The name "Godzilla" is a transliteration of Gojira (ゴジラ), a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ), meaning gorilla, and kujira (鯨 or クジラ), meaning whale. At one planning stage, the concept of "Gojira" was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale". The two words "whale" and "gorilla" fit Godzilla. Whale represents the aquatic and bulk of his life. The Gorilla represents the sheer strength and strategic thinking he does when fighting against other monsters. A popular story is that "Gojira" was actually the nickname of a hulking stagehand at Toho Studio. The story has not been verified, however, because in the more than 50 years since the film's original release, no one claiming to be the employee has ever stepped forward, and no photographs of him have ever surfaced.
Since Godzilla is neither a gorilla nor a whale, the name had to be devised in a different way for the film's story. Godzilla's name was originally spelled in kanji (呉爾羅) by the Odo Island people. However, Toho chose these characters for sound only; the combined characters mean "give you net". This has been referenced countless times in Japanese books on Godzilla.
Contrary to popular belief, the name "Godzilla" is not the idea of the American distributor. Before Toho sold the film to US distributors, Toho's international division had originally marketed an English-subtitled print under the title of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, which was shown briefly in Japanese-American theaters. Toho came up with "Godzilla" as an English transliteration of the name "Gojira". The Japanese-to-English translation method of the Americans in the 1950's also proved that Godzilla was the correct English translation of Gojira.
Godzilla's appearance has changed between films over the years, but many defining details have endured. In the Japanese films, Godzilla is depicted as a gigantic dinosaur with rough, bumpy, usually charcoal gray scales, a long powerful tail, and bone-colored scutes), shaped like maple leaves. His origins vary somewhat from film to film, but he is almost always described as a prehistoric creature, and his first attacks on Japan are linked to the beginning of the Atomic Age. In particular, mutation due to atomic radiation is presented as an explanation for his great size and strange powers. Godzilla's iconic design is composed of a mixture of various species of dinosaurs; specifically, he has the body and overall shape of an old model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the long arms of an Iguanodon, and the dorsal plates of a Stegosaurus.
Godzilla, in the original film, the Heisei era, some of the Millennium era, and Godzilla 2014, is an animal with semi-sapience that stumbles upon human civilization without any malicious intent, only destroying man-made structures when the humans provoke him, or, when dead-set on arriving at a certain location, any obstacles like buildings. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Godzilla is a malicious entity created from the restless souls of the dead from World War II. As the Godzilla series continued into the 60's and 70's, the terrifying monster developed as a character, and has since become a savior of the Earth, saving the world from other monsters like King Ghidorah, the Showa MechaGodzilla, Biollante, and Monster X, alone or alongside other monsters like Rodan, Anguirus, and Mothra.
Before being mutated by the nuclear fallout of atomic bomb tests performed on an island called Rongerik, which is close to Lagos Island, the island where Godzilla lived, Godzilla was a Godzillasaurus that had somehow survived the extinction of the dinosaurs in the late Cretaceous era. In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, the Futurians take the Godzillasaurus away from Lagos Island and place him frozen in the Bering Sea, where he's mutated into Godzilla once again by a nuclear submarine crash.
HistoryGojira (Godzilla) was a prehistoric monster that weighed 20,000 metric tons, was 50 meters tall, and terrorized the ships of Japan. It was disturbed by an American Hydrogen bomb testing in the Pacific Ocean. After being awakened, the monster attacked Tokyo, destroyed much of the city, and killed tens of thousands. In hopes of stopping Godzilla, a scientist by the name of Dr. Daisuke Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) activated an experimental weapon he had developed, named the Oxygen Destroyer. Although Dr. Serizawa committed suicide in the process (out of shame and guilt), the weapon was successful, completely disintegrating Godzilla. It was stated at the end of the film that it was doubtful that there was only one creature, alluding not only to the many incarnations of Godzilla that would later appear, but also to all the other monsters that would be featured in movies produced by Toho.
When the film Godzilla was first released in wide distribution in the U.S., its footage was reworked and supplemented with new footage featuring Raymond Burr as Steve Martin. It was renamed for general commercial release as Godzilla, King of the Monsters! in 1956. In 1957, the American version worked its way back to Japan, where the Godzilla name also took root. This American version was the only version represented on North American home video until the release of the Gojira DVD in September 2006, which contains both the unedited Japanese theatrical version and the reworked U.S. version.
The Americanized Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was honored with a plaque on its 50th anniversary at the former location of Visual Drama, where Raymond Burr's insert scenes were filmed by director Terry Morse. The location is now the Frank del Olmo Elementary School (named after the late Los Angeles Times columnist). The plaque is at the main entrance at 100 N. New Hampshire Ave., Los Angeles.Godzilla Raids Again. Setting the tone for future Showa series films, Godzilla's fate is uncertain at the end. His next film was 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla. The menacing ego of Godzilla's final film in the Showa series was 1964's Mothra vs. Godzilla (the original American release title was Godzilla vs. The Thing, but it was changed to the original Japanese title). Starting with Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla took on the protagonist persona he would wear for the remainder of the series. He would team up with Mothra, Rodan and Anguirus along with other monsters to battle a variety of foes both mundane, Ebirah, Kumonga and Kamacuras, and bizarre, Hedorah, Gigan and Megalon. He even gained a son in the form of Minilla. The series ended with Terror of MechaGodzilla in 1975. The final scene depicted Godzilla wading off into the sea, not to be seen until his return in the VS series ten years later. It is notable, however, that the earlier-released film Destroy All Monsters took place in 1999, twenty-four years after Terror of MechaGodzilla. The series could also be said to truly end with Destroy All Monsters's ending, which depicted all of Earth's monsters living out the rest of their days in peace on Monsterland. This "jump" of dates also explains how King Ghidorah appeared in movies such as Godzilla vs. Gigan, he was killed in the earlier film.
