Daimajin (大魔神? Daimashin) is a mighty stone warrior that appeared in a Daiei film of the same name. It brought dark justice upon cruel, merciless, oppressive empires that have spilled innocent blood of their people.
Daimajin is a huge stone statue that comes to life. He has a frightening angry expression on his face, green skin, red eyeballs with yellow irises and wears Samurai armor.
A kind warrior named Shino fought Daimajin some years ago and won. He trapped the spirit of Daimajin inside a stone statue. When evil servants of the king tried to crack the statue by hammering an iron bolt into its' forehead, it started to bleed. They stirred the wrath of Daimajin and the mountainside crumbled. The ground shook and cracked and the evil men fell into hell. Daimajin then attacks the city. He kills the king and crushes the fortress. Then the demon attacks the farmers and the princess saves them from him because her teardrops fell on his foot. Daimajin left her and went back to his stone altar. The next time, he was a statue on an island. This time, the evil men, actually explode the statue, but Daimajin returns and destroys them. The last time, he lives in a mountain. When the evil warlord starts to capture people from all over the country, Daimajin returns and punishes him.
The movie opens with a household of peasants cowering during a series of earth tremors that are interpreted as the escape attempts of Daimajin, a spirit trapped within said geological formation. The entire village gathers at their shrine to pray Majin will remain imprisoned. This torchlit parade is observed by the local feudal boss, Lord Hanabasa, a good and just type. It is also observed by his chamberlain, Samanosuke (Yutaro Gomi), who is an evil and unjust type. Samanosuke has been waiting for just such a diversion to stage a coup d'état.
As the villagers pray, Samanosuke and his henchmen attack and slaughter Hanabasa and his wife, but their son and daughter escape, aided by the heroic samurai Kogenta (Jun Fujimaki). Meanwhile, back at the shrine, Samanosuke's men break up the prayer meeting, forbidding all such gatherings in the future. The priestess issues a dire warning against forbidding the prayers, but the men ignore her.
Discouraged, the priestess, Shinobu, goes home, only to find herself the last hope of Kogenta and the two children. She takes them up the side of the mountain, into forbidden territory, where the stone idol which is Daimajin stands, half-buried into the side of the mountain. Near this idol is an ancient temple - the only safe place for the children, as only Shinobu knows of its existence.
Ten years pass, and the children grow to adulthood. The son, Tadafumi (Yoshihiko Aoyama) reaches his 18th birthday, and high time to reclaim his throne, to his thinking. In fact, the last ten years have been pretty hard on the villagers: Samanosuke is the ideal poster boy for tyranny, and he is currently using every man in the starving village as slave labor to build his fortress. The place is ripe for revolution, and surviving Hanabasa retainers are starting to filter in on the tenth anniversary of the coup.
Kogenta journeys to the village to try to gather the old retainers, but gets himself captured. A boy gets word to Tadafumi and his sister, Kozasa (Miwa Takada) that their friend is a prisoner. Tadafumi, being a brave young samurai, tries to rescue him, only to discover it's all a trap laid by Samanosuke. With both the men under arrest and awaiting execution, Shinobu tries to talk some sense into the tyrant, who is drinking way too much and becomes incensed at all this talk of the god of the mountain; he murders the priestess and orders the idol demolished, to all the more thoroughly demoralize the villagers.
The crew that travels up the mountain to smash Daimajin accidentally discovers Kozasa, and forces her to take them to the idol. When repeated beatings with sledgehammers do no good, the soldiers break out an enormous chisel and proceed to hammer it into Majin's head; they are soon forced to stop when blood begins dripping from around the chisel. Horrified, the men flee, but to no avail - the ground cracks open and swallows them.
