Did you see enough? If any of you try to escape, you'll only end up being caught by Ebirah!
Ebirah was the primary monster antagonist in his debut film, a huge crustacean mutated by nuclear waste produced by the Red Bamboo's activities on Letchi Island. Ebirah patrolled the island's waters, destroying any watercraft that tried to enter or leave the island, except for the Red Bamboo's ships, which released a yellow juice that repelled him. When Godzilla was awakened from his slumber in a cave on the island, Ebirah battled him twice, losing both times. In their second battle, Godzilla removed both of Ebirah's claws and forced him to retreat to the ocean depths. Ebirah made a stock footage appearance in All Monsters Attack, where he battled Godzilla on Monster Island within the dreams of Ichiro Miki. Ebirah returned 35 years later for the final entry in the Millennium series, Godzilla Final Wars, in which he was a mind-controlled pawn of the Xiliens. Ebirah was initially defeated by the Earth Defense Force's mutant soldiers at Tokai, and was deployed again to assist Hedorah against Godzilla in Tokyo Bay.
Name[edit | edit source]
Ebirah's name is derived from the Japanese word ebi (海老), referring to several types of crustacean such as lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish. The "-ra" (ラ) part of Ebirah's name is a common suffix for kaiju names. In Godzilla versus the Sea Monster, the English-dubbed version of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep originally localized in the United States, Ebirah is never referred to by name. The Ebirah featured in Godzilla Final Wars is denoted as Ebirah (2nd Generation) (エビラ（2代目） in the book Ebira Nidaime)Godzilla Dictionary [New Edition].
Development[edit | edit source]
It was the idea of Toho's then-president Susumu Goto to introduce a new kaiju based on a shrimp, as he found the idea of another bipedal humanoid kaiju "not interesting." Ebirah was intended to appear as the villain of Operation Robinson Crusoe: King Kong vs. Ebirah, in which he was to battle against King Kong. However, Toho received objections to the proposed film from Rankin/Bass Productions, who helped provide Toho with the rights to Kong and was co-producing the project and felt the story didn't follow the source material, The King Kong Show, closely enough. Toho went back to the drawing board for their second Kong film and ultimately produced the more faithful King Kong Escapes in 1967. However, rather than completely discard the King Kong vs. Ebirah story, the studio opted to write Godzilla into Kong's role, with the end result being 1966's Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.
According to special effects director Sadamasa Arikawa, the filmmakers attempted to make the shrimp kaiju intimidating by emphasizing certain features, such as the strength of its claws, the eeriness of its mouth movements as it preys on humans, and the general grotesqueness of a shrimp. Ebirah's head was modeled by Teizo Toshimitsu and his torso by Yasuei Yagi. Ebirah's suit was composed of separate upper and lower halves, with suit actor Hiroshi Sekita wearing only the upper half for scenes of the kaiju above water. Otherwise, the two halves were joined without an actor inside and manipulated like a prop. Posters and promotional photos of Ebirah showed him battling with Godzilla on land, although in the film itself the two kaiju only battle in the sea. These promotional images also depicted Ebirah with a scorpion-inspired reversed tail, which is not present in the onscreen design. A large model of Ebirah's claw was constructed for scenes of the monster attacking the Yahlen and other watercraft.
Godzilla suspends Ebirah over his head in a publicity photo. Note the Ebirah suit's reversed tail.
Filming of a fight scene between Godzilla and Ebirah is prepared. In this sequence, Hiroshi Sekita wears only the upper half of the Ebirah suit.
Ebirah was included in an early draft for Destroy All Monsters titled All Monsters Attack Directive, but was omitted from the finished film. The kaiju's next onscreen appearance would not come until 2004, when he was one of several Showa kaiju brought back for the franchise's 50th anniversary film, Godzilla Final Wars. Ebirah was redesigned by Shinji Nishikawa, and his suit was modeled by Shinichi Wakasa's company MONSTERS. The new suit was worn onscreen by prolific Kamen Rider and Super Sentai suit actor Toshihiro Ogura, who also portrayed Anguirus and Keizer Ghidorah in the film.
