Gamera is a colossal turtle kaiju (monster) that can fly and breathe fire. It originated from a series of Japanese films and made its debut in 1965 with “Gamera, the Giant Monster. The purpose of creating the character and the first film was to rival the success of Toho’s Godzilla film series. Gamera has since become an iconic figure in Japan, appearing in a total of 12 films produced by Daiei Film and later Kadokawa Daiei Studio, as well as various media.
In the original Showa era films, Gamera was portrayed as a massive, ancient tortoise species that fed on flames. It was awakened by an accidental atomic blast in the Arctic during a dogfight between US and Russian fighters. Initially depicted as a destructive force, Gamera eventually transformed into a protector of humanity after saving a child from a burning building.
The Heisei era films, starting with the 1995 reboot film “Gamera: Guardian of the Universe,” introduced a different backstory for Gamera. In these films, Gamera is portrayed as an ancient, bio-engineered creature from Atlantis. It was specifically created to defend the people of Atlantis from Gyaos, a bat-like creature that emits a destructive supersonic beam when attacking.
Gamera is highly popular and adored in Japan, with a dedicated fan base worldwide. The character is renowned for its heroic nature, formidable attacks, and ability to fly. Gamera holds a prominent position as a kaiju icon and continues to be a beloved figure in Japanese pop culture.