Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Franchises: Godzilla. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)

GXSG.jpgSpaceGodzilla was a character that I first became aware of when I was around eight or nine years old. As I've said before, at that age I wasn't aware that Godzilla movies were still being made since it would be a few years before they finally got a stateside release but, nevertheless, toys were being made over here of the monsters featured in those films. I already had a number of those toys that were made by Trendmasters when I first saw a commercial that advertised action figures of both Godzilla and his alien doppelganger. In fact, they showed live-action footage in the advertisement that I'm sure had to have been from the actual film, which got me just as excited because it was my first hint that there were other, more recent, Godzilla movies that I hadn't yet seen. I immediately locked onto SpaceGodzilla himself as soon as I saw him. I thought he was one of the coolest monsters I had ever seen, with his blue body, diamond -like dorsal plates, and those enormous crystals sticking out of his shoulders. The minute I saw that commercial, I was determined to get one of those action figures of him. Unfortunately, that never came to pass. It wasn't from a lack of trying on my part, believe me, but I never had a SpaceGodzilla action figure when I was a kid (and still don't, although I could probably find one quite easily now). I did, however, learn of his origin from the back of that action figure box that had little bits of information on all of the monsters they had toys of, which described him as being the end result of what happened when the remains of Biollante fused with a crystalline life-form deep in space. It sounded interesting but, again, at this point I thought that these monsters whose films I hadn't seen yet were just made up to sell toys. However, that opinion began to change when I learned that Godzilla vs. Biollante was an actual film and was put to rest when I read the Godzilla Compendium. Well, needless to say, I was very excited to learn that there was a movie that had Godzilla fighting SpaceGodzilla and was just as anxious to actually see it... and, about a year after I first read the compendium, I got my wish when Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla was finally released on video in the U.S. along with Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. I don't think I need to say that I almost fainted when I saw those two movies on video at our On-Cue in Winchester that April. I was actually more excited about SpaceGodzilla but I bought them both nevertheless and eagerly watched them not too long afterward. I liked SpaceGodzilla quite a bit when I first saw it. It wasn't quite as good as I hoped it would be but I enjoyed it nevertheless, and so did my step cousin when I showed it to him (in fact, it became one of the Heisei entries we watched the most). As I've described before, I wasn't mature enough at this point to understand criticism or opinions on film and so, until I got the internet, I wasn't aware that the Godzilla community at large had a very different opinion on this movie from mine. I learned pretty quickly, though.

This is generally considered one of the weaker, if not the absolute worst, entries in the Heisei cycle of films. Common criticisms are that the action scenes are plodding and boring, the characters are uninteresting and the movie spends too much time on them, the special effects, even for a Godzilla movie, are absolutely appalling at some points (I can definitely vouch for that one), Baby Godzilla, who is now called Little Godzilla, is made to look far too cute and Minya-like than he was before, SpaceGodzilla himself is underutilized, the "mecha" this time around, Moguera, is a joke, and the music score isn't too good. As for me, I have to admit that my opinion of this film, especially when I compare it to the incredible previous one, has gone down a little bit in recent years. I don't think it's one of the worst Godzilla movies, as many say it is, and I enjoy it more than Godzilla vs. Biollante and Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, but it is definitely a flawed film. While I like the main characters, I do agree that the film has some pacing problems, especially during the climactic battle, SpaceGodzilla himself could be used more effectively as a villain, and, like I said, some of the special effects are inexcusable in how bad they are for a film made in 1994, Godzilla or not. But, at the same time, I think this film does have some merit and, at the end of the day, some fair entertainment value. Ultimately I'd say it's not a great Godzilla movie but, at the same time, not a bad one. It's just middle-of-the-road for the most part.

A new monster is approaching Earth, sending a couple of crystal-like projectiles ahead of it that crash onto Birth Island, the home of Godzilla and his steadily-growing adopted son, Little Godzilla. Meanwhile, the UNGCC has developed a new anti-Godzilla weapon, Moguera, to replace the destroyed Mechagodzilla, while at the same time, an operation known as T-Project is underway. The plan is to plant a transmitter on the back of Godzilla's head that, with the help of psychic center director Miki Saegusa, will allow the Japanese Self-Defense Force to control the monster and keep him from causing destruction. Two members of G-Force, Koji Shinjo and Kiyoshi "Kiyo" Sato, are dispatched to the island to meet up with Maj. Akira Yuki and set up for the project. Yuki, however, has own agenda, planning to kill Godzilla as an act of revenge for killing his best friend, Maj. Gondo, six years earlier and has the men help him with his plans as well. Miki, who was at first reluctant to join T-Project, does so when she receives a warning from the Cosmos about a space monster that is heading for Earth. The UNGCC and JSDF also become aware of the creature's presence when it destroys a NASA satellite on its way and send Moguera to intercept it out in space when they discover that it's rapidly approaching the planet. Moguera, however, is not match for the monster and is easily defeated when the two meet in an asteroid field. Back on Earth, Miki arrives on Birth Island with the two heads of T-Project, Dr. Okubo and Dr. Gondo, the latter of whom is the sister of the late Maj. Gondo. Godzilla soon appears and they start the project, which seems to succeed at first since they manage to attach the transmitter to the back of his head and he does respond to Miki's psychic commands. However, the machine used to send the brainwaves to Godzilla receives some strange interference that leads to it being shorted out, interference whose source is revealed to be the space monster, who arrives on Birth Island where it has set up several crystal-like chambers for it draw energy from. It goes after Little Godzilla, prompting Godzilla to come to his aid but the King of the Monsters is no match for this alien, whose visage looks suspiciously like his own. When Godzilla is defeated, the space monster traps Little Godzilla in one of the crystal chambers, prompting his adopted father to chase after the alien to enact revenge. With T-Project having failed, everyone prepares to return to Japan but Miki decides to stay, prompting Shinjo and Sato to remain as well to act as protection for her. Back in Japan, Dr. Gondo reveals that the space creature is an alien doppelganger of Godzilla with the same cells as him, prompting them to name him SpaceGodzilla. The JSDF plans to use the repaired Moguera to fight the creature, with Commander Aso, who used to be Yuki's senior officer, personally asking him to pilot the machine. Meanwhile, Miki is kidnapped by an international crime organization who plan to use her connection with Godzilla to for their own gains and Yuki, along with Shinjo and Sato, are sent to rescue her. While they succeed, SpaceGodzilla soon arrives on the mainland and turns downtown Fukuoka into a crystal-fortress whose energy he can endlessly feed off of. Moguera is soon dispatched but when it again proves to be not match for SpaceGodzilla, it looks as if its pilots may have to join up with Godzilla himself in order to defeat the powerful alien.

While not as enormously successful as Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II had still turned out to be a very profitable film in Japan and, as I said in that review, one that Toho had planned to end on so Hollywood could take the reins and produce their an enormous-budget movie that would very likely spawn a series all its own. But, when TriStar's planned film got delayed and it became apparent that the film wasn't going to be ready by its projected December 1994 release date, Toho decided to once again fill the gap with another movie, one that they planned to be a celebration of Godzilla's 40th anniversary as well as, again, an end to the Japanese series that would pave the way for Hollywood stepping in. Indeed, by the time Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla opened in Japanese theaters, it looked as if things were heading that way because TriStar had finally hired director Jan de Bont to helm the new movie, scheduled to hit theaters at the beginning of the summer of 1996. But, things got derailed again when de Bont quit the project over disagreements with the studio about the budget, as well as when Toho rejected their proposed design for Godzilla himself. Supposedly, the screenwriters and the special effects company that was meant to work on the film also quit, which led to the whole thing being shelved. What's more, Toho had an unexpected situation come up when Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, while a profitable movie at the end of the day, endured stiff competition from Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Daiei Studio's critically acclaimed reinvention of their own monster movie star, which Toho themselves had to distribute since Daiei didn't have the resources anymore to do so. Since that movie was made on a fraction of the budget SpaceGodzilla had, and, what's more, was the reintroduction of a movie monster that, up until then, had garnered no respect at all and was seen as nothing more than a cheap Godzilla wannabe, its critical and commercial success came completely out of the blue. According to David Kalat, its success was something of a game-changer. Since he had come back in 1984, Godzilla had been the focus of the only Japanese sci-fi flicks that made any real money. Everything else had bombed, while Godzilla had continued to be a profitable character and so, Toho had been unwilling to finance any science fiction movie that didn't involve him. Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, however, proved that Godzilla wasn't the only golden goose of the Japanese sci-fi and kaiju genre and so, they no longer felt that they needed to solely depend on him. This, coupled with the apparent disintegration of the TriStar movie, is what led Toho to the decision to really end the series (for the time being, anyway) and kill Godzilla off in the next film.

Yamashita is the guy on the left.
We've got a new director and screenwriter for this film. In the director's chair is Kenshou Yamashita, a guy who had mainly worked as an assistant director, most notably for Ishiro Honda on Terror of Mechagodzilla. According to IMDB, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla was the last of only three movies that he actually directed himself, with the first one having been Trouble Man: Warauto Korosuzo back in 1979 and the other a 1987 "teen idol" movie simply titled 19. There's not much information on the guy so I'm not exactly sure what happened to his career after this film. In any case, to pen the script, he brought in Hiroshi Kashiwabara, whom he had worked with on 19 and had also written a couple of TV movies based on the popular anime series, Lupin III. According to David Kalat, who, I must say, neglected to mention that another writer, Kanji Kashiwa, had a hand in the script as well (it's the only credit that guy has at all, though, so who knows how much he really contributed), Yamashita and Kashiwabara approached this film in a similar manner to 19, emphasizing character and romance, the latter of which, save for a few exceptions, was something that hadn't been focused on much in the Godzilla series. You can make your own arguments for whether or not they succeeded in that regard but, as we'll see in a bit, I think that they were at least able to make a lot of really likable characters, even if I don't entirely buy the romances between them. It was also because of them that Miki Saegusa got to be even more prominent here than she was in the previous film, becoming a full-fledged main character and even more fleshed out. Any mistakes they made aside, I have to give them credit for that. While Yamashita has, so far, never directed again since this film, Kashiwabara has maintained a pretty successful writing career, with his most recent credit having been in 2013. He was involved with the writing of a couple of more Godzilla flicks down the line as well.