Godzilla throws Ebirah in a publicity still depicting a scene which never occurs onscreen.
The Ebirah and Hedorah suits are prepared for the scene in which the monsters are destroyed by Godzilla.
Design[edit | edit source]
Ebirah generally looks like a giant lobster or shrimp. His body is red all throughout, and he has one pincer that is bigger than the other one. He also has two antennae and a giant nose-like shell piece. Ebirah additionally has multiple legs and multiple segments in his body, leading up to a normal lobster tail. In Ebirah, Horror of the Deep specifically, Ebirah's body is wide and his body segments are not very pronounced, his right claw is more massive than the left one, he has crustacean whiskers, eyes on stalks, and about six legs. Ebirah also has big eyebrows and spikes on its back, as well as fairly long scythe-like pointy crest, and seems to have a mouth like Mothra's, in that it is flipped on its side.
In Godzilla Final Wars, Ebirah has a large goblin nose-like crest, one claw that is much longer than the other, eight large legs, and 16-20 spikes along his length. Ebirah's eyes are set into the head and he has crustacean-like antennae and mouth. Ebirah's underside is a very dark red, almost brown color. The body segments are clearly distinguished and separated, making it more closely resemble real-life crustaceans.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Ebirah is an extraordinarily violent and aggressive creature, destroying any watercraft which come within his vicinity and often preying on fleeing humans by skewering them with his claw and eating them whole. Ebirah defends the waters around Letchi Island vigilantly, something the Red Bamboo exploit to prevent intruders from reaching the island. Only using a yellow juice processed from one of the island's fruits can the Red Bamboo safely bypass Ebirah. Ebirah's aggressiveness causes him to challenge the larger and stronger Godzilla on two occasions. This proves to be his undoing, as Godzilla defeats him in both instances and brutally maims him in their second encounter. During their battles, Ebirah exhibits extensive body language as he seemingly tries to both intimidate and mock Godzilla.
In the comic series Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Ebirah demonstrates his aggressiveness once more as he takes on Godzilla in Sao Paulo. However, Ebirah also demonstrates pragmatism as he retreats from the battle once Godzilla becomes occupied by Megaguirus and her swarm of Meganulon and Meganula. Ebirah is never seen captured by the Trilopods later in the comic nor does he take part in the final battle, suggesting he continued to avoid fighting battles he knew he couldn't win.
Origins[edit | edit source]
Ebirah was a crustacean that was mutated to colossal size by the nuclear waste produced by the Red Bamboo's operations on Letchi Island. The Red Bamboo used Ebirah's presence to their advantage, keeping him in the island's waters to prevent any ships from entering or leaving. The Red Bamboo released a yellow juice from their own ships that repelled Ebirah, allowing them to enter or leave the island's waters at their leisure.
History[edit | edit source]
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
- All Monsters Attack (1969) [stock footage]
- Godzilla Final Wars (2004)
- Godziban (web 2019-) [episodes 31, 47, and 56; special episodes 3-4]
While sailing the stolen yacht the Yahlen through the South Seas in order to find his lost brother Yata, young Ryota and his shipmates found themselves caught in a storm in which Ebirah's massive claw rose from the sea and crushed the yacht. The four men escaped and washed ashore on the seemingly-deserted Letchi Island, but as they explored they witnessed members of the Red Bamboo terrorist organization unloading a shipment of slaves abducted from Infant Island onto a dock. Some of the prisoners attempted to escape, and all but two were killed by a machine gunner. The Red Bamboo captain Ryui allowed the survivors to steal a boat and try to escape so that the other prisoners could witness their ultimate security measure. Ebirah rose from the sea and smashed the boat with his claw. As the two men tried to swim away, Ebirah impaled them on his claw and shoved them into his mouth before submerging once more. Ryui warned the islanders that the same fate awaited them if they managed to escape the island. In the confusion, one of the prisoners, Dayo, managed to escape and encountered Ryota and the others. They fled from a party of Red Bamboo soldiers and hid in a cave overlooking the ocean. Inside, they discovered Godzilla hibernating. When attempts to battle the Red Bamboo themselves resulted in one of them being captured and Ryota being carried off by a balloon, the remaining three decided to awaken Godzilla to handle the Red Bamboo for them. Using a sword as a makeshift lightning rod, the group tied a copper wire to it and strung it down to Godzilla. When a storm neared the island, a bolt of lightning struck the sword and successfully awakened Godzilla.
