Gamera the Brave (2006)

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Gamera films
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
Gamera the Brave
Gamera the Brave
The Japanese flyer for Gamera the Brave
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png The Little Braves: Gamera (2006)
See alternate titles
Directed by Ryuta Tasaki
Producer Kazuo Kuroi et al.
Written by Yukari Tatsui
Music by Yoko Ueno
effects by
Isao Kaneko
effects by
Hajime Matsumoto
Funded by Chiisaki Yushatachi -GAMERA-
Film Partners
Production company Kadokawa Herald Pictures
Distributor ShochikuJP, Tokyo ShockUS
Rating Not Rated
Box office ¥410 million[1]
Running time 96 minutes
(1 hour, 36 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
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Gamera for the boys, the boys for Gamera (ガメラは少年のために、少年はガメラのために)

— Tagline

Gamera the Brave (小さき勇者たち~ガメラ~,   Chīsaki Yūsha-tachi: Gamera, lit. "The Little Braves: Gamera") is a 2006 tokusatsu kaiju film directed by Ryuta Tasaki and written by Yukari Tatsui, with special effects by Isao Kaneko. Funded by the Chiisaki Yushatachi -GAMERA- Film Partners—consisting of Kadokawa Herald Pictures, Japan Film Fund, Nippon TV, and Yahoo! Japan—and produced by Kadokawa Herald Pictures, it is the 12th entry in the Gamera series as well as the fourth and final produced during the Heisei era, though it does not share continuity with Shusuke Kaneko's Heisei Gamera trilogy. It is also the first and only Gamera film to be produced by Kadokawa following its acquisition of the assets of Daiei in 2002. It stars Ryo Tomioka, Kaho, Kanji Tsuda, Susumu Terajima, Kaoru Okunuki, Megumi Kobayashi, Shingo Ishikawa, and Shogo Narita. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Shochiku on April 29, 2006. Media Blasters released it to DVD in the United States in 2008 as part of its Tokyo Shock label.

In 1973, Gamera sacrifices his own life to save a small village from a flock of Gyaos. Thirty-three years later, and young Toru Aizawa discovers an egg atop a red stone which hatches into a baby turtle he names Toto. Toru forms a strong bond with Toto, and as his pet turtle grows quickly and demonstrates unusual abilities learns that he may be another Gamera. Toto springs into action when the giant man-eating monster Zedus threatens Toru's village, but is badly wounded in the conflict. Japanese authorities capture Toto to try and find a way to revitalize him before Zedus attacks again. When Zedus appears in Tokyo even larger than before, Toru, his father, and his friends fight to help Toto as he engages in a final confrontation with Zedus.

While generally well-received, Gamera the Brave was a financial failure and the lowest-grossing Heisei Gamera film. Perhaps as a result of this, another Gamera project was not produced for close to two decades, with the exception of an anniversary short film shown at the New York Comic-Con in 2015. Gamera finally made his return in 2023 with the animated Netflix series GAMERA -Rebirth-, though Gamera the Brave so far remains the franchise's most recent feature film.


In 1973, a flock of man-eating monsters called Gyaos ravages the rural city of Shima in Mie Prefecture. A benevolent turtle-like monster, Gamera, intervenes to save the populace. While shooting down one Gyaos, Gamera is overwhelmed by the other three monsters and resorts to self-destructing to kill them. One of the survivors was a little boy, Kosuke, who witnessed Gamera's last stand. Thirty-three years later, Kosuke has grown up and owns a small restaurant in Shima, which has recovered from the extensive damage caused by the battle. He has since married and had a son of his own, named Toru.

Toru's mother has recently died in a car crash, and this is his first summer without her. When playing on the beach with his friends, Toru sees a strange red glow emanating from a nearby rock formation where Gamera's last battle occurred decades prior. He decides to investigate it and discovers an egg lying on top of a strange red rock with patterns carved into it. When he picks up the egg, a baby turtle hatches which Toru keeps secretly as a pet. Toru names him "Toto", which is what his mother used to call him.

Toru takes Toto home, but keeps him a secret from his father, who doesn't allow pets in the house. The only people he tells are his friends Ishimaru and Katsuya and his next-door neighbor, an older girl named Mai who is anxious about her upcoming heart surgery. Toto soon reveals himself to be no ordinary turtle, as he flies and grows at an abnormal rate. Mai begins to suspect that Toto is actually the son of Gamera and she tries to convince Toru that keeping him is not a good idea. Toru tries not to believe her, reasoning that Toto can't be a Gamera and regarding the idea as ridiculous.

