Kaiju Profile: Kiryu
This video corresponds to Kiryu.
Kiryu is the third incarnation of the Mechagodzilla character, first appearing in the 2002 film “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” and was created by Masaaki Tezuka. It stands 60 meters tall and weighs 36,000 metric tons by itself and 40,000 with its battle pack attached.
Kiryu’s name comes from the japanese words Ki and Ryu, which together mean “Machine Dragon.” Kiryu's primary legal name is simply "Mechagodzilla," while his official designation in the films is "MFS-3," which is short for "Multipurpose Fighting System Type-3." "Kiryu" is also trademarked by Toho, as seen in the copyright information for the game “Godzilla: Unleashed.”
Kiryu, being a robot version of Godzilla, naturally shares traits with the King of the Monsters. Kiryu’s most prominent design features are the detailed metal plates that comprise its external armor and the exposed cables at its articulation points. It sports three fin-like plates on the top of its head and bears yellow eyes with red scars below them. These scars light up when the original Godzilla’s spirit possesses the mech, and his eyes will go red if the spirit feels malevolent or will remain yellow if he is not. Kiryu may also wear a weapon attachment that latches onto its back consisting of two shoulder-mounted cannons.
Kiryu was created using the robotic and bio-engineering skill of scientist Tokumitsu Yuhara, who had previously worked on creating realistic trilobite replicas using the muscle structure of horseshoe crabs and a robotic exoskeleton. This attracted the attention of the JSXDF, who hired Yuhara to design an exoskeleton around the bones of the original Godzilla that was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer in 1954. The result of his work was Kiryu, nicknamed Mechagodzilla by his daughter, and it was designed to be the ultimate weapon against Godzilla.
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002): Following the appearance of a second Godzilla in the year 1999 in Tateyama, the JSXDF dredged up the original Godzilla’s bones from the bottom of Tokyo Bay and hired Yuhara to design a cybernetic body around them using “DNA Computers”.
Kiryu was finally completed in 2003, and was sent to defeat Godzilla when he resurfaced in Hakkeijima. There the Kiryu project went horribly wrong, as when Kiryu heard Godzilla’s roar, the spirit of the original Godzilla awakened inside the mech, possessing it and going on to destroy the city of its own accord while its pilot Akane Yashiro was helpless to stop it. It continued to wreak havoc on the city until its fuel was depleted and it had to be airlifted back to its dock.
With Kiryu undergoing extensive reworking to avoid a similar occurrence in the future, the JSXDF attempted to defeat Godzilla without it, but were ultimately unsuccessful, and ended up bringing Kiryu back onto the field. Kiryu battled Godzilla until its receiver was damaged, forcing its pilot Yashiro to enter the manual control room inside its head. Yashiro quickly decided to use Kiryu’s ultimate weapon, the Absolute Zero Cannon. While Kiryu’s final move did not destroy Godzilla, it was enough to drive him back into the ocean, while Yashiro watched from the now energy-depleted Kiryu’s shoulder.
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003): After a year of repairs and having its Absolute Zero Cannon removed, the improved “Modified Type-3 Kiryu” was nearing completion. However, around that time, Mothra and her priestesses, the Shobijin, came to Japan and declared Kiryu’s cyborg structure an abomination whose existence was attracting the thing it was built to repel: Godzilla. They demanded that Kiryu be destroyed in exchange for Mothra taking over its place as Japan’s defender but the government declined, remembering that Mothra had once attacked Japan in 1961, which was an event that led to Kiryu’s creation. Shortly afterward, Godzilla appeared, Mothra going in to battle him, followed shortly by Kiryu.
Despite their combined efforts, Mothra was killed and Kiryu’s transmitter was once again damaged, causing Kiryu’s chief engineer Yoshito Chujo to go inside it for repairs. After these were complete, Godzilla attacked Kiryu and damaged the exit hatches on Kiryu, trapping Chujo inside. Kiryu was then able to drive his new drill attachment into Godzilla’s chest and electrocute him with the masers that had replaced its Absolute Zero Cannon. Godzilla’s screams of pain triggered a flashback in Kiryu to when it was a Godzilla, but it did not last long as Mothra’s twin larvae wrapped Godzilla in their silk, keeping him from fighting back. Kiryu then received commands to terminate Godzilla, but it disobeyed and carried him out to sea, where it released Chujo to safety before displaying the message “Sayonara Yoshito” on one of its monitors. Kiryu then released Godzilla into the water and allowed itself to sink to the bottom.
Absolute Zero Weapon: Kiryu’s Absolute Zero Weapon, built into its chest, fires a beam which brings its target to the lowest theoretical temperature in existence: 0 degrees Kelvin, or Absolute Zero, at which point the atoms affected would cease all movement. Kiryu was able to cause entire buildings to disintegrate with this attack. In “Godzilla: Rulers of Earth,” Jet Jaguar had Kiryu use the weapon to freeze Destoroyah completely.
Maser Cannons: In addition to a mouth-based Maser cannon, Kiryu had his Absolute Zero weapon replaced with three chest-mounted Maser cannons called the Triple Hyper Maser Cannon, with each one capable of emitting blasts of electricity.
Weapons Attachment: Kiryu’s weapons attachment hosts a small arsenal of missiles and other projectiles, as well as two blades that extend from its two gauntlet pieces.
Agility: Kiryu is a well-balanced machine and the most agile Mechagodzilla to date.
Physical Capabilities: For close combat, a short blade can be extended from Kiryu's right wrist which was not only able to penetrate Godzilla's nearly impervious hide, but was also able to discharge a crippling electrical surge into his opponent's body. In “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.,” Kiryu's arsenal was upgraded to allow its right hand to collapse into a revolving drill. Despite his agility, Kiryu is incredibly strong, being able to grab Godzilla by the tail and swing him around with ease.
Flight: Like the previous Mechagodzillas, Kiryu was also able to fly; although its limited energy reserves required the machine to be airlifted to the battlefield by two White Herons.
Weaknesses: Due to being constructed around the original Godzilla's remains, the first Godzilla's spirit is still attached to Kiryu, and has overridden all external control over the mech in two instances. Also, since it has limited power reserves, Kiryu can only be in action for at least two hours or less when the use of Absolute Zero is involved.
Kiryu was designed by Shinji Nishikawa, an artist who did concept art for most of the Heisei and Millennium Godzilla films.
The idea of having the original Godzilla come back to life was used for the cancelled “Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla”, originally intended to end the Heisei series. The title card for “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” may allude to this, as it initially reads "Godzilla vs. Godzilla" before displaying the film's true title, while the real title for what fans call “Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla” was actually also “Godzilla vs. Godzilla.”
In the international English dub for “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.,” Kiryu is referred to as ‘Mecha G,’ presumably to avoid confusing viewers who had not seen “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla,” which explained the mecha's name was Kiryu. In the video games “Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee” and “Godzilla: Save the Earth,” Kiryu is called ‘Mechagodzilla 3,’ due to being the third distinct iteration of Mechagodzilla and to distinguish him from the other Mechagodzilla featured in the games. In the Godzilla comic series published by IDW, Kiryu is only ever referred to as ‘Mechagodzilla.’
As all of you probably know if you’re a Godzilla fan, many of Toho’s kaiju have their own copyright icons. All three Mechagodzillas--the Showa Mechagodzilla 1 and Mechagodzilla 2, plus the Heisei Mechagodzilla and Kiryu, all share the “Mechagodzilla” legal name and copyright icon. As mentioned before, Kiryu was also AT LEAST AT ONE POINT its own trademark, but in recent DVD and Blu-ray releases, Kiryu exclusively uses the Mechagodzilla name. Mysteriously, ONLY in “Godzilla: Save the Earth”’s opening disclaimers, Kiryu has his own copyright icon, labeled “Mechagodzilla MFS-3.” This copyright icon has never and was never used beyond that ever again.
That’s all we have for Kiryu. Thanks again for watching, and we’ll see you next time!