Monster World (Johnsonverse)
Monster World is an American multimedia franchise produced by WBC. It is a crossover of Godzilla (predating the Johnson Aligned Universe by fourteen years), the works of H. P. Lovecraft (specifically the Cthulhu Mythos deities), and even Neon Genesis Evangelion. The television series premiered in 1998 and ended in 2004 after a seven-season run, with a movie in 2006, and another following in 2015 followed by a revival of the television series. Much of the voice cast reprised their respective roles from Evangelion. The series a sequel for both NGE and the Godzilla Heisei series.
The series has been universally acclaimed, and has won many awards since its creation. It received a variety of
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God (voiced by and modeled after Patrick Stewart) intervenes just before Third Impact, redeems all of the Angels, casts SEELE into Hell, and restores the Earth to before the Angels appeared. Quite mysteriously, though, the Evas are still extent, and the Geofront is all that remains of Tokyo-3.
God reveals that all of the Angels had gone rogue, believing humanity had learned nothing in the 2,000 years since the Crucifixion of Christ, and thus were mistakes that needed to be eliminated. God and Satan, viewing this as a gross overreaction to human nature, spent the last 15 years hunting them down.
Three months later, things are looking up for humanity. The economy is booming, the term "third-world country" becomes extinct, peace reigns among the nations, and three moonbases are under construction (one by NASA, another by Roscosmos, and the third by ESA).
NERV still exists as the weapons research division and peacekeeping army of the United Nations. Their researchers have developed laser-based weaponry once thought only possible in science-fiction, and have also improved the Eva designs, installing ankle-mounted jets allowing flight, chest-mounted missile tubes allowing N2 Missiles to be launched, and Anti-Berserk Restraining Bolts, preventing Units-01 and 02 from going berserk. The development of next-gen Evas has also started, with designs for Units-04 and 05 on the table.
What's more, all NERV staff have undergone drastic therapy. Gendo is now a better father who would never force Shinji to pilot Unit-01 against his will. Not that this would be a problem, since Shinji is now an upfront, brave, more confrontational person who willingly pilots his Eva into battle. Rei has stopped being drugged to suppress her emotions, and it has been revealed there never were any clones in the first place. The cloning explanation was a cover-up for NERV's advanced medical technologies. As a result of the druggings ceasing, she is slowly but surely showing more and more emotion, revealing some nasty habits and eventually, an eccentric-yet-loyal trickster. Asuka is now a kind, sensitive, selfless girl and also Shinji's best friend and love interest. Misato is no longer a drunkard, and Ritsuko is something of a mad scientist.
Life is great...until a new threat shows up. A giant monster named Cthulhu appears in Tokyo while Shinji and Asuka are heading from school to catch their train to NERV HQ. The Evas fight a losing battle until a band of kaiju led by the legendary Godzilla appears and send Cthulhu packing, causing him great physical injury, and ushering in the Third Kaiju Age. Cthulhu raises a hell army to destroy the Earth and accomplish what the Angels couldn't.
Later, a monster named Gigan appears. Initially thought to be one of Cthulhu's minions, detective work by Shinji reveals the difference in genetic make-up between one of Cthulhu's minions and Gigan, revealing Gigan to be an alien monster. This is followed closely by the invasion of an alien race known as the Invadors.
Fighting a two-front war won't be easy. With aliens above and Cthulhu below, not to mention an army of kaiju collectively known as the Mutant Horde and led by a resurrected SpaceGodzilla, NERV has its work cut out. But Godzilla (the son of the Heisei Godzilla) is humanity's champion, and with his allies, the Earth Defenders, both Cthulhu and the Invadors won't have it so easy.
NERV isn't alone. The UN's anti-kaiju division, the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasure Center (UNGCC), is reactivated and renamed the Earth Defense Force (EDF), with MOGUERA, MechaGodzilla 2, and Mecha-King Ghidorah rebuilt, as well as a new anti-kaiju robot, Jet Jaguar, is built based on the Jet Alone design. Later, they build a new mech named Kiryu (codename MechaGodzilla 3).
The series contains a wide variety of vehicles in addition to mech units and kaiju.
- Misato's car - Originally a beat-up Toyota Corolla belonging to her parents, it was destroyed and replaced with a Pagani Zonda C12; Misato is still a bad driver.
- NERV-04 Tank - A standard MBT with a 105mm cannon
- Shocker-class launcher - A mobile missile launcher
- Pack-10 - A humvee used for transport and patrol
- F-22 Raptor - A standard fighter jet designed by Lockheed Martin for the United States Air Force; the NERV version replaces the tracers with laser cannons, missiles with proton torpedoes, and adds a G-Diffusor, freeing the fighter of all atmospheric and gravitational limitations, and removing the concept of g-force from the equation
- SF-93 R-Wing Starfighter - A space fighter used by Shinji, Asuka, and Rei; needs a carrier ship for interstellar travel (not built yet), but perfectly capable of interplanetary travel on its own; its design and name are a tribute to Star Fox: Star Fox, 93 represents the year the original SNES game was released, and R-Wing sounds the same as Arwing; the SF-93 was later adopted by Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Space War as a replacement for the X-Wing, as a nod to the Neptunia series' penchant for video game references
- Gotengo - A flying battleship with a giant drill and an Absolute Zero Cannon; sometimes called Atragon
- Land Moguera and Star Falcon - A tank and a starfighter, respectively; they combine to form MOGUERA
- Type 90 Maser Cannon - A mobile maser cannon invented by G-Force and the JSDF
- Garuda - A flying weapon created by G-Force in 1991 to counter Godzilla; later became part of and destroyed with MechaGodzilla in 1993, then rebuilt in 2015
- Super X3 - An aerial vehicle with an array of weaponry that defeated Destoroyah in 1995, and was put in long-term storage for the duration of the Angels Crisis; reactivated in 2015; the original Super X was built in 1982 as an anti-ballistic missile vehicle, and was deployed against, and destroyed by, Godzilla III in 1984; the Super X2 was designed specifically to counter Godzilla, but it, too, was destroyed by Godzilla III in 1989
- Walker - Resembling an AT-AT, the alien walkers deliver devestating fire power
- Fighter - These alien-looking fighters that vaguely resemble TIE Fighters are used for air support
- Mothership - Like a massive city, the Invador Mothership is the mobile command center for the aliens; it was destroyed by Godzilla V's Hyper Breath in the 2015 movie following a beam lock when the mothership fired its main laser at full power to destroy the Geofront
List of Episodes
Season Zero (1995)
The original Neon Genesis Evangelion was retroactively declared "Season 0" of Monster World in November 2019.
Season One (1998)
Season Two (1999)
Season Three (2000)
Experimental Episodes (2000)
Between production of the third and fourth seasons, several episodes were made to test various other animation methods. Ultimately, none of the methods were adopted, and the series continued using the animation/tokusatsu hybrid approach. All episodes were remakes of previous episodes.
- Atomic Hate - This episode toyed with the idea of an all-animated approach, including the kaiju. Only half the episode was reworked, as the rest was already traditionally animated. This idea was scrapped due to Timothy Hill feeling that the animated kaiju would ruin the show's appeal.
- Flight of the Gotengo - This episode, produced in conjunction with Gerry Anderson, tested the use of Anderson's signature "Supermarionation" technique for the human characters, while retaining the tokusatsu for everything else. This method was scrapped because the more proportionate puppets first created for Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons had many of the same limitations that they did in 1967.
