Hedorah

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Hedorah
Hedorah in Godzilla Final Wars
Initial Stage Hedorah in Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Aquatic Stage Hedorah in Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Landing Stage Hedorah in Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Flying Stage Hedorah in Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Perfect Stage Hedorah in Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Alternate names Smog Monster, Hedoron, Hedrah,[1][2] Hedora,[3] Hydrox, Gomi,[4] Hedoji,GZB Hedochi,GZB Hedchi,GZB Hedlla,[5] Hedorium[6]
Subtitle(s) Smog Monster (公害怪獣,   Kōgai Kaijū)[7]
Ninja Monster (忍者怪獣,   Ninja Kaijū)[8]
Triphibian Monster[9]
Species Alien pollution creature,
Sludge-like chemical-eating microorganism colonyGPotM
Height Showa: 30 meters (Landing),[7]
60 meters (Perfect)[10][11][note 1]
Millennium: 120 meters[12]
Length Showa: 0.1mm-20m (Initial/Aquatic),[11][10]
40 meters (Flying)[7]
Weight Showa: 1 kilogram (Initial),[11]
48,000 metric tons (Perfect)[11][10]
Millennium: 70,000 metric tons[12]
Forms Initial Stage, Aquatic Stage,
Landing Stage, Flying Stage,
Perfect Stage
Controlled by XiliensGFW
Allies EbirahGFW, Monster XG:O, GiganG:O, SpaceGodzillaG:O
Enemies Godzilla, Rodan,G:PotM Anguirus,G:PotM Mothra,GI Mothra Leo,GI
Mechagodzilla,G:L KiryuG:O
Conceived of by Yoshimitsu Banno
Designed by ShowaYasuyuki Inoue,
Yoshimitsu Banno
MillenniumShinji Nishikawa
Modeled by ShowaNobuyuki Yasumaru,
Yoshimitsu Banno
MillenniumShinichi Wakasa
Played by ShowaKenpachiro Satsuma
MillenniumKazuhiro Yoshida
Reiwa: Hikaru Yoshida
First appearance Latest appearance
Godzilla vs.
Hedorah
(1971)
Godziban
Roar(s)
Aquatic, Landing, and Flying:Perfect:2004:More roars
Ken Yano: “There are many Hedorahs. Big ones... isn't that right, Dad?
Interviewer: “Hedorah?
Toshie Yano: “That's the name the child gave it.
Ken Yano: “These monsters are born of sludge, so I call them Hedorahs.
Ken Yano explains how he named Hedorah (Godzilla vs. Hedorah)

Hedorah (ヘドラ,   Hedora) is an alien pollution kaiju who first appeared in the 1971 Toho Godzilla film Godzilla vs. Hedorah.

A bizarre alien lifeform that arrived on Earth in a comet, Hedorah quickly grew to gigantic size by feeding on humanity's pollution. Beginning as a huge tadpole-like creature, Hedorah transformed into a terrestrial form and came ashore in Japan, where it battled Godzilla. Continuing to grow and evolve, Hedorah took on an airborne form capable of spreading clouds of toxic mist and finally a colossal bipedal form that dwarfed even Godzilla. Hedorah was finally destroyed by a combination of Godzilla's efforts and a device constructed by humanity, but the threat of rampant pollution giving rise to another Hedorah remained. Hedorah's next onscreen appearance came in Godzilla Final Wars, where it was a pawn of the Xiliens in their invasion of Earth. Hedorah was unleashed along with Ebirah to battle Godzilla in Tokyo Bay, but Godzilla made short work of both monsters.

Name

Hedorah was named after hedoro (ヘドロ), a Japanese word for sludge, slime, or ooze. It is commonly referred to as the Smog Monster (公害怪獣,   Kōgai Kaijū), as it both consumes and produces numerous gaseous pollutants, and is referred to as such in the American dub for Godzilla vs. Hedorah. In the Japanese trailer for Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Hedorah was instead given the title Ninja Monster (忍者怪獣,   Ninja Kaijū).[8] Toho International's English export trailer gives the multiform organism the title Triphibian Monster.[9]

During pre-production, Hedorah was originally called Hedoron (ヘドロン).[13] Coincidentally, the first two episodes of P-Productions' Spectreman in January 1971 featured a pollution monster with the same name. Toho would later use the Hedoron name for a monster from their TV series Warrior of Love Rainbowman. Additionally, Haruo Nakajima revealed that he and the staff working on Godzilla vs. Hedorah referred to the monster as Gomi (ゴミ), meaning "garbage."

Hedorah's first four forms are denoted as Initial Stage (初期,   Sho-ki)[14] or Young Form (幼体,   Yō-tai), Aquatic Stage (水中棲息期,   Suichū Seisoku-ki), Landing Stage (上陸期,   Jōriku-ki), and Flying Stage (飛行期,   Hikō-ki). Its final form is known as either the Perfect Stage (完全期,   Kanzen-ki),[15] Mature Stage (成長期,   Seichō-ki),[7] or the Giant Stage (巨大化期,   Kyodai-ka-ki). The Hedorah from Godzilla Final Wars is known as Hedorah (2nd Generation) (ヘドラ(2代目),   Hedora Nidaime).[16]

In both English-dubbed versions of Godzilla vs. Hedorah, the "o" in Hedorah's name is not pronounced, and in the dubbing of the American version, the "He" is stressed with the long-e sound ("Hee-drah"), though the spelling in both onscreen text and promotional material remains the same.

In the German and Italian dubs of Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Hedorah is called Hydrox and Hydrax respectively; these names may reference hydroxide, a type of anion, as well as a number of chemicals which contain hydroxy groups, such as sodium hydroxide, also known as lye.

