Meganulon / Meganula

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Meganulon™ trademark icon Meganula™ trademark icon
Meganulon /
Meganula
A Meganulon in Godzilla Singular Point
Meganulon in Rodan
Meganulon in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
Meganula in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
Alternate names Meganula, MeganuronGXM[1], Meganeura[1], KumongaGSP
Subtitle(s) Meganulon: Monster Insect
(怪虫,   Kaichū)ROD[2]
Dragonfly Nymph Monster Insect
(ヤゴ怪虫,   Yago Kaichū)ROD[3]
Ancient Insect
(古代昆虫,   Kodai Konchū)GXM[4]
Ancient Dragonfly Nymph Monster Insect
(古代ヤゴ怪虫,   Kodai Yago Kaichū)GXM[5]
Meganula: Ancient Dragonfly
(古代トンボ,   Kodai Tonbo)[5]
Species Prehistoric dragonfly
(Meganulon hory, Meganula luisaeGXM)[6]

giant insectoid skin parasiteGSP

Length Showa: 8 meters[2]
Millennium: 2 meters[2]
Wingspan Millennium: 5 meters[2]
Weight Showa: 1 metric tonROD[2]
Millennium: 500 kilograms,[4]
1 metric ton (Meganula)[4]
Forms Meganulon, MeganulaGXM
Relations Megaguirus (queen), Godzilla (host)GSP
Allies Megaguirus, other Meganulon
Enemies Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Ebirah, Yun Arikawa
Designed by MillenniumShinji Nishikawa
Modeled by Meganulon:
ShowaTeizo Toshimitsu
MillenniumAkira Yamada,
Tetsushi Okuyama, Takeru Sano, Norihiro Honda
Meganula:
Toshiya Suzuki, Kimiko Sekine,
Tomomi Yoshitake, Keisuke Nagamine
Played by ShowaHaruo Nakajima, Tokio Okawa,
Katsumi Tezuka, Shoichi Hirose
First appearance Latest appearance
Rodan Godzilla Singular Point
Roar(s)
Showa:More roars
Captain, I believe that thing is our murderer.
„ 

— Doctor (Rodan, 1956)

Meganulon (メガヌロン,   Meganuron) is a species of giant prehistoric dragonfly nymph kaiju that first appeared in the 1956 Toho film Rodan. Meganula (メガニューラ,   Meganyūra) is the adult form of Meganulon which debuted in the 2000 Godzilla film Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.

In Rodan, the Meganulon were prehistoric dragonfly nymphs living underground in Kitamatsu, where they were awakened by mining operations. The Meganulon began to move to the surface, flooding the mines and brutally killing any miners they came across. Shigeru Kawamura and a team of JSDF soldiers attempted to exterminate the insects, but Shigeru fell into a deep underground cavern inhabited by countless Meganulon and a gigantic egg. The egg hatched into a baby Rodan, which ate the Meganulon before flying out of the cavern. The Meganulon featured in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus entered the present day when a Meganula brought an egg into Tokyo after passing through a time distortion caused by the Dimension Tide. Countless Meganulon hatched from the egg and began flooding Tokyo before surfacing to prey on the populace. After feeding, the Meganulon molted their skins and metamorphosed into Meganula, which flew to Kiganjima and stole energy from Godzilla, then transferred it to their queen Megaguirus, dying in the process. In Godzilla Singular Point, Meganulon appear briefly as skin parasites on Godzilla Ultima.

Name

The Meganulon and Meganula's names are derived from Meganeura, a genus of extinct meganisopteran insects known as griffinflies that were closely related to modern dragonflies and damselflies that lived during the Late Carboniferous Period approximately 305 to 299 million years ago. The Japanese audio description for "Together", episode 13 of Godzilla Singular Point, strangely refers to Godzilla Ultima's skin parasites as "Kumonga," though page 74 of the Godzilla Singular Point Fan Book instead suggests that they are Meganulon, which was later confirmed by an ornament released by Cast in 2023.[7]

Development

Meganulon concept art from Rodan; note the more mole cricket-like design

Originally, the insect kaiju featured in Rodan were to be based on termites, followed by mole crickets, before Toho finally settled on dragonfly nymphs.[8] The Meganulon suit was 15 shaku (Japanese feet) long and operated by three actors at a time, which included Haruo Nakajima, Katsumi Tezuka, Shoichi Hirose, and Tokio Okawa.[9]

Meganulon concept art for Godzilla vs. Megaguirus by Shinji Nishikawa

For Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the Meganulon was redesigned by Shinji Nishikawa. It was portrayed through both computer generated imagery and a full-sized puppet of its upper body. Nishikawa also designed the insect's mature stage, the Meganula. This stage was also portrayed through a combination of CGI and practical effects. 150 25-centimeter models were used for the scene in which the Meganula swarm clings to Godzilla, 10 larger miniatures were created with a built-in flapping mechanism, and a full-size dead Meganula prop was built for the scene where the characters discover a Meganula carcass floating in the ocean.[10]

Design

The Meganulon from Rodan is mostly a dark brown all throughout its body, with a segmented body, six thin legs, a very long, fat, armored body, and a tail that drags along the ground. Its pincers have a spiky, sharp, and thin crab pincer-like shape, and its legs are segmented and have a single claw on each foot. Its face has large, bulging blue compound eyes, an almost spherically-shaped mouth which can open up, a hair-like substance under the mouth, and tusks on each cheek.