After getting to flesh the character of Miki Saegusa out a little bit and become a pretty important supporting character in the process, Megumi Odaka finally takes center-stage here and becomes one of the main actors in the film. Carrying on from her development in the previous film, Miki is now no longer looking to have Godzilla killed. She sees him as not an evil monster but rather as an animal that, despite being extremely powerful and a potential threat to mankind, has a heart and soul and has as much right to live as man does. She respects him so much now that she's initially reluctant to join the T-Project, feeling that no one has the right to control him. However, when she learns from the Cosmos that a powerful space monster is heading for Earth in order to kill Godzilla, she agrees to be a part of the operation, perhaps feeling that he could use some "guidance" in order to defeat the monster. And when Godzilla loses his first fight with SpaceGodzilla and Little Godzilla ends up trapped in a crystal chamber, she decides to stay behind on Birth Island, saying that she's worried about the two of them. Her feelings about Godzilla put her at odds with the members of G-Force, particularly Lt. Koji Shinjo, who has something of a romantic interest in her. When they first meet and he asks why she likes Godzilla so much, she tells him that, because of his mindset, he wouldn't understand it even if she did explain it. She becomes especially enraged with him and the other members of G-Force when, after T-Project fails, they resume trying to kill Godzilla (although, I don't know why she's so concerned when they're ready to shoot him with mere rifles and handguns!) This leads into her going off on Koji when he says he thinks it's kind of sad that she doesn't seem to think about anything other than Godzilla, with her saying that she finds it sad that all he can think about is fighting and that he has to understand others and open his mind. As you might expect, this initially tense relationship between the two of them softens as the film goes on, especially when Koji risks his life to save Miki when she's captured by a crime organization that plans to take advantage of her and the transmitter still attached to the back of Godzilla's neck. When he, Kiyo, and Yuki take off in Moguera in order to fight SpaceGodzilla in Fukuoka, she goes there too despite the danger. You might not think that there's much she'd be able to do but it turns out to be a good thing that she went because there's a moment when Koji is trying to save Yuki when his foot is caught in a jammed automatic door leading outside of a crashed Moguera and she uses her psychic abilities to mind-meld with him and help him save Yuki. Once the battle is over and Godzilla is heading for home, Koji admits that he's not such a bad monster after all, showing that Miki has won him over. In fact, there's a strong hint of romance now because, after Miki uses her telepathy to show Koji that Little Godzilla is now free back on Birth Island, the movie ends with the two of them walking down the beach, holding hands (however, their relationship is never built upon; Koji disappears after this movie). Overall, I think Ms. Odaka handled herself well in this movie and it's great seeing how far Miki has come since we first saw her in Godzilla vs. Biollante. I don't know about her shorter haircut here but, other than that, she's just great.

Like I said, on the opposite side of Miki's part of the spectrum is G-Force lieutenant Koji Shinjo (Jun Hashizume), one of the two members of the force who are sent to Birth Island to help set up for T-Project. Early on, it's obvious that he's only going along with the project because he's been ordered to and that he'd rather be battling Godzilla like the rest of the force. Sure enough, once T-Project ends up failing, and with Moguera busy battling SpaceGodzilla out in space, Koji takes the opportunity to, along with his friend Kiyo, help Yuki in killing Godzilla themselves, much to the anger and disdain of Miki. Again, while Koji shows an interest in Miki early on, their polar opposite opinions about Godzilla put them at odds with each other, with Miki telling her that she finds it sad that he can't think of anything except fighting and that he must open up. But, despite their differences, Koji proves that he's someone that Miki can depend on with how he and Kiyo stay behind with her on Birth Island to act as protection and also with how the two of them, along with Yuki, come to the rescue when she's kidnapped and get caught up in a dangerous gunfight. You can see their relationship beginning to soften when Miki uses telekinesis to aid Koji in disabling the man who's currently got him pinned down and it only progresses as the movie goes on, with her looking very concerned when he and Kiyo offer to join Yuki in piloting the Moguera against SpaceGodzilla. Speaking of which, while Koji has respect for Yuki, he has to forcibly take command of Moguera when Yuki disobeys his orders and goes after Godzilla rather than staying on-course for Fukuoka and SpaceGodzilla. While it's not exactly clear yet if Koji's opinion on Godzilla has softened (probably not), he isn't at all happy when Yuki refuses to listen to him about straying from the course they were supposed to take, saying that his aren't the only orders they have to follow. He ultimately has to knock Yuki out and take control of Moguera himself, piloting it back towards Fukuoka. It's during the battle when he sees how intelligent a creature Godzilla is that Koji's opinion on him begins to change. Although he seems to agree when Yuki makes it clear that he still wants to kill him as well as SpaceGodzilla, I have a feeling that Koji's going along with what he's saying just so they can defeat the space monster and that he really doesn't intend to help him kill Godzilla himself. Not that it matters since, after SpaceGodzilla is destroyed, both Yuki and Koji change their minds about Godzilla, with Koji saying he's not such a bad guy after all. Again, Miki is the one who changed his mind, with his new feelings being further strengthened when she uses her psychic powers to show him a nice image of Little Godzilla back on the island. Plus, they seem to have a relationship developing between them by the end of the film, which I think is helped in no small part by the moment before when their minds melded. This insight into him, plus the simply fact that he's a very heroic and dependable character, makes Koji a little more fun to watch than the typical bland leading men you often get in these movies and makes me wish that they had continued his character in the following one.

One of my favorite characters in this movie is Koji's friend, Kiyoshi Sato (Zenkichi Yoneyama), or "Kiyo," as everyone calls him. I just find this guy hilarious. He's the more care-free, at the energetic and fun of the main characters. He's definitely the comic relief but an effective and likable one in my opinion. The first time you see him, when he and Koji are on the boat heading for Birth Island, he's dancing around to some music and when Koji mentions how happy he is, Kiyo just dances around some more and goes, "Whoo!" He starts complaining quite a bit when they reach Birth Island and have to trek through the tough jungle, as well as when Yuki has them digging holes on the beach to plant teargas mines for Godzilla, but he's never obnoxious or annoying; in fact, I know I'd be complaining like him, especially while digging. His line about how they should have brought the Moguera to dig the holes for them has always made me smirk, as well as how he obviously doesn't like Yuki that much given the sour expression he has on his face while watching use an outdoor shower (or maybe he doesn't appreciate the view that Yuki was giving him and Koji at one point there). But, what I like the most about him is just how energetic and naturally funny he is throughout the movie, saying, "Aye, aye, sir!" in an over-the-top way to Koji at one point when they're on a motorcycle on the beach and with how, when Little Godzilla is fumbling around the teargas mines, he can't contain his laughter and said that he knew those things wouldn't hurt Godzilla himself. But, he also proves that he's not a member of G-Force for nothing, managing to hold his own during the gunfight to save Miki and proving to be a fairly good pilot, although he's still pretty funny even during the action scenes. When Koji knocks Yuki and takes control of Moguera, Kiyo, while putting the unconscious man in another seat, says, "Don't you know how to solve anything without using your fists? Now I know why your bosses never like you." A favorite line of mine is when Moguera is getting hammered by SpaceGodzilla at the beginning of the climactic fight and Kiyo growls, "Moguera, what a piece of crap you are!" He pretty much sums up mine and most other fans' thoughts on the robot with that line. When they separate into Moguera's two different modes and he and Koji go underground with the land one, he goes, "Alriiight!" when Koji tells him to do so (he does say that in English in the Japanese version). And at the end of the movie, he makes a gesture of shooting at Godzilla but when he notices that none of the others are paying attention to him and that Koji and Yuki each have a woman with them, he swings his hand in an, "Ah, shit!" kind of way. He also yells at Godzilla that they'll have a rematch someday but Godzilla roars back at him in a way that's like, "Whatever." All of that, plus how he just comes across as a great friend to Koji and an all-around great guy, makes me really like Kiyo and, like Koji, makes me wish that we had seen him again.

The best character in the entire film has to be Maj. Yuki (Akira Emoto), the grizzled, older soldier who has a personal grudge against Godzilla after he killed his friend, Maj. Gondo, during the events of Godzilla vs. Biollante. Yuki both looks and feels like something of a Japanese Clint Eastwood, coming across as a tough, skilled (he candle a handgun and pilot an aircraft effortlessly), world-weary anti-hero, who says that his vendetta against Godzilla is the only thing he has left to live for. So obsessed is he with this that, when Koji and Kiyo arrive on Birth Island to set up for T-Project, he makes them help him in setting up teargas mines to use against Godzilla and says that they'll go down in history with him if they help him kill the monster. Needless to say, he thinks that T-Project is a waste of time and the whole time they're putting it into action, he's running around trying to kill Godzilla by shooting him in a soft spot under his arm with bullets that contain blood coagulators (yeah, that'll put Godzilla down), going so far as to threaten to shoot Koji and Kiyo if they interfere with him. However, when Godzilla loses to SpaceGodzilla during their first battle, Yuki decides not to pursue him any further for now, saying that it's no use bothering with him when he's wounded. When he goes back to Japan, he reunites with Commander Aso, who was once his senior officer and very bluntly tells him that he doesn't think as much of him as he used to since he now sits behind a desk for the most part. After that, Yuki asks Aso why he wanted to see him, the commander reluctantly asks if he will pilot Moguera, admitting that he wishes he could ask someone else. Yuki does take the position but it's obvious that he only does so because it means he'll get another chance to kill Godzilla. Sure enough, when he's piloting Moguera towards Fukuoka to battle SpaceGodzilla, Yuki disobeys his orders and flies towards Godzilla when he emerges from Kagoshima Bay, forcing Koji to knock him out and take command for the sake of the mission. All throughout the three-way battle between Moguera, Godzilla, and SpaceGodzilla, Yuki makes it clear that he intends to kill Godzilla once the bigger threat of SpaceGodzilla is taken care of. In fact, he puts himself in serious danger in order to kill Godzilla before the battle is even over, attempting to shoot him with a bazooka containing one of those coagulater shells and going as far as to thank Godzilla for staying alive for him. However, when the battle intensifies, Yuki misses his chance and, in retaliation angrily pilots the badly damaged Moguera right at SpaceGodzilla, badly injuring him. By the end of the movie, with SpaceGodzilla having been destroyed and the Earth saved, Yuki decides to call it even and stop going after Godzilla, simply saying, "I'm over it." Another reason for this change is his relationship with Dr. Gondo, his late friend's sister, who has made it clear that she has feelings for him, strongly implying at one point that he's what she can't give up on, just like how his vendetta against Godzilla was something he couldn't give up on. By the end, he now has something else to live for and implies what we've already guessed it is by asking her to show him around her hometown. Needless to say, Yuki is definitely a complex and cool character and the highlight of this film's main cast (didn't need to see his rear end when he was using that outdoor shower, though).

Other than being one of the reasons why Yuki decides to stop trying to kill Godzilla, Dr. Chinatsu Gondo (Towako Yoshikawa) doesn't have much of a role in the film. It is obvious that she's known Yuki for a long time because of her brother and understands his pain over Maj. Gondo's death but, that said, not only has she moved on but she also feels that Godzilla doesn't deserve to be killed, which is why she supports T-Project. It's also clear that she cares about Yuki a great deal and when she first asks him to stop pursuing Godzilla, it might be because she feels it's unhealthy for Yuki to keep obsessing over what happened six years previously in addition to the simple reason that she doesn't want the Big G to die. However, the perceived romance between her and Yuki is something I don't entirely buy, simply because we don't see the two of them spend enough time together to make her declaration of him being the thing in her life that she can't give up on feel genuine. Even though it's clear that they've known each other for a while and that he's asked her to send him a bunch of supplies in order to make his bullets with the coagulators, we're never told if they were involved with each other before or not, something that I think would have lent credence to her feelings for him. But, since we don't have that, we have to assume from the very few interactions they have with each other that enough has happened to make her realize how much he means to her and for him to realize that she's more important than a vendetta against Godzilla. I just don't completely buy it, unlike the developing relationship between Miki and Koji, which feels more natural. Other than that subplot, Dr. Gondo doesn't have much to do except act as the typical scientist character, with her being the one to identify SpaceGodzilla as an alien clone of Godzilla himself with the exact same cells and comes up with the new monster's name as well as the theory as to how he came to be. She's mainly a spectator otherwise, albeit a fairly likable and good-looking one.

