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Frankenstein in Frankenstein vs. Baragon
Frankenstein in The Great Yokai War: Guardians
Alternate names Frankenstein's monster, boyFvB
Subtitle(s) Modified Giant
(改造巨人,   Kaizō Kyojin)FvB[1]
Artificial Human
(人造人間,   Jinzō Ningen)FvB[2]
Kaijin of Justice
(正義の怪人,   Seigi no Kaijin)FvB[3]
Immortal Demon
(不死身の魔人,   Fujimi no Majin)FvB[4]
Giant Immortal Beast
(不死身の巨人獣,   Fujimi no Kyojinjū)FvB[5]
Species Irradiated artificial humanFvB
Height Showa: 20 meters[6]
Weight Showa: 200 metric tons[6][note 1]
Forms Young, giant
Place(s) of emergence Frankfurt, GermanyFvB[2]
Relations Dr. Frankenstein (creator)FvB;
Sueko Togami (caretaker)FvB;
Sanda, Gaira (spawns)TWotG
Allies Sueko TogamiFvB, James BowenFvB,
Kenichiro KawajiFvB, yokaiTGYWG
Enemies BaragonFvB, Giant OctopusFvB*
Conceived of by Mary Shelley (original novel);
Eiji Tsuburaya, Tomoyuki TanakaFvB
Written by Kaoru MabuchiFvB
Played by Showa: Koji Furuhata,
Sumio Nakao (young)
Reiwa: Chris D.
First appearance Latest appearance
Frankenstein vs. Baragon The Great Yokai War: Guardians
More roars
Dr. Frankenstein's monster that you are talking about... It is said the monster died many times, but always came back to life.

— Dr. Reisendorf (Frankenstein vs. Baragon)

Frankenstein (フランケンシュタイン,   Furankenshutain), otherwise known as Frankenstein's monster, is a creature from the 1818 horror novel Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley.

A gigantic kaijin interpretation of the character appears in the 1965 Toho film Frankenstein vs. Baragon. After the atomic bomb which destroyed Hiroshima irradiated his immortal heart, it slowly regrew into a feral boy, and eventually a humanoid giant. Frankenstein became an outcast, blamed for the destruction caused by the subterranean monster Baragon and hunted by the JSDF. Ultimately, he confronted and killed the monster before a sudden fissure sent him plummeting into the Earth's depths, his fate unknown. Though referenced in The War of the Gargantuas as the ancestor of Sanda and Gaira, Toho's Frankenstein has not appeared in any media since then.

Another version of the character closer to traditional depictions appears in the Toho/Kadokawa-distributed film The Great Yokai War: Guardians.


Frankenstein's name comes from the surname of his creator, Victor Frankenstein, and he is often regarded as "Frankenstein's monster." In the original novel, as well as its earliest film adaptations by Edison Studios and Universal Pictures, the monster was never referred to by any name in particular; over the course of the former, he is referred to by descriptors such as "creature," "devil" and "ogre," and calls himself a "monster" at least once. The opening credits to Universal's Frankenstein credit him simply as "The Monster." The monster began being commonly referred to as "Frankenstein" by audiences, and this became a popular name for the creature which persists to this day, despite not being technically accurate.

The monster is consistently referred to as "Frankenstein" in Frankenstein vs. Baragon and in the credits of The Great Yokai War: Guardians, so in this context the name is nevertheless correct. The monster is, however, referred to in English as "Frankenstein's Monster" on the cover of the 47th volume of Toho SFX Movies Authentic Visual Book.[7]


Toho's idea for a film featuring Frankenstein's monster originated with Willis O'Brien's screenplay treatment and concept art for King Kong vs. Frankenstein, which pitted King Kong against a giant Frankenstein's monster created by Dr. Frankenstein's grandson in the Congo River region of Africa using the body parts of various large African animals. This story was pitched to Toho by producer John Beck, and ultimately led to the production of King Kong vs. Godzilla. Toho was still interested in making a Frankenstein film, however, and in 1963 Tomoyuki Tanaka greenlit Frankenstein vs. The Human Vapor, a sequel to the studio's previous film The Human Vapor. The story revolved around the Human Vapor, having survived the climax of the aforementioned film, learning of a scientist who has revived Frankenstein's monster. He then seeks the scientist out, believing he may hold the secret to reviving his dead lover using the same technology. While a draft of the film's screenplay was completed by Shinichi Sekizawa, the film ultimately never came to fruition.

