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Article: 2
Date: 7/23/02
Last Update: 7/19/04

Continuity within Godzilla films has rarely been consistent. The Showa series barely paid heed to it, but made a effort to try and keep the films connected with small references. The Heisei series was very different from its predecessor, with each film working off the previous movies in the series. When Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999) was first announced it was explained that the movie would be part of a whole new series. One that was not connected with the Heisei or Showa series, and the film would pioneer a new series of films radically different from the two previous ones. So was born the Millennium, or Mireniamu, series; a series of films in which each movie was not forced to work off the previous entries.

At first, producer Shogo Tomiyama was planning for three stand alone films, and from these three Toho would decide which of the movies to dedicate a series about, or if the Heisei series should be revisited. This idea, however, was aborted after a meager box office showing by Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999) and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) stumbled out of the gates, and ended up being a box office flop. It was then discussed that the 2001 Godzilla film might mark the closure of what would have been a short lived series. Thankfully, the film was a box office success due to the inclusion of Mothra and King Ghidorah in the movie, and pairing the film with a Hamataro animated feature. What followed was Masaaki Tezuka's "Kiryu Saga", and what is being called the last Godzilla film for a decade: Godzilla: Final Wars (2004).

The Millennium films are not entirely stand alone, though, and often have a connection with at least one other Toho film. Below is a run down on the continuity seen in each Godzilla film of the Millennium series.

Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999): the only true stand alone film, makes no reference to any Godzilla film before it.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000): references an altered Godzilla (1954), in which Godzilla is not killed by the Oxygen Destroyer.

Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001): stresses the point that Godzilla has not attacked since 1954 and makes numerous references to Godzilla (1954), like the Oxygen Destroyer. The film also jokingly refers to GODZILLA (1998) in some suggestive dialogue during a scene in which it's mentioned that a monster attacked New York a few years ago, causing a solider to ask a contemporary if the monster was Godzilla which sparks the famous line about this being what America claims, but the Japanese scientists never confirmed this.

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002): makes reference to a slightly altered Godzilla (1954), in which the bone fragments of Godzilla survive the Oxygen Destroyer. Also Mothra (1961), and The War of the Gargantuas (1966) are mentioned as well.

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003): breaking the mold from the other Godzilla films in the Millennium series, is a direct sequel to the previous year's Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. As expected, the film references its predecessor greatly, along with Godzilla (1954) and Mothra (1961); in fact, actor Hiroshi Koizumi returns to reprise his role from Mothra as Doctor Shin'ichi Chujo. The film also references Space Amoeba (1970) with Kamoebas, who is stated as being a mutated variety of snapping turtle which first appeared on Sergio Island, the island that Space Amoeba takes place on, 34 years earlier and having attacked in the mid-1980's.

Books have been released, however, which state that the "Kiryu saga" actually extends far beyond what is hinted at in the two movies. In the book Godzilla X Mechagodzilla: Super Complete Works, released in 2002, there is a list of kaiju who are part of the same timeline as Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002). Another book, released in 2003, called Godzilla X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS Fantastic Collection took it a step further by including a timeline of when the kaiju attacked and also mentioned three monsters left off the material released in 2002, being: Frankenstein, the Giant Sea Snake and King Kong (whose absence in 2002 is understandable as books dated 2000, and on, aren't allowed to show pictures of him or his mechanical double). The timeline of events, leading up to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), is as follows:

1954 - Godzilla appears
1956 - Rodan and the Meganulon appear
1958 - Varan appears
1961 - Mothra appears
1962 - Maguma appears
1963 - Manda appears
1964 - The Dogora appear
1965 - Baragon, Frankenstein and the Giant Octopus appear
1966 - Sanda and Gaira appear
1967 - King Kong, Gorosaurus and the Giant Sea Snake appear
1970 - Gezora, Ganimes and Kamoebas appear
1987 - Kamoebas appears

Each year that a monster appears corresponds to a movie released that year which features the same kaiju, with the exception of Kamoebas' attack in 1987. However, this doesn't necessarily state that each of those films is part of the "Kiryu saga" continuity. An easily spotted example of this is the 1962 film Gorath, which featured Maguma, as the film takes place in the late 1970's and early 1980's and also showcased the destruction of the Moon, which is clearly seen in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002).

If the list is taken literal, then Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) might have occurred, except with the alternate ending in which Frankenstein battles the Giant Octopus. Also, the Giant Octopus is absent from 1966, meaning a altered The War of the Gargantuas (1966) might have taken place in which the opening bout between Gaira and the Giant Octopus didn't occur. In 1967, King Kong, Gorosaurus and the Giant Sea Snake appear, three kaiju who appeared in the 1967 film King Kong Escapes. However, Mechani-kong is absent from the list, meaning either he never appeared or that the list simply left off the mechanical kaiju, as Kiryu isn't mentioned in 2002 or 2003 in the timeline.

So feasibly, the following films might be in the Kiryu saga continuity: Godzilla (1954), Rodan (1956), Varan (1958), Mothra (1961), Atragon (1963), Dogora (1964), Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), The War of the Gargantuas (1966), King Kong Escapes (1967) and Space Amoeba (1970). Three images, pertaining to the timeline, are pictured below.

Godzilla: Final Wars (2004):

What is being marketed as the last Godzilla film in at least a decade. However, there does appear to be a wealth of references to prior Toho films to be found in the movie, including the collapsed star Gorath from the 1962 movie Gorath, the Xilien from the 1965 film Invasion of Astro-Monster, and the Gotengo from the 1963 film Atragon. Although it's expected that the film will not be connected to any of those, continuity wise.

Images: