King Ghidorah (GODZILLA anime trilogy)
|King Ghidorah incarnations|
- Haruo Sakaki: “Metphies. Was your planet destroyed by monsters, too?”
- Metphies: “Yes. To that which brought the end of our civilization, we hesitate greatly to carelessly say its name. Words just have that much strength.”
- Haruo Sakaki: “So it's like a bad omen?”
- Metphies: “Yes. But Haruo, to you who is about to face Godzilla, I should probably tell you. The destructive name that we Exif have been secretly hiding.”
- Haruo Sakaki: “Why me?”
- Metphies: “Remember it when you're in battle, and about to be swallowed in fear. There is a far greater destructive power lurking somewhere in space. Compared to that, Godzilla would not even be worth the fear. [...] It's Ghidorah.”
- ― Metphies reveals to Haruo Sakaki the name of the being that destroyed Exifcalus (GODZILLA: City on the Edge of Battle)
Ghidorah (ギドラ is a three-headed dragon Gidora)kaiju who is mentioned in the 2018 animated Godzilla film GODZILLA: City on the Edge of Battle, and goes on to appear in the film's sequel, GODZILLA: The Planet Eater. It is the fifth onscreen incarnation of King Ghidorah, and marks the character's first appearance in a film since 2001.
A monstrous entity that takes the form of a golden three-headed dragon and inhabits the void between dimensions, Ghidorah has used super gravity to consume countless worlds throughout the millennia. 100,000 years ago, Ghidorah destroyed the planet Exifcalus, while the surviving members of the native Exif race took to the stars to find new worlds and appease their God. With each new world the Exif found and converted to their faith, Ghidorah was fed a new planet. The Exif eventually made their way to Earth, where the native humans faced extinction at the hands of Godzilla. They cooperated with the fellow refugee alien race the Bilusaludo and the humans to try and defeat Godzilla, but were unsuccessful. Following a failed plan to relocate all three races to Tau Ceti e, they returned to try and reclaim the Earth. With the humanoids' latest methods failing to stop the now even larger and stronger Godzilla, the Exif archbishop Metphies and cardinal Endurph manipulated the desperate surviving refugees into praying for Ghidorah to come forth and eliminate Godzilla. Their manipulation succeeded and Ghidorah arrived in this dimension, promptly killing the majority of the surviving refugees before turning his wrath against Godzilla. Realizing that Ghidorah would destroy the Earth itself along with Godzilla, Captain Haruo Sakaki and his allies managed to sever Metphies' link to Ghidorah, allowing Godzilla to fight back and banish Ghidorah back to the dimension from whence he came.
The "Ghidorah" (ギドラ part of King Ghidorah's name comes from the Japanese word for "hydra" Gidora) (ヒドラ, which shares two of its three katakana characters with "Ghidorah." It also, coincidentally or not, sounds very similar to the Hidora)Russian pronunciation of "hydra" (Гидра, ˈɡʲidrə). The addition of "King" (キング) to his name may have been influenced by King Dragon (キング・ドラゴン, the name given to Kingu Doragon)Zmey Gorynych, upon which King Ghidorah's design was based, in the Japanese version of the Soviet film Ilya Muromets.
