by Den Valdron

All right, we start off with some portentous narration, followed by drawings of spaceships attacking each other. That's right, drawings. This movie was too cheap for actual animation, so they just pan and scanned the drawings of spaceships shooting rays at each other.

It seems that the universe is not a safe and peaceful place. There's bad folks around, and the pirate ship Zannon is as bad as they come. Oddly, the focus is on the other space ship when the narrator talks about how bad it is, so we might have mistaken the Zannon ship for the good guys.

The next shot is a 'Star Wars' pan of the Zannon ship, basically Imperial Destroyer's length passing through the overhead frame, just like in Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope.

Next up we're introduced to our little hero, Keiichi. We'll call him Kenny, because they're always called Kenny. Annoyingly precocious children with some sort of supernatural connection to the monster were a staple of Gamera movies, and crossed over into Godzilla and Yongary. He's a big, big fan of Gamera. Unhealthily obsessed, if you ask me. He sings Gamera songs on the organ, he reads Gamera comics; you can tell even his friends are tired of him.

He's so obsessed with Gamera that he gets himself a little turtle and sings songs to it. Eventually, his mother persuades him to set the turtle free to seek whatever destinies terrarium turtles are out questing for in the wild. Of course, this leaves him pining for turtle company, so he tends to show up at the local pet store to harass the turtles there with inane conversation. This leads him to make friends with the owner of the pet store, Kilara, who is actually a lesbian from outer space.

And here we meet our Space Girls. There are three of them, lead by Kilara. The other two are Marsha and Mitan, much more feminine, and they don't actually seem to do much. They mostly stand around.

Anyway, the good Space Women like to toddle around in their van, which through some hideously bad animation, transforms into a spaceship which is nothing more than an orange blob. It's a spectacularly awful special effect. It's the sort of bad effect that can trash an entire movie. I mean seriously, what were they thinking?

Luckily the blob is bigger on the inside than the outside (although sparsely furnished) allowing the Space Women the opportunity to practice their interpretive dance steps. Yep, dance steps. That's how they transform from humans in street clothes to space women in superhero costumes very much like the one Superman wears. It's sort of halfway between Ultraman and the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers' transformation dance, but done more slowly.

And oh yes, I should mention that the Good Space Women's technology appears to be organ based. No, not that kind of organ! Musical organs, like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They whip up the organ, play a few notes, and open teleportation portals or transform their van into spaceships or whatever.

The Zannon send a message down to the Space Women, along the lines of 'We're taking this planet, lie back and enjoy it, or we'll kick your ass.' This worries the Space Women, since their job is protecting the Earth. On the other hand, they didn't bother to bring weapons along, so too bad. Those rascally Zannon, however, decide to make sure. They send a bad Spacewoman, named Giruge, down to make sure that there's no interference. You can tell she's bad because her suit is black (the good Space Women wear white). In Earth guise she wears a leather skirt, and in a scene that seems borrowed from somewhere, she zaps some harmless perv mashing on her.

Meanwhile, the good Space Women discover that the Zannon can't track them in their human guises, but everytime they revert to superhero costumes, they have to dodge space rays. This makes their job of saving Earth even more difficult, which, considering they have no weapons, and no plans, is already bad enough. At this point, now that all the players are established, the Zannon open up with some juicy stock footage of Mt. Fuji exploding and Gyaos going on a rampage. This causes quite a bit of trouble for everyone.

Kenny shows up at the home of Kilara and her friends, and plays them his Gamera song on their magical organ, telling them all about the heroic super turtle. He comes up with some mumbo jumbo about wishing his lost turtle would transform into Gamera and defeat Gyaos. The space ladies think Gamera would be just the thing, so they go outside to the playground to summon Gamera, but get distracted doing space aerobics and dodging Zannon rays.

Whatever it was, the space aerobics, the magic organ, Kenny's wish, or merely the fact that Gyaos has been rampaging for a while, Gamera finally wakes up and takes a hand. He cruises low over the city, with Kenny apparently being the only one who is noticing. Me, I'd think that if a giant turtle flew low over my city, everyone would be crapping their pants. But perhaps this is merely a post 9/11 thing. Who knows, maybe the Japanese were used to this by now. The bad Space Woman, Giruge, notices Kenny though, and deduces that he might have something to do with the new monster.

