Our episode-by-episode guide to the ’70s Godzilla cartoon continues with The Energy Beast, a monster so fierce it spends most of the show either recoiling in fear or pretending to be a stronger monster. And you won’t believe how it’s finally dispatched…
Our riveting tale begins somewhere in some desert some place on Earth. A meteor crashes near two scientists who are working at a hydroelectric plant. Somehow this blinding explosion does not incinerate or otherwise damage the station.
The duo rushes untold miles (in the dark, in the desert) toward the explosion and finds a mysterious pair of footprints and two bizarre trees. Uninterested in this BAFFLING SCIENTIFIC EVENT, they decide to head back.
Once they’re gone, one of the trees transforms into… a giant centipede. Oh. Okay, it’s going to be that kind of episode. Fine. But right about now you might be wondering, hey wait a second, the main characters of the show always travel in a giant boat, how are they going to get to the des-
ah, I see, there’s a huge river large enough to accommodate their yacht. That doesn’t seem impossible, but can someone with nautical knowledge verify a helipad-and-science-lab-toting yacht can fit in something like this?
It doesn’t matter anymore, because that giant space bug is walking on the dam and puttin’ huge cracks in it! To make matters worse, it’s sucking all the energy out of the aforementioned hydroelectric machinery. Time to call Godzilla!
‘Zilla sprouts from the river / ocean / does it even matter how deep anything is in this show and begins one of his many canned reactions. You may remember this “put up your dukes” taunt from literally every other episode.
The ‘pede quickly wraps itself around Godzilla, who throughout this episode will look more and more like Barney Gumble. Huge gut, googly eyes, undefined chest… he’s not what I picture when I think of “Indstructible Atomic Lizard.” He also starts walking on the dam, which makes him no better than the stupid centipede! Get a hold of yourself, man!
However, the energy beast is genuinely terrified of Godzilla’s…ugh, “fire” breath and in a desperate move hurls an electric charge at ‘Ziller’s chest. This actually knocks the wind out of him, and gives the monster time to escape.
Godzilla then slowly, begrudgingly climbs back down the fish ladder (yes that’s a thing), but before he can leave and lick his wounds… he has to Superman-heat-vision the dam back together!
With his manual labor completed, Godzilla is finally able to skulk back under the bottomless river. It’s actually impressive how they make a towering monster look like a sleep deprived chain smoker.
With both creatures missing, the Calico crew convenes with the two scientists in an attempt to explain the energy-sucking baddie. They return to the meteor impact crater and walk back to the weird pair of trees…
Holy smokes, one of the trees is missing! So… the energy monster is also a tree? Or can mimic nearby things? He’s a chameleon centipede? Ah excuse me, a chameleon centipede… from space?
MEANWHILE it looks like that energy blast might’ve knocked a screw loose in Godzilla’ irradiated brain. He’s back to his old tricks destroying power plants, feeding off energy and apparently auditioning for the next Double Dragon. Like, for real, he looks like he’s ready to mug someone.
The ENTIRE TEAM then boards their custom helicopter, hoping to talk some sense into Godzilla. Yes, literally talk to him with megaphones and pleas for some kind of sanity.
They are actually saying shit like “Godzilla, we’re your friends! Don’t you remember your faaaamily?” Of course there’s no talking sense into him now, he’s gone nuts!
But hey, why not let the kid try too. Nothing wrong with putting a minor directly into harm’s way after the adults already tried the same exact thing – and doing it with a smile! But hey, worth a shot!
It doesn’t work, and Godzilla continues to menace abandoned parking lots. Lift with your knees, man. That kind of crouching can’t be good for your back.
WHOA hold up here – two Godzillas? Wait a sec… energy barrier… can mimic other things… yowza, that Godzilla is actually the energy beast!
What’s with the oh-what-a-world dive?? Godzilla’s really acting into the nosebleeds with that performance, but despite the drama he is of course perfectly fine and stands right back up. You gotta learn the act of selling, Godzilla!
Ha-HA! Strangling the faker causes it to reveal its true form, only now it’s spent too much of its energy and is shrinking by the second. At this reduced size, the creature is able to scurry away and head towards its… space ship??
With the monster exhausted and on the run, there’s only one thing left for Godzilla to do…
Hurl that bastard into outer space! The End!