A character who became a major force behind an unnecessary subplot in the film that went nowhere is Dr. Susumu Okubo (Yosuke Saito), the other scientist behind T-Project with Dr. Gondo. For the first quarter or so of the film, he doesn't come across as anything special and just seems like another scientist who wants to control Godzilla rather than kill him. However, when the machine being used to transfer Miki's brainwaves to Godzilla receives some sort of strange interference, Okubo shows the first signs of something not being completely right about him when he starts messing with the machine, ignoring Gondo's warning not to, and causes it to short out and hurt Miki in the process. Following Godzilla's first battle with SpaceGodzilla, Okubo declares T-Project a failure, stating that the machine they used wasn't strong enough and that they should head back to Japan. He seems strangely disappointed when Miki says she wants to stay behind on the island and even more so when Koji and Kiyo stay behind to guard her. Once the others get back to the mainland, you learned that Okubo has left the G-Center committee and you soon find out why after Miki is kidnapped on the island. Okubo is involved with the crime organization that kidnapped her and that he plans to help them use her connection with Godzilla and the transmitter that's still on the back of his head for their own purposes, no doubt planning to have him attack cities in Japan and around the world unless the governments bow to their demands. Since they never get to use Godzilla in this way, with G-Force breaking into their facility and rescuing Miki before they can, this whole subplot could have easily been removed from the film with nothing being lost. They could have just simply had Okubo quit the committee after T-Project failed and for Miki and Koji to have their bonding moment during this sequence, which is the only purpose it actually serves, occur while they're still on the island. After that, they could learn that SpaceGodzilla has appeared on the mainland, head back there, and have the plot play out as is. Not only is this subplot pointless but turning Okubo into a villain is not only random (while this was probably his plan all along, there was still no hint of any malice on his part save for that brief moment when he lost his patience with the machine) but as a human antagonist, he's completely ineffective. He's not intimidating, dastardly, slimy, or anything else that a good villain should be but rather a bad guy who's just kind of there and doesn't do much except explain his purpose for wanting to control Godzilla. He loses his temper again when the machine receives more interference due to SpaceGodzilla's approach and, in fact, kind of goes crazy over it, grappling with the machine's inner wires like a madman, trying to make it work, and getting shocked as a result. In the moments before he gets killed when SpaceGodzilla passes directly over the building he's in, he's acting so crazed and obsessive that even as a kid, I wondered where this came from. They should have given us more of an indication of how nutty Okubo was if they wanted to go this route; as it is, it comes across as a random, uninspired end to an unnecessary subplot in the story.

The main officials of the UNGCC established in the previous film are here once again, chief among them Commander Aso (Akira Nakao), who may not have many scenes but has a little more depth to him, mainly in his interactions with Yuki, whom he clearly has a strained relationship with. When he asks Yuki if he'll pilot Moguera, he admits that he wishes he could have found somebody else to do so but that he's the most skilled person around for the job. You're never told exactly what happened that caused their relationship to become so strained to the point where, up until then, Yuki wasn't even a part of G-Force but you can bet that it has something to do with Yuki's obsession over Godzilla as well as perhaps his disdain for Aso becoming someone who sits behind a desk most of the time, which he comments on. It also could be due to Yuki being a very reckless person, given Aso's comment of, "Same old Yuki," when he sees that Moguera has been reduced to a smoldering hunk of junk after the battle. In any case, Aso's hatred towards Godzilla hasn't changed here; in fact, he's initially crushed when he learns that Moguera will be used against SpaceGodzilla, who is the bigger threat, rather than Godzilla himself, who is being left to T-Project at that point (look how despondent he is compared to everyone else when Moguera lifts off to battle SpaceGodzilla before he reaches Earth). He soon realizes how much of a threat SpaceGodzilla is when he wreaks havoc in Fukuoka, turning it into a crystal fortress all his own, and becomes quite angry with Yuki when he disobeys his orders and goes after Godzilla instead. However, you can bet that if Moguera had survived the fight with SpaceGodzilla, Aso would have happily deployed against Godzilla as soon as the opportunity came up. As we saw in the previous movie, nothing will change his mind that monsters are nothing more than evil bringers of destruction that must be wiped out.

Koichi Ueda is here again as Gen. Hyodo who, as in the previous film, doesn't do much in the actual story but is an unforgettable presence nevertheless. He does have a nice line when, after he reluctantly tells Aso when SpaceGodzilla is flying across Japan that they can't find Yuki, he yells at another officer, "Where the hell have you been looking?!" He also appears to get a nice laugh at the idea of Moguera, the ultimate Godzilla fighting machine, being used against a monster other than the Big G. Good old Kenji Sahara is here again as UNGCC director Segawa, with minimum screentime and no bearing on the plot but, by this point, you must know that I always simply enjoy seeing him, even if he doesn't do anything. And finally, the Cosmos (Keiko Imamura and Sayaka Osawa) make several brief appearances here, often in the form of a small hologram of Mothra called Fairy Mothra, warning Miki of SpaceGodzilla's approach as well as giving her encouragement in the middle of the film and thanking her for helping to defeat the monster at the end, although, I don't know what she did that helped defeat him. For that matter, why did they only warn her of his approach in the first place? Why didn't they warn the JSDF, whom they were on good terms with by the end of Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth? What did they think Miki, someone they had barely any interaction with in that film, could accomplish that they couldn't? Seems rather pointless, doesn't it? (If you're wondering why I didn't ask for a reason as to why they didn't send Mothra herself to deal with SpaceGodzilla, I just assumed that Mothra, by this point, was so deep in space on her mission to destroy that incoming meteorite, that it would have been completely pointless and that she wouldn't have made it before SpaceGodzilla reached Earth.)

By this point, the rather rut-like, continuity-obsessed routine of the Heisei series had finally crystallized and become firmly established. You have the now familiar faces of the G-Force and UNGCC officials who watch the action unfold on big video monitors in a control room; another battle machine meant to destroy Godzilla (save for Godzilla and Mothra, every entry in this second series has a "mecha" of some sorts, be it the two versions of the Super-X, Mecha-King Ghidorah, or Mechagodzilla and Garuda in the previous film); a character whose grudge against Godzilla is similar to the one that Prof. Hayashida in The Return of Godzilla once had and, for that matter, is due to the death of a well-developed character we saw in a previous film (this won't be the last time we see this plot-point either); the development of Miki Saegusa from someone who was willing to help the government kill Godzilla to someone who now sympathizes with him; the further growth of Baby Godzilla; the brief reappearances of Mothra and the Cosmos; and an antagonistic monster who came about due to the aftermath of one of two previous films. For that matter, there are also elements of this film that harken back to the history of the original Showa era of Toho's science fiction films in many ways. As I'll get into presently, Godzilla's characterization in this film starts to go in the direction it did in the mid-60's with Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster; Little Godzilla is able to blow radioactive bubbles, similar to Minya's smoke-rings (plus, his very cute design here also strongly harkens back to Minya); Moguera is a redesigned version of a robot that appeared in the 1957 film, The Mysterians; and SpaceGodzilla himself is a resurrection of one of the many aborted attempts to bring Godzilla back to the big screen in the near decade-long gap between Terror of Mechagodzilla and The Return of Godzilla. I don't know if the inclusion of all of these ideas, along with the filmmakers' strong obsession of maintaining a tight continuity, is a necessarily a good thing but it's certainly interesting to think about how this film as something of a history lesson on the evolution of the franchise.

There are, however, a couple of influences this film takes from the previous films that I do think legitimately hurt it. First off, one of the possible explanations for how SpaceGodzilla came to be is that a fragment of Biollante drifted off into space and its G-cells combined with a crystal-like life-form. In fact, there are aspects of SpaceGodzilla's design that hint that there is a little bit of Biollante within him, as we'll see. So, you may ask what the problem with that is. The problem, my friends, is the alteration of the timeline that occurred three films prior to this one in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, which changed things so that Godzilla didn't get created until the year 1992. That means that the events of the films prior to that one, including the creation of Biollante from G-cells, was undone and that Biollante shouldn't have had a hand in creating SpaceGodzilla because she was removed from existence. As a result, I would normally go with the second explanation of a piece of Godzilla's flesh being attached to Mothra when she left Earth but, again, there are Biollante-like elements in SpaceGodzilla's design (and let's not even touch the simple fact that they shouldn't even know of Biollante due to the timeline's alteration since, as we saw, they still remembered Godzilla even after he was removed from history). It's like I said back when I reviewed that film: its illogical and confusing treatment of time-travel is continuing to cause problems and, unfortunately, we'll see more of it in the next film too. The other problematic influence from a previous film, though not as in your face as it was before, is an out-of-nowhere ecological statement that they make at the end of the film, with Dr. Gondo saying that SpaceGodzilla came about as a result of the universe being "polluted" with G-cells and that he was probably a warning to mankind. Even though this is not as prevalent and overdone as the statement that Godzilla and Mothra tried to make, it's no less poorly thought out. The idea of the cells of Godzilla, a monster that resulted from mankind's nuclear pollution, being spread throughout space, causing its own kind of pollution, and creating other monsters in the process could have been interesting if mankind itself was responsible for the G-cells leaving Earth. Whether it was from Biollante or Mothra, the expulsion from Earth of the cells had nothing whatsoever to do with mankind, meaning that Gondo's statement about SpaceGodzilla being a warning to man has no merit. What's the warning? That we need to keep monsters made from G-cells from leaving the Earth and that monsters that fight Godzilla need to be hosed down before they leave? Again, it doesn't beat you over the head as badly as the one in Godzilla and Mothra did but, nevertheless, Toho needs to realize that you can't make an ecological statement like this when you don't give a reason as to why mankind should be indicted for whatever happened in your story.

As I mentioned in my introduction, a major problem that this film has comes down to the pace and flow of the story. For one, this film is either sometimes not as exciting as it should be or it tries to squeeze some excitement out of a scene where that's very hard to do. If you're wondering what I mean by that second statement, allow me to explain to you what the first sequence involving Godzilla himself entails. It involves Koji and Kiyo trying to plant the transmitter on the back of his neck while Yuki is trying to shoot in his vulnerable spot with the bullet containing the blood coagulator while Godzilla, after emerging from the sea, walks through the shallows of the water towards the beach. They're playing the thrilling music and trying to give the scene something of a kinetic pace but, when you get right down to it, all we've got here is three guys who are either running or driving around the beach on a motorcycle, trying to find a good position to shoot at Godzilla, while he seems to take forever to walk from the shallows to the shore of the island. It's not easy to make that exciting and the same goes for the bits afterward where Yuki continues to sneak around Godzilla, again trying to find a good place to shoot at him as he slowly walks around the island for no purpose that you can make out. As for an example of the former, I can't think of a better one than the final three-way battle between Godzilla, SpaceGodzilla, and Moguera. Since it serves as the bulk of the entire third act, it's a very, drawn-out long battle and, unfortunately, it feels like it too. As a fan, I love seeing Godzilla doing his thing and fighting other monsters but this battle feels like it just goes on and on and for most of it. Even after SpaceGodzilla's energy source is destroyed, it feels like they're at a stalemate and aren't making much progress. It saps away a lot of the energy and gravity that should be there and it also doesn't help that Koichi Kawakita went back to almost entirely relying on energy beam exchanges. And while we're on the subject, you may remember that I said that I feel that SpaceGodzilla is kind of an underused villain. As cool and evil as he is, as we'll get into shortly, when I watch the film, I don't entirely feel the impact of his attempt to take over Earth because all he does upon arriving is fight Godzilla and rather easily defeat him, imprison Little Godzilla in a crystal cage, cause some unintentional destruction to several cities as he flies over, and create a stronghold in Fukuoka where he fights Godzilla and Moguera and is ultimately defeated. I feel they should have broadened things up and shown the effects of his arrival around the world, like maybe have him set up energy crystals in other countries, spread massive electronic interference, which we see that he does create, across the planet, or once he establishes his stronghold in Fukuoka, have him begin converting other major cities in the world into similar crystalline environments from there by maybe sending crystals through the Earth's core or something. Hell, why not have his crystals slowly begin engulfing the Earth after he establishes his fortress and make it a race against time to stop him from making the planet unsuitable for all forms of life except him? I know they probably didn't have the time or money to do this kind of stuff but a reasonable attempt at one of them I think would have made SpaceGodzilla's presence on Earth have more weight to it.

I wish that there had been a couple of more films in-between this and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah because I would have liked to have seen how Godzilla's character would have progressed further from the way it's presented here, which is getting more towards the route he went in the mid-60's. Godzilla starts to again feel like the reluctant hero who saves the Earth simply as a result of his own agenda. He doesn't directly threaten mankind anymore but, at the same time, he isn't a friend to it either, and only goes after and defeats SpaceGodzilla, a monster that threatens the survival of the Earth, in an act of revenge for what he did to Little Godzilla after their battle. He's neither good nor evil but is simply a creature of instinct who just does what he does. Even though I still wouldn't say he likes humans in this film, I don't think he has any intention of threatening them anymore by this point. It doesn't seem like he's caused any destruction since he and Baby Godzilla settled on Birth Island after the events of the last movie and he comes across as content enough to just live there with his adopted son, with the only reason he heads back to Japan being because he's after SpaceGodzilla. He doesn't seem to mind the presence of Yuki and the other humans on the island seeing as how he never goes after them even though he does know that they're there and doesn't appear to care that Little Godzilla has become attached to Yuki (although, I'm sure he didn't appreciate the teargas mines and getting a transmitter blasted onto the back of his head). What's more, when he heads to Japan in order to deal with SpaceGodzilla, he's faced with a defense line of battleships and seems to roar in frustration before blowing one of them up, as if it wasn't something that he wanted to do. Unlike in the previous film, when he was clearly angry and intentionally blowing things up out of rage, Godzilla doesn't intentionally cause destruction when he heads to Fukuoka, with the damage simply being because of his size and girth, as it often is. Finally, he acknowledges Miki when she uses her psychic abilities to remove the transmitter from the back of his head at the end of the film and appears growl and nod his head at her in gratitude, showing that he's an intelligent creature that's not actually intentionally malicious. Speaking of which, you can see how smart Godzilla is (in an instinctive, animalistic way, mind you) during the climactic battle with SpaceGodzilla where, after not being able to do much when his opponent continues to gather energy from the surrounding crystals and Fukuoka Tower, begins blowing the crystals up, helps Moguera in destroying the tower, and even tries to block the flow of energy by biting SpaceGodzilla. Plus, he understands that Moguera wants SpaceGodzilla dead as well and helps it in directly attacking the alien at one point, shooting him with his atomic blast after Moguera hits him with its own weapons. Again, this development of his character, along with these well-portrayed aspects of it, is why I wish we got at least a couple of more movies in this continuity before they decided to kill Godzilla off and, what's more, make him so maddened with pain with what's happening to him that he became a rampaging beast again throughout. Also, there's no point in talking about his design here since it's the exact same suit as in the previous movie, although the animatronic heads this time around are very cat-like in the face, as opposed to the more dog-like ones we had previously. His roar and powers, including the red super atomic blast that he uses at the end (I don't understand why he didn't use that before), are the same here too.

While Godzilla himself is neither good nor evil, SpaceGodzilla (Ryo Hariya) is another story altogether. He comes across as not only very aggressive and prone to attack anything that he thinks is threatening him (or anything he even sees, for that matter) but, according to the Cosmos, he's heading for Earth for the primary reason of killing Godzilla so he can more easily conquer the planet. What's more, when he lands on Birth Island, he threatens and attacks Little Godzilla, who poses no threat to him at all, and, after he defeats Godzilla, traps the little one in a crystal cage that he created for no reason other than sheer malice, as well as for something else that I'll get into presently. Plus, if you think about it, unlike a lot of other space monsters like King Ghidorah or Gigan, SpaceGodzilla is not under the control of evil aliens but rather, is attempting to conquer Earth of his own volition. Even when Ghidorah wasn't under the control of aliens during its first appearance in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, it was apparently just going around and attacking planets out of pure randomness, with its attacks on Earth being just pure chaos, whereas SpaceGodzilla, after attacking Godzilla as soon as he reached Earth, just as the Cosmos said, zeroes in on Fukuoka and turns it into a fortress that he can absorb energy from, further proof that he intends to take control of the planet rather than just destroy it. At first, I didn't get why SpaceGodzilla didn't kill Godzilla off on Birth Island since he had the upper hand in spades but I guess he decided he'd be better off creating a fortress that he could constantly draw energy from before battling Godzilla to the death. That's probably why he trapped Little Godzilla, because he knew that Godzilla would want revenge and would follow him to Fukuoka, where he could battle him in his fortress and really ensure his victory in the process. That's another thing about SpaceGodzilla: he's far from stupid. He's intelligent enough to plan all this stuff out and, what's more, during his climactic battle with Godzilla, he's constantly using the environment to his advantage and he also uses his powers in the most effective ways possible. As a result, it's only through the use of his animal instinct and cunning, as well as from unexpected help from Moguera, rather than sheer power that Godzilla is ultimately able to defeat his extraterrestrial clone.

As I mentioned in my introduction to this review, one of the things that drew me to SpaceGodzilla right off the bat when I was a kid is his design. I still think he's one of the coolest-looking monsters Toho has ever created. As you can see, he has the same overall body shape as Godzilla but his skin is blue, his midsection is purple in color and has a very alien look to it (speaking of which doesn't that pattern on his chest look like a facehugger?), his head is smaller and his snout is narrower, he has an orange protrusion on top of his head and small tusks around the corners of his mouth that make me think of Biollante, his eyes are red and very malicious-looking, his dorsal plates are crystalline in design, his tail is longer and ends in a mass of sharp crystals, and his most prominent feature are the two huge crystals jutting out of his shoulders. He's also taller than Godzilla and is a very powerful monster thanks to the energy that he constantly absorbs through the crystals on his shoulders and from crystals he creates that suck energy from other sources. He has a swirling, orange-colored energy beam that he fires out of his mouth, the direction of which he can control in mid-air; telekinetic abilities that he can use to levitate and fire objects at his opponents like missiles, as well as to throw his opponents around; bolts of energy that he can shoot out of his shoulder crystals; an energy shield to protect himself from Moguera's weapons and Godzilla's atomic blast; and he can also conduct energy by mere touch. What's more, even though he can't move very quickly because of his immense girth (which is a real handicap when you play as him in video games, I might add), SpaceGodzilla makes up for it by agilely flying around while encased in a mass of crystals that emerges from his back and acts like a jetpack, allowing him to circle and fire upon his enemies from above. His vocalizations are some very high-pitched screeches and screams (much higher than Godzilla's classic roar) that often end in a low, growling type of sound, which is another aspect of him that brings Biollante to mind. It's funny, during those toy commercials I talked about at the beginning of this review, they gave SpaceGodzilla a classic bird-screech sound effect that you've heard in many, many different films, television shows, and whatnot, so I was expecting that when I first saw the movie. Truth be told, his actual roar isn't too far off from the sound of that effect!

If Moguera (Wataru Fukuda) is the UNGCC's best follow-up to Mechagodzilla, they might as well quit while they're ahead because not only is this thing nowhere near as bad-ass as its predecessor, it's downright pathetic! Despite being equipped with a fair amount of useful weapons (albeit none that are as powerful as Mechagodzilla's), it never once proves to be a challenge for SpaceGodzilla, getting tossed around like a ragdoll and barely making a dent in him. Even when Moguera manages to critically injure SpaceGodzilla by destroying his shoulder crystals, thus cutting off his ability to absorb more power, he still manages to easily trounce it and it's only by doing something desperate and stupid with Moguera that Yuki manages to injure SpaceGodzilla enough to where Godzilla can finish him off. You could make the excuse that if SpaceGodzilla is powerful enough to have Godzilla himself on the ropes for most of the movie, a mere human battle machine would have its hands full no matter how advanced it is but, regardless, Moguera's getting its ass kicked as much as it does throughout the film and never once gaining an advantage over SpaceGodzilla raises major doubts about its effectiveness as a weapon. You get the feeling that if they'd simply rebuilt Mechagodzilla and charged it up, the battle would have gone very differently (in fact, Mechagodzilla was originally meant to return in this film but they felt that the combination of it and Godzilla would be too powerful and that it would make SpaceGodzilla come across a wimp). They never say this in the actual film but I've heard that Moguera is meant to have been built from the remains of Mechagodzilla, something that I highly doubt given its ineffectiveness.

Speaking of which, remember when I said in the previous review that the Heisei iteration of Mechagodzilla wasn't really a character but was actually a human-operated battle machine like the two Super-X's and Mecha-King Ghidorah? Well, that's doubly true for Moguera, whose name is an acronym for Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aero-type (in the actual film, the U-part of the acronym is missing but it's often added in various other sources so I'll go along with it). While it's portrayed by the same suit actor who played Mechagodzilla, this film emphasizes the characters operating it even more so than the previous one did, which really makes Moguera come across as nothing more than a big, walking gun. It doesn't even have a roar, something that Mechagodzilla had even though it was also fundamentally just a large, anthropomorphic weapon. I've never been that crazy about its design, either. In case you're wondering, it was another one of the toys that Trendmasters put out and while that box I keep mentioning had a picture of it, it was never something I was drawn to. It's always looked kind of lame to me, with its blocky body, awkwardly-designed legs and feet, narrow, cone-shaped hands that are attached to some short, stubby arms, and a face that, combined with that beak-like drill, makes it look like a penguin (or, as someone else once described it, Woody Woodpecker!) Moguera is outfitted with a number of weapons that are similar to Mechagodzilla's but don't come across nearly as powerful. It has plasma laser cannons in its eyes, blue energy beams that it can fire from its hands, spiral grenade missiles that it can fire from within its hands (its most powerful weapon since they're what blow up SpaceGodzilla's shoulder crystals), its chest contains a Plasma Maser cannon that's similar to Mechagodzilla's Plasma Grenade, and the drill on its face can be used for close-range combat. While it's fairly adept while flying, Moguera can't walk very well, a handicap that it does make up for with the use of treads built into its feet that allow for smoother and quicker movement. Finally, if the need arises, it can separate into two different combat vehicles (something that Mechagodzilla was originally meant to do but had to be discarded): the Land Moguera, a tank-like machine that can drill underground, and the Star Falcon, a laser-armed aircraft that it's a bit like a more advanced version of the Garuda from the previous film. Funnily enough, Moguera scores its biggest successes while separated into these two vehicles, so maybe it should have stayed that way.

One aspect of this movie that often gets a lot of flack is how they made Baby Godzilla, now officially called Little Godzilla (Little Frankie), who is actually referred to simply as " the little one" in the Japanese version, look overly cute and precious this time, which they feel hurts the much more realistic depiction of him in the previous film. Since I saw this one before Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, it was never an issue for me and, even though, now that I hold that film in higher regard than this one, I do get what they're talking about and kind of agree with it, I still don't mind this little guy. Maybe I'm just a big softy but I'm a sucker for anything that's as overwhelmingly cute as Little Godzilla is, with his big eyes, sweet little mug, short little tail, and the adorable cooing and chittering noises that he makes, which are actually taken from a 1972 kids movie called Daigoro vs. Goliath. He may not have much of a purpose in the film except to look cute and appeal to children but whenever he's onscreen, whether he's being curious as to what the humans are doing, getting into trouble with Yuki's teargas mines, or learning to blow radioactive bubbles at the end of the movie and getting really exited when he succeeds, I always smile. His innocence and cute nature is why I hate it when SpaceGodzilla attacks him for no reason when he lands on Birth Island (although, did Little Godzilla approach him because he thought he was na├»ve enough to think he was his dad?) and, furthermore, traps him in a crystal cage, knowing that it will prompt Godzilla to pursue him to the area where he plans to build his fortress. And you can't tell me that you don't find it poignant when Little Godzilla, now firmly seeing Godzilla as his father and guardian, takes cover behind him during the battle with SpaceGodzilla and is legitimately freaked out and concerned for him when SpaceGodzilla knocks him over at the end of the battle. Ultimately, he may have been redesigned this way simply to appeal to the kid audience but, regardless, I really like Little Godzilla and I don't blame Godzilla at all for going after SpaceGodzilla to get revenge for him being trapped in a cage. How could you not want to do that for the little guy?

