Monday, August 4, 2014

The Litany of Godzilla: Millennium Series Part Three – Augmenting Skeletons

Click Here to go back to the really strange one.

Godzilla × Mechagodzilla
(AKA Godzilla against Mechagodzilla)
2002

It’s 1999 and Pointy Godzilla rises up behind an extremely surprised weather man during a typhoon.  Someone on screen finally calls out the fact that this stuff always happens when it’s raining.  The “Anti-Megalosaur Squad” is called up.  They’ve got a mess of conventional weapons, which still don’t work, They also have the trusty Laser Tanks.  Somewhere along the way somebody realized they don’t look anything like lasers and have redubbed them “Masers.”  Perhaps this is a contraction of “Might not Be Lasers.”

The Masers succeed in knocking down a small forest, but don’t do much against Godzilla either.  Army Babe hits him square in the face, which does do something. It really pisses him off. 


Aside: Before the Politically Correct Police get called out, “Army Babe” is one hundred percent justified.  She’s the only woman we see in any of the combat forces, she’s played by a model, and…

Well,
just look at the poster. 

“Army Babe” was clearly their intent.

Army Babe reverses her Maser Tank away from the charging Kaiju, directly into her Commander’s jeep.  The command car is knocked into the ravine that Godzilla is about to step in and lands beneath a giant scaly foot on the way down. 

Oopsie.

Godzilla leaves, and there’s a continuity dump from the Prime Minister (who looks a lot like Miss Namikawa) and her Defense Chief (who looks a lot like the Heisei Era General).  Godzilla was killed by the oxygen destroyer in 1954.  This is relayed through clips of the original film, and a black and white puppet show, to speed up the telling I think.  They talk about how weapons were prepared and used successfully on other monsters.  Clips from the original Mothra appear when they discuss killing the usually friendly bug with a heat ray.  Even the Gaira from War of the Gargantuans gets a cameo, as they discuss slaying it with Masers.  So this is basically the Showa Series if everyone died.
How cheery.

Army Babe isn’t formally charged, but is busted down to base librarian.  Other defense guys discuss how Godzilla is completely impervious to Masers.  This does make it look like Army Babe got used as a scapegoat.  Then again, she did back into her boss and bump him to a hideous death by squashing.

Meanwhile, Awkward Scientist has made a living cybernetic Trilobite out of electronics, and horseshoe crab DNA.
Hey! What could go wrong? 
He’s all excited about returning extinct species as Cybermats basically. The government recruits him with other experts, to build a defense robot out of the recently discovered skeleton of the original Godzilla.

Again- Hey-what could go wrong?
Maybe that really was Miss Namikawa planning this out, trying to get back in with the Planet Xers.

Awkward Scientist says no, because he needs to take care of his Creepy Daughter.  She carries a plant around all the time, and talks to it like it’s her dead mother.  No, she’s not an awesome Plant Psychic like Miki, she’s just creepy, but thinks he should have said yes.  Government guys show up and make the same argument that Creepy Daughter did about baseball player’s kids in the dugout.  Awkward Scientist is in, and the Godzilla cells are working their magic again.

Having assured more destruction, Prime Minister looks like Miss Namikawa steps down and Heisei Era General takes over.  The scientists work, Creepy Daughter talks to her plant, and Army Babe trains.

2003:  The Kiryu Squad leader recruits Army Babe back into active service for the Mechagodzilla team.  Kiryu does sound a little cooler, until you realize it’s a contraction of the Japanese words for “Machine” and “Dragon.”  Instead of Mechagodzilla, he’s Machagon.  Army Babe shows up, and gets reamed out by Angry Pilot for killing his brother in her little reversing incident.  She joins but refuses to wear the groovy Kiryu squad baseball hat.

Oh, and Creepy Daughter hasn’t aged, neither has her plant.  Makes you wonder if Awkward Scientist is taking a page from Doctor Mifune’s notebook?

The three of them are in the cafeteria, and Awkward Scientist hits on Army Babe…very very badly. However, it may have worked somewhat, as she ignores Angry Pilot’s taunts until he goes after Awkward Scientist, then it gets physical.  She also bonds with Creepy Daughter about having a plant as her only friend.  There are some really well adjusted folks in this cast.

Enough with the people. It’s time for the Mechagodzilla press release introduced by Defense Chief Heisei Era General . Awkward Scientist explains that because DNA computers work in base four instead of base two, they are much faster and more powerful than standard machines.

Right…Moving on.

Kiryu is armed to the teeth with things known not to work on Godzilla (bullets, missiles, Masers) plus an Absolute Zero Gun that uses a whopping forty percent of its power.  
Considering the thing only has a battery life of two hours (not counting the Absolute Zero Gun) before needing a microwave recharge from much less heavily armored planes, it lends credibility to bringing back “Miss Namikawa” being more than just a Kumi Mizuno cameo.

Godzilla is polite enough to wait for the briefing to end before reemerging. Kiryu launches, sort of. Its old laptop like battery life means it gets carried to the battle by three “White Heron” planes.  One White Heron also carries Army Babe, Mechagodzilla’s remote control pilot.

Everyone runs, screams and evacuates, including a little league team by Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui, in a cute nod to his nickname. The army still brings Maser Tanks, because they look awesome. The two Kaiju face off and Kiryu launches a ridiculous amount of missiles. They do nothing as per usual. The cyborg follows up with its Maser breath, which also appears to do nothing.  The crew cheers claiming Godzilla is retreating.  This is the height of optimism, as the Maser pushed the Big G back all of two steps. 

