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Let us call this creature... Godzilla, according to the legend of Odo Island. „ 

Kyohei Yamane (Godzilla, King of the Monsters!)

Overview

The 1954 Godzilla (ゴジラ,   Gojira?) is a daikaiju created by Toho that makes its first appearance within the 1954 Godzilla film, Godzilla.

This Godzilla was later succeeded by a second Godzilla during the events of the 1955 film, Godzilla Raids Again and the rest of the Showa series.

This incarnation of Godzilla was also referenced in, and appeared within the Millennium series of Godzilla films.

Name

The name "Godzilla" is a transliteration of Gojira (ゴジラ?), a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ?), meaning gorilla, and kujira (鯨 or クジラ), meaning whale. At one planning stage, the concept of "Gojira" was described as "a cross between a gorilla and a whale." The two words "whale" and "gorilla" describe Godzilla's traditional characteristics.

Since Godzilla is neither a gorilla nor a whale, the name had to be devised in a different way for the original film's story. Godzilla's name was originally spelled in kanji as 呉爾羅 by the Odo Island natives. However, Toho chose these characters for sound only, as the combined characters mean "give you net."

Before Toho sold the film to U.S. distributors, Toho's international division had originally marketed an English-subtitled print under the title of Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, which was shown briefly in Japanese-American theaters. Toho came up with "Godzilla" as an English transliteration of the name "Gojira"."

Design

Appearance

ShodaiGoji

The ShodaiGoji design is the designation for the 1954 kaiju's design. This suit featured a heavy lower body, small arms and a large, round head. The face had pronounced brows while the eyes were completely round with tiny pupils, a feature unique to this costume.

For close-up shots, a hand-held puppet and the prototype suit were used. As a result, when the camera focuses on Godzilla's head in such close-ups, such as when he is firing his atomic breath, Godzilla appears to have larger, more glossy-looking eyes.

The suit also included several features particular to itself and to the 1955 incarnation, the GyakushuGoji: fangs, four toes, a rough underside for the tail and pointed tail tip, and staggered rows of dorsal plates. These features would reappear with the Heisei and Millennium series of Godzilla films from 1984 to 1999. The dorsal plates for both the ShodaiGoji and the GyakushuGoji were dynamic in design and unique to the two costumes. During filming, a separate pair of Godzilla legs were used for close-up shots of Godzilla's feet.

The ShodaiGoji was recreated through computer generated imagery and a large puppet for new flashback scenes in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla in 2002, namely where the original Godzilla is shown being reduced to a skeleton by the Oxygen Destroyer rather than completely disintegrated as in the original film.

Portrayal

The ShodaiGoji suit was the first of its kind - being fully operated by a man inside of it. As there were no established procedures on how to build or operate a suit like the original Godzilla suit, Godzilla special effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya and the production staff had to pioneer a new technique that would later be known as suitmation.[1] The ShodaiGoji suit and the original pre-ShodaiGoji suit were built by Eizo Kaimai.

The ShodaiGoji was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima, who would go to portray Godzilla in almost every subsequent film up to Godzilla vs. Gigan. Nakajima has said that he made Godzilla walk like an elephant from observations he made by watching an Indian elephant called "Indira" back around the time of Godzilla's production,[2] so that Godzilla would not look vulnerable and to portray his massiveness.[3] According to Nakajima, temperatures inside the suit reached up to 60 degrees Celsius, and he couldn't move Godzilla's left hand whatsoever in the ShodaiGoji suit.

Roar

Godzilla's roar is a famous sound effect. Over the years, it has changed considerably, sounding different almost every time and having many variations for the different emotions.

The sound effects team originally tried to create Godzilla's roar by using animal roars that had been edited. They sampled all kinds of birds and mammals, but nothing seemed to be the right match for the reptile-like noises a monster like Godzilla would make. Akira Ifukube, who was the film's composer, proposed stepping away from using animal samples. He then took a string off of his contrabass and rubbed it with gloves soaked in pine tar. The sound that came from it was used as Godzilla's roar.