The King of the Monsters immediately tried to leave the island, but was met by Ebirah who guarded the nearby waters. Realizing he had to go through Ebirah, Godzilla began tossing boulders at the giant crustacean. However, Ebirah was easily able to catch and toss back the projectiles with his claw, and the two kaiju engaged in a rock-throwing fight. Finally, Godzilla charged into the water to fight Ebirah hand-to-hand. While Godzilla was the stronger of the two, Ebirah was in his element and succeeded in dragging Godzilla under the surface. Godzilla fought himself free and eventually caused Ebirah to retreat by firing his atomic breath into the water, boiling his foe alive. Rather than pursue, Godzilla went back ashore on Letchi Island to rest on a cliff. Nita, the castaway who had been captured by the Red Bamboo, found himself imprisoned alongside the Infant Islanders. They told him that they were forced to process a yellow fruit found on the island into a juice that repelled Ebirah. This way, the Red Bamboo were able to come and go at their leisure while anyone else venturing to or from the island was attacked by Ebirah. This gave Nita the idea to use the fruit's leaves to produce a false yellow juice, which the other prisoners quickly put into action. The Red Bamboo's attempts to fight Godzilla backfired and led the enraged kaiju to destroy their base. The Red Bamboo command members activated the island's self-destruct and absconded with the newest batch of yellow juice as they fled the island in a ship. However, the juice which the ship released was Nita's placebo liquid and the boat was promptly sunk by Ebirah, putting an end to the Red Bamboo.
Alerted to Ebirah's presence, Godzilla entered the sea to confront the crustacean kaiju once again. Godzilla and Ebirah exchanged blows, before Ebirah once more dragged Godzilla below the surf. Using a rock from the sea floor, Godzilla bashed Ebirah's head until his enemy released him and allowed him to resurface. The kaiju clashed once more with their heads above the water, Godzilla finally using his superior strength to bite and tear off one of Ebirah's claws. As Ebirah reeled in agony, Godzilla proceeded to rip off his other claw, forcing the maimed Ebirah to swim off in defeat.[note 1]
Ebirah was one of the many kaiju under the control of the Xiliens when they invaded Earth in 20XX. He destroyed a factory near Tokai. The JSDF tried to destroy Ebirah, but the immense crustacean was too powerful, knocking over buildings in order to destroy tanks and resisting weaponry with its durable exoskeleton. The Earth Defense Force's mutant soldiers were then called to stop the monster. The mutants successfully defeated Ebirah with specialized hand-held Maser Cannons and were about to kill him before he was suddenly teleported away. The Xiliens then revealed themselves to the people of Earth and claimed that they destroyed the monsters to save humanity. However, the EDF soon discovered that the monsters were controlled by the Xiliens, who aimed to conquer the planet. The Gotengo then freed Godzilla from Antarctica so he could fight the controlled kaiju. The plan was a success and Godzilla successfully defeated most of the kaiju as he made his way to Japan. Ebirah and Hedorah were sent to destroy Godzilla in Tokyo Bay. However, Godzilla blasted them out of the water with his atomic breath and the duo crashed into a building, with Ebirah accidentally piercing Hedorah's eye with his pincer. Godzilla then emerged from the waves and fired another blast of atomic breath, destroying both Ebirah and Hedorah.
