Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S./Godzilla: Final Wars (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 4, 2014 by  


More action, better special effects but does that make it better?  “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”/”Godzilla: Final Wars” are the last two Godzilla films made in Japan in the Millenium Series but will the departure from previous films satisfy non-Godzilla fans and hardcore Godzilla fans?  Action-packed and a lot of fun!  These two films may not be for hardcore Godzilla fans but for those curious about the later Godzilla films from Japan, may want to give this set a try!

Images courtesy of © 2003 Toho Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved., © 2004 Toho Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S./Godzilla: Final Wars

FILM RELEASE: 2003-2004

DURATION: (Tokyo S.O.S.) 91 Minutes, (Final Wars) 125 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: (Tokyo S.O.S.) 1080p High Definition, 2:35:1, Audio: English, Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French / (Final Wars): 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1 aspect ratio, English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: (Tokyo S.O.S.) PG, (Final Wars) PG-13

Release Date: May 5, 2014

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

Directed by Masaaki Tezuka

Screenplay by Masaaki Tezuka, Masahiro Yokotani

Executive Produced by Shogo Tomiyama

Music by Michiru Ohshima

Cinematography by Yoshinori Sekiguchi

Production Design by Toshio Miike

Godzilla: Final Wars

Directed by Ryuuhei Kitamura

Screenplay by Isao Kiriyama, Ryuhei Kitamura

Story by Wataru Mimura, Shogo Tomiyama

Produced by Shogo Tomiyama

Music by Keith Emerson, Nobuhiko Morino, Daisuke Yano

Cinematography by Takumi Furuya

Art Direction by Deborah Riley

“Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” Starring:

Noboru Kaneko as Yoshito Chujuo

Miho Yoshioka as Pilot Azusa Kisaragi

Mitsuki Koga as Mechagodzilla Operator Kyosuke Akiba

Hiroshi Koizumi as Dr. Shin’ichi Chujuo (Yoshito’s father)

Akira Nakao as Premier Hayato Igarashi

Koichi Ueda as General Dobashi

Ko Takasugi as JSDF Lt. Togashi

“Godzilla: Final Wars” Starring:

Masahiro Matsuoka as Earth Defense Force Soldier Shin’ichi Ozaki

Rei Kikuwa as UN Molecular Biologist Miyuki Otonashi

Don Frye as Douglas Gordon

Maki Mizuno as Newscaster Anna Otonashi

Kazuki Kitamura as The Controller of Planet X

Kane Kosugi as M-Facility Soldier Katsunori Kazama

Kumi Mizuno as Earth Defense Force Commander Akiko Namikawa

Akira Takarada as  UN Secretary General Naotaro Daigo

Kenji Sahara as Paleontologist Hachiro Jinguji

Masakatsu Funaki as M-Unit Commanding Officer Kumasaka

Mechagodzilla®, the superior-armed, state-of-the-art, all-robot version of Godzilla®, is undergoing repairs after his devastating battle against the world’s monsters. A pair of psychic fairies appear and warn scientists to stop rebuilding Mechagodzilla® but their warning goes unheeded. As the great robot nears completion, a series of mysterious incidents rock the world and awaken Godzilla®, who unleashes a reign of terror against Tokyo. Mothra® joins him and Japan’s desperate Prime Minister has no choice but to launch the unfinished Mechagodzilla® against Mothra® and Godzilla®. But who will fight for whom? And in the end — will the survivor be monster, robot or man?

Godzilla’s 50th Anniversary project and costliest adventure to date out of 28 films. Earth has been relatively peaceful since Godzilla was successfully buried deep in ice beneath the South Pole. Then – sometime a few years hence-several of his old nemeses return to wreak havoc on cities worldwide. A huge spaceship suddenly appears and neutralizes all the monsters in a blink. The visitors are “Xiliens,” who take human form and announce they would like to negotiate a peace treaty that would replace the United Nations with a “United Universe”. They are indeed too good to be true, however. It doesn’t take long before their nefarious real purpose is exposed – conquering Earth. Greatly outmatched, Earth officials decide to de-freeze Godzilla as man’s only hope to vanish the invaders, as well as the monsters they control. Only trouble is Godzilla is still mad at man for freezing him in the first place.

