Heisei era

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The Heisei series (平成シリーズ,   Heisei shirīzu) is a term used to identify films produced during the previous political era of Japan, the Heisei era or Heisei period. The Heisei series is named after the political Heisei era in Japan, which started in 1989 with the ascension of Emperor Akihito to the throne, and ended with his abdication in 2019. Technically, the Millennium and Reiwa Godzilla films are also part of the Heisei era due to being released during the political Heisei period, but are considered to be separate series from the Heisei series due to coming after hiatuses in the Godzilla franchise and not following the same continuity.

Other major kaiju franchises have not followed this convention despite having similar hiatuses; for example, Gamera the Brave is considered to be a part of the Heisei series, despite being released seven years after the previous film, Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris. It is important to note that Gamera the Brave is not part of the same continuity as the Heisei Gamera trilogy, and its events are completely unrelated to the events of the previous three films.


Godzilla Series

The Godzilla Heisei era lasted from 1984 to 1995. The Godzilla Heisei era was also nicknamed the VS Series (VSシリーズ,   Buiesu shirīzu, lit. Versus series) in Japan, due to the word VS (Buiesu) being featured in most of the films' titles. The Heisei era of Godzilla films 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 following the poor reception to TriStar's 1998 American Godzilla film, thus beginning the Millennium series of Godzilla films.

While The Return of Godzilla was released during Japan's Showa era rather than the Heisei era, it is considered part of the Heisei series because it rebooted the franchise and shares continuity with the Heisei films that followed it.

Gamera Series

The Gamera Heisei series began in 1995 with the release of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe and ended in 2006 with Gamera the Brave. The first three Heisei Gamera films were directed by Shusuke Kaneko and all share continuity, while Gamera the Brave was released much later by Kadokawa and is a standalone film unconnected to the continuity of the trilogy.

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

Mothra Series


  • It is a common misconception that Gamera the Brave is counted as part of the Millennium series. The Millennium Series only applies to the Godzilla series, as Japan was still in the political Heisei era when it was made. In Japan, Gamera the Brave is sometimes referred to as the "Shinsei version" (新生版,   Shinsei-ban) to distinguish it from the trilogy.
  • 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 series 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 whilst Destoroyah flies into the air, pulling Godzilla along.[2]

See also


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]


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