As we get ready for this week’s Godzilla vs. Kong, we started wondering if there were ever any plans to have Gamera, the Friend of All Children and the Guardian of the Universe, battle Godzilla, the King of Monsters.
While Godzilla has appeared in thirty-three movies as of this writing, Gamera has only been in twelve. However, the giant space turtle was ahead of the curve when it came to becoming a good guy and befriending children.
While many of the Gamera films were commercially successful in Japan — even getting close to the money that Godzilla made at the box office in the 60’s — they were always seen as weak in quality. However, the 1985 film Gamera: Guardian of the Universe was well-reviewed and made more money than Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, which was in theaters at the same time.
But let’s answer that big question: Did they ever meet and fight?
Well, yes. And no.
Awesome Monster Battle Godzilla vs. Gamera was a one-act stage show co-created by Toho and Daiei — which is quite frankly astonishing — that took place in March of 1970 during the Children Festival at the Osaka World’s Fair.
Comedian Kon Omura (Cornjob from Gamera vs. Guiron) was the MC and Toho even sent Godzilla’s original suit actor, Haruo Nakajima, to the event to do three performances a day. The show was so complicated that the live performances were eventually dropped to one per day for ten days. That and the fact that the actors were overheated after five minutes straight of action.
As posted on Wikizilla, Godzilla, Gorosaurus, Minilla, Gamera, Space Gyaos and Jiger all appeared and engaged in a titanic battle before dancing together. I can only imagine how incredible this was.
You can see a few brief moments of footage in the link and see an article and a somewhat blurry photo of one of the ten shows.
Godzilla vs. Gamera (2002): Kadokawa approached Toho and offered to produce a Godzilla and Gamera crossover film. Sadly, the offer was turned down. Toho did release the last two Millennium Gamera films, while four years later Kadokawa released Gamera the Brave to celebrate the big green turtle’s fortieth anniversary.
2017’s Kyoei Toshi is a spiritual sequel to the Disaster Report games and even has some of the characters from them in it. However, it has something those games didn’t: characters from Godzilla, Ultraman, Gamera, Patlabor and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The name of this game translates as City of Giant Shadows and those shadows are the robots and kaiju destroying everything in their path. Godzilla’s universe has the big guy himself, as well as King Ghidorah, Mothra, Battra and MFS-3 Kiryu AKA Mechagodzilla. The Gamera characters come from the modern films and include Gamera, Gyaos, Legion Plant and Soldier Legion.
There you have it. Perhaps someday, we will all see our dream of Godzilla vs. Gamera, but it seems far away now.
ART NOTES: The art for the cover image comes from Bob Eggleton and originaly was a cover for Famous Monsters of Filmland.