Sanda's name is derived from "san" (山), the Japanese word for "mountain," in reference to his habit of spending most of his time living in the mountains. Originally, Sanda was given the name Mountain Frankenstein (山フランケンシュタイン San Furankenshutain). In the U.S. English dub for The War of the Gargantuas, Sanda is called the Brown Gargantua (ブラウン・ガルガンチュア. Buraun Garuganchua)
Following Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Toho began work on a direct sequel. Takeshi Kimura turned in the first draft of the script in January of 1966, titled The Frankenstein Brothers. Originally, Sanda was the white-haired "Mountain Frankenstein." Ishiro Honda, who directed both films and had a rare screenwriting credit on The War of the Gargantuas, felt that the new story would stand better on its own, so the connections to Frankenstein vs. Baragon are diminished in the finished film.
Gaira and Sanda were designed by artist Tohl Narita, known most prominently for his work as art director on the Ultra Series.
Teizo Toshimitsu prototyped and modeled the heads of the Gargantua suits, while the Yagi brothers Kanju and Yasuei, along with Eizo Kaimai, were responsible for their bodies. Kaimai stated that the suits did not use wetsuits as their cores, despite the film's extensive water scenes, as he believed the rubber material would be too restrictive to act in. Instead, they were based around boilersuit-esque garments with skin and fur directly applied. Both Gargantua suits also featured football shoulder pads to emphasize their agility and strength.
To play Sanda, special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya first asked Shoichi Hirose, who had already played opposite Haruo Nakajima as King Kong in King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Ghidorah in Invasion of Astro-Monster. Hirose declined, favoring a part he had been offered in another film where he would actually get to show his face. Hiroshi Sekita took his place, in the first of his many kaiju roles at Toho. Like Nakajima, his mask was a lifecast of his own face. The juvenile Sanda, who briefly appears in flashback, was portrayed by child actor Yasuhiro Komiya who wore an appropriately-sized mask and fur suit.
Sanda resembles his "brother" Gaira, being a humanoid giant covered in fur. Unlike Gaira, Sanda has a more human-like face, and has what appears to be a beard on his chin. Sanda's fur is a light brown color.
In Go! Godman, Sanda's suit has heavily decayed and most of the hair on his body has fallen off, while the hair on his head is much longer. In the follow-up series, Go! Greenman, Sanda's suit is still decrepit, but his head has been replaced with a more ape-like head.
In The War of the Gargantuas, Sanda is gentle and caring, due to being lovingly raised by human scientists, including Akemi Togawa, when he was an infant. After learning that his "brother," Gaira, is under attack by the JSDF, Sanda rescues him, but does so non-violently, refusing to fight back against the military. Sanda tries to keep Gaira safe and allow him to recuperate, but grows angry when he learns that Gaira is attacking and killing humans. When Gaira attacks Tokyo, Sanda decides he is willing to kill his own brother rather than let innocent humans die.
In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Sanda retains most of these traits. Sanda has desperately been searching for Gaira, and follows him to the Pacific Ocean after Gaira escapes from a Chinese military facility. When Sanda finds himself surrounded by military forces after coming ashore in Australia, he surrenders and refuses to fight them. When he sees Gaira willingly destroying the military forces, he becomes distressed and tries to stop his brother. Despite this, Sanda has a strong loyalty to Gaira, and will do whatever he can to protect him without endangering human lives.
In The War of the Gargantuas, Sanda is believed to be the result of some of Frankenstein's flesh breaking off in the mountains of Japan. Over time, this severed flesh grew into Sanda, who was discovered by scientists. As a child, Sanda was raised in a research facility under the care of Akemi Togawa. Eventually, Sanda escaped and returned to the mountains, where he grew to 30 meters in height. Due to his upbringing, Sanda became a gentle and kind creature who had a positive view of human beings.
Sanda grew from the flesh of Frankenstein, along with Gaira. He was captured by scientists and studied when he was small, but he escaped to the mountains. One year later, he had grown to 30 meters in height. He returned to save Gaira from the JSDF, and he took him to the mountains. Gaira started to eat humans, which angered Sanda, due to his upbringing around people. Sanda attacked Gaira, but Gaira fled. Gaira attacked Tokyo, and Sanda fought him again. They fought in the sea, but they were both pulled into a volcano.
Sanda also appears in Go! Godman as a villain. He was the nineteenth kaiju to battle Godman. Sanda looms over a group of boys playing ball before Godman appears to challenge him. Godman finally makes Sanda collapse and explode with his Supersonic Wave attack.