The Toho tokusatsu series, Zone Fighter, is notable in that it features Toho monsters from the films, such as Gigan, King Ghidorah and Godzilla himself. Produced during the 1970s, Toho has gone on record stating that the events depicted in the Zone Fighter television series are part of the Showa era, taking place between Godzilla vs. Megalon and Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla.
The VS series is in the era known as the Heisei Period wherein, when not only does Godzilla return after more than a decade's absence, but marks a transition between the reign of the Showa Emperor Hirohito to that of his son Akihito, now dubbed the Heisei Emperor.
1984-1989The Return of Godzilla, the famous monster is re-invented to be taller and more powerful, at 80 meters tall and 50,000 metric tons. Return of Godzilla ignores all previous films in the series aside from the original. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah explains that this second Godzilla is the product of a botched time traveling mission by a group of terrorists from the 23rd century known as Futurians. Under the guise of wanting to save Japan from Godzilla's devastation, the Futurians travel back to 1944 and transport an injured Godzillasaurus residing on Lagos Island to the Bering Sea, thus preventing its exposure to the A-bombs. The Godzillasaurus lies dormant in the Bering Sea until the late 1970s, where it is exposed to radiation after a nuclear submarine accidentally detonates in the dinosaurs vicinity. Hungry for nuclear energy, the new Godzilla attacks a Soviet nuclear submarine before turning towards Japan as its predecessor in 1954 did, attacking the nation's nuclear power plants. After his battle with the Super X, Professor Hayashida lures Godzilla to Mount Mihara, where he is dropped into the lava below. There he enters a state of dormancy.
During his slumber, Japan develops an underfunded agency, designed to track any and all of Godzilla's future sightings in Japan. Japanese corporations develop Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria (ANEB) in order to protect the country from nuclear accidents or attacks.
Reawakened by explosions detonated during a failed terrorist ransoming, Godzilla heads for Lake Ashino where he does battle with Biollante, the hybrid monster of Godzilla’s own DNA and the cells of a rose that bonded with the soul of a scientist's daughter. After their first battle, a new Super X2 confronts Godzilla and distracts the monster so soldiers can administer the ANEB through rocket-propelled grenades. Super X2 is badly damaged during the battle, unable to further engage Godzilla. In an attempt to activate the ANEB, Godzilla is lured to a site with experimental lightning generators intended to increase Godzilla's core temperature so the bacteria can function properly. At the site, a new form of Biollante arrives and besieges the weakening Godzilla. The ANEB takes effect and forces the battle to a draw. Biollante is mortally wounded and Godzilla falls into the ocean, where he is believed to die from the ANEB. However, the cold waters of the Pacific lower Godzilla’s body temperature, retarding the effects of the ANEB and allow Godzilla to live on. In his weakened state, Godzilla swims back to the area of his origin, the Bering Sea.
1991-1994Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, it is discovered that the time-travelers that had prevented Godzilla's creation had, during the Godzillasaur's transportation, left in its place their own creation, three tiny Dorats, to allow them to undergo Godzilla's nuclear transformation instead, mutating and combining them into a three-headed golden abomination, King Ghidorah. Unfortunately, they are unaware that the Godzilla they had planned to erase was later mutated by a nuclear submarine crash.
The Futurians trick several scientists into aiding them on a false time-traveling mission under the pretense of preventing Godzilla's transformation on Lagos Island. In efforts to stop the Futurians' monster that is instead created, an extremely wealthy corporate developer, who previously fought on the island as a Japanese soldier, plans to send a nuclear submarine into the Bering Sea in an attempt to create the second Godzilla. Instead of finding the Godzillasaurus, the submarine would come face to face with Godzilla himself, mutated by the sub crash. The new Godzilla absorbs the power of the nuclear sub, increasing his size further, becoming powerful enough to defeat King Ghidorah. Godzilla proceeds to attack Japan itself, but is stopped when Emmy, one of the Futurians who had turned on her fellows, resurrects Ghidorah as a cyborg in the future and returns to the past to battle Godzilla with the new Mecha-King Ghidorah. The two battle in Tokyo, with both falling into the sea, but Godzilla is still alive and reawakens using his atomic ray underwater at the movie's conclusion.
