Godzilla (Kiryu Saga)
Tateyama after a nightmare. The damage is shocking. Residents are totally despondent. Army troops are pursuing their rescue operation. Premier Tsuge has identified the giant monster as another Godzilla. The first one raided us in 1954. The new Godzilla inflicted heavy damage on Tateyama and disappeared in the Pacific. It might still be hiding near us. Forty-five years after the first one, how can we cope with the new one that has raided us?
— News Reporter (Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla)
It is the fourth incarnation of Godzilla to appear in the Millennium series of films, the only Millennium series incarnation to appear in more than one film, and the eighth onscreen incarnation of the character overall. This Godzilla first appeared in 1999, 45 years after the first Godzilla was killed by Daisuke Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer. His attack led the JSDF to begin arming itself against another attack. The JSDF salvaged the original Godzilla's skeleton from the sea floor and converted it into a bio-robot named Kiryu, which was sent into battle against Godzilla in 2003. Godzilla's roar reawakened the spirit of the first Godzilla within Kiryu, causing it to go berserk and turn against the JSDF. When Kiryu was repaired and battled Godzilla again, the two monsters fought to a draw and Godzilla was expelled from Japan. However, this Godzilla was attracted to Japan again by the presence of the first Godzilla's remains, and engaged in another battle with Kiryu the following year, this time with Mothra and her twin larvae aiding Kiryu. Godzilla was severely wounded by Kiryu, but rather than finish off his organic counterpart, Kiryu became possessed by the original Godzilla's spirit once again and sank itself with Godzilla in the Japan Trench, saving Godzilla's life and taking him far away from humanity.
Name[edit | edit source]
The name "Godzilla" is a transliteration of Gojira (ゴジラ), a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ), meaning gorilla, and kujira (鯨 or クジラ), meaning whale. At one planning stage of the original film, the concept of "Gojira" was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale." The two words "whale" and "gorilla" describe Godzilla's traditional characteristics. The word whale represents his aquatic lifestyle and his bulky size. The word gorilla represents his sheer strength and the strategic thinking he uses when fighting against other monsters.
Contrary to popular belief, the name "Godzilla" is not the idea of the American distributor. Before Toho sold the original 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 an English transliteration of the name "Gojira"." The Japanese-to-English translation method of the Americans in the 1950's also proved that Godzilla was the correct English translation of Gojira.
Design[edit | edit source]
- Main article: KiryuGoji.
The Kiryu Saga Godzilla incorporates elements of the design of the first two Millennium Godzillas into his appearance, in addition to the enduring design elements of past incarnations. This Godzilla once again features the much more reptilian head of the Godzillas from Godzilla 2000: Millennium and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, as well as the pointed, jagged dorsal fins. However, this Godzilla's skin returns to the traditional charcoal gray color, while his dorsal plates are somewhat smaller in size and are bone white in color once again. This Godzilla's eyes are notable for being extremely large and bird-like, as well as yellow in color, making this Godzilla considerably more expressive than past incarnations.
Personality[edit | edit source]
The Kiryu Saga Godzilla does not display much of a defined personality, and is depicted as a destructive force of nature acting primarily on instinct. It is suggested that a primary reason for this Godzilla's rampages is the fact that he is attracted by Kiryu, who contains the remains of another Godzilla. This Godzilla does not appear to become violent or attack unless he is attacked first, after which he will lash out and brutally attack his enemies.
Origins[edit | edit source]
The Kiryu Saga Godzilla is another member of the same species as the original Godzilla that attacked Tokyo in 1954. He first appeared in 1999, when he came ashore in Tateyama during a typhoon. According to Masaaki Tezuka and Shogo Tomiyama, it is valid to interpret that this Godzilla is actually the son of the 1954 Godzilla, although this is not necessarily canon.
