With consecutive releases in the last couple of years, Netflix has amassed quite a number of kaiju-oriented pieces of content and, as a result, multiplied the count and types of monsters in its overall kaiju catalog. The Godzilla anime movies and series presented some of his iconic adversaries in a revamped look, while the Kong animated series introduced gigantic versions of tropical creatures as Titans; therefore, it was intriguing to see how the makers of Gamera approached his lore. In the animated venture debut of Gamera, all of his Showa-era kaiju enemies were introduced in the first season itself, and although their appearance and origin story were somewhat tweaked to match contemporary sensibilities, the creatures retained the essence of their original counterparts.
The ensemble of six different Daiei kaiju in Gamera Rebirth was inspired by the live-action movie Gamera Super Monster, which, along with the Heisei-era Gamera trilogy, is what inspired Legendary Studios’ Monsterverse as well. By the end of the series, it was also revealed that the creation of the kaijus and the purpose of their origin were the work of an evil human cult known as the Foundation, which differs radically from their backstory explored in existing lore. Let’s take a look at the roster of the featured kaijus and discuss some of their unique skills and features.
The titular monster is definitely the highlight of the series and the only one to have shown a sense of compassion, empathy, and higher intelligence than the rest of the kaijus. A gigantic flying turtle with prominent tusks fixated on his lower jaw, Gamera posits himself as a protector of humanity against Kaiju and even human threats.
Like other kaijus in the series, Gamera was also created by a primitive version of the Eustace Foundation almost a hundred thousand years ago, who sought to purge the majority of the human populace, but due to reasons unknown, he defected and stopped their nefarious advances. In the present day, Gamera returned after Gyaos and other Kaijus started emerging due to the Foundation’s interference, but it remains unclear as to how the presence of a behemoth like him remained unnoticed.
Gamera has an arsenal of special abilities and attacks that he uses to devastating effect while battling his adversaries. Aside from various pyrokinetic powers like plasma fireball shooting, flame hand, and flame charge, Gamera can use electromagnetic powers as well, including a specialized Orylium cannon that, once used, drains all his life force. Aside from these, Gamera can use the serrated edge of his carapace and flight maneuverability to turn himself into a rotating ranged ‘chakra’ type weapon, which he used to split Guiron in half. The ultimate form of this spinning attack was seen when Gamera turned himself into a glowing, rapidly rotating sphere, which decimated S-Gyaos at the end. Gamera also has incredible resilience, as he was able to fight in a depleted, battle-worn state as well.
However, what truly sets Gamera apart is his ability to show emotional capabilities, empathy, and a distinct personality. Time and again, he jumped into action to save Boco and his friends, and despite losing limbs and facing mortal dangers, Gamera remained steadfast in his decision to save them. It is also hinted that he shares a telepathic connection with Boco, which will be further explored in future seasons, and this human connection aspect is true to the characteristics of the monster that made him a fan favorite in the first place. In the end, Gamera even manages to control his genetic override, orchestrated by the high council of the Foundation, and uses all his energy to end them once and for all, thereby making the ultimate sacrifice. In his absence, he leaves a baby version of himself, which is shown being raised under the care of the government.
Gyaos And S-Gyaos
In Gamera lore, Gyaos has been predominantly placed as his arch-enemy. Just as Ghidorah serves as a foil to Godzilla, similarly, Gyaos serves as a foil to Gamera. In Heisei era lore, Gyaos was created by ancient Atlanteans to be their guardian, but after a while, Gyaos started rapid asexual reproduction and turned on the Atlanteans, who created Gamera as a last attempt to tackle the threat posed by Gyaos, and their enmity has become eternal ever since.
In Gamera Rebirth, Gyaos appears as a skeletal dragon that uses a specialized attack known as the sonic scalpel, which is an extremely concentrated, dense beam of sonic waves capable of decapitating most obstacles. In the series, a bunch of juvenile Gyaos and a single enlarged prime version were the first adversaries Gamera faced, and he dispatched them pretty easily. Later, after the destruction of Foundation HQ and the death of Viras, it was revealed that a specialized version of Gyaos was created by the organization, which grew exponentially after devouring the Viras carcass. This gigantic version of Gyaos was too heavy to take flight, and in the end, he literally walked through the sea to attack Boco and his friends. This S-Gyaos was also responsible for injecting Gamera with a mutated virus, which allowed the Foundation to change his genetic makeup, although for a brief amount of time.
The second adversary Gamera faced, Jiger in Gamera Rebirth, is modeled as a combined version of a triceratops and a horned chameleon. The quadruped kaiju has more defensive capabilities and poses little to no threat to Gamera, only being able to damage him by piercing his body with tail attacks. According to the lore, Jiger was going to have a much more aquatic-like body structure, and the mudskipper-like pectoral fin is one of the few indications of that. Gamera ended this kaiju rather easily, using his firearm and pulse fireball abilities.
This aquatic Pteranodon-like kaiju is fierce in its natural habitat, as it was able to outmaneuver and knock Gamera out while battling inside the ocean. However, as Junichi’s quick-wittedness resulted in the battle arena being extended to the ground, Gamera was eventually able to kill Zigra using his flame shot. One of the unique features of this version of Zigra was that it used supercavitation to speed up and navigate underwater, which hasn’t been seen in other counterparts of the character. The kaiju is also able to use a special liquid shot attack, a concentrated projectile of metallic bodies and water.
Out of all the adversaries Gamera faced in the series, Guiron looks the most outlandish and unique. Compared to other kaijus, Guiron has a slender stature but is way more agile and aggressive, and its most striking feature is that its entire head is a sharp, curved blade, which it uses to slice off practically anything it wishes to. Guiron also has a metallic plate-scale-covered body, which provides it with higher resistance against most types of physical attacks. Guiron uses a pulse projectile blade attack, and using this and his head blade, the kaiju almost killed Gamera as it stabbed through his eye and body. Gamera had to use one of his most devastating moves, the spinning saw chakra-type ability, to finish Guiron by cutting it right through the middle.
Initially touted by the Foundation as the kaiju that will initiate mass purification, Viras resembles another vicious cryptid, Ctulhu, in its giant cephalopod-like appearance. In the series, a hundred-thousand-year-old mummified version of Viras was kept inside the Foundation’s headquarters. In order to revive the kaiju and initiate the mass purge, it was fed carcasses and body parts of other kaiju and healed with the mystical mineral orylium. A rejuvenated Viras turned out to be a formidable threat, as it almost destroyed the rocket that Tazaki used to escape the HQ with Boco and his friends. Gamera interrupted Viras’ particle beam charge but got momentarily knocked out when the kaiju electrocuted him using its tentacles. Viras is also shown to be capable of gravitational control, as it blitzed out into space to capture the aforementioned rocket and was also able to produce electromagnetic discharges. In the end, Gamera ended the monster by flying right through its middle.