- War of the Gargantuas - This episode tested the use of live actors for the human characters, with the entire cast consisting of actors from the Japanese isles (dubbed over by the English cast). It was scrapped because the characters with multicolored hair such as Rei and Misato didn't translate well to live-action, the slapstick between Rei and Hikari was too difficult to coordinate, and (rather amusingly), Asuka's bow kept falling off, to the point the production crew had Asuka's old contact barrettes on standby.
- Detroit Rock City - This episode tested an all-stop-motion approach. It was rejected because animating the monsters was time-consuming.
- The Great Seattle Operation - This episode tested the use of CG for all shots that usually would be tokusatsu. Rejected outright by Timothy Hill, who felt the CGI was hokey, and due to his philosophy that "it's better when something's in front of the camera".
Season Four (2001)
The fourth season featured the season-long German Civil War arc. To this day, it remains a fan-favorite season due to its though-provoking storyline and massive action sequences. The season was banned in Germany until 2007 due to Nazis being the main villains.
- A Day Called X - Germany is divided once more, this time between the German government and the self-proclaimed Fourth Reich. The rebels launch several nuclear missiles at Japan in an attempt to keep NERV from interfering, but the missiles are all intercepted and Alpha Squad is launched to retaliate.
- The Set-Up - NERV sends a major detachment to Berlin to assist the German government and EU, as a hot debate in the UN unfolds over whether or not a coalition should be created to destroy the rebels.
- Anschluss - The Fourth Reich annexes Austria after threatening it with nuclear weapons, and NERV retaliates by attacking a major rebel ammunition depot.
- Firefight at Essen - German and French forces clash with the rebels at Essen.
- Intelligence - Shinji and Rei infiltrate a rebel FOB to steal their battle plans.
- Blitzkrieg - The rebels drive deep into the Low Countries as the war spills over and the Fourth Reich's plans become clear.
- Defending the Convoys - Civilians begin fleeing rebel-held territory in convoys. Viewing this as a defiance of their will, the Fourth Reich begins destroying the convoys and leaving no one alive. This drives Asuka to lead Shinji and Rei in an escort operation using the SF-93s.
- Enemies at the Gates - The rebels reach the outskirts of Paris, only to be met by Alpha Squad in their Evas.
- Height for a Hijacking - A group of rebels, angered by the loss of their brothers-in-arms in Paris, hijack a fully-loaded American KC-135 Stratotanker and crash it into TV Tower in Berlin, causing to collapse...on top of a gas line exposed during work by Vattenfall, which causes a chain reaction that destroys roughly 60% of Berlin and kills over a million, Devastated, Asuka lashes out at a village in rebel territory and leaves no one alive, a slaughter Shinji gladly joins in on. The rebels are horrified by Asuka's actions, and begin taking moral stock of the situation. This episode was intended to air on September 11, 2001, but did not air for obvious reasons. It was unreleased until 2005, when it was released on home video, and aired in TV for the first time in 2007.
- Meanwhile in Tokyo... - Left to keep watch over NERV, Misato is left bored until Gigan is spotted in the countryside. Hungry for action, she sends Beta Squad his way.
- Beavis and Butt-Head - Gigan regroups with Megalon and tries to attack Tokyo again, but they're met by Godzilla and Jet Jaguar in the countryside.
- Boredom - Hikari feels something isn't right, and then concludes it's because Rei's in Germany.
- Video Games - Left with nothing else to do since all eyes are on Germany, and Cthulhu and the Invadors have been quiet, Hikari and Kensuke play some PS2 games, including Street Fighter EX3, Ridge Racer V, SSX, FIFA 2001, Crazy Taxi, and Gran Turismo 3 A-spec. This episode consisted mainly of Carol Amerson and Kurt Stoll playing PS2 games next to open mics, ad-libbing in-character responses to events in-game.
- Eve of Destruction - Aware that the civil war is about to escalate into a war spanning Europe, NERV spends the night relaxing and preparing.
- The Big Push - The Fourth Reich pushes into Germany, and is now snarling like angry dogs outside Berlin.
- Stand Your Ground! - The German president and all members of the Bundestag evacuate Berlin, but Asuka defiantly stands her ground against the rebels.
- Asuka's Rage - Pushed to her breaking point, Asuka takes Unit-02 and drives very deep into rebel territory, leaving a path of destruction in her wake. Gendo sends Shinji to stop her, but Shinji instead joins her. As Shinji and Asuka lay waste to Frankfurt, Gendo is left to wonder if this is all repressed anger from the Angel Crisis.
- Terror in Mannheim - After learning that the Fourth Reich has been exterminating Jews, Slavs, Poles, Gypsies, gays, the mentally-challenged and physically handicapped, and blacks, Gendo gives the authorization to commence strategic operations in rebel territory. This entails Alpha Squad attacking and destroying Mannheim to eliminate their ability to build tanks on the Daimler and John Deere assembly lines.
- Closing on Stuttgart - Alpha Squad's approach on Stuttgart is hindered by the rebels unleashing a group of Titanosauri under their control.
- Just Give Me My Mutant! - Even in wartime, Ritsuko's desire for a mutant test subject is unextinguishable. And she'll turn to desperate measures if need be!
- Kaiju Attack - The rebels unleash the kaiju under their control, including Titanosauri, Ebirae, Kumongae, and salvaged alien Mechagodzillas, upon population centers in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. The Earth Defenders, EDF, and NERV spring into action.
- Hold the Line - The battle in Germany devolves into a stalemate.
- Another Godzilla? - The Fourth Reich unleash their secret weapon on New York City: a female Godzilla named Kiru. The real Godzilla makes a beeline for the Big Apple. This episode sparked controversy due to a scene in which Kiru destroys the World Trade Center Twin Towers, though it was later revealed the scene was shot during production of the episodes taking place on the outskirts of Tokyo to compensate for the fact 9/11 never happened in the Monster World universe due to the state of the world in 2001.
- Barbarossa Redux - The Fourth Reich conquers Poland and invades Russia as Godzilla and Kiru continue their fight in NYC.
- Nuclear Conclusion - The German Civil War, by now renamed the Great European War, comes to an explosive conclusion.
- Like a Phoenix - With Europe eviscerated, widespread Balkanization begins, and the political situation in Europe will never be the same. But, with the Fourth Reich defeated, NERV returns home.
Season 5 (2002)
The fifth season saw a switch to the use of digital cameras; all prior seasons had used 35mm film. Stock footage from other productions and older episodes, though, were still 35mm, and the differences in picture quality are readily noticeable.
- Kiryu, Part 1 - Having salvaged the bones of Godzilla III after his meltdown in 1995, the EDF creates MechaGodzilla 3, later renamed Kiryu. And just in time, as a furious Kiru resurfaces in NYC, scarred but stronger than ever. Things become complicated when traces of DNA in the bones cause Kiryu to remember he was Godzilla, and he goes berserk and attacks Unit-01, angering Asuka and causing her to retaliate.
- Kiryu, Part 2 - After Asuka's actions in New York see her arrested, Shinji springs her from prison and kills every guard, causing NERV and EDF to engage in a civil war that the UN is powerless to stop. Meanwhile, Kiryu is sent to attack a Titanosaurus nest. This time, the issues of Kiryu going berserk doesn't pop up.
- Kiryu, Part 3 - NERV and the EDF are forced to make peace when the Invadors send Gigan and Megalon to sift through the ruins of Frankfurt for anything useful.
- Kiryu, Part 4 - Kiru reappears, this time in Osaka. The EDF soon discovers that Kiryu goes berserk upon hearing the roar of another Godzilla, and authorize Alpha Squad to subdue him.
