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"I nearly died on Lagos Island, along with my entire garrison, but the dinosaur saved us all. Now all the prosperity that I built...it's being destroyed by the very same dinosaur as we speak. How ironic!"
~ Yasuaki Shindo
The eighteenth Godzilla film and the third in the Heisei series. Though Godzilla vs. Biollante was a creative film, it didn't exactly get in the yen. After some legal rangling with King Kong, Toho settled on King Ghidorah. The film explored the origins of Godzilla, and the plot was influenced by Japan's growing influence and the fear that Japan Takes Over the World. This wasn't helped with the portrayal of American soldiers in World War II and the antagonists being Western Terrorists from the future, though the director said it wasn't an Anti-American film. At any rate, this entry did well at the box office, inspiring the return of other old Godzilla foes in future films.
People come from the future to offer to erase Godzilla from history. After observing the dinosaur that would become the King of the Monster save a Japanese brigade from the Americans, they teleport Godzillasaurus into the sea. But another monster takes his place: King Ghidorah, a mutation of three pets of the future called Dorats. The Futurians use King Ghidorah to terrorize Japan, so as to prevent the Japanese Empire from being born. With the help of a renegade Futurian, our human heroes lay their hopes in reviving Godzilla. But would it be wise in reviving such a destruction monster? And if the past had been changed, why can they still remember the King of the Monsters...
This film contains examples of
- Action Girl: Not as great as others, but Emi is able to hold off M-11 pretty well in the chase scene and is able to go toe-to-toe with Godzilla while piloting Mecha-King Ghidorah.
- But Not Too Foreign: Emi Kano his half Japanese. Guess who defects to the good guys in the end.
- Choke Holds: King Ghidorah does this with Godzilla, to the point foam comes out of his mouth. This doesn't take Godzilla down, though.
- Cyborg: Mecha-Ghidorah
- Expy: M-11, he seems to take a lot of ques from the Terminator.
- Fusion dance: The dorats. After getting exposed to the H-bomb that originally created Godzilla they somehow merge and become King Ghidorah.
- Godzilla Threshold: Gets crossed to defeat King Ghidorah. Turns out it wasn't a good idea...
- Harp of Femininity: Strangely, a harp plays when Godzilla first surfaces.
- Heel Face Turn: Emi Kano, after King Ghidorah wreaks havoc on Fukuoka. M-11 as well, after Emi does some reprogramming. And King Ghidorah...kinda sorta.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Emi wears some in the raid on the Futurians
- Hey Its That Roar: When Godzillasaurus starts being wounded by the battleships, he begins to sound like Gamera.
- Japan Takes Over the World: By 2204, Japan has become rich enough to buy off the nations of South America and Africa.
- Luke, you are my father: Before returning to the future Emi reveals to Terasawa that he is her ancestor.
- My God, What Have I Done?: It's clear that Emi begins regreting the whole operation the minute the other Futurians mention King Ghidorah's name.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Nice job giving Godzilla a unnecessary power boost, Shindou and company!
- Technically, it wasn't their fault. On the below Poor Communication Kills, they were gonna inform of Godzilla's existence anyway, so that it wasn't necessary to nuke the thing. The problem is that M-11 interfered, so they had no way to telling the government.
- However, at the start of the film Godzilla was still weakened by the anti nuclear energy bacteria he was infected with in the previous film, so if they hadn't set out to irradiate him Godzilla wouldn't have been in any shape to fight King Ghidorah.
- No Export for You: There was a very long pause of Godzilla movies not being released over to the U.S. and it started with this one.
- Explanation: There was a huge controversy over the footage of Godzillasaurus killing American G.I.s during the WWII sequence, along with the fact that the main villains were Westerners. This, coupled with the strained economic tensions between the U.S. and Japan at the time, resulted in the aforementioned long pause in U.S. distribution.
- Off with His Head: King Ghidorah's middle head gets blown off in his defeat. It gets replaced by a metal head.
- Older Than They Look: Shindou looks pretty good for someone probably in his seventies.
- Poor Communication Kills: Our heroes are about to inform the government that Godzilla still exists anyway, so it's not necessary to nuke him. Then M-11 railroads the plan and the crew of the nuclear submarine dies upon finding Godzilla.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Dorats. Miki agrees, once she gets over her shock. King Ghidorah, not so much.
- Ridiculously-Human Robots: M-11 and the other robots of the Futurians.
- Shout out: While two sailors board the American warship discussing the idea of an island with dinosaurs one says to the other "you can tell your son about it when he's born, Lt. Spielberg." The suggestion being that the man was Steven Spielberg's father.
- Stable Time Loop: The only explanation to why everyone remembers Godzilla, as this SciFi Japanarticle suggests.
- Super Speed: M-11, fast enough to keep up with a jeep and outrun World War II bombs.
- Super Strength: M-11, strong enough to lift a vehicle
- We Can Rebuild Him: How King Ghidorah is resurrected as Mecha-King Ghidorah to fight Godzilla.
- Western Terrorists: But from the future!