This incarnation of the character is referred to simply as Ghidorah (ギドラ, both in dialogue and in official Japanese press releases, though he is at one point referred to by Gidora)Metphies as King Ghidorah (王たるギドラ spelled without using the katakana kingu Ōtaru Gidora) (キング), as with all previous incarnations of the character. The tag for Bandai's Movie Monster Series figure of this incarnation of the character misspells this name in English as Gidrah, while other official sources use the correct spelling. The English story description on the film's official website instead calls him by his full name of King Ghidorah. He is mostly alluded to as God (神 by the Kami)Exif and other characters, as the Exif consider "Ghidorah" to be the "sacred name" and as such speak it only very rarely. The Exif faith also speaks of Ghidorah as the Universal Intelligence (宇宙知性. Uchū Chisei)
Like Godzilla Earth, Ghidorah's design was inspired by plants. But while Godzilla Earth was based on trees, Ghidorah's design was patterned after roses and other plants with thorns, an influence which is visible in the numerous spikes sprouting from Ghidorah's necks and heads. According to Hiroyuki Seshita, Ghidorah was designed to appear both fearsome and divine, even to those who do not believe in a religion. Seshita says that Ghidorah's design was derived from screenwriter Gen Urobuchi's idea for the character. Seshita prepared a rough sketch of Ghidorah, which was eventually developed into a CG model by Eiji Kawada. The central theme of Seshita's sketch for the character was "lightning." The new Ghidorah design was conceptualized as a "completely differently evolved Godzilla," and as such the Godzilla derived-Servum's model was used as a base for Ghidorah's. The design shares a few basic traits with past incarnations of King Ghidorah, those being its three dragon-like heads and golden color. Seshita believed that being overly conscious of King Ghidorah's original design would limit the filmmakers' ability to do something new with the character, so he was not too concerned with being too close or too different from the original design.
The GODZILLA anime trilogy's version of King Ghidorah retains the very basic premise of the character's appearance. He is a gigantic golden three-headed dragon-like creature with two bat-like wings at his sides, two legs, and two tails. Unlike past incarnations of the character which stood upright on their legs, this Ghidorah possesses comparatively smaller legs and is positioned horizontally from his heads to his tails. His heads only superficially resemble the character's traditional heads, which are based on Eastern dragons in the Showa series and Western dragons in the Heisei series. This Ghidorah's heads are adorned with pointed spikes in a similar arrangement to the Heisei King Ghidorah. Even larger spikes cover the entirety of Ghidorah's necks, eventually transitioning to three rows of smaller spikes on his back and a single row on each of his tails. His heads possess thin elongated snouts with long sharp teeth on the rim of his upper and lower jaws. Ghidorah possesses multiple small eyes on the top of his heads, similar to the Servum. In the film itself, only Ghidorah's necks and heads are seen in full emerging from portals in the sky, with the silhouette of his entire body appearing in visions. His necks appear proportionally much longer after passing through these portals than they do in the silhouette or on Ghidorah's full CG model. This may signify that his necks are capable of extending or simply become distorted after passing through dimensions.
Ghidorah is an energy-based being originating from a mysterious other dimension. According to director Hiroyuki Seshita, Ghidorah is the result of an evolutionary path where life discarded its physical body and evolved into a form of pure energy. This evolution into an energy being grants Ghidorah the ability to pass through dimensions. 100,000 years ago, Ghidorah destroyed the Exif home planet of Exifcalus, which had been willingly sacrificed to the monster. The Exif began to worship Ghidorah's three-headed aspect as the "Golden King," with many Exif such as Metphies believing that creatures such as him are a form of divine punishment intended for decadent civilizations that pronounce themselves the lords of creation. Metphies noted to Haruo Sakaki that the Exif had witnessed numerous civilizations destroyed by monsters during their time wandering space, with Godzilla's appearance on Earth simply being the latest instance. In reality, while the Exif wandered the vastness of space for many millennia after the destruction of Exifcalus, they converted the inhabitants of countless other worlds to their faith before summoning Ghidorah to eat them, and intended to do the same to Earth. Some ancient human civilizations may have been aware of Ghidorah as well, possibly through contact with the Exif, as suggested by the presence of multi-headed dragons in Slavic and Turkic mythology and the geometric lightning pattern present in the artifacts of many cultures.
When Haruo Sakaki asked Metphies if the Exif home planet of Exifcalus was destroyed by monsters like Earth was, he replied that it was. He explained that the Exif hesitated greatly to carelessly speak the name of the being that destroyed their planet, but said that he should tell Haruo its name. He told Haruo to remember the name when he faced Godzilla in battle and was about to be consumed by fear, because there was a far more destructive force than Godzilla lurking in outer space. Compared to it, Godzilla would not even be worth the fear. Metphies leaned in and whispered into Haruo's ear the forbidden name of this being: Ghidorah.
