Day of the Kaiju (2014)
Day of the Kaiju (怪獣の日 is a Kaijū no Hi, lit. Day of the Monster)2014 short kaiju film. Set after a confrontation between the JSDF and a giant monster, the story focuses on the efforts of a small town to dispose of the seemingly dead creature's body. It served as a calling card for director/writer/producer Kazuhiro Nakagawa, who has since worked on the Godzilla and Ultraman franchises.
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces have defeated a monster the government dubs "Giant Creature No. 1." One month after it is officially declared dead, it washes ashore in the town of Hamae, well-known as a site for beached whales. Dr. Nagamine and Professor Hirata of the University of Marine Science and Technology rush to examine the body. A government analyst named Yamamoto pressures them to confirm the kaiju's death to alleviate public concerns as a temporary storage facility is built around it. Though it has stopped breathing and has enlarged pupils, Hirata refuses to do so; as the kaiju is unknown to science, it could be merely hibernating. Yamamoto is insistent, proclaiming that the JSDF's international reputation is at stake.
Mayor Kagawa makes a different case for the death certificate at a subsequent meeting: Hamae is in financial peril, and the government has offered a yearly grant of ¥2 billion to study the kaiju there. If one is not issued, the town will be solely responsible for disposing of the body. Hirata relents, knowing that he and Nagamine will be locked out of researching the kaiju otherwise. One week later, the town approves the storage facility, but postpones further research of the kaiju until it is completed. Nagamine resigns in protest.
Nagamine's assistant, Wakui, tells his wife Emi about Nagamine's doubts, who in turn tells their neighbors, sparking a protest movement against the facility. Speaking to Nagamine after Kagawa holds a press conference defending his decision, Yamamoto dismisses the kaiju as a local problem that the rest of Japan has already forgotten about. Nagamine decides to go public, speaking to a small group of residents, adding his name to a petition against the facility, and taking part in a blockade of the road leading to the kaiju. Three months later, on the day of the facility's completion, Giant Creature No. 1 revives and smashes it, bellowing to the skies.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Kazuhiro Nakagawa
- Written by Kazuhiro Nakagawa
- Produced by Kazuhiro Nakagawa
- Music by Masaaki Sasaki
- Cinematography by Heita Tanaka
- Edited by Kazuhiro Nakagawa
- Special effects by Linto Ueda
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Satoshi Iwago as Dr. Nagamine
- Teruaki Matsuzawa as Mayor Kagawa
- Koiku Misawa as Yamamoto, Senior Analyst at the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Center
- Kosuke Takagi as Wakui
- Katsuya Tanabe as Takenaka
- Keiji Yamashita as Professor Hirata
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
Kazuhiro Nakagawa made Day of the Kaiju as a response to the Japanese government's mishandling of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The design of Giant Creature No. 1 was inspired by whales, with its tusks coming from Gamera.
- Main article: Day of the Kaiju/Gallery.
- Day of the Kaiju has a similar premise to Creature at Bay, an unproduced SyFy series announced in 2013.
- The Japanese government's determination to confirm Giant Creature No. 1's death echoes the backstory of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, in which the JSDF took credit for Godzilla's defeat at the hands of Dr. Daisuke Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer to avoid international ridicule.
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