Toho's next idea involving Frankenstein's monster was a follow-up to King Kong vs. Godzilla. Takeshi Kimura wrote a script for this film, which featured Godzilla battling Frankenstein's monster, who has grown to gigantic size due to the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The story, titled Frankenstein vs. Godzilla, underwent numerous revisions, with Godzilla ultimately being replaced with the new monster Baragon and the film becoming Frankenstein vs. Baragon. While the original story had presented Frankenstein as just as dangerous, if not moreso, than Godzilla, the final story opted to depict Frankenstein as more sympathetic and the lesser of two evils compared to Baragon.

Director Ishiro Honda watched Universal Pictures' 1931 film adaptation of Frankenstein prior to beginning work on the film. He based his interpretation of the monster on Boris Karloff's iconic portrayal of the creature, taking care to express the tragedy and sorrow of the character. Kaoru Mabuchi included many attempts to form sympathy for Frankenstein in his screenplay, with the character of Sueko Togami forming a motherly affection for the creature and James Bowen insisting that Frankenstein is a human being. In contrast to the original film, where the human characters fail to understand and sympathize with the monster, in Honda's film the three protagonists are allies of Frankenstein by the end.

Special makeup was applied to actors Sumio Nakao and Koji Furuhata, who portrayed Frankenstein's young and adult forms in the film, respectively. Whereas the depictions of monsters in most of Toho's kaiju films were handled by the special effects department, Frankenstein's makeup was applied by a staff of makeup specialists. The actors wore special green-colored contact lens so their eyes would look more like those of Westerners, as Frankenstein was supposed to be German in the film. Furuhata wore skin-colored shoes as part of the adult Frankenstein's costume. Frankenstein's moving severed hand was realized using an elaborate scale model, consisting of five fully-moving fingers operated by a motor mechanism.

Frankenstein vs. Baragon proved to be Furuhata's final role, though he was still a teenager at the time. He reportedly developed deafness, though Keizo Murase testified that he did not get the impression that he was deaf during filming, just not very talkative.[8] His current whereabouts and activities are unknown.


Frankenstein's appearance is primarily derived from actor Boris Karloff's iconic portrayal of the creature in the 1931 film adaptation of the novel. Toho's Frankenstein features the tall lanky physique of Karloff's version, along with the trademark tall forehead and flat-topped angular head. Unlike most other interpretations, Toho's Frankenstein seems to have normal human-looking skin and no signs of physical decay on his body. Due to his size, Toho's Frankenstein also wears a large makeshift cloak presumably made of fur rather than normal clothing. In The Great Yokai War: Guardians, Frankenstein is human-sized and wears a trenchcoat, along with metal stitching on his face, much like traditional depictions of the character.


Frankenstein is portrayed as an innocent, childlike but still relatively intelligent creature, similar to the version of the monster that appeared in Universal Pictures' films featuring the character. Toho's Frankenstein is mute and unable to speak, but does appear able to understand human speech. He is also somewhat feral, but is not hostile or dangerous towards humans so long as they do not try to harm him. Frankenstein shows compassion and loyalty towards Dr. Sueko Togami, the scientist that raised him. Even after escaping from the laboratory, Frankenstein visits Sueko's apartment. Frankenstein also takes it upon himself to fight Baragon when the creature threatens Sueko.


In Frankenstein vs. Baragon, a German scientist named Dr. Frankenstein had created an artificial human from the pieces of several corpses and reanimated it using electricity. Though the creature appeared to die at several points over the next several decades, it always managed to return from the dead due to its immortal heart. By 1945, a scientist in Frankfurt, Germany—Dr. Liesendorf—was experimenting on the living heart of Frankenstein's monster, only for Hitler's Nazis to seize it. The Nazis, hoping to use the heart's secrets to create an army of immortal super-soldiers, shipped the heart to Japan in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Allied forces. The heart was taken to a Hiroshima laboratory for study but was lost and seemingly destroyed when the United States dropped the atomic bomb Little Boy on the city. Fifteen years later, a wild boy was discovered wandering the streets of the city. Scientists eventually captured and studied him, discovering that he was regenerated from the lost heart of Frankenstein's monster.

Selected history

Showa era

Frankenstein vs. Baragon

Frankenstein battling Baragon in Frankenstein vs. Baragon

Towards the end of World War II, Nazi soldiers confiscated the living heart of Frankenstein's monster from the scientist studying it, Dr. Liesendorf. They transported the heart to Hiroshima in the hopes that Japanese scientists could use it to create an army of immortal super-soldiers. Before they could make any breakthroughs, however, an American bomber destroyed the city with an atomic bomb.

