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"Even if you're a cyborg, Katsura, I still love you!"
~ Akira Ichinose
"What do your bullets matter? Hahaha!!!"
~ Commander Mugan
The final film of the original series, also known as the Showa Era of the Godzilla series (while Destroy All Monsters is the last film chronologically), and directly taking place after the previous year's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. This is the final Godzilla film directed by the legendary Ishiro Honda.
Picking up shortly after the previous film ended, Terror of Mechagodzilla begins with a submarine looking for the remains of Mechagodzilla off the coast of Okinawa. However, the submarine is soon attacked by a something underwater, and is destroyed. A salvaged recording of the last moments of the crew has the captain saying that they are under attack from a giant dinosaur. We are soon introduced to our main protagonists in this film: Interpol agent Murakoshi (played by Katsumasa Uchida) and marine biologist Akira Ichinose (played by Katsuhiko Sasaki. The main focus of much of the plot is Ichinose's interactions with Katsura Mafune (played by Tomoko Ai), the daughter of a Dr. Shinji Mafune (played by Akihiko Hirata), a once-famous scientist who was ridiculed by the scientific community decades earlier for believing that there was a dinosaur living underwater near Japan, which he named Titanosaurus. Initially, Ichinose and Murakoshi visited the home of the doctor to see him. However, they are informed by Katsura that he is dead and that she destroyed his work after he died. When she presses them for info about their visit, they tell her that her father's research may be connected to the destruction of the submarine.
However, all is not as it seems, for Dr. Mafune is still very much alive, and he is working alongside the Simians, who saved his daughter's life when she was fatally injured during an experiment, and so he works with them out of gratitude. The Simians have also, with the doctor's knowledge, converted Katsura into a cyborg capable of controlling both Titanosaurus and the reconstructed Mechagodzilla. Katsura helps Ichinose with some of her father's surviving research, and the two grow close to each other.
Soon, another submarine encounters Titanosaurus, but this time the submarine escapes when its sonar incapacitates the monster. Armed with this knowledge, Interpol begins constructing a sonar device to use against the monster should it attack land. Ichinose tells Katsura abotu this weakness. Soon, Dr. Mafune launches a premature attack on Tokyo with Titanosaurus. Before they can defend against the dinsoaur, it is discovered that the sonar device has been sabotaged. Fortunately, Godzilla intervenes and faces off againt Titanosaurus. The battle is over when Katsura is injured and falls over a cliff, allowing Titanosaurus to break free of the mind control for a short while, heading back to the sea.
While Dr. Mafune is reprimanded for jumping the gun, Commander Mugan (played by Goro Mutsu) sees this as an opportunity. He knows that Mechagodzilla cannot beat Godzilla alone, but hopes that the interference of Titanosaurus will weaken Godzilla enough to turn the tide in the robot's favor. Katsura has been rescued from the brink of death yet again, but now she is under the near-full control of the Simians. Ichinose, believing that Katsura had died earlier after Titanosaurus's attack, goes to her home to pay his respects to both her and her father; however, he is captured by the Simians and is soon introduced to a very much alive Shinji and Katsura Mafune. Ichinose is baffled by the scientist's decision to side with the Simians, who have setup a small control center in Mafune's lab, away from their base. Ichinose tries to change the doctor's and Katsura's minds, but neither will listen to him.
Meanwhile, Interpol has discovered the location of the Simians' base of operations, where the repaired Mechagodzilla is being held. When Interpol launches it's attack, Mechagodzilla has already been launched, and the police discover that the only people inside of the base are the human slaves that have been captured and tortured by the aliens, and that the base itself has been set for self-destruct by the Simians, who anticipated their arrival. The base is destroyed after the Interpol agents and the freed slaves escape.
The Simians and Dr. Mafune launch their final assault on Tokyo, with Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla reducing much of the city to rubble. Godzilla soon appears, but he is overwhelmed by the combined might of Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla. Even with the help of the JSDF, Godzilla is still outmatched by the titanic duo. Things begin to seem bleak as Godzilla is incapacitated, but Interpol has managed to fix their sonar device, and they use it on Titanosaurus. As Mechagodzilla prepares to destroy the helicopter carrying the device, Godzilla revives and attacks the robot.
Despite his best efforts, Ichinose is still held captive by Dr. Mafune and the Simians. Fortunately, Murakoshi and some other Interpol agents have come to the rescue. Dr. Mafune is fatally wounded in the firefight and Katsura is injured. Most of the other Simians are killed. Mugan escapes and jumps into the ocean. Shortly afterwards, three flying saucers rise from the ocean, carrying the escaping Simians, which are then destroyed by Godzilla. Katsura, knowing that she houses Mechagodzilla's controls inside of her, commits suicide, and dies in Ichinose's arms. With Mechagodzilla now powerless, Godzilla destroys his mechanical double. Titanosaurus, now free from the mind-control, attempts to return to the ocean to live in peace. A battle-weary Godzilla, ignorant of this fact, kills Titanosaurus without hesitation.