Secretly however, Toru can't bear the thought that Toto might be a kaiju after hearing how Gamera gave his life for others. Still grappling with grief and separation issues after losing his mother, the idea of his new friend leaving him is too much to bear. With Toto soon becoming too large to hide, Toru and his friends move the creature to an abandoned shack on the beach to keep him. Unfortunately, one day Toru comes up to check on Toto and realizes he is gone, devastating the boy.

Meanwhile, off the coast of Iseshima, many bizarre shipping disasters have been occurring. No one knows what is happening, or what is causing the disasters. As Toru is sulking over the loss with his friends, tornado sirens begin blaring. Heavy stomping is heard, and soon the dinosaur-like monster Zedus appears.

Zedus eats several people trying to run away and corners Toru's group. Out of nowhere, Toto appears and shoves Zedus away to save the children. Toto has entered another growth spurt, far larger and sporting tusks. Kosuke, who came running to save his son and Toru's friends, recognizes Toto as Gamera reincarnated. Despite being immature and much smaller than his foe, Toto bravely fights on to save the people from Zedus. Grabbing onto his foe's tongue, the badly hurt Toto manages to send Zedus into a retreat by spewing a jet of fire down his throat. The government shortly arrives to capture and investigate the comatose Toto. Knowing the last Gamera was a benevolent creature and that Zedus, a habitual maneater, will return, they hook Toto up to a machine which feeds him a liquid version of the strange red stone that Toru had found the egg laying on, which scientists theorize gives the Gamera their power.

Toru, displaced with his father, is told more about Gamera by Kosuke. Mai was taken away to have her heart surgery, so Toru gave her the red stone Toto hatched on as a good luck charm to help with her fears. The surgery succeeds and Mai had dreams whilst in recovery, talking in her sleep that Toto needs the stone back.

Zedus, even bigger than before, attacks again, and a newly revitalized and larger Toto readies to battle him. Zedus uses his agility and long kicking legs to put Toto at a disadvantage. Toto needs to eat the stone his egg rested on if he is to truly become a Gamera. Unfortunately, Mai is too weak from her surgery to get the stone to Toto; the adults not understanding her pleas. The stone however mentally reaches out to another little girl, who approaches and asks Mai, "For Toto, right?" Realizing it's their only chance, Mai gives her the stone and she runs towards the battling monsters. When an obstacle stops her, another child realizes they are needed and couriers the stone closer to Toto, repeating the exchange "For Toto!" Despite many obstacles and well-meaning but ignorant adults impeding them, the children deliver the stone to Toru's friends, who get it to him and Kosuke.

Though Kosuke initially tries to stop Toru and his friends, angrily yelling about putting themselves in danger and that "Gamera" is fighting so as many people can get to safety as possible, he softens when Toru tearful expresses his fears of Toto dying or sacrificing himself like the original Gamera did. Noting they are already in danger, he helps his son get to Toto, who had been hurled into a building by Zedus.

They go to the top of the building where Zedus had lodged Toto earlier, Kosuke holding up some debris to let Toru through. After getting face to face with and begging Toto to live and not give up his life, Toru hurls the stone into his giant friend's mouth. Toto breaks out of the building, now a fully fledged Gamera with his powers restored. Toto then flies towards Zedus and tackles him, knocking him off the building. Zedus recovers for one final attack and initially it seems Toto is going to self-destruct like his predecessor, but he heeds Toru's words. Toto instead kills Zedus with an overcharged fireball. The government surrounds Toto to study him, but Toru, his friends, Kosuke, and all of the children who helped with the stone form a human chain to stop them. After a goodbye with Toru, Toto flies into the sky. Toru, accepting his friend's destiny and growing from the experience, tearfully says, "So long, Gamera."