- Kiryu, Part 5 - EDF scientists attempt to remove the DNA traces from Kiryu's bones, but he breaks out, now possessing free will. He attacks Tokyo, but stops when he sees and hears Godzilla IV. Godzilla IIIs spirit inhabits the mech, and together, father and son defend Tokyo from Kiru alongside Alpha Squad.
- The Probe - Mysterious craft begin crashing in various locales worldwide, none of which match Invador technology. Both NERV and the Invadors, therefore, deduce that another alien race has their eyes on Earth, and declare a truce to work out exactly who it is. They eventually find out that it's the Xiliens, who attack with their own Ghidorah.
- Flight of the Gotengo - The Gotengo is launched against a group of Titanosauri attacking Boston.
- Policing Europe - Kaiju activity in Europe increases following the nuclear exchange that capped off the Great European War, and the EDF and NERV launch their mechanized forces to police the situation, as hundreds of Mutants come to feed on the fallout.
- What Makes Them Tick - Alpha Squad, utilizing stun blasters, captures an alien Mechagodzilla intact so the EDF can study it.
- All is Fair - Rei resorts to dirty tactics in her never-ending conflict with Hikari.
- Remnants of the Past - A group of Gezoras and Ganimes attacks Vladivostok, to which Godzilla and King Caesar respond.
- School Dance - The fall formal at school gets interesting when Rei and Hikari's war causes it to devolve into a massive brawl. Shinji and Asuka, having brought stun blasters in preparation for such a scenario, must now pacify the riot before it spills out into the city.
- In Defense of Mannheim - After a period of unusual silence, Cthulhu sends his minions to Mannheim to destroy it, only to find they're too late. Cthulhu soon learns of the German Civil War and is horrified by the concept of Nazism. Beta Squad responds to the incursion.
- God's House - God has a party in Heaven, and Shinji and Asuka are invited. They tour God's home, learning fascinating stories not told in the Bible, as well as the truth behind such Biblical events as the Plagues of Egypt, the Parting of the Red Seas, and the Resurrection of Christ. There was much fear that this episode would anger the Catholic Church, but Pope John Paul II reportedly watched the episode and loved it, calling the reinterpretations of Biblical events "organic and in-tune with more obscure Bible passages".
- Viva Las Vegas - During a conference in Las Vegas, Shinji and Rei find out that Gendo has a gambling problem. They must do something before Gendo gambles away NERV's entire third-quarter budget.
- Alchoholics Anonymous - Misato decides to weaponize her surplus beer left over from the Angels Crisis to impair the judgement of Coatlicue when he attacks Cairo. Everyone questions what she smoked to have come up with such an insane idea, but it somehow works.
- Moonbase - Alpha Squad is sent to the moon to destroy an Invador base.
- Terrahawks - In this crossover episode, NERV makes contact with the Terrahawks, and send Alpha Squad to Hawknest when it is discovered that Zelda is assisting the Invadors.
- To Mars! - NERV does what the Terrahawks are too cowardly to do and attacks Zelda's base on Mars using the SF-93s. In retaliation, Zelda, shortly before she is destroyed, sends a kaiju-sized Sporilla to attack Honolulu, only for it to be met by Godzilla.
- Godzilla vs. Sporilla - The battle between Godzilla and the Sporilla continues, and Alpha Squad and Kiryu arrive to help.
- Photosynthesis - Biollante is tasked with attacking Rio de Janiero. Reluctant to bring any harm to her beloved planet, she instead chooses to go after Destoroyah, after she manages to convince Spacegodzilla that he is a major threat to his rule.
- Grand Theft Auto - Shinji and Asuka play Grand Theft Auto III and provide some hilarious commentary. The full version was uploaded to YouTube in 2016.
- Hamlet - The school puts on a production of Shakespeare's Hamlet, with Kensuke in the starring role. He'll need help from his friends overcoming his stage fright.
- Holdouts - A German rebel holdout is discovered operating out of the ruins of Stuttgart.
- Countdown to War, Part 1 - NERV, the EDF, and the Earth Defenders prepare for a massive Invador attack.
- Countdown to War, Part 2 - The Invador attack never materializes, but Cthulhu makes a statement by having Hastur destroy Melbourne.
Season 6 (2003)
During a period of high tension between the United States and Russia that could result in global thermonuclear war, Glaaki appears in Tokyo. With all attacks bouncing off, Ritsuko tells Shinji to launch an N2 Missile. Shinji won't lest paranoid missile silo personnel start Neo-World War III. Asuka defends Shinji's decision, and Rei hurls some very scathing insults in Ritsuko's direction, yet Ritsuko is insistent. Near-insanity, Shinji does launch the N2 Missile...at Ritsuko's mountainside laboratory, seemingly killing her. Shinji is absolved of all responsibility, as Gendo blames it on war nerves. The US and Russia are quick to realize it is an N2 weapon that was detonated due to the lack of a radiation release.
Shinji and Asuka are abducted in the dead of night by Ritsuko, reconstructed as an insane cyborg. The two are about to be executed by Ritsuko's new cyborg army (which she has callously named the Cybermen), when Gendo, Misato, and some NERV Soldiers burst in and kill Ritsuko. Yet she endured and would return several times in world domination plots, even allying herself with the Invadors during the climax.
Godzilla vs Godzilla arc
In this eight-episode arc, another Godzilla is thawed out of his icy prison by global warming, going on a rampage through the Pacfic Rim and fighting Godzilla until he reaches Tokyo and is met by Godzilla and all five Evas, who kill him. His skeletal remains are repatriated to the EDF, who intend to create a second Kiryu, only this time removing any trace of DNA. This arc is best-remembered for the sequences in which Godzilla II destroys cities.
Season 7 (2004)
Total War arc
Cthulhu's injuries from the beginning of the series finally heal, and he takes to the field, bringing unparalleled death and destruction upon the world. The Invadors also start a full-scale invasion that devastates the planet.
The Last Stand
In the series finale of the original run, Cthulhu has his long-awaited showdown with the Evas. In the fighting, Asuka is injured, sending Shinji into a rage that gets him put out of commission as well. With Alpha and Beta Squads out of commission, Godzilla arrives and hands Cthulhu his ass, and eventually kills him with his Spiral Ray. Cthulhu's Army surrenders and is executed on Monster Island, and the Invadors are also forced into retreat. The world celebrates and is rebuilt by God and Gaia.
This episode was highly anticipated. Viewing guides were mailed out to TV Guide subscribers, Entertainment Weekly and TIMES Magazine each devoted entire issues devoted to the finale in the weeks leading up to it, full-page ads were placed in newspapers around the world, and a plaque commemorating the series was presented to WBC by Hideako Anno (creator of Evangelion).
On premiere night, TV Land, AMC, TNT, TSS, and Comedy Central all went off the air, displaying slides encouraging viewers to watch the finale (TV Land made a similar move when Seinfeld aired its finale in 1997). Unsurprisingly, the finale was the highest-rated program of the night. The end credits showed a montage of clips from the first two Godzilla movies, the entire Heisei series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and finally, Monster World itself, set to Godzilla's theme, and at the end of the broadcast, a picture showing the entire voice cast was displayed with a message saying "Monster World 1998-2004. Thanks For Watching!"
Internet fans found a world without Monster World to be inconceivable. Many also sent in complaints regarding the ending. Apparently, all but one plot thread had been resolved. The plot thread in name was Shinji and Asuka's relationship. Johnson Industries knew this was a glaring error on their part, deciding to focus more on the action and the final confrontation between Godzilla and Cthulhu, but rather than make a new scene for a future rerun, the decision was made to create a theatrical movie to resolve the plot thread. There was discussion regarding making the movie the true finale, but it was eventually decided that "The Last Stand" would remain a finale, and the movie would be a treat for the fans and a way of saying "we screwed up", and to avoid a situation a la End of Evangelion.