Seeing the god suddenly get so proactive, Kozasa falls to her knees before it, begging Daimajin to save her brother and punish the wicked Samanosuke. Meanwhile, at the fortress, Tadafumi and Kogenta are tied to large crosses, awaiting their fates. Kozasa, sensing no reaction from the idol, offers her life to Daimajin and attempts to throw herself over the nearby waterfall, stopped only by the Boy. This is apparently good enough, as the rock and earth covering the lower half of the idol fall away, and the fifty-foot statue walks out into the clearing. Kozasa prostrates herself before it, and the idol gestures before its face: the stone mask disappears, revealing the true face of the Daimajin, a vengeful spirit resembling that of a grotesque shogun.
The Daimajin makes its way to Samonosuke's stronghold, which it proceeds to destroy. The idol now turns its wrath upon the villagers. Only Kozasa, once more offering her life and letting her teardrops fall on his stone feet, stops Daimajin's rampage. The Daimajin spirit leaves the statue, flying away in a ball of fire. Without the spirit to animate the statue, it collapses into a heap of rubble.
Return of Daimajin
In The Return of Daimajin, the second film in the trilogy, the Daimajin idol has taken up residence on an island in the middle of a lake. The lake is surrounded by two peaceful villages, Chigusa and Nagoshi.
Near these two villages, but not bordering the lake, is another village. Ruled by an evil lord, the citizens flee to Chigusa as often as they can, and make their way there, where the lords are only too happy to take in the refugees. One day the evil lord decides to take over the two villages, and he sees a window of opportunity in a festival that is held every year.
The heroes end up on the run as the villains chase them. People keep ending up back on the island with the statue. Eventually, the evil lord has his men shatter the statue with a large amount of gunpowder. Majin's shattered remains end up at the bottom of the lake. True to the samurai formula is the amount of melodrama in Return of Daimajin. Occasionally something paranormal happens, but such occurrences are met rather indifferently. In the final fifteen minutes of the film, Majin finally comes to life and, like his predecessor, inflicts serious damage upon the evil lord and the surrounding landscape.
Wrath of Daimajin
In the third and final film, the same statue from the first two movies is on top of a mountain rather than on the side. The fathers of some of the local children have been captured by an evil warlord and forced to work in their labor camps. When the four sons decide to go out and save their fathers, they have to cross the Majin Mountain, where the stone god lays sleeping, a notoriously dangerous area full of treacherous terrain, evil samurai, and the angry Daimajin. The four boys are smart enough to pay their respects to the statue when they pass it so that they don't incur the monsters wrath.
Eventually, the warlord's men anger the statue, who once again comes to life and destroys all those who haven't been paying respect to him. The children and their fathers are spared while the work camp is destroyed.
This film is different, politically, from the first two in that Majin is awakened by the pleas of a poor, rural boy rather than by someone of rank, and fights to rescue and avenge common people. None of the heroes in this film are of noble rank, unlike the first two, in which the main protagonists were members of deposed noble families. That Majin is on the side of the common man in this film is made clear when he kills castle retainers who, though unaffiliated with the villains, are indifferent to the commoners' peril.
Daimajin's stone body cannot be hurt by any kind of human weapon. He can put fear into his enemy by filling their head with visions of ghosts and demons. Daimajin can turn into a fireball and cover a huge amount of ground very quickly. He can walk across the bottom of a lake and create earthquakes. After he has accomplished his task, and witnesses a kind act, Daimajin can revert back into his spirit form by crossing his forearms over his face when in statue form.
Although he never engaged in combat with any other kaiju, Daimajin is almost invincible. He attacks mercilessly and punishes the evildoer with a violent and horrible death. He cannot be stopped unless there is a kind act. Then he will leave. Daimajin, when attacking buildings, tends to simply walk through them, but if enemies are in the buildings, he actively destroys them by punching or kicking. Daimajin also appears to be able to calculate and take advantage of any situation he is placed into. For example, a group of soldiers attempted to slow him down by using grappling hooks on his arms, and Daimajin simply continued forward, tearing the building that the soldiers were in down by the ropes' strength.