Gamera Rebirth

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Gamera Rebirth
Key visual poster
GenreKaiju, science fiction
Original net animation
Directed byHiroyuki Seshita
Produced byTetsu Iijima
Written by
Music byShūji Katayama
StudioENGI
Licensed byNetflix
ReleasedSeptember 7, 2023
Episodes6
Manga
Written byCambria Bakuhatsutarō
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineYoung Ace UP
DemographicSeinen
Original runSeptember 8, 2023 – present

Gamera Rebirth (stylized as GAMERA -Rebirth-) is a Japanese original net animation (ONA) series directed and co-written by Hiroyuki Seshita. Produced by Kadokawa Corporation and animated by ENGI, it is a reboot of the Gamera franchise following Gamera the Brave (2006), and the first animated entry in the franchise.[1][2] The series was released worldwide on Netflix on September 7, 2023.[3]

Synopsis[edit]

During summer 1989, three elementary students witness Gamera in battle as monsters converge on Tokyo.[4]

Voice cast[edit]

Characters Japanese[5] English[5]
Boco Hisako Kanemoto Ryan Bartley
Junichi Aki Toyosaki Abby Trott
Joe Yoshitsugu Matsuoka Robbie Daymond
Brody Subaru Kimura Sean Chiplock
Gen. Raymond Osborn Kazuya Nakai Patrick Seitz
James Tazaki Mamoru Miyano Kaiji Tang
Emiko Melchiorri Saori Hayami Suzie Yeung
Nora Melchiorri Marie Ōi Karen Strassman
Winston Griffith Wataru Hatano Todd Haberkorn

Production[edit]

On November 16, 2022, Kadokawa announced plans for a new Gamera production, entitled Gamera Rebirth, which will be released globally on Netflix. Shusuke Kaneko, director of the Heisei Gamera trilogy, had proposed an idea for a new film. However, Kadokawa had already proceeded with their new project by the time Kaneko presented his pitch. Regardless, Kaneko had expressed his support for the project. A figure of Gamera was exhibited at Tamashii Nation 2022 between November 18 and 20, along with a newspaper featuring Gamera that was distributed at the event.[6]

In February 2023, Kadokawa revealed the cast and staff. The series would be animated by ENGI, with Hiroyuki Seshita directing (who co-directed Polygon Pictures' Godzilla anime trilogy), Tetsu Iijima producing, Atsushi Tamura designing the characters, and Kan Takahama designing the monsters.[7] A teaser released in January debuted footage, albeit briefly, from the series and revealed that it would consist of six episodes and feature five additional enemy monsters.[1] In March, Kadokawa released a new key visual poster, a synopsis, and a full trailer.[4][8]

Episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Over Tokyo"
Transliteration: "Tōkyō Jōkū" (Japanese: 東京上空)
Hiroyuki SeshitaUnknownSeptember 7, 2023 (2023-09-07)
Opening in medias res, eleven year old Boco records a voice message to his friend, Joe on a beach, recalling a promise about their last summer together. Earlier that summer in Tokyo, Boco, Joe and their friend Junichi plan to buy a communications radio, when Boco rescues an odd turtle stuck in the pond at their treehouse. They are soon accosted by neighbourhood bullies led by Brody, who steals their money. Meanwhile in New Guinea, the Eustace Foundation mining company uncovered multiple eggs, which hatch and grow into a swarm of flying creatures, Gyaos, soon converging on Tokyo. To get their money back, Boco and his friends confront Brody and his at an arcade, where they’re caught up in an attack by the Gyaos. While the flock of Gyaos overpowers the military forces, some of its individual turns attention towards the children. The children are rescued by the arrival of Gamera, a turtle-like Kaiju, who kills the larger Gyaos, after wiping out the flock of smaller Gyaos. Shortly thereafter, a rescue team led by Agent James Tazaki and Dr. Emiko Melchiorri picks up the children for questioning.
22"Under Current"
Transliteration: "Chika Suidō" (Japanese: 地下水道)
Hiroyuki SeshitaUnknownSeptember 7, 2023 (2023-09-07)
After their encounter with Gamera, the kids learn from Tazalo and Emiko the history of the kaiju and the Eustace Foundation's research, and are asked to cooperate to learn more about the kaiju. Later, Brody reaches out to the others with information he picked up from his father, a Commander within the USJF. At the Eustace Foundation, kaiju eggs are kept and hatch into lizard-like creatures, and escape into the sewers. Brody leads the kids to a sewer, before Emiko and James set out to find them. Brody's father, Commander Osborn attempts to hold off an advancing Gamera to no avail. The children encounter the adult kaiju, Jiger, but are rescued by Tazaki and Emiko's team. Jiger surfaces, beginning a rampage in pursuit of the children, before Gamera descends. In the fight, the military attacks both monsters, but Boco realizes Gamera is protecting them. At Boco's urging, Brody convinces his father to focus on Jiger; a recovered Gamera finishes Jiger off before departing. The children are taken back to the military base, where Brody's father angrily slaps him for his recklessness. Meanwhile, another kaiju in the depths of the South Pacific.
33"Run Silent, Run Deep"
Transliteration: "Fukaku Shizuka ni Senkō Seyo" (Japanese: 深く静かに潜航せよ)
Hiroyuki SeshitaUnknownSeptember 7, 2023 (2023-09-07)
Tazaki and Emiko talk the children's parents into allowing them to accompany an investigation at Yonaguni Island. Meanwhile, the ray-like kaiju, Zigra, begins attacking ships out at sea. On the voyage, the nerdish Junichi becomes enthused at the advanced technology, bonding with Emiko. After sharing her theories, Junichi becomes saddened to overhear Brody talking to her friends about her eccentricities. The ship is soon attacked by Zigra, and Tazaki undergoes a claustrophobic panic attack. Gamera arrives and fights Ziga, but is incapacitated. However, Gamera releases a shockwave and radio signal which disorients Zigra. Realizing this, Junichi convinces the captain to reach a nearby island's radio station, with the support of her friends. Reaching the island, the children are pursued by Zigra, who climbs onto land. Junichi and the team reach the tower, where she and Emiko work on transmitting the same signal Gamera is emitting. Gamera re-emerges, and finishes the disoriented Zigra off. The next day, the team continues the journey to Yonaguni, and learn that the monsters are powered by an element known as "Orylium."
44"KILL"
Transliteration: "Kiru" (Japanese: 斬る)
Hiroyuki SeshitaUnknownSeptember 7, 2023 (2023-09-07)
On Okinawa Island, it is discovered the kaiju samples are healing due to being in proximity to the  Orylium crystals. Tazaki considers quitting after being shaken by Zigra's attack, and his belief the Board is keeping important information from him. Samples are being collected by Zigra's body, the blade-faced kaiju Guiron soon attacks. Devouring Zigra's remains, Guiron builds on its own mass. At the Eustace mining base, Joe becomes suspicious of the facility. Emiko takes the children to a cave, revealing the mummified squid-like kaiju, Viras. Joe becomes increasingly suspicious, but leaves after an argument with Boco. Afterwards, Boco talks to Brody about Joe's troubled past, regarding the deaths of his mother and brother. Guiron soon attacks the island, as the children meet back up. Gamera returns and faces Gurion. When Gamera gets his arm severed, Boco feels Gamera's pain, realizing he has a psychic connection to Gamera. The children end up reaching the cavern as Gamera kills Gurion, but is left injured; Boco touches an Orylium crystal and experiences a vision.
55"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"
Transliteration: "Tsuki ha Mujihi na Yoru no Jo-ō " (Japanese: 月は無慈悲な夜の女王)
Hiroyuki SeshitaNiisan TakahashiSeptember 7, 2023 (2023-09-07)
Boco and his friends discover that the kaiju are engineered bioweapons created by an extinct but advanced ancient civilization who seeks to wipe out humanity and start anew. To control the kaiju, they sacrifice children with a specific genetic code. And Boco carries this code, explaining his link to Gamera, who was also created to wiped out humanity but it was altered to be a protector by a defector back then. The Eustace Foundation was found by the successors of the ancient civilizations. When Boco and his friends are imprisoned. Emiko is revealed to be the niece of one of the board's leaders, Nora Melchiorri, and has lured the children into a trap. Emiko plans to awaken Viras and usurp her aunt. Tazaki helps the children reach an evacuation shuttle. Viras awakens, pursuing the shuttle as it launches, and the still injured Gamera battles Viras. Gamera bisects Viras as it attacks the shuttle, but the ship is heavily damaged. The children and Tazaki enter the escape pods, but Joe seemingly sacrifices himself to pull the lever, and is left to crash into the atmosphere. Gamera catches the pod as it falls to Earth, and the children wake up beside the unconscious Gamera.
66"Childhood’s end"
Transliteration: "Yōnen-ki no Owari" (Japanese: 幼年期の終わり)
Hiroyuki SeshitaUnknownSeptember 7, 2023 (2023-09-07)
Months prior, a hybrid Gyaos was engineered by the Eustace Foundation's board; in the present, this specimen emerges following Viras' death, devouring Emiko and then Viras’ corpse. On the beach, Boco mourns Joe, before Tazaki to reach out to the Prime Minister, to help revive Gamera against the kaiju. As the mutated "S-Gyaos" advances, military and government forces set up defenses for Gamera. The S-Gyaos arrives and pursues Boco; through their link, Boco's adrenaline speeds Gamera's recovery. Gamera fights and kills the S-Gyaos, but is infected by its RNA virus. The Eustace Board attempts to use the virus to brainwash Gamera. With Boco's urging, Gamera resists the virus, and destroys the Board. Gamera is drained of power and crumbles to dust, to Boco's grief. Returning to their homes and families, the children try to carry on, though Boco mourns Joe. Tazaki later shows the children an uncovered egg, with a hatchling looking exactly like Gamera. In a mid credits scene, Tazaki uses the Orylium to create and distribute iPhone-like devices; in the children's tree house, a still living Joe sends a message to their radio.

Comics[edit]

A prequel manga illustrated by Cambria Bakuhatsutarō will begin serialization on Kadokawa Shoten's Young Ace UP website on September 8, 2023.[9]

Collaborations[edit]

An official collaboration with the mobile game Godzilla Battle Line was made, featuring Gamera and Gyaos as playable characters. "Godzilla Earth", the Godzilla incarnation from Hiroyuki Seshita's anime trilogy, was chosen for the key art of the collaboration.[10]

Another collaboration with Ao Oni Online of the Ao Oni series to feature Gamera and Boco and Gyaos as playable characters and ornaments was made[11] where the game previously collaborated with the 2021 film The Great Yokai War: Guardians to feature Daimajin, the character re-devdloped from the Gamera franchise.[12][13]

Reception[edit]

Bloody Disgusting's Paul Lê criticized the animation but praised the characters. He called the animation "awkward and stiff" but felt that the visual aesthetic complimented the monster battles. Lê found the human subplot "compelling" and the series' child leads to be an improvement over the child leads of the Showa era Gamera films. Lê awarded the series four skulls out of five and praised it for being an "emotional, ambitious, and well-told story."[14] Writing for the The A.V. Club, Kayleigh Dray likewise found similar flaws in the series and likened Gamera Rebirth to Stranger Things. She praised the effort that went into its character development and friendship themes that results in characters that are "pretty damn likable." However, she criticized the animation for feeling "clunky", comparing it to a low-resolution version of The Sims and likened the characters to PlayStation 2 animations. While Dray didn't consider the series to be bingeable or a must-watch, she awarded the series a C+.[15]

Joshua Kristian McCoy from GameRant did not consider Gamera Rebirth to be an "ideal" introduction for newcomers. McCoy also criticized the animation for being "jittery" and compared it to the animation from Robot Chicken, and found the concept to be flawed; he specifically targeted the series' tone and its depressing climax, calling them improper for a Gamera story. He concluded by ridiculing the creators for taking inspiration from Godzilla Singular Point instead of Shin Godzilla, stating that the series starts "rough, gets weird, and ends almost impressively poorly."[16] James Beckett from Anime News Network scored the series a C+, commenting that "it's a shame that the ugliness of visuals will likely turn away a good many potential fans because underneath all of that jank is a solid kaiju adventure".[17]

Fussa City and Tsushima Island were elected for one of Anime Pilgrimage Sites of 2024 by the Anime Tourism Association as Gamera battled Gyaos and Jiger in the former, and fought against Zigra at the Omega Station.[18][19]

Ryan Bartley who voiced Boco in the English edition was nominated for the 2023 Voice Arts Awards.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Havermale, Allison (January 31, 2023). "'Gamera-Rebirth!' Teaser Reveals New Anime Series Coming to Netflix". Collider. Archived from the original on March 25, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  2. ^ Whitbrook, James (November 17, 2022). "Gamera, Friend to All Children, Is Finally Back". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on September 15, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  3. ^ Pineda, Rafael (July 23, 2023). "Gamera -Rebirth- Anime's Trailer Reveals 5th Kaiju, Theme Song Artist, September 7 Netflix Debut". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on December 16, 2023. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Añonuevo, Marla (March 23, 2023). "Gamera Rebirth Poster Previews Battle Against 5 Kaiju". Comingsoon.net. Archived from the original on March 25, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Gamera -Rebirth- (ONA)". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on September 11, 2023. Retrieved September 11, 2023.
  6. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (November 16, 2022). "Legendary Kaiju Gamera Gets New Work GAMERA -Rebirth- on Netflix". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  7. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (February 12, 2023). "Gamera -Rebirth- Anime Reveals Cast, Staff, Visual". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on March 25, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  8. ^ Squires, John (March 25, 2023). "'Gamera: Rebirth' Trailer – Watch Gamera Destroy Everything in Upcoming Netflix Anime Series". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on March 25, 2023. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  9. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (September 5, 2023). "Gamera -Rebirth- Spinoff Manga Starts on September 8". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on November 16, 2023. Retrieved September 5, 2023.
  10. ^ ScifiJapan.com, Godzilla vs Gamera in New GODZILLA BATTLE LINE/GAMERA -Rebirth- Collaboration Archived December 18, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "『青鬼オンライン』×アニメ『GAMERA -Rebirth-(ガメラ リバース)』9月29日(金)より大型コラボイベント開催!". Uuum (in Japanese). September 29, 2023. Archived from the original on October 16, 2023. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  12. ^ "青鬼オンライン×妖怪大戦争ガーディアンズ 8月18日(水)よりコラボ開催!〜妖怪ひかきんスキンも登場!〜". Uuum (in Japanese). August 18, 2021. Archived from the original on September 28, 2023. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  13. ^ Takaki, Junzo, ed. (July 19, 1996). "chapterIII 大魔神の章(1966)『大魔神』". ガメラ画報 大映秘蔵映画五十五年の歩み. B media books special. Takeshobo. p. 85. ISBN 4-8124-0166-6.
  14. ^ Lê, Paul (September 7, 2023). ""Gamera Rebirth" Review – The Iconic Kaiju Returns in a Compelling Animated Series". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on September 15, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  15. ^ Dray, Kayleigh (September 11, 2023). "Gamera Rebirth review: Netflix's anime series has heavy Stranger Things vibes". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on September 15, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  16. ^ McCoy, Joshua Kristian (September 7, 2023). "Gamera Rebirth Review". GameRant. Archived from the original on September 15, 2023. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
  17. ^ Beckett, James (September 26, 2023). "Gamera -Rebirth- Anime Series Review". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on November 6, 2023. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  18. ^ Dengeki Online, February 12, 2024, “訪れてみたい日本のアニメ聖地88”2024年版が発表。『ぼっち・ざ・ろっく! 』『その着せ替え人形は恋をする』『GAMERA -Rebirth-』などが新たに選出 Archived February 17, 2024, at the Wayback Machine, KADOKAWA Game Linkage
  19. ^ GAMERA -Rebirth- Production committee, January 29th, 2024, GAMERA -Rebirth- Official Artbook, p.8, KADOKAWA, ISBN:9784041138410
  20. ^ Ryan Bartley, December 11, 2023, Super honored to be nominated for TWO SovasVoice Voice Arts Awards in the categories of Outstanding Anime Character for Netflix’s Gamera Rebirth AND Outstanding Video Game Ensemble for Sonic Frontiers!!!!, Twitter (X)

External links[edit]