As many await the upcoming “Godzilla” film in the U.S., to help celebrate the 60th year since the first film release of the iconic kaiju monster known as “Godzilla”, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will be releasing eight of the Heisei/Millenium “Godzilla” films on Blu-ray in May 2014.

A total of eight “Godzilla” films will be released with one Blu-ray containing two films.  All films on Blu-ray be remastered in high definition as part of the Toho Godzilla Collection.

The following review is for “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”/”Godzilla: Final Wars”, which are the 27th and 28th films in the Toho “Godzilla” franchise.

For the 27th film “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”, the film features Godzilla taking on Mothra, Kaomebas and Mechagodzilla and is a follow-up to the 26th film “Gozilla Against Mechagodzilla”.

As Kiryu (the Millenium name for the modern “Mechagodzilla”) is undergoing repairs after its battle against Godzilla, Kiryu mechanic Yoshito Chujo (portrayed by Noboru Kaneko) has developed a Tri-Maser to replace the Absolute Zero cannon.

For Yoshito, he has a closeness towards Kiryu and looks at it as a being than a machine.  While visiting his father Doctor Shinichi Chujo (portrayed by Hiroshi Koizumi, reprisal of the character he portrayed in the 1961 film “Mothra”) and his nephew, Mothra reappears and the twin Shobijin (twin fairies) warns that because the original Godzilla’s (1954) bones are inside Kiryu, the only way Mothra will protect people is if Godzilla’s bones are returned back to the sea.  If they don’t, Mothra will declare war on humanity.

Doctor Chujo tries to appeal to the government and warn them of the consequences of Kiryu’s origin but the Japanese Prime Minister feels that as Kiryu is Earth’s last line of defense against Godzilla, nothing can be done as Earth depends on Kiryu.

Meanwhile, Godzilla goes on a rampage as it approaches Japan, Dr. Chujo’s grandson summons Mothra and both Godzilla and Mothra go into battle.  Seeing that Mothra may need help, the Japanese Prime Minister sends out Kiryu to assist Mothra.

Will the two be able to fight the monster together?

For the 28th film, “Godzilla: Final Wars”, the film is the 50th anniversary film directed by “Azumi” and “Sky High” filmmaker Ryuhei Kitamura.  And would feature a cast which include TOKIO drummer Masahiro Matsuoka, MMA fighter Don Frye, actress Rei Kikkuwa, Maki Mizuno, Kane Kosugi (son of ninja/martial arts actor Sho Kosugi) and Kazuki Kitamura.  Plus cameos from actors of previous Godzilla films.

The film begins with a spaceship known as the Gotengo piloted by Douglas Gordon (portrayed by Don Frye) battling Godzilla somewhere in the arctic and burying him under so much ice.

Fastfoward and the film introduces us to a group of mutants, humans with specialized power known as M-Class soldiers that work for the Earth Defense Force as they fight beasts. We learn that because Douglas Gordon sacrificed his group in order to defeat Godzilla, he was incarcerated.

As Newscaster Anna Otonashi (portrayed by Maki Mizuno) prepares for an interview with a major politician, back at EDF, Shin’Ichi Ozaki (portrayed by Masahiro Matsuoka) is sparring with Katsunori Kazama (portrayed by Kane Kosugi).  Both with different beliefs as Ozaki believes in peace and Kazama believes in going after the kill.

Ozaki is assigned on a mission to protect UN Molecular Biologist Mizuki Otonashi (portrayed by Rei Kikkuwa) and she learns that the monsters and the M-Class soldiers share a certain gene but are unsure why.

One day, the kaiju which include Rodan, Aguirus and King Caesar begin attacking Earth and causing mass destruction.

But as things are looking bad for humanity, a group of aliens known as Xiliens come and defeat the creatures.  The Xiliens try to tell Earth that a giant asteroid by the name of Gorath is on a collision course with Earth and want to help humanity.

But the Mothra twin fairies are able to communicate with Ozaki, Dr. Otonoashi and warn them of the Xiliens.  Not long after, both learn that probably the people they work with have been possessed by Xiliens and it is revealed that the Xiliens intend to make humans like cattle and the Earth, their farming ground.

