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Due to Godzilla being one of the biggest franchises and pop-culture icons in Japan and the world, it's not uncommon for people to believe in and/or create and perpetrate misconceptions and stereotypes about Godzilla. Here is a list of Godzilla-related misconceptions and stereotypes.


Characters

Godzilla

Godzilla's coloration

GxM

The MireGoji suit is the only green Godzilla in the films

Godzilla is usually either charcoal gray or black. Godzilla being green is a stereotype that started as early as the American poster for the 1956 Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. Godzilla was never green in Japan until the MireGoji and GiraGoji designs on 1999's Godzilla 2000: Millennium and 2000's Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. Godzilla was green in The Godzilla Power Hour, Marvel's Godzilla, King of the Monsters and Dark Horse's Godzilla, King of the Monsters comics. However, all of these were American media.

Still, Godzilla has been represented green in media in Japan and even made by Toho, mostly in video games and promotional stills. Some examples include Gojira-Kun, Godzilla vs. 3 Giant Monsters, and Recommend! Godzilland.

Godzilla Junior, the juvenile Godzillasaurus featured in the films Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is depicted as green in the final two films of the trilogy. However, in Godzilla Island, Godzilla Junior is shown to be soil-brown-colored.

Godzilla is a lizard

This one usually depends which Godzilla you're speaking of. Calling Godzilla a lizard is only correct if you're referring to the monster from the 1998 American Godzilla film directed by Roland Emmerich, which is in fact a lizard. A mutated marine iguana to be exact.

Godzilla breathes fire

Atomic Breath

Godzilla fires his Atomic Breath

If you're not familiar with Godzilla, you'd think that he has a generic fire breath that for some reason is blue. However, in the movies, Godzilla's "fire breath" is actually a much more powerful Atomic Breath which he gained because of the atomic bomb that mutated him (or that he had naturally in Legendary Pictures' Godzilla). Godzilla's atomic breath, sometimes called a heat ray or heat beam, is much more powerful than fire and is typically blue in color, and is usually regarded as stronger when red or orange.

Some versions of Godzilla such as the Marvel Godzilla and the Hanna-Barbera Godzilla however, do have a normal fire breath.

Godzilla is indestructible

Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla - Godzilla's Bones

Godzilla's bones

This is not true. Godzilla has weaknesses and is not indestructible — he is only immune to conventional human weaponry (a trait the 1998 version glaringly lacked, to the chagrin of fans, as it was easily killed by missiles). The two most obvious examples of Godzilla's mortality are the Oxygen Destroyer and Meltdown. The Oxygen Destroyer reduced Godzilla to nothing (or to bones in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla), and Meltdown completely killed Godzilla and could have been catastrophic to the whole planet had it not been for G-Force freezing him as he melted down and Godzilla Junior absorbing the excess radiation. However, there have been more weaknesses Godzilla has had.

  • The Absolute Zero Cannon used by Kiryu in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla managed to leave a cavity in Godzilla's chest and force him to retreat. Over a year later, the wound had still not completely healed, and proved to be a weak point.
  • Dr. Shiragami's Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria managed to lower the radioactivity within Godzilla's body to the point of forcing him to hibernate in the sea for two years. It was only through feeding on a nuclear submarine that Godzilla was able to finally overcome the ANEB.
  • In King Kong vs. Godzilla, Godzilla was weak to strong voltages of electricity, but this weakness eventually faded away, actually becoming a strength for Godzilla in later films.
  • In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla was completely paralyzed from the waist down when Super Mechagodzilla destroyed his second brain. Mechagodzilla would have likely killed Godzilla if Rodan had not intervened.
  • The Full Metal Missile Launchers managed to blast off chunks of Godzilla's skin and visibly cause him pain, although he regenerated the damage almost instantaneously.
  • Curiously, although much of the destruction caused by Godzilla becomes surrounded by fire, in Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla seems to have a very slight aversion to fire, as seen when he cowers behind Jet Jaguar and waits for him to lift him away from the flames.
  • Several of Godzilla's enemies have proved capable of hurting and overpowering him as well, requiring outside help for him to overcome them. Examples include King Ghidorah, Gigan, SpaceGodzilla, and Monster X/Keizer Ghidorah.
  • In Legendary's Godzilla, the MUTO have special adaptations to deal with Godzilla (their natural enemy), most specifically their EMP which temporarily disables his atomic breath and hooked claws to snag his gills (one of his weaker points).
  • Shin Godzilla is weak to temperature extremes, such as freezing or overheating. As such, the monster is force-fed an anticoagulant that causes its body to overheat, forcing it to enter a 'frozen' suspended animation.