Following the destruction of Mechagodzilla City, Metphies began to convince the survivors of the operation now taking refuge in the Houtua village that the reason Haruo Sakaki was not assimilated by the Nanometal was because of the divine intervention of God. This way, Metphies began to attract a following and formed a religious cult which aimed to summon God to destroy Godzilla Earth. Haruo confronted Metphies, explaining that he was saved from the Nanometalization through the medical treatment he received from Miana. To his shock Metphies revealed that he thought as much, but explained that his lie was neccessary to inspire faith and allow him to summon God and defeat Godzilla. Haruo was appalled at Metphies' manipulation, and with the fervor of the cult on Earth and calls for his execution aboard the Aratrum building, he was forced to go into hiding. In his absence, Metphies' cult continued to grow and hold religious ceremonies in the Houtua village. Metphies telepathically communicated with Endurph aboard the Aratrum through the Garbetrium, coordinating with him to finally summon God. Endurph attracted a similar cult aboard the ship and began holding congregations as well. Miana confronted Metphies in the village as he telepathically communicated with Endurph, having realized that he possessed telepathy and had been hiding it from the Houtua all along. Metphies responded by restraining Miana and telepathically showing her a vision of a three-headed dragon-like creature, traumatizing her. Miana's twin sister Maina awoke horrified in the night and told Haruo that she heard her sister say the name "Ghidorah."
Soon, Metphies began a summoning ritual in the Houtua village with the congregation of his cult. He gave each cultist a bowl of soup from a pot, commanding them to drink it and then to close their eyes. He then revealed the sacred name of God: Ghidorah. Followers both in the village and on the Aratrum began chanting Ghidorah's name, calling forth the "Wings of Death" to destroy Godzilla. Metphies placed a ritual bead on his Garbetrium, and the shadows of Ghidorah's three heads began creeping across the floor. As the heads bit the shadows of the cultists, the cultists themselves began to be dismembered. Adam Bindewald opened his eyes and saw the heads and limbs of his fellow cultists falling to the floor. Before he could react, he witnessed the silhouette of Ghidorah approaching him. As Adam screamed in horror, he too was killed by the shadow. In the Earth's orbit, a singularity appeared next to the Aratrum. The golden serpentine head of Ghidorah emerged from the portal and began circling the Aratrum, causing havoc with its systems and forming a strong gravitational field around it. As the gravity crushed the ship, debris began to crush those unfortunate enough to be inside of it. Aboard the bridge, Unberto Mori and Takeshi J. Hamamoto communicated with Halu-elu Dolu-do in the engine room and told him restart the ship's gravity coil so it could escape, but were informed that the engine room was already destroyed 40 seconds ago, despite Dolu-do having made contact in that time. The Controller then revealed that all vital signs on the bridge had ceased; it was as if they were all already dead. Mori and Hamamoto watched in horror as Ghidorah's head began to approach the bridge of the ship. Shortly after, the Aratrum exploded, killing all aboard. As Martin Lazzari and Josh Emerson noticed that contact with the Aratrum had been lost, the sky began to turn black as storm clouds appeared in the sky. Three black vortexes opened in the sky and began to generate strong lightning strikes. They retreated to a watch tower with Haruo, Maina, and the rest of the Houtua. Haruo realized that Metphies must have been responsible for this, and left to confront him. Godzilla, still dormant after destroying Mechagodzilla City, was alerted by the strange occurrence and awakened. Soon, black portals appeared inside the vortexes and one of Ghidorah's heads emerged from a portal then began slithering down from the sky. Godzilla opened fire at the head with his atomic breath, but the beam seemed to inexplicably curve around Ghidorah. Godzilla fired again, only for the beam to be reflected downward. Martin wondered if Ghidorah had used gravity waves to distort the beam, or maybe curved space-time itself. Josh reported that their computer showed no indication of the beam curving; in fact it didn't detect Ghidorah at all. Only their eyes and ears could see Ghidorah, as if the creature was an illusion. Ghidorah's head then lunged forward toward Godzilla, who swiped at it with his hand only for it to harmlessly phase through Ghidorah's neck. Ghidorah's head then circled behind Godzilla before biting down on his shoulder, completely bypassing his shield. Godzilla roared in pain and tried to grab Ghidorah's neck, but his hand again moved through it as if it wasn't really there. Josh said the computer was detecting the electromagnetic energy inside Godzilla dropping, which Martin said was impossible since he was only bitten and his shield always protected him from attack. Godzilla swiped at Ghidorah's neck with his tail, but it again phased through it. Josh detected further gravitational disturbance as two more heads emerged from the other portals in the sky. Both heads moved toward the ground, with one biting Godzilla's other shoulder and another biting his leg. Josh said that the computer was only detecting an expanding abnormal gravitational field, and otherwise was not picking up anything from the monster.
