Created by the ancient Nilai-Kanai civilization in order to clean up its pollution, Dagahra instead released poisonous starfish called Barem that overran and destroyed the civilization. Dagahra reemerged in the modern day due to increased levels of environmental pollution, but was confronted by Mothra Leo. Dagahra defeated Mothra Leo, but the Nilai-Kanai's other surviving monster creation Ghogo sacrificed itself to revive Leo and transform him into Rainbow Mothra. Rainbow Mothra finally defeated Dagahra by transforming into Aqua Mothra, then splitting apart into countless Micro Mothras and destroying Dagahra's internal organs. Dagahra subsequently exploded along with the Nilai-Kanai Temple, destroying every last trace of the civilization. Dagahra made his next film appearance 20 years later in GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters, with his attack on Sydney, Australia shown through a still in the film's opening sequence. The film's official prequel novel, GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, elaborates on Dagahra's role in the continuity, explaining how he battled against the United States Navy and caused the downfall of Australia in 2017.
Rebirth of Mothra II screenwriter Masami Suetani named Dagahra after Dagon, the ancient Mesopotamian and Canaanite deity who is often depicted as a fish god in popular culture. According to the film's manga adaptation, "Dagahra" is the Nilai-Kanai word for a vacuum cleaner, referencing his intended purpose to clean up the civilization's pollution.
While "Dagahra" is toho's officially trademarked English name for the monster, he is called Dagarla in the English-dubbed international version of the film. This spelling is also used in the English credits on Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's 2014 Blu-ray release of the film.
Dagahra was designed by Shinji Nishikawa, who created many varied designs for the creature. These designs ranged from reptilian to fish-like, with Nishikawa eventually settling on a sort of hybrid between both interpretations that resembled an aquatic dragon. Many of Nishikawa's designs possessed draconic heads with a single large horn on their foreheads, granting them some resemblance to Bagan, for whom Nishikawa had created concept art during development of Mothra vs. Bagan. Other designs possessed tentacles in addition to or in place of arms. Nishikawa's final design opted to give Dagahra multiple smaller backward facing horns on his head in place of the single Bagan-like horn, while his forelimbs were made very reptilian with his hind limbs resembling fins.
- Main article: Dagahra/Gallery#Concept Art.
An early concept art design for Dagahra by Shinji Nishikawa, resembling a quadrupedal reptile
Concept art of Dagahra with a head reminiscent of Bagan's
Dagahra's suit was modeled by Shinichi Wakasa's company MONSTERS, Inc, who also created Desghidorah's suit for the previous film. According to Wakasa, many different designs were created for the monster, and three different clay prototype maquettes were constructed by Shigeaki Ito and Fumihiko Yagi. Ultimately, the filmmakers decided that the final suit's design would be modeled after the medium-sized model. During the production of the suit, the polyurethane it was constructed of proved to be a difficulty, as it rapidly took in water and made the suit very heavy. Because of this, the suit was instead created using latex which had been ordered from the United States and the core was also reinforced with FRP to prevent it from collapsing, thus making it very resistant to water damage during filming. A separate model of Dagahra consisting of only his upper body and tail was affixed to a rig which allowed it to move up and down through the water, in the same fashion that Godzilla's tail movements in the Heisei series were achieved. Radio-controlled mechanisms for the movement of Dagahra's head and mouth were also installed, created by Nobuhiro Ekubo. In addition to the primary suit, a 9/10 size prop and 4.5/10 size prop were constructed to portray Dagahra's flying form, along with a head Guignol (hand puppet) to scale with the suit, which was used for shots of Dagahra's head above water. The shoulder spikes on Dagahra's Final Form had to be sculpted onto the suit by MONSTERS in the studio during filming. The Dagahra suit was worn by suit actor Mizuho Yoshida, who was responsible for playing Desghidorah in the previous film in addition to the front half of Mother Legion in Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion.
The idea for Dagahra's manner of defeat at the hands of Mothra Leo actually originated with an idea special effects director Koichi Kawakita had conceived years earlier for several unrealized Heisei Godzilla projects. Kawakita had wanted to realize a battle inside the body of another monster since early in production of what ultimately became Godzilla vs. Mothra. Several story proposals for the fourth Heisei Godzilla film, these being Micro Super Battle: Godzilla vs. Gigamoth, Godzilla's Counterattack, Godzilla vs. Mechani-Kong, and Micro Universe in Godzilla, all featured a team of humans being injected into Godzilla's body by Mechani-Kong and attempting to fight him from the inside. While this concept never panned out, Kawakita ultimately realized a battle inside another monster's body with Mothra Leo's multiple micro forms destroying Dagahra from the inside.
Dagahra is an aquatic creature that possesses traits of both fish and reptiles and resembles a dragon. He has three horns on his head in a triangular arc, and two cannon-like structures on his shoulders that split open when he releases Barems. Dagahra has two wings, but they are folded when he is on land. When Dagahra is flying, his wings unfurl to about half his body length. Dagahra possesses fins along his fore and hind limbs, as well as a long fin that runs down his back and tail, which has two smaller fins on it. After evolving underwater, Dagahra grows two large spikes on his shoulders. The ends of Dagahra's mouth are curled up slightly, giving him a facial expression resembling an evil grin. Dagahra's skin is green, while other parts of his body are a rusty-orange color and his eyes are bright yellow.
Dagahra was created by the ancient Nilai-Kanai civilization in order to consume and clean up the marine pollution they produced. The Nilai-Kanai genetically engineered Dagahra from marine life, incorporating the genes of bacteria that consumed toxins. The manga adaptation for Rebirth of Mothra II explains that Dagahra originated as a fish before being genetically modified. However, there was a deadly side-effect, as Dagahra began producing millions of poisonous starfish called Barems. When the Nilai-Kanai tried to destroy their failed creation, Dagahra fought to defend himself and drove the civilization to the brink of collapse. The Nilai-Kanai created the monster Ghogo to defeat Dagahra, but a powerful earthquake occurred on the ocean floor and caused the entire civilization to sink. Dagahra disappeared along with the entire Nilai-Kanai civilization, with only a pyramid still functioning. When Dagahra reawakened in the modern day to feed on the increased pollution created by mankind, this pyramid sent Ghogo out into the world to help stop Dagahra.
In the past, a race of advanced people called the Nilai-Kanai created Dagahra to clean all the pollution they were releasing. Dagahra consumed the pollution, but created the Barems in the process. The Barems were acidic sea stars, and Dagahra released them on the Nilai-Kanai and destroyed the people. Dagahra then fell into a deep sleep, resting at the bottom of the ocean.
Thousands of years later, Dagahra was awakened again due to the rise in pollution rates in Japan. It began eating the pollution and releasing the Barems once again. The Barems attacked and killed many people on the surface. After hearing of Dagahra, Mothra Leo came and attacked it, but was put at a disadvantage when Dagahra was under the water. He was infected by the Barems, but Ghogo used his power to turn Mothra Leo into Rainbow Mothra, who now had the ability to transform into Aqua Mothra, so he could battle on equal terms with Dagahra. Mothra Leo managed to battle and defeat Dagahra, then dropped the monster's body onto the Nilai-Kanai Temple, which exploded along with Dagahra, ending the monster's reign of terror once and for all.
Dagahra possesses two cannons on each shoulder able to release toxic starfish called Barem. Dagahra can create the Barem within its body when consuming pollutants. The Barem were deadly enough to overrun and destroy the Nilai-Kanai empire. In the continuity of the GODZILLA anime trilogy, the Barem are explained to be a type of bacteria instead, though they were still deadly enough to trigger a plague dubbed the Red Christmas Scourge that caused the nation of Australia to collapse.
Dagahra can fly at speeds up to Mach 10.
Dagahra can unleash a purple beam from his mouth called the Irabushan Beam. This beam can increase in power with the use of Barem. When in his second form, Dagahra can fire two Irabushan Beams at once in the form of a new attack called the Super-Extreme Dragon Explosion.
Dagahra can move underwater at a speed of 150 knots.
Vertical Poison Cannon
Dagahra can fire crimson energy beams from his dorsal fins. Dagahra used this attack to ambush Mothra Leo, but it can only be used underwater
Thundering Toxic Crimson Vortex
Dagahra can fire his Barem while spinning at incredible speeds, creating a tornado. While spinning, lightning fires from Dagahra’s body. The tornado then shoots out of the ocean, catching Mothra Leo and covering him with Barem.
Dragon-Burst Crimson Light Waves
When spinning, Dagahra rotates his body and can fire crimson energy waves at his opponent.
If the Barem-producing organs inside of Dagahra's body are destroyed, he will become severely weakened and helpless.
- Rebirth of Mothra II (1997)
- GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters (2017)
- Godzilla Singular Point (TV 2021) [episode 8; hat]
- Godzilla: Trading Battle (1998) - Sony PlayStation
- Godzilla Generations (1998) - Sega Dreamcast
- Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly (1998) - Sega Dreamcast VMU
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
Dagahra was credited as the monster that caused mankind to lose the continent of Australia. Dagahra first appeared in late November of 2017, and made contact with the American nuclear submarine Seawolf at the point of 47 degrees 9 minutes south latitude, 126 degrees 43 minutes west longitude. Two weeks later, the U.S. Navy, including the USS Saratoga, engaged Dagahra in American Samoa and successfully injured him, but could not pursue him due to the presence of Barem in the water. Three days later Barem arrived at the port of Pago Pago, and eventually caused one-third of its inhabitants to die of bacterial infection. Two weeks later, on Christmas Day, Dagahra approached Australia, but the Australian Navy did not attack out of fear of releasing Barem into Australian waters. Dagahra made landfall in Sydney and devastated the city before moving on to Newcastle. The government was thrown into chaos and in the confusion gave the ill-advised order to attack Dagahra. Dagahra was fatally wounded and flew out to sea, where it died and contaminated the surrounding waters with huge numbers of Barem. This led to a pandemic and famine later known as the "Red Christmas Scourge," which by 2018 claimed the lives of 3 million people. Australia's waters became heavily polluted by the Barem, and it received no foreign aid and eventually collapsed. An estimated 6.7 million people were killed or wounded in Dagahra's attack.
- Main article: Dagahra/Gallery.
- Dagahra is the only villain monster of the Rebirth of Mothra series to not be a Ghidorah.
- Dagahra's abilities bear resemblance to those of Hedorah. However, Dagahra differs from Hedorah, in that Dagahra was deliberately created to serve a role given to him by the Nilai-Kanai, whereas Hedorah is simply a lone alien who wanted to consume Earth's pollution and make the planet's conditions more suitable for himself.
- Like Gyaos in the Heisei Gamera trilogy, Dagahra was created by an ancient civilization, and ultimately turned on his creators and wiped them out.
- The coordinates where Seawolf first makes contact with Dagahra in GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, 47°9′S 126°43′W, are where the fictional lost city of R'lyeh, the prison of Cthulhu, is said to be located in the story "The Call of Cthulhu" by H.P. Lovecraft. The kaiju Gatanozoa in the show Ultraman Tiga was also said to be born in R'lyeh.
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