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Ryuta Tasaki
  • Written by   Yukari Tatsui
  • Executive producer   Kazuo Kuroi
  • Planned by   Naoki Sato
  • Produced by   Yoichi Arishige, Hirohisa Mukuju
  • Music by   Yoko Ueno
  • Theme song "Eternal Love"
    • Performed by   Mink
    • Produced and composed by   Vincent Degiorgio, Rasmus Seebach, Nicolai Seebach, David Danielsen
    • Written by   Emi. K. Lynn
    • Arranged by   Yasuyuki "TATOO" Tato
  • Cinematography by   Kazuhiro Suzuki
  • Edited by   Shogo Hirasawa
  • Production design by   Yuji Hayashida
  • First assistant director   Shinsuke Ono
  • Director of special effects   Isao Kaneko
  • First assistant director of special effects   Yasuhiro Matsuda
  • Visual effects supervisor   Hajime Matsumoto


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Ryo Tomioka   as   Toru Aizawa
  • Kaho   as   Mai Nishio
  • Kanji Tsuda   as   Kosuke Aizawa, Toru's father and owner of Aizawa's Diner
  • Susumu Terajima   as   Osamu Nishio, Mai's father and owner of Nishio Pearl Shop
  • Kaoru Okunuki   as   Harumi Nishio, Mai's mother
  • Megumi Kobayashi   as   Miyuki Aizawa, Toru's mother
  • Shingo Ishikawa   as   Masaru "Ishimaru" Ishida, Toru's friend
  • Shogo Narita   as   Katsuya Ishida, Masaru's brother
  • Kenjiro Ishimaru   as   Professor Soichiro Amamiya, Nagoya University
  • Tomorowo Taguchi   as   Councilor Yoshimitsu Hitotsugi, Giant Creature Committee
  • Bokuzo Masana   as   Secretary Yuji Tobata
  • Tetsu Watanabe
  • Eiji Minakata (Chanbara Trio)
  • Taro Suwa
  • Noriko Eguchi
  • Tomohisa Yuge
  • Mamiko Abe (Chukyo TV)
  • Taishi Masaoka
  • Takayuki Imanara
  • Hitomi Asakura
  • Takuma Okubo
  • Himawari Ono   as   girl carrying red stone
  • Yosuke Isomura
  • Keisuke Suwa
  • Kokyo Kataoka
  • Hoshina Takao
  • Shigemitsu Kogiso
  • Masayoshi Takeshita
  • Hiroshi Ota
  • Aya Sejiri
  • Masashi Ota
  • Toshinori Sasaki   as   Avant Gamera / Toto
  • Mizuho Yoshida   as   Zedus



Weapons, vehicles, and races


Gamera the Brave was produced by Kadokawa to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Gamera, and was initially targeted for a 2005 release date before being delayed into 2006. Kadokawa had previously unsuccessfully approached Toho in 2002 and proposed a crossover film pitting Gamera against Godzilla, with Toho declining.

The storyline of Gamera the Brave was based on one of the original scripts prepared for Gamera the Guardian of the Universe by Chiaki and Kazuya Konaka prior to the script by Kazunori Ito.[2][3]

Ryuta Tasaki, who had previously directed entries in both the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises, was chosen as the film's director. Because most of Tazaki's previous tokusatsu work was geared toward child audiences, he chose to return Gamera to his roots in the Showa series as a child-friendly monster. Tazaki distanced his interpretation of Gamera from Shusuke Kaneko's more gritty and frightening take, and attempted to make a film which emulated the style of Noriaki Yuasa and Eiji Tsuburaya. Tasaki chose to establish Gamera as having appeared previously in 1973 and clearly established as a friend to humanity from the start, whereas in Kaneko's trilogy mankind initially designated Gamera as an enemy. He also had the film focus on Toto being raised by the protagonist, so as to establish a strong relationship between monster and man. Gamera the Brave would be the first film for screenwriter Yukari Tatsui.

The setting of Gamera the Brave consisted of two locations: Shima, Mie Prefecture and Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. The film's opening sequence set in Shima in 1973 was filmed in Toba, while present-day scenes were filmed in Shima proper as well as neighboring areas in Mie Prefecture such as Ise, in combination with studio sets. Toru and his father's home was a real building, as was the Nishio Pearl Shop. For Toto and Zedus' battle in Shima, location shooting was performed at the then-under-construction Shima Pearl Bridge. Location shooting was also done in Nagoya, with two trucks of debris being brought into the city for filming. The majority of urban scenes in Nagoya were filmed in the actual city, while scenes set at the hospital were filmed in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Thirteen live African spurred tortoises were used to portray the young Toto, with the red pattern on their shells being painted on. For scenes involving Toto flying or falling, soft vinyl models were used instead. A 1-meter remote-controlled animatronic was used for Toto as he grew even larger. A full-size 5-meter Toto prop was created for filming and used extensively during advertising campaigns. The prop was present in Shima when the filmmakers put out live calls for extras. Most performers in the film were unpaid extras: approximately 3,000 extras were used in the film, while over 10,000 applied. Press members who served as unpaid extras were rewarded with the opportunity to interview Tasaki, while other unpaid extras were rewarded with free T-shirts for the film. Elementary school students and local government officials were among the many extras used throughout the film.