These films show mankind's efforts to defeat Godzilla while also being challenged by other monsters such as Mothra, Battra and Rodan. This series features a specialized organization of monster-combating soldiers and engineers called G-Force. Several of the ways G-Force plan to stop Godzilla include the construction of two mechas, MechaGodzilla (who would battle both Godzilla and Rodan) and Moguera. Like in the previous series, Godzilla eventually adopts a "son" that is discovered by scientists in Rodan's nest, this time simply called "Baby Godzilla", "Little Godzilla," and "Godzilla Junior," simply referred to as "Junior." It is never stated that Godzilla birthed (asexually) the monster itself, or even made clear whether Godzilla has any knowledge of the creature's existence before it is born. Both Rodan and Godzilla have a natural drive to want to be close to the monster, much to the tactical benefit of G-Force.
Burning GodzillaUltimately, this Godzilla meets his end in the finale of the versus series, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Everything comes full circle when Godzilla is faced with a monster, Destoroyah, created by the Oxygen Destroyer, which was used to kill the first Godzilla in 1954. Godzilla's end comes when his internal radiation becomes too intense for his body to control, and he finally succumbs to a total nuclear meltdown. This is not the end of Godzilla's legacy, however; the previously wounded Godzilla Junior (who is killed by Destoroyah earlier) absorbs all of the radiation from Godzilla's meltdown and fully matures into an adult Godzilla.
Godzilla Island". Godzilla Island, in general, gave back the character his role from 1964's Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster-1975's Terror of MechaGodzilla. However, unlike the Showa era, Godzilla is already good from the very start, and serves as the main monster protagonist of the show.
In 2097, Godzilla, and 9 of Earth's monsters, found themselves confined to an island in the Pacific Ocean dubbed Godzilla Island. When the Xiliens come down to earth with their horde of evil monsters, Godzilla is always there to fight and protect G-Guard Base, sometimes with other monsters like Rodan, Mothra, MechaGodzilla and Moguera. He usually fights Destoroyah and Megalon.
The Millennium series is unique because rather than creating a single continuity that all the films would follow, the series would instead comprise a number of distinct narratives and different timelines, each using only the original Godzilla film as a backdrop. It is called the "Shinsei" (新生, rebirth) series by some fans, however, the name is not recognized by Toho. In Japan, rather, many call it the "X" series, due to the Japanese titles containing "X" instead of "Vs" or "Versus". The majority of the films in the series featured a revamped Godzilla design. This new "Millennium Godzilla" had a wilder appearance, with more massive, jagged dorsal fins and a fiercer, more dinosaur-like face than the Godzilla featured in the Heisei or Showa series.Godzilla 2000: Millennium is not related to any other Godzilla films seen previously, or to those to come. Godzilla himself is 55 meters tall and weighs 25,000 tons. It is unclear whether this Godzilla is the same as the original, but what is known is that he has been attacking and feeding off Japan’s energy plants for some time. During Godzilla’s latest rampage an alien is found which attacks Godzilla, absorbs his DNA and copy the Organizer G-1 (Regenerator G-1 in U.S. movie) in order to adapt to Earth’s atmosphere and becomes the monster, Orga. The two monsters battle and Godzilla prevails by destroying his foe as it attempts to swallow him whole. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus attacked Tokyo in 1954, the Tokaimura Power Plant in 1966, and Osaka in 1996. In 2000, Godzilla would be the first to encounter the Meganula threat. However, shortly after this, Godzilla would be lured to Kiganjima Island where he would fall victim to a top secret weapon, the Dimension Tide. The attack would be interrupted by the Meganula allowing Godzilla to battle their queen, Megaguirus in battle. After Godzilla's victory he would fall victim once again to the Dimension Tide and be buried deep underneath the city. Shortly after the credits, however, the main character (a child) goes to the window and hears Godzilla's famed roar. Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is confirmed to be the original monster (because of the American's mistake of misconfirming Zilla as the true Godzilla). Godzilla is depicted as a demonic beast possessed by the souls of those who died in the Pacific in World War II. This film returns Godzilla to his roots of being a genuinely malevolent being who deliberately seeks to punish Japan for the sins of WWII. Godzilla would do battle with the Yamato no Kaiju Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah but would be nearly destroyed by the actions of General Tachibana, who piloted a submersible down Godzilla's throat and out through a wound in his neck. The next two times Godzilla attempted to use his atomic breath it shot out of his wound, and eventually tore him apart from the inside. At the bottom of Tokyo Bay, it is revealed that the heart of Godzilla is beating continuously. Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla, a second Godzilla goes on a rampage in Japan. After that incident, the Minister of Science decides to make a bio-mechanical robot from the bones of the Godzilla of 1954. After a few years, Kiryu (MechaGodzilla) is born. Kiryu is sent to fight off Godzilla, however Godzilla roars, causing the DNA of the original to cause Kiryu to start attacking the city himself, until he runs out of power. Kiryu is shutdown and readjusted. Kiryu is sent again to fight Godzilla. At the end of the battle, Kiryu carries Godzilla and both crash in Tokyo Bay. Kiryu shoots his final shot, the Absolute Zero, and freezes the water. But Godzilla survives the shot with less damage and Kiryu loses his arm and damages the Absolute Zero.
In the movie Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., the two Shobijin fairies warn that using Godzilla's bones as a weapon is a big mistake. The Prime Minister refuses to stop Operation: Kiryu. Godzilla then arrives in Tokyo and Mothra comes and saves Tokyo from destruction. The Prime Minister launches Kiryu in order to save the dieing Mothra. An egg in Infant Island eventually hatches and two larvae go to save their mother. Mothra is blown up by Godzilla's atomic ray and now what is left are the larvae and Kiryu. Kiryu eventually runs wild and brings Godzilla wrapped in silk to the ocean. They both sink together and Kiryu permanently shuts down and Godzilla is able to sleep in the depths. At the end, there is a storage room with the DNA of the original Godzilla still there, so another monster will rise (possibly Godzilla again, should he break free from Kiryu's grip).Godzilla: Final Wars is the last Godzilla film as of 2004; Toho has decided to retire the franchise for a period of 10-12 years to renew interest in the future, returning with a new American film in 2014 as Godzilla's 60th Anniversary. Godzilla takes on a similar but newer appearance in Godzilla: Final Wars. The difference can be seen while comparing his head to the suits from all the other films. Godzilla's in the Heisei series was smaller in appearance while Godzilla from the Millennium series has a noticeably longer build. Many people think this Godzilla is also possibly Godzilla Junior due to the fact of his image of him being trapped was shown simultaneously with Godzilla Junior's resurrection, although this is never explained and is probably not the case as the Heisei and Millennium eras share no continuity.
Decades before the main story starts, an older past Godzilla is buried in ice at the South Pole by the Earth Defense Force’s aerial battle ship Gotengo. When the Xiliens, an alien race, use many of Earth's own monsters in an attempt to conquer it, the EDF is forced to free Godzilla from the ice to fight for mankind. This Godzilla is lured towards the Xiliens' Mothership in Tokyo while he fights the Xiliens' monsters along the way, defeating/destroying each one in his path including Gigan, Zilla, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Rodan, King Caesar, Anguirus , Ebirah and Hedorah.
He at last arrives in Tokyo just in time for an asteroid to enter Earth's atmosphere. Godzilla attempts to stop it by blowing his atomic breath on it, causing it to explode and releasing the real threat, Monster X. Mothra comes to aid Godzilla while the Xiliens summon the revived and rebuilt Gigan. Mothra is quickly dispatched by Gigan, who then joins Monster X to double team Godzilla. Mothra recovers and attacks both Monster X and Gigan, turning the tide of battle. Gigan resumes his battle with Mothra, using it's laser vision beam, turning Mothra to what some people call "Fire Mothra," and both monsters are destroyed in a Kamikaze attack by the lepidopteran deity, while Monster X transformed into a new form, Keizer Ghidorah. He nearly would have killed Godzilla if it weren't for the superhuman Ozaki transferring his mutant powers into Godzilla, restoring his strength and empowering him enough to use his greatest weapon-his spiral ray to destroy Kaiser Ghidorah. Turning his attention back on his old enemies, Godzilla shot down the Gotengo and prepares to finish its crew off when Godzilla's infant son, Minilla, intervenes, pleading Godzilla to stop. Both tired from his past battles and moved by Minilla's courage to stand up to him, Godzilla returns to the ocean with his son. But not with out Minilla finally using his atomic ray on his own. Godzilla let out one final roar; the Earth was safe. He could finally have peace.multi-legged monster, the screen then shows Godzilla, looking more faithful to his origins, who roars, as the screen goes black.
In January 2014's issue of Total Film, it was mentioned that Godzilla was going to rise from the Pacific Ocean to rampage on cities.
Over the years Godzilla has possessed many powers and abilities to use against his foes. Godzilla is generally considered to be the most powerful kaiju, as is expressed by his title, King of the Monsters.
Atomic BreathGodzilla's signature weapon is his distinctive atomic breath. Godzilla's dorsal fins glow ominously, and then he lets loose with a concentrated blast of radiation from his mouth. This power is commonly mistaken for breathing literal fire.
Godzilla has been shown apparently being able to adjust the intensity of his ray, varying from a blast of superheated vapor, such as in the 1950s and 1960s, to a beam with explosive and kinetic properties, in the 1970s and onward. The ray is usually portrayed as being neon blue, though in Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, it is a reddish orange to signify an increased level of power.
In Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla's atomic breath was shown as having incendiary properties and was strong enough to destroy a miniature black hole, while in Godzilla: Final Wars, it possessed incredible range, amazing power and pin-point accuracy, able to hit a target in outer space and kill most kaiju with a single shot. In a memorable (and somewhat infamous) scene in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla even used his atomic breath to fly by aiming it at the ground and lifting off like a rocket.
A variation of the standard atomic ray in the Heisei series was the red "spiral ray" which he acquired as a result of absorbing the Rodan's life energy. This ray was so powerful that only a few blasts of it were sufficient to completely destroy MechaGodzilla and SpaceGodzilla, though Destoroyah was able to withstand several hits. In Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, a variant of his spiral ray was seen when King Ghidorah used his golden gravity beams on Godzilla. Godzilla was somehow able to draw strength from the gravity beams and used the absorbed energy to fire a blast of blue energy wrapped in a golden spiral that completely destroyed King Ghidorah. The spiral ray returned in Godzilla: Final Wars, where it was strong enough to push Keizer Ghidorah to the edge of space, destroying him in an explosion visible from the surface of the earth.
In the video game Godzilla: Save The Earth, Godzilla can also use a variation of his Atomic Breath called the Final Beam, a beam of energy that resembles his regular Atomic Breath except for the fact it is far more powerful and is purple in color. In Save The Earth he can also launch huge fireballs from his mouth as well.
Nuclear Pulse and Magnetic Powers
In addition to his very deadly atomic breath, Godzilla can also emit atomic energy in all directions from every inch of his body in a short-range pulse. The pulse was first seen in his fight against Biollante. Godzilla only used the nuclear pulse in the Heisei series, although many consider the climactic scene in Godzilla 2000 to be a use of Godzilla's nuclear pulse; and also, Godzilla uses something similar to a nuclear pulse to prevent Keizer Ghidorah from draining any more of his energy from him after being surged with Ozaki's energy.
In the 1974 movie, Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, Godzilla found a way to generate powerful magnetic fields from his body after being struck several times by lightning, which proved devastating against his metallic foe. This is the only time Godzilla ever used this power.
In the 1993 Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2, Godzilla demonstrated another ability that may have been a variant of his nuclear pulse. After being struck with MechaGodzilla's Shock Anchor harpoons, Godzilla discharged a form of energy up the cables, severely damaging the robot's internal mechanisms. However, this was not the only time Godzilla ever used this ability. In the succeeding film Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, the King of the Monsters discharged energy through his physical blows in his offensive against the sinister space mutant SpaceGodzilla.
DurabilityGodzilla has displayed an uncanny ability to sustain damage throughout his films.
Starting in the first Godzilla film, Godzilla displayed an immunity to conventional weaponry, virtually impervious to everything the JSDF threw at him. He has demonstrated the ability to survive complete submersion in magma for an extended period of time, sometimes while under extreme pressure from tectonic plates (as seen in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth). He has even survived being in ground zero of asteroid impacts. The only times his flesh has been visibly pierced were in battle with the Super X, Shōwa Gigan, Biollante, King Ghidorah, Destoroyah, and from MechaGodzilla's weapons in the Showa, Heisei and Millennium series.
In addition to being extremely resistant to damage, Godzilla possesses an extremely advanced and highly efficient regenerative ability. This power was a crucial plot point of Godzilla vs Biollante and Godzilla 2000: Millennium. In Godzilla 2000, it is explained that Godzilla's regenerative abilities may have something to do with his radioactive properties, and Regenerator G-1 ("Organizer G-1" in the Japanese version) is the name given to a substance in his cells that is responsible for Godzilla's swift healing. In Godzilla vs Biollante, Japanese scientists use samples of the Godzilla cells (called G-cells throughout the Heisei series of Godzilla films) to help create the ANEB. This healing factor would be inherited by all creatures spawned from Godzilla's DNA, those being Biollante, SpaceGodzilla and Orga.
Godzilla has displayed varied levels of physical strength. He has been depicted lifting and throwing monsters in excess of his own weight, (such as King Ghidorah, Hedorah, MechaGodzilla and others), and in Godzilla: Final Wars was even able to throw Kumonga clear over the horizon. He is shown using various martial arts techniques in a comical fashion during the Shōwa Series, or moving very quickly in spite of his size, such as in Zone Fighter. In the millennium series he has also been able to leap high into the air.
Godzilla's long tail is also a formidable weapon. It has been shown to be very flexible and powerful, able to lash out quickly and topple over buildings and enemy monsters. In Godzilla vs. Megalon, he was able to slide on his tail a great distance to deliver a devastating kick, and in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus it was revealed to be prehensile as well. In all his incarnations he has been shown to have powerful jaws and sharp teeth and claws, although these are more prominent in some incarnations than in others. Rarely, Godzilla also showed the ability to use his dorsal fins as a weapon, such as in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, when he uses their jagged tips to slice off Megaguirus' claw, and Godzilla vs. Hedorah, where he used them to cut into Hedorah during the flying scene. Also in Godzilla 2000 and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the fins create a tremendous amount of heat when the atomic ray is being prepared.
However, many of the films show Godzilla preferring to battle his opponents from a distance, particularly in the Heisei series; either by using his atomic breath, or by throwing objects like boulders at them.
AmphibiousnessThough not an amphibian, Godzilla has an amphibious lifestyle; he spends half of his life in water and the other on land to either wreak havoc or save the day. He is as adept a fighter underwater as he is on land. Capable of marching on the sea floor or swimming by undulating his tail like a crocodile, Godzilla is displayed as being able to breathe underwater (occasionally hibernating in the ocean depths between movies), and being submerged apparently does not impede his atomic ray, as seen in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. He engages opponents in the sea on multiple occasions, fighting King Ghidorah, Ebirah, Battra, Biollante and Mothra either beneath or on the surface of the waves.
The extent of Godzilla's intelligence varies throughout the character's history, but Godzilla is generally depicted as a thinking creature. The Showa incarnation in particular is depicted as being close in intelligence to a human, capable of abstract thought, and able to communicate with other monsters. Other versions of Godzilla display a simple animal cunning. Though the American-shot inserts from King Kong vs. Godzilla have little consistency with the timeline and rules of the Godzilla character in the Toho films, it may be worth mentioning that one of the American characters says that Godzilla has a brain about the size of a marble ("He's sheer brute force"); in comparison, the character states that Kong "Is a thinking animal." Again, this is largely inconsistent with Godzilla's character, although this is possibly done just to show Kong, being a primate would be be much more intelligent than Godzilla, who is a reptile.
In the Heisei series Godzilla reacts on animal cunning and instinct more consecutively than in his Showa counterpart, as demonstrated by his conditioned response in The Return of Godzilla. He was still capable of independent thought, however and according to Miki Saegusa of human-like sentiments as well. This was corroborated by his mourning the death of Godzilla Junior in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. In Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla 2 he seems to destroy Mechagodzilla out of rage at Rodan's death. It was insinuated in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah that he also remembers the distant past. The Heisei Godzilla was psychic on some level, possibly the most powerful in existence. His evasion of the JSDF in Godzilla vs. Biollante seemed to carry implications of precognition. Additionally, he had some manner of psychic link with Godzilla Junior and has several times demonstrated the ability to locate potential opponents from great distances.
Other examples of Godzilla's intelligence was displayed in Godzilla 2000 when he was facing Orga. When Orga kept regenerating himself in a fast pace, Godzilla decided to go after Orga's core and exploited that weakness thus defeating Orga.
Despite his incredible power, Godzilla has displayed a few weaknesses over the years. In King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla he is shown to be vulnerable to strong voltages of electricity. As the series progressed, lightning (i.e., electricity found in nature) has been shown to have the opposite effect, at times serving to revitalize him. In The Return of Godzilla Godzilla was shown to be vulnerable to cadmium, though Godzilla's immune system was able to overcome it. Later on, Godzilla is revealed to have a second brain in his spine with Super MechaGodzilla being able to kill him by destroying it. Nevertheless, he was revived by Fire Rodan and further films seem to ignore this Achilles heel. It was also suggested in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla that Godzilla has a soft spot under each armpit. However, the validity of this claim was highly dubious and this alleged weak point was never successfully exploited. Godzilla's sheer bulk has also been depicted as a disadvantage, making it difficult for him to keep up with the more agile Megaguirus, who was able to outmaneuver him as well as forcing Godzilla to have to rely heavily on his endurance. Also, while he has an endurance level beyond measure, his enemies usually counter by trying to crush and batter him.
To date, the only weapons ever shown to be close to effective against Godzilla were Dr. Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer and to a lesser degree, Dr. Shiragami's ANEB (Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria). In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah the Oxygen Destroyer created the monster Destoroyah. The ANEB was a chemical compound developed from Godzilla's cells and designed to consume radioactivity. The bacteria managed to lower the radioactivity within Godzilla's body to the point of causing him to hibernate in the sea for three years. Godzilla was then resurrected in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah when travelers from the future tampered with the timeline, creating a larger, more powerful Godzilla. There were apparently no further attempts to use the ANEB against Godzilla.
Due to Godzilla's size, super-strength and regenerative abilities, he is invulnerable to most forms of conventional attack. However, over the years, there have been some weapons that were able to hurt and damage Godzilla.
This list is for man-made weapons. Other monsters and forces of nature don't count.
A popular series of giant monster films starring Godzilla, a Japanese creation usually portrayed by a man in a latex rubber suit. Starting in 1954, the Godzilla series has become one of the longest running film series in movie history.
The first film, Godzilla, was first released in the United States in 1955 in Japanese-American communities only. In 1956, it was adapted by an American company into Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, edited and with added principal scenes featuring Raymond Burr, and this version became an international success.
When a Japanese fishing boat is attacked by a flash of light near Odo Island, two rescue boats are sent, but they too are destroyed. Few survive. On Odo Island, a village elder blames their poor fishing on Godzilla and recalls that in earlier times native girls were sacrificed to appease the giant sea monster. Survivors from the boats wash ashore. Word gets out and a helicopter arrives on the island with curious, but skeptical, reporters. Frightened natives perform a ceremony to keep the monster away, but it doesn't work. That night, while the natives sleep, a storm arrives and Godzilla comes with it. Death and destruction ensue.
The next day witnesses arrive in Tokyo. Dr. Kyohei Yamane suggests that investigators be sent to the island. On arrival, Yamane finds giant radioactive footprints. When an alarm sounds, the villagers run to the hills, only to find Godzilla is more than they can fight. After a quick skirmish, the villagers run for safety and Godzilla heads to the ocean.
Dr. Yamane returns to Tokyo to present his findings. He concludes that Godzilla was created by a nuclear explosion. Some want to conceal that fact, fearing international repercussions. Others say the truth must be revealed. They prevail and Godzilla's origins are announced to the public.
Ships are sent with depth charges to kill the monster. When they fail, Godzilla appears again, causing nationwide panic. Officials appeal to Dr. Yamane for some way to kill the monster, but Yamane wants him kept alive and studied.
Emiko, Yamane's daughter, decides to break off her engagement to Yamane's colleague, Dr. Daisuke Serizawa, because of her love for Hideto Ogata, a salvage ship captain. Before she can do that, Serizawa tells her about his accidental discovery, the Oxygen Destroyer, which can kill all life in the sea. He gives a small demonstration, using a fish tank in the lab. She is sworn to secrecy and never gets a chance to break off the engagement.
That night Godzilla climbs from Tokyo Bay and attacks the city. Though the attack is over quickly, there is much death and destruction.