Despite being ended (not cancelled), there was still new material released occassionally, mainly in the form of primetime specials.
Monster World Movie Night (2005-2012)
The Weakest Link Special (2008)
In 2008, the cast of the series appeared on the British game show The Weakest Link. The contestants, comprised of Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Gendo, Misato, Hikari, Kaji, Maya, and Fuyutsuki, were presented as animated characters (the studio audience saw the voice actors). Throughout the show, there was a running gag in which, no matter who the Weakest Link was, Rei and Hikari would always vote for each other; both were removed from the studio when they got into a physical altercation. Eventually, only Shinji and Asuka were left and, not wanting to vote the other off, made the decision to both vote for Anne Robinson, who was quite shocked, before proceeding to declare them both the Weakest Link, to which the pair pulled out blasters and indiscriminately opened fire, hitting the camera. In lieu of the normal sign-off, a technical difficulties slide showing Rei and Hikari hitting each other with tools was shown, accompanied by the intermission music from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Fuyutsuki giving a blow-by-blow of what was going on in the studio, before John Cleese broke character after noticing the music that was playing and began telling a story about how the ending of Monty Python and the Holy Grail was rewritten due to budget issues. Ultimately, the episode had no winner, and there have been fan movements calling for a rematch.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Special (2009)
After the success of the Weakest Link special, WBC decided to do annual game show specials, beginning with a one-off Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? special where Shinji, Rei, Asuka, Gendo, Misato, Hikara, Fuyutsuki, Kaji, Maya and Makoto each play the game for charity. Like in the Weakest Link special, they were presented as animated characters, though the studio audience saw the voice actors. Shinji took home $32,000, Rei took home $32,000, Asuka took home $500,000, Gendo took home $250,000, Misato took home $32,000 after losing the $125,000 question, Hikari won the $1,000,000 jackpot (but didn't keep it since Rei stole it, and successfully offshored it), Fuyutski took home $250,000, Kaji took home $32,000, Maya took home $64,000, and Makato took home $500,000. In between milestones, they bantered with host Regis Philbin. The special ended with Rei and Hikari fighting (again) and trashing the set, to the point of destroying three light columns, a screen, and the Hot Seat.
Life in the Geofront Online Shorts (2009-2014)
Between 2009 and 2014, a series of animated Monster World shorts titled Life in the Monster World were released on YouTube. Featuring new animation by Toei and tokusatsu scenes by Johnson, the shorts focus on what NERV staff does when there isn't any kaiju activity. While many episodes of the series did this, these shorts were more in-depth. Common themes included Kaji's womanizing, Maya obsessively trying to track down Cyber-Ritsuko with no success, the remaining members of SEELE trying to carry out increasingly-ridiculous and petty evil plots that do absolutely no damage and come off more as street performances (things such as standing on grass in defiance of a sign saying not to, putting a cat in a tree, prank calls, doorbell ditching, shining flashlights in cars at teenagers, and defecating off highway overpasses onto passing cars), Rei and Hikari's continuing conflict, Gendo playing in online casinos, the Evangelions' thoughts, Shinji and Asuka doing normal everyday things (these shorts have little humor, instead being more wholesome, displaying their ever-strengthening relationship), Fuyutsuki trying and failing to become NERV's new mad scientist, Cyber-Ritsuko dealing with her new cyborg minions who are dumb as rocks, Kensuke's misadventures in trying to decode the remains of the MAGI Supercomputer, Makoto going to Akihibara to unleash his inner otaku, Godzilla and the Earth Defenders getting into misadventures on Monster Island, the Invadors abducting humans who are more trouble than they're worth, and Spacegodzilla's attempts at crystal architecture.
Wheel of Fortune Special (2010)
The third of WBC's game show specials, Shinji, Rei, and Asuka all play on the daytime Wheel of Fortune for charity, which aired during its 37th season. Throughout the show, they frequently bantered with hosts Rolf Benirschke and Vanna White. Rei managed to win the game with $93,250 (including the $50,000 prize from the bonus round). This was one of the last Wheel of Fortune shows with announcer Charlie O'Donnell before his 2010 death.
The Therapy Sessions (2010)
Adapted from the New York Times best-seller of the same name, this special was the first piece of animated material made by WBC (Toho and Gainax had been making movies on an annual basis since 2007, and did so until 2014; this also doesn't count the game show specials and animated shorts made in 2009-2010), and explores the therapy sessions briefly touched upon in the pilot. Memorable moments include God going into Gendo's twisted mind to rewire it, the touching moment where Shinji and Asuka make peace and become best friends, and Rei gaining emotions, revealing her story, and remembering she is Shinji's twin sister. On Netflix, the new Toonami run, and the annual Halloween marathon shown since 2012, this special is first in airing order.
Operation: Fukushima (2011)
Created in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, this special premiered on Memorial Day. In the special, taking place on March 11, 2016 (five years later than the actual earthquake and tsunami and, according to text shown during the episode, four months before "The Last Stand"), the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster attracts members of the Mutant Horde, including Zillas, Titanosauri, Ebirahs, and a few new kaiju not seen in the series during its initial run, mainly monsters from the Ultraman series, such as Red King, Neronga, Gomess, Jirass, and Telesdon. Godzilla, Rodan, Varan, every EDF Mech, and Alpha Squad defend the plant successfully. The special was released on DVD and Blu-Ray the next day, with all profits made going to the relief effort.
The special was initially derided as "disrespectful" prior to release, especially since actual images of the disaster were used (creating an odd juxtaposition when live-action people appeared one minute, and animated characters appeared the next), but was an instant success in the Japanese isles since it was a badly-needed morale booster. Work on the special was actually commissioned by a presidential executive order to provide such a morale boost, and indeed, the special was the most-viewed program on WBC's Japanese affiliates on Tanabata, even managing to dethrone Mrs. Sazae as the most-viewed program of the week. On WBC in America, Europe, and Oceania, the special was also a success, and was highly anticipated by the fanbase, who unanimously agreed the special did not disappoint, delivering its message as well as a monster-and-robot brawl. Many fans also mentioned that at the least, it was great seeing their favorite characters and monsters again.
Press Your Luck Special (2011)
Family Feud Special (2012)
How The Homicidal Cyborg Absconded With Christmas! (2012)
A Christmas special. This special is a parody of the many Christmas specials over the years, mainly How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The plot involves Cyber-Ritsuko and her army invading the North Pole with a MechaGodzilla left over from the Total War arc of season seven. Memorable moments include Santa Claus using a giant Christmas-themed robot to fight MechaGodzilla, accompanied by rock renditions of Christmas carols provided by AC/DC. Godzilla also appears, breaking through the ice and handing MechaGodzilla his ass. Later, Cyber-Ritsuko and a few of her Cybermen sneak into Tokyo and steal Christmas, a la The Grinch. Instead of her heart growing "three sizes that day", she is found out by Shinji and Asuka, who are awoken as Cyber-Ritsuko rummages around NERV HQ. The two give chase, defeat her, and get the stolen goods back. The special ends with a Christmas party involving characters from Detective Jenny and the Johnson Aligned Universe (the first appearance of the characters in Monster World, as the Johnson Aligned Universe was introduced the same year), in which Shinji breaks the fourth wall by wishing viewers a Merry Christmas, then heads off to read a twisted version of The Night Before Christmas. Throughout the special, hints at the series' 2015 revival (really, blatant announcements saying "Monster World Returns 2015") are made, before a formal announcement was made on Christmas Day 2012. These references were removed in 2014.
