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Godzilla, as portrayed during his latest film from the Millennium series. (Godzilla: Final Wars, 2004)

From Tokyo Bay comes the most horrifying monster of all time-Gojira (Godzilla, ゴジラ)!

Godzilla (ゴジラ Gojira?) is a fictional monster featured in Japanese films and has become one of the world's most recognized movie characters of all time. He was first seen in the 1954 film Gojira, produced by Toho Film Company Ltd. To date, Toho has produced 28 Godzilla films. In 1998, TriStar Pictures produced a remake, set in New York City.

Godzilla is a gigantic mutant dinosaur, born in the heart of a nuclear blast. His sheer size, power and destructive might evoke the fury of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the Godzilla series continued, the great beast was developed as a character, and has become something of an anti-hero.

Godzilla is one of the defining aspects of Japanese popular culture for many people worldwide. Though his popularity has waned slightly over the years, he is still one of the most renowned monsters in the world. To this day, Godzilla remains an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju or "giant monster" subset of the tokusatsu genre.

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 grey scales, a powerful tail, and bone colored dorsal fins 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—fury unleashed from man splitting the atom—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 a Tyrannosaurus, the long arms of an Iguanodon, and the dorsal fins of a Stegosaurus.

Godzilla remains an enduring fictional character beloved by fans worldwide, and is among the few fictional characters granted a Lifetime Achievement Award when he was awarded one by MTV in 1996, becoming the second fictional character (and the first to be completely non-human in nature) to receive it.

"Godzilla, King of the Monsters" was honored on its 50th anniversary by having a plaque placed at the site of the former studio where Raymond Burr filmed his scenes, now an elementary school in March 2006. The plaque was sponsored by the Godzilla Society of North America, Platrix Chapter No. 2, E Clampus Vitus and the Los Angeles Unified School District. The location is at Belmont Elementary School, 100 N. New Hampshire, Los Angeles, CA.


[edit] Original concept

As Godzilla was developed as a character over the years, the tone in the Godzilla series has since shifted from its original concept. The first Godzilla film was meant as an allegorical criticism of the use of nuclear warfare at the end of World War II. Ishiro Honda's witnessing of the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the primary inspiration for the anti-nuclear message behind the original Godzilla film. [1]

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A statue of Godzilla, located near the Toho Pictures Building in Ginza, Japan.

The original film was not widely seen in the US in its Japanese form until 2004, when Rialto Pictures distributed it to art theaters in an uncut, undubbed, uncensored, English-subtitled presentation. Before this, the only domestically licensed version of the film available to Americans was the edited 1956 adaptation, Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. In this version, most of the key anti-nuclear messages had been softened or removed. The original Japanese film referred to a 1954 incident concerning the Japanese fisherboat "Fukuryu Maru" (Lucky Dragon):

"…in March 1954, the United States exploded a fifteen-megaton H-bomb that unexpectedly sent substantial fallout across a seven-thousand-square-mile area. Twenty-eight military personnel and 239 Marshall Islanders at a presumably 'safe' distance were exposed to high radiation. The United States attempted to downplay the incident until it was discovered that a Japanese tuna boat, the Fukuryû Maru or 'Lucky Dragon,' had also been hit by fallout. The entire crew developed radiation sickness, and one member soon died."<ref>Noriega, Chon quoted in Singleton, Greg. "AMERICAN CINEMATIC IMPERIALISM: APPROPRIATING THE RHETORIC OF GODZILLA" at gojistomp.org</ref>

[edit] Name

The name "Godzilla" is said to be a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ) 'gorilla' and kujira (鯨, くじら) 'whale'. The word alludes to the size, power and aquatic origin of Godzilla. A popular story is that "Gojira", or "Gorilla-Whale," was actually the nickname of a hulking stagehand at Toho Studio.<ref>[2] Gojira Media. Retrieved 2006-09-23</ref> 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 Gojira was neither a gorilla nor a whale, the name "Gojira" had to be devised in a different way for the film's story; Gojira's name was originally spelled in kanji (呉爾羅) by the Oto Island people—however, Toho chose these characters for sound only; The combined characters, oddly enough, mean "give you net". This has been referenced countless times in Japanese books on Godzilla.[citation needed]

There are arguments as to exactly how the creatures name is pronounced. Purists tend to say that the Japanese Kana (ゴジラ), pronounced "Go-Jee-Rah" (with each syllable evenly stressed), is correct while others state that the Americanized name "God-ZIL-la" is closer to the original pronunciation. The reality is a combination of both. The first Kana symbol (ゴ) is pronounced "Go". Modern Japanese pronounces the second Kana (ジ) "JEE", but back in the 1950's when Godzilla was created—and Japanese-to-English transliteration was less sophisticated—it is likely that the Kana was misinterpreted as being pronounced "DZEE", a "ZEE" sound with a touch of a "D" at the beginning. The third Kana (ラ) is pronounced "rah", starting with an "R" sound with just a hint of an "L", similar to the slight tongue flap used in the Spanish "R" sound, followed by an "ah". This would make the original mistranslated pronunciation "Go-DZEE-rah".