In the ending credits of the Japanese version of Godzilla: Monster of Monsters! and in Godzilla for the Game Boy, Hedorah's name is spelled as Hedrah.[1][2]

In the 2019 puppet show Godziban, there are two individual Hedorahs: Grandpa Hedo (ヘドじい,   Hedojī, lit. Old Man Hedo) and his grandson Young Hedo (ヘドち,   Hedochi). In the English-subtitled episodes, Young Hedo's name was initially misspelled as Hedchi.

Development

Aquatic Stage Hedorah metamorphosis concept art

All of Hedorah's forms were designed by Yasuyuki Inoue. Its Flying Stage specifically was modeled after flying saucers and rays.[17] Following the retirement of Teizo Toshimitsu and Yasuei Yagi, Nobuyuki Yasumaru took over modeling the monster. The Hedorah suit was constructed from latex-foamed urethane (foamed rubber), and with the addition of paint and an overcoat of rubber exceeded 150 kilograms in weight. Art staff member Akinori Takagi remarked that it was the heaviest suit Toho had created since the original Godzilla. Aside from the suit, 1/3 scale Initial and Flying Stage Hedorah props were also created. The sulfuric acid mist expelled by the creature's Flying Stage was created using chlorofluorocarbon gases.

Director Yoshimitsu Banno had a great deal of input into the design process of Hedorah, even writing into the film's script that the creature's eyes resembled female genitalia. He was also active in designing Hedorah's Flying Stage. On the first day of shooting for Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Banno decided to add a reflective material to Hedorah's skin, and spent a day applying it himself. Hedorah's tadpole-like Initial Stage was portrayed by a pond loach covered in balsa wood based material and wrapped in a condom with makeup applied over it. The water was electrified to make the prop move.[18] There was a large crack on the top of the head of Hedorah's Landing Stage, which Banno decided to explain as "When Hedorah gets angry, its brain pops out of its head." This was made evident in the monster's Perfect Form.

Hedorah's suit was worn by Kenpachiro Satsuma, then known as Kengo Nakayama and later famous as Godzilla's suit actor for the entire Heisei series. It was Satsuma's first role as a monster suit actor, and he found wearing the incredibly heavy suit challenging.[17] Because of Satsuma's limited mobility in the suit, Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakajima had to take the lead in the fight choreography between the two. Satsuma later remarked that one of the most difficult aspects of playing Hedorah was standing around in the suit waiting for shooting to begin. Despite this, Satsuma put a great deal of effort into acting through the massive costume, and said in a 1993 interview: "Since Hedorah was supposed to be a monster created by pollution instead of an animal, I tried to avoid portraying him as an animal. I tried to make him seem spooky and grotesque."[19]

Director Yoshimitsu Banno immediately intended to follow Godzilla vs. Hedorah with a sequel, even including a tease of a second Hedorah at the end of the film. Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka initially chose to have Banno direct the 15th Godzilla film in 1975. Banno's initial idea, known only as Godzilla vs. the Mutant Starfish, was to pit Godzilla against another monster spawned by pollution, this time the titular Mutant Starfish. Banno eventually decided to simply pit Godzilla against the second Hedorah he hinted at in the previous film in a project titled Godzilla vs. Hedorah 2. However, Ishiro Honda replaced Banno as the director for the next film in the series, which ultimately was Terror of Mechagodzilla. Banno tried for the rest of his life to produce a sequel or successor to Godzilla vs. Hedorah, including a proposed IMAX short film titled Godzilla 3-D which would pit Godzilla against the red Hedorah-like Deathla. In his efforts to get the film made, Banno ultimately played a large role in the negotiations that led to Legendary Pictures acquiring the rights to Godzilla for its Monsterverse franchise of films. Prior to his death in 2018, Banno stated he was working on a film entitled Hedorah vs. Midora, in which Hedorah would battle a green environmentally-protective counterpart, and asked for help from Godzilla fans around the world to get the film made. Since Banno's death, there has been no news about the project.

Hedorah concept art by Shinji Nishikawa

Hedorah was one of many monsters not seen since the Showa series brought back for Godzilla's 50th anniversary film, Godzilla Final Wars in 2004. Shinji Nishikawa was responsible for redesigning Hedorah along with most of the other returning kaiju.[20] Since the Showa Hedorah's eyes were modeled after female genitalia, Nishikawa decided to incorporate the appearance of male genitalia into Hedorah's new design through an elongated tube-shaped arm. Hedorah's new suit was modeled under Shinichi Wakasa's company MONSTERS. Director Ryuhei Kitamura originally planned for Hedorah to attack the island of Odaiba in the film in a scene parodying the Japanese TV comedy-drama Bayside Shakedown. However, producer Shogo Tomiyama rejected this scene, much to Kitamura's frustration as it left the kaiju with only a single scene in the entire film and made it the only one of the Xiliens' monsters aside from Monster X and Gigan to not appear earlier in the film prior to its fight with Godzilla.[21] Other members of the filmmaking staff were similarly upset at Hedorah's incredibly small role in the film, and compensated by including footage of Hedorah attacking Tokyo over the end credits and also performing a photo shoot with Godzilla battling Hedorah.[22][23] The Hedorah suit was worn by actor Kazuhiro Yoshida, who also played Gigan in the film.[23]

Depite Hedorah's redesign for the film, Noriyoshi Ohrai's advance poster for Godzilla Final Wars depicted the Showa Hedorah's Landing Stage.