The next morning the Army constructs a line of 40-meter electrical towers along the coast of Tokyo that will send 50,000 volts of electricity through Godzilla, should he appear again. Civilians are evacuated from the city and put into bomb shelters.
That night Godzilla does indeed attack again. He easily breaks through the electric fence, melting the wires with his atomic breath. A bombardment of shells from Army tanks has no effect. Godzilla continues his rampage until much of the city is destroyed and thousands of civilians are dead or wounded. A squadron of jets fire rockets, as Godzilla descends unscathed into Tokyo Bay.
The next morning, Tokyo is in ruins. Hospitals overflow with victims, including some with radiation poisoning. Emiko witnesses the devastation and tells Ogata about Serizawa's secret Oxygen Destroyer. She hopes together they can persuade Serizawa to use it to stop Godzilla. When Serizawa refuses, Ogata and Serizawa fight and Ogata receives a minor head wound. As Emiko treats Ogata's wound, Serizawa apologizes, but he refuses to use the weapon on Godzilla. Then a newscast shows the devastation Godzilla has caused. Choirs of children are shown singing a hymn. Serizawa decides he will use the weapon only one time and then its secret must be destroyed for the good of humanity. He then burns all his papers and research. Emiko breaks down and cries when she sees this, as she understands that Serizawa is sacrificing his life's work to stop Godzilla.
Television and Printed Media
In Japan, Godzilla was a frequent guest star on the tokusatsu series Zone Fighter. In it, Godzilla occasionally fought alongside the protagonist against other monsters, including Gigan and King Ghidorah, two monsters who had previously appeared in Godzilla films, including the 1972 film Godzilla vs. Gigan, in which Gigan made his debut and, like in Zone Fighter, was teamed with King Ghidorah.
Godzilla made his American series debut in the 1978 Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning show Godzilla. In this series, Godzilla had a nephew, Godzooky. In addition to his trademark atomic breath, which simply changed to fire in the cartoon, he was given the power to shoot laser beams out of his eyes. Godzilla could be summoned by his human friends, sea-explorers on the ship USS Calico, with a signaling device or by the cry of Godzooky. Instead of his trademark roar, Godzilla's voice was done by actor Ted Cassidy. The series ran until 1981.
A second series, based on the 1998 film, aired on Fox Kids. The series featured a baby Zilla which had grown to full size. Zilla Junior traveled around the world with a team called HEAT, including scientist Nick Tatopoulos, battling monsters. Zilla had the abilities and physical forms of his parent, but the creators of the show gave him more powers and an attitude more resembling the real Godzilla, including the roar. Godzilla has been featured in comic books, most often in American productions (from Marvel Comics in the late-1970s, and from Dark Horse Comics in the 1980s and 1990s). Godzilla manga comics are also available.
The Marvel series told original stories and attempted to fit into the official Toho continuity, while avoiding direct references to it. It integrated Godzilla into the Marvel Universe. It was published from 1977 to 1979, fitting between the Showa Period movies and the Heisei Era. This series described the adventures and confrontations of Godzilla in the United States.
Between 1996 and 1998 Random House published four books by Marc Cerasini featuring Godzilla and other monsters of the Toho movies: Godzilla Returns, Godzilla 2000 (unrelated to the film of the same name), Godzilla at World's End, and Godzilla vs. The Robot Monsters. The release of a fifth book, Godzilla and the Lost Continent was planned but was canceled when Random House's license for Godzilla expired.
On September 23, 2004 Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters by William M. Tsutsui was released by Palgrave Macmillan. The book was released to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Godzilla and looks into some of the ways Godzilla has become a simple part of everyday life for fans.
In 2009, author James Morrow released his novel Shambling Towards Hiroshima, a fictional retelling of the cinematic origins of a giant fire-breathing lizard (named Gorgantis) created by the U.S. Army during WWII to terrify the Japanese into surrendering.
Godzilla has been featured in the occasional comic book. Perhaps surprisingly, most of those seem to be of American production (from Marvel Comics in the mid-1970s and from Dark Horse Comics in the 1980s and 1990s). Japanese Godzilla comics do exist, however. The Marvel series told original stories and attempted to both fit into the official Toho continuity and avoid referencing it too directly. It also integrated Godzilla into the Marvel Universe, making use of many of its main regular characters such as the Avengers. It was published from 1977 to 1979, neatly fitting between the Showa era movies and the "VS Series" of the Heisei era. This series described the adventures and confrontations of Godzilla while he wandered in various regions of the United States, from Alaska to New York City.
The general situations of the series were fairly similar to those of the Showa Period movies, but other than Godzilla himself all characters were new creations, albeit in sometimes strangely familiar roles - for instance, Red Ronin somewhat resembles MechaGodzilla in its story role. Likewise, the JSDF are absent but S.H.I.E.L.D. pretty much fills its role in the story, complete with a Behemoth IV Helicarrier to substitute for Super X.