History[edit | edit source]
In 1954, Godzilla appeared and laid waste to Tokyo before being killed by Daisuke Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer. In the decades that followed, Japan was frequently attacked by giant monsters, including Mothra and Gaira. The Anti-Megalosaurus Force (AMF) was formed to combat these creatures, armed with advanced space-age weapons known as Maser Cannons. In 1999, a second Godzilla suddenly came ashore at Tateyama during a typhoon. The AMF was deployed, with their new Type 90 Maser Cannons, to stop Godzilla's rampage. To the AMF's shock, Maser Cannons had no effect on Godzilla, and only served to further enrage him. Godzilla destroyed most of the Maser Cannons attacking him and roared victoriously into the air, with lightning striking his dorsal fins. In the aftermath of the attack, the Japanese government was scrambling to find a new way to fight Godzilla. When the first Godzilla's intact skeleton was discovered off Boso Peninsula, it was decided to use it to construct a mechanical Godzilla to fight the new one. Recruiting the assistance of Japan's greatest scientific minds, the Japanese government began construction on the Godzilla robot. By 2003, four years after construction began, the weapon, codenamed Kiryu, was completed. Just after the mech was exhibited to the international community, Godzilla landed in Japan once again. Kiryu was launched and confronted Godzilla near the coast. Kiryu launched its rockets and fired its oral Maser beams at Godzilla, causing him to step back. Kiryu prepared to fire its ultimate weapon, the Absolute Zero Cannon, but Godzilla roared and caused the first Godzilla's soul within Kiryu to awaken. Kiryu, believing itself to be Godzilla once again, went berserk, destroying the surrounding city with its payload of weapons. Godzilla retreated in the confusion, while the AMF raced to find a way to shut Kiryu down. Once Kiryu's power was depleted, the project was shelved indefinitely, with AMF and the government reduced to a laughingstock.
Meanwhile, Godzilla resurfaced in Tokyo Bay, demolishing the AMF forces attacking him and coming ashore. As Godzilla drew closer and closer to the city center, AMF and the Prime Minister had no choice but to launch Kiryu again, believing whatever caused it to run wild before had been repaired. As Godzilla approached a hospital and charged his atomic breath, Kiryu dropped from the sky and knocked Godzilla into a nearby building. Godzilla got up and attacked Kiryu. The monsters appeared equally matched as they pushed each other back and forth through the city. Kiryu stabbed Godzilla with its plasma sword and electrocuted him. Godzilla responded by kicking Kiryu into a building and stomping on it. Kiryu regained its footing and grabbed Godzilla's tail, swinging him in the air and tossing him across the city. Kiryu charged the Absolute Zero once again, but Godzilla fired his atomic breath and sent Kiryu hurdling through the sky, with the Absolute Zero beam hitting three skyscrapers instead. When Kiryu hit the ground, it was rendered inoperable. The AMF distracted Godzilla while Kiryu's operator Akane Yashiro manually took control of the machine and got it back in working order. As Kiryu stood back up, Godzilla blasted it in the back with his atomic breath until it collapsed to the ground again. Kiryu stood up once more, as Godzilla charged his atomic breath. This time, an AC-3 White Heron flew into Godzilla's mouth, buying Kiryu time to fight back. Kiryu grabbed the jet's cockpit and tore it from Godzilla's mouth, then threw it to safety. Kiryu grabbed Godzilla and held his mouth shut as it took flight, charging the Absolute Zero. Kiryu crashed into Tokyo Bay and fired the weapon, causing water to erupt out of the bay and freeze solid in the air. The ice shattered, and Godzilla rose from the water with a gaping wound in his chest. As Godzilla began wading out to sea, Kiryu surfaced as well, missing an arm and unable to move. Godzilla looked back at Kiryu and growled before continuing on his way back out to sea. While Kiryu failed to kill Godzilla, it did expel him, meaning humanity finally had a weapon to defend itself against Godzilla.