The origins of Godzilla's name

It is confirmed that Godzilla's Japanese name, Gojira, is derived from the Japanese words for gorilla, gorira (ゴリラ?) and whale, kujira (クジラ?). There is no evidence for the existence of a person with that nickname working for Toho Company Ltd., or that Godzilla was named after him.

Godzilla is female

A common source of this confusion is the 1998 American Godzilla film, where the titular monster laid eggs asexually. However, it too is officially classified as male despite this ability (though technically it is most likely asexual or hermaphroditic).

However, in various non-film media, such as the Godzilla Gameboy game, Godzilland, the story for the unmade film A Space Godzilla, and other media, female members of Godzilla's species have been present, examples being Bijira and Gojirin.

Godzilla is evil

This is not necessarily true. Although Godzilla has been the main antagonist in several films, the only time Godzilla has been truly evil is in GMK. With regards to other films, Godzilla's been presented as an entirely neutral force of nature, who, while destructive, isn't malicious. In certain films, including ones in the latter half of the Showa era, and the 2014 Legendary film, Godzilla's presented as a heroic monster.

The 1962 Godzilla isn't the same as the 1955 Godzilla

KingGoji 0

The Godzilla in King Kong vs. Godzilla is the same monster which attacked Osaka in 1955

Even though the design is different, the Godzilla from Godzilla Raids Again and from King Kong vs. Godzilla are the same creature.

This is a minor misconception which stems from Universal's American dub of King Kong vs. Godzilla, which states that Godzilla appeared from the iceberg, having slept in it since the Jurassic Period. In reality, this Godzilla is the same Godzilla which fought Anguirus in 1955.

This misconception is based on American dub's complete retcon of the events of the previous two films.

Godzilla dies during the events of GMK

GMK - Godzilla's Still Beating Heart

Godzilla's still-beating heart at the end of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Godzilla does not actually die at the end of the film Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. In this film, Godzilla is said from the start to be an undead beast that is possessed by the restless souls of the people killed by the Japanese military during World War II, and is implied to have completely regenerated from the Oxygen Destroyer over the course of 50 years.

At the end of the film, the submarine Satsuma expands a wound in Godzilla's neck, causing his atomic breath to fire through the wound when he uses it. Godzilla attempts to fire his atomic breath one more time, but the power causes him to explode, causing the J.S.D.F. to believe Godzilla is finally destroyed. However, the film's final scene shows Godzilla's disembodied heart still beating continuously on the sea floor, implying that he will regenerate once again and return one day.

"God Godzilla" is an official Godzilla manga kaiju

GOD GODZILLA

"God Godzilla" in the Ultraseven doujinshi "Worst Case Invasion of Earth"

This misconception is derived from the presence of "God Godzilla," or "Almighty Deity Godzilla," a special version of Godzilla who briefly appears in an Ultraseven doujinshi (fan-made manga) created by two experienced Japanese artists. God Godzilla is not considered official due to its status as a fan-made monster.

Zilla

Godzilla 1998/Zilla name controversy

Monster Icons - Zilla

Toho's official Zilla™ copyright icon, used for all incarnations of the TriStar Godzilla from 2004 onward

The monster from the 1998 film specifically is still Godzilla®, and the current (2004-present) versions of the monster are Zilla™.[1]

Due to fan outrage, Toho trademarked the design of the 1998 creature as "Zilla," claiming it "took the 'God' out of 'Godzilla.'" Because of this legal action, all future incarnations of the 1998 monster will be known as Zilla, but the 1998 version still retains the name and copyright of Godzilla in all media related to and featuring it before 2004. 

The Godzilla trademark that TriStar had registered has been defunct since about 2001, after the end of the animated series and the subsequent re-absorption of the trademark by Toho. The reason the two creatures are named differently is merely a case of Toho being unable to rebrand a product they do not legally own full rights to. The 1998 design is now under the Zilla trademark (as the two bear too much resemblance to require two separate trademarks), as are its characteristics and abilities (as demonstrated by Zilla's portrayal in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth), however all media relating specifically to the 1998 creature can/will still call it Godzilla.

