Iris was Gamera's final foe in the Heisei trilogy, and shares some sort of genetic connection to his arch-enemy Gyaos. A legendary demon referred to as the "Ryuseicho" by residents of Asuka in Nara, Japan, Iris was sealed away long ago inside a small shrine outside of a village. Iris remained inside a stone egg within the shrine for countless generations until it was discovered by a young woman named Ayana Hirasaka, who held an intense hatred of Gamera because she believed he killed her parents. Ayana's hatred caused her to form a bond with Iris, which hatched from its egg and began growing rapidly until it reached the size of Gamera himself. Iris followed Ayana to Kyoto and attempted to kill Gamera for her, then tried to forcibly merge itself with her. Gamera rescued Ayana from the beast, then destroyed Iris by plunging his flaming arm into a wound on its chest.
Iris shares its name with a goddess from Greek mythology and also a genus of flower, although the goddess Iris' name is spelled slightly differently in katakana (イーリス than the monster's while the iris flower is known as ayame Īrisu) (アヤメ in Japanese. In-universe, Iris gets its name when Ayame)Ayana Hirasaka names it after her family's cat that was killed during the battle between Gamera and Super Gyaos in 1995. Prior to that, it is known by villagers in Asuka as the Ryuseicho (柳星張, a legendary ancient demon. As her cousin Shigeki Hinohara explains to Ayana in the film, the name Ryuseicho comes from three traditional constellations from Chinese astronomy. They are the Willow Mansion Ryūseichō) (柳宿, the Star Mansion Ryūshuku, Nurikoboshi) (星宿, and the Extended Net Mansion Seishuku, Hotohoriboshi) (張宿. All three of these mansions are identified with the Chōshuku, Chirikoboshi)Vermilion Bird of the South (朱雀, one of the Four Symbols, four mythical animals that the full Twenty-Eight Mansions are grouped under. Ayana asks him if the Suzaku)Black Tortoise of the North (玄武 and Vermilion Bird of the South are enemies. In the film's English dub the Black Tortoise and Vermilion Bird are are simply called "the guardians of the north and south." The character Genbu)Mayumi Nagamine refers to Iris as a "Gyaos mutation" (ギャオス変異体. Gyaosu heni-tai)
An alternate spelling of Iris' English name is Irys, which is used in most Japanese media and merchandise contemporary with the film, whereas in the West and more recent Japanese materials it has been phased out in favor of the former spelling.
Iris' first form is called the Original Form (素体 or Juvenile Form So-tai) (幼体 in the book Yō-tai)Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris Super Complete Works, which also refers to its second form as the Beast Form (獣化体. Jū-ka-tai)
Iris' first form has an smooth, mouth-less head with small black eyes, and several long tentacles which sprout from a snail-like shell. Although this form lacks a mouth, it can consume and absorb the life force of organic matter by stabbing them with its tentacle spears, leaving dessicated corpses in its wake. This form was realized on-screen by a remotely-operated puppet.
Iris' second form resembles the first form, but is larger and possesses more tentacles. Its shell has also opened up and developed a series of pointed plates. In this form, Iris is able to float in the air and emits light from the center of its chest.
Iris' third form is a gigantic bipedal creature with two hooved legs and retractable sword-like arms, topped by a head that resembles a pointed seashell, with a single eye in its center. Its back is a mass of saw-edged plates, and from its sides spring four tentacles thousands of meters long. Each of these is tipped with a bony spearhead, from which Iris can fire a supersonic scalpel beam similar to the Gyaos. Iris can still drain the life force from its victims through retractable blades in its arms, and in the case of Gamera it was able to absorb the monster's abilities and produce its own plasma fireballs. Its chest region is also covered in glossy, bio-luminescent patches. The center patch can suck things into its body.
As an infant, Iris is extremely docile and affectionate towards Ayana Hirasaka, allowing her to raise it like a pet. As Iris grows, it becomes more aggressive, actively killing small animals and later countless human beings in order to feed on their life force, though it remains loyal and harmless towards Ayana. It is revealed that Iris wiped out a large portion of the village of Asuka, including Ayana's adoptive family and the various people who antagonized and tormented Ayana. When Ayana refuses to allow Iris to merge with her after it attacks her friend Tatsunori Moribe, Iris forcibly absorbs her into its chest, showing her visions of it killing her adoptive family. Whether Iris was born as a malevolent entity and was simply using Ayana to increase its own power or if it was created as a benevolent guardian and corrupted and twisted by Ayana's hatred is never revealed, so the creature's true intentions are unknown.
Iris does not have a definitive origin, though multiple theories are put forth in the film. According to the legends of Nara, Japan, Iris is an ancient demon known as the Ryuseicho that, if awakened, will bring about the end of the world. According to Ayana Hirasaka's cousin Shigeki Hinohara, the Ryuseicho's name comes from three traditional constellations of Chinese mythology which are all identified with the Guardian of the South, represented as a giant bird, which battles against an enemy guardian from the north, represented as a giant tortoise. Shinya Kurata, a computer programmer who studied Gamera, Gyaos, and the Atlanteans closely, proposes that Iris may have been created as a failsafe measure by the Atlanteans for the sole purpose of killing Gamera if he ever became too powerful or no longer served the planet's best interest. Analysis of Iris' DNA showed it to be genetically identical to the Gyaos, only with the ability to alter its own DNA to a much greater degree, leading to the theory that it is either a mutation of or the ultimate evolution of the Gyaos. Iris' genetic connection to Gyaos and the presence of black Atlantean magatama in its shrine that telepathically link Ayana to it (a dark reflection of Gamera's bond with Asagi Kusanagi) confirm that Iris has some kind of connection to the Atlanteans and is related to the Gyaos, however the exact specifics of what Iris is and how and why it was created are never definitively confirmed.
