Heisei era

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Japanese political periods
Showa
Heisei
Reiwa
Godzilla film series
Showa
Heisei
Millennium

The Heisei era (平成,   Heisei), or Heisei period (平成時代,   Heisei jidai), was a political period of Japan which started in 1989 with the ascension of Emperor Akihito to the throne, and ended with his abdication in 2019. Films produced during this era, such as those of the Godzilla or Gamera series, may be identified as the Heisei series (平成シリーズ,   Heisei shirīzu) of their respective franchises. While the Godzilla films of the Millennium series and beginning of the Reiwa series were released during the Heisei era, they are not counted in the same series due to coming after hiatuses in the franchise and not following the same continuity.

Similarly in the case of the Gamera series, both the Shusuke Kaneko-directed 90s trilogy and Gamera the Brave were released during the Japanese Heisei era, but are not considered to be part of the same "series" due to not sharing continuity.

Films

Godzilla series

The Heisei series of Godzilla films lasted from 1984 to 1995, and has also been nicknamed the VS. Series (VSシリーズ,   Buiesu shirīzu) in Japan due to the word VS. (buiesu) being featured in most of the films' titles. The Heisei series follows a different continuity from the Showa films, ignoring every movie except the original 1954 Godzilla. The Heisei series ran for a total of seven films, with the last film, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, intended to be the final Japanese Godzilla film for a period of at least ten years, while TriStar Pictures was expected to produce a trilogy of American-made Godzilla films in that time frame. Toho revived the franchise early in 1999 after seeing an opportunity following the release of TriStar's 1998 American Godzilla film, thus beginning the Millennium series. It should be noted that The Return of Godzilla was released during Japan's Showa era rather than Heisei, but is included in the Heisei series retroactively due to it rebooting the franchise and sharing continuity with the Heisei films that followed it.

Gamera series

Heisei Trilogy

The first Gamera films to be produced during the Heisei era consisted of a trilogy directed by Shusuke Kaneko which lasted from 1995 to 1999, beginning with Gamera: Guardian of the Universe.

Revival

A fourth Heisei Gamera film was produced by Kadokawa in 2006, disconnected from the trilogy which preceded it. While this film was released during the political Heisei period, it is not a part of the same Heisei "series" as Kaneko's trilogy.

Rebirth of Mothra series

Mothra received her first standalone film since the original Mothra in 1996 following the temporary close of the Godzilla series. The Rebirth of Mothra trilogy lasted from 1996 to 1998.

Other Toho films

Monsters introduced

Godzilla series

Gamera series

Rebirth of Mothra series

Trivia

  • No Godzilla monster introduced in the Heisei series reappeared in the Millennium era, with the exception of the adult Godzilla Junior appearing through stock footage in the opening of Godzilla: Final Wars.
  • Godzilla monsters from this period were generally very large; much larger than monsters from the Showa era. Most of Godzilla's opponents were at least 20 meters taller than him.
  • The Heisei era set several records in various statistics for Toho's kaiju at the time; some of these records have been surpassed by later films, while others remain current.
    • SpaceGodzilla's flying form and Biollante's final form are the heaviest kaiju on record respectively, not counting Bagan from the video game Super Godzilla.
    • At 150 meters in height, the 1991 incarnation of King Ghidorah was the tallest version of King Ghidorah, as well as the tallest Toho kaiju until 2017, when it was exceeded by the 300 meter-tall Godzilla Earth from the GODZILLA anime trilogy. It was also later exceeded as the tallest incarnation of King Ghidorah by both the anime and MonsterVerse incarnations of the character.
    • The incarnation of Godzilla from 1991 to 1995 was the tallest version of him to appear in a film produced by Toho until 2016, when it was exceeded by the Godzilla in the film Shin Godzilla.
    • Destoroyah is the oldest kaiju on record, being from the Precambrian era.
  • Like in the Showa series, all of the Godzilla films in the Heisei series comprise a single complete continuity. The Millennium series would not follow this trend, featuring staggered continuity between its films.
  • In this era, almost all the monsters Godzilla faces can fly, the sole exception being Biollante, who is still able to travel through the air in the form of energy spores.
  • All of the Heisei Godzilla films either end with Godzilla falling into a natural object of some sort (either a volcano or the ocean) or wading out to sea. The only exception is Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, which simply ends on a shot of Godzilla Junior having matured into an adult and taking his father's place following his death.
  • In the Heisei Gamera trilogy, all of Gamera's opponents can fly. The only monster in the entire Gamera Heisei era thus far that is unable to fly is Zedus.
  • The Heisei era of Godzilla films introduced a filming technique where shots of the set were blended into footage of cities from ground level. While this did provide an ability to save money in building massive sets and also was an easy way to introduce a sense of scale, it meant that in many scenes people can be seen casually walking or even driving vehicles while the kaiju rampages nearby. This is especially evident in some of the Haneda Airport scenes in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, where a Boeing 747 that belongs to ANA can actually be seen taxiing towards the runway while Destoroyah flies into the air, pulling Godzilla along.[1]

See also

References

This is a list of references for Heisei era. 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. Destoroyah pulls Godzilla along the ground.gif

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