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The arrogance of man is thinking that nature is in our control. and not the other way around. Let them fight. „ 

— Serizawa to William Stenz

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Ishirō Serizawa (芹沢猪四郎,   Serizawa Ishirō?) was a scientist character created by Legendary Pictures that first appeared in the 2014 Godzilla graphic novel, Godzilla: Awakening, before making his first live-action appearance in the film, Godzilla. He returned in the 2019 sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Personality

Nature always has a way of balancing itself. The only question is, what part will we play? „ 

— Ishiro to Mark Russell

Dr. Serizawa is a somewhat stoic individual with a deep respect for the organisms he studies. He is very critical of the human race, particularly towards their attempts to dominate the planet and their scant regard for the rest of nature. His father taught him the value of mankind co-existing with nature and the harmony needed with nature at a young age.

Though he is secretive about his past, he loved and respected his father Eiji, so ever since he died, Ishirō keeps his father's broken pocket watch as a keepsake and reminder of humanity's hubris at Hiroshima. He believes Godzilla's existence is in the good of nature, as he appears to restore balance when it is disrupted.

After the events of 2014, Serizawa is a more respected figure in the world as governments look to him as the leading authority on the Titans. Being a reserved person, his interests include the works of the composer Wagner and poet Matsuo Bashō. Despite being considered royalty in the ranks of Monarch due to his father being one of the agency's founding fathers, Serizawa chooses not to carry a title as he doesn't believe in a higher order, only in an equal balance.

Relationships

Vivienne Graham

Serizawa and Vivienne Graham are two intellectuals who are the guiding force behind Monarch. After he recruited Graham into Monarch, Serizawa noticed her brilliance in paleo-forensics and fossil analysis. He also likes how she challenges him with her scientific focus.

Serizawa and Graham continued to work together when Monarch revealed itself to the world and when their colleague Emma Russell and her daughter Maddie were abducted by Alan Jonah. During the confrontation in Antarctica, Graham was devoured by Ghidorah, and Serizawa was utterly saddened by her death.

William Stenz

Understanding of Stenz's job and position in ensuring the safety of civilians during the MUTO crisis, Ishirō respects him enough to tell him about his father's pocket watch. Even though Stenz doesn't always listen to him on how to deal with the MUTOs, Serizawa sees the admiral as a reasonable man and the two share a mutual respect.

Godzilla

Serizawa possessed deep and profound respect for Godzilla, for he sees the Titan as God incarnate and the physical manifestation of nature’s power in restoring balance.

Serizawa was saddened to hear Godzilla‘s apparent death when the US military launched the Oxygen Destroyer and was relieved when he finds out that the Titan is still alive, albeit gravely wounded. When the launching mechanism of the USS Scorpion got damaged, Serizawa decided to sacrifice himself by activating the nuclear warhead to rejuvenate Godzilla. Before greeting his inevitable fate, Serizawa approached and placed his hand on Godzilla’s snout, tearfully bidding farewell to his “old friend”.

History

Godzilla: Awakening

Before the bombing of Hiroshima, Ishirō Serizawa was born in 1945 to Japanese sailor Eiji Serizawa and his wife. After the atomic bomb fell, Eiji found Ishirō alone in the ruins of Hiroshima and left him with his grandparents in Kyoto for the next several years. Ishirō went on to achieve a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Tokyo, and a Ph.D. in Elemental Biology from the University of Oxford.

In 1980, Ishirō visited his father in Tokyo when he called him urgently. Eiji began telling him things he said he would tell him when he was older: That he didn't work for a cargo company and in reality worked for a secretive government unit. Then Ishirō learned about Shinomura and Gojira. He attended his father's funeral the next year in 1981 and was approached by his father's old friend, Shaw. Knowing why Shaw's there, Serizawa said he's ready and joined Monarch on June 12.

Post-Awakening

In the late 1980s, Serizawa was introduced to Landsat employee Rick Stanton by colleague Dr. Houston Brooks, as whispers of the 1973 secret mission to Skull Island piqued Stanton's curiosity. Knowing a true believer when he sees one, Serizawa offered Stanton a job at Monarch shortly afterward and Stanton joined in 1989. In 1997, during a speaking engagement at Oxford University, Serizawa noticed paleobiology doctorate candidate Dr. Vivienne Graham. She joined Monarch two years later and Serizawa became her mentor. Impressed by her talent and passion, their dynamic evolved into a close partnership. In the same year, Serizawa and Dr. Graham are called to the Philippines to investigate a collapsed mine. There, they discover the skeleton of a long-dead member of Godzilla's species along with two giant spores, one of which has hatched.

In 2005, Monarch detected a sonic pulse wave signal originating from Boston similar to a previously recorded Titan song. Believing the signal to be the sign of a new Titan emerging, Serizawa, Dr. Graham, and a field team are dispatched to investigate. They follow the signal to a lab at MIT and find Drs. Mark and Emma Russell testing their prototype of the ORCA, a potentially revolutionary device that could change the face of interspecies communication. Two years later, as the couple continues to make breakthroughs with their research, they are both brought into Monarch.[2]

Godzilla

Nature has an order. A power to restore balance. I believe he is that power. „ 

— Ishirō to Ford Brody, about Godzilla

In the 15 years following the 1999 Janjira power plant incident, Serizawa, Graham, and a team of Monarch scientists study the male MUTO while it is cocooned and feeding on the plant's reactor. After the MUTO breaks free from its cocoon and destroys Monarch's research facility, Serizawa and Graham are taken aboard the USS Saratoga to help the U.S. military, under the command of Admiral William Stenz, hunt and destroy the MUTO.