In "Showdown! Beach Volleyball in the South Seas", Ebirah plays a friendly game of beach volleyball with Godzilla-kun, Minilla and Little, using a net of red bamboo built by Gezora. When the Three Godzilla Brothers win the game with a serve that knocks off one of his claws, Ebirah allows them to keep it since it'll grow back.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Claws[edit | edit source]
Ebirah has two differently-sized claws, one on each arm. Ebirah uses his larger right claw to grasp objects or bludgeon enemies. He accidentally stabbed one of Hedorah's eyes with this claw in Godzilla Final Wars. Ebirah used this claw to catch and throw boulders at Godzilla during their first battle. Ebirah also has a smaller, thinner claw on his left arm which he used to skewer Infant Islanders trying to escape from the Red Bamboo on Letchi Island. In Godzilla Final Wars, Ebirah can attack with both of his claws simultaneously in a maneuver known as Crisis Scissors (クライシス・シザース. Kuraishisu Shizāsu)
Aquatic adaptation[edit | edit source]
Being a mutated crustacean, Ebirah is a very capable swimmer and underwater combatant. He is able to fight Godzilla on even footing underwater, possessing the strength to pull him all the way down to the sea floor and catch him in a death roll.
Ebirah catches Godzilla in a death roll after dragging him underwater.
Regeneration[edit | edit source]
In Godziban, Ebirah states that he can regrow his claws if they end up being removed, treating it lightly enough that he allows Godzilla-kun to keep one he knocked off with a stone volleyball as a trophy and showing a replacement already starting to emerge.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
In Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Ebirah possessed an aversion to a yellow fruit that grew on Letchi Island. The Red Bamboo used this weakness to prevent Ebirah from attacking their boats, which shot out jets of juice from the fruit to ward him off. While able to hold his own against Godzilla beneath the waves, Ebirah was outmatched when fighting with the majority of his body above the surface. Godzilla was able to bite off both of Ebirah's claws and render him helpless. In both of his film appearances, Ebirah has shown a susceptibility to Godzilla's atomic breath. In Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Godzilla defeated Ebirah and forced him to retreat by superheating the water around Ebirah with his atomic breath, boiling him alive. In Godzilla Final Wars, Ebirah is blasted out of Tokyo Bay by Godzilla's atomic breath and subsequently dispatched by a second blast. Ebirah is also vulnerable to the handheld weapons used by the M Organization of the Earth Defense Force earlier in the same film, which prove sufficient to destroy one of his claws and bring him down before the Xiliens teleport him away.
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1993) - Nintendo Game Boy
- Godzilla: Heart-Pounding Monster Island!! (1995) - Sega Pico
- Godzilla Movie Studio Tour (1996) - PC and Mac
- Godzilla Generations (1998) - Sega Dreamcast
- Godzilla: Trading Battle (1998) - Sony PlayStation
- Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly (1998) - Sega Dreamcast VMU
- Godzilla: Save the Earth (2004) - Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox
- Monster Strike (2013) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4 [Kaiju Guide]
- Godzilla Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla (2021) - Pinball
Ebirah makes its only appearance in the Atari-Pipeworks games in Godzilla: Save the Earth in the final on-rail shooter-style level when playing as Godzilla 2000. Ebirah appears before facing the Vortaak's Hammer Sub and must be defeated to continue.
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Ebirah.
Ebirah's card in Godzilla: Trading Battle
Ebirah 1966 in Godzilla Kaiju Collection
Ebirah 2004 in Godzilla Kaiju Collection
Books[edit | edit source]
Comics[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1992-1993)
- Godzilla: The Half-Century War #3 (2012)
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #9, 13, 17-18 (2014)
- Godzilla: Cataclysm #2 (2014)
- Godzilla: Rage Across Time #5 (2016)
- Godzilla vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3 (2022)
- Godzilla Rivals: Rodan Vs. Ebirah (2023)
After the defeat of his pawn King Ghidorah III, Ebirah was the next monster in Dr. Mad Oniyama's lineup to be pitted against Godzilla. This time, Oniyama decided to work on modifying Ebirah, grafting giant insect wings to the lobster due to his belief that insects and crustaceans are physically similar.
