Friday, May 16, 2014

Kaiju Weekend part one: My favorite kaiju

Hi everyone. I'm still trying to get that story uploaded on AuthorsDen. I've run into a problem that I don't know how to fix, so it looks like it may not be uploaded until tomorrow. In the meantime we all know that Godzilla was released today. Sadly I need to wait a little longer before I can see it. I don't know when, but it will be this summer. I decided to do something with this blog and do a weekend of blogging about kaiju.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term a kaiju is essentially a giant monster. Usually they have to be over one hundred feet in height. America has come out with a lot of kaiju in the last decade, but the most famous of the kaiju still hail from Japan. These movies were really popular from the 1950s to the late 1970s, though throughout the years people have still loved monsters like Godzilla. I decided to put a list of my favorite kaiju together for you.
Coming in at number one is Godzilla of course. I mainly enjoy him because it's accepted that he's a dinosaur that was mutated by radioactivity. However I also like how he's portrayed as the ultimate predator. Godzilla in the majority of his films is unstoppable. True there have been foes that have bested him, but he always comes back to fight another battle.
Coming in at number two is Anguirus. Essentially Anguirus is supposed to be some type of Ankylosaur. Originally he was an enemy of Godzilla but as the years progressed he became a friend to the King of the Monsters, even helping him to fight off foes like Gigan and Ghidorah. Anguirus may not have any powers like a fire breath, but he does not back down from a fight.
Number three is Rodan, the pterosaur kaiju. Rodan originally appeared in his own film, but he was incorporated in with the Godzilla franchise. As the Godzilla films progressed Rodan also came to be considered a friend to Godzilla. Usually Rodan doesn't have anything like a breath attack, but in the film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II Rodan did have a fire breath attack.
Fourth place goes to Baragon. Strangely Baragon is also supposed to be a dinosaur, one that escaped extinction. He originally appeared in the film Frankenstein Conquers the World, where the heart of Frankenstein's monster is transported to Japan, reforms into the creature, and grows to giant size to give battle to Baragon who was eating cattle and people. Baragon was brought back for the film Destroy All Monsters, which is one of the popular Godzilla films due to having Godzilla with a lot of other monsters. Several times Baragon was supposed to be in other films, but the costume was always in bad condition. Still I think that his design is strange and interesting, and his dinosaur status doesn't hurt with the placing either.
For fifth place I will use Gamera. Gamera is not a kaiju that has ever faced Godzilla before, except possibly in fan fictions. The reason is Godzilla and Gamera were made by two different companies, and there has never been a deal for the two to face off. Gamera was originally created to compete with the successful Godzilla franchise, even giving him a fire breath attack. Originally Gamera was a prehistoric turtle that was reawakened when an explosion happened in Alaska. Over the years his origin was changed to being a creature from Atlantis, particularly during the late 80s, early 90s era. One thing that's remained consistent about Gamera is that he has a soft spot for children and will not hesitate to come to their rescue.
Sixth place goes to...a butterfly? Yep. For those of you who don't know this is Mothra. Originally Mothra was her own independent film, but proved to be so popular they actually had her face off against Godzilla and eventually during the 90s she got her own trilogy. Surprisingly Mothra is not a mutation, but a kaiju worshipped as a goddess on an island by two tiny twins. Usually what happens is that Mothra is minding her own business and some monster starts threatening the world so Mothra has to fly in and stop it. Mothra is considered the most beautiful of all the kaiju, and is also a protector of the earth and all its inhabitants, including humanity.
Seventh place goes to Varan. Admittedly I still have to see the movies where he appears, but I like what I read about him so I decided to include him in this countdown. Varan was yet another prehistoric critter that was awakened and went on a rampage before the military took him down. Like in the classic days Varan wouldn't stay down and was brought back as one of the monsters in Destroy All Monsters where he helped Godzilla in that film and earned the title as a friend of the monster king. Varan doesn't have any powers like Anguirus, but being able to glide around is still cool for a kaiju.