Iris begins its life as a stone egg, sealed within a small underground temple in Nara village and guarded over by a family line named Moribe. Local legend said it was the resting place of a demon called Ryu-Sei-Cho. A stone of unknown origin is said to keep the demon dormant as long as it's not moved.
A young girl named Ayana Hirasaka, left an orphan by the 1995 Gamera and Gyaos battle and blaming Gamera for her parent's deaths, entered the cave on a dare and moved the stone. In the process she and the latest son of the Mirobe line discover both the egg and an amulet, similar to the one that linked Asagi to Gamera in the first film. The egg later hatched into Iris' first form (第1形態. Dai ichi keitai)
Ayana gains a link to the creature via the amulet and feels a kinship with the creature, stating at one point "Gamera killed its family too"; driven by total hatred for Gamera, she raises Iris, naming it after her dead pet cat, in hopes that it will become strong enough to kill him for her. It was shown to have an affectionate nature, but this is shown alongside the sinister way it eats and, later in the film, the woodland animals it leaves dead.
It is not long before Iris, now grown into its second form (第2形態, attempts to merge with Ayana, and her actions show she's willingly letting it do so, by sealing her in a cocoon. Moribe discovers her and cuts her free. She is then taken to a hospital. While Ayana is gone, Iris grows into a giant monster in the woods as it devours several villagers, including Ayana's adoptive parents and brother. Shortly after, the monster grows into its third form Dai ni keitai) (第3形態. Dai san keitai)
The JSDF quickly deploys and surrounds Iris as it sleeps, attempting to take it out with machine guns and bazookas. The weaponry only seems to irritate the creature. Some of the soldiers are killed before Iris takes to the sky and heads for Kyoto, where Ayana had been transferred earlier. The JSDF sends two F-15s in an attempt to shoot Iris down, but it is able to evade them and almost kills them. The fighter pilots are saved by the sudden arrival of Gamera, who engages Iris in a mid-air battle. The JSDF ends the battle by shooting at Gamera, which slows him down and allows Iris to continue on to Kyoto.
Soon, Iris lands in Kyoto and fights Gamera on land with Ayana watching and commanding it to kill him. Iris manages to knock Gamera down for the count and then attempts again to merge with Ayana; when Moribe intervenes, the creature swats him aside and sucks her into its body against her will. While inside, Ayana realizes that she fueled Iris' destruction with her emotions - it was her hatred that led to the death of her adopted parents, and Super Gyaos instead of Gamera actually killed her parents. All seems lost until Gamera suddenly punches through Iris' chest and rips Ayana out.
Infuriated, Iris pins Gamera's hand to a wall with its spear hand and begins to absorb Gamera's energy. Its tentacles begin to form plasma balls, when Gamera quickly uses a plasma ball himself to sever his own hand. Iris fires the absorbed plasma balls at Gamera who uses his stump to turn the plasma into a plasma fist. Gamera then uses the fist to slice through Iris' chest, causing Iris to erupt in flames and explode. Gamera then stomped on Iris' lifeless remains, victorious.
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Iris has a total of four tentacles. They are each tipped in sharpened arrow-shaped ends which Iris can use as stabbing weapons. The ends of Iris' tentacles can open and fire the same Sonic Scalpel beam used by Gyaos, or even copies of Gamera's fireballs after Iris has drained his energy. Iris can use his tentacles to deflect attacks such as Gamera's fireballs. Iris can also drain the blood of other organisms through his tentacles.
Iris has membranes between his tentacles that can be used as wings, granting him flight at a speed of up to mach 9.
Iris has retractable blades located on his arms. The blades can pierce Gamera's shell and drain his blood, granting Iris the ability to copy his abilities.
Iris can adapt to its environment by incorporating any DNA it has absorbed and can manipulate its own chromosomes similar to the Gyaos, allowing it to evolve rapidly into its adult form. Iris was able to fire copies of Gamera's fireballs after absorbing his DNA.
Iris has a hard carapace much like Gamera's own shell, granting it impressive durability.
Like Gamera, Iris has his own Atlantean magatama through which he forms a psychic bond with Ayana Hirasaka, strengthening him. By physically absorbing Ayana into himself, Iris attempts to become even more powerful.
- Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)
Iris in Gamera: Battle
- Main article: Iris/Gallery.
- Although Mother Legion is the tallest opponent Gamera has faced, Iris is easily the longest, with his adult form's tentacles being nearly 2 kilometers long when fully outstretched.
- Like SpaceGodzilla from the Godzilla series, Iris' origin is contested. While it is assumed that like Gamera and the Gyaos, Iris was created by the Atlanteans, it is also suggested that Iris is the Guardian of the South in East-Asian Mythology, corresponding to the real Vermilion Bird constellation. All that is known is that Iris is genetically related to the Gyaos, and has some kind of connection to the Atlanteans. Whether they in fact created Iris and why they did is unknown.
- Iris is the sole monster in the Gamera series who has no mouth. However, this doesn't hinder its communicative abilities. As a baby, Iris makes light chirping noises, while as an adult, it makes loud droning and humming sounds.
- Iris' adult form was portrayed by suit actor Akira Ohashi, who played Gamera himself in the previous film, Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion. Ohashi also plays Trauma Gamera in Ayana Hirasaka's nightmare sequence in the film, since it is portrayed using a refurbished Gamera suit from Gamera 2.
- The 2003 ADV Films DVD release of Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris included a feature-length "gag extra" where Gamera and Iris do an audio commentary together, speaking in pure human English throughout, with Gamera portrayed as a man with a stereotypical British thespian voice, and Iris, probably due to its connection with the vampiric Gyaos, portrayed as a woman with a thick Eastern European accent.
This is a list of references for Iris. 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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