The Heisei era is a term used to identify the previous political era of Japan. The Heisei series is named after the political Heisei era in Japan, which started in 1989 with the ascension of Emperor Akihito to the throne and ended in 2019 with his abdication.
Technically, the Millennium and MonsterVerse Godzilla films are also part of the Heisei era due to being released during the political Heisei period, but are considered to be separate series from the Heisei series due to having separate, distinct continuities.
Other major kaiju franchises have not followed this convention despite having similar hiatuses; for example, Gamera: The Brave is considered to be a part of the Heisei series, despite being released seven years after the previous film, Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris.
Godzilla film series
The Godzilla Heisei era lasted from 1984 to 1995. The Godzilla Heisei era was also nicknamed the "VS Series" (VSシリーズ?, lit. Versus series) in Japan, due to the word VS (Buiesu) being featured in most of the films' titles. The Heisei era of Godzilla films follow a different continuity from the Showa films, ignoring every movie except the original Buiesu shirīzu1954 Godzilla. The Heisei Godzilla films all take place in a single timeline featuring a technologically advanced humanity combating a second Godzilla and other giant monsters, notably exploring the nature and biology of Godzilla in greater detail than previous films.
- The Return of Godzilla
- Godzilla vs. Biollante
- Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
- Godzilla vs. Mothra
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
- Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
- Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Gamera film series
The Gamera Heisei series began in 1995 with the release of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe and ended in 2006 with Gamera: The Brave. The first three Heisei Gamera films were directed by Shusuke Kaneko and all share continuity, while Gamera: The Brave was released much later by Kadokawa and is a standalone film. Kaneko's trilogy features an ongoing story arc where Gamera is portrayed as a genetically engineered creature designed to safeguard Earth against threats, while The Brave returns Gamera to his Showa era roots as a mystical defender of children.
- Gamera: Guardian of the Universe
- Gamera 2: Attack of Legion
- Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
- Gamera: The Brave
Mothra film series
Mothra received her first standalone film since the original Mothra in 1996 following the temporary close of the Godzilla series. The Rebirth of Mothra trilogy lasted from 1996 to 1998. The Rebirth of Mothra films have no connection to any other existing Toho films and feature a completely original take on Mothra, portrayed here as the guardian of an ancient, diminutive civilization known as the Elias.
Godzilla film series
Gamera film series
Mothra film series
- Technically, The Return of Godzilla was released during the Showa era rather than the Heisei era, but is considered part of the Heisei series due to being the beginning of a new series and sharing continuity with the Heisei films that followed it.
- It is a common misconception that Gamera: The Brave is counted as part of the Millennium series. The Millennium Series only applies to the Godzilla series, as the rest of Japan is still in the Heisei era. In Japan, Gamera: The Brave is sometimes referred to as the "Shinsei version" (新生版?) to distinguish it from the trilogy. It is currently unknown as to how the Shinsei-banupcoming Gamera film will fit into this trend, and whether it will start a new era or be another standalone film.
- No Godzilla monster introduced in the Heisei series reappeared in the Millennium era, with the exception of the adult Godzilla Junior appearing through stock footage in the opening of Godzilla: Final Wars.
- Godzilla monsters from this period were generally very large; much larger than monsters from the Showa era. Most of Godzilla's opponents were at least 20 meters taller than him.
- The Heisei era set several records in various statistics for Toho's kaiju at the time; some of these records have been surpassed by later films, while others remain current.
- SpaceGodzilla's flying form and Biollante's final form are the heaviest kaiju on record respectively, not counting Bagan from the video game Super Godzilla.
- The 1991 incarnation of King Ghidorah is the tallest version of King Ghidorah, as well as the tallest Toho kaiju, along with Bagan.
- Prior to Shin Godzilla, the incarnations of Godzilla from 1991 to 1995 were the tallest versions of him to appear in a film produced by Toho.
- Destoroyah is the oldest kaiju on record, being from the Precambrian era.
- This is the second era to have a series in a complete continuity. The first being the Showa era, while the Millennium era only had separated continuity throughout most films.
- In this era, almost all the monsters Godzilla faces can fly, the sole exception being Biollante, who is still able to travel through the air in the form of energy spores.
- All of the Heisei Godzilla films from The Return of Godzilla to Godzilla vs. Mothra end with Godzilla falling or being dropped into a natural object of some sort; a volcano in The Return of Godzilla and the ocean in the other three films.
- In the Heisei Gamera trilogy, all of Gamera's opponents can fly. The only monster in the entire Gamera Heisei era thus far that is unable to fly is Zedus.
- The origins of almost all of the monsters in the Gamera Heisei era are directly linked to Gamera in some way: the Gyaos and Iris are genetic creations of the Atlanteans, Gamera's own creators; and Zedus was mutated from devouring the remains of Gamera and the Gyaos. Legion is the sole exception, being extraterrestrial in origin.
- The same essentially goes for the Godzilla Heisei films: not counting monsters reused from the Showa era (King Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan, Mechagodzilla, and M.O.G.U.E.R.A.), all of the monsters were spawned from Godzilla's DNA or from circumstances in which he was directly involved. For the former, this applies to Biollante and SpaceGodzilla, while Destoroyah was a byproduct of the Oxygen Destroyer, the weapon that killed the original Godzilla.
- All of Mothra’s adversaries in the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy are flying, draconic beasts, two of which are extraterrestrial hydra (Desghidorah and King Ghidorah), while Dagahra is a genetic creation.
- The Heisei era of Godzilla films introduced a filming technique where shots of the set were blended into footage of cities from ground level. While this did provide an ability to save money in building massive sets and also was an easy way to introduce a sense of scale, it meant that in many scenes people can be seen casually walking or even driving vehicles while the kaiju rampages nearby. This is especially evident in some of the Haneda Airport scenes in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, where a Boeing 747 that belongs to ANA can actually be seen taxiing towards the runway whilst Destoroyah flies into the air, pulling Godzilla along.
|Eras and series of the Godzilla franchise|