In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the Meganulon is generally a light brown color. It has green-yellow eyes with no distinction between the sclera and the iris, save for black lines which divided them. It has a single spherical eye, as opposed to the 1956 Meganulon's compound eyes. Its segmented body is less obvious, but still has black lines between segments of the body. The body is much spikier and smoother than the original Meganulon. Its head has two antennae, and the mouth has two fangs which become more noticeable when its mouth opens. Its pincers resemble those of mantises, but spikier. This Meganulon has thin feet with claws that are reminiscent of the original Meganulon, except they have two claws instead of just one. The Meganulon's back is very smooth, and can be opened when the creature molts into a Meganula.

The Meganula is mostly a brown color, with a red line running down its spiky back. The Meganula has blue compound eyes, reminiscent of the original Meganulon design. The Meganula's mouth consists of white chelicerae and white fangs. It also sports four foggy, transparent wings, as well as a pair of forewings and hindwings that are quite large. It has a thin, long body with segments that allow for a lot of flexibility. The Meganula has a pair of very thin and long mantis-like scythes on its forelimbs, as well as two pairs of legs. At the end of its body, it possesses a stinger.

In Godzilla Singular Point, the Meganulon appear largely identical to their original Showa design; however, they possess mantis-like claws instead of pincers, longer and more splayed-out legs, and thinner bodies.

Origins

Presumably, in Rodan, the Meganulon, like Rodan, are from the Cretaceous Period. They were awakened by mining operations in Kitamatsu Village in the Kumamoto Prefecture.

According to the fictional book Ancient Animal Giant Encyclopedia (おおむかし生き物大図鑑,   Ōmukashi Ikimono Daizukan) which appears in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the Meganulon and Meganula existed some 300,005,000 years ago. Two fossils of the Meganulon were discovered, one in Germany and one in China, and were named Meganulon hory (メガヌロン・ホリイ,   Meganuron horī), while a large quantity of Meganula fossils were excavated from one location in China, with them given the name Meganula luisae (メガニューラ・ルイザエ,   Meganyūra ruizae).[6] They entered the present day when a wormhole left behind by the Dimension Tide allowed a Meganula to leave a Meganulon egg in Tokyo, which went on to hatch into countless Meganulon that eventually molted into Meganula.

History

Showa era

Rodan

A Meganulon in Rodan

The Meganulon were a species of prehistoric dragonfly nymph which escaped a mass extinction in the past by burrowing underground. The Meganulon were awakened in the present day by volcanic activity at Mount Aso, and subsequently infiltrated and flooded a nearby coalmine in the village of Kitamatsu. There the creatures attacked two miners, Yoshizo and Goro, killing them both with their pincer-tipped claws. Colliery engineer Shigeru Kawamura and his fellow miners recovered Yoshizo's body, but could not find Goro. Local authorities, assuming that Yoshizo had been murdered by another human being wielding a weapon, launched an investigation to locate both the murder weapon and the murderer. The authorities dispatched a police officer and two miners to the flooded mine shaft where Yoshi's body was uncovered to try and locate Goro. However, the three met a grisly demise at the claws of a Meganulon that was hiding below the water which had leaked into the area.

The mounting deaths and Goro's still-unknown whereabouts prompted suspicion that the missing miner was in fact behind the series of killings. This suspicion was quickly dismissed when one of the Meganulon ventured out of the mine and entered the local mining village of Kitamatsu. The Meganulon attacked Goro's surviving sister, Kiyo, and her fiance, Shigeru, who fled to get help. Shortly after, the police arrived on the scene and ineffectively opened fire at the giant insect with their handguns while it bid a hasty retreat back to its lair. The police were quick to pursue the creature toward the mountain and continue firing at it, but their gunshots had no effect against the thick carapace of the ravenous insect. The Meganulon pounced and killed two officers who advanced too close before returning to the mine shaft, killing more innocents along the way.

