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[edit | edit source]
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, as it both consumes and produces numerous gaseous pollutants, and is referred to as such in the American dub for Kōgai Kaijū)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)
During pre-production, Hedorah was originally called Hedoron (ヘドロン). 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) or Young Form (幼体, Aquatic Stage Yō-tai) (水中棲息期, Landing Stage Suichū Seisoku-ki) (上陸期, and Flying Stage Jōriku-ki) (飛行期. Its final form is known as either the Perfect Stage Hikō-ki) (完全期, Kanzen-ki) Mature Stage (成長期, Seichō-ki) or the Giant Stage (巨大化期. The Hedorah from Kyodai-ka-ki)Godzilla Final Wars is known as Hedorah (2nd Generation) (ヘドラ（2代目）. Hedora Nidaime)
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 2019 puppet show Godziban, there are two individual Hedorahs: Grandpa Hedo (ヘドじい and his grandson Hedojī, lit. Old Man Hedo)Young Hedo (ヘドち. In the English-subtitled episodes, Young Hedo's name was initially misspelled as Hedchi. Hedochi)
Development[edit | edit source]
All of Hedorah's forms were designed by Yasuyuki Inoue. Its Flying Stage specifically was modeled after flying saucers and rays. 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.
The Landing Stage Hedorah suit with director Yoshimitsu Banno
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. 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. 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."
Banno with the Godzilla and Perfect Stage Hedorah suits
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 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. 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. 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. The Hedorah suit was worn by actor Kazuhiro Yoshida, who also played Gigan in the film.
Depite Hedorah's redesign for the film, Noriyoshi Ohrai's advance poster for Godzilla Final Wars depicted the Showa Hedorah's Landing Stage.
A still from the photoshoot with the Hedorah and Godzilla suits
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.
The Final Wars Hedorah suit on display in 2019
Hedorah and Godzilla battle on the set of Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Design[edit | edit source]
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. 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, despite them being white instead of red.
Personality[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
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. The book later reveals that another or the same Hedorah had previously appeared in this continuity, being an extraterrestrial mineral lifeform that was adhered to a meteorite and fused with sludge on Earth, turning it into a monster.
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.
History[edit | edit source]
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.
Called upon by the Xilien Zagres, 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.
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.
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.
Hedorah sprays toxic mist and sludge on fleeing oil refinery workers. It continues covering its surroundings with sludge as it feeds on a smokestack. Godzilla interrupts it and the two kaiju trade blows. Godzilla unleashes his atomic breath, but Hedorah avoids it, then knocks him to the ground and sprays him with mist, burning his left eye. Godzilla kicks Hedorah into some power lines, the electricity weakening the Smog Monster. As Hedorah struggles to recover, Godzilla gets to his feet and obliterates it with a blast of atomic breath. Triumphant, he stomps away.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
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 discharge large quantities of sludge without impacting its size in any way, shown in Godzilla vs. Hedorah when it attempts to drown Godzilla in a pit by dumping a continuous stream of sludge onto him.
Sulfuric Acid Mist[edit | edit source]
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 (also called Sulfate Mist in the Ryūsan Misuto)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 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[edit | edit source]
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, also called the 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 Hedoryūmu Kōsen)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) though it is never shown using it. These are translated to Red light diffusing heat rays by the Kaiju Guide.
Division and recombination[edit | edit source]
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 Electrode to dry Hedorah's Perfect Form into a husk, a smaller Flying Hedorah breaks free of the husk and attempts to flee.
Evolution[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
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 physically is a poor choice as well, as 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. 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[edit | edit source]
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 before launching them into a skyscraper and obliterating them both with a blast of atomic breath.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
- Godzilla Island (TV 1997-1998) [episodes 41-50, 65, 72, and 127]
- Godzilla Final Wars (2004)
- GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters (2017) [mentioned]
- Godziban (Web 2019-) [episodes 1-30, 32-33, 36, 38, 40, 47, and 50; special episodes 1, 3-4, and 8]
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (2021)
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Monster's Fair (1985) - Microsoft MSX
- Godzilla-kun (1985) - Microsoft MSX
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters! (1988) - Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicom
- Godzilla (1990) - Game Boy
- Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters (1992) - Nintendo Entertainment System
- Battle Baseball (1993) - Nintendo Famicom
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1993) - Nintendo Game Boy
- Godzilla (1993) - NEC/Hudson Soft TurboDuo / PC Engine Duo
- Godzilla: Heart-Pounding Monster Island!! (1995) - Sega Pico
- Godzilla Movie Studio Tour (1998) - PC and Mac
- Godzilla: Trading Battle (1998) - Sony PlayStation
- Godzilla Generations (1998) - Sega Dreamcast
- Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly (1998) - Sega Dreamcast VMU
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (2002) - Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox
- Godzilla (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4
- Godzilla Kaiju Collection (2015) - Android and iOS
- CR True King of the Monsters Godzilla (2018) - pachinko
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
- Godzilla (2021) - pinball
- Pachinko True King of the Monsters Godzilla 2 (2022) - pachinko
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.