Eita Nagayama with the Hedorah suit on an episode of Sakurai Ariyoshi: THE Night Party in 2017

Japanese actor Eita Nagayama, who has declared himself to be a big fan of Hedorah, made a surprise appearance with the Final Wars Hedorah suit on an episode of Sakurai Ariyoshi: THE Night Party broadcast on July 13, 2017. Nagayama took a commemorative photo with the suit and thanked Toho for allowing him to bring it with him on the show, while also requesting that Toho finally produce Godzilla vs. Hedorah 2 and allow him to star in it. It returned opposite a secondary FinalGoji suit in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, a short film shot for Godzilla Festival 2021 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Godzilla vs. Hedorah. Despite its light use in Final Wars, it was in poor condition and required multiple repairs during filming.[24]

Design

Hedorah's stages all share multiple common characteristics - all have gray, kelp-like surfaces and large, gold-and-black irises with red sclera. These eyes are positioned so that they blink sideways. In its Initial and Aquatic stages, Hedorah resembled a tadpole. In its Landing Stage, it took on a quadrupedal reptilian form. Its Flying Stage was like a flying saucer, and its Perfect Stage took on a humanoid shape.

The Hedorah from Godzilla Final Wars has a dark gray body with reddish tubes protruding from it. It is considerably thinner than the original Hedorah, with more discernible legs and fewer kelp-like protrusions on its body. Hedorah's left arm also possesses a long, whip-like extension. The 2004 Hedorah only appears in a single form that resembles the original Hedorah's Perfect Stage, and it is unknown if it possesses any other forms.

According to an interview with Yoshimitsu Banno by the Japanese magazine Eiga Hiho, Hedorah's eyes were modeled after vaginas.[25] In Godzilla Final Wars, this allusion is significantly toned down, and its eyes are tilted and thus don't bear the same resemblance.

In Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla tears out two white orbs from Hedorah's body. While in the film, the purpose of these orbs is never discussed, supplementary materials explain them to be Hedorah's eyeballs,[26][7] despite them being white instead of red.

Personality

Hedorah seems to be primarily driven by instinct and the will to survive, and the horrific death and destruction it causes are mostly derived from its bizarre biological properties rather than any true malice. However, it does demonstrate aggression and an ever-increasing amount of intelligence and awareness in its encounters with Godzilla. When first confronted by Godzilla, Hedorah answers Godzilla's taunts and seems to mimic his gestures. During the final battle, Hedorah even laughs while brutally maiming Godzilla, and when it attempts to drown him in sludge.

In Godzilla Final Wars, Hedorah was under Xilien mind control and did not act independently. Its only visible onscreen actions involve it being blasted out of Tokyo Bay, then visibly waving its arms and panicking before Ebirah's claw pierces its eye.

In the comic series Godzilla, Hedorah is aligned with the other space monsters, and seems to be intentionally causing destruction.

Origins

In Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Hedorah was an alien life form from the Dark Gaseous Nebula in the Orion constellation that landed on Earth after traveling on a comet for at least 243 light years. Godzilla Movie Studio Tour expands on this, stating that Hedorah is "composed of space minerals called Hedorium."

In Godzilla Final Wars, Hedorah was one of many monsters under the control of the Xiliens, though its origins and how it came under the Xiliens' control are never explained in the film. According to Godzilla Final Wars Super Complete Works, Hedorah is a pollution monster which grows by absorbing sludge.[20] In an interview with Henshin!Online published a month prior to the film's release, monster modeler Shinichi Wakasa explained:

[The monsters in the film are] not brand-new. The only new monster is Monster X. The others all have the same elements, the same character as before.
„ 

Shinichi Wakasa[27]

According to GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, the official prequel novel to GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters, Hedorah was a colony of sludge-like microorganisms discovered in a waste mine in China that was subsequently converted into a biological weapon by the Chinese military.

In IDW Publishing's Godzilla comic series, Hedorah is an alien monster that came to Earth along with fellow aliens Gigan, Monster X, and SpaceGodzilla in order to wreak havoc.

History

Showa era

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Hedorah, an alien from the Dark Gaseous Nebula of the Orion, landed on Earth during the arrival of a comet, and promptly began feeding on pollution. Hedorah's actions soon gained the attention of Godzilla, who attacked the Smog Monster as it was literally sucking on an active smokestack to consume the pollutants being given off by it. At the time, Hedorah was smaller than Godzilla and inexperienced at fighting, and was easily trounced by Godzilla. The two creatures had a series of battles across Japan, and Hedorah continued to grow bigger and stronger, and eventually evolved into a flying saucer-like stage, allowing it to fly and spread sulfuric acid mist across Japan while destroying many factories as it continued to feed. Hedorah and Godzilla had a final showdown at the summit of Mount Fuji, in which Hedorah achieved its Perfect Stage, a humanoid, walking pile of sludge. Thanks to its acidic, poisonous body, as well as its lethal eye bolts, Hedorah very nearly put an end to Godzilla in their struggle. However, the JSDF had built a pair of gigantic electrodes near the warring monsters. Since Hedorah was an amorphous being and thus was mostly fluid, it was hoped that the two electrodes would dry Hedorah out and defeat it. Unfortunately, during the battle the fuses to control the electrodes had blown and the pylons supplying electricity had been damaged by the two monsters, making the electrodes useless.

Despite receiving brutal injuries in the battle, Godzilla powered the electrodes with a blast of his atomic breath as Hedorah was standing between them, dehydrating it. Just as it seemed Godzilla had triumphed, Hedorah's dried husk burst open and another Hedorah flew out of it. Godzilla used his atomic breath to propel himself into the air and chase after Hedorah. After knocking Hedorah down, Godzilla brought Hedorah back to the electrodes and had them near-completely dry Hedorah out. Realizing Hedorah might still have moisture within it that could bring it back to life, Godzilla tore into Hedorah's body and had the electrodes dry out the remaining husk of Hedorah, reducing it to a mass of dust and finally defeating the alien. However, the possibility remained that if rampant pollution continued, another Hedorah could emerge.

Heisei era

Godzilla Island

Hedorah in Godzilla Island

Called upon by the Xilien Zagreth, Hedorah attacked a dying Mothra and her larval offspring, Mothra Leo. To protect Leo, Mothra flew Hedorah over to a volcano and dropped it inside. However, the volcano erupted, killing Mothra. Hedorah simply climbed back out of the volcano because of its heat resistance. Hedorah then went back to Godzilla Island, but was eventually dehydrated and destroyed by the combined efforts of Godzilla and the new imago Mothra Leo.

Another rainbow-colored Hedorah dubbed Neo Hedorah which possessed a symbiotic relationship with the mushrooms on nearby Matango Island would later go on to menace the denizens of Godzilla Island.

Millennium era

Godzilla Final Wars

Hedorah was the only Xilien-controlled monster, apart from the concealed Monster X and Gigan, not to participate in the initial attack on Earth's cities. The Controller of Planet X later dispatched it, along with Ebirah, to stop Godzilla in Tokyo Bay. It was sent flying through the air by Godzilla, crashing into a building. Ebirah followed, and his claw pierced Hedorah's left eye. The two were then destroyed by an extended blast of Godzilla's atomic ray, much to the Controller's frustration.


Reiwa era

GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters

The aftermath of Hedorah's battle with Anguirus and Rodan in GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters

Hedorah was a biological weapon that was unleashed by the Chinese military when the monsters Anguirus and Rodan attacked Beijing in November of 2005. "Operation Hedorah" was successful in killing both monsters, but the bioweapon subsequently went out of control and rampaged through the surrounding area, then disappeared after running out of pollutants on which to feed.[28]

Godziban

Main article: Grandpa Hedo and Young Hedo.

Two Hedorahs, Grandpa Hedo and his grandson Young Hedo, starred in their own "Grandpa Hedo" segment in season one. Traveling a vast wasteland, Young Hedo would ask various questions, responding to his grandfather's shared wisdom with a simple "Okie Hedokie." Eventually, the two settled down on Godzi Godzi Island, watching and commenting on the various events going on there.

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Hedorah fighting Godzilla in the Godzilla vs. Hedorah short film

Hedorah sprayed toxic mist and sludge at fleeing oil refinery workers. It continued covering its surroundings with sludge as it fed on a smokestack. Godzilla interrupted it and the two kaiju traded blows. Godzilla unleashed his atomic breath, but Hedorah avoided it before knocking him to the ground and spraying him with toxic mist, burning his left eye. Godzilla kicked Hedorah into some power lines, with the electricity weakening the Smog Monster. As Hedorah struggled to recover, Godzilla returned to his feet and obliterated his foe with a blast of atomic breath. Triumphant, he stomped away.

Abilities

Hedorah is one of Godzilla's most difficult opponents in the Showa series. While it could not kill Godzilla, it seriously injured him and cost him a hand and one of his eyes, and it required the combined efforts of Godzilla and humanity to finally defeat Hedorah.

Acidic sludge

Godzilla struggles to escape from a pit full of Hedorah's acidic sludge

Hedorah is composed almost entirely of a mineral called Hedrium, an acidic, sludge-like material, which it uses as its primary means of attack. Hedorah can launch pieces of its body at opponents, which will burn or smother them. Hedorah can also produce and release large quantities of sludge without this process impacting its size in any way, shown in Godzilla vs. Hedorah when it attempts to drown Godzilla in a pit by releasing a continuous stream of sludge on top of him. This attack is given the name Acid Sludge Bomb in Godzilla Movie Studio Tour.

Hedorah's moveset for Godzilla on PlayStation 4 refers to Hedorah's ability to launch sludge at enemies as Acid Spray, while the game's Kaiju Guide seems to refer to this ability as Hedrium Missiles.

Sulfuric Acid Mist

Hedorah's Flying Stage emits Sulfuric Acid Mist to suffocate Godzilla

Having originated from the Dark Gaseous Nebula of the Orion where oxygen does not exist, but compounds that exist as pollutants on Earth are present in great amounts, Hedorah does not require oxygen to survive, but rather thrives on inhaling toxic pollutants. The byproduct of Hedorah consuming these pollutants is a highly concentrated Sulfuric Acid Mist (硫酸ミスト,   Ryūsan Misuto) (also called Sulfate Mist in the Kaiju Guide for the PlayStation 3 and 4 Godzilla game), a vaporized stream of sulfuric acid which is capable of corroding any metal and completely disintegrating organic life. In its Flying Stage, Hedorah was also able to fly by propelling itself through the air with this mist, spreading the mist across a large area in the process. Hedorah's Sulfuric Acid Mist was even able to make Godzilla collapse and gasp for air.

Hedorah also possesses Sulfuric Acid Mist in Godzilla Final Wars[20] which it sprays from a tube on its body, though this is only demonstrated in the film's end credits. It uses this attack again in the 2021 short film Godzilla vs. Hedorah, burning the area around Godzilla's left eye.

Hedrium Ray

Hedorah's Perfect Stage fires the Hedrium Ray from its eye

Hedorah is capable of firing a crimson laser beam from its eye known as the Hedrium Ray (ヘドリューム光線,   Hedoryūmu Kōsen), also called the Toxic Eye Beam in Godzilla Movie Studio Tour and Crimson Beam in Godzilla for the PlayStation 3 and 4, which is capable of setting objects on fire and burning Godzilla's flesh. Both Hedorah's Flying and Perfect Stages are capable of firing this beam. According to the Godzilla Final Wars theater program and Godzilla Final Wars Super Complete Works, the Millennium incarnation of Hedorah possesses a variation on this ability called the Red Melting Ray (赤色溶解熱線,   Sekishoku Yōkai Nessen),[20] though it is never shown using it. These are translated to Red light diffusing heat rays by the Kaiju Guide.

