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JULY 29, AUGUST 13 & 25

With all the futuristic Japanimated features assaulting America’s shores these days, there’s hardly any turf left for a good old-fashioned special-effects monster. Such flicks are still being made, though. Despite its title, this 1996 movie is actually the 10th featuring Gamera, a giant flying turtle who debuted in 1965. Though his fire-breathing tendencies suggest he’s a threat to humans, Gamera actually fights for truth, justice, and the Japanese Way (and is empathetically linked to children). In this episode, the superturtle takes on the Legion, a horde of human-size, insectlike, glass-eating extraterrestrials who arrive via meteor shower on the northern island of Hokkaido. The first battle in Sapporo goes to the invaders, so Gamera must arrange for a rematch in—where else?—Tokyo. At 6:30 p.m. at the Japan Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St. NW. FREE. For reservations call (202) 939-6901. (Mark Jenkins)