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.
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[edit | edit source]
- One tap: Triangle Stroke
- Two taps: Headbutt
- Three taps: Tail Attack
- Tap: Mount
- Tap: Jump
- Forward + Tap: Forward Jump
- Back + Tap: Back Jump
- Left/Right + Tap: Left Right Jump
- 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
- Tap: Acid Mist Body Press
Kaiju Guide[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Hedorah.
Hedorah in Monster's Fair
Hedorah in Godzilla-kun
Hedorah in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!
Hedorah in Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters
Hedorah's Flying Stage in Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
Hedorah in Godzilla Kaiju Collection
Hedorah (Flying Stage) in Godzilla Battle Line
Hedorah (Perfect Stage) in Godzilla Battle Line
Books[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla vs. Gigan and the Smog Monster (1996)
- Godzilla at World's End (1998)
- GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse (2017)
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. 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.
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.
Comics[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla: Legends #4 (2012)
- Godzilla #6, 8-11 (2012-2013)
- Godzilla: The Half-Century War #3 (2012)
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #1, 5 (2013)
- Godzilla: Oblivion #5 (2016)
- Godzilla Rivals #1 (2021-)
- Godzilla vs. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3 (2022)
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.
Hedorah is featured in the fourth issue of the miniseries Godzilla: Legends. In this issue, Mechagodzilla is sent to China in pursuit of Godzilla. Once the mech and its crew arrive, they find that the entire area has been destroyed and that the air is full of toxic mist. The source of the devastation is revealed to be Hedorah, who attacks and overwhelms Mechagodzilla. Before Hedorah can destroy Mechagodzilla, Godzilla himself arrives and reluctantly joins forces with his mechanical double against Hedorah. Hedorah puts up a savage fight against the two monsters, but in the end is defeated by their combined might.
In Godzilla, Hedorah is one of the space monsters that attacks Earth, the others being Gigan, SpaceGodzilla, and Monster X. Hedorah does battle with Kiryu and almost destroys him, but Godzilla arrives and takes on the smog monster while Kiryu escapes to get backup. Hedorah badly wounds Godzilla with its deadly toxic body and knocks him into a canyon, where it attempts to drown Godzilla in toxic sludge. Godzilla uses his atomic breath to fly out of the canyon and resumes his battle with Hedorah. Godzilla tears Hedorah into pieces and burns it into dust with his atomic breath. Godzilla then leaves to battle the other space monsters, leaving Hedorah apparently destroyed.
Hedorah appears in issue #3 as one of the many monsters battling in Ghana in 1975.
Hedorah in Godzilla: The Half-Century War #3
Hedorah is briefly seen in the first issue of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, as part of Dr. Kenji Ando's conference about the reasons why kaiju have gained their own place in the natural order. In the presentation, it's learned that the "Smog Monster," as the news like to call Hedorah, attacked several oil rigs in the ocean. Though Hedorah is presumably still alive and present on Earth during the events of the series, no attempts have been made to locate or capture him, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
Hedorah appeared in the final issue of Godzilla: Oblivion, where it emerged from an interdimensional portal alongside Anguirus, Rodan, Zilla, King Caesar, Biollante, and Mothra and her larvae as they entered the battle between Mecha-King Ghidorah and Godzilla. 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.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Hedorah/Gallery.
Roar[edit | edit source]
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 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.
In other languages[edit | edit source]
- German: Hydrox
- Italian: Hydrax
- Serbian and Russian: Хедора
- Chinese: Hēi duō lā (黑多拉)
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- 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.
- 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?"
- The sound effect used for Hedorah's eye beams is the same as the one used for 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. 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.
- In Godzilla Final Wars, Hedorah's tail resembles the Choju King Crab's from Ultraman Ace.
- 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.
- In Godzilla Singular Point, a light blue Hedorah-like substance exists within the Kumonga species that allows dismembered members of the swarm to remain active by replacing the missing body parts with its ooze.
- 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.
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References[edit | edit source]
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Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Matsui, Satoshi, ed. (1 March 2005). Godzilla Final Wars Super Complete Works (2nd ed.). Shogakukan. ISBN 978-4091014986.</ref>