This roar would later be altered for use as the roar of other monsters in the Showa era, including Varan, Baragon and Gorosaurus. Godzilla's roar was increased in pitch starting in King Kong vs. Godzilla, and would remain mostly unchanged for the rest of the Showa series.

Personality

Godzilla, in the original Godzilla film, is a creature whose underwater habitat was completely destroyed by a hydrogen bomb test which killed his entire family and left him burned and scarred, ultimately mutating him. Enraged and driven from his home, Godzilla took out his rage upon humanity, destroying any boats that he encountered and later laying waste to the city of Tokyo, sparing no one.[4]

Origins

In the original 1954 Godzilla film, it is proposed that Godzilla was a type of prehistoric intermediary reptile related to both land and sea reptiles that slept deep underwater for millions of years feeding on deep sea organisms before being disturbed and enhanced by an American hydrogen bomb test. Dr.Yamane proposes that the original Godzilla might have been living among others of his kind prior to the detonation, but the H-bomb completely destroyed his home and drew him out.

This idea is supported by official artwork of the 1954 Godzilla living with other Godzilla's underwater before a huge explosion destroys his habitat, killing his companions and burning and enraging Godzilla and drawing him out to the surface.

History

Showa era

Godzilla

Godzilla in Godzilla

Following an American hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean, a giant prehistoric reptile was disturbed from its underwater slumber and heavily irradiated. The monster began attacking various ships in the waters off Japan, prompting a search party to be sent to Odo Island, where some of the survivors had washed ashore. The islanders believed the shipwrecks were caused by Godzilla, a giant sea monster from their folklore which they believed would come ashore to feed on humanity. One night, a typhoon struck the island, leaving it devastated. However, it was apparent most of the damage was caused by something other than a typhoon, as houses in the village appeared to have been crushed from above. A research team headed by Kyohei Yamane was sent to the island, and discovered a giant radioactive footprint on the island, with a Trilobite embedded in it. Suddenly, the monster that was responsible for the shipwrecks and the damage on the island appeared over a hill on the island. The people fled, realizing the creature was 50 meters in height.

Back in Japan, Yamane named the creature "Godzilla" after the monster from Odo Island folklore, and proposed it was a transitional organism from the Jurassic Period, related to both land-living dinosaurs and sea-dwelling reptiles. Yamane believed that Godzilla was exposed to a recent American H-bomb test, hence the radiation found in his footprint, and stressed the monster should be studied to see how he survived to this point. The J.S.D.F. sent battleships to destroy Godzilla with depth charges, declaring him dead. However, Godzilla soon surfaced in Tokyo Bay completely unharmed, plunging Japan and the international community into a state of emergency. One night, Godzilla came ashore in Tokyo, destroying the outskirts of the city before returning to the bay. In response, the J.S.D.F. erected a barrier of power lines around the heart of Tokyo, with 300,000 volts of electricity passing through them, in the hopes they would halt Godzilla. When Godzilla came ashore again one night, he tore through the power lines and melted them with a beam of radioactive heat fired from his mouth. The J.S.D.F. fired on Godzilla with artillery, but their weapons had no effect. Godzilla proceeded into downtown Tokyo, transforming the Japanese capital into a sea of flame overnight. With his rampage concluded, Godzilla returned to the bay, where he was attacked by F86F Sabre fighter jets before finally disappearing beneath the waves.

In the aftermath of Godzilla's raid, Tokyo was an uninhabitable wasteland, burned to a crater and contaminated with deadly radiation. The Japanese government was at a loss in combating the monster and preventing future attacks. Scientist Daisuke Serizawa was approached by his former fiance Emiko Yamane and her boyfriend Hideo Ogata, who asked for him to use his experimental chemical weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, against Godzilla. Serizawa was horrified by the idea of revealing his invention to the world and refused at first, but was convinced after watching a television program showing Japanese schoolchildren singing a song praying for peace. Serizawa burned his notes on the Oxygen Destroyer and handed it over to the J.S.D.F.

