- This article is about the 1955-1975 incarnation of Godzilla. For the 1954 incarnation of the character, see Godzilla (1954).
The King of Monsters, Godzilla.
— News Reporter (Destroy All Monsters)
This Godzilla is the most prolific version of the character, appearing in 14 films and a television series. He appeared less than a year after the previous Godzilla's demise, again a prehistoric sea creature awakened from his ancient slumber by nuclear testing. While this Godzilla followed in his predecessor's destructive footsteps at first, he eventually fought on the side of the human race in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, where he joined forces with Mothra and Rodan to drive off the evil space monster King Ghidorah. Godzilla would go on to become a frequent defender of the Earth, rising whenever the planet's well-being was threatened by malevolent forces, whether they were other monsters or sinister alien races. Over time, Godzilla established himself as the undisputed King of the Monsters, gaining more allies like Anguirus and King Caesar. He also raised a son, Minilla, and trained him to take up his mantle. After slaying King Ghidorah at the end of the 20th century alongside six other monsters, then smashing the Kilaak aliens' secret base, Godzilla returned to Monsterland to live out the rest of his days in peace.
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, 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.
Design[edit | edit source]
- Main articles: GyakushuGoji, KingGoji, MosuGoji, DaisensoGoji, MusukoGoji, SoshingekiGoji, MegaroGoji.
The Showa Godzilla's appearance changes throughout his film appearances. In Godzilla Raids Again, this Godzilla closely resembles the original Godzilla, albeit slimmer in build, with rough, scarred-over skin, three rows of jagged dorsal fins (with five prominent plates down the center of his back which light up when firing atomic breath), small eyes and ears, needle-like fangs in his mouth, and four toes. Starting in King Kong vs. Godzilla, this Godzilla's design began to shift to a less frightening appearance. The eyes were made larger, his fangs and ears were removed, and his skin, while still rough and bumpy, no longer appeared burnt and scarred. Godzilla's dorsal plates took on a more uniform maple leaf shape, and now consisted of one main row flanked by two smaller rows. Though Godzilla's appearance would still vary from film to film, most of the traits introduced in King Kong vs. Godzilla would remain consistent through the rest of the Showa series.
Personality[edit | edit source]
The Showa Godzilla undergoes gradual character development throughout his film appearances. In Godzilla Raids Again, King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla, Godzilla is a destructive beast that comes ashore in Japan and destroys everything in his path and indiscriminately attacks other monsters. Starting in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla begins a transition into a heroic character as he begrudgingly joins forces with Mothra and Rodan to fight off the evil space monster King Ghidorah. In subsequent films in the 1960's, Godzilla is often depicted as the lesser of two evils, doing battle with much more malicious and dangerous creatures such as King Ghidorah, Ebirah, and Kumonga. In the film Son of Godzilla, Godzilla discovers an infant member of his species named Minilla, which he decides to raise as a son and train to take up his mantle. Godzilla's loyalty and love for Minilla eventually leads to him becoming a primarily heroic and sympathetic character. In the films of the 1970's, Godzilla is depicted as an actual superhero who arrives in Japan to fend off evil monsters from outer space such as Hedorah, Gigan and Mechagodzilla.
According to Mothra's Shobijin's translation of Mothra, Rodan and Godzilla's conversation in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla only "hates humans because they hate him," suggesting that Godzilla never had any true malicious intent but was only reacting to constantly being attacked by humans. Rodan later agrees with Godzilla's statement.
Origins[edit | edit source]
The Showa Godzilla is another individual of the same species as the original Godzilla that attacked Tokyo in 1954. Like his predecessor, this Godzilla was presumably awakened by an American hydrogen bomb test in the South Pacific, causing him to absorb huge amounts of radiation and driving him from his natural underwater habitat.
