IMDb > Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
Gamera daikaijû kuchu kessen
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Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995) More at IMDbPro »Gamera daikaijû kuchu kessen (original title)

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Release Date:
16 April 1997 (USA) See more »
A hibernating species of giant carnivorous bird is awakened on a Japanese island shortly after the Japanese military encounters an unidentified mass moving beneath the water off-shore. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(9 articles)
User Reviews:
a magnificently entertaining monster movie; the start of a transformation that would evolve Gamera from just a Godzilla-want-to-be into his own character See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tsuyoshi Ihara ... Yoshinari Yonemori
Akira Onodera ... Naoya Kusangi
Shinobu Nakayama ... Mayumi Nagamine

Ayako Fujitani ... Asagi Kusanagi
Yukijirô Hotaru ... Insp. Osako
Hatsunori Hasegawa ... Col. Satake
Hirotarô Honda ... Mr. Saito
Akira Kubo ... Captain of the Kairyumaru
Kôjirô Hongô ... Captain of the Nojima
Takashi Matsuo ... Taxi driver
Yoshihiko Hakamada ... Michiya
Tomiko Ishii ... Female Grocery store Owner
Jun Fubuki ... Housewife with her son in Grocery store
Yuka Sakano ... Yukino - Asagi's Friend in Aquarium
Sarina Kô ... Female Newsrepoter on Himegami Island
Minako Nagai ... Herself - News Casrer for Alta
Akemi Nakamura ... Female Correspondent at Dome
Nanako Shindo ... Zoo Employee
Miyako Wada ... Mother at Bridge
Tetsu Watanabe ... Captain at Mt. Fuji
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carol Amerson ... Various (voice: English version)

Tiffany Grant ... Dr. Mayumi Nagamine (voice: English version)
Yuhmi Kaneyama ... Gyaos
Gene Kato ... Helicopter Pilot (voice: English version)
Yûko Kimura ... Herself - News caster for Plus One
Jason Lee ... Miltary Helicopter Pilot (voice: English Version)
Tristan MacAvery ... Mr. Kusanagi (voice: English version)
Naoaki Manabe ... Gamera
Yûichi Mayama ... Himself - News caster for Plus One
Paul Sidello ... Inspector Ohsako (voice: English version)
Jun Suzuki ... Gamera
Sue Ulu ... Reporter (voice: English version)
Brett Weaver ... News Anchor, Scientist (voice: English version)
Amanda Winn Lee ... Asagi Kusanagi (voice: English version)

Directed by
Shûsuke Kaneko 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Matt Greenfield  dialogue
Kazunori Itô 
James Shanks  UK version

Produced by
Matt Greenfield .... producer (US dubbed version)
Hiroyuki Kato .... executive producer
Shigeru Ohno .... producer
Yasuyoshi Tokuma .... executive producer
Tsutomu Tsuchikawa .... producer
Seiji Urushido .... producer
Original Music by
Kô Ôtani  (as Kô Ohtani)
Cinematography by
Kenji Takama 
Junichi Tozawa 
Film Editing by
Shizuo Arakawa 
Production Design by
Hajime Oikawa 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Shôzô Katashima .... assistant director (as Shozo Katashima)
Sound Department
Yasuo Hashimoto .... sound
Special Effects by
Shin'ichi Fushima .... editor: special effects sequences
Tomo'o Haraguchi .... creature creator
Hokoka Hayashi .... special effects lighting
Shinji Higuchi .... special effects director
Makoto Kamiya .... special effects assistant director
Hiroshi Kidokoro .... special effects photographer
Toshio Miike .... special effects art director
Kenji Sugata .... special effects crew
Visual Effects by
Takashi Kawabata .... digital effects artist
Hajime Matsumoto .... visual effects
Other crew
Junko Kawashima .... script girl
Mahiro Maeda .... creature designer
Atsunori Sato .... computer graphic artist
James Shanks .... adr director (UK version)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Gamera daikaijû kuchu kessen" - Japan (original title)
See more »
96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The film's Japanese poster is a nearly identical recreation of the Japanese poster of the first film in which Gamera fought Gyaos, Daikaijû kûchûsen: Gamera tai Gyaosu (1967).See more »
Insp. Osako:Doctor, let's come back tomorrow.
Mayumi Nagamine:This creature might be nocturnal.
Insp. Osako:That's an even better reason! Suppose it were to attack us?
Mayumi Nagamine:[Gyaos flies overhead and she starts to follow] It's getting away!
Insp. Osako:We're not equipped for this, and it's out of our jurisdiction!
Mayumi Nagamine:It's looking for food!
Insp. Osako:For food? That'll be us if we're not careful!
Mayumi Nagamine:If it can't find prey here, it'll attack Japan!
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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
a magnificently entertaining monster movie; the start of a transformation that would evolve Gamera from just a Godzilla-want-to-be into his own character, 23 November 2009
Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States

When Gamera first appeared in Japanese theaters in 1965, he was nothing more than a Godzilla-want-to-be. The giant flying turtle was one of the few want-to-bes that achieved any level of success close to what Godzilla had, but there was still nothing primal about him. Now truth by told, although I am a huge kaiju (giant monster) fan, I was not and still am not a fan of the original Gamera series. Those films were so juvenile and unbelievably dull that they made even the corniest of the Godzilla movies look like visionary works of art by comparison. And so Gamera had that reputation for a while. He was popular and suited only for very young children. That was until 1995, when director Shusuke Kaneko changed all of that with a very successful inventive trilogy of Gamera films that changed the flying turtle from just another Godzilla rip-off into his own character…and in three very good movies. The first was "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe." In this vast reinvention of the Gamera series, decades of environmental catastrophes have awakened a flock of bat-like creatures called the Gyaos, who begin to plague Japanese islands and then threaten the mainland. Around the same time, a giant turtle referred to in legend as Gamera, awakens at the same time. As the monsters begin to battle, its soon discovered that their simultaneous appearance and their aggression for each other is anything but coincidence.

Now in terms of its plot, "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" is anything but special, but then again, neither was "Predator" (1987) or "Jaws" (1975) or to a certain extent "Gojira" (1954). Like with all of those movies, its the high-energy pacing and the stories that make "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" work. The best word to describe this movie is fun. Even Roger Ebert, who is not a fan of the kaiju genre (see his review for "Godzilla 1985" for proof) admitted he had a fun time with the film.

One thing I particularly liked about "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" as well as the other two movies in the trilogy was that even when the monsters were not on screen, I was not bored for a second. Typically in monster movies, the creatures are the most interesting element and the human characters are inane and time-fillers. This film is an exception. The characters are familiar in terms of classification (scientist, witness, etcetera) but they are fairly fleshed-out to become likable. The dialogue is also very well-written so that for once, the explanation of the monsters' origin is not long-winded, familiar, or tiresome.

But of course, I can't leave out the star of the movie, Gamera himself. Kaneko's decision to change Gamera from a child-friendly big-hearted turtle into a more vicious and animal-like, yet somehow appealing monster was absolutely brilliant. Now in terms of how he's presented, no, Gamera is not spectacular, but then again neither was the shark in "Jaws". And both creatures carry of their parts effectively. The Gyaos are also fairly well-done, although in their earlier scenes, there was a little too much of a phony expression in their ping pong ball-like eyes. Overall, the special effects are a little more then what you'd expect, although not fantastic like in the second and third installments of the trilogy.

Bottom line, "Gamera: Guardian of the Universe" is like the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" of Japanese monster movies. It's not meant to be taken seriously and nobody does, it doesn't try to be anything more than what it is, and every second is nonstop energetic and pleasurable cinematic fun.

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