Haruo confronted Metphies on a hill, where he watched the battle between Ghidorah and Godzilla and had tied Miana to a wooden structure. Haruo demanded to know what Metphies had done, and he replied that he was fulfilling his eternal mission. He had finally summoned King Ghidorah, the Golden Demise, to Earth, and was about to sacrifice both Godzilla and the world to him. Metphies explained that the only purpose of existence was to be an offering to Ghidorah, and that to be destroyed by him was the greatest blessing of all. Metphies turned to look at Haruo, revealing that he had replaced one of his eyes with the Garbetrium bead which was now glowing golden. Metphies stared into Haruo's eyes, triggering a telepathic vision where Haruo was at Metphies' mercy. Metphies subjected Haruo to visions of his past in order to make him submit to Ghidorah and become the chosen one who will lead the rest of mankind to willingly be sacrificed to him. Meanwhile, Godzilla continued unsuccessfully to struggle with Ghidorah, his attempts to grab the creature's necks resulting in his hand phasing through them. Martin and Josh, observing the battle, determined that despite Godzilla's shield being activated, he was still taking damage from Ghidorah's assault. Godzilla began converting the electromagnetic energy in his body into heat, as he had done in his battle with Mechagodzilla City. Godzilla's skin began to crack and glow scarlet, as the area around him became superheated. Still, Ghidorah seemed completely unaffected by the heat. He continued biting down on Godzilla, and gradually the scarlet glow began to disappear from his body. Martin and Josh determined that Ghidorah was absorbing the heat as fast as Godzilla could produce it. As a result, Godzilla's body began to cool as the surrounding heat vanished without producing any steam. Martin finally determined that Ghidorah wasn't from this dimension, and as such its physical laws didn't apply to it. This didn't just mean that Ghidorah could defeat Godzilla, but that he could destroy the entire planet. Ghidorah began to lift Godzilla into the air effortlessly, despite his incredible size. Martin said that since Ghidorah was from another universe, Godzilla was totally powerless against him. From Godzilla's perspective, Ghidorah was essentially an illusion, but for Ghidorah Godzilla was physically present and could be attacked. Martin realized that the only way for an extradimensional creature like Ghidorah to operate in this dimension was if someone was guiding it, and that someone must be Metphies. Martin declared that he had to go warn Haruo, but Maina insisted on coming to save Haruo too, saying that he was already fighting with Ghidorah as well. As Ghidorah lifted Godzilla further into the air, Josh noticed that Godzilla's measurements were becoming impossible to detect as well, as if Ghidorah was eroding reality.