The original airing drew controversy. Airing just days after the Sandy Hook shootings, the original airing opened with a tribute to the victims. During said tribute, Rei expressed rather strong opinions, chief among them that school shooters should be captured alive, publicly hanged, and their bodies publicly displayed as an example to other would-be school shooters. Of course, Hikari silenced her before she could make any more inflammatory comments, but the damage had been done. While the FCC didn't fine WBC since Rei's statements fell under the First Amendment, the network still got angry phonecalls for airing such extreme views. Things got worse when it was revealed Rei's comments were not in the original script, and in truth, Chloe Johnson had recorded the lines and dubbed them over Michelle Ruff's performance (nobody noticed because Chloe's impersonation of Ruff was dead-on, and Chloe had inserted the lines into the computer minutes before the special went to air on the East Coast), having done so without Tim's knowledge. The original scene, as recorded, had Rei encouraging viewers to donate to a charity fund for the victims' families, then making a side comment about setting up her own fund so people can give money to her (this innocent comment was originally the reason Hikari backhanded her). While Tim and Chloe decided it would be best to immediately drop the subject (mainly because Tim was ultimately at fault for stating said opinions on the day of the shooting, and Chloe becoming rather zealous after seeing pictures of families mourning), the media didn't. WBC's MySpace page was flooded with angry comments until Tim threatened to delete WBC's page wholesale. When the special aired in the remaining American timezones, the original audio was used, with Eastern timezone viewers hearing the original audio in a rerun the next week, and from 2013 onward, the entire tribute was removed due to no longer being relevant.
Jeopardy! Special (2013)
The $1,000,000 Pyramid Special (2014)
Rei's Festivus (2014)
Billed as the first Festivus special, this hour-long special was aired on December 23, 2014. In the special, Rei tries to bring Festivus to NERV after watching the Seinfeld episode introducing the concept, as well as a failed stint as a mall Santa (posing as Santa's daughter) that ends badly when Hikari makes fun of her and Rei, desiring revenge for all the times Hikari used slapstick on her, attacks, and is promptly fired. Her plans quite humorously fail, and comes to a head when she accidentily creates a rift between Shinji and Asuka. Not wanting them to break up and ruin her plans to get them together, she comes forth with the truth, causing Shinji to disown her. Walking the streets of Tokyo alone on Christmas Eve, Rei is found frozen on a park bench by Hikari, who takes her in and proves to Rei she doesn't hate her; meanwhile, Shinji and Asuka regret lashing out at Rei, and become distressed when they learn Rei has run away, causing them to round up a search party. That night, Rei discovers Cyber-Ritsuko trying to steal Christmas again; she runs the second she sees Rei. Then the Invadors randomly send Gigan and Megalon to attack a shelter for widows and orphans (an action that even Rei questions the logic of), so she and Hikari remotely call their Evas and defend it alongside Godzilla. Gigan and Megalon are sent packing, apologies are made, and everyone has a Merry Christmas.
The Price is Right Special (2015)
This was the last special made before the series was revived.
Season 8 (2015)
The first episide of the new series introduced Nemesis and other monsters from Colossal Kaiju Combat.
Following a "series of contrived events", as Shinji quips, Kaji and Misato are getting married. Too bad Megalon had to crash the party.
Ask Monster World Backlog 1-4
These episodes involved Rei answering the backlog of questions for the Ask Monster World segment discontinued in 2001.
Stakeout at Freddy's
A crossover with Five Nights at Freddy's. Not much is known about the episode, only that it will have "the biggest plot twist in the show's history".
Season 9 (2016)
Card Sharks Special
Season 10 (2017)
The Casino of Luck Special
Season 11 (2018)
Luck o' the Truth Special
Season 12 (2019)
Supermarket Sweep Special
This was the last project with Monica Rial as Yui Ikari; Yui made a cameo as an audience member. Rial was fired and blacklisted from all Johnson Studios productions in 2019 for her role in the #KickVic movement, due to Tim being an outspoken #IStandWithVic supporter, to the point of confirming in a press release that Vic Mignogna signed a lifetime contract with 4K Studiopolis and even called all #KickVic supporters "people who love to slander an innocent man for no reason other than to further their pro-feminist, anti-male agenda, using a jellybean of all things to truly launch their crusade to slander him". Rial was replaced by Stephanie Young, who voiced Yui in the Rebuild of Evangelion films.
Season 13 (2020)
Let's Make a Deal Special
Season 14 (2021)
Season 15 (2022)
Revenge of Cthulhu (2006)
The biggest complaint about the series finale was that Shinji and Asuka never got together, let alone kissed. This movie set out to fix this. The plot involves Cthulhu's enduring spirit possessing Shinji, using him to go on a rampage in Unit-01, and alienate NERV until they seek to kill him, not knowing he is possessed. Asuka is the only one not hunting Shinji, and actively opposes NERV. In the end, Cthulhu's spirit is excised by Asuka's declaration of love to Shinji.. Shinji and Asuka then kiss and become an official couple, eliciting a thumbs-up from Rei when she cracks open Unit-01s hatch mid-kiss, while devestating Hikari, who developed a crush on Shinji after Toji disappeared from the public eye. But Cthulhu has a last-ditch plan: possess Destoroyah. Fortunately, Godzilla shows up and takes his revenge for what transpired in 1995, sending Cthulhu back to the depths of hell where his soul falls into Oblivion and is permanently destroyed, much to Satan's despair. The film was a critical and commercial success, with many critics saying the movie "ended the series on a great note", despite the cliffhanger featuring SpaceGodzilla, the Invador Controller, and Cyber-Ritsuko separately plotting, which was inserted during post-production to open the door for a continuation, which was confirmed in 2012. The film was also one of Tony Jay's final projects before his death.
Monster World (2015)
Released in June 2015, this movie served as the pilot for the revived series. Rather than being a reboot, the new movie continues the story and depict the Invadors returning with an even bigger invasion force. The movie had several characters recast (Sue Ulu, John Cleese, Kendra Benham, and Carol Amerson were replaced as Ritsuko, Fuyutsuki, Maya, and Hikari by Colleen Clinkenbeard, John Hurt, Bridget Hoffman, and Caitlin Glass, respectively, though Cleese later returned to his role after Hurt's death in early 2017). Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant, Michelle Ruff, Tom Kane, Allison Keith, Michael McConnohie, Matt Greenfield, Jason C. Lee, and Kurt Stoll remained in their respective roles as Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Gendo, Misato, Kaji, Makoto, Shigeru, and Kensuke.
The teaser trailer depicts Alpha Squad fighting a horde of MechaGodzillas (something that never happened during the original series due to the fact there was only one MechaGodzilla suit available; the advent of the Johnson Aligned Universe changed this, resulting in the construction of a staggering 20 additional suits, and hundreds of plywood dummies destroyed and replaced on a regular basis). It is also confirmed that Ritsuko and her cyborg army will appear; it is rumored that it will be revealed that Ritsuko, even in her human form, was responsible for signalling and mind-controlling SpaceGodzilla, and forming, controlling, and stealthily leading the Mutant Horde.
The main trailer premiered during halftime of Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015, depicting scenes from the movie, such as a major assault on an island that turns out to be SpaceGodzilla's fortress, Shinji's new jetpack directly based on Makayla's from Detective Jenny(and his subsequent rescue of Asuka from a Titanosaurus, and their thrilling flight through the island while on the run from other Mutants), the Invadors fusing King Ghidorah with a Ghidorah from a parallel universe, Godzilla being dropped into an oil refinery and blasted by the Invadors' kaiju forces all at once, and Alpha Squad being halo-dropped into New York City. Other shots shown included Gendo shedding a tear for as-of-yet unknown reasons, Misato pushing Kaji away, Cyber-Ritsuko smirking, Shinji and Asuka kissing passionately, Rei getting an eye gouge from Hikari and later hitting her head against a wall, and Fuyutsuki looking with apprehension at something. The trailer ended with Godzilla in full view roaring at the camera, followed the names of Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant, and Michelle Ruff, the film's logo (unchanged from the TV series), Unit-01's roar, and Godzilla's Millenium roar, hinting at a major event in the film.
