Yamato Takeru (1994)

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Image gallery for Yamato Takeru (film)
Credits for Yamato Takeru (film)
Yamato Takeru (film) soundtrack

The Japanese poster for Yamato Takeru
Yamato Takeru
Alternate Titles
Flagicon United States.png Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon (1999)
See alternate titles
Directed by Takao Okawara
Produced by Shogo Tomiyama, Tomoyuki Tanaka
Written by Wataru Mimura
Music by Kiyoko Ogino, Glay, Yoshiki Hayashi
Distributor TohoJP
Rating Not Rated
Box Office ¥800,000,000[1]
Running Time 104 minutesJP
(1 hour, 44 minutes)
103 minutesUS
(1 hour, 43 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Rate this film!
(12 votes)

Yamato Takeru (ヤマトタケル,   Yamato Takeru) is a 1994 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho. It was released to Japanese theaters on July 9, 1994.


The film begins with the birth of twin princes. One of the twins is named Ousu, and is loathed by his father, the emperor of Yamato. The emperor is convinced that his loathing of Ousu is a premonition, and he orders the shaman named Tsukinowa to kill the child. But his plans are thwarted by Amano Shiratori, the White Bird of the Heavens. The emperor’s sister views this as a clear sign of divine intervention, and takes it upon herself to raise the young prince.

Years later, when Prince Ousu has matured into a man, he is given pardon by the emperor and allowed to return to his father's castle. Unfortunately, not long after, his mother falls ill and mysteriously dies. This sends his brother into a rage, causing him to attack Ousu, who defends himself and kills his sibling in the process. His father, furious at these events, orders his son to leave the castle and not return until the barbarians living in the Kumaso domain are dealt with. The prince makes dealing with these barbarians his top priority, and quickly takes off. He stops at a shrine on his way, where, after a quick battle, he befriends the beautiful but mysterious Oto, who joins him on his journey. They, along with their companions Genbu and Seiryu, raid the barbarian castle, killing Kumaso Takeru and their god Kumasogami. Following this feat, the prince changes his name and becomes Yamato Takeru.

However, he still fails to win the acceptance of his father, and Yamato's aunt, warns him of a great threat looming overhead. The god Tsukuyomi is posed to return, endangering the Earth, and Yamato Takeru must prepare to halt this from occurring.


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


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




Yamato Takeru was originally scheduled to go into production following the release of Godzilla vs. Mothra in 1992. The original story was a remake of Toho's 1959 epic The Three Treasures, but director Takao Okawara, mindful of the studio's plans for a trilogy, made numerous revisions, including the addition of the Imperial Regalia of Japan and Yamato Takeru's two companions.[2] He approached the material "not as a period piece, but instead as a futuristic drama imagined by people living in the past."

The final battle between Orochi and Utsuno Ikusagami was significantly edited at the request of Toho executives, who felt the film was too long. A second scene of Yamato Takeru jumping onto one of Orochi's heads was also cut.


Main article: Yamato Takeru (film)/Gallery.


Main article: Yamato Takeru (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon (English Title)
  • Madra the Eight-Headed Monster (Madra die Acht-Headed Monster; German)

Theatrical Releases

U.S. Release

Yamato Takeru was dubbed into English by a Hong Kong studio. Voice actors included Chris Hilton as Emperor Keikou and Seiryu, and Rik Thomas as Tsukinowa and Kumaso Takeru. The film went direct to video in the United States under the title Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon. ADV Films first released it on VHS in 1999, then on DVD in 2003.

Box Office

Yamato Takeru performed poorly at the Japanese box office, grossing only ¥800,000,000 with approximately 1,500,000 admissions.[3] By comparison, Toho's other 1994 kaiju film, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, made ¥1,650,000,000. Its failure forced the studio to eventually abandon its plans for a trilogy, with a sequel scheduled for 1997 but ultimately cancelled.


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Yamato Takeru currently has a 30% Audience Score, based on over 1,000 ratings. Its average rating there is 2.9/5. The film remains fairly obscure among kaiju fans, in part due to its limited availability on home video. Toho Kingdom's Anthony Romero gave the movie a 1.5/5 rating, citing it as "pretty lackluster across the board" being "plagued by a weak script and a hollow cast of characters", with "bland acting, [and] special effects", and a musical score that "would have been more appropriate for a television show". However, he does state that the monsters featured in the film "were well done in terms of details," though they "are far less impressive once they are seen in motion". Writing for Alternate Ending, Tim Brayton took aim at its low production values, calling it "an early '80s European fantasy adventure with just enough of a distinct Japanese sensibility in the themes and dialogue to mark it out."


Japanese Yamato Takeru newsflash/special announcement
English Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon trailer

Video Releases

ADV Films DVD (2003)[4]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
  • Special Features: Trailers
  • Notes: Out of print.

Though Yamato Takeru is not available on Blu-ray, an HD version can be rented or purchased on the Japanese versions of Amazon Video and iTunes.


This is a list of references for Yamato Takeru (film). 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]

Era Icon - Toho.png
Era Icon - Heisei.png
Era Icon - Orochi.png
Era Icon - Utsuno Ikusagami.png
Era Icon - Kaishin Muba.png
Era Icon - Amano Shiratori.png


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3 months ago
Score 0
i actually really want to see this film. i am also making my own reimagining of this film


3 months ago
Score 0
to clarify i don't mean my own official reimagining of the film i mean a fanmade one


12 months ago
Score 0
This has got to be one of the most gloriously bad films i have ever seen.

Monsterland Buddies

13 months ago
Score 0
According to the reviews, this is one of the worst kaiju films ever made.

Astounding Beyond Belief

13 months ago
Score 0
It's bad, but it's no Asylum flick.

Monsterland Buddies

13 months ago
Score 0
Ok. But what’s Asylum?


13 months ago
Score 0
The studio responsible for the Sharknado franchise.

Monsterland Buddies

13 months ago
Score 0

The H-Man

13 months ago
Score 0

I'm not sure the policy for the titles used on each film's page, but Toho's international title seems to be "Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon." That's the title on the Toho export version uploaded on YouTube (and since taken down): https://www....=NRm3Hrqpawc

Additionally, Tomoyuki Tanaka may have been involved in production on an executive level but his name isn't on the posters or in either the English or Japanese credits.