Martin and Maina arrived at the Houtua's temple, and entered the cave housing Mothra's egg. They placed their hands on it, as Maina appealed to Mothra to send their message to Haruo. Heeding her request, Mothra manifested inside Haruo's vision and destroyed the plane that Metphies and Haruo were inside. As Haruo fell through the sky in his vision, Maina and Martin were able to reach him and explain the situation. He realized that the Garbetrium bead in Metphies' eye was acting as Ghidorah's eyes and allowing him to attack Godzilla. Metphies quickly seized back control of the vision and continued to subject Haruo to more hallucinations, but upon experiencing a vision of his parents, Haruo was finally able to break free of Metphies' influence. When he escaped from the vision, Haruo was holding Metphies by the head. Haruo then shattered the Garbetrium bead with his thumb, severing Metphies' connection to Ghidorah. Ghidorah suddenly released Godzilla, who found that he could now physically make contact with Ghidorah. Josh even saw that his computer was now able to detect Ghidorah and that his gravitational field was decaying as the vortexes in the sky began to shrink. As Godzilla fell back to the ground, his dorsal plates began to course with electromagnetic energy as he swung his tail and fired the Plasma Cutter. Ghidorah's heads attempted to bite down on Godzilla again, but Godzilla struck one of Ghidorah's necks with his tail, knocking the head to the ground. Ghidorah's head roared out in pain before evaporating into golden particles. Godzilla then grabbed another head by its jaws and pulled them apart until he tore off its lower jaw. This head too vanished, and the remaining head released Godzilla as it began retreating back into the sky. Godzilla charged and fired his atomic breath at Ghidorah's last head, which shot directly into his mouth before passing through it and striking the black portal in the sky until it exploded. Godzilla charged his atomic breath again and destroyed the second portal, before repeating the process on the third portal. Ghidorah was finally banished from this dimension, and for at least the time being the planet was safe from his terror. As Metphies lay dying, he told Haruo that for as long as he lived, Ghidorah would be watching him.
Some time later, when Martin showed Haruo that he had found a way to activate the Nanometal in the last remaining Vulture, he explained that with this technology they would be able to restore human civilization. Haruo then experienced a brief hallucination where he heard Metphies' voice tell him that mankind would inevitably advance back to the point that brought about the wrath of Godzilla, and the cycle of destruction would begin anew. Time was still on Ghidorah and the Exif's side, and the Earth was still vulnerable. Haruo decided to take measures into his own hands and do what he felt was necessary to stop this. He retrieved Yuko Tani's comatose body from the Houtua village, but was confronted by Miana. He asked Miana if she thought Godzilla was scary, and if she hated him. She explained that the Houtua had no concept of hate, and that she didn't understand what Haruo meant. Haruo simply replied that if he stayed, he worried the Houtua might end up understanding him, which is why he had to go. He got into the remaining Vulture with Yuko and flew toward Godzilla, screaming at him to take away the last remnant of the hatred of the past, of all the lives Godzilla had destroyed. Godzilla charged his atomic breath and fired it at the Vulture, which crashed to the ground and exploded. In his dying act, Haruo erased all that remained of humanity's past, and tried to ensure that the cycle of destruction could be ended so Ghidorah would not return to destroy the Earth.
Ghidorah is said to have eaten thousands of planets through the use of Super Gravity (超重力. Chō Jūryoku) He demonstrates an ability to control gravity when he attacks the Aratrum, generating a strong gravitational field around the ship which allows him to trap it and crush it until it explodes. While Ghidorah cannot be detected by United Earth technology, the gravitational anomalies he produces are detectable.
Due to being composed of energy rather than physical matter, Ghidorah has the ability to pass through dimensions. His heads pass into other dimensions through three black portals, and his necks can extend to incredible lengths. During his summoning ritual, Ghidorah initially manifests in this dimension as a shadow that bites down on the shadows of the cultists present at the summoning, which causes their actual bodies to be dismembered.
When summoned into this dimension, Ghidorah can alter space-time. When he surrounds the Aratrum, Ghidorah interferes with its systems, constantly giving it different data and run time errors. Ghidorah can also override the ship's steering and navigation systems. He also alters the the passage of time on the ship. For example, when the crew on the bridge receive a transmission from Halu-elu Dolu-do from the engine room, it turns out the engine room was already destroyed 40 seconds ago. The Aratrum's systems also show that all life signs on the bridge have ceased even while moments before Ghidorah finally destroys the ship. When fighting Godzilla Earth, Ghidorah is able to interfere with his atomic breath by shifting space-time and causing the beam to curve around his head or be reflected to the ground. He is also able to bypass Godzilla's Asymmetrically Permeable Shield and absorb the heat he generates by converting his electromagnetic energy. Even the United Earth's tracking system are unable to track Ghidorah's electromagnetic and infrared waves, only detecting gravity waves. Martin Lazzari determined that this was due to Ghidorah coming from another dimension, meaning the laws of this dimension do not apply to him.
