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Image gallery for Zilla

Zilla® copyright icon
Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars
Alternate names Tuna-head, tuna-eating monster, Maguro, Maguro-san, French GodzillaGMA
Subtitle(s) Strong-Legged Monster
(強足怪獣,   Tsuyo Ashi Kaijū)[1]
Atomic Monster
(原子怪獣,   Genshi Kaijū)[2]
Mysterious Monster
(謎の怪獣,   Nazo no Kaijū)[3]
Species Mutated iguana[4][5]
Height 90 metersGFW,[4]
~80 metersGRoE[6][note 1]
Weight Unknown[4]
Controlled by Xiliens
Relations Godzilla Earth, Orga, Biollante
(theorized approximate species)G:MA
Allies Jet JaguarGRoE, GodzillaGRoE, King CaesarGRoE, RodanGRoE, AnguirusGRoE, KumongaGRoE, GorosaurusGRoE, BaragonGRoE, KamoebasGRoE, TitanosaurusGRoE, VaranGRoE,
SandaGRoE, GairaGRoE
Enemies Godzilla, TrilopodsGRoE, MagitaGRoE
Created by Shogo Tomiyama, Ryuhei Kitamura
First appearance Godzilla: Final Wars
More roars
For the original 1998 incarnation of this monster, see Godzilla (TriStar).
I knew that tuna-eating monster was useless!

Controller of Planet X, after Zilla is defeated by Godzilla (Godzilla: Final Wars)

Zilla (ジラ,   Jira) is a giant mutant iguana kaiju[4] who first appeared in the 2004 Toho Godzilla film, Godzilla: Final Wars.

One of the Xiliens' many mind-controlled monster pawns, Zilla was unleashed in Sydney, Australia before he was teleported away as the Xiliens tried to pose as humanity's saviors. When their plan was exposed by the Earth Defense Force and Godzilla was freed from Antarctica, Zilla was deployed to battle him in Sydney. Zilla was quickly defeated by Godzilla, who swatted him aside with his tail and finished him with a blast of his atomic breath. Zilla is based on TriStar's controversial depiction of Godzilla from the 1998 American film and was included in Godzilla: Final Wars after TriStar's rights to the character expired and reverted to Toho. Zilla's only film appearance to date came in Godzilla: Final Wars, but he has also been featured in the mobile game Godzilla: Kaiju Collection and two licensed Godzilla comic series published by IDW Publishing. Zilla also exists within the timeline of the GODZILLA anime trilogy of films, with an entire chapter dedicated to the creature in the novel GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse.

Name[edit | edit source]

Zilla's name comes from Godzilla, with the "God" removed. According to Shogo Tomiyama, this name was chosen because the TriStar Godzilla "took the 'God' out of 'Godzilla.'"[7] Per Toho's insistence, all future incarnations of TriStar's Godzilla will be under this name.

Zilla's name is never spoken onscreen in Godzilla: Final Wars, though he is at one point referred to by the Controller of Planet X as a tuna-eating monster (マグロを食ってる,   Maguro o kutteru, lit. tuna-eater), or tuna-head in the film's English dub. Because of this line, Japanese fans frequently refer to both Zilla and the TriStar Godzilla by the nicknames Maguro (マグロ, lit. tuna) or Maguro-san (マグロさん, lit. Mr. Tuna).

In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla receives his name after being misidentified as Godzilla. A soldier tries to report the monster's appearance over a communicator, but the transmission is interrupted and only "-zilla" is relayed, which is then adopted as the creature's name. In GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, Zilla earns the nickname French Godzilla (フランスのゴジラ,   Furansu no Gojira) after the French military incorrectly identifies the first specimen of the species as Godzilla.

Design[edit | edit source]

Zilla's appearance is almost identical to that of the TriStar Godzilla, due to his CGI model being created simply by scanning Trendmasters' Ultimate Godzilla figure.[8] In Godzilla: Final Wars, the only differences in his appearance are his scutes, which point straight upward instead of curving forward, and his skin, which is more of a stone gray color rather than the dark blue coloration of the 1998 Godzilla. The spiky dewlap that was present on Godzilla 1998's neck does not seem to be present on Zilla.

In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla is given the exact design of the 1998 Godzilla, complete with curved scutes and blue skin. One feature unique to the IDW Zilla is the presence of a fifth digit on his hands.

Personality[edit | edit source]

In Godzilla: Final Wars, Zilla is completely under the control of the Xiliens, and attacks Sydney under their orders. When he battles Godzilla, Zilla, perhaps foolishly, attempts to attack Godzilla head-on by pouncing on him, which results in his quick demise.