The Xiliens unleash the monsters to destroy the world and with Earth needing help, humanity looks upon Douglas Gordon for help and that is to bring back Godzilla to fight humanity’s greatest enemy, the Xiliens, their devastating monsters and the monsters which are trying to destroy Earth.

But will they be able to free Godzilla and what happens if Godzilla is to succeed?


“Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio) in English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA.  While “Godzilla: Final Wars” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio) in English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA.

As for picture quality, both films show improvement over the previous DVD release in terms of clarity and colors, but also showcasing grain.    While not pristine, the films do look much better on Blu-ray due to the better clarity and colors versus its DVD counterpart.  Lossless audio is also much more active, especially for “Final Wars” which utilize the surround channels much more effectively during the more action intensive scenes.

Subtitles for both films are in English, English SDH and French.


“Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.: comes with the “The Making of Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. featurette and the original trailer.

“Godzilla: Final Wars” comes with the “Godzilla: B-Roll to Film” featurette and original trailers.


With the Millenium series (1999-2004) of “Godzilla” films were created for a new generation of kaiju fans, some may see these films as either hit or miss.

Because they are the most recent films, newer technology is employed and of course, there is a big difference in aesthetics and special effects.

With “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”, there was no doubt a push to focus on Mechagodzilla (Kiryu) as it was a sequel to “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” and of course, to play up the often banal Godzilla vs. Mothra battles.  But also, bringing an interesting storyline that revolves around the bones of the 1954 Godzilla now being in Kiryu and also bringing back Dr. Chujo from the original 1961 “Mothra” film.  So, in a way, while a newer film, paying some respects to the older films as well.

But for the most part, I found the film entertaining for nostalgic reasons but also a pretty cool battle between Godzilla vs. Mothra and Mechagodzilla.  The special effects no doubt had improved compared to the previous films and if anything, the action plays a big part in “Tokyo S.O.S.” and enjoyed it as a conclusion to the Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla battle.

As for “Godzilla: Final Wars”, by moving on to a director that has never directed a Godzilla film, while Ryuhei Kitamura had good intentions of bringing on the best and worse of “Godzilla” films to “Final Wars”, the film plays out almost like watching “The Matrix” or “X-Men” films.  It seemed less of “Godzilla” film for its first hour and felt I was not watching a “Godzilla” film but a supernatural action film.

But I can’t say I was disappointed.  There was no doubt that the production for “Final Wars” was much more as they brought in well-known talent in Japan, as well as bring in talents from past “Godzilla” films, as well as bringing back monsters and so much more!  And by the second hour, when you do get Godzilla into the mix, it was fun watching Godzilla take on the many monsters and seeing him kick butt!

But there is no doubt that while the film may be more accessible to non-Godzilla fans who love action, for “Godzilla” fans who want consistency, I can see “Final Wars” being a let down for it’s 50th anniversary.  And in Japan, as Toho has tried to win back a new generation, unfortunately the formula has not worked in creating a big box office hit.  There is no doubt a lot of buzz all over the world with the upcoming 2014 film, in hopes that it doesn’t follow the path of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 film.  But there is interest in bringing Godzilla to a new generation of fans, but how to do it, these Millennium films have been hit or miss with fans.

Overall, I found both films to be a lot of fun in their own way.  As being the last two films created in Japan thus far, there is no doubt that the modernism has brought better special effects, bigger production to “Godzilla” films but for those who grew up watching the films of the Showa or Heisei era, may find the Millennium Series to different for their own personal taste.  For me, I look at it as a change of direction for a new generation of Godzilla fans and some will either love it or hate it, I found these last two films to be fascinating and quite fun.  But also aware that it’s too much of a departure from previous Godzilla films.

More action, better special effects but does that make it better?  “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.”/”Godzilla: Final Wars” are the last two Godzilla films made in Japan in the Millenium Series but will the departure from previous films satisfy non-Godzilla fans and hardcore Godzilla fans?  Action-packed and a lot of fun!  These two films may not be for hardcore Godzilla fans but for those curious about the later Godzilla films from Japan, may want to give this set a try!

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