Showa era

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Series
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Showa
Heisei

The Showa series (昭和シリーズ,   Shōwa shirīzu) is a term used to identify films produced during Japan's Showa era or Showa period (昭和時代,   Shōwa jidai), which lasted from 1926 to 1989 under the reign of Emperor Hirohito.

The first Godzilla film was to begin the Showa era of the kaiju industry, and Godzilla is the usual kaiju to be affiliated with this era. During the beginning of this era, Godzilla was mainly antagonistic in nature, taking on the likes of Anguirus and Mothra. By the time of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla adopted what would soon become his most famous image: a heroic monster, battling terrible villains with other monsters by his side.

The Showa era saw many other film studios such as Daiei, Shochiku and Nikkatsu attempt to enter the new genres of Tokusatsu and kaiju films with their own creations, including Gamera, Daimajin, Guilala and Gappa.

After the formation of Tsuburaya Productions and the creation of their most famous series, the Ultraman franchise, Toho produced a significant number of tokusatsu television programs in the Showa era, one of which, Zone Fighter, even featured appearances by Godzilla and some of his other monster co-stars and is considered part of the official continuity of the Showa Godzilla films.

Films

Godzilla Series

While all the Showa Godzilla films (except All Monsters Attack) share continuity with each other, the Showa Godzilla series can generally be divided into three distinct cycles of films. The first two films in the Godzilla series were produced in 1954 and 1955, and were followed by a seven-year hiatus during which Toho produced several other kaiju films, including Rodan, Varan, and Mothra. The series was revived in 1962 with King Kong vs. Godzilla, after which a new film was produced almost annually throughout the 1960's. During this period, Godzilla gradually began to transition from a villainous destructive monster to a more sympathetic and heroic character. 1968's Destroy All Monsters was originally planned to be the final Godzilla film, but Toho went on to produce six more films afterward from 1969 to 1975, as features for the Toho Champion Festival children's matinee program. The Godzilla films released during this period, collectively dubbed the "Champion Series" by kaiju historian August Ragone,[1] in particular cemented Godzilla's image as a heroic monster "superhero," and all of its films take place chronologically after Son of Godzilla but before Destroy All Monsters, with the exception of All Monsters Attack, which is often considered to be set in its own continuity. The series was placed on hiatus again after the box office failure of Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975, and despite several attempts by Toho to continue the series another Godzilla film would not be produced until 1984, thus beginning the Heisei series.

Original Duology (1954-1955)

Revival (1962-1968)

Champion Series (1969-1975)[1]

Gamera Series

The Showa Gamera series ran from 1965 to 1980, and consists of eight films. The final film in the Showa Gamera series, Gamera: Super Monster, was produced nine years after the previous film, Gamera vs. Zigra, due to Daiei going bankrupt. Super Monster's monster scenes consist almost entirely of stock footage from previous films, and its continuity with the rest of the Showa Gamera series is unclear.

Other Toho Films

In addition to the Godzilla series, Toho produced numerous other kaiju, science-fiction, and horror films during the Showa era, some of which would introduce monsters that would go on to make appearances in the Godzilla series.

Other Daiei Films

Toei Films

Other Films

  • The X from Outer Space (1967) - Produced by Shochiku
  • Gappa (1967) - Produced by Nikkatsu
  • Genocide (1968) - Produced by Shochiku
  • Goké, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968) - Produced by Shochiku

Television

During the late 1960's, Toho began producing numerous tokusatsu television series, many featuring kaiju, in a similar vein to Tsuburaya Productions' popular Ultra Series. Two of these series, Go! Godman and Go! Greenman, often reused monsters from other Toho shows or even from some of Toho's films, including the Godzilla films. The series Zone Fighter is particularly notable for featuring guest appearances from Godzilla himself, along with his costars Gigan and King Ghidorah. Zone Fighter is considered to be part of the continuity of the Showa Godzilla films, set between the events of Godzilla vs. Megalon and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