Anyway, back to stock footage -- Gamera sorts out Gyaos but good. The Zannon are upset. They decide that their next attack will be by sea. And they send Giruge off to take care of the little boy. She takes him out for a hamburger, and then tosses him into a space warp to the beach, so they can watch Gamera wax Zigra in more stock footage.

Kenny realizes something is up with bad Space Woman and flees. Luckily, the good Kilara spots him, and opens up another teleport with her magic organ. Then they explain some of the plot to him, demonstrating one of their superpowers -- the ability to miniaturize themselves to fit inside a special terrarium, which is sort of the Mothra touch.

Meanwhile, Giruge fumes at the beach and Gamera trashes Viras in yet more stock footage. In the Viras scene, there's a quick cut of the bad Space Woman calling the monster 'Zannon,' which might be a clue to the occupants of the spaceship, who knows. Otherwise, we never see them at all.

Oh, and there's a sequence where Gamera flies through space at a cartoon version of the starship Yamato (seriously, it's a cartoon), and apparently scares it away. Although this might be a dream Kenny is having, since at the end, he wakes up and says "It was a dream!" But in this movie, you never know.

The Zannon decide that Kenny is a dead end. Obviously, the good Space Women are controlling Gamera. So the bad Space Woman tracks them down and vaporizes their space van with her ray gun. Mission accomplished! The Zannon are happy with their dedicated employee. Luckily, though, the good Space Women are miniaturized in their terrarium, so Kenny rescues them.

Later on Gamera valiantly uses stock footage to destroy Jiger. The Zannon are pissed. They dealt with the little boy, they dealt with the Space Women, but dammit, this giant monster continues screwing with them for no good reason!

Bad Space Woman Giruge gets an idea -- if Gamera keeps trashing their monsters, why not put Gamera to work. The Zannon stick a control disk to his neck and send him on a rampage, which is actually stock footage from his original movie.

There's one cool little scene, where Gamera moves through the frame and his tail knocks over a poster. The camera zooms in on the poster, lingering on it for a good ten seconds. The creature in the poster? It's Godzilla. Ha ha, a little kaiju in-joke there.

Obviously, this is all bad news. The good Space Women and Kenny figure it out though. This leads to a scene where Kilara has to transform to her super self, and takes off flying like Superman, dodging Zannon rays from outer space, until she reaches Gamera and perches on the control disk, escaping just in time as a Zannon ray vaporizes it and frees Gamera.

Gamera flies off into outer space to do battle with Guiron. Meanwhile, Giruge finally tracks down the good guys, and prepares to off them. This leads to a fairly well done catfight between Kilara and Giruge, good vs. evil. That professional wrestling background really shines through. Evil is defeated and ashamed of itself. Giruge tries to kill herself, but is talked out of it. This is followed by stock footage of Gamera kicking Guiron's ass.

Which is then followed by inexplicable stock footage of Gamera and Galaxy Train 999 or somesuch. But that last bit might be a dream too, because bad Space babe wakes up in Kenny's bed and meets Kenny's mom. But that part could be a dream too, 'cause I've had dreams of bad space babes in my bed and mom walking in.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, while Gamera's been off in space lollygagging, Barugon is breaking out the stock footage with some authentic city bashing. Stock footage Gamera comes by and sorts him out, but good.

But now, things get serious. The Zannon decide to hell with these monsters. They're just going to cut out the middleman and trash Earth themselves. Gamera flies out to the Zannon spaceship and destroys it in a cataclysmic but really unimpressive special effect. The Space Women change into their super costumes and fly off.

The end of the movie, and the end of the Gamera series.

Super Monster Gamera is probably the most reviled movie in the Gamera canon, which is remarkable when you consider some of the other candidates -- I can't watch Gamera vs. Jiger all the way through without severe nosebleeds, and sections of Gamera vs. Guiron have actually knocked me unconscious.

The truth is that I rather like it. As movies go, yes it's a stock footage extravaganza. But the monster battles are edited to be brisk, fast moving and exciting, the plot moves along swiftly and never gets bogged down, Kenny is rather more appealing and less implausible than usual (no walking into military command centers and everyone listening to him, no voyages to foreign planets in gratuitously placed flying saucers, and no submersible voyages into Gamera's arteries). The movie is fundamentally fun and good-hearted.

Rather than going into a formal examination of what the hell is going on with it, I thought I'd just render the whole thing as Q & A.

