The first Godzilla film was to begin the Showa era of the kaiju industry, and is the usual kaiju to be affiliated with this era. During the beginning of this era, Godzilla was mainly antagonistic in nature, taking on the likes of Anguirus and Mothra.
By the time of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster's release, Godzilla adopted what would soon become his most famous image: a heroic monster, battling terrible villains with other monsters by his side.
- This is the longest of the current four generations, lasting over 40 years.
- Politically, The Return of Godzilla is a Showa film, as it was the last film to be made in the Showa era of Japan, with the Heisei era beginning on the 8th of January, 1989.
- Despite the fact that the Showa era of the Godzilla franchise concluded in 1975, several unmade films that were to be released during the latter years of the 1970s indicate that this hiatus may have been unintended, with each successive cancellation further increasing the length of the hiatus.
- This era features the majority of appearances for several monsters. Rodan, for example, appears in four films (or around 10, including stock footage appearances) in the Showa era, whereas in the Heisei era and Millennium series, he only has one appearance in each.
- With the exception of Mechagodzilla, none of the monsters and mechas introduced in the Godzilla series after Invasion of Astro-Monster made any appearances in the Heisei series. Ebirah, Minilla, Kamacuras, Kumonga, Hedorah, Gigan and King Caesar were all reintroduced in the final film of the Millennium series, Godzilla: Final Wars, leaving Gabara, Megalon, Jet Jaguar and Titanosaurus as the only characters to have not appeared in a film since their debut, with the exception of cameos, stock footage, and appearances in other media.
- Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, and Rodan are the only Toho monsters that have appeared, mentioned, or alluded to in all four Toho-established Godzilla film series in some form or another, leading to the use of the term "Big Five" in relation to the monsters.
- Despite his popularity, Anguirus did not make any appearances in the Heisei series, although he appears in concept art for the unmade films Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Barubaroi.
|Eras and series of the Godzilla franchise|