Eighth place is for another monster that I haven't seen yet, but I've read about. This is Gorosaurus, a monster that originally appeared in the film King Kong Escapes. Back when Toho was making Kong a kaiju Gorosaurus was found on an island where he tried to eat some of the main characters before the famous gorilla came along and stopped him. Although he was killed, he was also brought back for Destroy All Monsters and became another ally to Godzilla. Gorosaurus doesn't have any powers. I guess you don't really need them when you're as big as a skyscraper, but he does have a pretty powerful kick.
Ninth place goes to a strange little kaiju named Minilla. Minilla is Godzilla's adopted son, having saved the former from being killed by other kaiju when he just hatched. Minilla usually isn't a fighter, not being able to blow more than a smoke ring. However under extreme circumstances he is able to unleash an attack similar to his father's. Minilla usually is seen with his daddy on Monster Island still learning to fight.
Tenth place goes to Godzilla Junior. Godzilla Junior is the final form of another version of Minilla who appeared in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, although it isn't until the film Godzilla vs. Destroyah that he achieves this appearance. Like Minilla Godzilla Junior is much friendlier than his father, and actually fights to keep kids safe from monsters. Godzilla Junior is also a good fighter, having stopped Destroyah in one of his many forms before being killed in a rematch. However as his father died from a meltdown he was going through the excess radiation was enough to revive Godzilla Junior and advanced his growth enough for him to become the new Godzilla.

There are other kaiju that are not so friendly. I decided to do a list for them as well.
First place for the bad monster list goes to King Ghidorah (sometimes known as Ghidorah or Monster Zero). Ghidorah is a three-headed space dragon with a lightning breath attack. King Ghidorah usually comes with the intention of conquering the Earth only to be opposed by Godzilla. During the 90s era he was reimagined to be mutated from future creatures called Dorats that were left behind on Godzilla's island to be exposed by the radiation that mutated Godzilla. Whatever origin, King Ghidorah is one nasty dragon. He is an incredibly popular monster for Godzilla to face, and I daresay King Ghidorah is actually Godzilla's nemesis given how much they've fought over the years.
Mechagodzilla takes second place for the foes list. Mechagodzilla is a giant robot that is meant to take down the monster king. When it originally appeared in the late 70s Mechagodzilla was created by a race of aliens to help them take over the Earth. As the years progressed Mechagodzilla was reimagined to have been created by humans to give them a weapon to fight against Godzilla. The third version from the early 2000s is my personal favorite because they used the bones of the original Godzilla (from 1954) as the basis for its design. Mechagodzilla is a powerful melee fighter, and usually can shoot beams from its eyes. Mechagodzilla has been furnished with shoulder cannons from time to time, which makes him even cooler.
Third place we see another dinosaur kaiju, Titanosaurus. Titanosaurus was actually a peaceful creature. However he was found by a scientist who was working for the same aliens that created Mechagodzilla. They used sonic waves to turn Titanosaurus aggressive and used him along with a new Mechagodzilla to attack Japan, and they almost succeeded in defeating Godzilla. However they were thankfully stopped. Titanosaurus appeared in the last Godzilla film of the 70s, Terror of Mechagodzilla, and hasn't appeared in another movie. However Titanosaurus can generate powerful winds with his tail, and I think given his naturally gentle disposition he deserves a chance to fight alongside Godzilla instead of against him.
This ugly bug actually gets fourth place. This is Megaguirus, a mutant queen of the fictional Meganulon, carnivorous insects that originally appeared with Rodan but were brought back for the film Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. In both versions the Meganulon attacked people, though I think it was in the 2000s version where they actually had people for dinner. Anyway, Megaguirus was brought about when a swarm of Meganuera (prehistoric dragonflies) brought her energy stolen from Godzilla, which mutated her into a giant monster. Megaguirus flies at super speeds and can actually take on Godzilla pretty well. I think she's also capable of sucking health out of opponents with a special stinger on her tail. So yeah, this is a super fast, health sucking, killer prehistoric dragonfly.