Monsters Introduced

Godzilla Series

Gamera Series

Other

Television

See Also

Trivia

  • The Showa series is currently the longest of the defined eras of Godzilla films to date, as it had 15 films created over the span of 21 years.
  • Politically, The Return of Godzilla is a Showa film, as it was the last film to be made in the Showa era of Japan, with the Heisei era beginning on the 8th of January 1989.
  • Despite the fact that the Showa era of the Godzilla franchise concluded in 1975, several unmade films that were to be released during the latter years of the 1970's indicate that this hiatus may have been unintended, with each successive cancellation inadvertently further increasing the length of the hiatus.
  • This era features the majority of appearances for several monsters. Rodan, for example, appears in four films (or around ten, including stock footage appearances) in the Showa era, whereas in the Heisei and Millennium eras, he only has one appearance in each.
  • With the exception of Mechagodzilla, none of the monsters and mechas introduced in the Godzilla series after Invasion of Astro-Monster made any appearances in the Heisei series. Ebirah, Minilla, Kamacuras, Kumonga, Hedorah, Gigan and King Caesar were all reintroduced in the final film of the Millennium series, Godzilla: Final Wars, leaving Gabara, Megalon, Jet Jaguar and Titanosaurus as the only characters to have not appeared in a film since their debut, with the exception of cameos, stock footage, and appearances in other media.

References

This is a list of references for Showa 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]

  1. 1.0 1.1 [1]

Comments

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Conder99

13 days ago
Score 0
Unpopular opinion, but showas better than heisai
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Gojifan2003

one month ago
Score 0
Man, the Showa era gives me alot of memories
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Artzilla

14 months ago
Score -1
in terms of design, this era is the worst. in terms of story, this era is the best
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Alexbolte

7 months ago
Score 0
The showa era kaiju weren't supposed to look realistic. I wouldn't want them to look any other way.
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Onemorefinal

15 months ago
Score 0
Shouldn't Manda be in the monsters introduced in Godzilla section? He seems to be missing from the page entirely.
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Lamango

17 months ago
Score 0
The New Godzilla Walker - The New Legend of the King of the Monsters (ISBN: 9784048956321) cites the history of weaponry, which as a result gives dates for several of the movies which differ from when the film was released. It also adds context to a few that state themselves vaguely during the film, like occurring in 196X or 197X. The time line listing includes Godzilla Raids Again (1955) happening in 1955, King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) taking place in 1961, Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) taking place in 1962, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) taking place in 1964, Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965) taking place in 1965, Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) taking place in 1972 and Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) taking place in 1973. The movies themselves make a few references to when they occur, including Destroy All Monsters (1968) taking place in 1999, Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)'s 196X date or Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) stating the events at the start of the film took place in 197X. The latter is interesting as the dubbed version credits this as 1971, although the movie takes place after Gigan first appeared and therefore the dubbed version can be discredited there.
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The King of the Monsters

17 months ago
Score 0
Only the English dubs for Destroy All Monsters state that the film takes place in 1999. The Japanese version and supplementary materials only state that it takes place "at the close of the 20th century," while Shin Godzilla Walker at least confirms it's sometime after the early 90's with the dates it gives to the weapons used in the film.
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Lamango

17 months ago
Score 0
Well, couldn't the weapons used in the film be labeled the time they were created?
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T-Zilla

20 months ago
Score 0

Just for fun I want to list the chronological order of all the Godzilla and tie-in films together! This has one of the biggest and best shared universe I have ever see.

So here we go with the order of the Toho Showa Universe:

1.Gojira/Godzilla King Of The Monsters (1954/1956)

2.Godzilla Raids Again (1955)

3.Rodan (1956)

4.The Mysterians (1957)

5.Varan The Unbelievable (1958)

6.Frankenstein Conquers The World (1965)

7.Mothra (1961)

8.King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

9.Atragon (1963)

10.Matango (1963)

11.Mothra vs Godzilla (1964)

12.Dogora The Space Monster (1964)

13.Battle In Outer Space (1959)

14.Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster (1964)

15.Invasion Of The Astro-Monster (1965)

16.War Of The Gargantuas (1966)

17.Godzilla vs The Sea Monster (1966)

18.King Kong Escapes (1967)

19.Son Of Godzilla (1967)

20.Latitude Zero (1969)

21.All Monsters Attack (1969)

22.Space Amoeba (1970)

23.Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971)

24.Godzilla vs Gigan (1972)

25.Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)

26.Zone Fighter (tv series 26 episodes 1973)

27.Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974)

28.Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975)

29.Gorath (1962)

30.War In Space (1977)

31.Destroy All Monsters (1968)
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Predator65

24 months ago
Score 0

Here are my top 6 Showa Era films: 1.Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster 2.Destroy all Monsters 3.Invasion of the Astro Monster 4.Mothra vs Godzilla 5.Gojira

6.Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla.
Era Icon - Showa.png