The film, set in World War II, depicts the story of the real-life Japanese battleship, the Yamato, which is confronted in the Pacific Ocean by giant monsters, including the most fearsome of them all, Reigo.
In September 1942, Captain Yamagami (Susumu Kurobe) is ordered to rendezvous the Yamato with the Combined Fleet that is gathering at the Truk Islands (aka Chuuk Islands) in Micronesia, a key strategic point in the South Pacific. With beautiful clear blue skies above and surrounded by coral reefs below, this South Seas paradise became a strong base for the Combined Fleet and the front lines of the naval war; a place where many fierce battles were fought. Decades later, the sea bed surrounding the Truk Islands is still littered with the remains of more than 60 warships and airplanes.
Among Yamagami’s crew are the cantankerous Divisional Officer Noboru Osako (Yukijiro Hotaru) and the young Ensign Takeshi Kaido (Taiyo Sugiura). Unsure of what the future may bring, Kaido went off to war without declaring his intentions for his childhood sweetheart, Chie Kojima (Mai Nanami). He always carries her photo in his coat pocket, while Chie longs for his return to their seaside hometown.
When the Yamato arrives at Truk, the married Osako decides to ease his worries over leaving behind a pregnant wife by sneaking an island woman named Momoka (Yumika Hayashi) aboard ship for some private recreation.
Not long after that first encounter, a school of luminous Bonefish launch themselves from the water like flying fish and attack a group of soldiers standing watch on the Yamato’s deck. Kaido hears their screams and rushes to the rescue, but finds the men already torn to pieces.
Just as the old man predicted, the Bonefish herald the arrival of Reigo, a beast 80 meters-long and resembling a cross between Godzilla and a shark. Seething with rage at the murder of its cub, the monster attacks the Combined Fleet with incredible ferocity and awesome destructive power. The naval forces are caught off guard, and Reigo is able to destroy escort ships and damage the Yamato before returning to the ocean depths.
Thoughts of family and lovers back home… fear at being confronted by an unknown enemy…conflict and confrontation explode among the officers and crew over the best battle strategy to use against the threat of Reigo.
Over Osako’s loud objections, Kaido suggests a last-ditch plan of attack that will either stop Reigo or sink the Yamato. Now the stage is set for a final battle to unfold between the world’s largest battleship and the mysterious dragon-like monster that glides through the seas at will.
Which one will prevail… Reigo or the battleship Yamato?
- Taiyou Sugiura
- Susumu Kurobe
- Yukijirō Hotaru as Hajime edo
- Miyu Oriyama as Matsuri edo
- Mao Urata as Hibari edo
- Isamu Ago
- Mickey Curtis
- Mai Nanami as Chie Kojima
In 2009 director Hayashiya made a follow up entitled The Deep-Sea Monster Raiga (深海獣雷牙 Shinkai-jū raiba). The film features a more traditional Godzilla like kaiju called Raiga. The creature rises from the sea to do battle with another of his kind.