Both "Godzilla 1998" and "Zilla" can be used to describe the same character in different pieces of fiction, but in legal terms the current term for the character is Zilla (due to the Godzilla trademarks associated with the 1998 creature having long since expired, and Zilla having been its seeming replacement since 2004). This is supported by the fact that Toho's original agreement with Sony in 1992 to produce an American Godzilla film allowed Toho to use the American version of Godzilla in their own films and licensed media after Sony's rights to the character expired.[2]

The 1998 Godzilla has atomic/fire breath

Zilla 1998 - Zilla Breathes Fire - I Will See if You Even Dare To Steal This, Swe

Zilla blows on two cars with his flammable power breath

There is a scene in the 1998 American Godzilla film that shows the titular monster blowing at a few cars and creating a wall of flame. Many people have misinterpreted this as the monster breathing fire or even an atomic heat ray. This is actually just the creature unleashing something that is known as a "Power Breath", a flammable blast of air that whenever hits something that easily catches on fire, can cause an explosion. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin revealed that they never intended for their Godzilla to have any type of atomic breath whatsoever, but the power breath was put in the film to please the fans that wanted an atomic heat ray.

But then again, this was an attempt at making Godzilla "realistic".

However, 1998 film's monster's son, from Godzilla: The Series, does have a green atomic breath. His parent also was resurrected in the animated series as Cyber-Godzilla, and had a blue one, like the Japanese Godzilla does. Originally, though, the 1998 monster's son was not going to possess an atomic heat ray in the 1998 film's sequel, Godzilla 2.

Toho bought the rights to Zilla from TriStar Pictures

This is a relatively minor misconception relating to Zilla's appearance in Godzilla: Final Wars. Many people believe that Toho purchased the rights to TriStar Pictures's American version of Godzilla in order to include it in Godzilla: Final Wars as Zilla. In actuality, Toho did not pay for the rights to TriStar's Godzilla, they were merely exercising an option in their original contract with Sony signed back in 1992, which allowed them to use the American version of Godzilla in their own films and licensed media after Sony's rights to the character had expired. When Ryuhei Kitamura and Shogo Tomiyama discovered that they would be able to use TriStar's Godzilla in Godzilla: Final Wars, they decided to trademark it as "Zilla" and feature it in the film.[1]

The 1998 Godzilla's son was officially dubbed "Godzilla Junior" by Toho

There's a popular rumor saying that Toho honored the monster from Godzilla: The Series by calling calling him "Godzilla Junior," seeing that it was worthy of the Godzilla name. However, it turned out that this rumor was just a misconception created by fans of Godzilla: The Series, and Toho added no comment to the matter.

King Ghidorah

King Ghidorah and Keizer Ghidorah are the same character

Keizer Ghidorah is not an incarnation of King Ghidorah, and is instead another monster in the Ghidorah species. This is supported by King Ghidorah and Keizer Ghidorah having two different copyright icons and trademarks each.

Grand King Ghidorah

Grande Kingu Gidora

King Ghidorah in Rebirth of Mothra III

It is unknown exactly where the name "Grand King Ghidorah" originated, however it is not an official name, and is never used to refer to the monster in the film.

The monster from the film is actually just an incarnation of King Ghidorah, as evidenced by the film's Japanese title, Mothra 3: King Ghidorah Attacks!, and the use of King Ghidorah's copyright icon in DVD releases of the film.

Mothra

The Mothra from Rebirth of Mothra is the same Mothra from Godzilla vs. Mothra

Mothra96

Mothra in Rebirth of Mothra

As previously mentioned in relation to King Ghidorah in Rebirth of Mothra III, the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy and Godzilla Heisei series do not share continuity and the versions of Mothra in both films are not the same, evidenced by their different statistics and origins.

Mothra Leo is female

ImagoMothraLeo

Mothra Leo, Mothra's son, in Rebirth of Mothra

Mothra's son from the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, Mothra Leo, is sometimes labeled as female. This is due to Omni Productions' English dubs of the films, which refer to Leo as female in the first and third entries of the trilogy. Leo is intended to be a male character, evidenced by his name, his deeper and more masculine roar and his physical features, especially his larger and fan-shaped antennae, which are made to resemble male moths. Official artwork showing ancient members of Mothra's species during the Cretaceous period supports this, as the Mothras all either resemble Mothra herself (the females) or Mothra Leo (the males).[3]

Godzilla Junior

Godzilla Junior is the first Millennium Godzilla

GvD11

Godzilla Junior at the end of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

This is impossible, as Godzilla Junior was a character present within the Heisei continuity, whereas the Millennium Godzilla was in the aptly named, but largely unrelated Millennium series.

In addition, Godzilla.jp confirms that the Godzilla in Godzilla 2000 is the second Godzilla in that film's continuity after the original Godzilla that attacked in 1954, while Godzilla Junior was the third Godzilla in the Heisei continuity.

King Kong

King Kong is as big as Godzilla

While the version of King Kong in King Kong vs. Godzilla is 45 meters tall - a bit under the Showa Godzilla's height - every single other incarnation of Kong has him at 20 meters at most. Godzilla's maximum size in film so far is 118.5 meters (in Shin Godzilla), and his minimum so far is 50 meters. Legendary's Kong: Skull Island however boosts his stature to an impressive 100-plus-feet, as well as making him an upright biped. He is stated to be an adolescent in the film, implying he may still grow even bigger.

Gamera

Gamera appeared in a Godzilla film

German Gamera vs. Barugon Bootleg VHS

The case of a German bootleg VHS of Gamera vs. Barugon with the title "Gamera vs. Godzilla", featuring altered concept artwork of the TriStar Godzilla on the front, and pictures of Godzilla 1991 on the back

Godzilla vs. Gamera

A page from TV Magazine's June 1979 "Godzilla vs. Gamera" feature

Some people believe that the monster Gamera, one of the most popular Japanese kaiju, once encountered Godzilla in a film. In short, Gamera and Godzilla have never officially met in a film, due to their intellectual properties always having been owned by rival companies. However, both monsters have had figures released in the same toy lines and are both featured in some official artwork and encyclopedic books together. The two even clashed in a live stage show in 1970.

Kadokawa, Gamera's current owners, reportedly did approach Toho with a proposal for a Godzilla vs. Gamera film in the 2000's, but Toho declined.

Gamera is owned by Toho

Some people have assumed that Gamera was acquired by Toho after his original creators, Daiei Motion Picture Company, went bankrupt. In the 2000s, all of Daiei's remaining assets were acquired by the Kadokawa Corporation, who retains ownership of Gamera and all of his films to this day.

Gamera's toy rights are held by Bandai, who also owns the toy rights to Godzilla, and several toy lines have included both Godzilla and Gamera figures. Despite this, Toho themselves do not hold any ownership over Gamera, and the distribution rights to the Heisei trilogy along with all other Gamera films are now held by the Kadokawa Corporation.

Film

Godzilla vs. The Devil

Godzilla vs. The Devil, also known as Godzilla vs. Satan, was supposedly an unmade Godzilla film proposed by Tomoyuki Tanaka in 1978 as an attempt to revive him after the poor box office performance of 1975's Terror of Mechagodzilla that never got past the planning stages. It supposedly was known that Godzilla would have been pitted against several demon monsters and finally would have squared off against Satan himself in a climactic final battle.

Page 3

A page explaining the 'Devil' was meant to be Bagan

"Godzilla vs. The Devil" was a misconception which got well-known due to Toho Kingdom hosting it for several years.[4] Anthony Romero of Toho Kingdom apologized for hosting this content in the "Toho Busters" article, saying "Toho Kingdom itself is guilty of this as well, as the concept was listed on the site for years. Regardless, the project was not something that Toho had officially considered."

The whole idea came from a misreading of an early script for a Godzilla film in the 80s before The Return of Godzilla. Bagan was originally meant to be in the film, and the codename for the script was 'Godzilla vs the Devil' [4]

Godzilla is victorious in the Japanese version of King Kong vs. Godzilla

This is a widely published misconception that plagued American fans of Godzilla who did not have access to the Japanese versions of Godzilla films before the internet was around to disprove this. According to this misconception, there were two endings for the 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla, one that played in the United States where King Kong surfaces from the water at the end of the film and another that played in Japan where Godzilla is the one who surfaces.

This is not the case; King Kong is the monster that triumphs at the end of both versions, the only difference being that in the Japanese version the characters speculate that Godzilla may still be alive, while in the American version they merely state they hope they have seen the last of Godzilla.

Jet Jaguar is King Kong in a robot suit (Godzilla vs. Megalon's German dub)

The German release of the film only marketed Jet Jaguar under the name "King Kong" for marquee value and never mentioned that Jet Jaguar was King Kong in a robot suit.

Heisei timeline

GvKG - Newspaper Article About Nuclear Sub Crash

A newspaper article detailing the nuclear submarine crash that created the Heisei Godzilla

A common misconception comes from the film Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, in which time travelers from the future travel back to 1944 and remove a Godzillasaurus from Lagos Island and place it in the Bering Sea, believing it will prevent Godzilla's creation by the H-bomb test at Bikini Atoll and remove him from history. Because the script is somewhat vague about what really happened, many fans believe that the Futurians' actions erased the events of Godzilla (1954), The Return of Godzilla, and Godzilla vs. Biollante from the timeline, and a new Godzilla was created instead and appeared in the remaining films in the Heisei series.

