Kenji Ando (IDW)
Dr. Kenji Ando is a character who first appeared in IDW Publishing's 2011-2012 comic series Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, and later had a supporting role in IDW's 2013-2015 series Godzilla: Rulers of Earth. After Godzilla and other giant monsters began appearing across the globe, Dr. Ando became one of the first scientists to properly study them, eventually becoming a forefront leader in the field of Megazoology after its establishment. Notably, he was also responsible for naming Godzilla in that continuity, among several other monsters.
From as early as Godzilla's very first appearance in Japan, Kenji Ando demonstrated an unwavering desire to understand and learn about the giant monsters that ravaged the Earth even as everyone else around him wished simply to destroy them, cautioning that a failure to understand them may impede any attempts to stop them. As a result of this attitude, he eventually shifted his efforts away from contributing to the construction of anti-kaiju weapons like the Mechagodzillas, and focused more on trying to adapt to a world in which humans could learn to coexist with the kaiju rather than merely find ways to kill them. As the leader of his own kaiju investigation team, Dr. Ando did his best to keep his students out of danger wherever possible.
- Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1, 3, 5-6 (2011)
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #1-2, 4-5, 7-10, 12, 22, 25 (2013-2015)
Dr. Kenji Ando was present as the Japanese Prime Minister was briefed on the appearance of a giant monster in Japan. Following the Prime Minister's decision to launch a nuclear attack on the creature, Dr. Ando reported that the strike only succeeded in making the monster more powerful by giving it atomic breath.
At the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, Dr. Ando led a summit in which he revealed that had been tasked with categorizing the new giant creatures that had appeared in Japan, Russia, and Mexico, officially naming them "Godzilla", "Rodan", and "Anguirus", respectively. He later briefed US President Ogden on the discovery of a large egg in France.
As world leaders and military officials discussed plans to attack the monsters, Dr. Ando urged them to proceed with caution despite the severity of the rapidly-deteriorating situation worldwide, warning that more missteps like the decision to launch a nuclear strike on Godzilla could yield even more devastating consequences.
Dr. Ando soon became involved with President Ogden’s Mechagodzilla Project - the creation of a giant mech designed specifically to fight and kill the monsters. Unfortunately, the mech malfunctioned shortly after deployment against Godzilla, turning its weapons against the city of Atlanta.
Many years after his involvement in the Mechagodzilla Project, Dr. Ando went on to help establish the field of Megazoology - the scientific study of giant monsters - as well as become one of the founders of the Kaiju Watchers, an organization dedicated to studying them. Dr. Ando hosted the world's first International Megazoology Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, which included a presentation detailing the last-known whereabouts of both Earth's kaiju and the space monsters following their invasion of Earth. However, his seminar was interrupted by the unexpected emergence of Zilla nearby, prompting Dr. Ando to call for his guests evacuate to an emergency shelter. Though most complied, Dr. Ando noticed one student, Lucy Casprell, venture outside to film the new monster.
In the aftermath of Zilla and Godzilla's battle in the city, Dr. Ando tracked down Lucy to speak with her. Impressed with her fearless dedication in documenting the monsters and what he could only describe as her "charisma", Dr. Ando offered Lucy a spot on his own personal kaiju investigation team, which included fellow Megazoologists Jeremy, Kristina Sumres, Shawn Lelonzo, Kyle Fellows, Shannon Nunez, Marcia Marshall, and Jason Ford; Lucy excitedly accepted the opportunity.
Dr. Ando was contacted by the Chinese government to investigate reports of a new kaiju, prompting him to fly his team out to Beijing, China. In the airport, the lot witnessed a news report of Godzilla and Mothra battling Destoroyah, with Lucy sharing her theory with Dr. Ando that Godzilla may have something to do with the recent rise in new kaiju appearances. Sometime later, just after the team made it to the Huanren Reservoir, they observed the sudden emergence of Varan - a monster that Chinese authorities were quick to reveal was not actually the kaiju Dr. Ando's team was called to investigate.
As military forces attempted to fend off the attacking Varan, Dr. Ando and his students were forced to run, narrowly avoiding disaster. Amidst the chaos, the group managed to escape with a convoy before being ushered into a top-secret military base, though Lucy was separated from the lot. Upon being located and returned to her team by the base's commander, Lucy reported that she had discovered a captive kaiju in bowels of the facility. Dr. Ando was quick to confront the commander, only to be punched in the face while defending Lucy. Aware of Dr. Ando's credentials in studying the kaiju and past involvement in the Mechagodzilla Project, the commander expressed his intent on forcing Dr. Ando to find the means of controlling or even creating new monsters for his government; fortunately, the outside battle between Varan and Rodan provided the group with the means to escape as the monsters came crashing into the base, killing the commander and his men. Dr. Ando then ushered his students topside, though Lucy briefly broke away to free the captive monster Gaira before rejoining the team as they left the collapsing base. Ultimately, Dr. Ando and his students escaped unscathed, though the experience would later prompt several of them to leave the team.
Drs. Allison and Yumi Nagata arranged to meet with Dr. Ando's team after the group left China.
Dr. Ando, alongside several members of his team as well as Drs. Allison and Nagata, joined up with a naval fleet that had convened in the waters around an uncharted island chain where Godzilla had recently fought an unidentified new kaiju. While speaking with Lucy, Dr. Ando revealed that the team was there to help the military learn more about the new monster - but upon finishing his explanation, the fleet was suddenly attacked by Titanosaurus, Gezora, and Manda.
As Titanosaurus slammed his claws into the deck of the aircraft carrier, Dr. Ando and several members of his team were sent flying back, though all members of the group survived the attack. In the aftermath, Kristina and Shawn helped Dr. Ando to his feet, and while grateful that his students were unharmed, Dr. Ando grew concerned upon realizing that Lucy was nowhere to be found, having been thrown overboard in the madness.
After Lucy was rescued, Drs. Ando, Allison, and Nagata held a meeting with world leaders to discuss plans of converting the recently-discovered island chain where Godzilla had fought Biollante into a new containment site as a means of dealing with the world's rapidly-growing kaiju population, with Dr. Ando believing the islands to be a perfectly suitable location for them. As the islands were uncharted, Dr. Ando and his team prepared to help the Counter-Kaiju Reaction Forces in surveying these proposed "Monster Islands"; however, a situation in Australia involving Sanda and Gaira called Lucy and the CKR away, leading Dr. Ando and his team to continue their mission of island surveying without them.
In the wake of a great battle between Godzilla and monsters sent by the Devonians that resulted in the destruction of the Devonian capital, Dr. Ando met with remaining members of his team and offered them all a place on the islands, as he intended on staying there to help the CKR establish facilities on the islands. Lucy, Kristina, and Jason ultimately accepted his proposal and remained on the islands to continue their work with the monsters of Earth.
In the years following the establishment of the Monster Islands, Dr. Ando relocated to Japan at Ark Industries alongside Dr. Nagata. Eventually, alien monsters known as the Trilopods attacked the planet in a full-scale invasion of Earth. With few safe places left to go, CKR commander Steven Woods arranged to reconvene with Lucy and her Monster Islands Research Team at Dr. Ando's lab to discuss a plan proposed by the Shobijin to awaken the ancient guardian monster King Caesar. Dr. Ando revealed that King Caesar's location had been discovered in Okinawa, though he expressed concern that King Caesar would not help them and that Godzilla may turn against the guardian. However, Dr. Nagata and the Shobijin assured him that this was the best plan. Just as Lucy, Jason, and Kristina arrived, they were interrupted by a news report on the arrival of the Trilopod hive in Los Angeles, where they witnessed Trilopods swarming Godzilla and using his DNA to transform into Godzilla-Trilopod hybrids.
In the aftermath of the great battle for Earth that saw the planet's monsters emerge victorious against the alien threat, Dr. Ando assisted Dr. Nagata as she worked on repairing her recovered robot, Jet Jaguar. He also watched live footage of Mothra's larva as they cocooned themselves.
Kenji Ando character sheet by Matt Frank
Kenji Ando speaks with Lucy Casprell
Kenji Ando and Yumi Nagata speak with the Shobijin
- Kenji Ando shares his name with a different character from the 1992 Godzilla film Godzilla vs. Mothra.
- While he did not physically appear in the 2012-2013 series Godzilla, Dr. Kenji Ando was involved in the creation of the second Mechagodzilla that was featured in that series, as he revealed in the first issue of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth.
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