In his debut film, Manda was the guardian of the undersea empire of Mu, and was unleashed to destroy the Gotengo before it could breach the heart of Mu. The second incarnation of Manda introduced in Destroy All Monsters was one of the monsters contained on Monsterland by the end of the 20th century, and was unleashed to attack Tokyo under the command of the Kilaak invaders. After the aliens' control of the monsters was severed, Manda was present at Mount Fuji when Godzilla and the other monsters battled King Ghidorah. Manda made a brief appearance in Godzilla: Final Wars as well, once again battling the Gotengo underwater. Manda appears in Godzilla Singular Point as a social kaiju that swim together in groups with one Manda school appearing off the Boso Peninsula ultimately leading Godzilla into Tokyo Bay and onto dry land.
Name[edit | edit source]
Manda was originally conceptualized as a giant snake during the production of Atragon, and was given the name "Mammoth Snake" (マンモススネーク, which later became "Mammoth Serpent" Manmosu Sunēku) (マンモス蛇 Manmosu Da). Because the upcoming year, 1964, was the year of the dragon, Toho felt it would be appropriate to make the monster a dragon instead. Toho redesigned the creature as a sea dragon and shortened "Manmosu Da" into "Manda," which became the monster's official name. Manda's name has also been speculated to be a combination of the Japanese words "man" (万) and "daija" (大蛇), which when combined mean "ten thousand serpent."
The Manda featured in Destroy All Monsters is sometimes denoted in official books as Second Generation Manda (二代目マンダ, Nidaime Manda) while the Manda from Godzilla: Final Wars is called Manda (3rd Generation) (マンダ（３代目）. Manda Sandaime)
In Godzilla Singular Point, Manda's name is designated by the government as a shortening of "mammoth-class snake" (マンモス級の蛇. manmosukyū no hebi)
Development[edit | edit source]
Originally, the kaiju featured in Atragon was planned to be a giant snake, and was given the name "Mammoth Snake," later changed to "Mammoth Serpent." An image board drawn by Shigeru Komatsuzaki depicts the monster clearly as a snake. However, because the upcoming year, 1964, was the year of the dragon, Toho decided instead to make the monster a dragon. The Japanese name for "Mammoth Serpent," Manmosu Da, was shortened to "Manda," which became the monster's final name. Toho's company New Year's card for 1964 even included an illustration of Manda battling the Gotengo. Manda's final design is credited to Akira Watanabe.
The monster's head was modeled by Teizo Toshimitsu and its body by the Yagi brothers, Kanju and Yasuei. A unique trait added to Manda's design was his black cat-like eyes, unusual for Toho's kaiju at the time. Eiji Tsuburaya's team built ten different Manda props for the film, ranging in size from twenty centimeters to five meters. The five-meter Manda had a radio-controlled jaw. Tsuburaya Productions later used one of the large Manda props to portray the Dragon in episode 6 of Ultra Q, "Grow Up! Little Turtle." A smaller Manda model was repurposed as the masthead of an old Viking boat in another Ultra Q episode, "I Saw a Bird".
Eiji Tsuburaya looks on as a Manda prop is coiled around the Gotengo prop.
For Destroy All Monsters, the large Manda prop which was lent to Tsuburaya Productions was returned to Toho and modified slightly for use in the film. The prop's head was replaced with a new, less ornate, one that lacked the spikes, horns, and mane. As a result, the Second Generation Manda looked more like his original conceived design as a gigantic snake, although he still possessed legs. In addition to the refurbished prop, a small model of Manda was created for long shots. Stock footage of Manda from this film would be used for the monster's appearance in All Monsters Attack the following year, in which he was a resident of Monster Island within the dreams of protagonist Ichiro Miki. Stock footage of Manda from Destroy All Monsters was again employed for a brief scene in Terror of Mechagodzilla in which Katsura Mafune mentions him as one of the monsters responsible for causing destruction in the past, along with Rodan and King Ghidorah.