Just one year after Godzilla and Kiryu's epic battle, Mothra's Shobijin appeared to Shinichi Chujo and warned him that the first Godzilla's bones must be returned to their resting place in the sea, and that it was blasphemous to use them as a weapon. The Shobijin stated that Mothra would have to declare war on humanity if the bones were not returned, and that she did not want to do that. Chujo spoke to the Japanese Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi, who stated that too many resources had been sunk into the Kiryu project for it to be scrapped now. He expressed his hope that Kiryu would one day kill Godzilla, after which the project could finally be scrapped. Meanwhile, the carcass of Kamoebas, a giant sea turtle, washed up on a beach, with claw marks in its neck. The AMF declared it to be the work of Godzilla, and Kiryu's repairs were sped up to prepare for the monster's return. Soon, Godzilla arrived in Tokyo, and appeared to be heading for Kiryu's hangar. Igarashi began to worry that Kiryu itself was what had been attracting Godzilla. Chujo's grandson Shun used school desks to recreate Mothra's sacred symbol, drawing her to Tokyo. Mothra attacked Godzilla, but in her old age was outmatched. Unwilling to let Mothra continue the fight alone, Igarashi ordered for Kiryu to be deployed. Kiryu arrived during Mothra and Godzilla's battle and attacked Godzilla after Mothra's wings had been destroyed by Godzilla's atomic breath. On Infant Island, Mothra's egg hatched into two twin larvae, which swam to Tokyo to assist their mother. Back in Tokyo, Godzilla used his atomic breath to blast off the side of Kiryu's face, knocking it out of commission. When Mothra's larvae arrived and began speaking with their mother, Godzilla fired his atomic breath at them. Mothra used the last of her strength to fly in front of the beam, causing her to be set ablaze and explode. Determined to avenge their mother, the larvae attacked Godzilla while Yoshito Chujo, an AMF mechanic, attempted to repair Kiryu from inside. When Kiryu was repaired, it engaged Godzilla again near the National Diet Building. The Diet Building was destroyed in the monsters' confrontation, but Kiryu managed to stab Godzilla's chest wound from their previous battle with its drill hand. Kiryu rotated the drill, causing Godzilla immeasurable pain. Mothra's larvae covered the wounded Godzilla in silk until he fell over, too injured to continue fighting. AMF ordered Kiryu to finish Godzilla, but Godzilla's pained cries reawakened the first Godzilla's spirit inside Kiryu. Unwilling to kill a member of his kind, Kiryu simply grabbed Godzilla and flew out to sea, sinking himself along with Godzilla in the Japan Trench. Igarashi declared the battle to be a hollow victory, and ordered the Kiryu project officially scrapped. However, AMF was secretly holding the DNA of several monsters in a lab, including Godzilla, to construct more weapons to defend against future monster attacks, possibly Godzilla again should he break free from Kiryu's grip.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Atomic Breath[edit | edit source]
As with past incarnations, the Kiryu Saga Godzilla's trademark ability is his atomic breath. As he charges the beam, Godzilla's dorsal fins flash and glow blue, after which Godzilla launches a superheated blue beam from his mouth. This Godzilla's atomic breath is extremely powerful, capable of leveling entire city blocks or destroying JSDF vehicles upon impact. Even Kiryu proved extremely vulnerable to Godzilla's atomic breath, as direct hits were able to knock him out of commission several times.
Durability[edit | edit source]
The Kiryu Saga Godzilla displays a high degree of durability and resistance to injury. All of the JSDF's weaponry, including Maser Cannons, are ineffective against Godzilla and are unable to faze him. Most of Kiryu's weaponry is ineffective against Godzilla as well, and even the powerful Absolute Zero Cannon fails to kill Godzilla when fired at point-blank range, although it was fired underwater, which may have reduced the effects of the weapon.
Amphibiousness[edit | edit source]
Godzilla, being an amphibious creature, is capable of living and moving both deep underwater and on land. His water speed is 20 knots.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
This incarnation of Godzilla actually displays a lower degree of durability compared to many past incarnations. While he is impervious to conventional weaponry, this Godzilla sustains a severe chest injury from Kiryu's Absolute Zero cannon, which still hasn't healed a year later. This proves critical in how Kiryu defeats Godzilla, as he pierces the wound with his drill hand and rotates it, then blasts the open wound with his Hyper Maser, critically injuring Godzilla and allowing him to be imprisoned in a silken cocoon by Mothra's larvae. Godzilla is so badly injured by this that he is unable to resist when he is trapped by the larvae and when Kiryu carries him into the Japan Trench. In addition, this Godzilla displays very little strategy or complex thought while fighting, and appears to rely mainly on animal cunning and instinct. This allows the human-operated Kiryu and the comparatively more intelligent Mothra to outsmart and ultimately beat him.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4 [Kaiju Guide]
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
Kaiju Guide[edit | edit source]
Godzilla 2003 in Godzilla: Kaiju Collection
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: KiryuGoji#Gallery.
Roar[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The design sported by this incarnation of Godzilla has become an incredibly popular design for the character, and has been used by Toho for numerous promotional events and non-film media.
References[edit | edit source]
This is a list of references for Godzilla/Kiryu Saga. 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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