GAMERA -Rebirth-

GAMERA -Rebirth-



A crude but surprisingly mature blend of coming-of-age and a kaiju monster story


TV Show

English, Japanese
Action & Adventure, Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Aki Toyosaki, Hisako Kanemoto, Mamoru Miyano
270 min

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A classic game of guess the real threat: giant man-eating monsters, or racist Americans invading foreign soil? So hard to choose!

What it's about

Three Japanese boys living near a U.S. military station witness a giant turtle creature fighting off other monsters attacking Japan.

The take

There are two sides to Gamera Rebirth that don't mix all that well yet in the first two episodes watched for this review, but still complement each other in intriguing ways. There is, of course, the part of the show concerned with monsters fighting monsters—classic kaiju spectacle that makes good use of the series' jagged CG animation, though the action never quite reaches a level of true excitement or tragedy. What's more surprising about Gamera Rebirth, then, is its story of three young friends whose childhood is violently interrupted by both the titular giant turtle creature and the violence of the American military on their soil. This part of the show doesn't benefit from the series' visual style (which only seems to inhibit the characters' emotional expression), but there's a rawness to this main plot that keeps it just as urgent as the kaiju stuff. The kids swear and get beaten up, as they try to make sense of this turbulent time in their life.

What stands out

The moment the kids first start acting like real kids as soon as the adults aren't around to hear them effectively transforms Gamera Rebirth into a sci-fi Stephen King story of sorts—think It, or Stand by Me. Japan has always been serious when it comes to their media that deals with the effects of war, perhaps most famously seen in Gamera's rival franchise Godzilla and its commentary on nuclear weaponry. Rebirth shares that sober attitude towards geopolitical conflict, emphasizing how the future generations stand to lose the most from all this fighting.

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