A boat was sent to Tokyo Bay, using a Geiger counter to locate Godzilla underwater. Serizawa and Ogata donned diving suits to go underwater and detonate the device. Once they reached Godzilla, who was asleep on the ocean floor, Ogata was pulled to the surface while Serizawa severed his line and activated the device, sacrificing his own life to stop Godzilla and prevent his weapon from ever falling into the wrong hands. After a few moments, Godzilla rose to the surface and roared defiantly at the boat before sinking under the waves to his death. While the people on the boat both celebrated Godzilla's demise and mourned Serizawa's sacrifice, Dr. Yamane solemnly warned that it was unlikely Godzilla was the last member of his species, and that if mankind continued nuclear testing, another Godzilla would almost certainly appear.

Godzilla Raids Again

Following Godzilla's death, footage of the monster's attack would be revealed during a discussion on how to stop the newly risen Godzilla.

Heisei era

The Return of Godzilla

When interviewing Hiroshi Okumura about the giant monster that supposedly attacked the fishing boat he was on, Doctor Hayashida showed him photographs taken of the original Godzilla's attack in 1954. After viewing the photographs, Okumura confirmed that the creature he saw was Godzilla.

Millennium series

Although the 1954 Godzilla died in the original Godzilla film of the Showa era, its fate would later be rewritten in the Millennium series of films.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

In 1954, Godzilla was awakened by nuclear testing, and immediately vented his rage against Tokyo, annihilating the entire city in one night. After leaving Tokyo in ruins, Godzilla slipped into Tokyo Bay and vanished. The damage was so great that the Japanese government was forced to move its capital to Osaka. Over the next decade, Japan began rebuilding and recovering from Godzilla's attack, embracing nuclear power in the process. However, in 1966, Godzilla returned to feed on the nuclear plant in Tokai, leading Japan to realize that the monster was attracted to nuclear power. Japan's nuclear program was shelved, but the nation struggled to find alternate energy sources over the next several decades. A breakthrough was made in the 1990's in the form of plasma energy, a renewable, efficient and non-nuclear energy source that had the potential to power Japan well into the future. However, Godzilla would choose to feed on this plasma energy in the absence of nuclear energy, and attacked a plasma reactor in Osaka in 1996.

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Godzilla in Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

In 1954, Japan suffered an attack from Godzilla. The monster laid waste to Tokyo, transforming the once-proud capital of Japan into ground zero of a nuclear disaster overnight. Godzilla was finally killed with an experimental chemical weapon, while the weapon's inventor took his own life to ensure it could never be used again. In order to avoid facing ridicule for failing to stop Godzilla and ensure the citizens of Japan they were safe from future attacks, the JSDF claimed credit for killing Godzilla. Over the next several decades, humanity gradually began to forget about Godzilla, with many assuming the creature never existed and was simply a legend. However, a second Godzilla emerged to seek horrible vengeance against Japan in 2002.

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

The original Godzilla in a flashback in Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla

In 1954, Godzilla appeared and laid waste to Tokyo before being killed by Daisuke Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer. In the decades that followed, Japan was frequently attacked by giant monsters, including Mothra and Gaira. The Anti-Megalosaurus Force (AMF) was formed to combat these creatures, armed with advanced space-age weapons known as Maser Cannons. In 1999, a second Godzilla suddenly came ashore at Tateyama during a typhoon. The AMF was deployed, with their new Type 90 Maser Cannons, to stop Godzilla's rampage. To the AMF's shock, Maser Cannons had no effect on Godzilla, and only served to further enrage him. Godzilla destroyed most of the Maser Cannons attacking him and roared victoriously into the air, with lightning striking his dorsal fins. In the aftermath of the attack, the Japanese government was scrambling to find a new way to fight Godzilla. When the first Godzilla's intact skeleton was discovered off Boso Peninsula, it was decided to use it to construct a mechanical Godzilla to fight the new one. By 2003, the anti-Godzilla weapon built around the first Godzilla's skeleton, codenamed Kiryu, was completed. However, the original Godzilla's restless spirit remained attached to the skeleton, and during Kiryu's first battle against the new Godzilla, it was reawakened upon hearing his roar. Kiryu then went berserk, believing itself to be Godzilla once again, and destroyed much of the surrounding area before powering down. Kiryu was repaired and reprogrammed afterward to prevent it from going berserk again, and was launched into battle against Godzilla once more. This time, Kiryu and Godzilla fought to a draw, with an injured Godzilla wading out to sea and Kiryu being left badly damaged.