Nevertheless, the correct pronunciation is Gojira (ゴジラ), as it was originally meant as the monster's name and has retained the exact writing form from era to era. The pronunciation of cast members varies in accent, thus making the name sound a bit different from different actors.

Contrary to popular belief, the name "Godzilla" is not the idea of the American distributor. Before they 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 a crude English transliteration of the name "Gojira."

[edit] Incarnations

There have been eight different incarnations of Godzilla over the course of the character's existence—thirteen if the three different Zillas (the one from Godzilla, released by Tristar in 1998, the one from Godzilla: Final Wars, released by Toho in 2004, and the one from Godzilla: The Series, the one from Hanna-Barbara in The Godzilla Power Hour, and the Godzilla from Marvel. Since the movies created by Toho are what is regarded as canon, the eight incarnations of the cinematic Godzilla will be presented here.

[edit] 1954 film

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Godzilla, as portrayed during his self-titled, debut film. (Godzilla, 1954)

The original Godzilla in Godzilla or Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was a prehistoric monster 50 meters tall and weighing 20,000 metric tons that was disturbed by American atom bomb testing in the Pacific Ocean. After attacking Tokyo, destroying much of the city and killing tens of thousands, Godzilla was defeated when the scientist Dr. Daisuke Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) sacrificed himself to use an experimental weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, which completely dissolved 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 kaiju monsters that would be featured in movies produced by Toho.

The following series would use the events of the first movie as part of their narrative but would occur in their own continuity separate from each other.

[edit] American Version

When first released in wide distribution in the U.S., its footage was reworked and supplemented with new footage featuring Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) for general commercial release as Godzilla, King Of The Monsters in 1956, and the giant monster would be known outside Japan by the name "Godzilla" ever after. In 1957, the American version even 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, incidentally, contains both the unedited Japanese theatrical version and the reworked U.S. version).

[edit] Shōwa series (1956–1975)

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Godzilla's appearance gradually changed throughout the early '60s and mid '70s. From top-left to bottom-right, Top left King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), Top right Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Bottom left Godzilla's Revenge (1969), and Bottom right Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

As alluded to at the end of the original movie, Godzilla again surfaced at first as a menace in Godzilla Raids Again (shown in the United States as Gigantis, The Fire Monster). 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 ((キングコング対ゴジラ, Kingu Kongu tai Gojira), where once again, the ending was ambiguous. The "menacing" Godzilla's final film in the Showa series was 1964's Godzilla vs. The Thing (that being the original American release title, but since better known as Mothra vs. Godzilla (モスラ対ゴジラ, Mosura tai Gojira). Starting with Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla took on the "good guy" persona he would wear for the remainder of the series. He would team up with Mothra, Rodan, and Anguirus 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, so the series could also be said to truly end with Destroy All Monsters's ending, which depicted all of Earth's kaiju living out the rest of their days in peace on Monster Island. This "jump" of dates also explains how King Ghidorah appeared in movies such as Godzilla vs. Gigan after he was killed in the earlier film.

[edit] VS or Heisei series (1984-1995)

The VS series is in the era known as the Heisei Period wherein, not only did Godzilla return after more than a decade's absence, but it marked a transition between the reign of the Showa Emperor Hirohito to that of his son Akihito now dubbed the Heisei Emperor.

In The Return of Godzilla, rather than being disturbed by atom bomb testing in the Pacific Ocean, the second Godzilla monster of the Versus series, 80 meters tall and 50,000 metric tons, is the direct result. Return of Godzilla ignored all previous films in the series aside from the original, and the following Heisei series would hold some varying ambigiuity over whether the Godzilla awoken in Return was in fact the original, or another of its species. Awakened by volcanic erruption and hungering for nuclear energy, the new Godzilla attacked a Russian nuclear submarine before turning towards Japan's nuclear powerplants. After his battle with the Super X, Godzilla was lured to Mount Mihara by Professor Hayashida where he would be dropped into the lava below. There he entered a state of dormancy.