The Manda prop on set for filming of the monster's attack on Tokyo
The Manda prop alongside all of the other monster suits and props used in Destroy All Monsters
A publicity still of Manda used for All Monsters Attack
Manda's next film appearance came over three decades later in Godzilla's 50th anniversary film, Godzilla: Final Wars. Shinji Nishikawa's design for Manda more closely resembled the original from Atragon instead of the one from Destroy All Monsters, though ironically Nishikawa is quoted in All Toho Monsters Pictorial Book as saying that he specifically shied away from the Atragon design, calling it a Manda "without the divinity." A team consisting of Tomoki Kobayashi, Tadashi Ogawa, and Tsumugi Fujino created a six-meter-long physical prop for the monster. In addition to the main prop, Manda was realized with 3D models for certain shots, and a blast model made of hard urethane foam with a plaster exterior was utilized to depict frozen Manda being shredded by the Gotengo.
Design[edit | edit source]
Manda resembles an Eastern dragon, as he has an elongated thin body with four legs. In Atragon and Godzilla: Final Wars, Manda's skin is a bluish-green color, and his head is adorned with four horns. The original Manda from Atragon has two long barbs on his face that resemble whiskers, and a mane of hair that extends from the top of his head all the way to his tail. His face is also covered in small spikes. This Manda possesses yellow reptilian eyes with slit pupils.
The second-generation Manda from Destroy All Monsters resembles a snake with legs rather than a traditional oriental dragon. He has no horns or spikes on his head, and there is no hair on his body. His eyes are more rounded and mammalian and are light blue rather than yellow.
The Manda from Godzilla: Final Wars more closely resembles the original Manda, though the hair on his back is replaced with a row of pointed spikes, and his whiskers are removed. This Manda has a small hood behind his head similar to that of a cobra, and four long barbs extending from the underside of his body. He also has spikes on his arms and legs, and a forked snake-like tongue rather than the rounded tongue possessed by previous incarnations.
In Godzilla Singular Point, Manda retains its long, serpentine body, but its head appears to more closely resemble a sturgeon than a dragon like previous incarnations. It also has some traits similar to lobsters, such as its armored carapace, as well as lobster-like tendrils which mimic the barbels from Manda's Atragon design. It has a pair of mantis shrimp-like forelimbs and sea turtle-like hind limbs, as well as a fin resembling one of Godzilla's dorsal fins. Just like Godzilla, it also has multiple rows of teeth inside its mouth as well.
Origins[edit | edit source]
In Atragon, Manda was the guardian of Mu, an underwater kingdom. How Manda became its protector and how long he had been protecting it is unknown. In Destroy All Monsters, Manda is one of the monsters contained on Monsterland, a human-monitored island located in the Ogasawara Islands, at the end of the 20th century. Manda's origins in Godzilla: Final Wars are unknown.
History[edit | edit source]
The guardian of the underwater kingdom of Mu, Manda was unleashed by the Mu Empress when the Gotengo approached Mu. Manda attacked the ship, wrapping his body around it and trying to crush it. The Gotengo discharged a powerful electrical shock, forcing Manda to release it and retreat to a nearby rock. The Gotengo fired its Absolute Zero Cannon at Manda, freezing him in place and allowing it to proceed unopposed to Mu.
At the end of the 20th century, Manda was one of the monsters contained on Monsterland, a facility in the Ogasawara Islands. When the Kilaaks came to Earth and took control of Manda and the other monsters of the island, they made them attack major cities around the world. Manda was instructed to attack London. Manda later appeared in Tokyo alongside Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra, where he coiled around and crushed a monorail line. When the crew of the Moonlight SY-3 freed the monsters from the Kilaaks' control by destroying their transmitter tower on the Moon, the monsters gathered at the base of Mount Fuji to launch an assault on the Kilaak base. Though Manda was among the group, he didn't participate in the battle against King Ghidorah, instead opting to observe the fight from the sidelines with Varan and Baragon. After King Ghidorah was defeated, Manda and the other kaiju returned to Monsterland to live in peace.
As Dr. Shinzo Mafune prepared to unleash Titanosaurus to take his revenge on the rest of humanity, his daughter Katsura begged him not to turn Titanosaurus into a monster of destruction like Manda, Rodan, or King Ghidorah.
