Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. 2003 Movie Review

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


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Movie Information

Directed by

Masaaki Tezuka

Produced by

Shogo Tomiyama

Written by

Masaaki Tezuka
Masahiro Yokotani

Starring

Noboru Kaneko
Miho Yoshioka
Mitsuki Koga
Tsutomu Kitagawa as Godzilla

Music by

Michiru Ôshima

Cinematography

Yoshinori Sekiguchi

Production
company

Toho

Distributed by

Toho

Release dates

13 December 2003

Running time

91 Minutes

Country

Japan

Language

Japanese

Box office

US $12 million

Cast

  • Noboru Kaneko as Yoshito Chujo
  • Miho Yoshioka as JXSDF Lt. Azusa Kisaragi
  • Mitsuki Koga as Kiryu Operator Kyosuke Akiba
  • Masami Nagasawa and Chihiro Otsuka as the Shobijin
  • Hiroshi Koizumi as Dr. Shinichi Chujo
  • Yumiko Shaku as JXSDF First Lt. Akane Yashiro
  • Koh Takasugi as JXSDF Colonel Togashi
  • Kenta Suga as Shun Chujo
  • Akira Nakao as Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi
  • Koichi Ueda as General Dobashi
  • Naomasa Rokudaira as Goro Kanno
  • Tsutomu Kitagawa as Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, the primary antagonist
  • Mothra, a giant, divine moth-like deity who will fight Godzilla, but will wage war on Japan if Godzilla’s bones aren’t returned to the sea.
  • Motokuni Nakagawa as Kiryu, the primary protagonist
  • Kamoebas – a giant turtle who was in an unseen fight with Godzilla and washed up on the shore to Tokyo dead

Synopsis

A year after Godzilla and Kiryu’s (Mechagodzilla’s) first battle, Kiryu is still under repairs at the Japanese Counter-Xenomorph Defense Force (JXSDF) dock in Hachioji.

In Hawaii, an unidentified flying object is spotted on American radar flying towards Tokyo. Jets are sent out to investigate this mysterious being tunneling its way through the clouds. While chasing the object, the pilots hear singing in the background and fire missiles on the target. The object then shoots a shiny yellow powder that destroys the missiles and flies away from the screen. A satellite though captures a portion of the mysterious being which discovers it to be the wings of a moth. The title then rolls, “GODZILLA X MOTHRA X MECHAGODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S.”

While Shinichi Cujo is vacationing with his grandon Shun and nephew Yoshito, a member of the Kiryu ground crew, in his country home Karuizawa, the ground begins to shake.  Shinichi is suddenly called by mysterious female voices and looks down on a table to find some old acquaintances, the Shojobin. Cujo had helped them 43 years earlier when Mothra (remember, this movie is a direct sequel to Mothra (1961)) rampaged through Tokyo.

The Shojobin tell Cujo that Godzilla’s bones, which were used to construct Kiryu, must be brought back to the sea because, “No human being may touch the souls of the dead,” the Shojobin say. They warn that if the bones are not returned, then Mothra will declare on the human race and both the Shojobin and Mothra do not want that war to happen.

Yoshito is very skeptical because Mothra had destroyed Tokyo 43 years before and that Japan would be helpless without Kiryu. The Shojobin though try to reassure him that Mothra will protect the people if Godzilla ever returns.  The Cujos soon hear Mothra’s sqeak and find her outside the house. The giant moth then flies away with the Shojobin.

Yoshito returns to work in the Kiryu repair dock. A group of new Kiryu Squad Members walks by and Yoshito recognizes one of the ladies. That evening, a banquet is held for three Kiryu Squad Members, Akane Yashiro, Susumu Hayama and Kenji Sekine. The three are studying advanced military strategies in the U.S. At the banquet, Yoshito meets up with the girl he saw before whose name is Azusa Kisaragi. The two had worked together four years before. Kisaragi is the new pilot for the Shiragashi. “Sure, he may be a good pilot, I grant you, but the way he treats machines, it’s a wonder there’s anything left.” Akiba then makes a fist and thrusts it a couple of inches in front of Yoshito’s face. He then opens his palm to reveal a dead fly.

Yoshito then walks to the Kiryu repair dock. Yashiro soon comes in and they both look at Kiryu. “I get the feeling it doesn’t want to fight Godzilla anymore,” she says. “Maybe it’s better if it stays that way, in disrepair.”

The next day, Cujo visits his old friend, Prime Minister Igarashi, and tells him of the Shojobin’s plea. Igarashi of course is skeptical because of Mothra’s 1961 attack and because he cannot give up the country’s only line of defense. “It’s my duty to protect every citizen of this nation,” Igarashi says as he looks out the window. Cujo stands up and replies, “Even if that defense brings disaster to those you’re trying to protect?”

