the Pairans might be motivated to reveal themselves and intervene.

FURTHER NOTES

Gamera/Kamoebas: I think this is actually a workable theory. A turtle is a turtle is a turtle, after all. At the end of Yog, Monster From Space, Kamoebas falls into a volcano and is allegedly destroyed, but we've seen that Gamera is a fire monster and feeds on heat. And we've also seen other kaiju, like Godzilla, literally swimming in lava. So, it's possible to continue to argue that Kamoebas is actually a highly mutated and powered down version of Gamera, due to being plucked from healing hibernation. Falling into the volcano frees him from Yog's control and allows his phenotype to revert back. But frankly, it's just a wild idea that we can put in the 'take it or leave it category'. Same with the Baragon/Barugon thing.

Ebirah/Ganimes: The physical differences may not be critical, after all, Godzilla pretty thoroughly dismembered Ebirah. The trouble is that there are apparently two Ganimes, and the first one is blown to pieces. Are there actually at least three giant lobsters in the Pacific? Or was one of the Ganime actually Ebirah, and the other wasn't? Or was the Ganime that blew up or got killed able to quickly reconstitute under the alien's influence? And if so, could that have been Ebirah?

Deadly Mantis/Kamakiras: The big obstacle to the Deadly Mantis being Kamakiras is that there are apparently at least three Kamakiras on Solgell Island, and they start out slightly more than human-sized...Would you believe eggs of the original giant mantis that attacked New York, preserved within her body and hatching on the island? [Yes, I could buy that--CN]

Queen Kong: Another simian kaiju, this one an Italian/British production, set in Africa, back in 1976, a pretty naked play on the De Laurentis King Kong remake. Others that came out in '76 were, of course, A*P*E, The Mighty Peking Man, shot in Canada, and Yeti: Giant Of The 20th Century, from Italy. Although inspired by the Kong remake rather than the Japanese kaiju, Kong with two Toho movies had been established as a pretty intrinsic part of the Toho Kaijuverse.
Yeti: Giant Of The 20th Century, also 1976, featured a sasquatch-like kaiju shot in Canada by an Italian film company, although I'm not quite sure if this qualified as a true kaiju. Definitely cashing in on Kong, though.

King Kong, 1976. Fights a giant snake, just as he did in King Kong Escapes [though the latter was a much larger sea snake--CN].

King Kong Lives, 1986, technically outside the Showa Era, this is a direct sequel to King Kong '76.

Super Monster Gamera. The heroic space babes are living on Earth in disguises. Nevertheless, they have contacts in outer space and access to powers and technology not of this world, despite their apparent humanity. So, I argue that they're the Pairans' Teran guardians relocated and undercover on Earth. Perhaps Tera really was becoming uninhabitable. Or, perhaps it was rendered uninhabitable by the rampage and battle of Guiron and Gamera.

Gamera/Godzilla continuity. There is a possible odd gap in the Toho continuity. From approximately 1961 to 1966, Mothra acts as a defender and protector of humanity, but seems to mostly disappear after that. Then, from approximately 1971 to 1976, Godzilla appears to be formally assuming the role of defender and protector. So...who's supposed to be the defender and protector of humanity in the period between 1966 and 1971? In Toho continuity, it's simply a blank spot. On the other hand, Gamera fills in that blank spot. When Gamera starts to assume the role, Mothra stops. When Gamera stops...Godzilla steps in.

As one can see, my approach to these things tends to be iterative. Basically, I research, develop a theory, research some more, and either refine or discard the theory, research some more and continue to fine tune.

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