History[edit | edit source]
Less than a year after the first Godzilla's demise, a second one was spotted by pilots Shoichi Tsukioka and Koji Kobayashi on the remote Iwato Island battling the giant ankylosaur monster Anguirus. After a brief clash, Godzilla and Anguirus tumbled into the ocean and disappeared. Tsukioka and Kobayashi told their story to the Japanese authorities, who consulted Dr. Yamane to find a way to stop the monsters. Yamane regretfully stated that with the death of Dr. Serizawa, there was no conceivable way to defeat Godzilla. Yamane suggested that a blackout be enforced on major cities when Godzilla was near, as bright lights reminded him of the nuclear bomb that awakened him and would draw him to the city. When Godzilla appeared in Osaka Bay, the city of Osaka initiated a blackout, while the JSDF used flares to lure Godzilla back out to sea. Meanwhile, a group of convicts escaped from a prison transport in the city and stole a car, engaging in a high-speed chase with police that ended when their car struck a refinery. The resulting explosion produced a raging fire that lured both Godzilla and Anguirus into the city. The monsters resumed their struggle, reducing the city of Osaka to rubble. When the battle neared Osaka Castle, Godzilla tackled Anguirus into the building. He then bit down on Anguirus' neck before throwing him into the moat below and setting him ablaze with his atomic breath. His enemy defeated, Godzilla calmly swam back out to sea. Weeks later, Godzilla was believed to be active in the waters off Hokkaido, sinking a fishing boat. Tsukioka saw Godzilla come ashore on an icy island while scouting the waters for fish in his plane, and reported it to the JSDF Several fighter jets engaged Godzilla on the island, but their weapons had no effect and Godzilla approached the water. Kobayashi arrived in his plane to try and distract Godzilla, only to be shot down and killed by Godzilla's atomic breath. The avalanche of ice caused by the crash inspired the JSDF to shoot the slopes on the island and try to bury Godzilla in ice. The plan worked, as Godzilla was completely submerged in the ice and finally defeated, at least for the time being.
Seven years after Godzilla was encased in ice, his icy prison broke off the island and floated out to sea, gradually thawing. The United Nations submarine Seahawk accidentally crashed into the iceberg while in the waters north of Japan, causing it to split open and finally free Godzilla. Godzilla swam to a nearby military base, annihilating its forces with his atomic breath. He then surfaced in the Tohoku region, attacking a train in the countryside near Sendai. Godzilla continued on his way, only to eventually encounter the giant ape King Kong. Kong threw boulders at Godzilla, who responded by blasting Kong with his atomic breath, setting the surrounding forests ablaze. Kong, unable to fight back, walked away in defeat. Godzilla continued his rampage, gradually approaching Tokyo. The JSDF dug a huge pit in the ground, filled it with explosives containing poison gas and then covered it with a net covered in dirt and foliage, hoping to trap and asphyxiate Godzilla when he reached it. When Godzilla reached the trap, he fell into the pit, prompting the JSDF to detonate the charges. Godzilla climbed out of the pit unfazed by the gas and continued to approach Tokyo. The JSDF then initiated one last desperate plan to keep Godzilla out of the capital. Tokyo was surrounded by a barrier of high-tension wires, similar to the unsuccessful plan used to try and halt the first Godzilla back in 1954. However, the wires now carried a charge of one million volts. When Godzilla tried to breach the barrier, he was electrocuted until he turned around and walked away. Godzilla then began to climb Mount Fuji. When King Kong was sedated after climbing the National Diet Building, the JSDF developed a plan to drop off Kong at Mt. Fuji and force him and Godzilla to fight to the death. Kong was carried to the mountain by balloons and dropped onto Godzilla. The monsters resumed their battle, with Godzilla eventually gaining the upper hand, knocking Kong unconscious and setting him ablaze with his atomic breath. Fortunately for Kong, an electrical storm passed overhead, and he was struck by lightning, revitalizing him. Kong viciously fought back against Godzilla, pummeling him with electrified punches. They continued fighting until they reached Atami Castle and tackled each other off a cliff into the ocean below. After a brief earthquake, Kong surfaced from the water and began to swim back to his home on Faro Island. The humans who had witnessed the battle were unsure if Godzilla had survived, but speculated it was possible.
Godzilla was washed ashore and buried underground by a vicious typhoon that struck the coast of Japan. Eventually, he surfaced and began to rampage, attacking the nearby city of Nagoya. Godzilla destroyed both the Nagoya Tower and Nagoya Castle, then wandered off into the Japanese countryside. The JSDF engaged Godzilla several times, each time unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, Ichiro Sakai and his colleagues traveled to Infant Island to ask for Mothra's help in stopping Godzilla. While the natives and even Mothra's Shobijin refused, the elderly Mothra agreed and flew to Japan. When Godzilla approached the incubator in Japan where Mothra's egg was being held by a corporation, Mothra flew down and attacked him. She put up a desperate fight against Godzilla, but was too frail to continue and collapsed onto her egg and died. Victorious, Godzilla continued his rampage. Building on their successful repulsion of Godzilla two years ago with electrical wires, the JSDF constructed several giant electrical towers capable of blasting Godzilla with extremely high voltages of electricity. To further increase the effectiveness of the attack, helicopters dropped a wire net onto Godzilla, which conducted the charge across his entire body. However, the towers overheated and exploded, allowing Godzilla to regain his footing and eradicate the JSDF's forces. He then approached Iwa Island, where a group of schoolchildren and their teacher were stranded. Thankfully, Mothra's egg hatched and her twin larvae followed Godzilla to the island. There, they managed to trap him in silk and cause him to fall over a cliff into the water below. Godzilla then disappeared underwater.
