Neronga

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Neronga
Neronga in Shin Ultraman
Subtitle(s) Kaiju No. 7
(禍威獣第7号,   Kaijū Dainanagō)
S-Class Species No. 7
(敵性大型生物第7号,  
Tekisei Ōgata Seibutsu Dainanagō
)

Invisible Kaiju (透明禍威獣,   Tōmei Kaijū)
Species Reptilian bioweapon
Controlled by MefilasSU
Allies Gabora, Zarab, MefilasSUF
Enemies Ultraman
Written by Masahiro Yamada (original),
Hideaki AnnoSU
Designed by Tohl Narita (original),[1]
Mahiro MaedaSU
Played by Stunt Team Gocoo (motion capture)SUF[2]
First appearance Latest appearance
Ultraman Shin Ultra Fight
Roar(s)
More roars
Spoiler.png SPOILER WARNING: This article may contain major plot and/or ending details. Proceed at your own discretion.
Notice from the DPA. S-Class Species No. 7 has been named. Target is hereby known as Invisible Kaiju Neronga.
„ 

— An SSSP member announces Neronga's designation (Shin Ultraman)

Neronga (ネロンガ,   Neronga) is a reptilian kaiju who is Ultraman's first opponent in the 2022 Toho, Tsuburaya Productions, and khara film Shin Ultraman. The character debuted in the third episode of Tsuburaya's original 1966 Ultraman series, "Science Patrol, Move Out", and has become a recurring monster in the franchise ever since 2009's Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle. The Shin Ultraman version of Neronga also appears in the non-canonical web series Shin Ultra Fight and the video game Godzilla Battle Line.

Name[edit | edit source]

Neronga's name is a combination of the infamous Roman emperor Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus's first name[3] and the common kaiju suffix -nga. In Shin Ultraman, he is designated by the SSSP as S-Class Species No. 7 (敵性大型生物第7号,   Tekisei Ōgata Seibutsu Dainanagō) or simply Kaiju No. 7 (禍威獣第7号,   Kaijū Dainanagō). Disaster Prevention Agency Minister Hajime Komuro names the monster Invisible Kaiju Neronga (透明禍威獣 ネロンガ,   Tōmei Kaijū Neronga) "on impulse," like other kaiju before him. The "Invisible Kaiju" portion references Neronga's original subtitle from the Showa era, Invisible Monster (透明怪獣,   Tōmei Kaijū), but spells Kaijū using the in-universe rendering () () (じゅう) rather than as the real word 怪獣.

Development[edit | edit source]

Tohl Narita designed the original Neronga for the 1966 Tsuburaya Productions series Ultraman.[1] He was the second of four Ultra Q and Ultraman monsters to be portrayed by a remodeled Baragon suit originating from the 1965 Toho film Frankenstein vs. Baragon, preceded by Pagos and followed by Magular and Gabora. Legendary suit actor Haruo Nakajima, who played Baragon, also portrayed these four monsters.

Hideaki Anno included Neronga in his 2018 proposal memo for Shin Ultraman.[4] At his suggestion that an electricity-eating monster would not need a mouth, Shinji Higuchi and Takeyuki Takeya drew several sketches of Neronga without one, although it was ultimately restored.[4] A more detailed concept by Takeya in February 2019, which he also sculpted, had the exact same body as Gabora.[4] Mahiro Maeda then designed a version of the monster that more closely resembled Narita's original concept art, which became the design used in the film.[4] Neronga was portrayed through computer animation, with an unknown actor providing performance capture while strapped to a weight simulating a tail.[5] Prior to this, a motion capture capture test was performed using a Neronga suit.[5] His CG model was partially reused for Pagos and Gabora, cutting costs and referencing their shared real-world origin.[4] In the film, SSSP biologist Yumi Funaberi notes the similarities between the monsters, foreshadowing their true nature as bioweapons.

In Shin Ultra Fight, one or more motion capture performers from Stunt Team Gocoo portrayed Neronga.[2] Their fight choreography was improvised, with the principle that there were no bad takes, and only refilmed in the case of technical malfunctions with the CG models.[6] The animation was spearheaded by Studio Bros and Modeling Bros in association with Shirogumi and alphaliez,[2] who used the video game engine Unreal Engine.[6]

Design[edit | edit source]

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Neronga is a gray, pudgy creature with two rows of bright yellow plates resembling those of Baragon going down his back with dorsal spines emerging between them. He has a wide mouth with bright red gums and lips, filled with countless small teeth. Neronga's face has beady eyes with small pupils and a tongueless mouth. The top of his head is adorned with two insectoid mandible-like antlers and a single yellow nasal horn that flashes in six spots. Neronga possesses orange glowing spots on his neck and humanoid hands with five fingers, with an elongated claw on his thumb. The sides of Neronga's plates appear to have a smaller pair of ridges that resembles human vertebrae.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Neronga is shown to be easily irritable, as he lashed out and destroyed an electrical substation after its power supply was cut off. He attempted to retreat from Ultraman when his lighting attack had no effect on the silver giant, turning invisible in the process, rather than engage him in hand-to-hand combat.

