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Home > Gamera -Rebirth- (2023): A Review

Gamera -Rebirth- (2023): A Review

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The Latest Kaiju Series On Netflix Featuring The Beloved Monster Turtle

Gamera -Rebirth- is a brand new series on Netflix and is the latest iteration of one of Japan’s most well-known kaiju outside of the Godzilla series, Gamera. The series is directed and co-written by Hiroyuki Seshita, who worked on Netflix’s Godzilla anime trilogy. This is the second Gamera iteration to be worked on by a director who has worked on a Godzilla property since Shusuke Kaneko, who has directed the Gamera Heisei trilogy and Giant Monsters All Out Attack. The six-episode series follows the adventures of four young children and their encounters with giant monsters that face off against the kaiju hero.

Gamera’s Triumphant Resurgence

The story takes place mostly in Japan in the summer of 1989. Three young children were trying to make the most of their last vacation together when kaiju started attacking. During the first major kaiju attack by a pack of flying monsters named Gyaos, another monster appeared. A massive turtle-like monster known as Gamera. With each episode, a new monster emerges and menaces humanity before facing off against Gamera, while the children become enthralled in the secrets of a foundation of scientists and their connection with the kaiju.

Gamera -Rebirth- plays out like a classic kaiju film from the Showa Era, from following a group of young protagonists to the science fiction plot of space technology and dynamic monster designs. The science in these kinds of movies has always been shown as borderline magic due to the nature of the creatures shown. In many ways, the nature of the kaiju is very similar to Godzilla: Singular Point. Each episode introduces a new monster as the main threat while progressing the main plotline with the children. In most kaiju media, the human plot tends to take a backseat to the action or is an excuse for monsters to appear. Due to the length of each episode, pacing between action, characters, and exposition had a great balance throughout.

Bringing the Focus On The Kid Heroes Of The Showa Era

One of the key elements of the Showa era of kaiju films is how involved children are in the plot. They are either integral to the villain’s scheme, related to an important adult in the story, or have a special connection to the monster. More often than not, it’s a combination of these three points. Many kaiju films of the Showa era used these tropes, even Godzilla, when he was portrayed as a hero. Gamera is always out to protect and befriend the children that appear with him to the point that he is popularly known as the Friend to all Children.

Gamera -Rebirth- is basically a return to the show archetypes of family-friendly kaiju films despite not shying away from the brutal violence of the monster attacks. The three young characters, Boco, Junichi, and Joe, play integral parts in the story alongside the American son of a general, Douglas. Upon their fateful encounter with Gamera and one of his enemies, they become involved with military planning, mysterious organization secrets, and surviving by the skin of their teeth when monsters are on the prowl. Each of the kids has a distinct personality and relationship with each other and the adults around them, and their development is important to the climax of each monster encounter.

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Gamera And His Rogue Gallery Are Back For Intense Kaiju Action

Gamera’s design in the anime is very similar to his look in the Heisei trilogy, making him one of the most recognizable kaiju in the show. His abilities also pull from the trilogy, which include how he flies, firing intense fireballs, and special energy attacks that make Gamera the strongest kaiju in the setting. His action sequences during the battles against the other monsters are the big highlights of the series.

Gamera’s opponents are all monsters from the classic Showa era that have not been seen in over 50 years. Gyaos, the flying archnemesis of Gamera that has appeared the most, was a chief antagonist in the Heisei trilogy. Other monsters include Jiger, a massive spear-tailed triceratops-like monster with multiple horns on his head. Zigra, a shark-like monster that attacks in the ocean and is designed like a mix between a manta ray and a shark. And finally, there’s Guirion, a massive jumping frog-like beast that fights with its sword-like head, and Viras, a giant squid monster with control over gravity. All these creatures except the Gyaos are completely reimagined from their Showa incarnations and show the amazing style and designs of Gamera’s enemy monsters.

Final Rating

Gamera -Rebirth- is a love letter to old Gamera films and the Showa Era of kaiju media. They are bringing the classic heroic monster to a new audience and reintroducing the best elements of a good monster action adventure. Netflix has been having a great collection of kaiju shows with the Skull Island series, Godzilla Singular Point, Ultraman, and Pacific Rim. Gamera’s new show promises to continue the trend of great kaiju shows on the platform. 

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Gamera -Rebirth- (2023) Netflix Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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An enthusiast of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I loved reading about the stories and worlds of video games and movies and writing on a multitude of subjects, from lists to reviews.
Matt Keyser is a recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton University with a bachelor's in Communications-Journalism. He is a freelance entertainment reporter with a focus on film and television. As a former senior programming coordinator for the Newport Beach Film Festival, Matt's experience with critiquing narratives and documentaries has helped showcase his passion for television and cinema through his writing.