Mothra makes a very brief appearance in this film along with the Cosmos in a shot where we see her continuing to fly into space to find the meteorite that's hurtling towards Earth. As she goes, a number of tiny objects that are revealed to be little holograms of herself, one of which allows the Cosmos to tell Miki of SpaceGodzilla's approach, begin detaching from her body. I fail to see the point of sending so many if they only intended to warn Miki of the impending danger but, regardless, these little holograms are called Fairy Mothras and would later be developed into an actual character in the 1996 film Rebirth of Mothra. By the way, if it weren't for this film, I would have thought that Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle of Earth had been discounted from the continuity since the previous film picked up from the events of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and never mentioned the movie that happened in-between (the English dub of the previous film didn't help matters since the opening narration stated that the year was 1992 and removed the 1994 caption when the story actually began, making it appear as if the events of all three of those films happened within the span of one year, which is quite hard to believe).

Out of all the Godzilla movies made during Koichi Kawakita's tenure as the head of the effects department at Toho, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is undoubtedly the weakest in terms of the overall quality of the effects work. Most of it is still top notch, from the monster suits, miniatures, and pyrotechnics to the matting and optical effects, with the latter consisting of some truly impressive shots such as one where Yuki is crawling behind some bushes in the foreground while Godzilla walks alongside him and another where the camera zooms past Godzilla's face and torso as he continues walking to show Yuki running after him along the beach. There are also some well-done computer graphics that are meant to present the images on the UNGCC's computers and radar. Unfortunately, there are also instances where it's painfully clear that, as talented as they were, Kawakita and his team could only do so much with the modest budgets, limited resources, and short shooting schedules they were saddled with. While Baby Godzilla and Rodan in the previous did look very rubbery and not completely convincing in close-ups, it wasn't distracting enough to take you completely out of the film. I can't say the same for Little Godzilla, though. He's so obviously made of rubber and latex and his eyes so clearly plastic that it is rather hard to accept him as a living breathing creature. While SpaceGodzilla is a truly wild and inventive design, it's painfully obvious in many shots that the crystals jutting out of his shoulders and those that he creates around him are plastic, hampering the believability. There's another moment where we see Godzilla's shadow pass over Yuki on the island and you can tell from the way the shadow is moving that it's not walking but rather, is some sort of Godzilla stand-in that's running along some kind of conveyor belt. Speaking of Godzilla himself, there's a shot where he dives beneath the sea and if you watch the tip of his tail that's sticking out, you can see it bend and break off as he does so! But, these sporadic effects mistakes and mishaps pale in comparison to what is, without a doubt, the most poorly executed effects sequence in the Heisei series and one of the worst this series has seen in a long time. I'm talking about the brief sequence where Moguera battles SpaceGodzilla in the asteroid field. That is just pathetic! I'm going to try to get an image of this sequence to put in here (and, of course, you'll see more during my rundown of the film's major sequences) but I don't know if a static picture will do justice to just how horrendously done it is. This looks like something that Ed Wood would have done if he had a fairly-sized budget. The "asteroids" are not only clearly made of Styrofoam or plastic but they barely move as well, mostly just hanging around in mid-air instead while Moguera and SpaceGodzilla are  maneuvered around them on wires. And the blackness of space in the background looks suspiciously like a black, felt backdrop. I feel bad about ragging on this sequence since I've spent so much time in these reviews defending the effects work in these films but still, this looks like something you would have seen in one of the ultra low budget 70's films, not one made in the 90's. I'm aware that the Japanese film industry doesn't have the money resources that Hollywood does and that they undoubtedly did what they could to pull off this fairly ambitious sequence but it just falls flat. This is one instance where I feel that if they couldn't do well, they shouldn't have attempted it at all.

This film's opening is a lot like Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth in that we have an object (in this case, SpaceGodzilla) hurtling through space towards Earth, something crashing onto the planet like the meteorite did in that film, and the impact awakens Godzilla, who is sleeping in the ocean. In fact, those shots of Godzilla waking up from the explosion look exactly like the ones from Godzilla and Mothra, only colored differently. In any case, following this pre-credits sequence where we get our first brief look at SpaceGodzilla and see him send ahead some crystal formations that crash and form on Birth Island, disturbing Godzilla in the process, we get the credits sequence where we see Moguera being put through a docking systems check at G-Force headquarters while the officials watch on. We see the two different separate vehicles that make up the machine's body as they're put into their docking modes to form Moguera for the first time, with the sequence ending on a shot of the machine's face as it takes shape. Following the scene where we're made aware of Miki's dilemma about participating in T-Project, including a brief moment where she senses Mothra as she continues heading out into space, sending out a bunch of those Fairy Mothras as she goes, we're introduced to Koji and Kiyo while they're on a boat heading to Birth Island. Again, this is like one of the early scenes in Godzilla and Mothra because we have some of our main characters heading to an island that they have to trek through for some purpose. After we see Kiyo dancing like a maniac on the ship's deck, we cut to them arriving on the island, with Kiyo having to go back to the motor boat they used to get over to the island in order to grab something he forgot. They then have to trek towards the island's interior, climbing up the steep, jagged cliff and then making their way through some thick jungle, with Kiyo complaining all the way. After he says that he's sure that they're lost, Koji stops to check his compass and they continue onward, coming to a small quarry, where they hear an odd rumbling sound. Koji climbs up on a ledge to see where the sound is coming from and spots the crystal chambers that SpaceGodzilla sent ahead of him. He tells Kiyo to take a look but, while climbing up the ledge, he gets dragged back down before he can get a good look. This is when Yuki makes himself known by grabbing onto Kiyo's left arm from behind and apparently threatening him with a knife, prompting Koji to draw his own knife. Yuki tells Kiyo to remain still and then, he appears to stab him in the side of the neck, followed by a close-up of blood trailing down it. However, Yuki then reveals that what he actually stabbed was a large spider that was on Kiyo, one that he says is venomous enough to kill someone in half a day. After letting go of Kiyo and getting rid of the spider, Yuki gives Kiyo some repellant. After they formerly introduce themselves in another section of the quarry, Little Godzilla makes his first appearance by walking up to and looking down at them from behind the ridge. This actually startles Kiyo but Yuki quickly explains to them that it's just the little one and, as the baby monster chitters happily at Yuki, he explains that he's become attached to him. After that, Yuki leads them to his camp and they settle down for the night.

Back at Japan, a meeting is taking place between the G-Force officials and several members of NASA, who have some news about what happened to a satellite of theirs. One of them then shows the last bit of footage sent to NASA from the satellite itself, which consists of the astronauts saying that the controls have been destroyed before some enormous crystals begin stabbing through the walls and floor of the satellite. The NASA official then says that the only explanation they could come up with to explain what they just saw is that it was the work of some kind of monster (how he came to this conclusion just from that footage, I don't know) and says that they're going to need the expertise of Dr. Okubo and Dr. Gondo in this situation. We get another look at some crystals jutting up through the floor of the space station before cutting to the next seen, which is Miki being visited by holographic projections of the Cosmos who warn her of SpaceGodzilla's approach and that he's coming to kill Godzilla in order to conquer Earth. After being told that she must do what she can to protect the planet, Miki is once again asked by Gondo and Okubo to join T-Project, which she accepts. We get some more stuff back on Birth Island, with Koji and Kiyo being forced to dig holes to put teargas mines in and Yuki revealing his plan to kill Godzilla with that bullet containing the blood coagulator, as well as a shot of Yuki's naked rear end as he uses an outdoor shower (like I mentioned earlier, Kiyo's face during that moment just kills me), before cutting back to G-Force headquarters. SpaceGodzilla is spotted on the radar as he continues on his path to Earth, with General Hyodo seeing a satellite image of the space monster traveling through space very quickly. Hyodo orders the satellite to zoom in on the object and they get a clear look at the crystal-like formation that SpaceGodzilla is encased in, with Miki analyzing his psychic energy elsewhere. We then get our first real look at SpaceGodzilla himself and we also see the crystal chambers on Birth Island awaiting his arrival before going back to headquarters, where we learn from Segawa that the United Nations has decided to destroy the space monster with Moguera, which is undergoing another systems check. Commander Aso, of course, is disappointed that this is the case and that Godzilla is being left to T-Project, which we see is already underway due to the arrival of Gondo, Okubo, and Miki on Birth Island. Following everyone on the island being formerly introduced, the film cuts to Moguera being transported to the launching bay where, in a sequence similar to Mechagodzilla's first takeoff in the previous film, final preparations are made before the robot takes off through the opening in the roof, with the officials, except for the cantankerous Aso, watching in pride as it heads out into space to face SpaceGodzilla.

Back on the island, everyone is busy with the final preparations for T-Project, while Miki has a brief but cute encounter with Little Godzilla while exploring the jungle. Upon seeing her, he does appear to remember her and gets rather excited, unintentionally sending a rock tumbling down the hill he's behind when he touches. Miki is startled by this but can't help but smile at Little Godzilla as he continues cooing at her. Following a moment where Yuki reveals his philosophy that you can only keep on living if you have something to live for, as well as his homemade bullet, which he dubs "Yuki Special," to Gondo, they hear an explosion over at the beach. Thinking that Godzilla may have arrived, Yuki leaps into action, as do Koji and Kiyo, who get on a motorcycle and drive over to the spot. They run into a big cloud of teargas but are unable to tell if Godzilla has shown up or not. They fall off of the motorcycle in the sand and take cover at the edge of the jungle, still not sure about what's going on due to the thick teargas. However, they soon realize what it is when Little Godzilla appears, frantically squealing and wandering around the beach after having tripped one of the mines. As he moves, he trips another that explodes right in his face, causing him to jump. Yuki and Gondo arrive and Yuki groans in disappointment upon seeing that it's just Little Godzilla. Kiyo tries to suppress his laughter, saying that he knew the teargas wouldn't effect the real Godzilla, while the little one steps on another mine and jumps again at the explosion. Panicking, he turns around and runs back into the jungle, with Yuki mentioning that he's a real pain. As the scene quiets down, Miki, who had been concerned for Little Godzilla during the commotion, breathes a sigh of relief but then, senses something that changes her mood back to one of seriousness. She goes to the tent where Okubo has set up and tells him that she can sense that Godzilla is coming. Hearing this, he goes right into action, telling Gondo when she shows up that it's time to start T-Project. She then gets to work and activates the dish-like antenna they'll use to control Godzilla. Back at the beach, Yuki tells Koji and Kiyo that they might as well clean everything up and call it a day. However, when the two of them head into the shallows to wash up, those plans quickly change when they see something enormous underwater that's heading towards the island. When they see his tail thrash up from beneath the water, they know exactly what it is and as Yuki turns around, Godzilla emerges with a roar. While Koji and Kiyo almost panic at this, Yuki simply throws away his cigarette in a rather calm manner. The two G-Force lieutenants get back on their motorcycle and ride off to warn the others of Godzilla's arrival, while Yuki takes cover in the jungle as Godzilla wades towards the shore. Upon arriving at the tent and telling everyone what's happened, Koji grabs the rifle containing the transmitter and he and Kiyo back to the beach to attempt to attach it to the back of Godzilla's head.

Godzilla walks through the shallows of the water, roaring constantly as he heads towards the shore, while Yuki watches from nearby with a pair of tiny binoculars. He pulls out a remote control and prepares to detonate one of the mines he has in the shallows near the shore. Koji and Kiyo then arrive on the motorcycle and Koji takes the rifle and aims upwards at Godzilla's head as he continues heading in. That's when Godzilla's foot gets close to a couple of the underwater mines and Yuki, seizing his chance, activates them, with the ensuing explosions causing Godzilla to lose his balance a little bit. Koji and Kiyo then see Yuki crouching down behind a small slope nearby, with Kiyo wondering what he's doing. Yuki now has his gun aimed up and is waiting for Godzilla to raise his arm and expose his soft spot. Godzilla, however, does no such thing and continues heading in, prompting Yuki to find another vantage point while Koji tells Kiyo to drive the motorcycle to a position where they'll be behind Godzilla. I don't know why but I've always liked the shot that follows where you see Koji and Kiyo pass Yuki on the motorcycle while Godzilla continues walking to shore in the background. Koji and Kiyo fall off their motorcycle again just as Godzilla leaves the shallows and makes it to the beach, forcing them to take cover in the nearby jungle and wait until he gets in the right position. Yuki does the same in the jungle on the other side of the beach and gets his gun ready, with both him and Koji aiming their respective rifles up at Godzilla as he walks up the beach. As they wait for their chances, Godzilla steps on one of the teargas mines and, again, temporarily loses his balance. Koji tensely waits for Godzilla to turn around as he hits another mine, which prompt Yuki to put on some goggles so as not to be affected by the gas. After stumbling around a little more, Godzilla finally gets in the right position for Koji, who manages to score a direct hit with the transmitter. As the thing unfurls, Godzilla swings around and prompts Yuki to take his chance and fire at him. He has less success and only manages to hit Godzilla around the chest and on the forearm, much to his frustration. Kiyo then contacts Okubo and the others with a walkie-talkie and tells them that the transmitter's in place. Okubo tells Miki to begin the telepathy projection and she proceeds by putting on a special helmet attached to the machine and says that she's going to make Godzilla walk along the beach. She begins projecting and the machine, known as the psychotronic generator, begins humming and beeping, as does the transmitter on Godzilla's neck. With his and Miki's brainwaves now synchronized, Okubo radios Koji and Kiyo to observe Godzilla's movements.

Koji and Kiyo do what they're told, while Yuki loads some more "Yuki Special" bullets nearby and points the gun back up at Godzilla, who begins responding to Miki's projections and indeed starts walking along the beach. As they observe, Koji radios back to Okubo that Godzilla is reacting very well to the transmissions he's receiving and is doing what Miki tells him to do. Yuki, who took a position closer to the beach a couple of seconds, is about to fire but when Godzilla walks out of his line of sight, he's forced to run after the monster in order to keep up with him and find another firing position. He runs along the beach near and then takes a shortcut through the jungle, crawling on the ground next to the bushes alongside him (note how the camera shakes with Godzilla's footsteps in this shot) and passing behind Koji and Kiyo, so focused on what he's doing that he doesn't even seem to notice him as they watch him with perplexed looks on their faces. The scene cuts as Yuki continues crawling through the brush. Now we get the brief battle between Moguera and SpaceGodzilla in the poorly-executed asteroid field. As the robot and the space monster fly through the field towards each other, one of the pilots notices their systems are picking up some interference. They then see SpaceGodzilla as he flies through the asteroids and determine that he must be causing the interference. They enter battle mode as they approach him and hit him a few times with their plasma laser cannons. This doesn't slow SpaceGodzilla down one bit and he continues flying straight at Moguera, scraping the top of it as he passes over it. He then turns around and comes at them to attack again, firing some sonic waves and following that up with a blast of his swirling energy beam from his mouth, which Moguera responds to with some plasma lasers. Moguera, however, is the one that receives the bad end of this exchange, with the main circuit being damaged as SpaceGodzilla heads straight towards it. He smashes along its right side, prompting one of the pilots to swing the machine around and fire the laser beams from the arms. SpaceGodzilla does take a hit from this but, again, he's not fazed at all and loops back around at Moguera, hitting it with more sonic waves and damaging it to the point where it can't fight any longer. The pilots trying to head back to Earth but the machine is out of control. Even worse, SpaceGodzilla delivers one last blow, striking Moguera from below and blowing out one of its boosters, sending it careening off into space while he resumes heading to Earth.

Back on Birth Island, T-Project is still going ahead smoothly until the psychotronic generator picks up some interference from SpaceGodzilla's approach. Not understanding what's wrong, Okubo tells Gondo to use the machine to increase Miki's projections but when she moves the switch up as far as it will go, he impatiently begins rapidly moving the switch up and down, ignoring Gondo's warnings not to do so. The machine, including Miki's helmet, shorts out from this and the psychic is injured in the process. With Miki unconscious, and Okubo desperately trying to fix the machine, Gondo radios for Koji to come back to the tent, which he does along with Kiyo on the motorcycle. After they arrive there and briefly assess the situation, Miki, who has regained consciousness, says that SpaceGodzilla is coming. We then see that she knows what she's talking about as the crystal chambers in the island interior begin shooting green bolts of energy up into the air, signaling that SpaceGodzilla's arrival is eminent. At the same time, Godzilla, who is no longer receiving any messages from Miki, begins moving along the beach again, an action that panics Kiyo who immediately informs Koji of this. That's when Koji decides that they themselves must take Godzilla down since Moguera is busy with SpaceGodzilla, angering Miki. Meanwhile, Yuki is still keeping close tabs on Godzilla, running directly behind him on the beach and entering a small rock quarry as he tries to find another suitable vantage point. As he aims, Koji and Kiyo pop up behind him and while he initially threatens to shoot them if they interfere, they tell him that they've arrived to help him. Ignoring Miki and Gondo's pleading not to shoot at Godzilla (again, do they really think they can hurt him with those guns?), the three men prepare to fire but they stop when a shadow passes over them as SpaceGodzilla finally arrives. He passes over Little Godzilla and crashes down in the clearing with the crystal chambers, doing so with enough force to make both the humans and the younger monster run for cover. As the dust settles, the humans get their first look at SpaceGodzilla as he screeches, with Miki commenting on how he looks like Godzilla.

Little Godzilla then peeks around the ridge he took cover behind and, upon seeing SpaceGodzilla standing there screeching, he very foolishly walks over to get a closer look at him (again, I'm not sure if he thinks SpaceGodzilla is Godzilla himself or if he's just curious but, either way, this is a bad idea). When he's just a few feet away from SpaceGodzilla, he screeches at him and the alien responds by growling and absorbing some energy from the surrounding crystal chambers. He then looks at Little Godzilla and snarls, frightening him and prompting him to put his head down in fear as SpaceGodzilla screeches. His eyes flash red, signifying that he's afraid, but, before he can muster the courage to run, SpaceGodzilla absorbs more energy and fires his orange energy beam around him, scaring him even more and causing him to drop to the ground in fear. Little Godzilla tries to crawl away but SpaceGodzilla fires at him again and again, while the humans watch and try to find cover for themselves. Godzilla himself begins moving through the jungle to the site and he arrives to find SpaceGodzilla looming over the helpless younger monster. The two adult monsters roar challenges at each other before Godzilla stomps over to SpaceGodzilla and hits him a couple of times with his atomic blast but on the second one, SpaceGodzilla uses his shield and bounces the blast back at Godzilla. The alien then responds with his own spiraling energy beam, hitting Godzilla enough to cause him to fall but he wisely fires his blast while doing so, preventing SpaceGodzilla from hitting him again. Little Godzilla, who has been caught in the middle of this firefight the whole time, rolls away and gets to his feet, as does Godzilla. SpaceGodzilla fires his energy beam again as the little one runs to his father, whom he hides behind for protection. Godzilla blasts SpaceGodzilla again, prompting the alien to take to the air and begin circling around while blasting the both of them. He causes Little Godzilla to lose his balance and while Godzilla tries to protect his son, he's blasted again and again by SpaceGodzilla's energy beam, so much so that he falls over with a loud bang. Little Godzilla runs up to him and Godzilla does reach for him but, before they can embrace, SpaceGodzilla picks up the little one with his telepathic powers and encases him in one of the crystal chambers. SpaceGodzilla then flies off, leaving Godzilla both injured and despondent about what happened to Little Godzilla. In fact, there was originally a moment after this where Godzilla tries to free Little Godzilla from the crystal chamber but when the crystals prove to be impervious to his atomic blast, he reluctantly gives up and walks to the beach in despair. Apparently, Koichi Kawakita cut it from the final film because he felt it was too serious for what it is mainly a light-hearted, family-friendly film. And SpaceGodzilla encasing Little Godzilla in the chamber in the first place wasn't? Anyway, the sequence ends with everyone heading back to camp while Godzilla stands on the beach and gives a mournful roar before heading out to make SpaceGodzilla pay for what he's done.

Things slow down for a little bit after this. Miki stays behind on the island because she's worried about both Godzilla and the little one, Koji and Kiyo stay behind to protect her while Yuki, Gondo, and Okubo fly back to Japan, where Gondo informs the G-Force committee that the space monster is an extraterrestrial clone of Godzilla and gives possible theories as to how he came to be, and Commander Aso reluctantly asks Yuki to pilot Moguera (how did it make it safely back to Earth in such critical condition in the first place?) After all that, we get a nice scene at sunset on the island where Miki is first visited by the Fairy Mothra again, who tells her not to be discouraged and that SpaceGodzilla can be defeated if everyone works together, and then by Koji, who prompts Miki angrily criticize him for his combat-oriented personality. This scene is nothing major but it's very lovely to say the least, with a gorgeous sunset in the background (it seems like Japan has the best sunsets) and some really nice music playing along with it. The tranquility is broken that night, however, when a couple of men wearing camouflage cut their way into the tent, easily beat up Koji and Kiyo, and run off with Miki. Koji tries to stop them but is unable to after being so badly beaten and tells Kiyo to contact the Defense Force immediately. They're soon picked up from the island in a helicopter by Gondo, who tells them that she has an idea who might have kidnapped Miki and that Yuki is searching for her as well. After a cut, we see Koji, Kiyo, and Yuki spying on a building that looks like a warehouse but Yuki informs them that it's actually a front for an international crime organization. After a brief cut inside where we see that Okubo is part of this and that Miki is strapped to a bed while her head is connected to the psyhotronic generator, we cut to a nighttime scene where the three men are trying to find a way to sneak in but Yuki sees that security is really tight. However, they do manage to get past the main gate by way of a manhole. After another bit inside where Okubo tells Miki that he's recorded her telepathic patterns into the machine so he can control Godzilla without her and gives a hint as to what his plan is, we see the agents continuing to sneak around the place as they spot the satellite dish come up nearby. They manage to climb up to the roof with the antenna and use the opening it's extending out of to get down into the place. A quick shot where we see Godzilla explode out of the water, now being controlled by Okubo, who has managed to impress the mafia guys he's associated with, we see Yuki, Koji, and Kiyo sneak down a stairway, while Godzilla begins to respond to Okubo's commands.

The film then cuts to Sapporo, which SpaceGodzilla passes over, causing electronic interference in the buildings below as he does so. There's a moment here where a guy who was desperately trying to win a toy for his kid in one of those prize-grabbers is now able to get all the toys he wants thanks to the interference but, as he and his frightened employee try to leave, the panicking people who run past him unintentionally rip open his bag, spilling everything out. SpaceGodzilla then passes over Yamagata, causing more chaos and sending hundreds of more people running for cover. Little does he know that his energy output interferes with the transmitter on the back of Godzilla's, who is in the ocean nearby, neck, prompting him to dive beneath the water now that he's no longer being controlled. Back at the mafia headquarters, Okubo again loses his patience with the machine when it malfunctions and causes it to short out. While he tries to fix the machine, Koji, Kiyo, and Yuki burst into the next room, prompting his associates to draw their guns and attack. This part of the film feels like a yakuza gangster flick, with one of the Mafiosos coming out guns blazing, with his American associate right behind him. They hit a steam pipe, obscuring the agents' vision, and once they run down the other hall, Yuki and Kiyo chase after them, firing back. Koji then tries to save Miki, who is still strapped to a table nearby, and dives behind a leather couch for cover when another Mafioso comes out and fires. Koji returns fire and just barely misses the guy, hitting the junction box on the wall beside him instead. The guy divers under the table Miki is on and then turns it over on its side to use it as a shield, with Miki now facing Koji. He tries to help Miki but is forced to take cover again when the Mafioso pops up and fires at him with his machine gun, shooting a bunch of holes in the couch and wall behind it as well as utterly destroying everything on the coffee table in front of it. Once the guy stops firing, Miki decides to help Koji out by using her telekinesis to lift the table up off of the floor by a few feet, along Koji to shoot the legs of the Mafioso, who is too shocked by this unexpected action to protect himself. Once the guy gets shot in the legs, he frantically stumbles down the next hall and after Koji makes sure that he's gone, he turns the table back upright and unstraps Miki from it. After they talk for a little bit, Miki tells Koji that she can sense that SpaceGodzilla is nearby. Yuki and Kiyo then show back up and when they realize that Okubo is in the next room, electrocuting himself in his mad attempt to try to get the machine to work, they attempt to go inside and apprehend him but Miki warns them that SpaceGodzilla is coming and that they have to get out, which they do. As Okubo, now almost completely crazed, tries to fix the machine, SpaceGodzilla passes over the building and causes so much electronic interference and surging that the machinery around Okubo explodes, killing him.

As everyone at UNGCC headquarters becomes aware that SpaceGodzilla is approaching Tokyo, and while General Hyodo tries to find Yuki, the space monster passes over Kobe, causing more destruction and panic as he goes. After a brief moment back at headquarters where Moguera is put through a final systems check and a new crew and leader is selected for it, causing Aso to silently curse Yuki for not being there, SpaceGodzilla passes over a small town and heads for Fukuoka, circling around the main tower upon arriving. At headquarters, Yuki and company finally arrive and Aso reluctantly gives them back command of Moguera. The quickly board the robot and lift off, heading for Fukuoka, where SpaceGodzilla has now landed with a crash and creating his own personal fortress out of midtown, destroying everything around him as he causes enormous crystals to jut up out of the ground, with the center of it being Fukuoka Tower. This whole time, a female reporter who is about on the brink of a nervous breakdown breathlessly reports on the chaos as we see hundreds of people run for cover while SpaceGodzilla continues constructing his fortress. Godzilla then appears in Kagoshima Bay and the UNGCC, still seeing him as an enemy as well, sends out a defense line of battleships and helicopters. As he approaches the shore, he's fired upon by the battalion (I wonder if some of this material is recycled from a similar scene in Godzilla vs. Biollante?) and while he initially tries to get past without resorting to violence, he ultimately seems to roar in frustration at the humans forcing him to do this and blows up one of the battleships. After getting past the defense line, he continues inward through Kagoshima Bay, while the Moguera crew learns of his appearance. He then comes ashore and unintentionally causes a lot of property damage and panic as he heads towards the countryside and Fukuoka, passing through Kumamoto on his way. After the Moguera crew realizes that Godzilla is heading towards SpaceGodzilla, Yuki, unable to let go of his obsession, disobeys his orders and turns Moguera in Godzilla's direction. After a moment at headquarters where everyone sees what Yuki is doing, and Miki leaves for Fukuoka, we cut back to Godzilla, who is now Beppu and is causing more destruction and pandemonium, at one point passing directly behind a theme park. At the same time, Yuki, who refuses to turn around, continues flying Moguera in Godzilla's direction, coming across him in the countryside near Beppu. Flying straight at him, Yuki fires on him with Moguera's plasma laser cannons, still ignoring Koji's demands to turn around. That's when Koji is forced to knock Yuki out and take over command, with Kiyo strapping the unconscious man in his seat while taking the copilot position. Once that matter is settled, Koji turns Moguera around and gets back on the course for Fukuoka.

By this time, SpaceGodzilla has finished turning midtown Fukuoka into his fortress and is admiring his handiwork when Moguera arrives. As the robot enters the area, SpaceGodzilla's electronic interference prevents those at UNGCC headquarters from watching the action on their video monitors, making them quickly realize that there's nothing they can do against this powerful energy field except wait. Meanwhile, Moguera flies at SpaceGodzilla and blasts him with its plasma laser cannons, which SpaceGodzilla responds to by firing back with his energy beam. Moguera takes the brunt of the blast head-on but is undamaged and Koji and Kiyo manage to fly it around SpaceGodzilla, shooting him some with the laser cannons which prompts him to fire back again, as they come in for a landing on the outskirts of the city, with SpaceGodzilla facing them. Once they've set down, they fire Moguera's spiral grenade missiles at SpaceGodzilla and manage to score direct hits in the torso with them (for some reason, they give each other a high-five over this, even though all they did was piss off SpaceGodzilla rather than severely hurt him). After a brief glimpse at Godzilla, who is continuing on his way to the battle site, smashing through some buildings, we cut back to the battle to see that SpaceGodzilla is thoroughly enraged from being hit with those missiles. Koji and Kiyo then use the tracks is Moguera's feet to slowly and smoothly approach SpaceGodzilla while hitting him with blasts from the laser cannon in Moguera's torso before going in for a drill attack, charging right at SpaceGodzilla and drilling into either side of his neck. This quickly proves to have been a bad course of action because SpaceGodzilla blasts Moguera point black with his beam, sending it stumbling backwards and forcing Koji and Kiyo to roll backwards while firing with the laser cannon again. However, SpaceGodzilla, continuing to absorb energy from his surroundings, fires back and manages to hit them despite the distance they've put between them and knocks Moguera down to the ground. SpaceGodzilla roars triumphantly and begins moving in for the kill while, at the same time, Godzilla enters the area and heads for midtown. SpaceGodzilla fires his beam at the downed Moguera and the impact from the blast wakes up Yuki who, after realizing where they are and what's going on, manages to wake up the unconscious Koji and Kiyo by shouting at them. They attempt to Moguera back into the upright position and kick in the afterburners but they're hit with another blast from the monster and Kiyo realizes that the weapons systems are dead. Yuki says that they'll fix them once they get up in the air and, with that, Koji hits the main booster and manages to haphazardly fly Moguera up off the ground, although they take another hit from SpaceGodzilla as they do. That's when SpaceGodzilla turns upon hearing Godzilla roar and the Big G enters the battlefield by plowing through a small apartment building, screeching a challenge at his alien doppelganger as he does so. Upon seeing that Godzilla has arrived, Yuki demands to be put back in command and Koji tells Kiyo, who is trying to repair the weapons systems, to untie him.

As Godzilla approaches him, SpaceGodzilla hits him with a couple of blasts that cause him to stumble backwards but Godzilla is undeterred and goes up to the alien and attempts to engage him in hand-to-hand combat but he barely gets one smack in before SpaceGodzilla's ability to conduct energy through touch force him backwards, prompting SpaceGodzilla to blast him again and knock him to the ground. After sucking up some more energy, SpaceGodzilla uses his telekinetic powers to lift Godzilla up and, after floating him around for a bit, maneuvers him over the city and crashes him into a large building. By this point, Kiyo has fixed Moguera's weapons systems and has gone back to sitting in the third seat in the cockpit, although Yuki is now sitting in the copilot position while Koji remains as the pilot. Back outside, Godzilla, while rolling himself off of what's left of that building, fires at SpaceGodzilla, who responds by floating up in the air and sending a bunch of crystals up with him. Godzilla gets to his feet and roars at the alien, who floats towards him and blasts him again while continuing to send the crystals up into the air. Godzilla wades through the blasts and tries to attack but SpaceGodzilla manages to maneuver behind him and blast him again. He then floats back around Godzilla's front and blasts him again as he lands back in front of the tower and absorbs some more energy. Growling in frustration, Godzilla fires at SpaceGodzilla but when he blocks it with his shield, he begins blowing up the crystals around him, realizing that's where his foe is getting his energy. As he does so, Moguera comes flying back to the site and that's when Godzilla, after observing for a little bit, sees that the tower is the main source of energy. The Moguera crew realizes this too and prepares to separate the robot into its two separate forms in order to destroy the tower, with Yuki taking command of the Star Falcon. Meanwhile, SpaceGodzilla begins dropping those crystals that he floated up earlier down onto Godzilla, creating explosions of energy around him while Godzilla tries to get close to him. That's when SpaceGodzilla begins firing some crystals directly at him like pointed missiles, hitting him in the front and head a bunch of times before Godzilla begins shooting them down in mid-air. He's unable to keep all of them from hitting him but he manages to destroy enough to go up to the tower and blast it head-on, although the sturdy building holds together. As Moguera comes flying, the crew goes into Separation Mode, with Koji and Kiyo piloting the Land Moguera down to the ground while Yuki covers them in the Star Falcon. After we see that Miki and Gondo have arrived and, upon seeing the ongoing battle, commandeer a small boat in order to get over there, we cut back to the fight, with Godzilla attempting to blast the tower again but now, SpaceGodzilla is blocking his blasts with his shield and is firing back at Godzilla.

The Land Moguera moves in and Koji tells Yuki to handle things up top while he and Kiyo burrow underground to destroy the tower's foundation. They then do so, heading down through the earth towards the tower, using the computer to lock onto its most essential structural point. As they home in on it, Yuki flies the Falcon in behind Godzilla in order to fire at SpaceGodzilla, first blasting him in the front and then swerving around to hit him in the side. As he comes around, SpaceGodzilla manages to blast him a couple of times. Back underground, the Land Moguera reaches the correct firing position and begins shooting its lasers, causing some explosions up top that actually hit Godzilla, as they hit the tower's foundation. The building begins rocking back and forth while creaking loudly, prompting Godzilla to begin smacking it from the side in order to knock it over. SpaceGodzilla then blasts him away from it, prompting Yuki to distract him by flying straight at him and shooting him, yelling madly as he does so. As he flies over to SpaceGodzilla's left, the alien blasts the Falcon again, forgetting in his rage that he's left the tower completely defenseless. Godzilla takes the opportunity to push the building over, destroying it completely. Godzilla roars triumphantly at this while SpaceGodzilla screeches in anger. The Land Moguera then explodes up to the surface and they drive at SpaceGodzilla, firing at his knees with their laser cannons, while he fires back at them. Yuki then comes flying back in and covers them by hitting SpaceGodzilla from the side. While the alien tries to hit them again, he barely scrapes them as they drive past him and they and Yuki get into the position necessary to reform Moguera. They do so in mid-air and after Yuki rejoins them in the cockpit, they come in for a landing. By this point, Miki and Gondo have reached the site and they can tell that the battle is about to start up again. Yuki then tells Koji and Kiyo to prepare to attack SpaceGodzilla all-out and they lock onto him with all of their weapons. They then fire both the plasma laser beams from the eyes and the laser cannon in the torso at SpaceGodzilla, while Godzilla follows that up with a blast from the alien's other side. After Moguera blasts SpaceGodzilla again with the eye-beams, Godzilla charges up to the alien, who zaps him with some energy from the shoulder crystals, and smacks him on chest and neck but gets electrocuted by his energy. The two of them begin smashing their heads together and that's when Godzilla unexpectedly bites SpaceGodzilla on his left shoulder, blocking and absorbing his energy. With SpaceGodzilla distracted, the Moguera crew prepare to fire the Spiral Grenade Missiles, which hit the space monster from behind and blow up his left shoulder crystal. As he continues to tangle with Godzilla, Moguera hits him again with another combination of the plasma lasers beams and cannon, the explosion of which is powerful enough to send Godzilla tumbling over to the side into a nearby building. SpaceGodzilla turns around and scores a direct on Moguera, blowing off its left hand but despite this, the crew continues with the attack, firing the remaining Spiral Grenade Missile and destroying his other shoulder crystal. SpaceGodzilla then swings around and jams the jagged tip of his tail into Moguera's mid-section, destroying the laser cannon, lifting the robot up and zapping it with energy before flinging it over to the side, where it roughly crashes through a building. All of the robot's systems, including the engines, are now down and SpaceGodzilla begins stomping toward it. Yuki says that they'll have to use the escape pod but, when Koji and Kiyo get inside the interior lift to the pod, Yuki stays behind, telling them to put the pod on stand-by and that he'll be right behind them. Koji and Kiyo make it down to the pod but when they strap in, Yuki jettisons them, opting to take care of unfinished business instead.

Now alone, Yuki begins loading a bazooka with a Yuki Special shell, saying that the day he's waited for has come and he's not going to let SpaceGodzilla kill Godzilla first. After we get a nice shot where Godzilla opens his eye, which has energy surging through it, Yuki climbs up on top of Moguera to fire. With his dorsal plates crackling with energy, Godzilla gets back up and begins approaching SpaceGodzilla from behind. Yuki then aims his bazooka, thanking Godzilla for staying alive for him, and prepares to fire but, before he can do so, SpaceGodzilla, who is now almost on top of Moguera, is blasted from behind by Godzilla and the ensuing explosion and sparks force Yuki to go back inside Moguera for cover. Godzilla and SpaceGodzilla then begin circling around each other, with Godzilla getting blasted by the alien, while Yuki goes back into Moguera's cockpit and tries to get it working again. Godzilla continues to take hits from SpaceGodzilla in the meantime. After a moment where see Koji and Kiyo get out of the escape pod once it's landed and meet up with Miki and Gondo, they see Yuki, in a final act of desperation, fly the malfunctioning machine directly at SpaceGodzilla, plowing into him and sending him to the ground while Moguera itself crashes into a nearby building. Even though it looks as if no one could have survived such a bad wreck, Koji heads that way to find Yuki. Arriving at the site, Koji climbs up the mangled stairway of the destroyed building in order to make it up to Moguera's hatch, while SpaceGodzilla, loudly moaning in pain, manages to lift himself back up to his feet while Godzilla blasts him. Godzilla fires at him again when he gets back up completely, destroying what remains of his right shoulder crystal in the process. At the same time, Koji manages to make it up the wrecked stairway and finds Yuki hanging by his foot from Moguera's half-closed escape hatch. Yuki chastises Koji for coming back, saying that SpaceGodzilla is liable to over-absorb Godzilla's energy and blow up, but Koji refuses to leave him even though there's not much he can do to get him down when the bit of stairway next to him collapses. Yuki tries to pull himself loose of the hatch by grabbing onto the nearby guardrail while outside, SpaceGodzilla, who is on his last legs, hits Godzilla again. Nearby, Kiyo and Gondo take cover, knowing that SpaceGodzilla could blow up at any moment, but Miki stays behind and uses her psychic powers to communicate with Koji so she can "see things through her eyes." He does so and she manages to open the hatch with her powers, freeing Yuki, although Koji has to run after him when he falls.

Godzilla then finishes SpaceGodzilla off, blasting him in the chest a couple of times at close range, blowing him to the ground, before charging up and hitting him with his red super atomic blast, which not only completely incinerates SpaceGodzilla but also blows Moguera, and the surrounding area, to bits in an absolutely enormous explosion. Godzilla then roars in triumph while SpaceGodzilla, who is completely engulfed in flames, gives out one last screech before he disintegrates into a cloud cells that head back up into the sky, while Godzilla continues roaring his victory. Things then slowly wind down, with the UNGCC officials now able to see the aftermath of the battle due to SpaceGodzilla's destruction, Kiyo, Gondo, and Miki being reunited with Koji and Yuki, who just barely managed to escape the explosion, Yuki deciding to give up trying to kill Godzilla, and Gondo giving her statement about how SpaceGodzilla may have been a warning about what can happen if the universe is "polluted" with G-cells. As Godzilla heads towards the sea, Miki uses her psychic powers to remove the transmitter from the back of his neck, which he responds to by roaring before turning and nodding at her in gratitude. After Miki is visited by the projections of the Cosmos one last time, who thank her for her part in saving the Earth, everyone then watches from the beach as Godzilla swims off into the sunrise. With their new relationship now established, Miki uses her psychic powers to allow Koji to see that Little Godzilla is now free back on Birth Island and after that, the film ends with the two of them walking down the beach while Godzilla heads home and the Fairy Mothra circles the Earth.

Although the film's score makes use of both of his classic themes for Godzilla and Mothra, this film was the first one since Godzilla vs. Biollante to not be scored by Akira Ifukube. The reason for that is either because he had a scheduling conflict or because he and director Kenshou Yamashita clashed over how the music should go and he left as a result (the latter is a possibility since Ifukube had a reputation for being headstrong and difficult) but either way, the bulk of the musical duties went over to Takayuki Hattori, the son of the man who had composed some of Akira Kurosawa's earliest films. When I first read David Kalat's book on the Godzilla franchise, he mentioned something in his section on this film that I always felt myself, which is that Hattori's music is so different from Ifukube's that the classic Godzilla and Mothra themes, which are only played a few times (Godzilla's theme is only heard once when he first appears), feel out of place. I didn't say Hattori's music was bad, mind you; I just said that it was different and feel that it and Ifukube's work kind of clash. In any case, I rather like a good portion of the music he composed for this film, with my favorite pieces being the theme for Moguera that you first hear when it takes off to go battle SpaceGodzilla out in the asteroid field (the extended version you hear when Moguera separates during the climactic battle is pretty good too) and the one that has a driving beat that's virtually identical to the Jaws theme! I also like the really beautiful music that plays during that sunset scene between Miki and Koji as well as the instrumental version of the song that plays over the ending credits, Echoes of Love, that you hear as in the final moments leading up to them. SpaceGodzilla's theme, which starts out really harsh and screeching and transitions into a elegant, sweeping piece, is okay but I think it's overused a little too much and the same goes for the rather bland music that's played throughout the third act during the action scenes. I kind of like the music that has a soft beat to it that you hear during several sequences on the island and during the shootout to save Miki but, even then, that's more than I can say for Little Godzilla's overly cute, silly theme, which is thankfully only played when he first appears. The rest of the music throughout the film, including the aforementioned song that plays over the ending credits (which is fine but I don't think entirely fits with a Godzilla movie, especially when it's playing over footage of him swimming home), isn't bad but it mainly ranges from okay to forgettable, although the most memorable themes are really, really good in my opinion. And, in addition, I can tell you right now that Hattori's score here is much better than the one he would later compose for Godzilla 2000, which we'll get to soon enough.

I remember the English dub for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla being better than the rather corny one that was done for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II but, at the same time, it still had some cringe-inducing lines, deliveries, and dialogue changes. The voices for the main characters were all really good, especially the one for Yuki, but for some reason, during the moment in the mafia building where Miki warns Yuki that SpaceGodzilla is coming, her voice all of a sudden got really high and strange-sounding, coming across more like the a guy with a falsetto voice rather than an actual woman! That was weird too, because the woman who voiced Miki did a good job and it makes me wonder if that was her who did that line. Another bit of dialogue that I didn't like because it didn't make sense, and, now that I've seen the Japanese version, I see how radically and needlessly it was changed, was an exchange between two guys at an arcade is Sapporo when SpaceGodzilla passes over it. In the Japanese version, one guy is getting angry at his boss for using up all his money to try to get a toy for his kid out of one of those prize-grabber machines and says that he wants to go home. He starts whining and crying about this later on when everyone's evacuating due to SpaceGodzilla's appearance, begging his boss to allow them to leave. In the English dub, the dialogue starts out the same but when everyone begins evacuating, the guy now suddenly says he doesn't want to leave, saying, "Do we have to?! Oh, boss!" I have no clue why they changed the dialogue to such an extent that they made the guy's whining and complaining suddenly not make sense. Plus, the Cosmos' lines in the English dub are a bit cringe-inducing, especially at the end of the movie when they appear to Miki one last time and say something to the effect of, "Congratulations, you saved Earth," something you'd expect to see on a screen at the end of an old video game. As with all of the Heisei entries, there are some instances of English dialogue in this film but there's not nearly as much as there was in the last film, so the dubbing staff didn't have as much embarrassing performances to fix. In fact, I don't think the NASA official who shows the UNGCC committee the footage of SpaceGodzilla's attack on the satellite did a bad job in the Japanese version, although the astronauts in the footage needed the dub job they got and the same goes for a moment where Kenji Sahara tries to speak English, another American guy who speaks during the meeting when Gondo gives her theory about SpaceGodzilla, and this one guy who in the Japanese version, speaks in a really bad German accent. As for the respective replacement and elimination of the opening and ending credits, it's not a big deal for me this time around. The song at the end, again, is not bad but I wouldn't be crushed if I didn't have the option to hear it. As you can see, this dub is fairly good but, as with all of them, isn't completely perfect.

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is certainly a mixed bag of a movie. It has some major pacing problems at one points and sometimes isn't as fun or enthralling as it should be, especially during the overdrawn final act where the reliance on beam exchanges does get old after awhile, some of the special effects are inexcusably bad, especially for a movie made in 1994, while the characters are likable, the relationships the film tries to forge between some of them don't feel entirely natural, SpaceGodzilla is not used quite as effectively as he could be, Moguera is a pretty pitiful successor to Mechagodzilla, and some of the music is rather generic and bland. But, on the other hand, you still have a nice cast, some great character moments and performances, Godzilla is easy to root for this time around, which hasn't been the case in a while, the majority of the special effects work is still top notch, and a chunk of the music is really good and well-orchestrated. While I do still think it's a watchable film and  could easily view it over a couple of the previous entries, my opinion on it has gone down in recent years and I do get why a lot of people wouldn't care for it. I would definitely seeing this immediately after Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II because that film leaves you on such an emotional high that this one will most surely drag you down in a rough way and make you absolutely despise it. That's basically all the advice I can give about seeing it, as well as not to go into it expecting an out-and-out great Godzilla movie because you will be disappointed. Just take it for what it's worth and leave it at that.

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