This is however, not the case, as this film and the ones after it point out. The Futurians' actions did not affect the creation of the first Godzilla that attacked Tokyo in 1954, because this Godzilla was a separate individual from the Godzillasaurus on Lagos Island, and was still killed by the Oxygen Destroyer. The Godzillasaurus in the Bering Sea was exposed to radiation from a nuclear submarine crash and transformed into a new Godzilla, which attacked Japan in 1984, meaning the events of The Return of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Biollante still happened normally, and the Futurians' actions actually created the Heisei Godzilla in the first place, therefore incurring a predestination paradox  and ensuring that the timeline did not actually change in any large way. This is demonstrated by the fact that the human characters still remember the events of the previous films, and the events of said films are referenced in later entries, which also explicitly point out that the 1954 and Heisei Godzillas were separate individuals.[5] Logically, this explanation also makes sense when applied to current knowledge of temporal events - Had the events of 1984 and 1989 been made non-existent, any human beings who were directly involved in those events would have ceased to exist.

Gamera: The Brave is part of the Millennium series

This is not true, as the Millennium series only applies to the Godzilla series, and Gamera: The Brave is still considered part of the Heisei series despite not sharing continuity with Shusuke Kaneko's Gamera trilogy.

This is evidenced by the inclusion of Gamera: The Brave in a book entitled Heisei Gamera Perfection.[6] In Japan, fans often refer to it as the "Shinsei version" (新生版,   Shinsei-ban?) to distinguish it from the trilogy.

Shin Godzilla was created due to negative reception of the 2014 film

When Toho announced production of a new Japanese Godzilla film for 2016 after the release of Legendary Pictures' Godzilla, many people thought that it was a sort of negative retaliation for Legendary's take on the franchise.

Some also saw it as an attempt by Toho to outdo Legendary and bring back the "real Godzilla", similar to Toho's production of Godzilla 2000: Millennium in the wake of the backlash to the 1998 Godzilla. This thinking was only strengthened by the announcement that the new Godzilla would stand taller than Legendary's version and the film's official Japanese title, Shin Gojira, which literally translated means True Godzilla.

However, Toho made it clear from the start that it approved of Legendary's film and decided to produce Shin Godzilla to actually celebrate the new interest the film had generated in the franchise. Toho demonstrated its support for Legendary's Godzilla when it sold the rights to Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah to Legendary and approved the production of sequels to the film, including a crossover with King Kong.

The film's co-director and special effects director, Shinji Higuchi, later called the 2014 Godzilla a "masterpiece" in an interview.[7] The film's title was chosen because chief director and screenwriter Hideaki Anno saw it as a revival to the franchise and felt that the title could represent various different meanings.

Television series

Toho's first superhero television program

Although a seemingly minor topic, an unbelievably widespread misconception is that Warrior of Love Rainbowman was Toho's first superhero television series. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the case, due to the actual first superhero show Go! Godman airing a day earlier during Nippon Television's Good Morning! Kid's Show segment.

This error is also sometimes extended even farther, with some saying Rainbowman was Toho's very first television show period. However, this too is easily disproved when it is taken in to account that Toho's drama He of the Sun aired its first episode 5 years earlier, and that Toho had collaborated with Tsuburaya Productions on several episodes of Ultra Q and Ultraman, loaning them the materials, staff and suits for several monsters and episodes.

Miscellaneous

Kaiju suit construction

Many people around the world may think the Godzilla suits are only made out of rubber, but this is not entirely true; While latex and rubber-based derivatives are frequently used in the construction of Kaiju suits, numerous other materials are also used.

Most suits are made from a method called "foam fabrication." They start as patterns and plans of the creature based on the suit actor and the design. Then, the patterns are converted into sheets of upholstery foam that were are cut, glued and sculpted into the creature's shape.

After the foam structure is done, the outside is covered with contact adhesive (a flexible glue used in the industry and used to glue the foam) and then the skin texture in pushed-in with wooden tools. Finally, the suit is sealed with a few coats of liquid latex (natural rubber derived from the latex tree) and a good coat of paint.

In the Showa era, the heads were made from baking clay. In conclusion, rubber is used in the construction of most kaiju suits, but it is only one component in a complex process in which several other materials are used as well.

References