During his slumber, Japan developed the Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria (ANB) as a contingency in case Godzilla ever returned.

Reawakened by explosions, Godzilla headed for Lake Ashino where he would do battle with Biollante, the hybrid monster of Godzilla’s own DNA and the cells of a rose that had bonded with the soul of a scientist's daughter. After their first batttle was done, Godzilla was confronted by a new Super X-2 that distracted the monster so soldiers could administer the ANB through rocket propelled grenades. Super X-2 was destroyed in the battle. In an attempt to activate the ANB, Godzilla was lured to a site with experimental lightning generators whose purpose would be to increase Godzilla's core temperature so the bacteria could function properly. At the site, a new form of Biollante arrived and besieged the weakening Godzilla. The ANB had taken effect and forced the battle to draw. Biollante was mortally wounded and Godzilla had fallen into the ocean, where he would die from the ANB. The cold waters of the Pacific would lower Godzilla’s body temperature, forcing the ANB to fall dormant and allowing Godzilla to live on.

Godzilla , as portrayed during the late Heisei era. (Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, 1994)

In Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, time travelers from the future go back in time to 1944 to relocate the Godzillasaurus (which would become the second Godzilla) in the Bering Sea, and to replace it with their own creation—three tiny Dorats, which were harmless pets of the Futurians—to allow it to undergo Godzilla’s nuclear transformation instead, mutating and combining them into a three headed golden dragon, King Ghidorah.

In efforts to stop the Futurians' monster, those who were tricked into leading the Futurians to the Godzillasaurus made 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, 100 meters tall and 60,000 metric tons. The Futurians’ ignorance of the past leads them to create the second Godzilla in the first place rather than removing him from history. Godzilla would absorb the power of the nuclear sub, and not only would it seem to have cured the monster of the ANB but it would also mutate it even further, becoming powerful enough to defeat King Ghidorah, the Futurians’ monster. Godzilla went on to attack Japan himself, but was stopped when Emmy, one of the Futurians who had turned on her fellows, resurrected Ghidorah as a cyborg, Mecha-King Ghidorah. The two battled in Tokyo, with both falling into the sea at the movie's conclusion.

Further movies showed mankind's efforts in defeating Godzilla while also being challenged by other monsters such as Mothra, Rodan, and SpaceGodzilla. This series featured a team of monster-fighting soldiers called G-Force. Several ways G-Force planned to stop Godzilla included the construction of two "mecha-kaiju", Mecha Godzilla (who would do battle with both Godzilla and Rodan) and M.O.G.U.E.R.A, also called Moguera (Godzilla and SpaceGodzilla). Like in the previous series, Godzilla had a son (Which confused some fans wither Godzilla's a male or female), this time the smaller creature was simply called "Baby Godzilla", "Little Godzilla," and "Godzilla Jr". (Junior for short).

Ultimately this Godzilla would meet 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 experimental weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, which was used to kill the first Godzilla in 1954. The end of Godzilla came when the radiation became too much for his body to control, and he finally succumbed to a total nuclear meltdown. This was not the end of Godzilla's legacy, however; the wounded Godzilla Junior absorbed all of the energies from his "father"'s remains and fully matured into an adult Godzilla like him. The future becomes reality as Junior is the Godzilla that never destroys Japan due to the humans he befriended as an infant, and child and becomes a successor of his father.

[edit] Millennium series (1999–2004)

The Millennium series is unique because rather than creating a single continuity that all the films would follow, the series would instead be compromised by a number of discrete narratives, each using only the original Godzilla film as a backdrop. It is often called the "Shinsei" (新生) series by Western fans (meaning "rebirth") however the name is not recognized by Toho. In Japan, rather, many call it the "X" series, due to the titles containing "X" instead of "Vs".

[edit] Godzilla 2000: Millennium

As a direct sequel of the original movie, the Godzilla, 55 meters tall and 25,000 metric tons, depicted in Godzilla 2000: Millennium is not related to any other Godzilla flims seen previously, or to those to come. 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 of Japan’s energy plants for some time. An alien UFO obtains some of Godzilla’s DNA 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.

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Godzilla, as portrayed during the early Millennium series. (Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, 2000)

[edit] Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

Though Godzilla looks the same in this film as he did in Godzilla 2000: Millennium, this movie takes place in a separate continuity from the previous film. The Godzilla in 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 Meganura 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 Meganura 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.