ISN'T SUPER MONSTER GAMERA JUST A CUT AND PASTE JOB? Yes it is. There may be no more than two minutes of new Gamera footage in here, if that, and if so, it's partials of the suit and mock-up. Just about all the Gamera and Monster footage, and a large part of the movie's running time, is taken directly from all of the previous Gamera movies. In addition, we've got footage culled from Space Battleship Yamato (a.k.a., Star Blazers) and Galaxy Train 999. Not actually directly stolen, but just as clearly ripped off, are ideas, images, and even scenes from Superman: The Movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mothra, Godzilla, King of the Monsters, and Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. There's a lot that's borrowed in this movie, either in terms of images and ideas, or in terms of actual footage.

HOW DID THEY EXPECT TO GET AWAY WITH THAT? Well, you've got to remember that this is 1980. VCRs hadn't quite hit the market yet. So really, the old Gamera movies simply weren't readily available for comparison, they hadn't been in theatrical release for ten to fifteen years, so it probably seemed safe enough. The scenes would look familiar, but unless you were a colossal Gamera nerd with a reasonable amount of wealth, it wouldn't have been that big a deal. Of course, VCRs made it a lot easier to get hoity toity over this kind of thing, because even a poor Gamera nerd could amass his own collection. The truth is, however, that stock footage had become a staple of kaiju movies. The American versions of the prior Gamera movies (and quite possibly the original Japanese editions) used stock footage extensively to pad the running time and showcase Gamera, usually at the front end. Meanwhile, several of Godzilla's latter movies began to make extensive use of stock footage, notably Godzilla's Revenge, a trend that continued right up to Godzilla: Final Wars. Frankly, I'm not that bothered by it. Keep in mind that like almost all kaiju movies, this was made principally for children and teens, most of the intended audience would never have seen the original movies theatrically, and only occasionally seen it on television. I'm inclined to cut quite a bit of slack, and the sheer volume of the stock footage actually becomes entertaining. It makes for nonstop action, the tedium is removed from previous monster battles, and it actually integrates into the plot rather nicely. Godzilla's Revenge does a lot worse with less.

DID THEY REALLY STEAL FOOTAGE FROM STAR WARS? No and Yes. That's not actual Star Wars footage. But the design of the ship is clearly based on an Imperial Star Destroyer, they just used a different set of model kits and stretched out the model a bit. And of course, the establishing tracking shot is straight from Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope.

WHAT'S WITH THE CARTOON CLIPS CUT IN? In one scene, Gamera is flying through space and approaches a spaceship. It turns out to be the Space Battleship Yamato, which looms large, but then turns its tail and flees. It's a weird mix of combining live action and animation. Then Kenny wakes up and says, "It was all a dream... or was it?" I'm thinking, yeah, it was a dream, Kenny. The second scene, Gamera is flying through space again, after kicking Guiron's ass, and all of a sudden, there's some shots from Galaxy Train 999... immediately after which the bad space girl wakes up in Kenny's room, in bed with Kenny, and his mom walks in. So I'm pretty sure that was a dream too, though in this case, it's her dream, not Kenny's. As to why they did it? I have no idea. I'd say to pad the running time, but at most, the two scenes maybe add only a couple of minutes. So, instead, I have to guess that there was some weird Japanese metaphor at work.

IS THIS MOVIE ALL ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN KENNY'S HEAD? I.e., is this entirely a child's subjective dream or daydream, with nothing actually going on in the real world? There's actually something to be said for that. Kenny frees his turtle, and later suggests that it will turn into Gamera. Gamera later flies over the city, but Kenny is the only one who seems to notice. One of the Space Women observes that Kenny will see Gamera defeat Gyaos in his dreams, and indeed, he wakes up having dreamt of it. Gamera's encounters with cartoons are immediately followed by characters waking up, suggesting that those scenes were definitely dreams. So it does seem possible that the whole thing is happening --Gamera, the monsters, the Zannon, the good and bad Space Women--all inside Kenny's head. On the other hand, there's also evidence that Kenny didn't invent Gamera. Kenny's kiddie friends seem to know about Gamera and seem aware of the turtle's adventures. In at least one scene, Kenny has a magazine with Gamera on the cover. On the balance, it seems that Gamera is a pre-existing monster. The big challenge to the 'it's all Kenny's fantasy' theory is that Kenny is actually offscreen for a lot of the action. The good and bad Space Women carry out their actions and machinations around Kenny and without his knowledge. He doesn't know they're Space Women until they tell him or he figures it out, he doesn't know which side the bad one is on. Nor does the plot revolve centrally around him, as it does for children in the Gyaos, Guiron and Jiger movies. Rather, he's mostly a spectator and a minor participant.