Meanwhile, the carcass of a species of giant turtles named Kameoba is found on Kujukuri Beach in the Chiba prefecture. The claw marks on the creature’s neck only confirms that it was killed by Godzilla.

In the Pacific, off Guam, an American nuclear submarine detects and unidentified object on sonar. As it gets closer, one of the crewmembers detects big heartbeats but by then it’s too late. Godzilla destroys the submarine and absorbs its radiation.

In the Kiryu repair dock, Kanno tells government officials that a synthetic diamond 1.25 M in diameter would be needed to replace the Absolute Zero, which was damaged a year earlier. Unfortunately, the government has budget restrictions and would be unable to purchase one. Secretary of Defense Dobashi then tells Kanno about the Guam incident and asks if Kiryu will be able to move without the Absolute Zero. Kanno says yes but Yoshito bumps in and says that it will be impossible to pull off because they have not done the final checkups yet and that it will take at least two weeks to do so. “I don’t have the time!” Dobashi explains. “What happens if Godzilla attacks within the next two weeks?”

As Yoshito is walking with his fellow mechanics down the hall, Akiba yells out to him. “You don’t want Mechagodzilla to fight?” Akiba says. “Somebody told me your uncle went to see the prime minister to try and stop the Kiryu project. If we dump Kiryu, do you think Mothra will defend the country? What is it? Maybe you’re just scared of fighting Godzilla.”

Angered, Yoshito tries to fight Akiba but is restrained by his colleagues. “I’ve worked here for over four years, you hear me?” Yoshito yells. “No one knows Kiryu better than me!” Yoshito escapes the restraint while Akiba evades a punch and trips Yoshito on the ground. “You’re just a mechanic,” Akiba says. “Don’t mix it up with a professional fighter.”

Soon enough, Godzilla’s is spotted and heads towards Shinagawa. The JXSDF tries to neutralize him but fail. Godzilla soon arrives on shore and all targets are aimed at a scar on Godzilla’s chest that was left where by the Absolute Zero a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Shun goes to a local school and sets up Mothra’s symbol with desks and chairs. Shinichi arrives to find his grandson. When Shun’s finished, Mothra immediately flies over and attacks Godzilla. The two monsters fight until sundown. Suddenly, Mothra sprays a golden powder, her final line of defense – a sign that she’s going to die.

Igarashi cannot stand watching Mothra die and despair and decides to launch Kiryu. Before it is launched, the JXSDF replaces the damaged Absolute Zero with the Triple Hyper Maser. Kiryu makes it on time before Godzilla gives Mothra the final blow with his atomic ray.

Meanwhile in Himagojima, a lone Mothra egg hatches twin larvae, much to the Shojobin’s surprise. The two caterpillars then swim towards Tokyo to fight Godzilla. Kiryu is hit badly with Godzilla’s atomic ray and needs repair. Before Godzilla is able to destroy it, the Mothra larvae shoot their silk cocoon. Yoshito rushes towards Kiryu and quickly fixes it while the maser tanks, the Shiragashi and the Mothra twins distract Godzilla. Yoshito is unable to get out of Kiryu but says everything is all clear anyways. Kiryu takes off and continues its battle.

Godzilla kills the adult Mothra with his atomic ray. The twin Mothra’s eyes turn from a blue to a red and charge at Godzilla in anger. Kiryu and Godzilla meet again and destroy the Diet Building in the process. Kiryu soon gains the upperhand and Akiba transforms Kiryu’s right arm into a giant drill. Kiryu jams the spinning drill into Godzilla’s scar and the king of the monsters cries in pain. Godzilla stumbles back a few steps and Kiryu fires both the Triple Hyper Maser and the Twin Maser from the mouth at Godzilla’s open wound.

Godzilla roars again. Suddenly, images of a mushroom cloud, Godzilla’s 1954 attack on Tokyo, the Oxygen Destroyer and Akane yelling “Kiryu!” flash through Kiryu’s head. Kiryu just stands still while a wounded Godzilla gets covered in silk.

Dobashi orders Kiryu to finish Godzilla but Kiryu does not respond. It is running amok again! Kiryu then talks towards a cocooned Godzilla, grabs him with his hands and cover plates and takes off. Dobashi orders Kiryu to be shot down but Yoshito’s voice comes through the speakers. “Kiryu wants to fly toward the Sea of Japan, to sink to the bottom of the sea together with Godzilla,” Yoshito says.