In 20XX, Manda attacked Normandy, causing the Earth Defense Force to deploy the Gotengo to engage him in the English Channel. At first, Manda was able to constrict himself around the Gotengo and pull the warship further and further into the depths of the water, severely damaging it. However, the crew spotted an underwater volcano and charged into it, with Manda stuck on their ship. Unable to withstand the heat, Manda was forced to uncoil himself and swam away. The Gotengo managed to get out of the volcano, but Manda charged at the ship. The Gotengo turned around 180 degrees and fired the Absolute Zero Cannon to freeze the weakened Manda, and then rammed into him with its powerful drill, breaking him into pieces and killing him in the process.
"Gadabout"[edit | edit source]
While seeking a way out from the red-stained seas near Tokyo Bay, a fishing boat's crew runs afoul of a group of Mandas that proceed to capsize it.
"Theorist"[edit | edit source]
When a Japanese Coast Guard rescue helicopter arrives to rescue the stranded fishermen, one of the Mandas sticking around the boat turn their attention towards the copter. Swatting at the helicopter with its tail, the rescue team is forced into evasive action and the fishing boat is fully sunk, though the fishermen are recovered. In response to the attacks, the government closes boat traffic in Tokyo Bay until an extermination plan can be carried out.
"Enfatico"[edit | edit source]
"Omniarch"[edit | edit source]
As the Manda school is cornered around Tokyo's waterfront, Godzilla Aquatilis manages to wrestle and drag one onto land, killing it before evolving into its Amphibia form.
"Graftage"[edit | edit source]
While on a boat to London, Mei and Li watched as a swarm of Mandas appeared and began making their way inland and swimming into the Thames River. Meanwhile, a Manda carcass washed up on the shore of a boatyard where it was discovered by Yun, Haberu, and Goro.
"Relaunch"[edit | edit source]
As Godzilla Ultima rampages through Tokyo, a Manda attacks and constricts him, biting down onto his neck. Godzilla fires his atomic breath at Manda, severing its head from its body, killing it. Another Manda was later seen swimming in the river.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Constriction[edit | edit source]
Manda can wrap his body around an enemy or structure and crush it similar to how a snake constricts his prey. In Godzilla: Final Wars, this constriction ability is known called Binding Breaker (バインディング・ブリーカー. Baindingu Burīkā) It was effective against the Gotengo, and may have crushed the ship if the heat from an underwater volcano had not forced Manda to release his grip. In Godzilla Singular Point, a Manda briefly constricted Godzilla Ultima, only to be killed by his atomic breath.
Amphibiousness[edit | edit source]
Although he is slow on land, Manda can swim very fast and can breathe while submerged in water.
Supersonic Wave Cannon[edit | edit source]
Fireballs[edit | edit source]
In the video game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!, Manda has the ability to spit fireballs.
Physical abilities[edit | edit source]
Along with his other melee techniques, Manda will also bite opponents, such as when he attempted to bite through Gotengo’s hull in Godzilla: Final Wars. In Godzilla Singular Point, a Manda bit Godzilla on the neck and caused him to bleed.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Manda is vulnerable to being frozen, which is how the Gotengo defeated him in both Atragon and Godzilla: Final Wars. In Atragon, the Gotengo forced Manda to stop constricting it by releasing an electrical current. In the Godzilla Singular Point episode "Enfatico", three JMSDF ships easily killed seven Manda in a school with naval artillery, specifically a 5"/54 caliber Mark 54 gun, 5"/54 caliber Mark 62 gun, and Otobreda 127/54 Compact.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Atragon (1963)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- All Monsters Attack (1969) [stock footage]
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) [stock footage]
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
- Godziban (TV 2019-) [episode 21]
- Godzilla Singular Point (TV 2021) [episodes 4-8]
Video games[edit | edit source]
- CinemaScope War Game: Atragon (1984) - NEC PC-8801/mkII and FM-7
- Godzilla: Monster of Monsters! (1988) - Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicom
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1993) - Nintendo Game Boy
- Godzilla (1993) - Arcade
- 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 Unleashed: Double Smash (2007) - Nintendo DS
- Godzilla (2014) - PlayStation 3 and 4 [Kaiju Guide]
- CR True King of the Monsters Godzilla (2018) - Pachinko
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
- Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Manda.