After destroying a cruise ship with his atomic breath, Godzilla came ashore in Japan, where he encountered Rodan, who had escaped from the crater of Mount Aso. Godzilla and Rodan attacked each other, engaging in a protracted battle for several days that eventually reached Mount Fuji. Meanwhile, the space monster known as King Ghidorah arrived in Japan in a meteor and began attacking the nation's major cities. The Shobijin contacted the surviving Mothra larva, who traveled to Mt. Fuji to try and recruit Godzilla and Rodan to help her stop King Ghidorah. When the monsters would not stop fighting, Mothra got their attention by spraying them with silk until they stopped. The monsters reluctantly decided to hear Mothra out, but refused to help, claiming they had no reason to help her. Mothra told them the Earth belonged to all creatures and that they faced a common threat, but Godzilla claimed he had no willingness to help humanity, as they constantly attacked him. Rodan even agreed with this sentiment. Dejected, Mothra tried to fight King Ghidorah on her own, but was brutally outmatched. Inspired by the larva's courage, Godzilla and Rodan entered the battle against King Ghidorah. Together, the three monsters were able to force King Ghidorah to retreat back to space. Godzilla and Rodan then watched Mothra swim back to Infant Island.
Upon arriving on the newly-discovered Planet X, astronauts Glenn and Fuji encountered a race of sapient aliens known as the Xiliens and their leader, the Controller of Planet X. The Controller revealed that Planet X was being terrorized by King Ghidorah, whom the Xiliens called "Monster Zero." The Controller told the astronauts if they would allow the Xiliens to "borrow" Godzilla and Rodan in order to fight King Ghidorah, the Xiliens would provide mankind with a cure for cancer. While Earth's leaders discussed the offer, the Xiliens secretly arrived on Earth and located Godzilla sleeping under Lake Myojin and Rodan roosting in the side of a mountain. When the Xiliens revealed themselves, they used their flying saucers to transport Godzilla and Rodan to Planet X, accompanied by Glenn, Fuji, and their superior officer Dr. Sakurai. On Planet X, they witnessed Godzilla and Rodan fight and defeat King Ghidorah. The Controller gave the three humans a tape he claimed held the cure and sent them back to Earth. Back on Earth, it was revealed the tape was actually an ultimatum from the Xiliens demanding Earth's surrender, or else the now mind-controlled Godzilla, dubbed Monster Zero-One (怪物０１ Kaibutsu Zerowan) by the Xiliens, alongside Rodan and King Ghidorah would be set loose on Earth. When humanity would not give in, all three monsters were set loose. Thankfully, Fuji developed a way to sever the Xiliens' mind control, freeing the monsters. The Xiliens' forces were quickly defeated by the JSDF, leaving only the monsters. Godzilla and Rodan teamed up against King Ghidorah once more, eventually falling off a cliff with him into the water. King Ghidorah retreated back to space, while Godzilla and Rodan vanished. However, witnesses were certain neither monster had died.
Godzilla was discovered sleeping in a cave on Letchi Island by a group of people hiding from the island's resident terrorist group, the Red Bamboo. When several members of the group were either captured or disappeared, the remaining people decided to awaken Godzilla by attaching a sword to copper wire during a storm and placing the wire on Godzilla. When the sword was hit by lightning, Godzilla woke up and broke free of the cavern. Godzilla tried to return to the sea, he was attacked by Ebirah, a giant lobster that guarded the waters of the island. Godzilla and Ebirah threw rocks at each other for a while, then Godzilla entered the water to fight Ebirah hand-to-hand. After an underwater clash, Godzilla forced Ebirah to retreat. Godzilla returned to the shore and took up refuge on a mountain. There, he was attacked by a Giant Condor, which he killed with a single blast of his atomic breath. Godzilla was then attacked by a fleet of Red Bamboo fighter jets, which he destroyed easily. Godzilla then retaliated by assaulting the Red Bamboo's base on the island, unwittingly activating a nuclear bomb in the base that would explode and destroy the island. Godzilla approached the ocean once again, but was again confronted by Ebirah. The monsters battled again, with Godzilla virtually boiling Ebirah alive by blasting the water with his atomic breath. Godzilla then tore off both of Ebirah's claws and taunted him, forcing the giant lobster to swim away in defeat. Godzilla then witnessed Mothra fly overhead and went back ashore to challenge her. Mothra had actually come to save the Infant Islanders being enslaved by the Red Bamboo, and knocked Godzilla aside with her wing in order to rescue them before the bomb could go off. As the survivors were airlifted away, they called out to Godzilla warning him to leave the island. Godzilla watched Mothra fly away, and then dove into the ocean just as Letchi Island was consumed by a nuclear explosion, much to everyone's relief.
