|“||Godzilla is the son of the atomic bomb. He is a nightmare created out of the darkness of the human soul. He is the sacred beast of the apocalypse.||„|
|~ Tomoyuki Tanaka|
|“||Listen kid, there's two things you don't know about the Earth: one is me, and the other is... Godzilla.||„|
|~ Captain Douglas Gordon in Godzilla: Final Wars|
|“||Maybe it's because... Godzilla is inside each one of us.||„|
|~ Yuji Shinoda in Godzilla 2000|
Godzilla, also known as Gojira in Japanese, is the titular main protagonist of the movie franchise of the same name (although in some movies such as the earlier ones, he is portrayed as either a villain or an anti-hero). He is a 50-100 meter kaiju that can shoot a nuclear beam from out of his mouth. He is a daikaijū, a Japanese movie monster. Since then, Godzilla has gone on to become a worldwide pop culture icon starring in 28 films produced by Toho Co., Ltd. The monster has appeared in numerous other media incarnations including video games, novels, comic books, television series, and two American movies.
With the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Daigo Fukuryū Maru incident still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a monster created by nuclear detonations and a metaphor for nuclear weapons in general. As the film series expanded, some stories took on less serious undertones portraying Godzilla as a hero while other plots still portrayed him as a destructive animal.
Godzilla's appearance has changed between films over the years, but many defining details have endured. In the Japanese films, Godzilla is depicted as a gigantic dinosaur with rough, bumpy, usually charcoal gray scales, a long powerful tail, and generally bone-white dorsal plates, generally shaped like maple leaves, though there are some designs whose traits may differ. His origins vary somewhat from film to film, but he is almost always described as a prehistoric creature, and his first attacks on Japan are linked to the beginning of the Atomic Age. In particular, mutation due to atomic radiation is presented as an explanation for his great size and strange powers. Godzilla's iconic design is composed of a mixture of various species of dinosaurs; specifically, he has the body and overall shape of an old model of a Tyrannosaurus rex, the long arms of an Iguanodon, and the dorsal plates of a Stegosaurus.
As a Hero
In some films, Godzilla becomes the lesser of two evils and saves the world from alien threats, such as King Ghidorah or other malevolent terrestrial monsters such as Ebirah and Kumonga. When portrayed as a protagonist, Godzilla is either a heroic monster, a caring but strict parent, or an animal trying to find its place in the world as the last of its kind. It is to be noted that Godzilla defends Earth only, which does not necessarily include humanity, Godzilla defends Earth solely for territorial purposes, which can be seen mostly in the Heisei and Millennium films. However, he is portrayed as an actual hero in the Showa series.
Godzilla appears as a hero in the films Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, All Monsters Attack, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and Terror of Mechagodzilla in the Showa series. In the subsequent Heisei and Millennium films, Godzilla is usually portrayed as an anti-hero that often comes into conflict with humanity, but is ultimately sympathetic to some degree and battles against a more malicious creature. The version of Godzilla from the 2014 American reboot is portrayed as a non-malicious creature that only seeks to defend his own territory and preserve his existence by battling other creatures that threaten him. This version of Godzilla goes out of his way to avoid conflict with humanity and limit the amount of destruction he causes.
As a hero, Godzilla has gained many allies, such as Mothra, Rodan, Anguirus, King Caesar, and Jet Jaguar (just to name a few).
In the original 1954 Godzilla film, Godzilla was a prehistoric creature who was awakened and irradiated by nuclear testing. He destroyed multiple fishing boats. When investigators arrived on Odo Island, they learned that the native islanders believed the attacks were caused by a sea-god named Godzilla ("Gojira" in Japanese), and when the island was attacked by the mutant, the name stuck. Godzilla attacked Tokyo multiple times until he was killed by the Oxygen Destroyer, a powerful weapon created by Dr. Serizawa.
In the later movies, either a second Godzilla exists, or Godzilla survived the Oxygen Destroyer. In Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack, Godzilla has been dead for years and has become nothing but a legend that some do not believe in, however the souls of those who died in World War II merged and recreated Godzilla. When Godzilla is portrayed as a villain, he is usually retaliating against humanity for the nuclear test that awakened him and presumably killed his companions, fighting back against numerous attempts by the human military to kill him, or attempting to recover and defend a juvenile member of his species. The exception is the film Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, in which Godzilla is a malevolent entity formed by restless souls that seeks to wipe out Japan.
Godzilla's signature weapon is his distinctive atomic breath. Godzilla's dorsal plates glow ominously, and then he lets loose with a concentrated blast of radiation from his mouth. This power is often mistaken for Breathing Fire.
As expected because of his size, weight and mass, Godzilla has shown great levels of physical strength, able to lift weights exceeding 100,000 tons (shown when he threw Keizer Ghidorah) and smash skyscrapers. He has been depicted lifting and throwing monsters in excess of his own weight, such as King Ghidorah, Hedorah, Mechagodzilla, Biollante and others. He channels his strength through his tail, teeth, and claws and can deliver serious damages to his opponents, despite his huge size he can perform a dropkick on his opponents, he also has some knowledge relating to judo, wrestling, and boxing.
Godzilla is physically immune to conventional weaponry such as tanks and missiles and is capable of taking strong hits harsh injury from other Monsters along with having the ability to Regenerate. The secret to Godzilla's Durability is his Regenerator G-1 cell.
Godzilla is capable of living, swimming and breathing underwater for as long as he wants. He also is great at fighting underwater and has fought enemies underwater on several occasions.
Godzilla can emit atomic energy in all directions from every inch of his body to create a short-range nuclear pulse.
In Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla, Godzilla found a way to generate powerful magnetic fields from his body after being struck several times by lightning, which proved devastating against his metallic foe. This is the only time Godzilla ever used this power.
- Gomora, a character from the Ultra Series, shares many similarities with Godzilla:
- Both are popular monsters of the companies that have created them and are shown to be powerful monsters in their respective media.
- They've received a mechanical doppelgänger to fight with (Mechagodzilla for Godzilla and Mecha Gomora for Gomora), an in-video-game super form (Super Godzilla for Godzilla and EX Gomora for Gomora) and a "red" form (Burning Godzilla for Godzilla and Reionyx Burst Gomora for Gomora).
- Both have similar Japanese names because they both use the katakana characters ゴ and ラ.