Origins[edit | edit source]

Neronga is the seventh kaiju bioweapon awakened by environmental devastation caused by humans and secretly controlled by the alien Mefilas. After using the first six beasts for "reconnaissance and tactical use", he directed the more advanced Neronga to target Japan's power grid and draw out Ultraman. The monster's original creator is unknown.

Selected history[edit | edit source]

Reiwa era[edit | edit source]

Shin Ultraman[edit | edit source]

Neronga attacked a suburban area, maintaining near-complete invisibility while firing lightning into the sky. Arriving on the scene via helicopter, the members of the SSSP assumed command of the operation to destroy the monster from the JSDF as civilians evacuated. Biologist Yumi Funaberi found the creature to be visible in infrared. His invisibility was the result of preventing his cells from reflecting or absorbing light, which she stated would also make heat- or light-based weapons ineffective. Strategic planner Shinji Kaminaga theorized that the creature did not evolve naturally, but was a bioweapon designed to combat an advanced civilization. Neronga paused before the Yoshiwa electric substation, then began feeding on its power. After his hunger was sated, he became visible. Captain Kimio Tamura ordered the substation shut off, causing Neronga to fly into a rage and demolish it. As the monster approached Mount Uji, M270 MLRSes launched missiles at him, targeting his horns, but the monster shot them all down with bolts of lightning.

With a behavior simulation concluding that Neronga would consume all of Japan's electricity unless stopped, the UN Secretary-General recommended destroying it with a nuclear weapon. Determined to avoid such a destructive last resort, unparticle physicist Akihisa Taki suggesting causing electrical leakage by firing a highly conductive material into him or shorting him out with water. Kaminaga was hesitant, noting his durable and insulated hide; Funaberi concurred. Starving him by continuing to shut off electricity was also out of the question, as he was presently tearing through the Chief Cabinet Secretary's electoral zone. As the other members bemoaned their lack of options and Neronga entered the town of Minobu,[7] Kaminaga noticed via satellite feed that one child was still in the vicinity of the monster and rushed to rescue him.

Kaminaga reached the child just as an unidentified glowing object struck the ground near Neronga, the resulting shockwave causing an object to strike him in the back. Ultraman, a silver giant, rose to his feet in the crater. Neronga struck first with his lightning ray, but to no effect. He broke off the attack as Ultraman calmly strode forward, then attempted to flee while turning invisible. Charging energy and crossing his arms, Ultraman retaliated with a devastating Spacium Ray, destroying the monster.

Shin Ultra Fight[edit | edit source]

"Neronga Appears and Disappears"

This episode recapped Neronga's emergence and battle with Ultraman in Shin Ultraman, using stock footage from the film.

"Assemble! Duelists of the Canyon"

After Ultraman knocked out Gabora, Neronga charged in and nudged his fellow monster awake. The two monsters attacked Ultraman in unison. He targeted Gabora first, then stared down Neronga before grappling with him. Once Gabora recovered, the monsters pinned Ultraman against a canyon wall, flipped him over their heads, and high-fived. Recovering, Ultraman hopped onto Gabora's back and rode him like a bucking bronco, colliding with Neronga before Gabora threw him off. Neronga withdrew to higher ground and leapt at Ultraman, but missed. The monsters regrouped and charged at Ultraman from opposite sides, but he sprang out of the way at the last moment, causing them to headbutt each other and fall unconscious. Victorious, Ultraman flew away.

"The Flashing Rumble Behind Closed Doors"

As Ultraman and a disguised Zarab battled in a wrestling ring, Neronga fired his lightning at one of the electrical towers bordering the ring, causing electricity to surge through the cables. The combatants collided with the cables several times, setting off explosions, before Ultraman threw Zarab into the cables and out of the ring with a powerbomb, dealing enough damage to reveal his true form.

"The Six-Dimensional Scoundrel"

Mefilas, Zarab, Gabora, and Neronga confront Ultraman on a beach, with the villains all wielding staffs. As Ultraman and Mefilas had a standoff, Zarab teleported behind the silver giant and struck him on the back, setting off a furious battle. The quartet soon overwhelmed Ultraman, only for him to teleport away and confound them with copies of himself. Neronga was the first to attack, but each copy responded in kind, throwing him to the ground. After the others were also bested, the copies encircled them and began to spin, then launched a barrage of kicks in unison. After gathering all the copies back into himself, Ultraman prepared to fly away, but then sensed the approach of Zetton.

"White Sand and Green Pines: Fi-Fi-Fight"

Ultraman tried convincing his defeated adversaries to join forces with him against Zetton without success. When he tried touching Neronga, the monster shocked him. Gabora suddenly stood up and paused before tunneling away, and Neronga followed suit by turning invisible, leaving Ultraman despairing.

"Requiem of the Roaring Waves"

After Ultraman fell in battle to Zetton, Gabora carried him out to sea on his back, accompanied by Mefilas, Zarab, and Neronga. Suddenly, Ultraman burst out of the waves, stunning them all, and rushed back to shore. After a moment's respite, they resumed their fight, with Ultraman defeating Gabora, Neronga, and Zarab with a single blow each. He and Mefilas grappled and struck each other repeatedly, seemingly causing the Earth to shatter, as they had at the end of "White Sand and Green Pines: Fi-Fi-Fight".

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Invisibility[edit | edit source]

Neronga can prevent his cells from reflecting or absorbing light, resulting in the beast becoming practically invisible to the naked eye. Biologist Yumi Funaberi theorized that this would also make him impervious to heat- or light-based weapons, although Ultraman's Spacium Ray later destroyed him. However, this is not a perfect camouflage, as his form was visible through infrared and even outlined by the dust he kicked up as he rampaged. After feeding on electricity from a substation, Neronga briefly made himself visible, which SSSP strategic planner Shinji Kaminaga proposed to be an intimidation display. In Shin Ultra Fight, he could achieve total invisibility, at least to the eye, but never used this ability offensively. In Godzilla Battle Line, he can go unnoticed by enemy units by turning invisible, only revealing himself when in attack range. However, both players can still see him.

Electricity[edit | edit source]

Neronga fires electricity at Ultraman

Neronga can detect and feed on electricity. SSSP unparticle physicist Akihisa Taki theorizes that he detects it through a quantum device. He can also weaponize the electricity by turning his smaller horns around and firing a continuous bolt of lightning from his nasal horn. It is extremely accurate, able to shoot down 11 GPS-guided missiles launched from M270 MLRSes in rapid succession. Following this, he fired a bolt parallel to the ground, causing weaker bolts to strike the village below. Although Neronga's lightning generates 500,000 kilowatts of power, it had no effect on Ultraman. In the Shin Ultra Fight episode "White Sand and Green Pines: Fi-Fi-Fight", his claw shocked Ultraman when he touched it, causing him to fall to the ground, although he never used this ability again. In Godzilla Battle Line, this attack briefly stuns opponents.

Physical capabilities[edit | edit source]

Neronga made short work of the electric substation in Yoshiwa with his foreclaws and tail. In Shin Ultra Fight, he is a capable grappler, though of lesser skill than Ultraman, and wields a staff in the episode "The Six-Dimensional Scoundrel".

Durability[edit | edit source]

Neronga was only struck by one attack, Ultraman's Spacium Ray, which obliterated him after several seconds of exposure. In multiple confrontations throughout Shin Ultra Fight, Ultraman reliably bested him in hand-to-hand combat.

Selected video games[edit | edit source]

Godzilla Battle Line[edit | edit source]

Introduced during the Visitor from the Planet of Light season in July 2022, alongside Ultraman, Neronga is a three-star land unit requiring 4 energy to summon to the battlefield. He will turn invisible upon summoning, causing enemy units with longer ranges to ignore him, only revealing himself when in range to launch an attack of his own. His lightning stuns opponents for 0.6 seconds, tied with Mefilas for the longest stun duration in the game, and can hit flying units.[8] He has a base movement speed of 10, a long reach, a wide search range, and attacks every 2.7 seconds.[8]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Main article: Neronga/Gallery.

Roar[edit | edit source]

Like the original version of the character, the Neronga in Shin Ultraman utilizes Varan roars.

Varan's roars, utilized by Neronga

Trivia[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Neronga. 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 Osamu Maverick (20 April 2016). "NERONGA [2-2] ULTRAMAN 1966 Kaiju Design-Sculpting". ULTOPIA.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "『シン・ウルトラマン』ムビチケ前売券特典『シン・ウルトラファイト』を本日TSUBURAYA IMAGINATIONで配信開始!限定版も5月19日(木)公開!". Tsuburaya Station. 14 May 2022.
  3. Separate Volume Movie Treasure Ultraman Research Book. Yosensha. 2014. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-4-8003-0262-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 MONSTROSITIES (28 June 2022). "Neronga | The Kaiju of Shin Ultraman | シン・ウルトラマン". YouTube.
  5. 5.0 5.1 ウルトラマン公式 ULTRAMAN OFFICIAL by TSUBURAYA PROD. (15 July 2022). "『シン・ウルトラマン』 制作回顧録". YouTube.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Shimizu, Ryo (29 June 2022). "もう1つのシン・ウルトラマン。『シン・ウルトラファイト』はフルCG禍威獣だから撮れた". Business Insider.
  7. Shin Ultraman theater pamphlet. p. 31-32. 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Godzilla Battle Line - Units and Monster Leaders [Android/iOS/PC]". Toho Kingdom. Retrieved 19 October 2022.

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