Shortly after the battle, Ichinose carries Katsura's lifeless body outside and the film ends as Godzilla returns to the sea.
The Terror of Mechagodzilla was not well received when it was released, and Toho would not produce another Godzilla movie until the king's 30th anniversary in 1984. The film was one of only two Godzilla films to have less than a milliion tickets sold. It would remain the least attended Godzilla film until Godzilla vs. Megaguirus in 2000. This would also be the last Godzilla film to be directed by Ishiro Honda. The music was composed by Akira Ifukube, and the special effects were directed by Teruyoshi Nakano. The film was produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka.
This film contains examples of the following:
- Arbitrary Skepticism: The scientists don't believe Mafune's theory of a dinosaur living near Japan despite the fact that two Godzillas had already come to Japan before doing such (The first was a villain while the other in 1955 had a Heel Face Turn, serving as Japan's protector).
- Alien Invasion: Yep.
- Armor Is Useless: Averted. Mechagodzilla is immune to pretty much everything under the sun, and takes multiple hits from Godzilla's atomic ray without slowing down. He's only destroyed after Katsura, who has Mechagodzilla's controls inside of her, kills herself.
- Blow You Away: Titanosaurus can use his tail like a fan, easily knocking Godzilla off his feet.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to the previous film and the other two before it, TOMG is the darkest Godzilla film in the Showa series since Godzilla vs. Hedorah. Sure, it's not as dark as the first film, but there are definitely clouds hanging overhead. Mechagodzilla's paint scheme even seems to lampshade this, as it is a darker grey compared to the bright silver of the previous film.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Katsura dies in Ichinose's arms after committing suicide.
- Dynamic Entry: Take a wild guess.
- Gentle Giant: Titanosaurus. He is only violent when he's being mind-controlled.
- Genre savvy: During their last battle Godzilla destroyed Mechagodzilla by ripping its head off. He tries that again this time only to learn the aliens had learned their lesson and had installed a second backup head.
- Giant Equals Invincible: Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla are both pretty much immune to bullets and mortars. Titanosaurus is still vulnerable to sonic waves and Godzilla's atomic ray, after receiving multpile hits from it.
- Heroic Sacrifice: After Ichinose refuses to kill her, Katsura takes the laser gun and shoots herself, destroying Mechagodzilla's controls.
- Immune to Bullets: Mugan would like to believe this about himself, and he may be right, but he and his escape ships are definitely not immune to Godzilla's atomic ray.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Apparently, one of the humans who was aiming a sonic emitter onto Titansaurus somehow aim at his neck.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Subverted. Katsura thinks that she can't, so she asks Ichinose to kill her. He refuses, so she takes the gun and destroys Mechagodzilla's controls herself.
- It Only Works Once: Godzilla takes Mechagodzilla's head off like he did before, but this time Mechagodzilla has a backup head that can't be removed so easily. It can also shoot a laser.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Mechagodzilla unleashes a torrent of lasers, rockets, and missiles at Tokyo and later Godzilla.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Katsura Mafune.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Mechagodzilla receives a backup head and...revolving hand missiles. Otherwise, he retains the same weapons and abilities he had in the previous film.
- Naked on Revival: In the Japanese version at least. While reviving Katsura again, they show her breasts (unusual for a Godzilla film). Obviously, this is cut out in the English version so the film can obtain a G-rating. The scene in the Classic Media release.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla are absolutely brutal in their attack on Godzilla.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Commander Mugan, Mugen, or Mugar, which is it?
- Swimming Into The Sunset: The film ends as Godzilla returns to the ocean while the sun is setting.
- They Called Me Mad: Dr. Mafune was ridiculed for his staunch belief that there was a dinosaur living underwater near Japan. Apparently, no one ever sought him out and apologized to him after a certain event in 1954. Sure, he was referring to a completely different dinosaur, but still.
- He also has apparently become mad as well, unfortunately.
- Throw it in: While charging through a barrage of explosions Godzilla's dorsal spines catch fire. That was not intentional.
- Title Drop: A subtle one of one listens carefully:
Commander Mugan: "That's when we will counterattack Tokyo with Mechagodzilla!"
- If you listen carefully, he says "Mechagojira no gyakushu-da", which is the Japanese title of the film Mechagodzilla's Counterattack".
- Tragic Monster: Titanosaurus. Constantly being used and forced to do things beyond his control, he is finally free at the end, only to face the wrath of a tired and bitter Godzilla, who didn't know about the mind control. Katsura can also count, to an extent.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Titanosaurus is susceptible to sonic waves.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Katsura, being a cyborg, struggles with this throughout the film. It doesn't help that the Simians do their damnest to make her turn against humankind. Ichinose convinces her that she's still human because she can produce tears, and he says that even if she's a cyborg, he still loves her.
- What the hell, heroes!?: The main humans weaken Titanosaurus with the sonic emitter to help Godzilla, despite knowing its' mind control. Then Godzilla ruthlessly kills Titanosaurus after the final battle, despite the fact that Titanosaurus was under said mind control the entire time.