Sanda reappears in Go! Greenman. Sanda has a new head and wig, and can breathe a highly toxic mist from his mouth as well as being able to change his size. He was the thirty-second kaiju to battle Greenman.
Sanda appears to have human-like intelligence.
Like his brother, Sanda displays enhanced regeneration, being able to completely grow back from just a few of Frankenstein's cells.
In Go! Greenman, Sanda can make objects vanish.
In Go! Greenman, Sanda foiled two of Greenman's projectile attacks, Greenman Breaster and Leg Arrow, by snatching them out of the air and eating them.
In Go! Greenman, Sanda can breathe a very toxic pink mist from his mouth.
In Go! Greenman, Sanda can alter his size after Tonchiki casts his trademark magic spell.
Sanda's leg was injured after a boulder fell into it.
- The War of the Gargantuas (1966)
- Go! Godman (TV 1972-1973) [episode 16]
- Go! Greenman (TV 1973-1974) [episode 31]
- Godzilla: Heart-Pounding Monster Island!! (1995) - Sega Pico
- Godzilla: Trading Battle (1998) - Sony PlayStation
- Godzilla Generations (1998) - Sega Dreamcast
- Collect Godzilla: Giant Monster Assembly (1998) - Sega Dreamcast VMU
- Godzilla Defense Force (2019) - Android and iOS
- The Godzilla Comic [Monster Warrior Godzilla] (1990)
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #5, 10-13, 19-21, 25 (2013-2015)
Sanda is first seen in the comics on a lone mountain range, watching as his 'brother' Gaira and Varan flew into the distance. At some point, the Brown Gargantua gave chase and dove into the ocean in which the two brawling monsters had landed. Sanda chased his enraged brother, over a severely angered Godzilla, who followed the two. Sanda was knocked out off-panel, and came to, surrounded by military. Suddenly, Gaira dove onto him, but to protect him from Godzilla's beam. The Green Gargantua then hurried to keep his injured brother safe, smashing a tank that almost shot the brown giant. This angered Sanda, and the two had a small fight, only to have it broken up by another heat beam. The two brothers worked together to fight Godzilla, until Sanda smashed a Saradian petrol tanker over Godzilla's face, causing the Monster King to retreat. Gaira, now knocked out and injured, was protected by Sanda, and the two were transported to the new Monster Islands. There, Sanda lived with his brother alongside Baragon, Kumonga, Rodan and Zilla. At one point, Sanda was seen battling Kumonga alongside Baragon. When the Trilopods attacked the Monster Islands, Sanda was getting strangled by a Trilopod with Kumonga's traits, only to be saved by his green brother.
However, Sanda and his brother were eventually captured by Trilopods and had their characteristics copied, and while their Trilopod clones went to fight Godzilla in Los Angeles, Sanda and Gaira were kept in the Trilopod hive, until King Caesar broke all the Earth monsters free. Sanda, along with every other monster captured in the hive, rushed to fight the Trilopod swarm, and then tried to attack Magita when the massive Trilopod appeared, only to be swatted to the side. When Godzilla destroyed Magita, Sanda and every other monster present followed the Monster King into the ocean.
- Main article: Sanda/Gallery.
Sanda's original roars are King Kong's at a slightly lower pitch.
- The ambitious first draft of Destroy All Monsters included both Sanda and Gaira, along with just about every monster Toho had a suit for. A later draft gave Sanda a cameo as a Monsterland resident, although the Kilaaks left him out of their invasion plans.
- During the long hiatus between Terror of Mechagodzilla and The Return of Godzilla, Toho and UPA considered making a film in which Godzilla fought a Gargantua. This may have been one of the concepts they considered after Toho announced a new Godzilla film in 1978, under the vague title US-Japan Collaboration: Godzilla. Whether this would have been Sanda, Gaira, or a new monster is unknown. At some point, UPA owner Henry G. Saperstein also planned to produce a sequel to The War of the Gargantuas where Godzilla would battle a cyborg version of one of the monsters.
- The Sanda Plain is an area on Godzilla Island in the show of the same name.
- Sanda's first appearance in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, as he runs away from a helicopter, is an homage to the iconic pose struck by the Bigfoot in the Patterson–Gimlin film. Like his brother, Sanda does not appear in the cave painting on Infant Island showing ancient monsters aligned with the four elements.
This is a list of references for Sanda. 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: 
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