Daigoro vs. Goliath (1972)
The orphaned monster, Daigoro. Can even a hungry monster get something to eat!? (みなしご怪獣ダイゴロウ。おなかがすいたら怪獣だって食べちゃうぞ!?)
Daigoro vs. Goliath (怪獣大奮戦 ダイゴロウ対ゴリアス Kaijū Daifunsen Daigorō tai Goriasu, lit. Great Monster Battle: Daigoro vs. Goliath)[a] is a 1972 tokusatsu kaiju film. The film was produced as a collaboration between Tsuburaya Productions and Toho Pictures and was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 17, 1972, as part of the Toho Champion Festival. It was accompanied by an edited version of 1968's Destroy All Monsters and Panda! Go Panda!.
An inventor known only as Uncle demonstrates his aerobike on BCB-TV's Amazing Inventions in the hopes of earning a ¥2 million prize. He plans to use the money to save Daigoro, a young monster living on a remote island who is running out of food. However, the craft explodes moments after achieving lift; that combined with a fall from a tree immediately afterwards sends Uncle to the hospital. He is visited there by his nephew Taro, niece Yoshiko, and a rough-and-tumble man named Kumagoro who mistakes him for his friend Goro Hachi. On the island, zookeeper Saito laments that Daigoro's size and appetite now require over 60 kilograms of food per day to Hitoshi Suzuki, a representative from the Ministry of Environmental Health who believes that the monster's growth should be inhibited instead. Saito recounts the calamity that brought Daigoro here: six years ago, the destruction of a nuclear submarine awakened the monster's mother; enraged, she attacked Japan and was ultimately slain by a powerful missile. Daigoro was discovered in a cave shortly thereafter and fell under the care of the same country that killed his mother.
After leaving the hospital, Uncle tries to drum up support for Daigoro, but is met with angry citizens who don't want their tax dollars used to feed a monster. Kumagoro, having joined the cause, takes a more pugnacious approach and quickly starts a fight with several men in the crowd. Morose in the aftermath, he resolves to give up drinking and put the money he would have spent towards Daigoro instead. That night, a melancholy Daigoro watches a meteor fall to Earth in the distance. Despite Uncle's protests, the government carries out a plan to add an anti-growth substance to Daigoro's food. Kumagoro's struggle to stay sober is complicated by the discovery that his wife Umeko spent the money he saved on new clothes, while Uncle returns to Amazing Inventions with an Instant Rain Rocket that appears to successfully creates snow, which is deemed close enough for him to win the ¥2 million prize. He and Taro hastily throw dirt onto the rocket, which has crashed uselessly down to earth without anyone else noticing. The same unseasonal snow falls on Daigoro's island, followed by a lightning storm as the space monster Goliath bursts out of the sea. Daigoro challenges him as he comes ashore, but is quickly overpowered and electrocuted by the larger beast.
Uncle and company arrive with more food for Daigoro, still lying comatose. Kumagoro revives him by pouring honey into his mouth, though the monster almost eats him by accident. The government analyzes Goliath cells found on Kumagoro and finds that they contain substances unlike any seen on Earth. Uncle attributes Goliath's arrival to humans polluting the atmosphere, allowing more meteors to fall to Earth. Taro wants Goliath, who has since raided an industrial zone, destroyed with a nuclear missile for hurting Daigoro, but the inventor points out that doing so would irradiate the waters around Japan. Kumagoro objects, describing a ludicrous plan in which he would place a bomb into Goliath's mouth himself, and in short order starts a fight with Umeko and most of the other adults in the room. Uncle excuses himself.
Now eating heartily, Daigoro begins training for a rematch with Goliath as the space monster launches another attack on Japan, with the JSDF powerless to stop him. The mood on the island is grim as the prospect of a nuclear strike on Goliath seems increasingly likely. Saito, however, reminds them of humanity's great capacity to overcome new problems over the centuries. The next day, Uncle coaxes Daigoro into duplicating his mother's fire breath, although he is sent flying through the air by the blast. Daigoro catches him. Just then, Goliath is located slumbering near Emakajima Island. Uncle deduces that Goliath's horn is key to his ability to generate electricity. He takes a boat to the island with Kumagoro and Hachi to attach a new invention of his to the horn, but signals Daigoro to attack too early when Goliath awakens and startles him. They manage to cover the horn and jump clear of Goliath just before he and Daigoro come to blows, but he rips the cover off and begins to pummel Daigoro once more. As Taro and the other children cheer for him, Daigoro breathes fire at Goliath's horn, partially destroying it and causing him to collapse.
