Here’s a new story by Michael Callari!
Toho Studios is indisputably the name most associated with giant monsters in Japan. After twenty-eight Godzilla movies and fifteen other kaiju epics over fifty years, it’s easy to see why. That’s not to say that Toho has a monopoly on people in rubber costumes stomping through miniature sets, however. Their most enduring cinematic competition has been in the form of a character strange even by the standards of the genre. Imagine a bipedal, fire-breathing turtle, with teeth like those of a saber-toothed cat and the ability to spin around like an oversized Frisbee by way of flames pouring from his limbs. That’s Gamera, guardian of the universe, friend of all children, and star of twelve movies of wildly varying tone and quality. Though long dwelling in Godzilla’s shadow, his popularity would eventually influence that more famous kaiju – and their careers have curiously paralleled each other.
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