Another effect of Ghidorah's energy-based body composition and his extradimensional nature is selective intangibility. Both physical and energy based attacks from Godzilla Earth are shown to pass harmlessly through Ghidorah's body, while Ghidorah is able to bite down on Godzilla and restrain him.
Like both Mecha-King Ghidorah and the GMK King Ghidorah, this incarnation of the character is able to discharge electrical energy through his bite in order to injure Godzilla. Additionally, he can drain energy through his bite thanks to his space-time distortion abilities. He uses this to drain Godzilla Earth's electromagnetic energy and the intense heat he produces as fast as he generates it.
While he does not spit the character's traditional gravity beams, Ghidorah possesses several electrical properties. In addition to his electrified bite, Ghidorah emits bolts of electricity from his neck as he coils around the Aratrum, dealing severe damage to the ship. There is visible electrical sparking when Godzilla makes contact with Ghidorah's body after his connection to Metphies is severed and he becomes bound by this dimension's physics. His arrival into this dimension is also heralded by storm clouds which project repeated lightning strikes.
Ghidorah has the capacity to communicate with Exif clergy through a technology called Gematron calculation. The Exif pick up Ghidorah's messages through a device wielded by Endurph and Metphies known as the Garbetrium. Gematron calculation can be used to develop advanced artificial intelligence and carry out complex mathematical calculations, as well as provide the Exif with probabilities and even predict the future. The Garbetrium is also a key component in the ritual to summon Ghidorah.
While in this dimension, Ghidorah is guided by Metphies, who has replaced his own eye with a Garbetrium bead which allows Ghidorah to see. When Haruo destroys the bead, Ghidorah becomes subject to the laws of this dimension and loses his ability to see through Metphies. This causes him to release Godzilla Earth, who becomes able to physically strike Ghidorah with his attacks. In this state, Ghidorah is no match for Godzilla and is easily dispatched back to his home dimension once his physical manifestation is destroyed.
Like the Heisei King Ghidorah and Modern Type King Ghidorah, the anime Ghidorah's roar is a modified Rodan roar. Ghidorah also utters a series of unique high-pitched roars and shrieks, most noticeable once he loses his connection to Metphies and Godzilla becomes able to hurt him. Additionally, the Showa King Ghidorah's cackling roar is used to represent Garbetrium communication, and his flying sound effect is used for when Ghidorah appears in silhouette through a vision.
- This is the first onscreen incarnation of King Ghidorah to be portrayed as a space monster since his incarnation from Rebirth of Mothra III. It is also the first incarnation of the character in a Godzilla film to be a space monster since his Showa incarnation.
- Calculated as possessing a total length of 20 kilometers by the filmmakers during the development of his CG model, this incarnation of Ghidorah is not only easily the largest incarnation of the character, but possibly the largest known monster in the entire franchise. The only monster which comes close to Ghidorah is Mechagodzilla City, which possesses a diameter of 14 kilometers, and may exceed Ghidorah in terms of absolute size given the countless buildings that comprise it.
- The Exif symbol, a seven-pointed star, represents Ghidorah's three heads, two wings, and two tails. The ceremonial hand gesture Exif clergy make when hearing a confession, performed by making two slicing motions in the air while facing the confessor, symbolically represents dividing the body into three parts and thereby dedicating it to Ghidorah.
- The anime Ghidorah is a unique case among other incarnations of the character in that instead of being the pawn of an alien race, the alien Exif race serves him.
This is a list of references for King Ghidorah/Anime. 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: