It is easy to hate villains. We all despise their vicious ideas and barbaric endeavors. But seldom we see these villainous characters develop a fan base? Of course, there is a villain who, despite his brawny looks, monstrous roar, and savage actions, is a phenomenon. Yes! We are talking about the destructive force called Godzilla.
The King of Monsters
Godzilla is a kaiju or a fictional monster from a series of Japanese films. This much-loved monster appeared on big screen for the first time in the movie Godzilla in 1954, and since then, it has been a pop culture icon worldwide. It has appeared in thirty-two movies produced by Toho, four Hollywood movies, and many television shows. Godzilla comic books and video games are hot among kids and adults alike.
Godzilla is touted as the “King of Monsters”. It is a prehistoric sea monster aroused by nuclear radiation. Over the years, the conceptions around this gigantic villain have changed by leaps and bounds. From being touted as a metaphor for nuclear weapons to an allegory of the US to an antihero to a giant defending humanity, people developed a certain affinity for this villainous character. Godzilla is no more a hated sinner but a cherished champion.
Godzilla has shared the screen with several supporting characters like King Ghidorah, Gigan, Mechagodzilla, Rodan, Anguirus, Mothra, etc. In crossovers, it has fought several other leading characters like Marvel Comics characters, King Kong, etc.
Up close and personal with Godzilla
Godzilla is a giant and violent pre-historic monster aroused and empowered by nuclear radiation. The character was designed on the lines of an amphibious reptilian giant resembling a dinosaur. Godzilla has scaly skin, muscular arms, an anthropomorphic torso, furrowed brow, and lobed bony plates running down from its back to its tail. The keloid scars on its skin are attributed to the connection of this monster with the atomic bomb. It stands tall.
The color of its skin is charcoal grey, and that of the dorsal plates is bone-white. However, some movie posters, comics, and cartoons depict it as green.
In Japanese movies, Godzilla is depicted as gender-neutral, but in its English-dubbed versions and book, it is depicted as a male.
Unlike other monsters, Godzilla doesn’t eat humans but survive on nuclear radiations or take an omnivorous diet. It is an amphibian that can survive in Earth’s hydrosphere when in migration or hibernation and can also breathe underwater.
Godzilla’s disyllabic roar can give anyone chills down their spine. Its roar grew deeper and more intimidating with time.
Tall, taller, tallest- Godzilla’s size
Godzilla’s size has changed from film to film and scene to scene. In its original film released in 1954, it was 164 ft (50 M); taller than the tallest buildings in Tokyo. The American version of the film released in 1956 portrayed it as more powerful. Godzilla was 400 ft (122 m) tall in that movie. Gradually, Godzilla grew taller.
In the 1991 movie Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla effortlessly destroyed the 797 ft (243 m) tall Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. In Godzilla (2014), the American film, Godzilla was portrayed as 355 ft (108.2 m) tall, weighing 99,000 short tons (90,000 metric tons). It was touted as the largest film version of Godzilla. But, the 2016 film, Shin Godzilla, showed it much taller and stronger. It was 389 ft (118.5 m) tall. Its height rose to 984 ft (300 m) in Godzilla: Planet of the Monster (2017).
In the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, its height was increased to 393 ft (119.8 m).
His mighty weapons
As it is empowered by nuclear energy, this classic creature uses “atomic breath” (atomic heat beam) as its weapon. The energy spawns inside its body. It concentrates it using electromagnetic force and turns it into a laser-like projectile. When angry, it lets out red or blue radioactive beams from its mighty jaws.
Its thick hide makes it immune to weapons. Moreover, its regenerative abilities enhance its vitality. As Godzilla survived a nuclear explosion, no other weaponry or attack can destroy it unless it’s more powerful than a nuclear explosion. Its electromagnetic pulse-producing body organ produces an asymmetrical permeable shield protecting it from all sorts of assaults.
Godzilla has enjoyed several other powers like magnetism, atomic pulse, fireballs, precognition, laser beams emission from eyes, electric bite, flight, and superhuman speed as depicted in various movies, TV shows, games, and comics.
The influence of Godzilla
Godzilla is a symbol of Japanese popular culture. It is an undeniably important aspect of Japanese films. Despite being hot under the collar, Godzilla managed to earn the love of the audience. The Japanese audience relates to it as a sympathetic character.
As the series progressed, the wrathful side of this monster diminished and it turned into a heroic character. In several movies like Gidorah (1964), it was seen fighting against the threats to humanity.
Godzilla’s transition from a villain to a hero was loved and applauded by the audience worldwide. In 1973, in The Monster Times poll, the audience voted it the most popular movie monster, beating popular villains like King Kong, Count Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, the Frankenstein Monster, etc. It received the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. In 2004, it earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Godzilla has inspired many leading filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, and Martin Scorsese. Even 101781 Gojira, the main-belt asteroid, discovered in 1999, had been named in the honor of Godzilla.
Despite being a villain, Godzilla is a hero. It stands alongside humanity and fights the common threats. No other vicious villain has received the kind of love and fan following that Godzilla enjoys. If you love this giant monster, you are surely going to love our Godzilla t-shirts. Buy them and flaunt your love for this super-giant, powerful, wrathful, heroic character.