In the context of All Monsters Attack, Gabara gets its name from Ichiro Miki's bully, who is also called Gabara. Originally, Gabara was to be called "Gebara" (ゲバラ?), but Toho decided to change his name to Gabara in order to avoid confusion with the American biopic film Che!, which was released in Japan as Guevara! Gebara (ゲバラ!?) earlier in Gebara!1969.
The audio commentary for Classic Media's 2008 DVD release of All Monsters Attack humorously compares Gabara to a bipedal cat with car engine problems. Although he is said to be based on a toad, Gabara is very similar to—and more than likely partly based on—the Oni of Japanese mythology and folklore. His costume design is very reminiscent of these demonic ogre / troll-like beings, further mixing the turquoise scales of a reptile with orange, cat-like fur. He also has three horns on his head, again much like the Oni, whose horns varied between one-to-three on average.
Gabara's ability to electrocute things on contact is possibly a reference to Oni lore, as they too were sometimes associated with the natural forces of lighting and thunder.
Gabara's roar sounds like mocking laughter.
In All Monsters Attack, Gabara exists only within the dreams of protagonist Ichiro Miki. In the context of Ichiro's dreams, Gabara is a toad that was mutated by nuclear explosions into a giant bipedal ogre-like monster.
In Go! Godman, Gabara is a mutated bullfrog. In its follow-up series, Go! Greenman, Gabara is created by Tonchiki and placed inside of a toy of Red King, and reveals himself when a group of children play with the figure.
Just as All Monsters Attack is one of the more distinctive entries in the Godzilla canon, Gabara is very unique amongst the other Toho monsters. It seems that Gabara exists entirely inside the dreams of lead child character Ichiro.
In the context of the film, Gabara is a resident of Ichiro's imaginary Monster Island, and a constant tormentor to the much smaller Minilla, inspired by Ichiro's own real life problems with bullies around his neighborhood. After receiving combat training from his father Godzilla, and extra assistance from the human protagonist, Minilla does successfully challenge it. Finally, Gabara was confronted by Godzilla himself and got beat up. Gabara retreated after Godzilla performed Seoi nage on it.
Despite the film's overuse of stock footage, Gabara was the only original monster created for the film, along with newly filmed fight scenes and effects.
Gabara did not make any further appearances in the Showa Godzilla films, but Gabara did later appear in a similar series called Go! Godman, where he was a mutated bullfrog. It's unclear if this means Gabara exists outside of Ichiro's dreams, that Godman's adventures (or at least that episode) take place within them, or if the two are unrelated.
In this series, Gabara's skin tone is changed to a dark, greenish-blue color, and he lacks his trademark ginger hair. Due to mild deterioration of the suit's face, his eyes appear to take on a more confused or surprised expression. This damage was repaired in time for the show's followup, Go! Greenman.
Gabara returned in the fourteenth episode of the giant hero television series, Go! Greenman, a followup series to Go! Godman. In the show, he could throw his own claws which caused explosions and engulf children into his body. This was shown when he engulfed an innocent boy before being repelled by Greenman. Gabara's suit underwent extensive repairs, as his skin is now a lighter shade of green, and the plates on his torso are almost gold in color.
Gabara was created for Maoh by Tonchiki, and placed him within a figure of the popular Ultra Series kaiju, Red King. When the action figure was hit with a stick by the children, Gabara revealed himself, and devoured one of the kids whole. The remaining children frantically ran from the monster until finally summoning Greenman. Once arriving on Earth, Greenman engaged Gabara in a decisive battle and with much difficulty, was able to safely retrieve the swallowed boy before destroying Gabara.
In Go! Greenman, Gabara could throw his own claws which caused powerful explosions and engulf children into his body.
Gabara can channel energy through his body in the form of electricity. He can then either fire this from his Power Horn or channel it into his arms, and electrify anything he touches.
The Kaiju Guide in the 2014 Godzilla game states that Gabara can also emit venom from the warts on his body.
|“||Once a toad before it unexpectedly mutated into a monster, Gabara lives on Monster Island. It has no tail, and boasts many features not native to amphibians—stocky legs for bipedal movement, a long neck, fangs, horns, and fur.
A belligerent creature, it attacks enemies with venom emitted from the warts on its body and by radiating a strong electrical current generated internally from both hands. However, its combat abilities are not particularly impressive, and with no chance to survive against Godzilla, it satisfies its combative urges by antagonizing Minilla instead. Alas, even that pleasure is snatched away once Godzilla trains Minilla in the arts of monster self-defense.
The head of the Gabara costume was created by modifying the head used for Godzilla.
— Gabara Kaiju Guide bio
Gabara appeared within the mobile game Godzilla: Kaiju Collection.
In other languages
- German: Gabarah
- Russian: Габара
- Within the context of the film, Gabara is a representation within the dreams of Ichiro Miki, the main character, of a schoolyard bully of the same name. Similarly, Ichiro is represented by Minilla, Godzilla's son. After Godzilla defends his son in Ichiro's dreams, Ichiro is able to overcome his fears and confront the real Gabara.
- Of all the main antagonist kaiju introduced in the Showa series, Gabara and Megalon are the only ones to have never appeared in another film since the end of the Showa series, although each has been featured in at least one television program since their debut films (Go! Godman and Go! Greenman for Gabara, and Godzilla Island for Megalon).
- Gabara is the one of only two monsters in the Toho universe that exists only in dreams, the other being the Maneater; that is to say, they do not exist in the "real" world like Toho's other kaiju.
- Gabara is probably an imaginative take on the Oni, an ogre-like race in Japanese mythology. Confirmed kaiju that are Oni can often be seen in the Ultraman franchise, with characters like Oni-On, from episode 27 of Ultraman Leo, and Sakunaoni from episode 16 of Ultraman Tiga. In the Tokusatsu series Go! Godman, Gejiba is another example of a kaiju based on Oni produced by Toho.
- The Tsuburaya kaiju Yadokarin, Femigon, Doragory, and Kyasshi all use differently modified Gabara roars.
- Gabara might have inspired the Godzilla: The Series kaiju Crackler, as they are both monsters from dreams and their powers are mostly based on electricity.
- The head of Gabara's suit was created by modifying the head of a Godzilla suit.
- Gabara's been referenced outside of the movies and series' he's been present within.
- In a 1990s Monstervision commercial for Turner Network Television (TNT), which used Godzilla film footage with Blue Oyster Cult's related song in a music video-like fashion, Gabara is incorrectly referred to as "Baragon."
- In the Simpsons episode "30 minutes over Tokyo,' in the end Gamera, Rodan, Mothra and Godzilla are attacking the Simpsons and Gabara's laugh-like roar is heard.
List of appearances
- All Monsters Attack (First appearance)
- Godzilla, King of the Monsters
- Godzilla Movie Studio Tour
- Godzilla: Trading Battle
- Godzilla Generations
- Godzilla (2014 video game) (Kaiju Guide)
- Godzilla: Kaiju Collection