The Satsuma (
Despite onscreen text in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack writing the Satsumas' name in hiragana as さつま, text on the hulls of the craft write it in kanji as 薩摩. The Satsuma may be named after actor Kenpachiro Satsuma, who portrayed Godzilla in the Heisei era. Three total units of Satsuma exist, individually designated SS-01, SS02 and SS-03. Onscreen text introduces them by the full title Special Defense Navy Submarine "Satsuma" (防衛海軍・特殊潜航艇「さつま」, though the film's international visuals change this to Deep Sea Sub "Satsuma". Prior to the Satsuma name being finalized, concept art for the craft identified it as a DSRV Manned Mini Dive Pod Boeikaigun Tokushusenkōtei Satsuma) (DSRV有人小型潜水ポッド. Dī Esu Āru Bui Yūjin Kogata Sensui Poddo)
The Satsuma were portrayed through a combined use of practical props and CGI. A 60 centimeter, 1/10-scale prop and 18 centimeter, 1/33.3-scale prop were constructed to portray the SS-01.
A Satsuma first appears at the beginning of the film when it is sent to find a lost U.S. submarine near Guam. Near the wreckage of the sub, the Satsuma spots the glowing dorsal fins of Godzilla. Later, Admiral Taizo Tachibana takes command of a Satsuma and attempts to hit Godzilla with a D-03 Missile. The first missile, fired by Commander Yutaka Hirose from another of the Satsumas, accidentally hits King Ghidorah instead, and Tachibana is soon swallowed by Godzilla. Later on, Tachibana manages to fire a D-03 Missile through Godzilla's neck from the inside, opening a gaping wound. Godzilla attempts to use his atomic breath, but it fires out of the wound in his neck instead. Eventually, the sub manages to escape through the wound before Godzilla makes a final attempt to use his atomic breath, only to explode just as he tries to fire a blast of his atomic breath at the escaping Satsuma.
The Satsuma was one of the vehicles constructed by humanity to combat the kaiju overrunning the globe.
- While the 2012 publication Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works attributes the 880 metric ton measurement to the ship's weight, text written on its hull clarifies this as its standard displacement.
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