The hatch on Kiryu burst open and Yoshito is almost thrown out of Kiryu. Azusa flies towards Kiryu to rescue Yoshito who is hanging off of Kiryu. Yoshito then looks at the monitor inside Kiryu and the words “SAYONARA YOSHITO” flash across the screen. “Sayonara, Kiryu,” Yoshito whispers before he lets go. Yoshito flies through the air and Akiba ejects from the Shiragashi, catching Yoshito in time and activating the parachute. Kiryu plunges into the sea with Godzilla and sinks to the bottom. The Mothra larvae swim back to Infant Island with the Shobijin. As Yoshito sits safely in an emergency life raft, he wonders aloud, “Did Kiryu save me?” Akiba laughs and replies, “Idiot! I’m the one who saved your ass!” The Shobijin’s voice can be heard, thanking everyone for their courage and that the souls of the dead can finally rest in peace.

The ending credits roll and we are then shown a DNA storage device being closed. One of the labels read, “1954 Godzilla DNA. Date of Extraction: 11/03/1999.”

Synopsis by Barney Buckley

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What I like about this movie

It is the second part of the battle between Mechagodzilla I like the fact that when they fall in this movie they did in fact destroy “the National Diet Building” I thought that was cool because in most Godzilla films usually it is the Tokyo Tower that gets destroyed it also gets destroyed in this movie as well but this was the first.

The fight scenes were a little bit better as they were loaded with special effects especially coming from Mechagodzilla and the fight scenes with Mothra and her larva were also pretty neat as well. Mechagodzilla was equipped with a not so powerful hyper Maser instead of the “Absolute Zero Cannon” weapon that was eventually replaced and then this movie because it was damaged in the last movie.

Another thing I liked about this is that Mechagodzilla towards the and seemed to have empathy for Godzilla and decided to take matters into his own hands and sacrifice himself as well as Godzilla as a splashdown into the Japan trench. Like the last movie the musical score by “Michiru Oshima” her music is as exceptional. One last thing I do like about these movies is the cameo appearances of the previous actors from the previous movies in this particular movie “Yumiko Shaku” she did in fact make a cameo appearance in this movie from her last movie she was in. It seems that in the Shinsei Series actors from previous movies made cameo appearances in the next movies in most cases.

What I did not like about the Movie

There wasn’t too much about this movie that I did not like. The one thing it did bother me like its predecessor Godzilla against Mechagodzilla 2002 is the fact that when Mechagodzilla fired on Godzilla he just stood there without moving like there was no actor in the Godzilla suits. This did not sit well with me it came off a little fake. Like most movies it seems that the military seems a thank they can stop Godzilla and like every Godzilla movie out there they don’t seem to come to their senses and realize they cannot stop Godzilla this one is no exception to the rule. One last thing that I did not like about this movie or its predecessor is the fact that Mechagodzilla could not fly on his own I’m not sure as to why they did this they would hook him up the cables and slime with their jets I didn’t like this concept even though you do see Mechagodzilla in this movie with turbines which may it should have been capable of flying but that’s just my opinion.

Trivia

The monster that was originally washed up on shore in this movie was originally supposed to be Anguirus. However the producer Shogo Tomiyama did convince the director to change it to the less popular guide you they call Kamoebas to avoid any outrage from the fans. Even though Anguirus is a very popular monster this particular card you did appear in over six Godzilla movies coming in third place in a G-fan magazine poll for favorite monster right behind Godzilla and Gamera this is how popular Anguirus is. Kamoebas is a much more obscured monster having previously appeared only in one film Yog Monster from Space which came out in 1970.

Is after the adult Mothra’s death the eyes of her offspring change from blue to red. Following the color change they became very active fighters against Godzilla. In the previous movie Godzilla against Mechagodzilla which came out in 2002 when it went out of control it’s eyes turned red as well.

In this film, Hiroshi Koizumi reprises his role of Professor Shin’ichi Chûjô from the original Mothra (1961), which he starred in 40 years earlier.

This would be the first Godzilla film ever to be completed just in time for its preview showing at the Tokyo International Film Festival. All previous Godzilla films since Godzilla versus King Ghidorah 1991 were screened there around a month before their usual general release date (early-mid-December) but were still very busy and finishing up the post product. This includes a special effects that were not complete wires were visible etc. blah blah blah.

Closing Statements

Godzilla: Tokyo SOS is the second part two the Mechagodzilla class of the Titans which in my opinion it has some flaws however the story line is quite interesting enough to say that both of these movies fit well with each other as it is the only two movies that are affiliated with each other within the Shinsei Series.

If you are into Mechagodzilla you will truly like his design as he looks absolutely spectacular is fighting styles are superb as well with a few exceptions of course I would prefer to see this Mechagodzilla fly as well however he doesn’t he is transported by jets. Between the two stories they do fit well with each other as Godzilla does make his return in the second movie in the fight scenes are truly decent to watch as Godzilla and Mechagodzilla destroy the national diet building I thought that was a cool concept. Like I mentioned before if you like these kind of movies this was not bad at all in my opinion is not the best but it’s not the worst either.

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