Monsters are tragic beings. They are born too tall, too strong, too heavy. They are not evil by choice. That is their tragedy. They do not attack people because they want to, but because of their size and strength, mankind has no other choice but to defend himself. After several stories such as this, people end up having a kind of affection for the monsters. They end up caring about them.
Kaiju are typically modeled after conventional animals, mythological creatures, and sometimes even plants; however, there are more exotic examples. Choujin Sentai Jetman features monsters based on traffic lights, faucets, and tomatoes; Kamen Rider Super-1 includes a whole army of monsters based on household objects such as umbrellas and utility ladders. While the term kaiju is used in the West to describe monsters from tokusatsu and Japanese folklore, monsters like vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein's Monster, mummies and zombies would fall into this category (Frankenstein's Monster was once a daikaiju in the film Frankenstein vs. Baragon, which was produced by Toho). Kaiju are sometimes depicted as cannon fodder serving a greater evil. Some kaiju are elite warriors which serve as the right-hand man to the greater villain and are destroyed by the heroic forces. Others have a neutral alignment, only seeking to destroy buildings and other structures. During the early eras of tokusatsu, "heroic" monsters were seen in daikaiju eiga films, and it wasn't until later when television tokusatsu productions began using kaiju which aided the hero, saved civilians, or demonstrated some kind of complex personality. These kaiju adopted many classic monster traits, appearing as the "misunderstood creature."
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Kaiju are the extra-dimensional monsters that appear in the film Pacific Rim and its sequel, Pacific Rim Uprising. They serve the sapient inhabitants of their dimension and come through the portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean called the Breach.
The Kaiju are separated into categories like natural disasters, according to a system known as the Serizawa Scale. There are five categories:
- Category 1 Kaiju: The least powerful category, these Kaiju are the weakest type, often defeatable with individual tactical nuclear strikes and outmatched by Jaegers.
- Category 2 Kaiju: These Kaiju are more powerful than the Category 1 Kaiju and require greater firepower to defeat. The only known category 2 Kaiju is Onibaba.
- Category 3 Kaiju: These Kaiju are more powerful still and are a significant threat to Jaegers. The only 2 known category 3 Kaiju are Knifehead and Yamarashi.
- Category 4 Kaiju: These Kaiju are incredibly powerful, usually requiring more than one Jaeger to defeat them. These Kaiju include Mutavore, Otachi, Leatherback, Raiju, Scunner, Shrikethorn, and Hakuja.
- Category 5 Kaiju: These Kaiju are the most powerful of their brethren. They are extremely strong and can take huge amounts of damage while being unharmed. The only known Category 5 Kaiju are Slattern and Raijin.
- Mega-Kaiju: The Mega-Kaiju is a unique specimen formed through the combination of the Category 4 Kaiju Shrikethorn and Hakuja and the Category 5 Kaiju Raijin, carried out by biomechanical creatures called Rippers. It is considerably taller than any of the other Kaiju, and it is unclear how it fits onto the Serizawa Scale.
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