Return of Daimajin (1966)

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Daimajin Films
Daimajin
Return of Daimajin
Daimajin Strikes Again
Kadokawa Pictures (Daiei Motion Picture Company) Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Return of Daimajin
Return of Daimajin
Directed by Kenji Misumi
Produced by Masaichi Nagata
Written by Tetsuro Yoshida
Music by Akira Ifukube
Distributor DaieiJP
Rating Unrated
Running Time 79 minutes JP
(1 hour, 19 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Rate this film!
4.36
(11 votes)

Return of Daimajin (大魔神怒る,   Daimashin Ikaru, lit. Angry Daimajin) is a 1966 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Daiei Film Co. Ltd. Released in Japanese theaters on August 13, 1966, it is the second film in the Daimajin trilogy.

Plot

Tired of struggling in their land, separated by mountains from natural resources, the wicked Mikoshiba clan plots to overthrow the Chigusa and Nagoshi, whose kingdoms surrounded Lake Yakimono, on which there was an island which housed a statue of a mysterious god. Legends claimed that if the statue's face turned red, it was a sign that the kingdom would fall. Shortly after a funeral service for a fallen clansman, escaped Mikoshiba serfs arrived with bales of rice as an offering in return for being taken under Lord Juro Chigusa's protection. However, serfs are in fact spies the bales are decoys, with Mikoshiba warriors hiding inside. They proceed to overthrow Chigusa, with Lord Juro only barely escaping through a secret passage. However, with the castle under his control, Lord Danjo Mikoshiba took his army to Nagoshi to search for him. Lord Nagoshi was uncooperative, and was killed. Mikoshiba then takes his son Katsushige Nagoshi hostage, threatening to kill him if they do not surrender Juro. After covering her father's grave, Lady Sayuri Nagoshi travels to the island to pray to the god to save the kingdom. However, shortly after she arrives, the Nagoshi army comes and begins to destroy the god's idol. She bursts out in anger, and is taken prisoner. However, as the statue explodes, Sayuri runs toward it, and is entombed in stone. The statue's head sinks in tact into the bay. The Mikoshiba soldiers leave her for dead, and she is dug out unharmed by an aide. She decides to stay on the island, believing that the god's spirit was lingering, and that he had saved them from the explosion. However, at that moment, a skiff with the unconscious Lord Juro aboard washed into the bay. After recovering, he and his aide sailed off to capture Lord Mikoshiba and to trade him for Katsushige. However, they are discovered by Mikoshiba's soldiers, and are nearly attacked when they run aground on some rocks, but the enemy skiff finds itself immobile, and is pulled down into the water.

Eventually they are all captured, and Sayuri is burned alive as an example. However, before she dies, she prays to the god, offering her life in exchange for his protection and restoration of the Chigusa and Nagoshi peoples. As tears fall down her face, winds pick up and blow out the fires, and the full body of the god's image rises from the bay of his island. He causes landslides, and sinks the island before parting the waters of the lake and beginning his walk to the shore. When he arrives, the Mikoshiba enter a panic. The god breaks Sayuri's stake off, and gently lays her on the ground before advancing on the castle in pursuit of Lord Mikoshiba. Despite their attempts to barricade him out, the god continued without breaking pace. They then attempt to slow him down with enormous grappling hooks, which do not hinder the god. They then attempt to blow him up and bury him beneath fallen stones from a wall, but once more, the god continues his advance, and hurls a boulder at Mikoshiba's lieutenant, crushing him beneath it. Mikoshiba then attempts to flee into the lake by boat, and nearly outruns the god, who forces the boat to spin around and face him before launching a ball of fire across the water, igniting his boat. Lord Mikoshiba climbs up the mast in an attempt to escape the fire, but becomes entangled in the rigging, leaving him in an almost identical situation to Sayuri's on her cross-shaped pyre. As the burning ship falls into the sea, the storm the god had brought cleared up. Sayuri then runs into the lake and says a prayer of thanks as the god turns to face her. her tears of gratitude hit the lake's surface, and the god turns back into stone before its body turns into water and it falls into the lake. The island's sunken bell then rang out from the bottom of the lake as a sign that the kingdoms would forever have peace.

