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Kamacuras (カマキラス,   Kamakirasu?) is a giant praying mantis kaiju created by Toho that first appeared in the 1967 Godzilla film, Son of Godzilla.


Name

Kamacuras' name comes from kamakiri (蟷螂?), the Japanese word for "mantis."

In the original English dub of Son of Godzilla, the Kamacuras are called "Gimantis," which comes from combining "giant" and "mantis."

Roar

Kamacuras' roar is actually the screech of Ebirah, only sped up.


History

Showa Series

Son of Godzilla

Kamacuras Showa

Kamacuras in Son of Godzilla

When an American weather control experiment on the Solgell Island accidentally caused a radioactive storm in 1967, the island was doused in a radioactive rainstorm that caused at least three of the island’s already two-meter-long praying mantis' to mutate into 50-meter monsters.

After scaring the United Nations crew for a while, the Kamacuras uncovered and attacked Minilla's egg, breaking it open and then proceeding to try and devour the young monster. Godzilla, hearing the cries of Minilla, arrived on the island and quickly killed two of the Kamacuras with his atomic breath, but one managed to escape.

Later, Kumonga, the giant spider, killed the third Kamacuras in battle when he entangled it in his webbing and jabbed it with his poison stinger.

All Monsters Attack

All Monsters Attack - Kamacuras Number 3 presumably chases Ichiro

Kamacuras in All Monsters Attack

Kamacuras makes a brief appearance in Ichiro Miki's dreams in All Monsters Attack, as a small pack of them attack Godzilla, only to be killed quickly and easily by him.

Godzilla vs. Gigan

A Kamacuras later turned up on Monster Island, living in peace with the other monsters.

Godzilla Island

Kamacuras also made an appearance in the 12th story arc of Godzilla Island. In the story, Kamacuras arrives on the island under false pretenses, claiming to have escaped from an ever-growing monster army being assembled by the Xilien aliens.

However, Kamacuras is already a part of that army and has arrived to set a trap for Godzilla. Ultimately, Kamacuras fails and flees.

Millennium Series

Godzilla: Final Wars

Godzilla.jp - Impaled Kamacuras

Kamacuras in Godzilla: Final Wars

In the 2004 film, Godzilla: Final Wars, Kamacuras made an appearance as one of the many controlled monsters of a race of extraterrestrial beings known as the Xiliens. It attacks Paris and is soon confronted by the Eclair. The two clash, but soon, Kamacuras is teleported away by an unidentified flying object.

Eventually, it is discovered that the Xiliens were controlling the monsters, who are returned to finish their rampages. The city of Paris and the Eclair are destroyed by the combined forces of the Xilien ships and Kamacuras. Then, Godzilla is released from Antarctica and he soon eliminates Gigan in Antarctica, Zilla in Sydney and Kumonga in New Guinea. Godzilla soon reaches the shores of Kanto, Japan, where the Xiliens place Kamacuras to battle against him.

Ready to do battle from a nearby bridge, the structure is, however, destroyed by the tidal waves coming in front of Godzilla. Kamacuras flies off and disguises itself by matching the appearance of the hillside. Godzilla is unfazed by the trick, and fires his atomic breath at the hillside to smoke out Kamacuras. Kamacuras, left with no other choice, leaps forth, just in time to dodge Godzilla's ray, and readies itself to engage its opponent in close combat. However, Godzilla easily throws Kamacuras away, causing it to tumble backwards and fall onto an electrical transmission tower. The tower pierces through Kamacuras' exoskeleton and kills it.

Abilities

As a giant mantis, Kamacuras has all the natural abilities a normal praying mantis would have, such as flight and spiked claws. In the film Godzilla: Final Wars, Kamacuras is shown to have the power to alter its natural color, allowing Kamacuras to camouflage and blend in with its surroundings.

Video games

Godzilla: The Game

The original Kamacuras first appeared in the film "Son of Godzilla" (1967) and was a type of large Tenodera aridifolia praying mantis indigenous to Solgell Island. A group of the mantises turned into monsters due to a failed weather-control experiment. They are huge, carnivorous insects that possess the intelligence to act collectively when engaging in predatory activity or combat with an enemy.

The Kamacuras in "Godzilla: Final Wars" (2004) was controlled by the Xiliens and attacked Paris. It fought with the Earth Defense Force (EDF)'s aerial battleship Eclair and forced it down. When it engaged Godzilla on the coast of Manazuru, however, the overwhelming difference in strength between the two creatures made it easy for Godzilla to overpower it, throwing it to the ground and frying it with his atomic breath.

The original Kamacuras was operated with piano wire. Three models—small, medium, and large—were often used in scenes together in order to emphasize perspective.
„ 

— Kamacuras Kaiju Guide bio

Godzilla: Kaiju Collection

Comics

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

Before making an actual appearance in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Kamacuras was present on the massive cave mural on Infant Island, as part of the monsters of the sky. Kamacuras made its first appearance in the series in issue #23, appearing in a flashback where it is attacked by Mothra, who unintentionally causes the death of Minette and Mallory's mother.

After a brief skirmish, Kamacuras flies away and is chased by Mothra. Kamacuras at one point, was captured and copied by the Trilopods. It was held in the massive hive, along with many other monsters, but was freed by King Caesar. The mantis along with the other Earth monsters broke out of the hive into Los Angeles and joined the vastly outnumbered Godzilla in the battle against the Trilopods.

After being freed, Kamacuras strangely disappeared and was not seen taking part in the battle against the Trilopods and Magita, nor was it seen along with the other Earth monsters after the battle.

Godzilla: Cataclysm

Kamacuras finally appears in issue #1 of the miniseries Godzilla: Cataclysm. A group of scavengers are attacked by several Kamacuras while searching the ruin of Tokyo for useful items. The Kamacuras manage to kill several members of the party before Biollante shows up and kills some of the Kamacuras with her vines.


In other languages

  • Chinese: 卡马奇拉斯 (Kǎmǎqílāsī)

Trivia

  • The original Kamacuras puppets, the ShodaiKama, created by Teisho Arikawa for Son of Godzilla were marionettes operated by overhead wires (the same effects were also used for the monsters Kumonga with the ShodaiKumo and the infant Minilla puppet). The effects stand out as some of the best in the Showa series.
  • Kamacuras, Kumonga, Destoroyah and Manda were meant to be part of the Trendmasters Godzilla toy line, but the company went bankrupt beforehand. Prototypes of Kamacuras' toy exist.
  • A vaguely humanoid race of mantis creatures who heavily resemble the Kamacuras appear in the 1998 novel Godzilla at World's End, serving as guards and soldiers to the Ancient Ones and their mutated human agent Zoe Kemmering. Because of the similarities between these smaller insects and the much larger Kamacuras, these beings are referred to as 'Kamakites' by the book's protagonists.
  • Kamacuras is the second bug Kaiju to fight Godzilla.

List of appearances

Films

Television series

Video games

Comics

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Official Godzilla Compendium. Profiles of the Monsters; Page 130.
  2. Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Godzilla: Final Wars; Page 117.
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