[edit] Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Again disregarding the continuity of previous films of the millennium series, the Godzilla in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is confirmed to be the original monster, now driven 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 beasts Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah but ultimately would meet his end 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 thermonuclear breath it shot out of his wound, and eventually tore him apart from the inside. This would not be his end. At the bottom of Tokyo Bay the monster's heart lived on, beginning to rejuvenate his body.

[edit] GXM and GMM S.O.S

For the first time in the Millennium Series, a specific Godzilla would appear in a series of two movies, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.. As predicted at the end of the original film, a second Godzilla emerges in the middle of a typhoon in 2002 but would be driven away. In his attack on Tokyo, he was temporarily defeated by the new Mechagodzilla, Kiryu. Godzilla reappeared in 2003 where it would take the combined efforts of Kiryu, Mothra and her larva to bring him down.

[edit] Godzilla: Final Wars

The Godzilla from Godzilla: Final Wars is the last Godzilla as of 2004; Toho has decided to retire the franchise for a period of 5-10 years to renew interest in the future.

The origins of this Godzilla are left (perhaps intentionally) ambiguous. Decades before the main story starts, Godzilla was buried in ice at the South Pole by the Earth Defense Force’s aerial battle ship Gotengo. When the Xilians, an alien race, used many of Earth's own monsters in attempts to conquer it, the EDF would have to be forced to free Godzilla from the ice to fight for mankind. This Godzilla was lured towards the Xilians' mothership in Tokyo while he fought the Xilians' 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 arrived in Tokyo just in time for an asteroid to enter Earth's atmosphere. Godzilla attempted to stop it by exhaling his atomic breath on it, causing it to explode and releasing the real threat, Monster X. Mothra came to attack Gigan while the Xilians summoned the revived and rebuilt Gigan. Mothra was quickly dispatched by Gigan, who then joined 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, and both Kaiju are destroyed in a Kamikaze attack by the lepidopteran deity, while Monster X transformed into a new form, Kaiser 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 destroy Keizer Ghidorah. Turning his attention back on his old enemies, Godzilla shot down the Gotengo and was prepared to finish its crew off if Godzilla's infant son, Minilla, had not intervened, pleading Godzilla to stop. Tired from his past battles, Godzilla returns to the ocean with his son.

[edit] Powers and abilities

Over the years Godzilla has possessed many powers and abilities to use against his foes. Godzilla is generally considered to be one of the most powerful kaiju in the series.

[edit] Atomic Breath

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Godzilla unleashes his atomic breath. (Godzilla: Final Wars, 2004)

Godzilla's strongest 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.

Godzilla has been shown apparently being able to adjust the intensity of his ray, varying from a wispy flame (such as in the 50s and 60s), to a beam with explosive and kinetic properties, (in the 70s and onward.) The beam is usually portrayed as being neon blue, though in some films it is reddish orange (in the Heisei era most often to signify an increased level of power).

In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus the beam was shown to have incredible incendiary properties and was powerful 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 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 on his standard Atomic Breath in the Heisei series was that Godzilla gained a terrifying red "Spiral Beam" as a result of absorbing the essence of Rodan. This beam was so powerful that only a few blasts of it was sufficient to completely destroy Mechagodzilla II and SpaceGodzilla. The spiral beam returned in Final Wars, where it was strong enough to push Kaiser Ghidorah into the upper atmosphere and then utterly destroy him in a massive explosion visible from space.

[edit] Nuclear pulse and magnetic powers

In addition to his deadly atomic breath, Godzilla can also emit thermonuclear energy in all directions from every inch of his skin in a short pulse, capable of stunning any enemy in his proximity. Godzilla used the nuclear pulse in the Heisei Series and also in Godzilla 2000: Millennium when Orga attempted to absorb his DNA by swallowing him whole, Godzilla then used his nuclear pulse inside Orga's throat to destroy the alien monster for good. In the movie Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, after being struck several times by lightning, Godzilla found a way to generate powerful magnetic fields from his body, which proved devastating against his metallic foe.

Using a similar power, Godzilla discharged energy up the shock anchor cables and into the Heisei Mechagodzilla, overheating the robot monster's circuitry.

[edit] Durability

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Regenerator G1, the secret to Godzilla's awesome durability. (Godzilla 2000: Millennium, 1999)

Godzilla has displayed an uncanny ability to sustain damage over the years.

Right from the get-go, Godzilla displayed an immunity to conventional weaponry, effortlessly shrugging off everything the JSDF threw at him. His skin is so tough that it can withstand molten lava. The only times he has visibly bled were in battle with the Shōwa Gigan, Biollante, Destoroyah, and from Mechagodzilla's weapons in both the Shōwa and Heisei series.

Similar to certain lizards and salamanders, Godzilla possesses an extremely advanced and highly efficient regenerative ability. (This power was a crucial plot point of Godzilla 2000: Millennium and Godzilla vs Biollante).

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 his healing power. Godzilla's skin is tough enough on its own to withstand most types of damage, and even when an attack breaks his hide, thanks to his advanced regeneration his wounds heal almost instantly. These factors taken together make Godzilla practically invincible.

The Y-shaped (Regenerator G-1) cells seen in this picture repairs damaged cells.

[edit] Physical abilities

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Godzilla displays formidable physical strength by throwing his arch-enemy King Ghidorah. (Godzilla vs. Gigan, 1972)

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 martial arts 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 (in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus and Godzilla: Final Wars).

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 even 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 claws, although these are more prominent in some incarnations than in others.

However, many of the films show Godzilla preferring to battle his opponents from long range; either by using his atomic breath, or by hurling foreign objects such as boulders.

[edit] Amphibiousness

Like any amphibious creature, Godzilla spends most his life in the water, occasionally emerging from the sea to 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 (often hibernating in the ocean depths between movies), and being submerged apparently does not impede his atomic breath. He engages opponents in the sea on multiple occasions, fighting Ebirah, Battra and King Ghidorah beneath the waves.

[edit] Weaknesses

Despite his incredible strength, Godzilla has displayed a few weaknesses over the years. Early in the Showa series, he was vulnerable to electricity, though this weakness was apparently dropped. Indeed, later films in the Showa series would portray Godzilla as being immune to electricity, or even drawing power from it. In The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla was shown to be vulnerable to cadmium. Anti-nuclear bacteria has had an effect on him, though Godzilla's immune system was eventually able to overcome it. Later on, Godzilla is revealed to have a second brain in his spine, and Mechagodzilla was able to temporarily kill him by destroying it; however, he was revived by 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 was never exploited.

To date, the only weapon ever shown to be truly effective against Godzilla was Dr. Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer, which was able to kill the original Godzilla, by dissolving him down to the bone and then into nothing. However, the technology for this weapon was lost forever when Dr. Serizawa died along with the original Godzilla.

[edit] Roar

Godzilla's trademark roar originally began as a low, groaning bellow, created when the series' famous composer, Akira Ifukube, rubbed a resin coated glove on a contrabass and resonated the sound, but has since developed into a distinctive high-pitched shriek.

[edit] 1998 American film

Godzilla, (dubbed "GINO" [Godzilla In Name Only] by fans, "Zilla" in Final Wars) as seen in the American adaptation. (Godzilla, 1998)

1998 saw the release of an American film called Godzilla, which bears little resemblance to previous works and was clearly influenced by Jurassic Park, but included modern visual effects.

Further information on the creature can be read in the Zilla article.

[edit] Animated series

Godzilla made his American series debut in the 1978 Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning show The Godzilla Power Hour, in which he gained a sidekick, Godzooky, described as his nephew. Godzilla cartoons were paired with cartoons featuring Jana of the Jungle. The series ran, both as part of the hour and with the Godzilla segments airing as a separate half-hour show, until 1981.

In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Godzilla's roar was not its trademark roar.

The second cartoon series, which aired on Fox Kids, was based off the events of the 1998 American movie. Godzilla: The Series featured an offspring of the movie Godzilla which had grown to full size. In a similar fashion to earlier animated works, Godzilla traveled around the world with a group of humans, including scientist Nick Tatopoulos, battling monsters. The offspring not only had the abilities of his parent, but the creators of the show gave him even more powers and attitude more resembling the original character.

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes


[edit] External links

[edit] Official

[edit] Information

Toho Tokusatsu
Kaiju / Mecha: Godzilla · Anguirus · King Kong · Oodako · Rodan · Moguera · Mothra · Varan · Manda · Frankenstein . Baragon · King Ghidorah · Ebirah · Giant Condor · Magma · Gargantuas · Kamacuras · Minilla · Kumonga · Mechani-Kong · Gorosaurus · Gezora · Ganimes · Kameba · Gabara · Hedorah · Gigan · Megalon · Jet Jaguar · Mechagodzilla · King Caesar · Titanosaurus · Biollante · Battra · Godzilla Junior · SpaceGodzilla · Destoroyah · Zilla · Orga · Megaguirus · Monster X
Technology: Oxygen Destroyer · Markalite · Gotengo · Moonlight SY3 . Super X
Other: Fictional locations · Alien races · Monsterland and Monster Island

ja:ゴジラ (架空の怪獣)


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