Staff

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

  • Directed by   Kazuo Mori
  • Written by   Tetsuro Yoshida
  • Produced by   Masaichi Nagata
  • Music by   Akira Ifukube
  • Cinematography by   Fujio Morita, Shozo Tanaka
  • Edited by   Kanji Suganuma
  • Assistant Directing by   Hitoshi Obuchi
  • Special Effects by   Yoshiyuki Kuroda

Cast

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

  • Kojiro Hongo   as   Lord Juro Chigusa
  • Shiho Fujimura   as   Lady Sayuri Nagoshi
  • Taro Marui   as   Dodohei
  • Jutaro Hojo   as   Genba Onikojima
  • Koichi Uenoyama   as   Katsushige Nagoshi
  • Asao Uchida   as   Lord Heibei Nagoshi
  • Chikara Hashimoto   as   Shunpei Ikenaga / Daimajin
  • Takashi Kanda   as   Lord Danjo Mikoshiba
  • Sei Hiraizumi   as   Hayato Tabe
  • Koji Fujiyama   as   Ikkaku Arai
  • Koichi Mizuhara   as   Kamon Doi
  • Gen Takasugi   as   Saburota Ato
  • Hyosuke Kanbe   as   Mohachi
  • Yusaku Terajima   as   Kanetsuki-wasuke
  • Kimiko Tachibana   as   Kume
  • Yuji Hamada   as   Farmer #2
  • Hideo Kuroki   as   Tasuke
  • Kohbu Matsuda   as   Farmer #1
  • Yoshitaka Ito   as   Farmer #3
  • Tadashi Iwata
  • Yutaro Ban
  • Kiyokazu Kagatsume   as   Ryuta
  • Kayo Mikimoto   as   Toyo
  • Keiko Koyanagi   as   Shige

Appearances

Monsters

Gallery

Main article: Return of Daimajin/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Return of Daimajin (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Majin Strikes Again
  • Daimajin Strikes Again
  • Return of Majin
  • The Return of the Giant Majin
  • Majin Monster of Terror
  • Wrath of Daimajin

Video Releases

ADV DVD (2002) [The Complete Daimajin Trilogy]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 3
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: Trailers
  • Notes: Out of print. Packaged with Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again. Reissued as a single disc in 2005.

Mill Creek Blu-ray (2012) [Daimajin Triple Feature]

  • Region: N/A
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
  • Special Features: Trailers for all three Daimajin films, interviews with cinematographer Fujio Morita on the making of each film (28, 31, and 28 minutes).
  • Notes: Packaged with Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again.

Videos

Mill Creek "Daimajin Triple Feature" Blu-ray trailer
Complete English dub

Trivia

  • This film is the only instance in the trilogy where Daimajin is first found in an area which isn't mountainous in terrain.
  • ADV's 1998 VHS and 2002 DVD releases swapped the titles of Return of Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again (which they called Wrath of Daimajin). This was corrected in their 2005 reissues of the DVDs.

Kadokawa Pictures (formerly Daiei Motion Picture Company)
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Kaiju
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Comments

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The Boy Who Cried Godzilla

2 months ago
Score 0
Actual review: This movie was golden from start to finish. Its story is more grand than the first, a little more impersonal, but certainly grander and that is the only loss compared to the original. This film is better in almost every other aspect. Better filmography, better effects, more interesting shots. I love this. 5/5 many thumbs up. A great watch for any kaiju/samurai fan! :D
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The Boy Who Cried Godzilla

17 months ago
Score 0
Wow. I've finally found a kaiju film I like less than Rebirth of Mothra II. The kids are awful, the story is lackluster, the characters are nonexistent, and all existing Daimajin lore is ignored. The Hawk thing was okay, but changing Daimajin's personality from a blood god who doesn't know when to stop, but is activated and deactivated by tears to a rock giant who does whatever people want him to do, with a sense of forgiveness and justice is just plain wrong. and if I hear "Sugi" or "Daisaku" one more time i'm going to lose it.
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The Boy Who Cried Godzilla

17 months ago
Score 0
So as it turns out, my DVD set switched their Wrath of and Return of. that review applied to Wrath of. What a Mad World we live in.