Meganulon / Meganula

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Meganulon™ copyright icon Meganula™ trademark icon
Meganulon /
Meganulon in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
Meganulon in Rodan
Meganula in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
Alternate names Meganula, MeganuronGXM[1], Meganeura[1]
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]
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)
Allies Megaguirus, other Meganulon
Enemies Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, Ebirah
Designed by MillenniumShinji Nishikawa
Modeled by Meganulon:
ShowaTeizo Toshimitsu
MillenniumAkira Yamada,
Tetsushi Okuyama, Takeru Sano, Norihiro Honda
Toshiya Suzuki, Kimiko Sekine,
Tomomi Yoshitake, Keisuke Nagamine
Played by ShowaHaruo Nakajima, Tokio Okawa,
Katsumi Tezuka, Shoichi Hirose
First appearance Latest appearance
Rodan Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
1956:More roars

Meganulon (メガヌロン,   Meganuron) are giant prehistoric dragonfly kaiju that first appeared in the 1956 Toho film Rodan. Meganula (メガニューラ,   Meganyūra) is a form of Meganulon that 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.

Name[edit | edit source]

The Meganulon and Meganula's names are derived from Meganeura, a genus of extinct meganisopteran insects closely related to modern dragonflies and damselflies that lived during the Late Carboniferous Period approximately 305 to 299 million years ago.

Development[edit | edit source]

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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

Design[edit | edit source]

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 a single 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 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 fore and hind wings 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, its possesses a stinger.

Origins[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Showa era[edit | edit source]

Rodan[edit | edit source]

A Meganulon in Rodan

The Meganulon were a species of prehistoric dragonfly nymph. They escaped a mass extinction in the past by burrowing underground. The Meganulon were later awakened by volcanic activity at Mount Aso, and entered a coal mine that was nearby. There they attacked two miners, Yoshi and Goro. Both were killed by the giant dragonfly nymphs' pincers before Yoshi's body was recovered by colliery engineer Shigeru Kawamura and his fellow miners, but Goro was still missing. An investigation was immediately set into place by the authorities, trying to find both the murder weapon and the murderer. The authorities returned to the mine shaft where Yoshi's body was uncovered, dispatching a police officer and two miners, to try and locate Goro. However, the three met a untimely demise at the claws of another Meganulon that was hiding below the water which had leaked into the area.

The deaths of a police officer and two miners 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 tried to shoot the giant insect down while it bid a hasty retreat back to its lair. The police were quick to pursue the creature toward the mountain and open fire at it with their handguns, but with 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 seriousness of the situation grasped, the JSDF was quickly dispatched to the area to exterminate the threats. Armed with mountable machine guns, a few regiments of soldiers, along with Shigeru, marched into the mine to hunt down the creatures. 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 after the humans back to the mine shaft before Shigeru managed to kill it by releasing a mine cart loaded with coal, which rolled down the shaft and collided with the insect, crushing its exoskeleton and killing it. But another Meganulon emerged and attacked Shigeru, who had been trying to retrieve Goro's corpse. An earthquake then 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 Meganulon. In the center of the chamber was a large 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[edit | edit source]

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus[edit | edit source]

The Meganulon were prehistoric insects that were released into the modern world through a black hole experiment. A giant dragonfly flew through a black hole and laid an egg in the forest, which was discovered and taken home by a young boy. The boy dumped the egg into the sewers of Tokyo when it started to ooze. The egg hatched into several Meganulon, which flooded the city and attacked and killed several citizens before molting into Meganula.

Meganula[edit | edit source]

The Meganula (メガニューラ,   Meganyūra) were the second form of the Meganulon. They attacked Godzilla to steal his energy for their queen. Godzilla managed to kill most of the Meganula, but some escaped with his energy. They flew to Tokyo and gave the energy to their queen, dying in the process. The energy allowed the queen to molt into the monstrous creature known as Megaguirus.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

A Meganulon deflects bullets with its carapace in Rodan

Claws[edit | edit source]

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

Purple liquid[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

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

Energy transfer[edit | edit source]

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

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

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 carapace, such as a minecart moving at full speed or falling boulders.

The lifeless corpses of Meganula floating to the water surface after they've transferred all of their energy to Megaguirus in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

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

Video games[edit | edit source]

Godzilla (PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4)[edit | edit source]

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

Books[edit | edit source]

GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla[edit | edit source]

In addition to Megaguirus preying on refugees in Eurasia, Meganula were confirmed living in North Africa along with Rodan. Larval Meganulon preyed upon United Earth soldiers taking part in "Operation: Great Wall," along with Rodan as well.[10]

Comics[edit | edit source]

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth[edit | edit source]

In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #17, Lucy Casprell and her team travel to Brazil, where a large number of Meganulon eggs have been uncovered in a nearby rainforest. As Lucy and her team investigate the eggs, the Meganulon hatch and attack all of the humans in the area. As the Meganulon move into Sao Paulo, Godzilla and Ebirah suddenly surface and continue their battle. The Meganulon climb onto Ebirah and pierce through his shell, while Megaguirus arrives and enters the battle. After Ebirah retreats and Megaguirus captures Godzilla, she brings him to her nest, where hundreds of Meganulon and Meganula surround him. The Meganulon and Meganula climb onto Godzilla and bite into his flesh, drawing blood. Godzilla releases a nuclear pulse, incinerating the insects and destroying the nest.

Godzilla: Cataclysm[edit | edit source]

In Godzilla: Cataclysm #3, the Meganula arrive in the refugees' village along with Megaguirus in order to feed on Biollante, who is still regenerating from her battle with Godzilla. Mothra arrives to protect Biollante and battles Megaguirus. The Meganula attempt to swarm and bite Mothra, but are knocked away by her wings.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Main article: Meganulon/Gallery.

Roar[edit | edit source]

The Meganulon's chirps from Rodan were erroneously used for Mothra larva's cry in the Japanese 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[edit | edit source]

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

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. The Japanese audio description of this episode identifies these monsters as Kumonga, while the Godzilla Singular Point Fan Book (p. 74) suggests they are Meganulon.

References[edit | edit source]

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. Toho Tokusatsu Monster Movie Encyclopedia Augmented Version. Asahi Sonorama. March 1999. p. 290. ISBN 978425703559-6.
  8. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. pp. 22–23. ISBN 9784864910132.
  9. All Toho Monster Encyclopedia. Yosensha. 2014. p. 285. ISBN 978-4-8003-0362-2.
  10. Oki, Renji (25 April 2018). GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla. Kadokawa. pp. 74–111. ISBN 9784041063453.
  11. Shinji Nishikawa: Drawing Book of Godzilla. Page 185.


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