Gamera the Brave was the first Gamera film shot using digital photography, which was intended to reduce costs and shorten the filming period. The film also made extensive use of digital compositing to accomplish many of its effects shots. The fictional island where Toru discovers Toto's egg was created by filming the real island of Kami-shima and digitally editing out surrounding ships and adding computer-generated scenery such as rocks. To depict the lighthouse on the island collapsing, multiple layers were composited together, including one with the lighthouse itself, one showing falling debris, and another showing fleeing civilians. Chroma key was utilized to composite footage of extras on the side of the road watching Toto being transported. Shots of Toto's head were composited over footage of the extras. The filmmakers were able to seamlessly composite this footage so long as none of the extras were wearing green, and requested that any extras wearing green change their clothing. While there was no need for extras to wear certain clothing colors in scenes that did not utilize chroma key, they were specifically made to not wear green in any scenes that did require it. Chroma key was also used for the fight scenes between Toto and Zedus to place them into live-action footage of Shima and Nagoya. Any people present in the footage of the cities were digitally removed. Zedus' arrival in Shima was accomplished by combining actual footage of Shima with footage of Zedus filmed on an open set. Some shots of the live tortoises used to portray Toto were digitally enhanced with CGI to show them extending their necks or opening their mouths, as well as to create some of Toto's facial expressions. Shots of Toto flying near the end of the film were accomplished completely with CGI.


Main article: Gamera the Brave/Gallery.


Main article: Gamera the Brave/Soundtrack.

Alternate titles

  • The Little Braves: Gamera (literal Japanese title)
  • G IV (abbreviated Japanese Blu-ray title)
  • Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe (Gamera: A Guardiã do Universo; Brazilian title)

Theatrical releases

Box office

Gamera the Brave grossed only 410 million yen at the box office, making it the lowest-grossing Heisei Gamera film.[1]


Despite being considered a failure at the box office, Gamera the Brave was met with mostly positive reception. The film's effects and story were frequently praised, especially the relationship between Toru and Toto. Katsuhito Ishii, director of the 50th anniversary GAMERA short, cited this film as one of his favorites and a tremendous influence on his project. The film currently holds a 6.7/10 on IMDb and a 100% by critics and 67% by audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film has also received its fair share of criticism. Some fans criticized Toto's cute appearance in contrast to the ferocious appearance of Gamera from Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris. Many fans were upset at the film's attempt to move away from the seriousness of Shusuke Kaneko's trilogy back to the kid-friendliness of the Showa era. Gamera's iconic roar being replaced by stock King Kong roars was also a source of disappointment for many.

Video releases

Universe Laser & Video DVD (2006)

  • Region: 3
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)
  • Special features: Trailer, photo gallery

Tokyo Shock DVD (2008)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: "How to Make a Gamera Film" featurette (37 minutes), trailer, two TV spots
  • Notes: Out of print.

Tokyo Shock Blu-ray (2013)

  • Region: A/1 and B/2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Special features: "How to Make a Gamera Film" featurette (37 minutes), trailer, two TV spots
  • Notes: The English dub has audio synchronization issues. Out of print.

Kadokawa Blu-ray (2016) [Heisei Gamera 4K Digital Restoration Blu-ray Box]

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 6
  • Audio: Japanese (DTS HD 5.1 Surround and DTS HD 2 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special features: Two "Special Contents" discs consisting of over 760 minutes of bonus footage for all four Heisei Gamera films; 200-page "G I-III SFX & Art Photographs" booklet featuring 750 unreleased photos from the Heisei Gamera trilogy; 32-page "G I-IV Complement Books" booklet featuring interviews, plot summaries, Laserdisc cover artwork, and more for all four Heisei Gamera films
  • Notes: Packaged with Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris.