As Army Babe readies the Absolute Zero gun Godzilla roars, triggering something in the robot built out of his skeleton.  Mechagodzilla goes on a wild, uncontrolled, explosion filled rampage.  No longer needed, Godzilla heads home to the sea. The weapon fire all over town takes down one of the White Herons, where Army Babe saves Angry Pilot and some others from the wreck.   
  
Kiryu’s embarrassing battery life is now a boon.  Although having to wait an hour while it blows the snot out of the city before they can bring it in does not make its premier a very successful event.

Awkward Scientist figures out the roar triggered latent memories and maybe using the DNA of a city smashing radioactive monster to power a giant robot was a bad idea.

Ya think?

He might be able to fix it by changing the DNA, but it’s pretty much impossible.  However, he decides to do it anyway for Army Babe.  “Using the Geek” - definitely a cross cultural phenomenon.  Angry Pilot is still angry though unsupported.  The rest of the troop tells him off and gives Army Babe her groovy Kiryu squad baseball hat.

Creepy Girl is sulking because Godzilla and Mechagodzilla only want to be friends and the humans want them to fight. Like most young idealists, she misses a key point: namely that they want to be friends, yet also destroy most of her civilization at the same time.

Oh yeah, Mechagodzilla’s basically a living being in this one. Well done science team, you’ve created a sentient two hundred foot tall heavily armed cyborg, which is going to be forcibly remote controlled against its will.
Hey, what could go wrong? (I mean, further wrong.) 

Army Babe shows up to tell Creepy Daughter that she needs fight everything because life is worthless, and that humans really are to blame.  Heck of a pep talk there, Army Babe.

Godzilla, totally bored with all the touchy feely stuff, comes back on shore ready to party.  The military greets him, mostly to waste ammunition.  Kiryu Commander asks the Prime Minister for permission to try Mechagodzilla again.  Based on the ineffectiveness of everything else…what the heck!

Before the White Herons tow the limited operation time cyborg all the way to the battle, Godzilla is about to step on a hospital.  Since the regular military is still utterly useless, they launch Kiryu from the sky, allowing him an impressive rocket powered swoop from on high, shoulder charge entry that flattens the King of Monsters.

Mechagodzilla fires everything!  ‘Cause that’s what he does.  Nothing much happens, and the monsters wrestle because it’s more fun.  Kiryu’s Maser breath…still doesn’t do anything.  Big surprise there.  Godzilla’s breath, on the other hand, blows some metal bits off, but again ‘cause it’s more fun, the Big G goes in for more hand to hand. 

Then there is a true big surprise.  Mechagodzilla’s arm sprouts a freaky big, electrified knife that he plunges into his opponent. 
Godzilla breathes it off, but is shaken, allowing Kiryu to fire his entire jet backpack, staggering the Big G further.  The cyborg pushes his advantage with some ninja leaps and pounding.  Because, as mentioned, pounding is fun.

Army Babe’s ability to shoot Masers into Godzilla’s eyes comes in handy as she blinds and momentarily disorients the King of Monsters.  Using this to their advantage, Kiryu grabs Godzilla by the tail and pulls a jet assisted hammer throw, landing him many blocks away. 

Mechagodzilla’s battery is dying, and tries to follow up after Godzilla’s ungainly plop with the Absolute Zero Cannon while it still can.  The Big G is startled awake, and places a well aimed breath to blast the snot out of Kiryu and flip him just as he fires.  Now Mechagodzilla has no power, the remote control is shot, and three sky scrapers have been accidently frozen to disintegration.
Oopsie.

Army Babe lands her White Heron and enters Mechagodzilla to pilot it manually.  Good thing she was carrying a Bat-Grapple to reach the high up access port.  In an extremely rare show of usefulness, the Government orders in the Maser Tanks with the intent that they are only distractions, and also orders the power of the entire city shut down and diverted to Mechagodzilla.

By this point, Army Babe has started having one sided conversations with the giant cyborg she’s sitting in.  She has had a rough few days.  Kiryu stands up ready for battle.  Sadly, it is facing the wrong way, catches a radioactive blast in the back and falls on its face once more.
Again, Oopsie.

Army Babe has a combination of bad (shoving her commander under a monster foot) and good (being supported by Awkward Scientist, Creepy Daughter, and the Kiryu team) flashbacks.  She also hallucinates Creepy Daughter yelling at her to not die.  She starts screaming at Mechagodzilla to give her power.  I’m not sure it works that way, but they do get up.

Somewhat Less Angry Pilot kamikazes his White Heron into Godzilla’s mouth to keep him from breathing on Kiryu again.  I’m not sure that works that way either.  Army Babe charges in to rescue him first, and then carries Godzilla out to sea while yelling a great deal before firing the Absolute Zero Gun.   This turns the ocean into Queen Elsa’s castle.

Godzilla bursts out of the ice, is fed up, scarred, and leaving.  Kiryu’s Absolute Zero gun, power and one arm are gone.  The government types, as usual, celebrate with a large amount of handshakes and bows over their “great victory.”

Creepy Daughter is still sulking, because she doesn’t know where Army Babe is.  She’s standing on the shut down Mechagodzilla’s shoulder, grouchily watching the real Godzilla go away.  



The credits roll and for some reason show Creepy Daughter’s plant in the middle of them.

After the credits, Army Babe, Awkward Scientist, and Creepy Daughter all meet up in the Kiryu repair bay. Army Babe thanks Creepy Daughter for being in her hallucination. This confuses the poor child, which can’t be good so soon after giving up her unnatural attraction to an immortal fern.  However, Creepy Daughter’s spirits rise when Army Babe not only tells her life is not worthless, but also hits on her dad.

Before leaving, Army Babe turns and gives Mechagodzilla a textbook salute.

Yes, it’s clear the connection between these three, and the pilot and her sentient craft, strong though they may be, will only expand in the future…

Except they won’t. 

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