Godzilla was summoned to Sollgel Island after detecting a distress call from another member of his species. When he arrived, he found three giant mantises called Kamacuras attacking a prematurely hatched infant Godzilla, dubbed Minilla. Godzilla killed two of the Kamacuras and saved Minilla, who began to follow him. Godzilla begrudgingly allowed Minilla to ride on his tail, and the two of them traveled to the interior of the island. Godzilla took up residence next to a lake of boiling red water, where he began to raise Minilla as his son and train him to take up his mantle. Godzilla demonstrated to Minilla how to use his atomic breath, but Minilla was only able to fire a pitiful smoke ring. Godzilla stepped on Minilla's tail, which caused him to fire an atomic beam. Minilla shrieked excitedly, and Godzilla gave him a congratulatory pat on the head. When Godzilla was sleeping, Minilla jumped over his tail several times, eventually tripping over him. Godzilla looked up at Minilla, who stared guiltily at him until he fell back asleep. Bored, Minilla wandered off only to be confronted by the giant spider Kumonga. Kumonga trapped Minilla and a Kamacuras, which he killed by injecting it with poison. Before Kumonga could do the same to Minilla, Godzilla arrived to save his son. Godzilla battled Kumonga while a team of United Nations scientists on the island activated a weather-controlling device intended to freeze the island and allow them to escape the monsters. As snow began to fall on the island, Kumonga trapped Godzilla in its web and prepared to finish him. Thankfully, Minilla used his atomic breath to attack Kumonga. Godzilla recovered and the two monsters used their atomic breath in unison to set Kumonga ablaze. Godzilla then approached the ocean to get off the island before it froze over. Minilla fell in the snow and began to cry out as he started to fall asleep. Rather than abandon his son, Godzilla went back and embraced him in the snow, as they both went into hibernation together.
By the end of the 20th century, Godzilla and all of Earth's other kaiju were living together on the human-monitored Monsterland, located in the Ogasawara Islands. A sinister alien force called the Kilaaks invaded the island, brainwashing the island's staff along with the monsters and setting them loose all over the globe. Godzilla surfaced in New York, where he attacked the United Nations building. As humanity struggled to find a way to sever the Kilaaks' mind control, Godzilla, Rodan, Manda and Mothra all assaulted Tokyo at once. The monsters could not be stopped by military might, and Tokyo was reduced to rubble. Godzilla and the other monsters were then recalled to the Mount Fuji area to guard the Kilaaks' base. Fortunately, the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 assaulted the Kilaaks' base on the moon and destroyed their mind control device. Godzilla then led his fellow Earth monsters to attack the Kilaaks' base at Mt. Fuji. The Kilaaks revealed their trump card though, in the form of King Ghidorah. King Ghidorah attacked Godzilla and the Earth monsters, but was no match for the combined might of Godzilla, Minilla, Anguirus, and Gorosaurus. Gorosaurus delivered a punishing kangaroo-kick to Ghidorah's back, while Godzilla stomped his heads into the dust. Minilla then choked off King Ghidorah's last head with a smoke ring, leaving the space monster lying limp on the ground. Mothra and Kumonga then covered King Ghidorah's motionless body in webbing. The Kilaaks then unleashed a flaming UFO dubbed the "Fire Dragon," which was eventually shot down by the SY-3. Godzilla discovered the Kilaaks' base and destroyed it, causing a fissure to open in the ground, into which King Ghidorah's body fell. With the Earth finally saved, Godzilla and his fellow monsters were relocated back to Monsterland to live out their days in peace.
Godzilla appeared in the dreams of the young boy Ichiro Miki when he dreamed about visiting Monster Island. In his dreams, Ichiro met Minilla, and the two of them watched Godzilla battle Kamacuras, Ebirah, Kumonga and a giant eagle. Godzilla then called for Minilla and attempted to teach him how to fight for himself. When Minilla proved unable to fire atomic breath, only a weak ring of smoke, Godzilla stomped on his tail, causing him to fire a powerful beam. Minilla returned to Ichiro and the two of them formulated a plan to defeat Gabara, a giant monster who constantly bullied Minilla. They created a giant teeter-totter trap that launched Gabara into the air, leaving him apparently unconscious. Godzilla congratulated his son, only for Gabara to attack Godzilla in retaliation. Godzilla became enraged and mercilessly beat up Gabara until the monster ran away. Afterwards, both Godzilla and Minilla approached Ichiro. Godzilla reached for him, but Ichiro woke up before the monster could grab him.
Godzilla was attracted by the presence of Hedorah, a monster composed of pollution, and attacked him at a port while the latter was trying to feed on a smokestack. Godzilla was able to overpower Hedorah, and forced him to retreat to the ocean. Godzilla then followed after Hedorah. When Hedorah appeared on land in broad daylight in a new flying form, Godzilla attacked him near a refinery. However, the sulfuric mist given off by Hedorah's flying form caused Godzilla to collapse and gasp for air, allowing the smog monster to fly away. Hedorah later arrived at the summit of Mount Fuji in his gigantic final form, with Godzilla in hot pursuit. Godzilla battled Hedorah, but was gruesomely wounded, losing an eye and having his hand eaten down to the bone by Hedorah's acidic blood. Godzilla fell into a pit, where Hedorah dumped a huge amount of sludge onto him. Hedorah was lured away by the JSDF, who had created a Giant Electrode to dry him out. When the electrode failed to function, Godzilla got back up and activated it with his atomic breath, drying Hedorah into a husk. Godzilla tore into Hedorah and removed two white orbs, then dried them out with the electrode. As Godzilla walked away, he hit Hedorah's husk with his tail, only for it to split open and release a second Hedorah, which flew away. Godzilla used his atomic breath to propel himself into the air and chase after Hedorah, eventually colliding with him in midair and tackling him to the ground. Godzilla subdued Hedorah and brought him back to the electrode, drying him out again. This time, Godzilla tore Hedorah into pieces, then dried them all individually until Hedorah was nothing but dust. Godzilla then looked at the JSDF for a moment before walking down the mountain into the ocean and swimming away.
While sleeping on Monster Island, Godzilla overheard the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens' "action tape" being played, alerting him to their nefarious plans to conquer the Earth. Godzilla told his friend Anguirus to travel to Japan to investigate the Nebulans' activities. When Anguirus was repelled from Japan by the JSDF, who were unaware of his intentions, and returned to Monster Island, Godzilla joined him and the two of them swam to Japan. When they reached the outskirts of Tokyo, the Nebulans had already unleashed their two monster pawns, Godzilla's arch-enemy King Ghidorah and the cyborg Gigan. Godzilla and Anguirus engaged the space monsters in battle, with their struggle reaching to construction site of the World Children's Land, the secret base of the Nebulans' operations. The Nebulans' activated their Godzilla Tower, which fired a laser beam at Godzilla. Godzilla was unable to withstand the brutal onslaught of both the tower and Gigan and was seemingly knocked down for the count. Anguirus tried to take on Gigan and King Ghidorah by himself, but was overwhelmed. When Godzilla got back to his feet, his vision was blurry and he stumbled into the Godzilla Tower, which was already damaged by a TNT explosion, completely destroying it. Godzilla regrouped with Anguirus while Gigan and King Ghidorah tried to regain their composure after they ceased receiving commands from their alien overlords. Godzilla and Anguirus attacked their foes again, eventually forcing Gigan to retreat. Godzilla and Anguirus then double-teamed King Ghidorah, who retreated back to space shortly after. With the planet safe from alien invaders once again, Godzilla and Anguirus began swimming back to Monster Island.
Following a nuclear test in the Pacific Ocean, violent tremors spread across the Pacific islands, eventually reaching Monster Island and tearing it apart. During the earthquake, Anguirus tumbled into an underground fissure, while Godzilla found himself surrounded by growing fissures releasing volcanic gases. After the tremors had ceased, Godzilla was approached by the robot Jet Jaguar, who warned him that the giant monster Megalon was attacking Japan. Godzilla left the island and swam toward Japan, while Jet Jaguar grew to kaiju size to occupy Megalon until Godzilla arrived. Unfortunately, Megalon's masters, the Seatopians, contacted the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens and borrowed their monster Gigan to assist him. Jet Jaguar found himself overwhelmed by the duo of Gigan and Megalon, until Godzilla finally arrived. After a lengthy battle, Gigan retreated as he had done a year before, leaving Megalon at the mercy of Godzilla and his robot ally. Jet Jaguar held Megalon still as Godzilla delivered a punishing kick to his chest after sliding on his tail. Firmly beaten, Megalon burrowed back underground to Seatopia, leaving the surface world safe. Godzilla shook hands with Jet Jaguar, then swam back to Monster Island.
