Director: Takao Okawara
Writer: Wataru Mimura
Cast: Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka, Yusuke Kawazu, Daijiro Harada, Akira Nakao, Koichi Ueda, Kenji Sahara, Leo Meneghetti, Andy Smith, Shelley Sweeney, Shinobu Nakayama, Tadao Takashima, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Wataru Fukuda, and ‘Hurricane Ryu’ Hariken
Composer: Akira Ifukube
Release Date: 12/11/1993
MPAA Rating: PG
By reverse-engineering the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, G-Force—a United Nations military branch—designs an anti-Godzilla weapon known as Mechagodzilla. Conflict later ensues when Godzilla and Rodan, now searching for a newly hatched Godzillasaur, arrive in Tokyo.
Combining poignant drama with riveting monster battles, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II will appeal to kaiju eiga buffs of a sensitive nature. Especially captivating is the final fight sequence featuring Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, and Fire Rodan, which, despite lasting longer than necessary, earns its reputation as a highlight of the Heisei-era films.
This offering should be commended for its introduction of Godzilla Junior, who, as opposed to Minilla (Godzilla’s Barney-like son from the Showa series), exhibits a variety of anthropomorphic qualities (e.g. eyelids, baby teeth, and a stature similar to that of an average human) that allow the audience to sympathize with him.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II also deserves praise for its climactic showdown. Specifically, the finale of this film benefits from many fiery explosions, light beam exchanges, and heart-wrenching moments involving all four monsters/mechas.
It should be noted that Super Mechagodzilla features a number of improvements over his Showa-era counterpart: shock anchors, a plasma grenade launcher, and a mega-buster ray to neutralize Godzilla’s atomic breath. Traditional kaiju fans may nevertheless take issue with the new Mechagodzilla, which lacks the iconic finger missiles of the original model.
Forgoing the black-and-white moral conflicts of prior installments in the Heisei series, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II presents a complex dilemma for viewers to consider. On one hand, the G-Force fighters have no choice but to protect Japan from two immensely powerful, aggressive daikaiju. Godzilla and Rodan, in contrast, feel compelled to defend Baby Godzilla from a perceived human threat, thereby justifying their decision to invade the city of Tokyo—a nuanced motivation that prevents either side, one human and the other kaiju, from appearing evil or malicious at any given time.
Providing a fresh and original update on Godzilla’s robotic archenemy, this film is a worthwhile addition to the Heisei series. Science fiction lovers and Japanese monster enthusiasts may thus enjoy Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, occasional pacing problems notwithstanding.
Overall Quality: 7/10
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email address in the subscription box to stay tuned for more updates.