Gamera the Brave received two different novelizations, both published by Kadokawa. The first, The Story of Me and Toto - The Movie Gamera the Brave, was written by the film's screenwriter, Yukari Tatsui. The second, Friends: Gamera the Brave, written by Boogey Toumon and supervised by director Ryuta Tazaki, features several scenes and elements not included in the film. This novelization goes into greater detail about Avant Gamera's battle with Gyaos in 1973, with Gamera self-destructing after Gyaos' supersonic scalpel slices off his lower jaw and renders him unable to spit fireballs. There is a subplot about government authorities trying to acquire Toto's red stone which is absent from the film. The novel also explains that Toru is beginning to develop a crush on Mai and includes an additional scene involving Mai's mother Harumi; both of these being filmed but removed from the final cut in editing. The most notable departure in the novelization is the appearance of multiple enemy monsters in addition to Zedus, these being Barugon, Viras, Guiron, Jiger, and Zigra. While featuring a great deal of content absent from the film, the novelization omits the scene where Katsuya is nearly eaten by Zedus.

Manga adaptation

Main article: Gamera 2006: Hard Link.

A tie-in manga for Gamera the Brave, titled Gamera 2006: Hard Link, was written and illustrated by cartoonist duo Ark Performance and serialized in the magazine Tokusatsu Ace from issues #12 to 14. It was later published in a collected volume by Kadokawa. The manga consists of four "Links," which are chapters that focus on a certain aspect of the story in greater depth than the film itself. Link 01 covers Toto's time in captivity under the supervision of researchers, while Link 04 includes a much more detailed and graphic depiction of Avant Gamera's battle with Gyaos.


Japanese trailer
Japanese teaser #1
Japanese teaser #2
Japanese TV spot #1
Japanese TV spot #2


  • The film's concept and storyline were based on the earlier versions of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, written by brothers Chiaki and Kazuya Konaka and Yoshikazu Okada.[4] The Konaka brothers later used some of these ideas for Digimon Tamers[5] and Ultraman Tiga.[1]:237.
  • During a scene involving Toto as a baby turtle exploring Toru's home, he wanders into the kitchen where Toru's father Kosuke is feverishly cooking. As Kosuke turns, he knocks a knife off of the counter and it lands with the bottom edge sticking into the ground and the point rising up above Toto's head, looking quite similar to a former foe of Gamera's, Guiron. He shoots a fireball at it with an angry expression on his face and wanders away, leaving Kosuke (who never saw the little turtle) to pick up his singed knife with a confused look on his face.
  • The JR Central Towers where Toto fights Zedus are located at Nagoya Station.
  • Some of the roars used by Toto date back to the 1957 Universal films The Land Unknown and The Deadly Mantis.[6] They have appeared in many other films as well, including the 1976 King Kong remake and Reptilian.
  • Toru and Mai are shown to both be fans of the popular manga series Sgt. Frog, which is published by Kadokawa. In the film, Mai lends Toru the thirteenth volume of the manga, which was not yet published at the time of filming. As such, the manga's creator Mine Yoshizaki had to draw the volume's cover early specifically for its appearance in the film.
  • Toru has figures of Kamen Rider Knight and Kamen Rider Ryuga in his bedroom. Ryuta Tasaki, the film's director, directed eight episodes of the series Kamen Rider Ryuki, which also starred Kanji Tsuda, who plays Toru's father Kosuke in Gamera the Brave, as the character Daisuke Okubo.

External links


This is a list of references for Gamera the Brave. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Heisei Gamera Perfection. Kadokawa. 8 February 2014. p. 271. ISBN 9784048918817.
  2. Eiga Hiho (映画秘宝), 2021, Vol.April
  3. Heisei Gamera Perfection (平成ガメラ パーフェクション), 2014, Kadokawa
  4. Eiga Hiho, 2021, "April", p.6, Futabasha
  5. Chiaki J. Konaka, 2018, という事をここに書いているのは、以前にも書いたけれど、テイマーズの1~3話は設定などは全然違うものの、小中兄弟版ガメラのエッセンスが濃厚に入っている。だからもしこの映画が成立していたら、テイマーズは生まれなかったとも言える。, Twitter
  6. YouTube - Universal Stock Roars Compilation


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