Manda in Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!
Books[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla at World's End (1998)
- Godzilla Likes to Roar! (1998)
- Who's Afraid of Godzilla? (1998)
- GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse (2017)
- GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla (2018)
Manda appears as a minor character in this children's book, frolicking in the ocean.
Manda appeared in the Atlantic Ocean in 2022, and continuously terrorized it for more than a decade, and was unable to be defeated due to his agility, sturdy body that was resistant to damage, and his ability to emit a Supersonic Wave Cannon. In 2039 humanity launched "Operation: Eternal Light" to regain control of the Atlantic from the kaiju. Manda was engaged and destroyed by the Goten in the Strait of Dover as part of this operation.
Comics[edit | edit source]
- Godzilla: Cataclysm #1, 4 (2014)
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #3-4, 8-9, 11-12 (2013-2014)
- Godzilla: Rage Across Time #5 (2016)
Manda appears in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth issue #3 along with Gezora, destroying a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. Both were under the control of the Devonians, an undersea race that had formed a shaky alliance with the alien Cryogs. After exposing the Cryogs' betrayal, the Devonians sent Manda, Gezora, and Titanosaurus to attack a U.S. carrier group. Godzilla intervened, and while Manda tried to choke him out, he quickly sent the trio packing. Speaking with Lucy Casprell on Infant Island, the Shobijin revealed an ancient monster classification system that aligned Manda with the element of water. Later, the trio, now joined by a revived Destoroyah, sought a rematch with Godzilla underwater. During the fight, the military used a new sonar gun to distract Destoroyah, while the other kaiju continued their fight in the Devonians' undersea city. Godzilla drove them off one by one, dispatching Manda by unleashing his atomic breath while biting him. Though Manda's whereabouts after that battle were a mystery, a Trilopod with his characteristics took part in the final battle between the Cryogs and Earth's monsters in Los Angeles.
Manda is briefly shown in issue 1, fighting Anguirus by wrapping himself around the monster.
Manda constricts Anguirus
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Manda/Gallery.
Sightings[edit | edit source]
- A giant snake in Naruto has the same name as Manda as well as bearing some similarities.
Manda and Moguera's cameos in the second Urusei Yatsura feature film
Roar[edit | edit source]
In Atragon, Manda's growls were derived from lions. For AIP's Americanization of Atragon, Manda was given stock roars (including those used in Reptilicus) to supplement the Toho sound effects. Media Blasters gave him a more intimidating roar for the English surround mix on its 2006 Atragon DVD. The original sounds would later be reused for the Showa Godzilla from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster onward, Gaira, and King Kong in King Kong Escapes. In Destroy All Monsters, Manda's roars were sped up and raised in pitch. His roars in Godzilla: Final Wars closely resemble his roars from the Showa era. The Mandas in Godzilla Singular Point reuse King Caesar's roars themselves slightly higher pitched Toho King Kong roar's mixed with lion or tiger growls.
In other languages[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In the manga adaptation of Destroy All Monsters, Manda takes part in the final battle with King Ghidorah, wrapping itself around his wing.
- Manda's copyright icon appears on the back covers of the Random House books Godzilla: Journey to Monster Island and Godzilla vs. the Space Monster, although he is not actually in either book. It is possible this was either an error or that Toho felt the snake monsters Rattler and Yellowback were similar enough to Manda to require the use of the license.
- At 300 meters in length, the Manda from Godzilla: Final Wars was tied with Yamata no Orochi from The Three Treasures as the longest known Toho kaiju, until Ghidorah was introduced in the GODZILLA anime trilogy with a length of over 20 kilometers.
- Sprite assets for the 1963 design of Manda can be found in the game files for Godzilla Defense Force, although he cannot be encountered in the game itself.
Video[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
This is a list of references for Manda. 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: