Several scientits are kidnapped, & the only clue the police have at
first leads to the sea, provided by photographers Susume (Tadao Takashima)
& Yoshito (Yu Fujiki). Soon, someone is arrested too, & he calls
himself Agent 23 (Akihiko Hirata) & claims he is from the fabled
Undersea Kingdom Mu, which submerged 12.000 years ago but is still
inhabited even today - & in which noone in his right mind believes in,
or do they.
Then journalist Itto Uno (Kenji Sahara) turns up though, pays World War
II admiral Kozumi (Ken Uehara) a visit & suggests to him that
everything has to do with World War II submarine commander captain
Jinguchi (Jun Tazaki who was allegedly killed in battle but actually
builds a super submarine, Atragon,for the glory of the japanese Empire ...
but only God knows where.
... well, God & Jinguchi's communications officer Amano (Toshifumi
Tajima), who was sent to Japan to fetch the admiral.
Soon, a typical motley crew, consisting of Kosumi, Itto Uno,
photographers Susume & Yoshito (why did they come along ?), &
Jinguchi's daughter, pretty Makoto (Yoko Fujiyama) set out to pay Jinguchi
a visit, & to ask him for help.
Captain Jinguchi welcomes them all, gives them a demonstration of his
amazing battleship Atragon that cannot only swim over & under water
but also fly & drill its way through solid rock, however he refuses to
help the world against the threat of the Muvians. For him, the
defeat of japan in World War II is unacceptable, so he has sworn himself
an oath only to use Atragon for the glory of the Japanese empire, &
neither reason nor his daughter can convince him otherwise.
... but then there's journalist Itto Uno, who looks just too sinister
to not be an agent of Mu ... & of course he is an agent of Mu, &
before long he has blown up Jinguchi's headquarters & taken his
daughter Makoto & Susume (with whom she has fallen in love) prisoner.
Why would he do that though ?
He actually wants to lure Jinguchi & his Atragon to Mu, because the
Muvian High Priest (Eisei Amamoto) & Queen (Tetsuko Kobayashi)
desperately want to lay their hands on Atragon to conquer the upper world
(& what could come in more handy to conquer the upper world than a
To some extent, the plan works too, because before long Jinguchi really
mans the Atragon to head for Mu ... but the Muvians haven't taken into
account 2 things.
1) Susume & Makoto are far from being model prisoners, &
together with captured scientist Shindo (Hisaya Ito) & a handful
explosives soon find a way to not only break out of their prison &
escape the Empire of Mu, but they also manage to take Mu's Queen hostage.
and 2) It's not really a good thing to be attacked by something with a
power drill attached to it if you are an underwater kingdom ...
So soon, Mu is flooded, & what isn't flooded blows up, & even
Manda, the giant sea serpent/god guarding Mu, proves little defense
against Atragon, which uses its deep freeze ray against the animal.
& Jinguchi suddenly knows he has done the right thing, while the
Queen of Mu, seeing her kingdom being destroyed from Atragon, jumps ship
to be with her people ...
A film that has
- a flying submarine with a drill attached,
- an underwater kingdom with a queen wearing a funky red wig,
- some loving destruction courtesy of Eiji Tsurubaya,
- a giant seaserpent trying to strangle a submarine, and
- a character called Agent 23
just can't be all bad.
Unfortunately Atragon isn't all that good either, it simply
takes ages to set up the characters & the situation while using the
submarine & the seaserpent almost exclusively in the finale. However,
if you love classic pulp fiction, this one should at least bring a smile
to your face.
By the way, in 1995, an anime, Shin Kaitei Gunkan/Super
Atragon, was based on this film.