The Muans (ムウ帝国人 are a race of underground-dwelling people who first appeared in the Mū Teikokujin, lit. "Mu Empire People")1963 Toho film, Atragon.
In Japanese, the race's official name is either the "Mu Empire People" or simply Mu People (ムウ人. The English name "Muans" comes from Media Blasters' 2005 DVD release of Mūjin)Atragon.
The Muans resemble ordinary humans, and their attire as well as their architecture reflect that of ancient Egypt.
In ancient times, the Muans were the dominant civilization on Earth, inhabiting the great continent of Mu. All other parts of Earth were simply the Muans' colonies, and their rule extended across the globe. 12,000 years ago, the entire continent of Mu sank under the waves in a single night. However, several Muans survived the cataclysm and were able to salvage their civilization through their advanced technology. The Muans constructed an artificial sun using geothermal energy, and developed advanced weapons and vehicles over the following millennia.
In 1963, the Muans decided to finally return to the surface and subjugate the rest of the globe once again, recreating the great Mu Empire of old. The Muans deployed their agents to Japan, where they abducted several captives and stalked Makoto Jinguji, daughter of Hachiro Jinguji, a former captain in the Japanese Imperial Navy who was constructing an undersea battleship which the Muans believed could threaten their plans. One Mu agent, Agent 23, cornered Makoto as well as Kusumi, a former Japanese admiral who had been Jinguji's superior during World War II. However, his attempt to abduct the two was interrupted by magazine reporters Susumu Hatanaka and Yoshito Nishibe, who managed to fight the agent off. When the four went to the police, they found a mysterious tape simply labeled "MU," which announced to the nations of the world that the Mu Empire demanded their surrender and that they all become colonies of Mu. The United Nations laughed the tape off as a joke, but the Muans quickly retaliated by leveling cities across the globe, such as Venice and Hong Kong. The UN deployed the advanced submarine known as the Red Satan to search for the entrance to Mu, but it was destroyed by underwater pressure after it pursued a Mu Submarine too deep underwater.
The Muans sent another one of their agents, posing as a reporter for the True Story newspaper, to find the whereabouts of Jinguji before he could complete his undersea battleship. When the police apprehended a warrant officer sent by Jinguji to watch over his daughter, he begrudgingly agreed to lead Makoto, Kusumi, Susumu and Yoshito to where Jinguji was constructing his warship. Upon hearing about this, the Mu agent insisted to come along. The group eventually arrived on an isolated island, where they were finally introduced to Jinguji, who had completed his warship, the Gotengo, in the hopes that Japan could use it again once its military resumed activity. After witnessing the Gotengo's test maneuvers, the Mu agent planted a bomb inside the ship's hangar, then kidnapped Susumu and Makoto and brought them to Mu. The Mu Empress ordered for the two to be sacrificed to Manda, the giant sea serpent guardian of Mu. Susumu managed to get his hands on the specialized dynamite used by the Muans to dig through rocks, and used it to hold the Empress captive and escape with Makoto and the other prisoners. Meanwhile, Jinguji and the others were able to dig the Gotengo out of the rubble following the explosion and used it to travel to Mu. Once the Gotengo found the entrance to Mu, it rescued Makoto and the prisoners, as well as the captive Empress, and also defeated Manda using the Absolute Zero Cannon. The Gotengo bored into the heart of Mu, the facility that housed its artificial sun. A group of men exited the Gotengo and fought their way through the Muans, planting bombs on the consoles that controlled the sun. The Gotengo froze the rest of the machinery with the Absolute Zero and escaped Mu, then surfaced just as the explosives detonated. Mu was obliterated in a colossal explosion that produced a fiery cloud which could be seen well above the ocean. Surviving Mu submarines opened fire on the Gotengo, but they were frozen by the Absolute Zero as well before being consumed by the explosion of Mu. The Mu Empress jumped off the Gotengo's deck and swam back toward the explosion, preferring to die with her people.
- Godzilla: Trading Battle (1998) - Sony PlayStation
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
The Muans boast impressive technology compared to that of the surface world. The Muans were able to construct an artificial sun using geothermal energy, keeping their civilization alive for thousands of years. The Muans also possess hovering vehicles within their civilization, and their submarines feature powerful mounted laser cannons in the shape of their guardian Manda. Muan soldiers appear to use spears instead of firearms, which allowed them to be easily subdued by the Gotengo crew, although their agents on the surface are seen using handguns.
- The Muans are likely based in part on the Naacal, an ancient people described by British occult writer James Churchward as having inhabited the lost continent of Mu.
- The Seatopians, a subterranean race featured in Godzilla vs. Megalon, are most likely based on the Muans.
- The Muans are the first subterranean race to be featured in a kaiju film or television series. The trope was later utilized by Tsuburaya Productions in the form of the Underground People in Ultraman, and by Toho again in the form of the Seatopians in Godzilla vs. Megalon.
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