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

Just one year after Godzilla and Kiryu's epic battle, Mothra's Shobijin appeared to Shinichi Chujo and warned him that the first Godzilla's bones must be returned to their resting place in the sea, and that it was blasphemous to use them as a weapon. The Shobijin stated that Mothra would have to declare war on humanity if the bones were not returned, and that she did not want to do that. Chujo spoke to the Japanese Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi, who stated that too many resources had been sunk into the Kiryu project for it to be scrapped now. He expressed his hope that Kiryu would one day kill the current Godzilla, after which the project could finally be scrapped. Meanwhile, Kiryu's former operator Akane Yashiro told one of the mecha's mechanics that she could sense that Kiryu no longer wanted to fight Godzilla. When Godzilla and Mothra both appeared in Tokyo, Kiryu was launched into battle once again. After Godzilla was subdued by the combined efforts of Kiryu and Mothra's larvae, Kiryu was ordered to finish Godzilla once and for all. However, the original Godzilla's spirit was awakened yet again and took control of Kiryu. Rather than kill Godzilla, Kiryu simply restrained him and flew out to sea, sinking itself along with Godzilla in the Japanese trench. As Kiryu sank into the trench, the first Godzilla's spirit was finally put at rest and Kiryu deactivated.

Abilities

Amphibious lifestyle

Though technically a reptile and not an amphibian, Godzilla has an amphibious lifestyle. He spends half of his life in water and the other on land. He is as adept a fighter underwater as he is on land. Capable of marching on the seafloor or swimming by undulating his tail like a crocodile, Godzilla is displayed as being able to breathe underwater, or occasionally hibernating in the ocean depths between movies.

Atomic breath

Godzilla's atomic breath, called the Incandescent Light (白熱光,   Hakunekkō?) or Radioactivity Extrusion (放射能噴出,   Hōshanō Funshutsu?)[5] has typically been shown to set entire city blocks ablaze and easily obliterate most military weaponry. Within the events of the 1954 film, his atomic breath was presented as a white, mist-like blast.

Durability

Starting in the first Godzilla film, Godzilla displayed an immunity to conventional weaponry, virtually impervious to everything the JSDF threw at him. Dr. Yamane states that the very fact Godzilla survived exposure to a hydrogen bomb explosion is a testament to his durability.

Bite

Very similarly to a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Godzilla has very short arms and large teeth and jaws. Godzilla has been shown to use his jaws, teeth and fangs to bite down on buildings.

Tail

While not as flexible as the second Showa Godzilla's tail, the original Godzilla's tail has still been shown to be able to destroy buildings in one strike.

Anti-Godzilla weaponry

Due to Godzilla's size, super-strength and regenerative abilities, he is invulnerable to most forms of conventional attack. During the 1954 film, a powerful weapon is revealed and used upon Godzilla to finally kill him and end his reign of terror.

Oxygen Destroyer

The Oxygen Destroyer was a weapon that contained a chemical compound designed to remove all oxygen from water when put into contact with it, causing living creatures to die of asphyxiation as their remains are liquefied by the now-highly corrosive surrounding water. The Oxygen Destroyer was the first, and in many ways only, weapon to defeat Godzilla, completely disintegrating him in the original film.

Video games


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Monster Strike

The 1954 Godzilla appeared within the mobile title Monster Strike as a playable character.

Godzilla: Unleashed

The original king of the monsters, this towering behemoth was the first post-war radioactive monster unleashed upon the world. Godzilla '54's atomic-powered body was so powerful that each footprint he left was a crater seeping with lethal radiation.

