Return of Daimajin (1966)
Is his rage directed at evil!? Or, at a maiden's tears!? A lake's raging waters are split in two! The miraculous Daimajin appears again! (悪への怒りか！乙女の涙か！逆巻く湖水をまっ二つ！驚異の大魔神ふたたび現わる！)
— Japanese tagline
An evil and powerful war-lord defies the Sea God Majin... The trial of strength ensues... Terrifying death awaits the defeated!
— American tagline
Return of Daimajin (大魔神怒る is a Daimajin Ikaru, lit. Angry Daimajin)1966 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Daiei Motion Picture Company. It is the second film in the Daimajin trilogy, released to Japanese theaters on August 13, 1966.
Tired of struggling in their land, separated by mountains from natural resources, the wicked Mikoshiba clan plots to overthrow the Chigusa and Nagoshi clans, whose allied 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, the serfs were in fact spies, with their bales acting as decoys with Mikoshiba warriors hiding inside.
The Mikoshiba soldiers 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 role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Kenji Misumi
- 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
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
International English dub
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Ted Thomas as Genba Onikojima
- Main article: Return of Daimajin/Gallery.
- Main article: Return of Daimajin (Soundtrack).
- Return of Majin (international title)
- Return of Giant Majin (United States)
- Wrath of Daimajin (initial United States video title)
In 1970, American International Television licensed Return of Daimajin for its "Fantastic Science Fiction Theater" syndication package as Return of Giant Majin. It was dubbed into English in New York City by Titan Productions. A.D.Vision'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. It has since been released on Blu-ray by Mill Creek alongside the rest of the trilogy. Arrow Video will release its own Blu-ray set of the trilogy on July 26, 2021.
The script for Return of Giant Majin may have been based on Daiei's export dub of the film, recorded in Hong Kong. The existence of this first English dub was not known until 2021, when Kadokawa announced plans to screen it at Kadokawa Cinema Yurakucho as part of the Yokai Tokusatsu Film Festival. Their video promoting this event includes a single line by Lord Danjo Mikoshiba, spoken by the same unidentified voice actor who dubbed Gengo Odaka in Godzilla vs. Gigan, among others.
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: Out of print. Packaged with Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again.
- Region: A or B
- Discs: 3
- Audio: Japanese and English (Mono)
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: 100-page book with essays by Jonathan Clements, Keith Aiken, Ed Godziszewski, Raffael Coronelli, Erik Homenick, Robin Gatto, and Kevin Derendorf; audio commentaries by Stuart Galbraith IV (Daimajin), Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp (Return of Daimajin), and Jonathan Clements (Daimajin Strikes Again); Daimajin introduction by Kim Newman; "Bringing the Avenging God to Life" video essay about the trilogy's special effects by Ed Godziszewski; AI-TV opening credits for Majin, the Monster of Terror and Return of Giant Majin; "My Summer Holidays with Daimajin" interview with Professor Yoneo Ota about the trilogy's production; "From Storyboard to Screen: Bringing Return of Daimajin to Life" comparison of storyboards and scenes from the finished film; interview with cinematographer Fujio Mori; Japanese and American trailers for all three films (with the exception of an American trailer for Daimajin Strikes Again); image galleries; postcards
- Region: A
- Discs: 7
- Audio: Japanese (2.0)
- Subtitles: Unknown
- Special features: Reproduction of the Return of Daimajin shooting script; interviews with cinematographer Fujio Mori, Daimajin suit actor Chikara Hashimoto, composer Akira Ifukube, special effects director Yoshiyuki Kuroda, cinematographer Fujio Morita, and director Tomoo Haraguchi; storyboard reproductions; still gallery; theatrical trailers
- Notes: Uses a new 4K transfer. Packaged with Daimajin and Daimajin Strikes Again. To be released on September 24.
- This film is the only instance in the trilogy where Daimajin is first found in an area which isn't mountainous in terrain.
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