In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla is highly aggressive and extremely vicious, attacking Godzilla upon encountering him in Honolulu. Zilla holds his own in the battle by evading Godzilla's attacks and opportunistically striking him back, but retreats as soon as Godzilla gains the upper hand and nearly kills him. Zilla later takes up residence in the waters around the Monster Islands, but avoids going ashore where the other kaiju are. Zilla manages to evade the Trilopods when they invade the islands and capture the kaiju, then follows them to Los Angeles and attacks them. During this battle, Zilla actively rescues Jet Jaguar from several Trilopods, then joins forces with Godzilla and the other monsters to defeat the alien menace. After the battle, Zilla and the other kaiju seemingly submit to Godzilla and follow him out to sea.

Origins[edit | edit source]

Zilla's origins go unexplained in Godzilla: Final Wars, and he is never even mentioned by name. According to the film's theater program, Zilla's "true identity is unknown, but according to one theory it may be the same monster that struck New York in 1997."[9] The book Godzilla: Final Wars Super Complete Works, published in 2005, reiterates this, stating "Informal information has been reported saying that the same kind of monster appeared on the east coast of the U.S. in 1998," obviously referencing the 1998 American Godzilla film. The book also states that Zilla is a "mutated iguana monster with tuna as its regular meal."[4][note 2]

In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla's origins are never directly discussed, but it is established that he is part of the natural balance of Earth, along with all of the other Earth kaiju. Zilla's appearance on the Infant Island mural suggests that he is an ancient creature, instead of a mutated iguana like his film incarnation. In Godzilla: Oblivion, Zilla is one of several kaiju that inhabits an alternate dimension where Godzilla rules.

In the continuity of the GODZILLA anime trilogy, Zilla's specific origins are unclear and contested, but one theory posits that Zilla, along with Orga and Biollante, may be a subspecies of Godzilla or a species directly derived from him.

History[edit | edit source]

Millennium era[edit | edit source]

Godzilla: Final Wars[edit | edit source]

Zilla was sent to attack Sydney, Australia, under the command of the Xiliens. The towering reptile terrorized the city, destroying cars and eating civilians. Suddenly, Zilla and all of the other kaiju that had appeared around the world were teleported away by the Xiliens, who claimed to have come to save humanity. After the Xiliens' true intent, to take over the world and harvest mankind's mitochondria, was revealed, they re-released all of their monsters. The Earth Defense Force freed Godzilla from Area G in Antarctica and led him across the world to defeat the Xiliens' monsters. The Controller of Planet X had Zilla redeployed in Sydney to battle Godzilla. Zilla pounced at Godzilla, but Godzilla swung his tail and knocked the monster into the Sydney Opera House before incinerating him with his atomic breath. Following Zilla's defeat, the Controller simply remarked that he "knew that tuna-eating monster was useless."

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Jumping Abilities[edit | edit source]

Zilla pounces at Godzilla in Godzilla: Final Wars

Zilla is an extraordinary jumper, capable of pouncing large distances to attack his enemies with a High Jump Kick (ハイジャンプキック).

Agility[edit | edit source]

Zilla is incredibly fast and agile. Zilla tends to charge at his opponents, and is capable of quickly fleeing or evading enemies when he is overwhelmed.

Physical abilities[edit | edit source]

Zilla's claws managed to draw blood from Godzilla in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, though he was largely overmatched by the King of the Monsters. During the final battle between Earth's monsters and the Trilopods, he slashed the throat of a Godzilla-type Trilopod with his scutes, and later tears into the throat of the Titanosaurus-type Trilopod with his teeth.

Burrowing[edit | edit source]

Zilla tunnels underground in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #2

In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla displays the TriStar Godzilla's ability to burrow through concrete and steel. Zilla uses this ability to evade a blast of Godzilla's atomic breath during their battle in Honolulu, and even opens up a sinkhole beneath him.

Intelligence[edit | edit source]

In Godzilla: Final Wars, Zilla does not exhibit a great deal of strategy, as he (perhaps foolishly) attempts to attack Godzilla head-on, only to be swatted aside and quickly dispatched by his atomic breath. In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla seems to regain the 1998 Godzilla's intelligence, as he exhibits strategy in his battle with Godzilla, using his burrowing ability to evade a blast of Godzilla's atomic breath and even pulling Godzilla into the military's line of fire while the latter is grappling him. When Zilla realizes he has no chance of winning the fight, he waits for an opportunity and escapes to the ocean while Godzilla is distracted. Zilla later somehow manages to avoid capture by the Trilopods when they attack the Monster Islands, and knows to travel to Los Angeles to join forces with the other Earth monsters and battle the Trilopods.