The infamous day that Godzilla rose from the sea to conquer Tokyo will be remembered as the beginning of the humanity's epic struggle against the reign of giant monsters.
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— Godzilla Godzilla: Unleashed bio

In the Wii version of Godzilla: Unleashed, all three Godzilla incarnations are playable, each with a few differences between them, but all are fairly alike. Godzilla is simple to control, and with many different fearsome attacks, he is able to easily floor multiple monsters at once. Although his combat ability might be lacking in some regards, he still retains the deadly atomic breath ray which is an easy attack to execute and deals a lot of damage.

In the Wii version of the game, Godzilla 2000 is the only incarnation that can be played in story mode. Godzilla 1954 and Godzilla 1990's are only playable in Brawl mode, although Godzilla 1990's is playable in story mode in the PlayStation 2 version of the game.

Godzilla (2014 video game)

Godzilla originated as the relic species of an organism whose evolution from an oceanic reptile into a land animal was interrupted by thermonuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean, the effects of which caused it to turn into a monster. Its name is derived from the legendary "Gojira" beast of Odo Island. It has the ability to shoot a shining, bluish-white radioactive heat ray from its mouth that decimates all in its path while causing its dorsal plates to glow.

The first Godzilla came ashore in Tokyo and wreaked havoc in the metropolitan area as though to send a warning to the human race, which had become complacent in modern civilization. It was eventually brought down by the "Oxygen Destroyer", an underwater oxygen disrupting agent developed by Dr. Serizawa.

Later, one of the same species was identified on Iwado Island in the north and ran rampant in Japan again. However, the second Godzilla became an ally to mankind, protecting it when the space monster King Ghidorah invaded Earth.

Although it was somewhat hastily planned and produced, "Godzilla" became an explosive hit that broke through Japan's borders to an eventual release in America and Europe, where it was heralded as a fresh new take on the monster movie. The entire Showa series of 15 movies would go on to enjoy lasting popularity.
„ 

— Godzilla 1954's Kaiju Guide bio

The 1954 Godzilla receives a mention within the game's kaiju guide, but isn't a playable monster within the game itself. The segments of the game taking place in 1954-era Japan replace the original Godzilla's aesthetic with that of the Heisei Godzilla.

Godzilla: Kaiju Collection

The 1954 Godzilla made an appearance within the Kaiju Collection mobile title.

Trivia

  • This is the only known Godzilla to have been brown since all future incarnations of the Godzilla and its suits were charcoal black, and much later, green.
  • The ShodaiGoji suit was 6.5 feet tall and weighed 200 pounds.
  • In the 2002 film Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, the ShodaiGoji design is replicated in part through CGI. Shinichi Wakasa's Monsters, Inc. also created a prop for some of the new footage of the original Godzilla.[6]
  • The ShodaiGoji heavily influenced later Godzilla designs, most noticeably the 84Goji, SokogekiGoji, the 2016 design utilized in Shin Godzilla, and the updated MonsterVerse Godzilla utilised in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
  • In the film Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, the ShodaiGoji design was digitally replaced by the MireGoji in stock footage from the original film.
  • This Godzilla, the Heisei Godzilla and Godzilla Filius are the only Godzillas that are confirmed to be deceased.

List of appearances

Films

Showa era

Millennium series

Video games

Novels

References

This is a list of references for Godzilla (1954). 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. Godziszewski, Ed (December 24, 2010). Making of the Godzilla Suit! Youtube. Retrieved May 12, 2017
  2. Nakano, Kenji (September 27, 2014). Learning to stomp: The man inside Godzilla Tokyo Reporter. Retrieved May 12, 2017
  3. Hongo, Jun (October 30, 2014). Godzilla Was Very Different 60 Years Ago The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2017
  4. 10689853 398606200295214 8421095972625706709 n.jpg
  5. 東宝特撮映画大全集 2012, "怪獣図鑑"
  6. Brett (August 12, 2011). Stopping by Monsters, Inc. Blogspot. Retrieved May 12, 2017
Film-based kaiju
Godzilla kaiju
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