BUT DOESN'T KENNY CREATE GAMERA? DOESN'T HIS LITTLE PET TURTLE TRANSFORM INTO GAMERA? No, what he does is release a pet turtle that he's acquired because of his Gamera fixation, and then later on, he expresses the wish that his freed turtle will turn into Gamera and fight Gyaos. This seems to be an homage (steal) of plot points from the original Gamera movie where a confused boy believes that his own lost pet turtle has somehow transformed into Gamera. On the other hand, we never see the transformation from pet to Gamera. Instead, Gamera appears after Gyaos has been causing trouble for quite some time. So it may simply be a long dormant Gamera reviving to battle a monster, as with the prior movies. Also, perhaps significantly, Gamera appears after the space ladies have clearly gone to a park and transformed to their space forms in order to summon Gamera (although they don't actually do much summoning). So, it's wide open to choose your own interpretation, but frankly, I think that Kenny's just fantasizing when he thinks he's 'created' Gamera. On the other hand, Kenny does seem to have a psychic rapport with Gamera, as acknowledged by both good and bad Space Women, and in one sequence, even appears to psychically witness his defeat of Gyaos through a dream. But children with psychic links to Gamera are well established, particularly in the later Gamera films.

ISN'T THIS THE MOST ANNOYING KENNY EVER? Not by a country mile. The Kenny from Godzilla's Revenge is way more obnoxious. Other superhumanly annoying Kenny's include the one from Gamera vs. Gaos, Gamera vs. Jiger, and Gamera vs. Guiron. Our boy is actually pretty tolerable, except for his penchant for singing Gamera songs on a home organ.

IS THE SPACE WOMAN REALLY A DYKE, OR ARE YOU JUST BEING HOMOPHOBIC? We don't actually see her frenching her little space buddies or anything, so we don't know that she's actually technically a dyke. On the other hand, she's a statuesque woman a full head taller than her two space friends, she's got short hair in a butch cut, she dresses in pants, blouses or shirts with the sleeves rolled up, wears a leather jacket with the collar up, drives a van and runs her own business, a pet store. In short, thoroughly non-traditional and more than a little androgynous. All the other female characters dress femme, with long hair, do's, skirts and frilly blouses --i.e., femmes or traditional Japanese women. So, I'm thinking, dyke. But this isn't a slur or homophobic reference. Space Woman Kilara might be queer, but she's also the leader of the good guys, bonds with Kenny, is shown as warm, principled and human. She demonstrates courage and integrity throughout, and takes care of all the heroic stuff, including rescuing Gamera from mind control, saving Kenny from the bad girl, and having a heroic catfight. In short, she's gay as hell, but she's a positive gay role model. Who'd have thunk?

WHO WAS KILARA, THE GOOD SPACE WOMAN? It turns out that she's played by Mach or Mahha Fumiake, who was at the time Japan's leading female professional wrestler, so it appears that she comes by her butch looks and cat fighting abilities honestly. Mach's abilities and style as a professional wrestler made her a cult celebrity, and she starred in a half dozen movies both before and after Super Monster Gamera. Her most famous films, the ones you're most likely to see over here in the foreign film section, are her Taxing Woman roles.

WHAT'S WITH THE OTHER SPACE WOMEN? One is a secretary for a Mazda car dealership or car rental place, the other is a school teacher. Both of these are traditional female oriented, service sector support jobs. They both wear skirts, dresses, blouses, light coloured pastel clothing with lots of frills, and have their long hair styled. They're very much in the traditional feminine mold in the service industry. As nearly as I can tell, they don't actually do anything, they're just there to keep the lead Space Woman company. Their role is to emphasize the positive nature of Kilara by giving her friends. The bad Space Woman has no friends, just a very demanding boss who is constantly harping on her to get results. Interestingly, the bad Space Woman sort of falls in between dyke and femme in terms of sex role. She wears a leather skirt and sharp cut jacket, with striking dark 'power colour' long hair, styled professionally. The colour choice is more striking. She definitely follows a more feminine model than the good Space Woman. However, rather than being traditionally feminine, she looks and acts like a tough Japanese businesswoman, not properly submissive, but in some ways she is more threatening to men, and of the women, she's the most overtly aggressive. Oddly, there are no significant adult male characters in this movie. Male characters consist of a policeman in one scene, bystanders and extras, a cab driver has a line, Kenny has some boy friends, and of course the Zannon leader has a male voice. But apart from Kenny, all the significant characters are women: Kenny's mother. The three good Space Women. The one bad Space Woman. So there is some interesting gender commentary that seems to have slipped unnoticed into a children's film.

