Showa era

From, the Godzilla, Gamera, Kong and Kaiju Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Many of the Showa Godzilla monsters in Destroy All Monsters

Film Eras

The Showa series (昭和シリーズ,   Shōwa shirīzu?), also known as Showa era and Showa period, is a term used to identify the years between 1926 and 1989 under the reign of Japanese Emperor Hirohito.

The first Godzilla film was to begin the Showa era of the kaiju industry, and Godzilla is the usual kaiju to be affiliated with this era. During the beginning of this era, Godzilla was mainly antagonistic in nature, taking on the likes of Anguirus and Mothra. By the time of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla adopted what would soon become his most famous image: a heroic monster, battling terrible villains with other monsters by his side.

The Showa era saw many other film studios such as Daei, Shochiku and Nikkatsu attempt to enter the new genres of Tokusatsu and kaiju films with their own creations, including Gamera, Daimajin, Guilala and Gappa.

After the formation of Tsuburaya Productions and the creation of their most famous series, the Ultraman franchise, Toho produced a significant number of tokusatsu television programs in the Showa era, one of which, Zone Fighter, even featured appearances by Godzilla and some of his other monster co-stars and is considered part of the official continuity of the Showa Godzilla films.


Godzilla Series

While all the Showa Godzilla films (except All Monsters Attack) share continuity with each other, the Showa Godzilla series can be divided into three subsections. The first two films in the Godzilla series were produced in 1954 and 1955, and were followed by a seven-year hiatus during which Toho produced several other kaiju films. The series was revived in 1962 with King Kong vs. Godzilla, after which a new film was produced almost annually throughout the 1960's. 1968's Destroy All Monsters was originally planned to be the final Godzilla film, but Toho went on to produce six more films afterward from 1969 to 1975, which are collectively referred to by some as the "Matsuri" sub-era. The Matsuri sub-era in particular cemented Godzilla's image as a heroic monster 'superhero,' and all of its films take place chronologically after Son of Godzilla but before Destroy All Monsters, with the exception of All Monsters Attack, which is set in its own continuity. The series was placed on hiatus again after the box office failure of Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975, and despite several attempts by Toho to continue the series another Godzilla film would not be produced until 1984, thus beginning the Heisei series.

Original Duology (1954-1955)

Revival (1962-1968)

Matsuri sub-era (1969-1975)

Gamera Series

The Showa Gamera series ran from 1965 to 1980, and consists of eight films. The final film in the Showa Gamera series, Gamera: Super Monster, was produced nine years after the previous film, Gamera vs. Zigra, due to Daiei going bankrupt. Super Monster's monster scenes consist almost entirely of stock footage from previous films, and its continuity with the rest of the Showa Gamera series is unclear.

Other Toho Films

In addition to the Godzilla series, Toho produced numerous other kaiju and science-fiction films during the Showa era, some of which would introduce monsters that would go on to make appearances in the Godzilla series.

Other Daiei Films

Other Films


During the late 1960's, Toho began producing numerous tokusatsu television series, many featuring kaiju, in a similar vein to Tsuburaya Productions' popular Ultra Series. Two of these series, Go! Godman and Go! Greenman, often reused monsters from other Toho shows or even from some of Toho's films, including the Godzilla films. The series Zone Fighter is particularly notable for featuring guest appearances from Godzilla himself, along with his costars Gigan and King Ghidorah. Zone Fighter is considered to be part of the continuity of the Showa Godzilla films, set between the events of Godzilla vs. Megalon and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

Monsters Introduced

Godzilla Series

Gamera Series



See Also


  • The Showa series is the longest of the defined eras of Godzilla films, lasting for 21 years and 15 films.
  • Politically, The Return of Godzilla is a Showa film, as it was the last film to be made in the Showa era of Japan, with the Heisei era beginning on the 8th of January 1989.
  • Despite the fact that the Showa era of the Godzilla franchise concluded in 1975, several unmade films that were to be released during the latter years of the 1970's indicate that this hiatus may have been unintended, with each successive cancellation further increasing the length of the hiatus.
  • This era features the majority of appearances for several monsters. Rodan, for example, appears in four films (or around 10, including stock footage appearances) in the Showa era, whereas in the Heisei and Millennium eras, he only has one appearance in each.
  • With the exception of Mechagodzilla, none of the monsters and mechas introduced in the Godzilla series after Invasion of Astro-Monster made any appearances in the Heisei series. Ebirah, Minilla, Kamacuras, Kumonga, Hedorah, Gigan and King Caesar were all reintroduced in the final film of the Millennium series, Godzilla: Final Wars, leaving Gabara, Megalon, Jet Jaguar and Titanosaurus as the only characters to have not appeared in a film since their debut, with the exception of cameos, stock footage, and appearances in other media.
Era Icon - Showa.png


Showing 2 comments. Remember to follow the civility guidelines when commenting.

You are not allowed to post comments.



8 months ago
Score 0

Here are my thoughts on the 15 Godzilla movies from the Showa era. The original 1954 movie is a masterpiece and I give it a 10/10. It's dark and Godzilla is pretty frightening due to the atmosphere and ways he is presented.

Unfortunately, the sequel is nowhere near is good and is only just above average. I'd give it a 6/10.

King Kong vs. Godzilla is easily my favourite Showa movie and one of my favourite Godzilla movies overall. It's funny and the fight is entertaining. I give it an 8/10.

Though fans really like Mothra vs. Godzilla, I actually don't like it too much. It's still a good movie but there's just something about it I don't enjoy. I give it a 7/10.

Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster is a pretty memorable movie and a fun introduction to Ghidorah. It's a great film and I give it an 8/10.

Invasion of Astro-Monster is pretty much just the previous film but with no Mothra and with aliens instead. It's cheesy and not that amazing, but it is still amazing. I give it a 4/10.

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep is the first Godzilla movie I consider to be bad. I feel it would have been better if it stayed as a King Kong movie instead of a Godzilla movie. I give it a 3/10.

Though Minilla is one of the most annoying things to come out of the Showa era, I find him tolerable in Son of Godzilla, which is actually an alright enjoyable movie. I give it a 6/10.

Destroy All Monsters is a great movie. It could have done better with some more monster action, but for what it is, I really like it. If anything, at least the final fight is brilliant. I give it an 8/10.

All Monsters Attack is the worst. However, it isn't canon and therefore I don't have to rate it.

Despite being one of the more kid-friendly Godzilla films, there are still plenty of dark moments in Godzilla vs. Hedorah. It's weird, it's dark and it's cheesy. It's basically the Showa era summed up in one film. I give it a 6/10.

Godzilla vs. Gigan is better than the previous film and earns a 7/10, though the use of stock footage is pretty annoying. It's a temporary return to form.

Godzilla vs. Megalon is awful. There's no doubt about it. Yet despite that, it is still strangely entertaining and fun to watch. I give it a 3/10.

Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla is a great Godzilla movie and though it is still cheesy, it reminds me of the more enjoyable earlier Showa movies. The only thing I don't like about it is King Caesar and the fact I have to watch the English dub. I'd give it an 8/10.

Terror of MechaGodzilla is a very good movie and a great sequel to Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla. It is a fitting way to end the Showa era and I'd give it a 9/10.


8 months ago
Score 0
Actually, I watched Mothra vs. Godzilla today and I would like to give it an 8/10. I very much enjoyed it the second time around.