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The ShodaiJira (初代ジラ?) is the Godzilla/Zilla design used in the 1998 film, GODZILLA.


The ShodaiJira's name comes from shodai (初代?), meaning first generation, and Jira, which comes from Zilla's Japanese name, Jira (ジラ?).


Originally intended to be a more realistic depiction of Godzilla, the ShodaiJira is a very drastic redesign, to the point of looking almost nothing like his Japanese counterpart. The CGI model's appearance and stance seem to be based off of Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The color of the design's skin is a very dark blue on the top of his body, to the point of looking black during some scenes, a silvery light-blue color on the sides of the body, and tan on the underside, as if to blend in with urban environment.

The ShodaiJira design has a notably big underbite with a huge chin, and teeth which stick out of the mouth, much like crocodiles'. In contrast to Godzilla's maple leaf shaped dorsal plates, the ShodaiJira has curved, spike-like scutes,[1] curving towards the front, described as looking somewhat like reversed shark fins.

The design has powerful, long legs and arms, which enable for very swift movement; something it was specifically designed to have.[2]

Use in Other Media

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  • This Godzilla redesign was made based only on Roland Emmerich's instructions that the monster had to be quick and agile.
  • Although Toho had little to do with the making of this design, they still knew what it looked like and nevertheless approved it.[2] Toho's chairman at the time, Isao Matsuoka, even said he felt it kept the essence of Godzilla, though many of Toho's executives and employees would later express their displeasure with the design.[3]
  • The animatronic Godzilla was designed by veteran Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr, who also created the giant animatronic King Kong for the Universal Studios Hollywood tour.[4]


This is a list of references for ShodaiJira. 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: [1]

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