Godzilla would be called upon several times by the Sakimori family to assist them and the hero Zone Fighter against various monsters sent by the Garogas to conquer the Earth, including Gigan. Godzilla gradually developed a friendship with Zone Fighter and the Sakimori family, who came to know him as the "Monster of Justice." Around this time, Godzilla seemed to have also taken up residence inside a cave located in Japan.
After Godzilla emerged from Mount Fuji and wreaked havoc across the countryside and broke Anguirus' jaw, it appeared he had returned to his villainous ways. When Godzilla reached Tokyo and began destroying it, another Godzilla appeared from underneath a building. This second Godzilla fired his atomic breath at the other one, revealing it as a robotic impostor. The robot, Mechagodzilla, burned off the rest of its disguise and revealed its full arsenal of weapons. Godzilla fired his atomic breath at Mechagodzilla, which countered with its eye-mounted laser beams. The monsters' beams locked and exploded, sending Godzilla crashing into Tokyo Bay, with his blood welling to the surface. Mechagodzilla was damaged as well, and returned to the base of his alien masters, the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens, in Okinawa. Godzilla came ashore on an island (possibly Monster Island) to recover, where he was struck repeatedly by lightning. However, the lightning had an unforeseen side effect, allowing Godzilla to harness magnetic forces. Godzilla then swam to Okinawa to engage his robotic counterpart in battle once again. When Godzilla arrived, Mechagodzilla was battling the Okinawan guardian beast King Caesar. Godzilla joined forces with King Caesar, and with his help was able to overwhelm Mechagodzilla and force it to retreat. As Mechagodzilla flew away, Godzilla activated his new magnetic powers and drew Mechagodzilla toward him. Godzilla held Mechagodzilla still from behind, as King Caesar repeatedly slammed into the machine. Godzilla then grabbed Mechagodzilla's head and twisted it until its entire upper torso was torn from the rest of its body. Meanwhile, a group of humans infiltrated the aliens' base and destroyed it, triggering a self-destruct sequence that also detonated Mechagodzilla, sending Godzilla tumbling into the ocean below along with Mechagodzilla's wreckage. Godzilla surfaced and began to swim away, as King Caesar returned to his slumber in the side of a cliff.
When the mad Dr. Mafune unleashed the monster Titanosaurus in Tokyo, Godzilla arrived to challenge him. Godzilla briefly fought Titanosaurus until the monster abruptly retreated, confusing Godzilla. Godzilla later returned to fight Titanosaurus and the rebuilt Mechagodzilla, who were under the control of the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens and had just obliterated most of Tokyo. Godzilla fought valiantly, but was no match for the combined might of both monsters. After Titanosaurus had pummeled Godzilla, Mechagodzilla blasted him with its finger missiles, knocking him unconscious. Titanosaurus kicked Godzilla into a ravine, while Mechagodzilla used its missiles to bury him alive. The JSDF used a sonic oscillator to distract Titanosaurus, allowing Godzilla to emerge from underground and focus his attention on Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla unleashed its full payload of weapons against Godzilla, but Godzilla eventually reached his mechanical doppelganger and tore its head off once again. This time though, Mechagodzilla was not destroyed and was still able to fire a powerful laser beam from the mechanical "brain" atop its neck. Meanwhile, Katsura Mafune, who had Mechagodzilla's controller installed inside of her, shot and killed herself to stop Mechagodzilla. With Mechagodzilla immobile, Godzilla grabbed his robot double and threw it into the same ravine where he had been buried earlier, then blasted it with his atomic breath, causing Mechagodzilla to explode, destroyed for good. Godzilla then turned his attention to Titanosaurus, easily overpowering him. The aliens' leader, Mugal, and his remaining underlings tried to flee in their UFOs, but Godzilla saw them escaping and destroyed them with his atomic breath. Godzilla then blasted Titanosaurus in the chest with his atomic breath, sending him falling over a cliff into the sea below. Godzilla waded back out to sea and swam away, victorious.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Atomic breath[edit | edit source]
In Godzilla Raids Again, Godzilla fires a white radioactive mist called the incandescent light (白熱光 or radioactive spray hakunekkō) (放射能噴出 hōshanō funshutsu) from his mouth. This attack can destroy military weapons and cause raging fires, and is also used by Godzilla to finish off Anguirus. Starting in King Kong vs. Godzilla, the incandescent light is replaced by a more focused, blue beam called atomic breath (放射熱線 or atomic flame hōsha nessen, lit. radioactive heat ray) (放射火炎. Godzilla uses his atomic breath to destroy buildings and military weaponry, and to burn enemy monsters. While it is effective in injuring most of his opponents, both hōsha kaen, lit. radioactive flame)Rodan and King Ghidorah have demonstrated resistance to it. Godzilla's atomic breath reaches a temperature in excess of 100,000 degrees Celsius. It is unknown whether he always possessed his atomic breath, or if it was an ability he gained from exposure to the hydrogen bomb.
