Saeko Kanagusuku

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Saeko Kanagusuku
Saeko Kanagusuku
Species Human
Nationality Japanese
Affiliation(s) Shuri University
Occupation Archaeologist
First appearance Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Played by Reiko Tajima

Saeko Kanagusuku (金城 冴子,   Kanagusuku Saeko) is an archaeologist who appeared in the 1974 Godzilla film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

An archaeologist sent to investigate an ancient cave recently uncovered in Okinawa, Saeko met Expo '75 construction engineer Keisuke Shimizu, who showed her a shīsā statue that was found there. Saeko identified the statue as depicting the Azumi Royal Family's guardian monster King Caesar, and began work on translating a mural depicting a prophecy found on the walls of the cave. Saeko and Shimizu were pursued by Yanagawa, an agent of the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens sent to retrieve the statue before it could be used to awaken King Caesar. With the help of INTERPOL agent Nanbara, Saeko and Shimizu successfully awakened King Caesar using the statue, allowing him to join forces with Godzilla and defeat the aliens' ultimate weapon of conquest, Mechagodzilla.

Name[edit | edit source]

Saeko's surname is erroneously given as Kaneshiro, an alternate reading of the kanji 金城, in the English subtitles for both TriStar Pictures' DVD release and The Criterion Collection's Blu-ray release of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. Her surname is never spoken in the film's English dub.

History[edit | edit source]

Showa era[edit | edit source]

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla[edit | edit source]

When construction crews preparing for Expo '75 in Okinawa uncovered an ancient cave, Saeko was sent by her university to investigate. Engineer Keisuke Shimizu initially mistook Saeko for a reporter and tried to stop her from entering the cave, but allowed her access once she identified herself. Inside the cave, Saeko saw murals on the wall depicting some sort of prophecy. Shimizu showed her a shīsā statue found in the cave, which she identified as a depiction of King Caesar, the guardian monster of Okinawa's Azumi Royal Family. She explained that long ago, according to legend, when armies from the Japanese mainland attempted to invade Okinawa, King Caesar appeared and drove them off. Saeko began attempting to decipher the prophecy, but unbeknownst to her was being shadowed by two mysterious men: Yanagawa and Nanbara. Saeko encountered Shimizu again on a plane bound for Tokyo. She explained that she was going to seek assistance from Professor Wakura in deciphering the prophecy. However, she had managed to translate most of it, which read: "When a black mountain appears above the clouds, a monster will appear to try and destroy the world. But when the red moon sets and the sun rises in the west, two monsters will appear to save the people." Nanbara, the shadowy figure who had been following Saeko earlier, revealed himself in the seat in front of the two and introduced himself as a freelance reporter interested in the story of the statue and prophecy. Just then, the passengers on the plane witnessed a huge black cloud in the distance, shaped like a mountain. Saeko worried that this was the same black mountain from the prophecy.

Shimizu accompanied Saeko in a cab to Wakura's house in Tokyo, where he revealed that the professor was his uncle. Wakura explained to them both that Shimizu's brother Masahiko had gone to Professor Hideto Miyajima's laboratory at Mount Fuji to show him a strange piece of metal he had found in Gyokusen Cave in Okinawa. That night, Wakura and Saeko worked on deciphering more of the prophecy, only for Yanagawa to break in and hold them at gunpoint, demanding that they hand over the statue. Shimizu attacked Yanagawa and the two engaged in a fistfight that resulted in Yanagawa fleeing the scene. The next morning, the three witnessed Godzilla emerge from Mt. Fuji and began a rampage. Saeko was shocked that the monster from the prophecy was Godzilla. Worried about his brother, Shimizu left for Miyajima's laboratory. Once the Godzilla from Mt. Fuji was revealed as a robotic impostor called Mechagodzilla, Shimizu and Saeko concluded that Yanagawa was an agent of the machine's alien masters and was trying to steal the statue so that they could not awaken King Caesar in order to stop their creation. The two boarded the Queen Coral bound for Okinawa, where they intended to meet Masahiko, Miyajima, and the professor's daughter Ikuko and use the statue to awaken King Caesar. Saeko warned Shimizu aboard the ship that she felt like they were being watched. That night, Yanagawa broke into Saeko's cabin and stole the statue, only to find Shimizu waiting for him. When Shimizu managed to damage Yanagawa's human disguise with a gunshot, the alien agent tried to flee with the statue. When Yanagawa managed to get Shimizu at gunpoint, he himself was shot in the back by an unseen assassin and fell overboard with the statue. Saeko ran to the scene where Shimizu informed her about what happened. She began to bandage a wound Shimizu had sustained in the fight, only for Nanbara to reveal himself and say that they should be talking about love on a night like this. When the Queen Coral arrived at port, Shimizu realized that he had the captain place the statue in secure storage, and that the one Yanagawa had stolen was a duplicate.

When the two learned that Miyajima and the others had not been seen at the hotel for days, Shimizu told Saeko to stay behind with the statue while he searched for them at Gyokusen Cave. Shimizu stumbled upon the aliens' base of operations and met Nanbara again, who finally revealed that he was an INTERPOL agent trying to stop the aliens. The two rescued Miyajima and the others and escaped the aliens' base. They decided that Shimizu would try to awaken King Caesar while Nanbara, Masahiko, and Miyajima would go back in and try to stop Mechagodzilla's launch. Shimizu returned to the hotel to retrieve Saeko and the statue. When they arrived at the shrine overlooking Cape Manzamo, they found two aliens waiting for them holding Nami Kunigami and her grandfather hostage, demanding that they hand over the statue. Just as the heroes were prepared to relinquish the statue, the aliens were ambushed and killed by Nanbara's partner, Tamura. As the sunrise was reflected by the clouds, creating a mirage resembling the sun rising in the west, the statue was placed on the shrine. The statue fired beams from its eyes which blasted a hole into a nearby rock formation, revealing the sleeping King Caesar within. Nami sung a song to King Caesar in order to awaken him just before Mechagodzilla reached his location. Saeko and the others watched the ensuing battle, in which Mechagodzilla had the upper hand before Godzilla arrived to assist King Caesar. Together, the two Earth monsters destroyed the robot, while Miyajima and the others successfully caused the aliens' base to self-destruct.

In the aftermath of the battle, Saeko, Shimizu, Masahiko, and Ikuko returned the statue of King Caesar to its rightful place in Azumi Castle, with Nami's grandfather remarking that the spirits of his family could finally rest in peace.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

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