Division and recombination

Hedorah is a hive organism, composed of multiple smaller Hedorahs having joined together. Hedorah can grow in size and power by merging with other Hedorahs, or split apart into multiple smaller ones and recombine at a later time. Hedorah first demonstrates this ability in its first battle with Godzilla, where a small chunk of its body flies off while Godzilla swings it through the air. This piece of Hedorah begins moving on its own and eventually grows into a Landing Stage, then combines with the larger Flying Hedorah as it flies through Tokyo. Hedorah also uses this ability to survive during its final battle with Godzilla. When Godzilla uses the Giant Electrodes to dry Hedorah's Perfect Form into a husk, a smaller Flying Hedorah breaks free of the husk and attempts to flee.

Evolution

By feeding on pollutants and combining with other Hedorahs, Hedorah can grow substantially in size and evolve into new, more powerful forms. Hedorah started out as a completely aquatic, tadpole-like creature, but evolved to develop legs that allowed it to come on land and gain access to more pollutants. Hedorah's next evolution granted it the ability to fly through the air and cover large distances quickly. The creature's final, Perfect Stage was a giant bipedal form that towered over Godzilla and allowed it to stand up to Godzilla in a hand-to-hand fight. Hedorah has the ability to switch between these forms at will: its Perfect Stage can transform to its Flying Stage and back in a matter of moments. After a large portion of its body was dried out by the Giant Electrodes, the smaller Flying Hedorah that emerged from the monster's Perfect Stage was still able to transform into the Landing Stage.

Durability

Godzilla's punch is stopped by Hedorah's malleable body

As a result of its acidic and amorphous body, Hedorah has extremely strong defenses. Conventional weapons are useless against it, as they simply pass through it, leaving Hedorah unharmed. Godzilla's atomic breath also failed to work on Hedorah before the Giant Electrodes were switched on, as his beam was incapable of drying Hedorah out, and only caused it to spark.

Attacking Hedorah with physical techniques is a poor choice as well. When Godzilla punched Hedorah's skin, the malleable and shock-absorbing properties of the Hedrium that makes up its body meant that it stopped the punch and rendered the attack useless. Any contact with Hedorah's extremely corrosive blood results in horrific injuries, such as Godzilla's hand being burned down to the bone. Only Hedorah's eyes are known to be affected by its own blood, and it has to close its eye whenever it bleeds to prevent the eye from being damaged, though Hedorah was able to weaponise this weakness by shutting one of its eyes over Godzilla’s hand when he attempted to punch through it, allowing the acidic blood to dissolve Godzilla’s flesh with ease.

While Hedorah is vulnerable to being dried out, it can survive this if any moist parts of its body are left behind. Godzilla was forced to tear Hedorah apart and expose every square inch of its body to the electrical current of the Giant Electrodes in order to successfully destroy it.

Weaknesses

Though the Hedrium that makes up Hedorah's body is the source of its incredible strength, Hedorah relies on the moisture within the substance to function. Though Godzilla's atomic breath alone wasn't enough to dry out Hedorah's body, it is vulnerable to being dried out by especially strong electrical currents. Hedorah was finally destroyed by electrical currents of the Giant Electrodes constructed by Toru Yano and the JSDF, with Godzilla ensuring its demise by tearing it apart and exposing every square inch of its body to the current. After being dried by this electricity, Hedorah crumbled into dust.

In Godzilla Final Wars, Hedorah is substantially weaker than Godzilla, who easily defeats it along with Ebirah in Tokyo Bay by launching them into a skyscraper and obliterating them both with a blast of atomic breath.

Video games

Hedorah appears as a villain in the 1988 Nintendo Entertainment System game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!, as well as the sequel, Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters. Hedorah was an enemy in Godzilla-kun and the Godzilla Game Boy game as well, and was unique because Godzilla's blows couldn't hurt it, but only push it back somewhat.

Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee

Hedorah also makes an appearance in Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, where it randomly appears in its Flying Stage and slows the other monsters' energy recovery by spreading sulfuric mist. Hedorah can be destroyed by the player if hit by a beam attack, after which it will dissipate into a mist.

Hedorah was considered for both of the sequels to Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee, but was ultimately not included in either, although it did make an appearance in Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash for the Nintendo DS.

Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4)

Hedorah in Godzilla

Hedorah appears for the first time as a playable character in the PS4 version of Godzilla, and as an enemy monster in the PS3 version. It is one of the lower tier characters, and can be fought on any difficulty path.

Moveset

  • Square
    • One tap: Triangle Stroke
    • Two taps: Headbutt
    • Three taps: Tail Attack
  • Triangle
    • Tap: Mount
  • X
    • Tap: Jump
    • Forward + Tap: Forward Jump
    • Back + Tap: Back Jump
    • Left/Right + Tap: Left Right Jump
  • Circle
    • Tap: Crimson Beam
    • Forward + Tap: Acid Spray (Front)
    • Back + Tap: Acid Spray (Area)
    • Left/Right + Tap: Acid Spray (Wide Area)
    • Roar + Tap: Crimson Beam Combo
  • R2
    • Tap: Acid Mist Body Press

Kaiju Guide

Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Hedorah.

Books

Godzilla vs. Gigan and the Smog Monster

A factory damaged by an earthquake lured Hedorah to Los Angeles. It terrorized the city with "sickening gases," "toxic skin," and "noxious breath," melting the Hollywood sign in the process.[29] Rodan arrived to battle it, as he had in the past, but was quickly overpowered by the Smog Monster's poisonous attacks. Godzilla came ashore at Santa Monica Beach and targeted Hedorah with his atomic breath, blasting a hole straight through it and saving Rodan. Close to death, Hedorah retreated into the upper atmosphere.

GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse

Hedorah originated as a colony of sludge-like microorganisms that consumed chemical substances in water. It was first discovered by the Chinese military inside a waste mine in Hebei, China, in 1999, and subsequently studied in order to be converted into a bioweapon. Hedorah was finally unleashed to combat Rodan and Anguirus when they attacked Beijing in 2005. The colony reconfigured into a giant black mist-like figure with red and yellow eyes, and killed both monsters. However after this point Hedorah went out of control and destroyed Beijing and Tianjin overnight. It then disappeared after consuming all pollutants in the area.[28]

Godzilla Singular Point

A local legend in Nigashio City recounted by a historian at the Summer Festival recalls a infestation of jellyfish-like creatures emerging from the sea and combining into a watery creature named Hedorah to attack sailors. This story was depicted on a painting decorating a matsuri float at the festival.

Comics

Godzilla, King of the Monsters

While Hedorah doesn't appear in the main story of this manga series, it appears as Godzilla's opponent in the Street Fighter Godzilla story, placed at the end of Volume 2. In this short story, Hedorah is dressed up as Blanka from the Street Fighter series, while Godzilla is dressed up as Ryu. Hedorah fights Godzilla with its Hedrium Ray, but gets sent flying by a Shoryuken from Godzilla.

Godzilla: Legends

While investigating a trail of destruction thought to be the work of Godzilla in Linfen, China, the crew of Mechagodzilla found the entire area destroyed with no signs of life or the monster behind it, noting that the toxicity of the air was off the charts. After a factory exploded in front of Mechagodzilla, Hedorah - the true source of the devastation - emerged from the rubble and immediately grabbed hold of the mech. Though Mechagodzilla used his lasers against the smog monster, they proved ineffective as Hedorah threw the mech down and changed into its flying form. Mechagodzilla gave chase, but Hedorah was suddenly struck by Godzilla's atomic ray and shot out of the sky. While the crew of Mechagodzilla decided to concentrate its firepower on Godzilla as he arrived on the scene, the King of the Monsters was more interested in his new foe and punched the smog monster, only to be burned by Hedorah's touch. Following repeated attacks on itself by Godzilla's atomic ray and Mechagodzilla's Mega-Buster ray, Hedorah retaliated by firing its own eye beams at Mechagodzilla while swatting Godzilla into some buildings. After Hedorah traded more beam attacks with Mechagodzilla, Godzilla attempted to attack the smog monster, but Hedorah took the opportunity to begin smothering Godzilla instead. Mechagodzilla then fired the Plasma Grenade at the two kaiju, inadvertently saving Godzilla, who reached into Hedorah's head and tore out one of its eyes. However, Hedorah was able to recapture Godzilla and attempted to smother him to death. Realizing Hedorah posed the greater threat, the crew of Mechagodzilla fired the mech's shock anchors into Hedorah's body and electrocuted it, angering Hedorah into smothering Mechagodzilla while allowing Godzilla to escape with his life. Taking flight, Mechagodzilla flew Hedorah up into the atmosphere, which began to freeze its body. At risk of running out of fuel, Mechagodzilla fired the Plasma Grenade once more, which shattered Hedorah's frozen body and finally appeared to kill the monster. Unbeknownst to the crew, however, the fragments of Hedorah's body that fell into the ocean broke apart into Hedorah's smaller, tadpole-like forms, which split up to target various sources of pollution across the planet.

Godzilla

Hedorah in Godzilla

After being struck by lightning generated from Mothra's wings, Claire Plangman experienced a vision of space monsters who would soon invade the planet, Hedorah among them. Soon, Hedorah arrived on Earth alongside SpaceGodzilla, Gigan, and Monster X. Landing in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean, Hedorah began absorbing the trash to increase in size while missiles from nearby battleships failed to harm the sludge monster. In its water form, Hedorah destroyed several submarines as it swam towards land, eventually arriving in California. Shortly after Harrison managed to steal Mechagodzilla, he found that Hedorah had arrived outside of the hangar. Hedorah immediately attacked Mechagodzilla by launching acidic sludge at the mech, and though Harrison managed to dodge the sludge, Hedorah grabbed Mechagodzilla and began to smother it within its sludge. However, the sudden arrival of Godzilla distracted the alien long enough to allow Mechagodzilla to escape, at which point Harrison decided to leave the fight to Godzilla. Hedorah launched more sludge at Godzilla, but Godzilla retaliated with his atomic ray, blast a hole through Hedorah. As Hedorah attempted to smother Godzilla, Godzilla fired another blast of his atomic breath directly through Hedorah's head, at which point the alien decided to switch tactics. Transforming into its flying form, Hedorah grabbed Godzilla and dropped him into a nearby canyon, where it bombarded him with more sludge attacks from above that began burning his skin in efforts to drown him in the toxic sludge. Godzilla then used his atomic breath to fly out of the canyon, striking Hedorah on his way up and knocking them both to the ground. As Hedorah attempted to change back into its final form, Godzilla repeatedly stomped on and kicked the sludge monster to prevent it from getting back up, tearing Hedorah to pieces. With another point-blank strike with his atomic ray, Godzilla blasted Hedorah's remains apart, leaving nothing but smoldering remains behind as he left to confront the other space monsters.

Godzilla: The Half-Century War

In the years following the appearance of Anguirus in 1967, more monsters began appearing all across the globe, including Hedorah. In response, the A.M.F. assembled more teams of kaiju experts, with one of these teams being dedicated to researching and combating Hedorah.

In 1975, Hedorah was among the many kaiju drawn to Ghana by a Psionic Transmitter created and activated by Dr. Deverich. In the ensuing chaos, Hedorah battled Ebirah and Godzilla before targeting a van containing A.M.F. members that was driving through the city. Rather than avoid Hedorah, the driver simply drove the van through the smog monster's body, and while they still managed to get to their destination, the acidic sludge of Hedorah's body burned the van beyond further use. Shortly thereafter, Godzilla engaged Hedorah and fired his atomic ray through the monster, though the battle was interrupted when Deverich activated a master control switch on the Psionic Transmitter that summoned all the monsters to the power station it was contained within. After the monsters destroyed the tower, they departed the scene.

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

Following the space invasion, Hedorah was included as part of Dr. Kenji Ando's Megazoology Conference, where Dr. Ando revealed that the so-called "Smog Monster" survived its battle with Godzilla and was last seen swimming past oil rigs. Despite its survival, Hedorah evidently made no further attacks on mankind and was not seen again.

Godzilla: Oblivion

Hedorah among the Earth-2 kaiju in Godzilla: Oblivion

Hedorah was among the many kaiju that the people of Earth-2 sent through an interdimensional portal alongside Anguirus, Rodan, Zilla, King Caesar, Biollante, and Mothra. Upon arrival, the monsters joined the battle between Mecha-King Ghidorah and Godzilla, wreaking more havoc. After causing some destruction in the city, Hedorah challenged Godzilla following the latter's victory over Mecha-King Ghidorah, only to be dispatched by a blast of atomic breath. Later, all of the monsters were left behind as the humans left the Earth as it became covered by tiny robotic cells that served as interdimensional doorways.

Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Hedorah

In 1971, Hedorah fought Godzilla in New York City, with their battle causing untold destruction. During the fierce battle, Godzilla attempted to bite Hedorah’s head, burning his mouth in the process. After he attempted to retaliate with his atomic ray, Hedorah promptly knocked him into a building, causing him to fire his ray up into the air instead. Enraged by his inability to harm the smog monster, Godzilla plunged his hand deep into Hedorah’s head and forcibly ripped out its left eye, burning his hand but partially blinding Hedorah. In response, Hedorah slammed Godzilla into another building and began smothering him, but Godzilla was able to use his tail to beat Hedorah back far enough to unleash another blast of his atomic ray, this time striking its body to no effect. The battle continued throughout the city, with Hedorah badly burning Godzilla’s skin, though Godzilla continued to fight back with his atomic breath at every opportunity. Eventually, Hedorah gained the upper hand and forced the injured Godzilla to the ground. Though all hope seemed lost, Godzilla refused to accept defeat and was able to get back up soon after. By that time, Todd and Suzii Hopkins were able to reach a device capable of emitting a specialized “radioactive cocktail” that, in theory, could repel the monsters from the city. After the device was activated, the presumption proved true as both kaiju abruptly ceased their fight and left the city, leaving a great trail of death and destruction in their wake.

Godzilla vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

After Rita Repulsa voiced her intent to find a spell that would allow her to subjugate the minds of Earth’s monsters, Hedorah was among the kaiju that the evil sorceress imagined falling under her command and aiding her own monsters in laying waste to her home reality.

Godzilla: Here There Be Dragons

Hedorah was among the various kaiju known to the Sons of Giants, a secret society that sought to conceal the existence of the monsters from the rest of the globe during the 16th century.

Godzilla Rivals: Vs. Mechagodzilla

By the year 2074, giant monster attacks were occurring around the world on a daily basis, with kaiju such as Hedorah being responsible for untold destruction.

Gallery

Main article: Hedorah/Gallery.

Roar

Hedorah's gurgling roar comes from Kemular, a poison gas monster from the original Ultraman series, which have been mixed with those of Ebirah and Nurse from Ultraseven. When feeding on toxic fumes, Hedorah makes breathing noises that are recycled from Gezora and later reused for the Ultra Series kaiju Garan. In addition, it utters several high-pitched laughter-like sounds, mostly in its Perfect Form. These laughter-like sounds would later be used for Garoborg in Zone Fighter and several kaiju from Ultraman Ace and Ultraman Taro. In the U.S. trailer for Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, Hedorah's cry is replaced with a series of rasps and growls, as if it was lacking oxygen, though this does not carry over to the film itself.

In Godzilla Final Wars, Hedorah's roar mostly remains the same, but it also emits sounds that are similar to an elephant trumpeting that has been lowered in pitch, and its roar now echoes.

Hedorah's roars in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla Final Wars and Godzilla vs. Hedorah

In other languages

  • German: Hydrox
  • Italian: Hydrax
  • Serbian and Russian: Хедора
  • Chinese: Hēi duō lā (黑多拉)

Trivia

  • The Codex for the 2019 mobile game Godzilla Defense Force states that the Hedorah from Godzilla Final Wars has "a red extension on its left hand that only occurs in the males of the species," and specifies that the Showa incarnation of the character lacks it because it is a female. However, it refers to both incarnations simply as "it."
  • According to Haruo Nakajima, the Perfect Stage Hedorah suit weighed over 100 kilograms.[4]
  • At 48,000 metric tons in weight, Hedorah's Perfect Stage is the heaviest kaiju to appear in the Showa Godzilla series. However, it is not the heaviest kaiju in the entire Showa series, as several Terror-Beasts from Zone Fighter outweigh it.
  • Hedorah evolves into a new form after each of the first three reel changes in Godzilla vs. Hedorah, with reel three even ending on the line, "What sort of monster will it become in its next stage, the fourth?"[30]
  • Although Hedorah's flying form only appears in the end credits of Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!, a second sprite of this form present in the game's files suggests it was originally meant to appear in the game proper.
  • The sound effect used for Hedorah's eye beams is the same as the one used for the Showa King Ghidorah's flying, only played at a higher pitch.
  • After he was selected by Toho to helm the next Godzilla film in 1975, Godzilla vs. Hedorah director Yoshimitsu Banno came up with the idea of the two monsters facing off again in Africa.[31] Toho was uninterested and began developing a sequel to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla instead.
  • In both of Hedorah's film appearances, its left eye is injured in some way.
  • Hedorah is one of the first Toho monsters to be depicted via hand-drawn animation, as seen in the animated segments of its debut film.
  • Hedorah was the last new monster in the Showa series to completely act on its own independence, as the rest were controlled by aliens or undersea civilizations.
  • Hedorah's debut in Godzilla vs. Hedorah coincided with the revival of the Ultra Series with Return of Ultraman. Curiously, the first episode of the new series, which was directed by Ishiro Honda, featured a monster called Zazahn, a kelp monster bearing a remarkable likeness to Hedorah who was supposedly attracted to a city by pollution, and was later defeated by the sea monster Takkong.
  • In the 1984 Godzilland merchandise line, Hedorah is depicted as a female monster and one of Godzilla's friends. The Godzilland Hedorah is generally depicted as purple in color with long eyelashes above its eyes. This is the only known instance of Hedorah being portrayed as an ally or friend of Godzilla.
  • Hedorah was likely an inspiration for the monster Destoroyah in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Both monsters possess multiple forms, including microscopic, flying, and gigantic bipedal final forms, are composed of trillions of microorganisms that have merged together, are extremely difficult opponents for Godzilla, and are incredibly deadly to organic life. Both Hedorah and Destoroyah likely influenced the creation of the monster Shinomura from the comic Godzilla: Awakening, which also shares many of these similarities.
  • Hedorah is referenced twice within Godzilla Singular Point, with a painting of a umibozu inspired depiction of two Hedorahs attacking a boat being seen at the Summer Festival in the first episode and later, the oozing substance within dismembered Kumonga swarm members taking Hedorah's form as it replaces missing limbs.
  • Hedorah was the first kaiju to make Godzilla visibly bleed. During their final battle, Hedorah attempted to flee by leaping over Godzilla's head, only to be headbutted away by the King of the Monsters. The impact split the top of his head open, causing a trickle of blood to run down.
  • Hedorah is the second alien monster to fight Godzilla.

Video

Wikizilla: YouTube Kaiju Profile: Hedorah

External links

Notes

  1. In Encyclopedia of Godzilla, on page 54, 100 meters is listed as Hedorah's 体長 (literally translates to body length, but in this book the term is used to refer to the height of all but 6 kaiju, who alternately use body height 身長 or total length 全長).

References

This is a list of references for Hedorah. 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. 1.0 1.1 Godzilla famicom hedrah jp.png
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hedrah godzilla gameboy.png
  3. Tumblr 2cfdaeb27bb1fffa8e048c6cb436ba64 72a86b61 1280.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 Godzilla actor Haruo Nakajima interview (second part) - Godzilla.jp [archive]
  5. Hedlla.jpg
  6. @TOHO_GODZILLA (12 January 2022). "Hedorium is an extraterrestrial creature that is attracted to the industrial pollution found in Earth's environment. From a combination of toxic sludge on the seafloor and other poisonous elements, #Hedorah is born. #Godzilla". Twitter.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Godzilla 1954-1999 Super Complete Works. Shogakukan. 1 January 2000. pp. 140–141, 143. ISBN 978-4091014702.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Japanese Godzilla vs. Hedorah trailer.
    Ninja monster hedorah.jpeg
  9. 9.0 9.1 English export trailer
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Godzilla Giant Monsters Super Encyclopedia (4th Edition). Kodansha. 15 March 1994. p. 48. ISBN 978-4063042702.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 J.D. Lees, Marc Cerasini (24 March 1998). The Official Godzilla Compendium. Random House. p. 129. ISBN 0679888225.
    Compendium13.png
  12. 12.0 12.1 Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. 23 July 2014. p. 118. ISBN 4-096-82090-3.
  13. 新品 ゴジラシリーズを支えた特撮美術監督 井上泰幸 展 図録 Pamphlet
    Hedoron.jpg
  14. Godzilla Giant Monster Diagram Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Kodansha. 20 March 1996. p. 89. ISBN 406259031X.
  15. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 2012. pp. 148–151. ISBN 978-4864910132.
  16. Godzilla Dictionary [New Edition]. Kasakura Publishing. 7 August 2014. p. 396. ISBN 9784773087253.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. pp. 148–151. ISBN 9784864910132.
  18. Banno, Yoshimitsu (2014). The Man Who Made Godzilla Fly: Revised Edition. "Chapter 4.7: Challenges of Special Effects Shooting". At Media. ISBN B00M5KDOKG Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help).
  19. David Milner (December 1993). "Kenpachiro Satsuma Interview I". Kaiju Conversations.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Matsui 2005, p. 19
  21. Godzilla Final Wars DVD audio commentary
  22. Matsui 2005, p. 95.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Godzilla Final Wars <Toho SFX Special Effects Movie SPECIAL EDITION>. Toho. 25 January 2005. p. 44. ISBN 4-924609-89-7.
  24. Lees, J.D. "Fifty Years Later, Godzilla and Hedorah Clash Again." G-Fan, Winter 2021, pp.8-9.
  25. 5 best Godzilla movies of all time - CNN
  26. Godzilla Toho Giant Monster Pictorial Book. Shogakukan. 1 April 2005. pp. 138–139. ISBN 4-09-280052-5.
    "ゴジラとの戦いでその身を乾燥させられてしまったが、両目や細胞の一部は、まだ生き延びていた。"
  27. Aiken, Keith (7 November 2004). "GODZILLA FINAL WARS INTERVIEW: SHINICHI WAKASA". Henshin!Online.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ōki, Renji (October 25, 2017). GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse. Kadokawa. pp. 19–111.
  29. Alice Alfonsi (1996). Godzilla vs. Gigan and the Smog Monster. Random House. p. 6. ISBN 0-679-88344-4.
  30. "What a beautiful house it is"
  31. Toho Kingdom - Lost Project: Godzilla vs. Hedorah II

Bibliography

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