Today we are watching Atragon, for the very first time. Atragon (海底軍艦, Kaitei Gunkan, literally ‘The Undersea Warship’) is a Japanese science fiction (Tokusatsu) film produced and distributed by Toho in 1963. The movie is loosely based on the story “The Undersea Warship” by Shunrō Oshikawa and “The Undersea Kingdom” by Shigeru Komatsuzaki. Being a sucker for model ship special effects and giant monsters, this movie has my heart and full attention.
The stand out of this whole film has been the last holdout of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Captain Jinguji. While his commitment to his duty is admirable, he also is breaking with his duty by continuing the struggle for the now defunct Japanese Empire. At this point in history, there had only been eighteen years separating this movie and the surrender of Japan to the allied forces. Now Jinguji must protect the entire world against the Mu Empire.
This story is slow in places but it is nonetheless interesting. The Mu Empire utilizes the often used trope of the terrestrial invaders. Just another highly advanced race of humans who have remained hidden for many melinia, and now desire to claim the planet for their own. It’s an old chestnut but it still works.