Magic Serpent (1966)

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Image gallery for Magic Serpent

Magic Serpent
The Japanese poster for Magic Serpent
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Great Mystic Dragon Battle (1966)

Directed by Tetsuya Yamanochi
Producer(s) Shigeru Okada, Takesuke Shinkai
Written by Masaru Igami (screenplay),
Mokuami Kawatake (story)
Music by Toshiaki Tsushima
Distributor ToeiJP
American International TelevisionUS[1]
Running time 86 minutesJP
(1 hour, 26 minutes)
84 minutesUS
(1 hour, 24 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1
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Magic Serpent (怪竜大決戦,   Kairyū Daikessen, lit. Great Mystic Dragon Battle) is a 1966 tokusatsu kaiju and ninja fantasy film produced by Toei Company and based on the Japanese folktale "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya." It was released to Japanese theaters on March 5, 1966, and to American television syndication via American-International Television in 1970.[1]


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

  • Directed by   Tetsuya Yamanochi
  • Written by   Masaru Igami
  • Based on the story "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya" by   Mokuami Kawatake
  • Produced by   Shigeru Okada, Takesuke Shinkai
  • Music by   Toshiaki Tsushima
  • Cinematography by   Motoya Washio
  • Edited by   Tadao Kanda
  • Production design by   Seiji Yada
  • Assistant director   Yuji Makiguchi
  • Special effects by   Akiyasu Tawarazaka, Shigeru Akatsuka, Kunio Kunisada, Gaimi Kaneko
  • Theme song performed by   Young Fresh
    • Lyrics by   Masaru Igami
    • Composed by   Toshiaki Tsushima


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

  • Hiroki Matsukata   as   Ikazuchimaru Ogata / Jiraiya
  • Tomoko Ogawa   as   Tsunade
  • Ryutaro Otomo   as   Orochimaru
  • Bin Amatsu   as   Daijo Yuki
  • Nobuo Kaneko   as   Dojin Gama
  • Izumi Hara   as   Spider Woman
  • Kensaku Hara   as   Zenbei
  • Yumi Suzumura   as   Osaki
  • Takao Iwamura   as   Koshirota
  • Toshio Chiba   as   Momobe
  • Daizen Shishido   as   Ikkansai
  • Kenji Kusumoto   as   Jihei
  • Kuniomi Kitani   as   Donen
  • Michimaro Otabe   as   Honai
  • Masataka Iwao   as   Kido
  • Shinichiro Hayashi   as   Samanosuke Ogata
  • Chiyo Okada   as   Kureha
  • Akira Shioji
  • Mitsukazu Kawamura
  • Katsuki Chikamatsu
  • Masatoshi Oya, Seizo Fukumoto   as   Ninja



  • Giant Toad
  • Giant Dragon
  • Giant Eagle
  • Giant Spider


Main article: Magic Serpent/Gallery.

U.S. release

Magic Serpent was released directly to television in the United States by American International Television in 1970. Despite the existence of an English dub commissioned by Toei, AITV had the film dubbed at Titan Productions, where voice actor Bret Morrison directed and gave voice to several supporting characters. AITV's version of the film is uncut, save for the opening credits: in Toei's version, the credits play over a montage of Jiraiya's training throughout his adolescence, while AITV editors Emil and Eli Haviv shortened the credits and used a montage of still shots of the Giant Dragon as a backdrop. The song "Forward, Jiraiya!" was also replaced by instrumental music from elsewhere in the film. Additionally, all of the monsters' roars were replaced with those of existing monsters: the Giant Toad uses Rodan's roar, the Giant Dragon uses Godzilla and Gaira's roars, the Giant Eagle uses Mothra's roar, and the Giant Spider uses Kiyla's roar.

Alternate titles

  • Great Mystic Dragon Battle (literal Japanese title)
  • The Magic Serpent (U.S. DVD title)
  • Grand Duel in Magic (international English title)
  • Grand Duel of Ninjas (Singapore English title)
  • Monsters of the Apocalypse (Les Monstres de L'Apocalypse; French theatrical title)
  • Ninja Apocalypse (French video title)

Video releases

Retromedia/Image Entertainment DVD (2004)

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (2.0, Titan Productions dub)
  • Subtitles: None
  • Special Features: None
  • Notes: Cropped to 1.33:1. Packaged with Return of the Giant Monsters. Retromedia added sound effects to the film to justify the copyrighting of this "special edition."

Toei Video DVD (2004)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (1.0)
  • Subtitles: Unknown
  • Special Features: Theatrical trailer, textless trailer



Japanese Magic Serpent
trailer and textless trailer


Clip from the international
English dub of Magic Serpent
Comparison of the two
English dubs of Magic Serpent


  • Fragments of an international English dub for Magic Serpent appear on the film's French theatrical dub. The complete dub remains undiscovered.
  • Toei reused the Giant Toad and Giant Dragon suits for their 1967 TV show Masked Ninja Akakage, although the former lost its nasal horn.[2]
  • Promotional artwork featuring the Giant Toad would later be reused and heavily altered by Yamapro to become the Pachimon monster Shirako.
  • Magic Serpent was loosely remade in 1970 as Young Flying Hero, a Taiwanese martial arts fantasy that also features a giant toad and dragon monster as a major set piece.[3]

External links


This is a list of references for Magic Serpent. 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 Craig, Rob. American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 243, 429. 2019. ISBN: 9781476666310.
  2. Dragon and Toad Are (Not) Friends.jpg
  3. Tarkas, Tars (22 July 2009). Young Flying Hero (Review). TarsTarkas.NET.


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11 days ago
Score 0
@AstoundingBeyondBelief, how do i make a sandbox page


11 days ago
Score 0
You go to your user page and add /Sandbox/whatever the title of the article is to the URL.


2 months ago
Score 0
Les, I was on your Magic Serpent sandbox page, and i pressing on the names of the yokai (mythical kaiju) on the contents and the didn't pop up like Orochimaru the dragon, Tsunade the spider or Dojin Hiki the eagle. All it is is Jiraiya the toad.

Astounding Beyond Belief

2 months ago
Score 0
Because they haven't been written yet...


14 months ago
Score 0
Tsunade's weird too. It said in the dub she'd die if she summoned it, but when Orochimaru is defeated, you see two...meteors? that crash land where she was originally standing, and the other becoming Jiraiya? It's weird.


14 months ago
Score 0
The story goes that she may only use the hairpin to summon the spider once; if she summons him any more times than that, the spider will turn on her and no longer be her ally. The ‘meteors’ at the film’s climax are supposed to be Ikazuchimaru and Orochimaru reverting to their human forms.


14 months ago
Score 0
But... Orochimaru wasn't seen at the end, it was Tsunade and Jiraiya. Oh god I'm so confused. Damn it Toei.


14 months ago
Score 0
What do you mean? When the two meteors crash, it's Ikazuchimaru and Orochimaru. Then they have their final duel.


14 months ago
Score 0
God I'll have to re-watch it. It's been so long.


14 months ago
Score 0
Yeah, the two of them crash on the beach and Tsunade, Osaki, and Koshirota run over from wherever they were watching from, presumably a short distance away.


14 months ago
Score 0

Les, if you ever want to, hop over to Tokupedia and help out with obscure monsters. I know it's your thing. I'm basically emptying out my 'kaiju' folders. Lol.

Also, are Jiraiya and Orochimaru and Tsunade controlling the monsters in this film, or did they BECOME the monsters?


14 months ago
Score 0
Orochimaru 100% transforms into the dragon, but I'm unclear on the relation between Ikazuchimaru and the toad. He seems to have transformed into it, but he may also be able to control it remotely.
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