Shortly after the trailer premiered, fans with too much time on their hands, using editing software, managed to spot Kaworu Nagisa. Many thought it was simply a flashback, while other say that, as an Angel, he works in mysterious ways. Director Timothy Hill debunked the theory, stating that Kaworu was still dead and will remain as so, and that the so-called Kaworu-spotting was really Rei seen from a funny angle and in abnormal lighting. though he also hinted at bringing him back via a flashback in the eighth season. The fact that a casting call for the character was leaked and that Steven Blum had been reported in the studio has sparked rumors.
Initally, this movie was to be pushed back to November 2015 to accomodate the Johnson Aligned Universe film Nemesis after a 60th Anniversery Godzilla co-production with Toho for November 3, 2014 release was announced, a film that was released as Terror of Godzilla (a crossover with CLANNAD that spawned a trilogy). However, Nemesis was instead moved to March, and Monster World was moved back to its old release date, the coveted June release slot. Despite the change, Nemesis still takes place in its original spot on the Johnson Aligned Universe timeline in September 2014, so as to maintain the integrity of the universe and the major Konata and Kagami plot thread (argubly the most-anticipated part of the movie).
The movie was released on June 19, 2015 (the same day as another movie belonging to Johnson-owned Pixar, Inside Out) to critical acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a rare 100%, and Metacritic, too, gave it a perfect score of 100 (indicating "universal acclaim"), and was given an overall score of four stars. The movie was also the highest-grossing film in June and July, and still commanded large crowds in mid-August. The film was a massive hit in the Japanese states, as well, receiving a huge amount of promotion, advertising, and previews. On opening day in the Japanese states, theatres reported have run out of refreshments (a similar situation occurred upon the Japanese release of EarthBound in 1997), and several even had to cancel screenings of other films so their screens could be used as overflow, angering those not there to see Monster World (these irate patrons were actually the vocal minority).
Things were no better in the mainland United States. Gridlocks were reported in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, New York, and Boston, all owing to massive theatre crowds, many of whom had camped out for several days in anticipation of the film.
Shin Godzilla (2016)
Shortly after the 2015 film, Johnson Studios announced that there would be a new Monster World film annually, along with a new Johnson Aligned Universe movie.
Via a clever misinformation campaign, Toho announced a new Godzilla film to be released in 2016, the first they had produced with Johnson's involvement since Godzilla: Final Wars in 2004. The film was described as a reboot, and to that end, filmed scenes with live-actors for the first trailer. On March 13, 2016, Johnson Studios announced that Godzilla Resurgence was actually a new Monster World film, and that Toho would release a new film of their own in 2018.
The plot involves the return of Godzilla I. A few of his cells survived the Oxygen Destroyer, and over a period of 63 years, slowly regenerated. After ships begin disappearing in the Pacific, the EDF launches an investigation into them, initially writing them off as Gezora attacks until Yui arrives at the site of the latest sinking and discovers the bodies and debris recovered are highly-radioactive, a property no single Gezora specimen has ever possessed. Soon, a misshapen, armless Godzilla-like creature emerges in Kawasaki, and attacks nuclear plants (many still suspended following the 2016 earthquake and tsunami), evolving different forms and completely destroying Kobe until it reaches the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, by which point it is revealed that the nearly 118-meter creature is actually a protective shell for the original 50-meter Godzilla I (Shodai), who bursts out after completing his regeneration and makes a beeline for the Tokyo Metroplex to finish what he started in 1954. After causing chaos in Shinogawa, Godzilla I makes landfall in Tokyo proper and destroys much of the city before Godzilla V, the three Kiryus, and all Eva units arrive to oppose him. Shodai manages to escape along with Kiru to form the Godzilla Collective.
This film was notable in that, for Godzilla Is final form, original Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakijima reprised his role at the age of 87 (the first two forms were CGI, and the third form was operated via remote control; the final form was a reproduction of the ShodaiGoji suit). It was the first time Nakijima had portrayed Godzilla since 1972, and the final time he would do so before before his death on August 7, 2017. One of the sequences during the climax depicting Kiru fighting one of the Kiryus was stock footage lifted wholesale from Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, with all live-action human shots replaced by animated scenes with NERV and EDF personnel.
The film was directed by Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno, rather than Timothy Hill. It was the first Monster World production Anno had direct involvement in.
Shin Godzilla was the third highest-grossing film of 2016 behind Captain America: Civil War and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It received a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critical consensus of "Shin Godzilla brings Hideaki Anno to the fray, and with his masterful artistry, combined with Johnson Studios' high-quality practical effects, the film is an instant masterpiece that warrants comparison with the original 1954 film." The film was also praised for its cliffhanger, in sharp contrast to the more conclusive endings of the previous two Monster World films.
A separate, made-for-television version of the film was also made for the Johnson Aligned Universe (Johnsonverse), though closer to the original script before it was adapted into a Monster World production at Anno's request.
In addition to the show and movies, the franchise made its way to several other mediums.
A comic book series was started in 2000. Published by Dark Horse Comics, the comics depict various battles and events not seen in the show. The comic was published until 2004, when it changed hands to IDW and was published until 2012 when the Johnson Aligned Universe was introduced. It was revived in 2015 to coincide with the revival of the series, now published by Marvel Comics (Johnson Industries having acquired Disney in 2013).
The first Monster World video game, titled Net Battle, was published in 2000 for Playstation, N64, and PC. The game is a third-person open-world sandbox in which the player controls Shinji, Asuka, or Rei through the Internet itself when an international crime syndicate hacks it in a bid for world domination. Players have free reign to drive a wide-range of licensed vehicles, use crazy weapons, and kill the avatars of hackers and the viruses they created in creative and hilarious ways (Rei has argubly the best kill camera sequences). In some levels, the player takes control of a virtual Eva (in two levels, the player controls a real Eva), and plays as Godzilla in the final level, fighting a monstrous creation called Autosaurus Wrecks (later featured in SimCity 4: Rush Hour as a disaster). The game was given an enhanced port on the PlayStation 2 in 2001 (which included five extra missions, two of which were cut from the original release, three new vehicles, and the ability to play as Kensuke and Hikari; Mari, Toji, and Mana were added as DLC characters in 2018), and was re-released on Steam in 2016 with HD graphics, newly re-animated cutscenes (as well as redubbing all voice lines with the current actors, including Michelle Ruff as Rei), achievements, and Steam Workshop support. It has been said that many concepts in the game aided in the creation of modern Grand Theft Auto titles since GTA III.
The second game (SpaceGodzilla's Counter-Attack), released in 2007 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and OSX, is an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter, in which the player controls an Eva, Earth Defender, and EDF mecha (Mutants and Aliens can be unlocked for use after completing all three campaigns on any difficulty, while completing all campaigns on hard will unlock a bonus campaign based on the events of Neon Genesis Evangelion). The game takes place after Revenge of Cthulhu, and involves a war with Spacegodzilla's Mutant Horde.
