One of the most underrated entries in the entire Godzilla catalog is the 1998 animated series, which makes up in spades for the dubious movie from which it spun off. While 1998’s Godzilla film is rather acrimonious about the source material, with Godzilla: The Series, you get the feeling that everyone involved was truly a fan, and nowhere is that literal fan-service on display more than in the 13th episode, “Competition”. After all, it’s the episode where the HEAT team visits Japan.
In a typical superhero crossover story, something is abducting hikers around Mt. Fuji, and when our heroes go to investigate, they assume the first monster they run into (a giant yeti creature) is responsible, and vice versa. You see, Godzilla burns off the hair on the enormous ape, and much like in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, there’s a robot underneath! The machine, under control of Dr. Yukiko Ifukube (get it?), has also been on a monster hunt, and had come to the conclusion that Godzilla was the culprit. After a ceasefire and a little discussion, the true villain is revealed as an enormous cobra (who, thanks to Fox airing episodes out of order, had already appeared in “Monster War”), and the snake and ape tussle, because that’s what snakes and apes do (in King Kong movies, anyway).
The series having its own heroic version of Mechanikong really broadens the scope of what’s possible in the show, and paves the way for some of the other robotic monsters in episodes to follow (this was right before Cyber Godzilla). While the end of the episode hints that the destroyed Robo Yeti is being rebuilt to continue defending Japan, the show ended before that idea was revisited, sadly. It’s a great design, and I’ll forever mourn for the canceled Trendmasters toy line. We almost got this:
Anyway, if you haven’t checked out Godzilla the Series, you owe it to yourself to do so. It’s available quite cheap.