Humanity sends Goliath back into space strapped to a rocket. Kumagoro has a celebratory drink with Umeko and Hachi, while a short circuit plunges Uncle's animatronic- and sprinkler-filled lawn into chaos. Saito and Suzuki shake hands on Daigoro's island as the content monster emerges from a monster-sized outhouse.
- Main article: Daigoro vs. Goliath/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Toshihiro Ijima
- Written by Kitao Senzoku
- Produced by Hajime Tsuburaya, Kazuho Mitsuta
- Music by Toru Fuyuki
- Cinematography by Yozo Inagaki
- Edited by Takao Shiroe
- Production design by Noriyoshi Ikeya
- 1st assistant director Masataka Yamamoto
- Directors of special effects Jun Oki, Minoru Nakano
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hiroshi Inuzuka as Uncle, inventor
- Shinsuke Minami as Kumagoro Onizawa, carpenter
- Kazuya Kosaka as Saito, zookeeper
- Akiji Kobayashi as Hitoshi Suzuki, Ministry of Environmental Health official
- Tomonori Yazaki as Taro, Uncle's nephew
- Hachiro Misumi as Goro Hachi, Kumagoro's friend
- Jun Hamamura as Doctor
- Hideo Sunazuka as Middle-aged man
- Masao Komatsu as Yoshiko's arranged marriage partner
- Kiyoshi Hitomi as Newscaster
- Fusako Amachi as Yoshiko, Uncle's niece
- Reiko Hitomi as Umeko Onisawa, Kumagoro's wife
- Miyako Tasaka as Woman
- Chizuko Tashiro as Saito's girlfriend
- Taiyu Wakamiya as Father at bar
- Genpei Imamura as Father
- Hisao Sasaki, Hiroshi Ikaida, Tsutomu Yamadera as Zookeepers
- Shigeru Tsuji as Assistant
- Katsumi Ishiyama as Zookeeper boss
- Koichi Murata, Shigeyuki Misuchi, Stanley Ilmaty, Kyoko Kawai, Kyoko Ito as Children
- Tetsuo Yamamura as Daigoro
- Hisashi Kato as Goliath
Weapons, vehicles, and races
- Main article: Daigoro vs. Goliath/Gallery.
Daigoro vs. Goliath was created in celebration of Tsuburaya Productions' tenth anniversary and was the company's first non-Ultraman kaiju film.
- Great Monster Battle: Daigoro vs. Goliath (literal Japanese title)
- The Monsters' Desperate Battle: Daigoro vs. Goliath (alternate translation)
Daigoro vs. Goliath is one of the few kaiju films to have never received an official release in the United States. However, the fansub group Hi no Tori translated the film into English in 2011.
Toho LaserDisc (1991)
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Mono)
Toho VHS (May 1, 1992)
- Tapes: 1
- Audio: Japanese
- Notes: Available through mail-order only. Out of print.
Toho DVD (September 30, 2005)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Mono)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: Audio commentary by Toshihiro Ijima, Hiroshi Inuzuka, and Yozo Inagaki; interview with Minoru Nakano and Noriyoshi Ikeya (25 minutes); trailer; image gallery
- Notes: Re-released on August 19, 2015, as part of the Toho DVD Masterpiece Selection.
Toho Blu-ray (September 21, 2022)
- Region: A
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Mono DTS HD Master Audio)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special features: Audio commentary by Toshihiro Ijima, Hiroshi Inuzuka, and Yozo Inagaki; interview with Tetsuo Yamamura; interview with Minoru Nakano and Noriyoshi Ikeya (25 minutes); trailer; image gallery
- Ultraman is mentioned in the film when a man is lifted into the air by mechanical arms. He jokes that he is Ultraman, implying that the show exists in this movie's universe.
- As Goro Hachi trains Daigoro, Hitoshi Suzuki comments, "It would be better if he taught him something like: 'Ha! Henshin!'", referencing the 1971 Toei series Kamen Rider. Suzuki's actor, Akiji Kobayashi, was playing the title character's mentor, Tobei Tachibana, on that show at the time.
- Godzilla vs. Red Moon, a cancelled Tsuburaya-Toho co-production, was planned for release around the same time, although it is unknown which project came first.
- In episode 34 of Mirrorman, "SGM vs Mirrorman", two Science Guard Members ask a housewife if she's seen any monsters about, only for her to point towards two children playing with toys of Daigoro and his mother in the playground sandbox.
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