It’s a beautiful day in Tokyo. People are going about their daily lives. Getting on and off trains, going to work, coming home, living. When suddenly, a rumble stops the city. Everyone feels the ground shaking rhythmically below them. They look around when they hear an ear-piercing roar! All around them, windows shatter and the world falls down around them…
If you grew up watching the sci-fi channel on Saturday mornings, this scene must sound familiar to you. You probably saw this in a “Kaiju” movie.
The king of Kaiju films is of course, Godzilla. Godzilla debuted in 1954 and has led the pack of Kaiju since. His is the standard against which all others are measured. It is also the longest-running movie franchise in history.
But, Godzilla is not alone. If you expand outside of Godzilla you will find many other great Kaiju movies.
Second to Godzilla would be Mothra. Mothra is a giant moth. Yeah… It doesn’t sound that cool, but really it is. When an overzealous entrepreneur tries to take advantage of Infant Island and it’s islanders, the island’s ancient deity reawakens to protect it.
Another great Kaiju is Gamera. Gamera is a giant prehistoric turtle that was woken up by a low-level atomic bomb. He then travels to Tokyo and proceeds to lay waste to Tokyo.
One relatively unknown Kaiju in the west is Daimajin (Great Demon God). The Daimajin is a vengeful spirit that inhabits a giant statue that punishes evil-doers. Neither good or evil, the Daimajin is a force of revenge.
Ultraman is another famous character. The Ultraman franchise is a series of TV shows and movies that have been around since 1966. Ultraman is not himself a Kaiju, but he fights them to protect the earth.
Kaiju movies are all over the place. Go check them out! You won’t regret it.