The third game (The Lost Missions), released in 2012 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U (as a launch title), PC (via Steam), and OSX, involves similar gameplay to the second game and provides a look at the battles never seen on TV or in the comics, including unproduced episodes, scrapped movie drafts, episode scripts that were re-written, and episodes scrapped partway through production (in the latter's case, recorded dialogue from these scrapped episodes is re-used).
The series was also heavily featured in the Atari/Pipeworks Godzilla games. In Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, Unit-01 and Unit-02 are available by default, with Unit-00 as an unlockable monster. In Godzilla: Save the Earth, all three members of Alpha Squad are available from the start, and both members of Beta Squad are unlockable. In Godzilla Unleashed, all five Evas are unlocked from the start, and grouped under the NERV faction. In all three games, the Evas are part of unique storylines featuring full animation and voice-acting (with the voice cast of the series reprising their roles, except in Unleashed, where Amanda Winn-Lee was, of course, replaced by Michelle Ruff as Rei).
The series also figures heavily into Godzilla: The Game, in which the Evangelions are exclusive to the PS4 version. The Evas star in their own mode called "Civil War", in which NERV sends the Evas to destroy the G-Cell Generators, as Gendo rightfully believes the generators will turn cities into targets for hostile kaiju. The new Japanese Prime Minister commences the NERV Purge, which entails charging all NERV personnel with treason and giving the EDF orders to use lethal force to stop the threat to the Japanese power grid (Rei likens it to Order 66, and even Hikari has to admit she's not very far off). In the end, the Prime Minister is exposed as an Invador agent, and the real Prime Minister is found dead, leading to a snap election, while the EDF stands down and compensates the families of any NERV personnel they killed.
Several unlicensed Monster World games have appeared on the Apple App Store, but these are usually taken down within days of appearing. One particular game, though, was so well-made that Johnson licensed and expanded it to become Monster World Battle Tactics, a turn-based tactical RPG that is still being updated; it is notable for not featuring any microtransactions, with everything being available for in-game currency (there is no premium currency); this practice has received immense praise from players, and indeed, no mobile game made by Johnson Games has any microtransactions of any sort, as they believe such practices are, according to Tim Johnson, "blatant Skinner Box manipulation preying on people with a gambling problem and exploiting them for profit".
For the US release of City Shrouded in Shadow, the Evangelion sections of the game will be changed into Monster World, which will entail removing Sachiel and Shamshel, changing Unit-02 into its original appearance, and adding FMV cutscenes featuring the human characters. Rumors have circulated that Johnson resolved the royalties issues with Winn-Lee, and that she will return to the role of Rei in this game, though this rumor has been debunked by Ruff.
In 2017, Johnson Games released a Monster World slot machine. The main feature of the game involves quick-time events with FMV sequences filmed specifically for the game. Players have to touch the right button on the screen at the right time to increase their winnings, with the wrong choice leading to the loss of a life; when all three lives are lost, the feature is over and the target kaiju beats the Evangelion or Earth Defender they selected. Playable characters are Unit-01, Unit-02, Unit-00, Mothra, King Caesar, and Varan (Godzilla is also playable by way of a button that was made small and innocuous since Godzilla has the best stats and losing with him is almost impossible, though this button can be made more visible at the casino's discretion in exchange for making the feature less common), while the target kaiju are Titanosaurus, Zilla, Gigan, Megalon, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Female Godzilla, SpaceGodzilla, and ending with Cthulhu (who speaks using VoxMutatio, Johnson's voice-changer technology that can accurately reproduce any voice, thus allowing Tony Jay to, in a way, return from the grave to reprise his role; this technology also allowed Jay to voice Frollo in Kingdom Hearts III). Upon obtaining a handpay jackpot, the top screen shows the closing credits for the FMV sequences, plus behind-the-scenes footage. The FMV sequences were filmed during production of the tenth season.
A series of novels have been release that expand on the series' mythos. One notable novel published in 2009, titled The Therapy Sessions, details the therapy sessions of each NERV staff member and pilot, and the beginning of the lasting friendship between Shinji and Asuka. The novel was adapted into a television special aired the next year.
A toyline was licensed by Hasbro in 1998. The line includes action figures, vehicles, mechas, and playsets. The mechas, vehicles, and playsets were produced to a precise scale so as to be compatible with the monsters being produced by Bandai. Many of the vehicles and playsets were compatible with the Machine Wars: Transformers toyline being made at the time, also to support a Jonhson-made series.
In 2005, the toyline moved to in-house production at Johnson Industries. The new toys were much more articulated and used higher-quality plastics. The toyline is still in production, and a LEGO line was released in 2015.
The series proved extremely popular in the Japanese states, and thus, a manga was produced starting in December 1999. Faithful to the original source material, the manga also introduced new concepts that will be introduced in the 2015 revival. This manga continues to this day, and several of the newest chapters were adapted into episodes for season eight. In addition, the original Evangelion manga had its ending influenced by Monster World. In the original ending, the world goes back to the way it was, and Shinji and Asuka see each other in public, but they have no memory of each other and keep walking. In the new ending, which is now considered canon to the manga, the third-to-last page of the last volume features Shinji suddenly looking at a glowing light, and the last two pages show memorable events from Monster World. The last panel features Shinji, Asuka, and Rei posing heroically with Godzilla roaring in the background.
The original concept that evolved into the final product was first conceived in 1996, shortly after production on Neon Genesis Evangelion wrapped up. Hideaki Anno, questioning his own sanity and mental state when writing the ending, began writing End of Evangelion as the full version of the final two episodes, which were infamously made using stock footage, limited animation, and voice-overs because the budget had been blown on the Eva fights. He did not, however, intend for EoE to be the canon ending. Instead, Anno wrote up a sequel series with the working title Evangelion R. The series was intended to take place after Third Impact, with the entire cast being resurrected and fighting an alien invasion. This series was to be much more light-hearted than the first, involving quite a bit of comedy, including topics such as school, relationships, and especially politics. During brainstorming sessions, there is an urban legend that there were loud arguments over whether Shinji should end up with Rei or Asuka, as well as how much torture Gendo should be subjected to, and whether or not Asuka should continue being a tsundere. Ultimately, these would be the only topics discussed during most of these sessions.
Eventually, though, after the release of EoE, Gainax stated they wanted no more to do with Evangelion, and moved on to FLCL, which was used as an anti-depressant due to the madcap nature of the latter. Anno was then told they would not go through with Evangelion R. Disappointed but undeterred, Anno took his business elsewhere.
Immediately, Anno began rethinking the series. In October 1996, Anno was approached by Toho to write a new tokusatsu series tentatively titled Monster Nation. Originally intended to contain all-original monsters, Godzilla was eventually added when it became clear the Roland Emmerich-directed remake by Tristar was taking too many liberties with the character for it to be considered Godzilla; just a year prior, Toho had killed Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and even held a funeral. Anno saw the series as a chance to rebound after Gainax rejected Evangelion R.
Anno created an outline combining Evangelion R and Monster Nation, calling it Evangelion x Godzilla, but it was only for fun. However, when a Toho executive saw the premise, he was extremely impressed and presented it to director Takao Okawara.
Several days later, Toho announced it would be retooling Monster Nation into a new series called Monster World, a crossover between Neon Genesis Evangelion and Godzilla. However, the creative team was torn as to which method to use: whether to have use live-actors and suitmation, or full animation.