Fifteen years later, the story of a boy eating animals and wandering the streets of the now-rebuilt city reached Dr. Sueko Togami, assistant to radiologist Dr. James Bowen. Soon after, she saw the boy fall victim to a hit-and-run, though he seemed unharmed, and Sueko threw him a loaf of bread. After the police later cornered him in a seaside cave, she was able to convince him to travel to their laboratory for study. Bowen was amazed to find that the boy had been exposed to radiation as an infant, yet exhibited no symptoms of radiation poisoning. With the help of the press, Dr. Bowen put out a plea for any information on the boy's parentage. Through the testimony of a sailor on the submarine that brought the heart to Japan, as well as that of Dr. Liesendorf, they learned of his possible connection to Frankenstein's monster's heart. Liesendorf added that if the boy regrew a severed arm or leg, it would prove that he was indeed Frankenstein.

In the meantime, the boy had grown far larger than a normal human, forcing Bowen's team to house him in a cage. Bowen's other assistant, Dr. Kenichiro Kawaji, secretly attempted to remove the giant's hand to discover the truth, but he was interrupted by a TV crew who wanted to film Frankenstein. The crew purposely agitated Frankenstein for the sake of better footage, and ended up making him a killer as he broke out of the cage. After causing panic in the streets of Hiroshima, he visited Sueko one last time before fleeing the city.

In the aftermath of the attack, two reporters found a severed hand crawling in the cage, proving that the giant was indeed Frankenstein. The scientists attempted to keep it alive by bathing it in a protein solution, but it soon escaped and trapped itself under a grate, starving to death. Meanwhile, reports of destroyed farms and slain livestock throughout Japan convinced the police and military that Frankenstein must be destroyed. Still, no one actually reported a Frankenstein sighting until he briefly menaced a pleasure cruise ship in Byoko. Tanks pursued him across the countryside, but he escaped after one fell into a pitfall trap he had dug for a wild boar. When the military came upon a destroyed, desolate village, they assumed Frankenstein was responsible. In reality, it was the work of a subterranean reptilian monster called Baragon.

After Baragon attacked another village, two boys found Frankenstein hiding in an abandoned ammunition dump nearby. Army infantry opened fire on him, but Frankenstein was only frightened by their bullets and fled once more. Though Bowen's team was running low on funds, they continued dropping food parcels for him to retrieve. While they searched for him on foot, Kawaji revealed his plan to kill Frankenstein with explosives, as he was no longer confident that Sueko could tame the giant. Unfortunately, the first explosive he tested lured Baragon to the surface. Before the monster could devour Sueko, Frankenstein arrived to challenge him. Baragon retreated after a brief scuffle, allowing Frankenstein to rescue Kawaji and return him to his fellow scientists. As Baragon closed in on another village, Frankenstein again intervened, using hit-and-run tactics to lure the monster to his cave. There, he retrieved a pair of torches to continue the fight, accidentally starting a forest fire when he threw one. Ultimately, he was able to kill Baragon by snapping his neck. As he howled in triumph, a fissure opened up beneath his feet, swallowing up both monsters.

Alternate ending

After Frankenstein killed Baragon, a Giant Octopus clambered out of a nearby lake and immediately assailed him. Frankenstein fought bravely against the monster, but the huge cephalopod overpowered him and dragged him below the surface of the lake, seemingly to his death.

The War of the Gargantuas

It was later discovered that some of the immortal cells left behind in Japan by Frankenstein regenerated and took on lives of their own. One of these Frankenstein spawns, Sanda, was raised from childhood by a team of kind scientists before escaping into the mountains. The other, Gaira, grew up underwater in the sea surrounded by dangerous creatures, and became a violent and hateful beast.

Reiwa era

The Great Yokai War: Guardians

Frankenstein was an attendant of the Yokai Yammit, an international gathering of yokai.



At his full size, Frankenstein was able to uproot trees, hurl massive boulders, and hold his own against Baragon in hand-to-hand combat.


Frankenstein was unaffected by machine gun fire or Baragon's flame breath, and shrugged off the monster's physical blows.