After discovering that Godzilla has resurfaced, Serizawa believes that he has risen to kill the MUTO, which was his kind's natural enemy. Serizawa is proven correct when Godzilla swims underneath the Saratoga and confronts the MUTO in Honolulu. After both Godzilla and the MUTO leave Honolulu, Serizawa begins studying the MUTO's echolocation patterns more carefully. Serizawa concludes that the MUTO was communicating with a female --the dormant spore - which at this point was moved to a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. A team of soldiers is sent to the facility in Nevada and discovers that the female has hatched and is attacking Las Vegas.

When the military forms a plan to lure all three monsters offshore and try to kill them with a nuclear warhead, Serizawa protests, claiming that the bomb will have no effect on the monsters and that Godzilla is only there to kill the MUTOs and restore balance. Serizawa's pleas fall on deaf ears however and the military carries out the plan, which fails after the male MUTO steals the armed warhead and delivers it to the female at their nest in the center of San Francisco. After this, Admiral Stenz agrees to Dr. Serizawa's plan to withdraw military effort to destroy the MUTO and let Godzilla handle them. After Stenz refocused military efforts to extracting the bomb, Serizawa tells an extraction team that the MUTOs have likely laid eggs underground and are keeping the warhead there.

After the battle, Serizawa and Graham gather around the seemingly dead body of Godzilla in the ruins of San Francisco. When Godzilla stirs and returns to the ocean, Serizawa looks up in joy as the monster he has dedicated so many years of his life to studying returns to his home in peace.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Sometimes, the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons who created them. „ 

— Ishiro to Mark Russell

Five years after the reveal of the Titans to the world, Serizawa, Graham, and Monarch's technology director Dr. Sam Coleman are invited to Washington D.C. to speak to Congress about whether Monarch should fall under military jurisdiction. During the meeting, Serizawa and his colleagues were informed that Emma and her daughter Madison have been abducted by eco-terrorists led by fanatic ex-colonel Alan Jonah, and recruit Mark to help with the rescue mission.

When Godzilla comes too close to Monarch's Castle Bravo headquarters, Serizawa and Mark insist that G-Team leader Diane Foster doesn't attack. Shortly after, Godzilla swims towards Antarctica with Monarch following behind. It's here where the team witnesses Emma destroy Outpost 32 to awaken Ghidorah, who then has a brief battle with Godzilla and much to Serizawa’s horror, devoured Graham, before escaping.

The next morning, the Monarch team receives a video message from Emma on their emergency channel. She reveals that she's been working with Jonah all along and plans to awaken the Titans so humans can realize that they were never the dominant species, and save the world from the damage mankind has inflicted upon it. Serizawa scolds Emma for risking the lives of billions and trying to control something beyond humanity’s power, but Emma counters Serizawa's claim by telling him that if it were up to the government, the world will continue its path towards destruction unless the Titans are freed. Emma moves forward with her plan by choosing to awaken Rodan from Outpost 56 on Isla de Mara in Mexico. Serizawa and his team send the G-Team to the island to begin evacuations before Rodan awakens and decimates the village. Then the team realizes that Ghidorah is heading for the island. The USS Argo lures Rodan and Ghidorah together so they will fight each other. The plan is a success but Ghidorah quickly overpowers Rodan and sets his sights on the Argo. Just before Ghidorah can reach it, Godzilla leaps out of the ocean and attempts to subdue Ghidorah, biting off one of his heads in the process. Then the military intervenes by deploying the Oxygen Destroyer to kill the Titans. Godzilla is seemingly killed in the blast but Ghidorah survives the attack. Serizawa can only sit distraught at the results.

Ghidorah then regrows his severed head and unleashes a roar that awakens the remaining Titans, commanding them to attack humanity. Not long after, Monarch discovers that Ghidorah is an alien invader who desires to terraform Earth into a suitable habitat by commanding the other Titans. Serizawa concludes that no other creature can fight back since the rivalry between Godzilla and Ghidorah was ancient and unique. As everyone is uncertain of what to do, Mothra appears before Castle Bravo, revealing that Godzilla is still alive yet very weak.

Serizawa, Mark, Stanton, and Dr. Ilene Chen decide to revive Godzilla by traveling into the Hollow Earth via the USS Scorpion and detonate a nuclear warhead in his lair. However, the launching mechanism was damaged during the submarine’s crash and the only way to activate the warhead is by hand. Despite the danger of heat and radiation, Serizawa volunteers to detonate the warhead, believing that it's his purpose to revive Godzilla. He passes on his notes and research to Mark before bidding farewell to his colleagues. After braving the volcanic environment, Serizawa activates the warhead on a timer of one minute and approaches the weakened Godzilla. Serizawa places his hand on Godzilla's snout and says goodbye to his old friend before the warhead explodes.

Trivia

Serizawa and Graham GRoE

Serizawa and Graham in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth #18

  • In issue #18 of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, a character bearing a striking resemblance to Ishirō Serizawa can be seen running from Godzilla and Ebirah, along with a character who closely resembles Vivienne Graham.

List of appearances

Films

Comics

Novels

References

  1. Keyes, Greg. Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. p. 99. ISBN: 9781789090925.
  2. Operatives: Dr. Ishirō Serizawa - Monarch Sciences. Retrieved May 7, 2019
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