DO THE SPACE WOMEN ACTUALLY HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH GAMERA? Not really. They have no weapons, no explosives, and even when they do get their hands on a ray gun, they have no use for it. They get the notice from the Zannon and they're not happy about it, but they don't really come up with a plan or anything. They don't control or direct Gamera in any way, so the Zannon are barking up the wrong tree there. There's some suggestion that they may have summoned Gamera, initially, but it's just a hint. Later on, they risk their lives to save Gamera from mind control, and they rescue Kenny at one point and kick the ass of the evil space babe at another. But mostly, they're just spectators.

WHO ARE THE ZANNON? No idea. They never come out of their spaceship, so we have no clue as to who or what they are. It appears that Zannon is the name of the spaceship, rather than the alien race. At one point, the good Space Women say that the Zannon destroyed their world, known as 'peaceful star.' In another spot, they seem to suggest that they've destroyed their home world, and need Earth to live. Their space-henchwoman is human, so they might be, of course, as they're pushy and treat her like dirt. On the other hand, at one point, when Gamera is fighting Viras, she seems to call it Zannon. Which implies that the Zannon might be of the Viras race. And they seem to have the numbers of all of Gamera's previous monsters, even including one located off the Earth.

SO WHERE DOES THIS MOVIE FIT IN THE GAMERA CANON? I guess the big question is whether Super Monster Gamera should be considered as part of the Showa Gamera series and Showa Gamera continuity, or whether it should be an independent one off, with its own one movie continuity, kind of like some of the Millenium Godzilla films. Or to put it another this related at all to the previous Gamera history, or is it off in its own little universe? I suppose we can go any which way. It may be totally Kenny's fantasy, utterly disconnected from any other Gamera reality and not even quite real. Or it may be a complete stand alone Gamera universe. But I'd argue that this really and properly fits into the Showa Gamera canon as its final coda. We have to understand that arguing about canon is often a fanboy conceit. The makers of the original Godzilla and Gamera series didn't worry too much about continuity; for them, these were just projects to make a bit of money. There were no continuing actors or continuing plots from movie to movie, stock footage was often recycled from film to film. For Gamera, continuity largely consisted of the second movie acknowledging the end of the first, and then later, preliminary clips of previous movies.

SO WHAT'S THE SHOWA CONTINUITY ARGUMENT? Essentially, this movie shows all the Showa traits and tropes. It, like all previous Gamera movies, was directed by Noriaki Yuasu, and written by Nisan Takahashi. There's alien invaders -- Gamera vs. Zigra and Gamera vs. Viras. There's both good and evil space babes, as seen in Gamera vs. Zigra and Gamera vs. Guiron [only evil space babes appeared in those latter two films--CN]. There's a Kenny who seems to be psychically linked to Gamera, as seen in several films. The handful of new special effects, the acting, the child oriented storyline, all seem pretty strongly Showa. In short, in terms of plot and basic elements, this is actually pretty standard to the traditional Gamera series. But there's actually a few internal clues that imply this might be part of the continuity. First, Gamera seems to be a pre-existing monster, he appears on magazine covers that Kenny owns, apparently shows up in Shonen Jump, and other children are aware of Gamera. Not only that, but Gyaos appears to be a pre-existing monster as well -- Kenny and apparently other people know who it is, suggesting that a Gyaos has rampaged before. The Zannon aliens also explicitly use Jiger's name when they send him into action, again suggesting that this is a known monster. It's pretty clear that the Zannon aren't bringing these monsters with them, they appear to be activating or reactivating dormant monsters (although at least one of these is on a nearby planetoid). My theory is that following his last battle, Gamera became dormant for years, until the Zannon come along and start reactivating monsters. The Zannon may be Zigrans, Virasians, a coalition of the two, or even a third alien race. The good space alien girls may actually be refugees from Tera, well before the events of Gamera vs. Guiron. Gamera is roused into a series of brutal battles against old foes, but since he's already damaged them previously, they're easier to defeat this time around. In the end, Gamera's heroic final battles end in mutual destruction, as he saves Earth and takes out the enemy ship. A heroic death for a heroic monster, it's a fitting and deliberate coda to the Showa series. In comparison, the Godzilla Showa series simply comes to an unresolved stop at the end of Terror of Mechagodzilla.