Frankenstein's healing capabilities were virtually limitless as long as he had a source of protein. Aside from the radiation resistance he developed in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, he was able to regrow his severed hand after a short period of time, and even regrew his entire body from just a heart after several years. In the manga adaptation of Frankenstein vs. Baragon by Asakazu Arikawa, this ability is even more dramatic: he instantly grows back his arms after ripping them off to escape his cage.[9]

Frankenstein's cells would later regenerate into Sanda and Gaira in The War of the Gargantuas.


Like typical humans, the Toho Frankenstein is capable of swimming and diving underwater.


Frankenstein possesses caveman-like intelligence. The monster makes his own clothing, builds traps to hunt for food, and uses fire for both warmth and offense. He is harmless to humans unless cornered and disoriented, and even then the deaths he caused were accidental. He defended the scientists who cared for him against Baragon, even allowing the kaiju to escape in order to save Kawaji. In his second bout with Baragon, he lured him far away from the village he was menacing.



Main article: Frankenstein/Gallery.


Frankenstein's roars


  • In the alternate ending for Frankenstein vs. Baragon, after Frankenstein defeats Baragon, a Giant Octopus emerges from a nearby lake and fights Frankenstein. Frankenstein battles fiercely, but cannot compete with the Giant Octopus' eight powerful tentacles. The Giant Octopus drags Frankenstein into the water to an unknown fate, with the characters offering the same closing dialogue as in the official ending. This ending was shot for the American version of the film, though American International Pictures opted to use the original Japanese ending instead. Toho accidentally aired the film on television in Japan with this alternate ending attached, and DVD releases in both Japan and North America have since included it, usually as a bonus feature.
  • The American English dub of The War of the Gargantuas by Glen Glenn Sound removed all references to Frankenstein, likely because Frankenstein Conquers the World had been released in the U.S. four years prior by a different company. In the film's international English dub recorded in Hong Kong, however, Frankenstein's name remains in the script.
  • In Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Dr. Frankenstein is referred to as "a German scientist." In Mary Shelley's original novel, Victor Frankenstein was born in Naples, Italy, and was raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He was also a medical student at the University of Ingolstadt in Germany when he created the monster in the novel, and did not hold a doctorate.
  • Frankenstein's name appears in the German titles of other kaiju films such as Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, The War of the Gargantuas, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Gamera vs. Gyaos, The X from Outer Space, Gappa, King Kong Escapes, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, Gamera vs. Jiger, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and Godzilla vs. Gigan. Contrary to popular belief, however, the German dubs do not alter the plots of these films to credit Dr. Frankenstein with creating the monsters, while the Japanese version of The War of the Gargantuas had already established a connection between the Gargantuas and Frankenstein. However, there were a few unexplained, offhand references to Dr. Frankenstein throughout them, such as Goro Maki calling the Kamacuras "Frankenstein's monsters" in Son of Godzilla.
  • Eddie Murphy was to have played "Eddie Frankenmurphy," a Frankenstein-inspired awards show emcee who would present Godzilla with a Lifetime Achievement Award, in the proposed Disney attraction Creature's Choice Awards.


Wikizilla: YouTube Kaijin Profile: Frankenstein

See also


  1. While Frankenstein's weight is widely considered to be 200 metric tons by most sources, the 1993 and 2005 publications Encyclopedia of Godzilla (Mechagodzilla Edition) (page 103) and Godzilla Toho Giant Monster Pictorial Book (page 98) instead claim that Frankenstein weighs 1,000 and 11,000 metric tons, respectively.


This is a list of references for Frankenstein. 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]

  1. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah Monster Complete Works. Kodansha. 5 December 1991. p. 72. ISBN 4061777203.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. 23 July 2014. p. 38. ISBN 4-096-82090-3.
  3. Encyclopedia of Godzilla (Mechagodzilla Edition). Gakken. 10 December 1993. p. 103. ISBN 405600174X.
  4. Common Knowledge of Godzilla. Futabasha. 6 July 2014. p. 161. ISBN 978-4-575-30696-5.
  5. Definitive Edition of Toho Monster Movies!! Godzilla Special Effects Complete Works. Natsumesha. 21 December 1994. p. 60. ISBN 978-4816317750.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Godzilla Giant Monsters Super Encyclopedia (4th ed.). Kodansha. 15 March 1994. p. 54. ISBN 978-4063042702.
  7. Visual Book Volume 47.png
  8. Murase, Keizo (24 September 2015). Monster Maker: Keizo Murase - Treasured KAIJU Photobook. Yosensha. p. 265. ISBN 978-4-8003-0756-9.
  9. Toho Kingdom - Manga: Frankenstein vs. the Subterranean Monster


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