With the killer finally revealed, and the gravity of the situation grasped, the JSDF was quickly dispatched to the area by Inspector Nishimura to exterminate the threat. Armed with mountable machine guns, a few regiments of soldiers, along with Shigeru and Nishimura, marched into the mine to hunt down the creature. While searching for the Meganulon, Shigeru entered the deepest part of the mine shaft and finally found Goro's butchered body as a Meganulon entered the mine shaft. The JSDF opened fire at the creature with their machine guns, but their weapons also proved ineffective. The Meganulon chased the humans back to the mine shaft, where Shigeru released a mine cart loaded with coal, which rolled down the shaft and collided with the insect, crushing its exoskeleton and killing it. However, another Meganulon emerged and attacked Shigeru as he tried to retrieve Goro's corpse. An earthquake suddenly struck, causing the tunnel to begin caving in, killing another Meganulon but trapping Shigeru in the mine.

Shigeru was able to regain consciousness after he survived the cave-in and realized that he was now trapped inside the Meganulon's lair, surrounded by hundreds of the monstrous insects. In the center of the chamber was a colossal egg, which hatched into the giant Pteranodon known as Rodan. Rodan proceeded to eat the entire group of Meganulon in the cave until he had enough strength to break through the ground and fly away.

Millennium era

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

The JSDF's elite anti-Godzilla unit, the G-Graspers, tested a miniature black hole gun called the Dimension Tide on an abandoned building in the outskirts of Tokyo. The test-firing was a success, but left behind a wormhole through which a Meganula entered the present day and left behind a giant egg before returning to the ancient past from whence it came. A young boy who had witnessed the test-firing, Jun Hayasaka, found the egg and brought it back to his apartment in the city, but dumped it into the sewer when it began discharging a strange ooze. Beneath the city, the egg split apart into countless more eggs, which hatched into Meganulon. The giant dragonfly nymphs backed up the water in the sewers, causing the streets of Shibuya to begin flooding. One Meganulon ventured to the surface and brutally killed a couple before scaling a nearby building and molting into a Meganula and flying off. While tracking Godzilla underwater, the G-Graspers discovered the carcass of a Meganula which he had shot out of the sky with his atomic breath.

Soon, the entirety of Shibuya was underwater, with authorities evacuating residents by boat. Hundreds of Meganulon crawled onto the side of a building and molted at once into a swarm of Meganula which flew to the remote island of Kiganjima where the G-Graspers prepared to fire the Dimension Tide at Godzilla. The swarming insects interfered with the weapon's ability to target Godzilla as they latched onto him and drained his energy through their stingers. Godzilla managed to dissipate the swarm by incinerating several Meganula with his atomic breath or crushing them with his tail, allowing the Dimension Tide to fire, though it failed to stop him. The surviving Meganula flew back to the flooded Shibuya, where they transferred the energy they stole from Godzilla into a giant Meganulon before dying. Infused with Godzilla's power, the giant Meganulon molted into the monstrous Meganula queen, Megaguirus. Megaguirus soon flew to the surface and set off in search of the rest of Godzilla's energy.

Reiwa era

Godzilla Singular Point

Several parasitic Meganulon lived on Godzilla Ultima's skin as he rampaged through Tokyo, with some menacing Yun Arikawa after he crash-landed on Godzilla's skin.

Abilities

A Meganulon deflects bullets with its carapace in Rodan

Claws

The Meganulon in Rodan use their claws to stab their victims to death. In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the Meganulon appear to prefer to use their mandibles to kill their victims instead, although they still use their claws to grab prey.

Purple liquid

In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the Meganulon spits a purple liquid substance from its mouth at its victims, but the purpose of this liquid is unknown.

Durability

The Meganulon in Rodan also possess a tough carapace that is capable of deflecting bullets, even those fired from the JSDF's mounted machine guns.

The Meganula stealing Godzilla's energy with their stingers in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

Energy transfer

In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the Meganula can steal and transfer energy through the stingers located on their tails. Their stingers were capable of penetrating even Godzilla's armored hide.

Weaknesses

Though deadly to humans, the Meganulon in Rodan were helpless against the much larger hatchling Rodan, who simply ate the creatures whole. The Meganulon could also be killed if struck with enough force to shatter their carapaces, such as a minecart moving at full speed or falling boulders.

The lifeless corpses of the Meganula floating to the water's surface after they have transferred all of their energy that was stolen from Godzilla into Megaguirus in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

In Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the Meganula died after transferring stolen energy from Godzilla into their queen, Megaguirus.

Video games

Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4)

Main article: Godzilla (2014 video game)/Kaiju Guide#Meganulon.

Books

GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla

In addition to Megaguirus preying on refugees in Eurasia, Meganula were confirmed living in North Africa along with Rodan. Meganulon preyed upon United Earth soldiers taking part in "Operation: Great Wall," along with Rodan as well.[12]

Comics

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth

A Meganula was included among the "air" monsters in a cave mural on Infant Island.