Ebirah, initially concealing its new wings first appeared in a South Pacific Beach resort where it menaced the tourists there, taking advantage of Godzilla's absence, as he had been resting in the ocean following his battle with King Ghidorah III. After Hideo and Yosuke Kaneko went with Linda Miller to wake up Godzilla, Ebirah and Godzilla clashed, only for the crustacean to suddenly reveal its new wings when Godzilla tried to throw him out of the water! Ebirah used his new wings to great effect, flying around and stabbing at Godzilla. Ebirah was, however, impaled with a palm tree and had its new wings torn off by the King of the Monsters. After attempting to escape, Ebirah was then grabbed by Godzilla, who destroyed the giant crustacean in a huge explosion after firing his Atomic Breath directly through its underside.
Despite being killed by the King of The Monsters, Ebirah had succeeded in its secondary objective; to implant a Mind-Control Device on the side of Godzilla's head. Oniyama would later activate the device after Godzilla was frozen by the JSDF and transported to a facility after Ebirah was brought down.
Ebirah was one of the many monsters who attacked Ghana in 1975 after being drawn there by Dr. Deverich's psionic transmitter. After Deverich turned the settings on the psionic transmitter in Ghana to maximum and escaped with the AMF right behind him, Ebirah as well as all of the other monsters in the area destroyed the building containing the transmitter.
Ebirah in Godzilla: The Half-Century War #3
During the battle between King Caesar and Megalon, the island's natives caught between the two kaiju's battle ran for cover, some escaping to the ocean. However, Varan and Ebirah started to devour any stragglers. Ebirah, Varan, Megalon and King Caesar all vanished as an alien ship crash landed into the ocean near by. Ebirah was later seen on the water monsters section of the mural on Infant Island.
In the modern day, Ebirah abruptly attacked Godzilla as the latter was swimming back after his battle with the Mechagodzillas and Mecha-King Ghidorah. Godzilla threw Ebirah to the surface, and the two monsters arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil. While Godzilla and Ebirah battled, Ebirah was swarmed by Meganulon, who broke through his shell and drew blood. Ebirah snapped his claw shut on some of the Meganulon, cutting them in half. Megaguirus soon arrived and stung Ebirah. After repeated attacks from all of the monsters, Ebirah retreated to the ocean. Ebirah was not seen afterwards, and none of the Trilopods possessed his characteristics.
Ebirah in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #9
Arata's grandfather stated that members of his village prayed to Ebirah to bring them plentiful fishing trips.
Ebirah in Godzilla: Cataclysm #2
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Ebirah/Gallery.
Sightings[edit | edit source]
- Ebirah inspired two monsters who appeared in the Nintendo anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Ebifryer and Ebizou. Both are giant shrimp monsters who have abilities far stronger than the rest of the cast.
Roar[edit | edit source]
Ebirah's shriek was edited and reused for Kamacuras in Son of Godzilla. It was also later used for the Giant Spider in the English-dubbed version of the film Magic Serpent, and many kaiju from the Ultra Series, such as Eleking and Vakishim. Ebirah's screech was later modified, sped-up, and used for Gigan, with this roar itself later being modified for SpaceGodzilla. The Giant Sea Louse from The Return of Godzilla also emits a modified Ebirah screech in combination with altered Kumonga roars.
In other languages[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Ebirah was Toho's first crustacean kaiju. Others that followed included Ganimes and Destoroyah.
- Several publicity photos for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep depict Godzilla lifting and throwing Ebirah over his head, though this never takes place in the film. A publicity photo for Godzilla Final Wars also depicts the same situation. This is referenced in the comic Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, in which Godzilla tosses Ebirah over his head as the two monsters come ashore in Sao Paulo, and was also recreated for the video thumbnail of Ebirah's first appearance in Godziban.
- In Godzilla Final Wars, Ebirah is nearly killed by Ozaki and the other mutants' Maser Rifles, making Ebirah one of the few monsters in the Godzilla films to be defeated by humanity without the use of vehicles, superweapons like the Oxygen Destroyer, or other monsters.
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
This is a list of references for Ebirah. 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: 
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