Asexual reproduction[edit | edit source]

In GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse, Zilla was given the TriStar Godzilla's ability to rapidly reproduce asexually, using fertility and sheer numbers as a weapon. Text from the novel says: "If you leave one young one alive, no, if you leave just an egg behind, it'll hatch and reproduce all over again" and, "the big ones are dangerous, but the young ones were more troublesome. They're intelligent and act in herds. The young ones act as decoys for the tanks while the adults attack from the rooftops."

Durability[edit | edit source]

Although Zilla was easily killed by a single blast of Godzilla's atomic breath in Godzilla: Final Wars, the version which appeared in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth survived sustained hand-to-hand combat with the King of the Monsters. However, he was also hurt by small-arms fire and a missile from a helicopter. During the Earth monsters' showdown with Magita, a kick from the giant Trilopod knocked him out of the fight, though he recovered following her death.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Video games[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse[edit | edit source]

Zilla appeared in France in October of 2039 and was brought down by the French military, who initially misidentified the creature as Godzilla due to it being bipedal and possessing back fins and a long tail. However, Zilla possessed the ability to reproduce asexually, and its offspring quickly overran the city of Rouen, which had managed to escape the wrath of Godzilla himself. Even though an adult Zilla was considerably more frail than most kaiju, able to be brought down with a single shot from a Maser Cannon or railgun, its greatest strength was its fertility. If just one egg was left behind, hundreds more Zillas could be born and overrun the city again. The Zillas were also intelligent and capable of working in herds, younger ones would draw the attention of tanks while adults attacked from the rooftops. Zilla was mentioned to be the hardest kaiju to free a city from, and was not finally exterminated until December.[10]

Comics[edit | edit source]

Godzilla: Rulers of Earth[edit | edit source]

Zilla appeared in the first issue of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth as a rogue kaiju. He was first sighted by a submarine which mistook him for Godzilla. He later made landfall in Honolulu, Hawaii and was given the identification as "Zilla" due to radio interference. He then went on a rampage while fighting the CKR forces stationed there before being attacked by Godzilla, who had also arrived, and the two monsters prepared to fight. Godzilla threw Zilla into a building and blasted him with his atomic breath, similar to the way Godzilla finished him in Godzilla: Final Wars. However, Zilla burrowed underground and avoided the blast. Zilla then dug behind Godzilla and ambushed him. Godzilla and Zilla engaged in a heated physical battle until Godzilla grabbed Zilla by the neck and choked him. Before Godzilla could kill Zilla, CKR opened fire on Godzilla, distracting him long enough for Zilla to escape to the sea.

Zilla reappeared in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #13, where he was spotted swimming in the waters around the Monster Islands. Zilla apparently avoided capture when the Trilopods invaded the Monster Islands, as he was not seen inside the Trilopod hive.

Zilla returned in the final issue, where he suddenly appeared in Los Angeles and saved Jet Jaguar from a Trilopod with Godzilla's characteristics. Zilla then took part in the final battle against the Trilopods alongside Godzilla and the other Earth monsters, managing to injure and kill several of the creatures. Zilla attempted to battle Magita, the gigantic Trilopod queen, but was kicked aside by its massive legs. After Godzilla destroyed Magita, Zilla and the other monsters followed Godzilla out to sea.

Godzilla: Oblivion[edit | edit source]

Zilla appeared at the very end of the fourth issue of Godzilla: Oblivion, where he emerged from an interdimensional portal alongside Biollante, Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus and King Caesar. In the following issue, where Hedorah joined the monsters, Zilla wandered off and rampaged through the city on his own while most of the other monsters tried to battle Mecha-King Ghidorah. Later, after Mecha-King Ghidorah was defeated by Godzilla, all of the monsters were left behind as the humans left the Earth as it became covered by tiny robotic cells that served as interdimensional doorways.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Main article: Zilla/Gallery.

Roar[edit | edit source]

In Godzilla: Final Wars, Zilla's roars are recycled from the TriStar Godzilla's roars, themselves a combination of the Showa Godzilla's roars and elephant sounds. Zilla's roars seem to be mostly the elephant-based roars, rather than the Godzilla-based ones. They were later mixed with Millenium-era Godzilla roars for Godzilla Filius in GODZILLA: Planet of the Monsters. In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, Zilla's roar is written as "SKREEEEEENK."

