Off the coast of the Philippines the Kairyu-Maru, carrying a load of plutonium, runs aground on what appears to be a floating atoll. The atoll floats away leaving the ship unharmed. A group of scientists led by Naoya Kusanagi (Akira Onodera) investigates the phenomena. On the atoll they find a bunch of comma shaped amulets and a tablet with ancient characters carved into it. A sudden quake destroys the tablet and tosses the scientists into the ocean. Among the scientists is a Marine Officer Yoshinari Yonemori (Tsuyoshi Ihara). The atoll breaks apart revealing that inside it was a giant turtle. The turtle floats away toward Fukuoka. Wanting to be part of the investigation Yoshinari convinces Naoya to let him be part of his research team.
In the meantime, on one of the islands in the Goto Archipelago, a frantic call comes in from a scientific team about a giant bird. When communication abruptly ends Police Inspector Osako (Yukijiro Hotaru) and ornithologist Mayumi Nagamine (Shinobu Nakayama) are sent to investigate. Mayumi is at first skeptical until she finds human remains in a giant bird pellet (poop). Mayumi and the team then find three giant bird type creatures that have been attacking and feeding on villagers.
Mayumi is asked to find a way of capturing the three bird creatures. The giant trio are lured to the Fukuoka baseball stadium. While they attempt to close the dome of the stadium one of the birds escapes. The escaping bird is attacked by the giant turtle and killed. The other two birds manage to escape the stadium before the giant turtle reaches them.
Back at Naoya’s house Yoshinari gives Naoya’s daughter Asagi (Ayako Fujitani) one of the amulets as a souvenir. When she rubs it she forms a spiritual bond with Gamera.
The photographs of the ancient tablet are deciphered by Naoya. He explains to Yoshinari that the turtle is called Gamera and the bird creatures are called Gyaos. The tablet also says that Gamera is the last hope against the “Shadow of Evil”. Yoshinari and Naoya try to convince the government that Gyaos is the threat and that Gamera is the world’s only hope for defeating the creatures.
“Gamera: Guardian of the Universe” was released in 1995 and was directed by Shusuke Kaneko. It is a Japanese Kaiju movie. The film is the ninth installment of Gamera and the first reboot of the Gamera franchise’s Heisei period. The film is also the first of Shusuke Kaneko’s Gamera trilogy. The other films in the trilogy are “Gamera 2: Attack of Legion” 1996 and “Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris” 1999. The movie was produced by Daiei Studios and is the first of the Gamera films to be distributed by TOHO Studios. The movie had its American theatrical release in 1997. The reboot commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of the series.
Gamera and the Gyaos are kaiju suits. The Super Gyaos in suit was Yumi Kameyama. It is the first time that a kaiju was portrayed by a woman. The director of special effects, Shinji Higuchi, chose a woman to portray Super Gyaos because of a woman's different body shape and because he felt it would open the door for more women to work in tokusatsu.
In the movie Gamera was being filmed by a reporter while it attacking the stadium. The footage in the film is black and white and is stock footage of the original Gamera movie from 1965.
Screenwriter Kazunori Itô didn’t care for the children protagonists in the original Gamera series. Daiei felt that they were an important part of Gamera's character. To compromise the character of Asagi Kusanagi, who had the psychic and spiritual bond with Gamera, was created.
They did a pretty good job with this one. There were a lot of really good miniatures and some great battle scenes between Gamera and the Gyaos creatures. If was reminiscent of some of the better pre-CGI Godzilla films. It was much more upscale and with a better production value than the original Daiei Gamera films. The music score was also a lot better than in the original films. The new and improved Gamera is geared towards more adult audiences.