Magnetic powers[edit | edit source]
In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Godzilla gained the ability to generate powerful magnetic fields from his body after being struck several times by lightning, which proved devastating against his metallic foe, pulling the mechanical beast down from its flight. This is the only time Godzilla ever used this power.
Durability[edit | edit source]
Like his predecessor in 1954, the Showa Godzilla is completely immune to conventional human weaponry. Godzilla is also capable of withstanding attacks from most other kaiju that he battles. This is all possible thanks to his incredibly thick armored skin, which evolved as an adaptation to allow Godzilla to withstand underwater pressure and allowed him to survive a nuclear detonation in his immediate vicinity. The only monsters who were able to penetrate Godzilla's skin and seriously injure him are Hedorah, Gigan and Mechagodzilla. In Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Hedorah melts his right hand down to the bone.
Regeneration[edit | edit source]
Between having his hand melted down to the bone in Godzilla vs. Hedorah and the events of Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla's hand had visibly regenerated slightly; while the palm and lower sections of his fingers on the injured hand had repaired themselves, the tips of his fingers remained as bare bones. Godzilla had also regained function in the eye previously burnt away by Hedorah's acidic body.
Physical abilities[edit | edit source]
As attributed to his size, weight and mass, Godzilla has displayed varied levels of physical strength that are, at the very least, sufficient enough to lift weights exceeding 2,000 tons and smash skyscrapers. Godzilla boasts immense arm strength, which allows him to lift heavy objects or deliver powerful physical blows. He has been depicted lifting and throwing monsters in excess of his own weight, such as King Ghidorah, Hedorah, Mechagodzilla and others. Godzilla's punches are known as the Megaton Punch (メガトン•パンチ. Megaton Panchi) He is adept in various martial arts techniques, such as boxing and judo throws, and sprinted at high speeds in episode 21 of Zone Fighter to rescue Zone Fighter from Jellar. Godzilla is able to use his massive legs and feet to stomp on objects such as buildings and vehicles, destroying them instantly, as well as to kick boulders at or directly kick his enemies. He may also elect to simply use his mass to destroy buildings or knock over enemy monsters by ramming them.
Godzilla's long tail is also a formidable weapon in addition to balancing his body and allowing him to walk on land. It has been shown to be very flexible and powerful, able to lash out quickly and topple over buildings and enemy monsters. Godzilla can use his tail to propel himself into the air and pounce at enemies. In Godzilla vs. Megalon, he was able to slide on his tail a great distance to deliver a devastating kick. In all of his incarnations, he has been shown to have powerful jaws, sharp teeth, and claws, although these are more prominent in some incarnations than in others. Rarely, Godzilla also showed the ability to use his dorsal fins as a weapon, such as in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, where he used them to cut into Hedorah during the flying scene. Godzilla's head is very hard, which allows him to headbutt his enemies or bounce incoming projectiles such as boulders off of it. Godzilla's large mouth is extremely strong and filled with sharp teeth, making his bite lethal to other monsters. He killed the First Generation Anguirus by biting down on his throat and disarmed Ebirah by biting off both of his claws.
Godzilla also sometimes prefers to battle his opponents from a distance, either by blasting them with his atomic breath or throwing objects such as boulders at them.
Amphibiousness[edit | edit source]
Though technically a reptile and not an amphibian, Godzilla has an amphibious lifestyle. He spends half of his life in water and the other on land. 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, occasionally hibernating in the ocean depths between movies. According to the informational book Definitive Edition Godzilla Introduction, written by Tomoyuki Tanaka, the small holes located on the front of the Showa Godzilla's neck are gills, which allow him to breathe underwater. It is unknown whether these gills allow Godzilla to breathe indefinitely underwater, or if he must occasionally surface for air like a whale.
Flight[edit | edit source]
In a memorable, and somewhat infamous scene in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla used his atomic breath to fly by aiming it at the ground and lifting off like a rocket. He can reach a speed of up to Mach 1 with this technique.
Intelligence[edit | edit source]
In one of the scenes filmed for the American version of King Kong vs. Godzilla, Dr. Arnold Johnson states that Godzilla "has a brain about this size" while holding up a marble, claiming that Godzilla is simply "sheer brute force." Godzilla's behavior throughout the Showa series does little to support this assertion, which was likely only included in the American version of King Kong vs. Godzilla to suggest that King Kong was more intelligent than Godzilla. Aside from his skill in hand-to-hand combat, he frequently demonstrated the ability to coordinate attacks with his kaiju allies, including Rodan, Anguirus, Jet Jaguar, and King Caesar. He was also able to kill Hedorah by powering the Giant Electrodes constructed by the JSDF with his atomic breath. The Showa Godzilla in particular seems to possess almost human-like intelligence and is capable of abstract thought and communicating with other kaiju. This is demonstrated first in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, where Godzilla holds a conversation with Mothra and Rodan, which Mothra's Shobijin translate. Godzilla also is shown "talking" to Anguirus in Godzilla vs. Gigan, their conversation taking the form of speech bubbles in the Japanese version, and garbled speech in the film's English dub.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Despite his incredible power, Godzilla has displayed a few weaknesses. In King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra vs. Godzilla, he is shown to be vulnerable to strong voltages of electricity. As the series progressed, lightning (i.e., electricity found in nature) has been shown to have the opposite effect, at times serving to revitalize him.
Godzilla has also displayed at least some vulnerability to cold temperatures. He becomes weak and lethargic in the cold, and may be forced into hibernation if exposed to the cold for an extended period of time. In Godzilla Raids Again, Godzilla was frozen in an iceberg for seven years before emerging again in King Kong vs. Godzilla. In Son of Godzilla, Godzilla was forced into hibernation when a massive manmade snowstorm descended on Sollgel Island. In both scenarios, cold and ice have proven effective in trapping Godzilla and causing him to go dormant temporarily, although Godzilla has never suffered any visible physical harm from being frozen.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
- Son of Godzilla (1967)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- All Monsters Attack (1969)
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
- Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
- Zone Fighter (TV 1973) [episodes 4, 11, 15, 21, and 25]
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
- Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984) [stock footage]
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) [stock footage]
- 20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope (2009) [stock footage]
- Godzilla Tales (2020) [stock footage] [episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, 13, 16]
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla (1993) - Arcade
- Godzilla: Battle Legends (1993) - NEC/Hudson Soft TurboDuo / PC Engine Duo
- Godzilla: The Atomar Nightmare (1995) - Sinclair ZX Spectrum [unlicensed]
- Godzilla: Giant Monster March (1995) - Sega Game Gear
- Godzilla Movie Studio Tour (1998) - PC and Mac
- Godzilla: Trading Battle (1998) - Sony PlayStation
- Godzilla (2015) - PlayStation 4
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
Gallery[edit | edit source]
To see images of the Showa Godzilla, visit the Showa Godzilla design pages.
Roar[edit | edit source]
Godzilla's roar is a famous sound effect. Over the years, it has changed considerably, sounding different almost every time and having many variations for the different emotions.
The sound effects team originally tried to create Godzilla's roar by using animal roars that had been edited. They sampled all kinds of birds and mammals, but nothing seemed to be the right match for the reptile-like noises a monster like Godzilla would make. Akira Ifukube, who was the film's composer, proposed stepping away from using animal samples. He took a string off of his contrabass and rubbed it with gloves soaked in pine tar. The sound that came from it was used as Godzilla's roar. This roar would later be altered for use as the roar of other monsters in the Showa era, including Varan, Baragon and Gorosaurus. Godzilla's roar was increased in pitch starting in King Kong vs. Godzilla, and would remain mostly unchanged for the rest of the Showa series. Manda grunts were repurposed for Godzilla from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster onward.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The Showa Godzilla's height of 50 meters is said to be 24 times that of a human, with his weight of 20,000 metric tons being equivalent to 5,000 elephants.
- Godzilla's victory dance in Invasion of Astro-Monster was inspired by the shie (シェー) pose popularized by Iyami in Fujio Akatsuka's series Osomatsu-kun. This posing became a trend in Japan in the mid-1960s, and has been referenced in multiple media since then.
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
This is a list of references for Godzilla/Showa. 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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