In the six-decade-spanning lore of Gamera, the recently released Netflix anime series Gamera Rebirth holds a special place for a number of reasons. In the sense that it is the character’s first animated release, it is also the first Gamera-oriented venture to be released in the Reiwa era, and with a major worldwide release after decades, it also acts as an introduction for the character to a vast portion of the global audience who aren’t that familiar with the intricacies of the kaiju subgenre. The first season has already taken kaiju fans by storm, and even for the general audience, it has acted as a neat first chapter of Gamera’s expansive lore.
The first season, which mainly revolves around the titular monster’s battles with a number of kaiju adversaries, a heinous secret cult conspiracy, and human connection in the form of a group of friends, leaves a trail of hints and clues that can be explored in the next installment of the series. Let us take a look at some of them and speculate on how a much-deserved second season of Gamera Rebirth could shape up.
The Fate Of Gamera
Even in the brief span of six episodes, the first season of the series established the titular monster in its full glory, protecting humankind time and again from nefarious kaijus and even from the evils of the Eustace Foundation. Throughout the series, Gamera gets increasingly battered and bruised by duking it out with formidable opponents, and even after being in a near-death situation after rescuing Boco and co. from the escape pod, he had to engage with S-Gyaos for one last time. After eliminating Gyaos, Gamera himself was turned into his original villainous form by the high council of the Eustace Foundation, but thanks to Boco’s moral support, the monster managed to snap out of control.
Lastly, to end the threat posed by the existence of the Foundation, Gamera targets the base of the High Council located on the Moon and, using the last vestiges of his strength, launches an energy beam with incredible precision to destroy it along with the four despotic members within it. Soon after, a completely depleted Gamera dies and gets disintegrated—a tragic sacrifice to further the existence of humanity. However, as the finale nears its conclusion, the viewers learn that in his absence, Gamera left a tiny, baby version of himself, which has found a home in one of the government research facilities. Boco and his friends arrive at the facility to take a look at the miniaturized version of their protector and state that it is humanity’s turn to protect him. According to the lore, Gamera has massive regenerative capabilities, which allow him to return from even death by going into a hibernating phase. The series ditched that idea with a Phoenix-like rebirth concept, which is really unique and adds a mythological aspect to the character. As shown in the series, the kaiju offspring grow at a rapid rate, and by the time events reach the second season, Gamera will attain his original size and form. An explanation of why the kaiju turned out to be different than intended by his vile makers will possibly be addressed in the second season as well.
End Of The Foundation?
As monster-oriented content, Gamera Rebirth once again acted as a reminder of how, even in the presence of aggressive, overpowered giant monstrosities, humanity turns out to be the real villain after all. The Eustace Foundation, the seemingly benevolent megacorp, turned out to be the puppeteers behind all the kaiju-associated catastrophes, and its nefarious high council even tried to annihilate the majority of the world’s population by using the kaijus to assert their utilitarian control. However, just as overreaching ambition has often been the reason for the undoing of insecure humankind, the foundation gets destabilized by the kaijus it created in the first place. The falling carcass of Viras demolished the Foundation HQ’s structure; Gyaos devoured Emiko; and Gamera ended the high council once and for all by destroying their base in Moon using his energy beam. It remains to be seen whether factions of the organization are still active on other parts of Earth, as hinted by Dr. Emiko during her conversations with Agent Tazaki, which can set them up as recurring mainstay adversaries for the series in future adaptations.
According to the existing Gamera lore, the Atlanteans created the kaijus to safeguard humanity, which was changed in the series by making Foundation the evil cult existing for a hundred thousand years that created kaijus to assert their absolute control. The second season needs to show the origin of the kaijus and the involvement of the Foundation in the entirety of it, which will provide viewers with a clear idea about the series’ reworked lore of Gamera as well.
Where Is Joe?
The emotional core of Gamera Rebirth was constituted by the strong bond of friendship between the group of four teens: Boco, Joe, Junichi, and Brody. Especially the brotherly relationship between Boco and Joe was one of the highlights of the series, and it was compelling enough to not even let seasoned Kaiju fans complain about makers focusing on human stories in a monster battle-up series.
By the midway point of the series, viewers learn Joe lost his brother and mother at an early age and has since had to shoulder the responsibilities of his family, which his father decided to shrug off as he had taken to drunkenness to assuage his grief. After getting acquainted with Boco, Joe started considering him his brother and has taken it up to himself to protect him from worldly troubles ever since. Events in the series led the friend group to get entangled in the Kaiju crisis and get lured in by the Foundation.
In the fifth episode, after learning the Foundation’s true objective, when the friend group, along with Agent Tazaki, tried to flee from the organization’s headquarters by boarding a spacecraft, Viras’ assault resulted in the vessel heading to a crash-landing right from space. It is revealed that the only way to access the escape pod is from outside of it, and Joe decides to sacrifice himself by staying inside the falling space vessel and activating the escape pod with the rest of his friends. Boco and the rest of his friends mourn the apparent death of Joe, but in the final moments of the first season, viewers hear Joe’s voice on the other side of the two-way radio transmitter, which reveals that somehow he has managed to avert death. Whether Gamera had rescued him as well is unknown, and the second season will definitely focus on Boco and Co.’s effort to find him out.
More Kaijus In The Arena
The first season itself consisted of a fair amount of Gamera adversaries; a total of five (if S-Gyaos is counted separately) vicious, beautifully designed monsters made their impact with all their unique skills and abilities. As a matter of fact, the entire gamut of Showa-era Gamera adversaries was present in the series. Needless to say, the second season will consist of even more kaijus that can range from Heisei-era classics to original creatures, just like the Monsterverse did to Godzilla lore. We are considering the possibility of the reptile monster Barugon, the combined insectoid monster known as Legion, the evil god Iris, and even manga originals like Doublius appearing as well. Along with new enemies, some neat power-ups of forms of Gamera can be expected as well, which is a pretty common spectacle in kaiju-oriented ventures.
All in all, there is a proper area of expansion when it comes to monster-oriented fiction, and the makers will double down on that opportunity once the series procures a steady fanbase among new viewers, prompting Netflix to confirm further seasons.