In December 1996, Toho approached two other studios to assist: Toei Animation and Johnson Studios. Toho had decided to use a hybrid approach, with animation for the human cast and indoor scenes, and suitmation and miniature sets for the monsters, a method first used by Tsuburaya Productions for Dinosaur Great War Izenborg in 1977 and perfected by Johnson's own Detective Jenny (from which Monster World culled quite a bit of stock footage from in its first season) in 1994. The original set-up was as so:
- Toho would provide suits and effects consulting
- Toei Animation would do the human characters and interior scenes
- Johnson Studios would do all the monster scenes
- Hideaki Anno would do episode outlines
Three suits (MogeGoji, SoshingekiAngira, and HeiseiGhido) were sent to Johnson Studios in October 1996 for the Godzilla sequence in the 1997 blockbuster adaptation of EarthBound, and were retained after filming for Monster World.
Upon the success of EarthBound, the set-up was changed. Anno's role was reduced to consultant when Johnson brought in its own writers; by this point, Monster World was now considered a Johnson production, as Takao Okawara was replaced as director by Timothy Hill, and the animators Toei had assigned to the series moved to California full-time to consolidate all production at Johnson Studios in San Jose, CA (this was also done to streamline production of the Toei-animated episodes of Detective Jenny, as episodes could now be produced much quicker; TMS also sent its animation team for Detective Jenny to California in 1999, again to streamline production for their episodes). The premise of Monster World was expanded in June 1997, replacing the aliens as the main antagonist. Instead, Cthulhu was made the new main antagonist, voiced by British voice actor Tony Jay.
Filming for the series began in earnest in August 1997. Large, elaborate sets of multiple cities, including Tokyo, Los Angeles, Seattle, Beijing, Cape Town, Osaka, and Fukuoka were built, many of which were so large, the soundstages couldn't fit them, and they had to be taken to decommissioned hangars at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville, California. The Tokyo set was the largest, and could not fit into a hangar; instead, it was put in an outdoor environment near Fresno, California, which allowed for natural lighting and weather.
Toho began sending over more suits in this timeframe, including the SpaceGodzilla, Destoroyah, MechaGodzilla, MOGUERA, Mothra, Battra, Biollante, and Mecha-King Ghidorah. Since HeiseiRado (the Heisei Rodan design) wasn't a suit, but rather, a puppet, Johnson created a larger, wearable version of HeiseiRado. Johnson also created new suits for the monsters also slated to appear, oftentimes replicas of older suits and puppets, such as King Caesar, Gigan, Megalon, Jet Jaguar, the original MechaGodzilla and Mogera, Kamacuras, Kumonga, Ebirah, King Kong, Gorosaurus, Kamoebas, Gezora, Ganimes, and Gabara. At least 25 suits each for Ebirah, Kumonga, Kamacurus, and Titanosaurus were built, as the character was to be portrayed as a species numbering in the thousands. Baragon and Varan both received brand-new designs that were eventually adopted by Toho. And finally, suits for the Evangelions themselves were built, as well; designing the Evangelion suits was a challenge, as the animation in Neon Genesis Evangelion portrayed them with arms higher up on the body than a normal human, as well as having long, slender arms. Many options were considered, from having the suits be on stilts to using camera angles to fudge the proportions, but ultimately, it was decided to drop the arms down and explain why in-series. The actor's head is in the neck, with the head above being an animatronic (all of the monster heads in the series are animatronics controlled via waldo manipulator developed by the Jim Henson Creature Shop).
For the voice cast, much of the original cast returned for the English version. Among the returnees were Spike Spencer, Tiffany Grant, Amanda Winn-Lee, Allison Keith, Kurt Stoll, Carol Amerson, Kendra Benham, Sue Ulu, Matt Greenfield, and Jason C. Lee. Several actors were replaced, though; for example, voice-acting veteran Tom Kane replaced Tristan MacAvery as Gendo, Fuyutsuki was voiced by John Cleese of Monty Python, and Kaji by Michael McConnohie.
After a royalties dispute in 2005, Winn-Lee quit the series, and Michelle Ruff was hired to replace her, also redubbing all prior episodes; old VHS tapes and recordings of the episodes when they originally aired, as well as Season 0 (Neon Genesis Evangelion) are now the only ways to hear Rei's original voice.
When the series was revived in 2015, several cast members were replaced. Amerson was replaced by Caitlin Glass, Benham by Bridgette Hoffman, Ulu by Colleen Clinkenbeard (who also voiced Ritsuko in the Rebuild of Evangelion movies), and Cleese by John Hurt. After Hurt's death in 2017, Cleese returned to the role, and Ulu also returned partway through Season 8 after revelations about Cyber-Ritsuko came to light in-series. After the #KickVic controversy in 2019, Monica Rial was fired as the voice of Yui Ikari, and replaced by her Rebuild of Evangelion voice actress, Stephanie Young.
On December 30, 2020, it was reported that Tom Kane had suffered a major stroke two months before, and doctors warned that he may never do voiceover work again, even after therapy. Minutes after receiving the news, Timothy Hill "drafted" Tristan MacAvery, Gendo's original voice actor from Neon Genesis Evangelion, to become the full-time voice for Gendo going forward.
The series makes use of music made both by the Johnson Philharmonic Orchestra, and for the Godzilla films (composed mainly by Akira Ifukube, with other pieces by Michiru Oshima, Riichiro Manabe, Masaru Sato, Reijiro Koroku, Takayuki Hattori, Kow Otani, David Arnold, Keith Emerson, and Alexandre Desplat). There is also music from other, non-Godzilla sources (including the theme for Magnificent Seven, as well as music composed by John Williams, Johnny Douglas, Barry Grey, Shunsuke Kukuchi, Kenji Yamamoto, Shiro Sagisu, Alan Menkin, Jerry Goldsmith, and Elmer Bernstein).
Opening and Closing music
- Godzilla's Theme/Final End Credits
- Anguirus' Theme
- Rodan's Theme
- Mothra's Song
- King Caesar Fanfare
- Varan's Theme
- MechaGodzilla 2's Theme
- MOGUERA's Theme
- Jet Jaguar's Theme
- Mecha-King Ghidorah's Theme
- Kiryu's Theme
- Evangelion Launch Sequence
- Evangelion Emergency Launch
- Spacegodzilla's Theme
- Battra's Theme
- Titanosaurus' Theme
- Zilla's Theme
- Megaguirus' Theme
- Kamacuras' Theme
- Kumonga's Theme
- Biollante's Theme
- Ebirah's Theme
- Various EDF Marches
- NERV March
- Cthulhu's Theme
- Atragon Theme
- Super X-III Theme
- Asuka vs The Cyborgs
- Godzilla II Destroys Sydney
- Poseidon Attacks!/Gamera's Theme
- Pennies from Heaven - Louis Prima
- Escorting the Convoy
- Transport Plane Crash Landing
- Nuclear Conclusion
- Prelude to Final Battle
- Alpha Squad Confronts Cthulhu
- The Death of Cthulhu
- The End (For Now)
- Everybody Loves Somebody (End Credits for Revenge of Cthulhu) - Dean Martin
- Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami
- Incidental Music Medley
- Battle of the Fortress
- The Death of Godzilla
- The Mourning/Contemplating Surrender/Godzilla V Ascends
- Turning the Tide
- Godzilla V vs Invador Military
- Hyper Breath
- Defeat of the Invadors
- Medal of Honor Ceremony
- End Credits
- The Stinger (Mari's Introduction)
- Opening Credits
- Ship Sinking
- Shinji's Horrifying Realization
- Who Will Know (Destruction of Kobe)
- The Morning After
- Godzilla I Emerges at Fukushima
- Destruction of Fukushima-Daiichi
- Godzilla I Restored
- Godzilla I's Unfinished Business
- The Evas Arrive
- Tokyo Burns
- Godzilla and the Kiryus
- Kiru's Arrival
- Escape from Tokyo
- No Resolution/NERV Admits Defeat
Roars and other Sound Effects
Earth Defense Force