TrademarksUndoubtedly, Godzilla has had many trademarks in his name over the years. The Marvel Godzilla is the Godzilla used in the current copyright icon for Godzilla, which has been in use since 1977 for the most part (Some media released as late as 1993, such as the Godzilla vs. 3 Major Monsters and Kaiju-Oh Godzilla video games, have the older copyright icon). The old copyright icon is represented by the Showa Godzilla, which suit represents it is unknown as many suits were similar to the silhouette in the icon. There is no trademark for "Japanese Godzilla". Here is a list of trademarks:
Misconceptions and Stereotypes
Godzilla is one of the defining aspects and most recognizeable features of Japanese pop culture for many people worldwide, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. Though his popularity has waned slightly over the years, he is still one of the most renowned monster characters in the world. To this day, Godzilla remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. Godzilla has been called a filmographic metaphor for the United States, starting out as a terrifying enemy and later a strong ally and defender in times of need. The earliest Godzilla films, especially the original Gojira, attempted to portray Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears of many Japanese of a repeat of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the series progressed, so did Godzilla himself, changing into a less destructive and more heroic character as the films became increasingly geared towards children. Today, the character has fallen somewhere in the middle, sometimes portrayed as a protector of the Earth (notably Tokyo) from external threats and other times as a bringer of destruction.
He has been considered a filmographic metaphor for the United States, as well as an allegory of nuclear weapons in general. The earlier Godzilla films, especially the original, portrayed Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears that many Japanese held about the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the possibility of recurrence.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has named its newly acquired, fast interceptor vessel Gojira in deference to the Godzilla character and as an ironic comment on the Japanese whalers' activities. Its purpose is to target and harass Japanese whalers in defense of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. However, its name was later changed due to copyright issues with the Godzilla franchise.
There have been many video games based on Godzilla over the years. These include:
Godzilla: Monster of Monsters BioOne of two monsters the player can control. Unlike Mothra, Godzilla excels at combat versus other Kaiju. Godzilla's fault lies in his mobility: in the Japanese version Godzilla's movement is affected by terrain and he could move either 1 or 2 spaces, while his movement is simply 2 spaces in the US version; which compared to Mothra's 2 (Japanese version) or 4 (US version) spaces seems lacking. Godzilla also presents a bigger target, making stage navigation harder, and has less overall power and life compared to Mothra. To compensate for this, Godzilla deals much more damage than Mothra and has double the number of offensive moves.
Godzilla Unleashed BioHeight: 100 meters
Weight: 55,000 tons
"Godzilla is the most powerful of Earth's Defenders. Godzilla lives beneath the ocean's waves, slumbering until he is called upon to face some fearsome threat. Although he has often defended the Earth from aliens, mutants, and other external threats, Godzilla has never included "humans" in the list of things he deliberately protects. To the contrary, it is often human folly that arouses Godzilla's ire. Because of this fact, the Global Defense Force considers Godzilla to be an extremely dangerous potential adversary. Godzilla uses his atomic fire to destroy most threats from a distance, but has proved to be a fearsome hand-to-hand combatant, especially when he can bring his powerful tail into play. Godzilla's most mysterious ability may be his uncanny sixth sense, which always gives him time to travel to exactly where he needs to be."
Godzilla: Unleashed Bio for Godzilla 90's"Born of a failed attempt by aliens from the future to destroy Godzilla in the past, Godzilla '90s is a larger, stronger version of his original form. This "reborn" version of the original mutated Godzillasaurus ravaged an unprepared human populace with a renewed thirst for destruction. Godzilla '90s' reemergence as a monster superpower reminded all those standing in his way that the "King of the monsters" had returned."
Godzilla: Unleashed Bio for Godzilla '54"The original king of the monsters, this towering behemoth was the first post-war radioactive monster unleashed upon the world. Godzilla '54's atomic-powered body was so powerful that each footprint he left was a crater seeping with lethal radiation. The infamous day that Godzilla rose from the sea to conquer Tokyo will be remembered as the beginning of the humanity's epic struggle against the reign of giant monsters."
In Godzilla Unleashed all three Godzillas are playable each with a few differences but all are mainly alike. Of course Godzilla is easy to control and with many fierce attacks he is able to easily floor multiple monsters. Although his combat ability he still retains the deadly atomic breath ray which is easy to use and effective so the king of monsters will not lose his crown so easily.
The Godzilla character, suit or appearance has been alluded to in many Tokusatsu series.
Godzilla's roar is a famous sound effect. Over the years, it has changed considerably, sounding different almost every time and having many variations for the different emotions.
The sound effects team originally tried to create Godzilla's roar by using animal roars that had been edited. They sampled all kinds of birds and mammals, but nothing seemed to be the right match for the reptile-like noises a monster like Godzilla would make. Akira Ifukube, who was the film's composer, proposed stepping away from using animal samples. He took a string off of his contrabass and rubbed it with gloves soaked in pine tar. The sound that came from it was used as Godzilla's roar.
Godzilla's roar can be written in readable characters and has been done so in comics, and not only by a simple "Roar". In the Marvel Comics, Godzilla's roar was spelled "Mrawww". In the Dark Horse Comics and Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Godzilla's roar was spelled "Skreeongk". In most of the IDW Comics, Godzilla's roar is spelled "Skreeonk".
In Other Languages
Godzilla's name remains the same across many Latin alphabet using languages. Due to his popularity, he has more name translations than most other Kaiju. Alternate spellings:
This is a list of references for Godzilla. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
Information and Fan Sites
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