Godzilla 1998 and Zilla's roars

In other languages[edit | edit source]

Language Name Meaning
Flagicon Belarus.png Belarusian জেলা Jēlā Transcription of Japanese name
Chinese Flagicon Hong Kong.png Cantonese 斯拉
China and Taiwan Flags.png Mandarin 斯拉 Sī lā Transcription of English name
Flagicon Israel.png Hebrew זילה Transcription of English name
Flagicon India.png Hindi जिला Jila Transcription of Japanese name
Flagicon Karnataka.png Kannada ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ Jillā Transcription of Japanese name
Flagicon India.png Telugu జిల్లా Jillā Transcription of Japanese name
Flagicon South Korea.png Korean 질라 Jilla Transcription of Japanese name
Flagicon Russia.png Russian Зилла Transcription of English name
Flagicon Serbia.png Serbian Зила Transcription of English name
Flagicon Pakistan.png Urdu ضلع Transcription of Japanese name
Yiddish זיללאַ Zilla Transcription of English name

  • Marathi: जिल्हा Jil'hā, transcription of Japanese name
  • Gujarati: જીલ્લા Jīllā, transcription of Japanese name

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Shogo Tomiyama and Ryuhei Kitamura did not originally intend to include Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars, but upon learning that they could use the TriStar Godzilla in the film, they decided to feature him as the new monster Zilla. Zilla's late addition may be responsible for the monster's lack of appearances in merchandise and promotional materials for the film.
    • Zilla's quick destruction at the hands of Godzilla in Godzilla: Final Wars was, according to Shogo Tomiyama, meant to "show which Godzilla is stronger,"[11] reflecting many fans' dissatisfaction with TriStar's depiction of Godzilla.
  • Despite Zilla's quick demise in "Godzilla: Final Wars," Patrick Tatopoulos was thrilled to learn that the Godzilla he designed would be appearing in a Toho film.[11]
  • Zilla's role in the novel GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse is a direct reference to the worst-case scenario regarding the TriStar Godzilla's reproduction in the 1998 film, where it multiplies rapidly and overruns an entire city due to all of its offspring being born capable of asexual reproduction. In addition, Zilla attacks France, a reference to the French being responsible for Godzilla's creation in the 1998 film.
  • Zilla was briefly considered for inclusion in the video game Godzilla: Unleashed, but didn't make the cut due to his lack of popularity during production on the previous games.[12][13]
  • After Zilla is dispatched by Godzilla in Godzilla: Final Wars, the Controller of Planet X angrily says "I knew that tuna-eating monster was useless," a reference to the TriStar Godzilla's diet of fish in the 1998 film. In the film's English dub, the Controller calls Zilla a "tuna head."
  • Zilla is the only monster in Godzilla: Final Wars to be portrayed entirely through computer-generated imagery, a nod to the TriStar Godzilla being portrayed primarily through CGI in the 1998 film.
  • In Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, when Zilla is seen swimming in the waters around the Monster Islands, the character Chavez suggests that Zilla may be reluctant to set foot on the islands because he isn't welcome. Lucy assures him that the other monsters will eventually come to accept him. This is most likely an inside joke referencing the Godzilla fanbase's reluctance to accept Zilla.

Video[edit | edit source]

Wikizilla: YouTube Kaiju Profile: Godzilla 1998 / Zilla

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. In a blog post, artist Matt Frank stated that Zilla was approximately 80 meters tall in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth. However, in issue #2, Lucy Casprell estimates that Zilla is 200 feet (roughly 61 meters) tall.
  2. Mutated iguana monster with tuna as its regular meal. / イグアナが突然変異した怪獣でマグロを常食としている。(p. 23)

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Zilla. 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. Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia. Shogakukan. 23 July 2014. p. 117. ISBN 4-096-82090-3.
  2. Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. 28 September 2012. p. 286. ISBN 4-864-91013-8.
  3. M73128360182 2.jpg
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Godzilla: Final Wars Super Complete Works (2nd Edition). Shogakukan. 1 March 2005. pp. 10, 23. ISBN 4-09-101471-2.
  5. Godzilla Toho Giant Monster Pictorial Book. Shogakukan. 1 April 2005. p. 14. ISBN 4-09-280052-5.
  6. "80 meters sounds about right" - Mattzilla
  8. GODZILLA: THE SERIES- The Lost Trendmasters Toy Line - SciFi Japan
  9. GODZILLA Unmade: The History of Jan De Bont's Unproduced TriStar Film - Part 4 of 4 - SciFi Japan
  10. Renji Ōki (October 25, 2017). GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse. Kadokawa. pp. 186–212.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Henshin!Headlines for 2004 (Archive.org)
  12. Zilla, Cloverfield and Bagan Scrapped From Unleashed - Simon Strange Interview
  13. Zilla Scrapped From Unleashed - Simon Strange Interview


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