Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003)

Composed by: Michiru Oshima

Tokyo SOS continued the story from Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla. This time Mothra joins the fray. Her fairies warn Japan that by using the original Godzilla’s bones for Kiryu (MechaGodzilla), it’s actually attracting the current Godzilla’s recent attacks. They offer the services of Mothra as a protector, but Japan is hesitant. What results is a three-monster battle. I think this is a pretty good sequel. It’s the only film in the franchise where MechaGodzilla interacts with Mothra and it also further explores and resolves Kiryu’s spiritual link to Godzilla. My one major criticism is that Akane, the female lead from the previous film, is reduced to a small supporting role despite being the one to have carried Kiryu to victory. Still, the decision to focus on one of Kiryu’s mechanics, Yoshito, as the lead is interesting and gives a different perspective. As usual, Oshima’s score is great. She delivers more great themes while further developing the ones she had already devised for Godzilla and Kiryu. Continue reading

Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002)

Composed by: Michiru Oshima

Masaaki Tezuka returned to the Godzilla franchise two years after Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, and he brought composer Michiru Oshima back with him. Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla is more than just a reboot of the last MechaGodzilla vehicle. This time the mech is literally built around the bones of the original 1954 Godzilla! This is the closest fans have gotten to a Godzilla vs. Godzilla movie. Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla is the first half of the Kiryu duology, Kiryu being the new name for MechaGodzilla. These are among my favorite Godzilla films, with good storylines, some pretty good characters, great special effects and battle scenes, and also some of the best Kaiju music.

Oshima once again starts the score with Godzilla’s theme. In “Toho Logo – Transport Duty” it leads to a one-off military march. The second track sees the return of the full-fledged Godzilla theme presentation. The iterations of the Godzilla theme aren’t much different than what was presented in Oshima’s last entry, but she distinguishes her score with the wealth of new themes. The first of these appears in “Main Title.” It’s the first of many heroic motifs established for the score. After a tragic event in the opening sequence, Oshima goes into dour-sounding material in “Ominous Memories” and “Memorial Service.” “Appearance Requested” is an urgent track with the fanfare from “Main Title.” Continue reading

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)

Composed by: Michiru Oshima

Godzilla Millennium established a new series. Oddly, though, most of the movies in the Shinsei series would follow their own individual continuities. Thus Godzilla vs. Megaguirus was set in a different timeline than its predecessor and none of the following films continued where it left off. This film is often seen as okay to bad. I actually like it myself, but understand the criticism that not much new is done in the story. The plot sees a reimagining of giant bugs from the 1956 Rodan. This time the insects, giant dragonflies with stingers, go through several forms, feeding on energy which they ultimately transfer to their queen, the titanic Megaguirus. At the same time Japan’s Self-Defense Force is trying to use an artificial black hole to remove Godzilla from earth. One of the film’s strongest points is its score by Michiru Oshima, the first female composer for the franchise. Continue reading