BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Gamera - The Heisei Era: Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe, Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, Gamera the Brave (1995 - 2006) - Blu-ray Review

Gamera - The Heisei Era - Blu-ray

Recharged! Rebooted! And reunited with the children of the world! Gamera, after a fifteen year hiatus returns thanks to the films which make up Gamera: The Heisei Era.  All FOUR films in this set from Arrow Video make for a hell of a good time with solid special effects and a grittier vibe through each of these solid adventures.

"All FOUR films in this set from Arrow Video make for a hell of a good time with solid special effects and a grittier vibe through each of these solid adventures"

Directed by Shusuke Kaneko and written by Kazunori Ito, the Heisei trilogy, making up Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe, Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, and Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, are still regarded as the very best kaiju films made and, with the inclusion of Gamera the Brave, a more family-friendly affair, Arrow Video’s treatment of Gamera comes full circle.Gamera - The Heisei Era - Blu-ray

When Gyaos makes the top of Tokyo Tower his home, it is up to Gamera to shoo him away.  But, once again, the mere presence of the gigantic flying turtle causes the military to mistake Gamera’s motives and an all out war is declared as two monsters go at it in the air and over the land.  This is the territory of Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe, a 1995 major motion picture event which arrived right in time to celebrate Gamera’s 30th anniversary.

With special effects from Shinji Higuchi, who would later direct Shin Godzilla, this guardian deity takes on his old prehistoric foe - first in Fukuoka, and then over the skies of Tokyo for some awe-inspiring aerial combat sequence.  All while two young women try to convince the world that Gamera is their only hope for survival. Fun and fierce, this smash success welcomed Gamera back with open arms and was quickly followed by two more stellar films in the series.Gamera - The Heisei Era - Blu-ray

In Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, Earth’s ecosystem comes under the attack of an insect lifeform from outer space that wants to colonize the planet for its own breeding grounds.  This time, though, Gamera doesn’t face down the monster alone and gets some help from Japan’s Self Defense Forces.  And in Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris, Gamera gets pissed when he has to take on a new creature, as well as Gyaos monsters.  This Gamera is weary, wise and hellbent on destroying much of what he previously cared about, it is not necessarily the tonal shift that it sound like, though, and creates a stunning conclusion that still leaves chills to its fanbase.

As a bonus, Gamera the Brave, directed by Ryuta Tasaki, is included.  This reboot sees Gamera - a new version from the previous incarnation - going on a family-friendly adventure as he matches wits and muscle with a rampaging monster named Zedus.  Full of great effects and the childlike wonder of the original series, Gamera the Brave might be for completists only, but it makes for a worthy entry in the Gamera series.

Arrow Video’s 4K handling of Gamera: The Heisei Era is not to be missed!

5/5 beers


Gamera - The Heisei Era - Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Films
Available on Blu-ray
- January 26, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1, 2.39:1
: English

Discs: Blu-ray Disc; four-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

After laying dormant for fifteen years, Gamera was rebooted for the big screen in a smash hit trilogy masterminded by director Shusuke Kaneko, writer Kazunori Ito and SFX director Shinji Higuchi.  Trading the campy kid-friendly surrealism of the earlier films for a darker, more realistic tone and jaw-dropping innovative special effects, the Heisei trilogy are still regarded today as three of the best if not the very best kaiju films ever made.  This unmissable trio is complimented by a bonus disc featuring Gamera the Brave, a heartwarming mix of family-friendly adventure and cutting-edge kaiju action that is the most recent Gamera film to date.


With High Definition (1080p) transfers of all four films on Blu-ray, including 4K restorations of the Heisei Trilogy by Kadokawa Pictures, the prints are immaculate and loaded with eye-popping visuals that are bound to give your screen a high impact workout.  Details are sharp.  Colors are never muted and the special effects are speckled with nice details throughout, leaving Mill Creek Entertainment’s handling of these films in the dust.


Attached with each film is the original japanese and dubbed English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and 2.0 audio.  There are also optional English subtitles for all films.



Special Features:

Once again, Arrow Video loads each disc with amazing supplemental material.  Each disc also includes reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank.






Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4.5/5 stars



Gamera - The Heisei Era - Blu-ray


Joomla SEF URLs by Artio
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Find us on Rotten Tomatoes