TIME TROUBLES IN GAMERA CONTINUITY? The rest of the Showa Gamera series ran from 1965 to 1971, and comprised six films. A seventh, Gamera vs Garasharp, planned for 1972, never materialized. So there's a nine year gap between Super Monster Gamera and the rest. But the big problem is that Gamera vs. Zigra is set in the future, in the far off year of 1985. Super Monster Gamera was made in 1980, and features stock footage of Gamera battling Zigra. So is the stock footage actually Gamera's first battle with Zigra, and the rematch is five years later? This seems unlikely, since Gamera vs. Zigra clearly depicts Zigra's journey to and first appearance on Earth. This implies that Super Monster Gamera actually takes place further into the future, perhaps 1990 or later.

WAIT A SECOND, GARASHARP? As I understand it, Gamera vs Garasharp was planned as the seventh Gamera movie for 1972. Apparently it was revived as a project for a follow up to Super Monster Gamera, but again failed to materialize. Garasharp was intended to be a serpent monster, a sort of horned cobra with poisonous breath and a sonic rattle. Other ideas for it were fire breathing and multiple heads. The plot twist at the end was that after destroying Garasharp there would be two baby Garasharps, who Gamera would rescue and carry to a deserted island. Sadly, it never made it out of pre-production. Years later, some fans got access to some of the storyboards and model pics and made a short video out of it that you can find on YouTube. There's at least one rumour that it was also intended as a follow up to Super Monster Gamera, but if so, it never materialized, and the story is most likely apocryphal.

WHAT HAPPENED? Well, basically, the Daiei film studio that made the Gamera films went bankrupt in 1971, with Gamera vs Garasharp in pre-production. That killed that film. Daiei was sold in 1974 to Tokuma Shoten, an entertainment company. Apparently, Super Monster Gamera was an attempt in 1980 to pull the studio out of bankruptcy with a monster hit, explaining the low budget, extensive stock footage, and threadbare production values. It didn't work, as Super Monster Gamera flopped at the box office.

BACK TO SUPER MONSTER GAMERA-- WAS THAT REALLY A GODZILLA REFERENCE? Yes and no. If you look carefully at the poster, the big dorsal spikes on Godzilla's back are carefully erased out. Obviously, they were trying, as with the Imperial Star Destroyer, to come as close as they could without getting sued. But despite the missing dorsal spikes, the figure in the poster is such a dead ringer for Godzilla, that the difference isn't worth commenting on. It was meant to be recognized as Godzilla. It's basically an in-joke, a salute from one franchise to another.

THE KAIJU HOLY GRAIL? However, in fanboy terms, it's like the holy grail. It's like that scene in Predator 2, where an Alien xenomorph skull appears as a trophy, or that scene at the end of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday where Freddy Krueger's glove grabs the mask, or that scene at the end of the Hulk reboot where Tony Stark walks in. Here's the thing: the presence of the Godzilla or pseudo-Godzilla poster in a Gamera movie means that Godzilla, or something so much like him as not to make a difference, exists in Gamera's native universe (or Gamera exists in Godzilla's home universe). Now, we can't tell if he exists merely as a fictional construct, i.e., that Godzilla is merely a movie, a play, a radio story, novel, etc., or if Godzilla in the Gamera world is another full-sized living, breathing monster. It can go either way. But just the possibility that he's real is wide open, it's a bona fide connection merging the two major kaiju franchises.

GAMERA AND GODZILLA, THAT'LL NEVER HAPPEN: Around 2004-2005, Kadukowa Pictures, the successor to Daiei and holder of the Gamera franchise, approached Toho with a proposal for a Gamera vs. Godzilla crossover film. Sadly, Toho said no. So Kadukowa went ahead with Gamera the Brave, featuring a monster called Zedus, who bears something of a vague resemblance to Godzilla... purely coincidental, of course.

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