Fifth place goes to one of the few monsters responsible for the death of Godzilla. This is Destroyah, the last foe Godzilla faced during the series from the 90s. Destroyah is essentially microbes from the Precambrian era that were mutated by the same weapon that originally killed Godzilla in 1954. They keep mutating into various forms and causing a lot of trouble for the people of Japan. Originally they were stopped by Godzilla Junior, but they reappeared, defeated him, and eventually mutated into the final form seen here. Godzilla fought Destroyah, who kept reviving even though Godzilla took him down. It was only by dropping Destroyah on freezing weapons that he was taken down. Frightening appearance, near invulnerability, nasty attitude. If they wanted to bring a kaiju around as part of a doomsday event I say they should use this guy.
For sixth place I'm going with a monster I still want to see, Spacegodzilla. Spacegodzilla originally appeared in Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla from the 90s, I think just one year before Godzilla vs. Destroyah. Spacegodzilla was created from leftover Godzilla DNA that had been transported into space by the plant monster Biollante. The military tried to stop the creature before it could arrive on Earth and failed. Spacegodzilla doesn't have any of Godzilla's powers, but he does have his attitude. Spacegodzilla is capable of creating giant crystals that give him his powers. Spacegodzilla has appeared in a few video games and had at least one where he was responsible for the events of the game. He is also one of the popular foes for Godzilla in the fandom.
Seventh place goes to Orga, the first monster Godzilla faced in the Millennium series (1999-2004). Orga was an alien that fell to Earth during prehistoric times and entered suspended animation, only to be reawakened by humans later on. Orga hacked several computers to gain information on the planet and Godzilla. Orga was able to copy some of Godzilla's DNA to give himself the ability to breathe Earth's atmosphere. Orga is mainly limited to heavy melee with his huge claws, and is also equipped with a beam that he fires from a hole in his shoulder. He can also extend his jaws which he used to try and swallow Godzilla while still sampling his DNA to make him a complete clone. However Godzilla blasted him from the inside out and fried him.
In eighth place we return to Gamera. This was actually Gamera's first kaiju foe, Barugon. Barugon is a giant lizard that was brought to Tokyo because someone foolishly brought a gem back from an island. Barugon went on a rampage before encountering Gamera, who fought the lizard. Barugon can reflect enemy attacks with a rainbow shield he creates with the spikes on his back, and he can also created ice from his tongue. An ice breathing lizard is definitely something you don't see everyday.
Ninth place we see the only other monster that has appeared in other Gamera films besides Gamera himself: Gyaos. Gyaos is usually described as a combination of a vampire bat and a pterosaur. Gyaos was awakened by men (of course) and sets out attacking Japan. However just as he's about to eat a boy Gamera appears and stops him. Gyaos is equipped with razor sharp wings and claws, and an energy beam that can do a lot of damage. Gyaos later reappeared with several different forms throughout the years, including a space version and a Hyper Gyaos from the 90s, shown above.
Tenth place goes to a really strange kaiju. This is Jiger, a kaiju that was regarded by the natives of an island as a demon of sorts. She had been imprisoned for centuries by a strange statue called The Devil's Whistle. However when Japan was putting together a multi-cultural festival they took the whistle to be a part of it. Jiger was awakened and made her way to Japan where she caused a lot of damage, even using a heat race to reduce buildings to rubble and soldiers to skeletons. However Gamera showed up and did battle with Jiger. Jiger is also equipped with the ability to shoot javelins out from her horns, and has magnetic feet which she could use to draw things closer to her. Her tail is also equipped with a stinger that allows her to inject a baby into the lungs of another creature. Strange, but deadly.
I just had one more kaiju I wanted to add to this list. This is Zedus, the kaiju that Gamera found in the 2006 film Gamera the Brave. Zedus was a kaiju that went about terrorizing Japan while the new Gamera was still growing. While the new Gamera was not at full strength Zedus was more than a match for the turtle. I'm not sure what Zedus's powers are, but he was defeated when Gamera gained the ability to breathe fire and shot a fireball at it. Zedus looks like a combination of a frilled lizard and a dinosaur.

Well, that's it for now. Tomorrow I'll try to make time to do a post on the origins of Godzilla. I don't know when I'll be able to see the new film, but I'll try to do it soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment