Get Ready for an Island Adventure
Today marks the debut of “Godzilla Island” on the official Godzilla Toho YouTube channel! If you’re unfamiliar with the show, “Godzilla Island” was a series which ran on Japanese television in the late 1990s. Running for a total of 256 episodes, the short, three-minute chapters featured a variety of monsters from the Godzilla film franchise and introduced a number of new ones as well. What makes the show so special with fans, perhaps, is the show’s unique look (or maybe it was that catchy theme song created by U2’s The Edge?). This was not your traditional tokusatsu production from Toho; “Godzilla Island” was an all-new imagining of the Godzilla franchise’s action and adventure known around the world.
Taking place in the year 2097, we find that Godzilla and a majority of monsters have stopped terrorizing the world and are living in peace on an island simply called “Godzilla Island.” Thanks to a special unit called G-Guard, the monsters are always under observation should they possibly get out of hand. The base Commander and his robot sidekick find their assignment pretty routine and mundane… until an alien invasion threatens not only Godzilla Island, but our planet as well!
While the series has a colorful human cast, it’s the monsters that fans have fallen in love with. Based on the molds from toymaker Bandai in Japan, the series features Godzilla and other monsters animated through rubber puppets (decades before the popular puppet show “Godziban”) and actual Bandai toys as well. Some of the characters were repainted to create entirely new characters, too. Take the fan-favorite Jet Jaguar for example. In addition to the traditional blue, silver, and orange version, there was an all-red “Firefighter” version and an all-white “Medical Jet Jaguar” version, too! Mechagodzilla, Hedorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah, SpaceGodzilla, and many more appeared throughout the series with entirely new looks.
The new versions of Jet Jaguar made such an impact on fans that the specific colorways have been featured on products in the U.S. as well. Mondo, known for their limited-edition posters, vinyl records, and vinyl toys, released those two colors as part of their Jet Jaguar vinyl figure assortment. Including a few others, the “Godzilla Island” colorways helped to celebrate the character’s 50th anniversary. At the time of this article, stock of these products is low, but still available for purchase on Mondo’s website.
While the show has been released on home video in Japan, it makes its official debut outside of the country via the official Godzilla Toho YouTube channel. With episodes planned for release twice a week, it’s the perfect opportunity to experience the show for the first time. Presented with its original Japanese audio, the show will feature English language subtitles, allowing fans of all kinds to enjoy this rare chapter in Godzilla history.