Lucy Casprell and her team traveled to Brazil to investigate mysterious eggs that had been uncovered in a nearby rainforest. Just after Lucy and her team arrived, the eggs began to hatch, revealing Meganulon who were quick to attack any humans in the nearby area. As the Meganulon moved into São Paulo, Godzilla and Ebirah suddenly surfaced nearby and continued their battle on land. The Meganulon climbed onto Ebirah and pierced through his shell, while Megaguirus arrived and entered the battle. After Ebirah retreated, Megaguirus captured Godzilla and brought him to her nest, where he found hundreds of Meganulon and Meganula surrounding him. The Meganulon and Meganula climbed onto Godzilla and bit into his flesh, drawing blood. Angered, Godzilla released a nuclear pulse, which incinerated the insects and destroyed the nest.

Godzilla: Cataclysm

A Meganula swarm feeds on Biollante in Godzilla: Cataclysm

After the kaiju "gods" returned, a swarm of Meganula arrived in the refugees' village along with Megaguirus in order to feed on Biollante, who was still regenerating from her battle with Godzilla. Mothra arrived to protect Biollante and battled Megaguirus. The Meganula attempted to swarm and bite Mothra to protect their queen, but were promptly knocked away by her wings.

Godzilla: Rage Across Time

A Meganulon attacks knights in Godzilla: Rage Across Time

In medieval England, a group of knights led by Gilder were seeking to slay a dragon believed to be the source of the Black Death. They soon happened upon a Meganulon, which some of the knights mistook to be the dragon. After killing several of the men, the Meganulon was slain by an axe to the head. Gilder refused to believe that the creature was the only evil to be found on their land, and soon encountered the "true" dragon - Megaguirus.

Gallery

Main article: Meganulon/Gallery.

Roar

The Meganulon's chirps from Rodan were erroneously used for the Mothra Larva's chirp in the Japanese theatrical trailer for Mothra vs. Godzilla. In GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla, the onomatopoeia for the Meganulon's chirp is written as "Piyopiyopiyopiyopiyopiyopiyopiyopiyopiyopiyopiyo" (ピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨピヨ).

The Meganulon's roars in Rodan

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Flagicon Russia.png Russian Меганулон Meganulon Transliteration of English name

Trivia

  • The Meganulon are based on the real prehistoric insect genus Meganeura, which lived during the Late Carboniferous Period and included some of the largest known flying insects. Of course, Meganeura never reached the size of the Meganulon that appeared in Rodan and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.
  • The Meganula are some of the smallest monsters to have ever fought a battle against Godzilla and survived.
  • According to Shinji Nishikawa in his book Shinji Nishikawa: Drawing Book of Godzilla, a winged version of Meganulon (not a Meganula) was considered to make an appearance in a movie in 1991, after production of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah was finished. Nishikawa drew concept art for the Meganulon and how a suit for the monster could be handled.[13]
  • A Meganulon-shaped plant appears in the Godziban episode "Fly! Toward the Future", appropriately eaten by Radon.
  • The Meganulon are the only kaiju in Godzilla Singular Point to be animated entirely in 2D.

Video

Wikizilla: YouTube Kaiju Profile: Megaguirus, Meganulon & Meganula

References

This is a list of references for Meganulon. 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: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Picture Book of Godzilla & All Monsters. Kodansha. 2 July 2021. pp. 196, 197.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. pp. 22, 270. ISBN 4-864-91013-8.
  3. Definitive Edition of Toho Monster Movies!! Godzilla Special Effects Complete Works. Natsumesha. 21 December 1994. p. 59. ISBN 978-4816317750.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. 23 July 2014. p. 109. ISBN 4-096-82090-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Godzilla Toho Giant Monster Pictorial Book. Shogakukan. 1 April 2005. p. 122. ISBN 4-09-280052-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Super Complete Works. Shogakukan. 1 January 2001. p. 66. ISBN 4091014933.
  7. FqndPfRaMAEVg7Z.jpg
  8. Toho Tokusatsu Monster Movie Encyclopedia Augmented Version. Asahi Sonorama. March 1999. p. 290. ISBN 978425703559-6.
  9. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. pp. 22–23. ISBN 9784864910132.
  10. All Toho Monster Encyclopedia. Yosensha. 2014. p. 285. ISBN 978-4-8003-0362-2.
  11. Unused Rage Attacks - Godzilla: Unleashed (PS2) - YouTube
  12. Oki, Renji (25 April 2018). GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla. Kadokawa. pp. 74–111. ISBN 9784041063453.
  13. Shinji Nishikawa: Drawing Book of Godzilla. Page 185.
    メガヌロンに対する1991年の時点での考察。

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