The Battling Kaiju Series That Just Debuted On Netflix Revives A 50-Year Old Franchise

By Jason Collins | Updated

Gamera Rebirth

Gamera Rebirth, an animated project centered on the kaiju Gamera, has recently dropped on Netflix, and while the animation isn’t something to write home about, the entire project is actually worthwhile, especially if you’re enthusiastic about the whole Kaiju-craze and Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse.

The Gamera animated series on Netflix opens with three friends looking for a means of staying in touch in an era in which the internet wasn’t commonly accessible and pocket-sized cell phones are a tech enthusiast’s dream.

If you’re a binge-watcher, you’ll be pleased to know that the entire series is six episodes long, and you can finish it in one sitting.

They decide to pool their money and buy a radio, which would allow them to contact each other, but they’re ambushed by older kids outside the electronics store. Of course, the bullies beat the kids up and take their money. After plotting their revenge and catching up with the bullies, both groups of boys witness fighter jets flying overhead.

Gamera Rebirth

The fighter jets are a response to the multiple pterodactyl-like creatures that are wreaking havoc on the city and eating humans. Of course, the jets are no match for the creatures, some of which actually target the boys, when a massive, turtle-like monster comes to their rescue—the somewhat recent depictions of Gamera portray him also as a protector of children—and also deals with the flying monster.

Still, despite defending humans, who fear what they don’t understand, the fighter jets also open fire on the giant turtle, which then flies away in a flash.

This is just a brief introduction to Gamera Rebirth; the series is rather impressive, as it offers good visuals and a gripping story that dives into the diabolical plots of those who “conspire” with the Kaiju.

Gamera is probably the best Godzilla rip-off we could hope for.

If you’re a binge-watcher, you’ll be pleased to know that the entire series is six episodes long, and you can finish it in one sitting—with snacks and occasional bathroom breaks, of course. The monsters are so well designed that even the viewers begin to appreciate their unique capacities for world destruction.

And now for the negatives. While the character development of Gamera counts as one of the big positives, the animation is somewhat lukewarm—it’s actually quite smooth, but it’s really nothing to write home about. However, one of the biggest letdowns of the series are the monster fight sequences, which are quite repetitive. The monsters wound Gamera, and after receiving a proper beating, the kaiju powers up and overwhelms its enemies—like it’s fueled by masochism.

Gamera Landed On The Big Screen In 1965

Gamera Rebirth

For those that aren’t acquainted with Gamera, it’s a fictional giant monster, often referred to as a kaiju, that has appeared in a series of Japanese special effects films called tokusatsu. The creature first appeared in Gamera: The Giant Monster film in 1965, and like most kaiju who came out during the 1960s, Gamera was also specifically designed to capitalize on the massive success of Godzilla.

Just like the King of the Monsters, Gamera was also initially introduced as a monster to the Japanese people, but his role from a horrific terror to a protector of Earth has gradually shifted since the film’s release.

Even the kaiju’s appearance has been made to mimic that of Godzilla. But instead of getting an oversized lizard that feeds on nuclear energy, the fans got a giant, flying turtle-like creature with a shell, tusks, and the ability to retract its limbs.

Also, unlike most turtles, except for those residing in the sewers of New York City, Gamera is capable of bipedal movement. The kaiju is exceptionally magical in terms that it uses mana from the Earth to defeat its opponents. All in all, Gamera is probably the best Godzilla rip-off we could hope for.

Despite the short list of shortcomings, Gamera Rebirth is a rather entertaining animation experience, and Godzilla fans won’t be disappointed with this family-friendly action adventure with a slice of friendship sparkled in. Gamera Rebirth is currently available on Netflix.