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The Original Godzilla

Godzilla (Japanese: ゴジラ, Hepburn: Gōjira) (/ɡɒdˈzɪlə/; [ɡoꜜdʑiɾa] is a fictional monster, or kaiju, originating from a series of Japanese films of the same name. The character first appeared in Ishirō Honda's 1954 film Godzilla and became a worldwide pop culture icon, appearing in various media, including 32 films produced by Toho, four Hollywood films and numerous video games, novels, comic books and television shows. Godzilla has been dubbed the King of the Monsters, a phrase first used in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! , the Americanized version of the original film.

Godzilla is depicted as an enormous, destructive, prehistoric sea monster awakened and empowered by nuclear radiation. With the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Lucky Dragon 5 incident still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a metaphor for nuclear weapons. As the film series expanded, some stories took on less serious undertones, portraying Godzilla as an antihero, or a lesser threat who defends humanity. With the end of the Cold War, several post-1984 Godzilla films shifted the character's portrayal to themes including Japan's forgetfulness over its imperial past, natural disasters and the human condition.

Godzilla has been featured alongside many supporting characters. It has faced human opponents such as the JSDF, or other monsters, including King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla and Gigan. Godzilla sometimes has allies, such as Rodan, Mothra and Anguirus, and offspring, such as Minilla and Godzilla Junior. Godzilla has also fought characters from other franchises in crossover media, such as the RKO Pictures/Universal Studios movie monster King Kong, as well as various Marvel Comics characters, including S.H.I.E.L.D., the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.

Godzilla is considered "the original radioactive superhero" due to his accidental radioactive origin story predating Spider-Man (1962 debut), though Godzilla did not become a hero until Ghidorah in 1964. By the 1970s, Godzilla came to be viewed as a superhero, with the magazine King of the Monsters in 1977 describing Godzilla as "Superhero of the '70s." Godzilla had surpassed Superman and Batman to become "the most universally popular superhero of 1977" according to Donald F. Glut. Godzilla was also voted the most popular movie monster in The Monster Times poll in 1973, beating Count Dracula, King Kong, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Frankenstein Monster.

Note: Tokusatsu (Japanese: 特撮, "special filming") is a Japanese term for live action film or television drama that makes heavy use of special effects.

Cameo Appearances[edit]

Mothra appeared in the Simpson's episode "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", May 16, 1999.

Shōwa era (1954–1975)[edit]

# Title Year Director(s) Monster co-star(s)
# Title Year Director(s) Monster co-star(s)
1 Godzilla (Movie) 1954 Ishirō Honda (none)
2 Godzilla Raids Again (Movie) 1955 Motoyoshi Oda Anguirus
3 King Kong vs. Godzilla (Movie) 1962 Ishirō Honda King Kong, The Oodako
4 Mothra vs. Godzilla (Movie) 1964 Ishirō Honda Mothra
5 Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (Movie) 1964 Ishirō Honda King GhidorahRodan, Mothra
6 Invasion of Astro-Monster (Movie) 1965 Ishirō Honda King Ghidorah, Rodan
7 Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (Movie) 1966 Jun Fukuda Ebirah, Mothra, The Ookondoru
8 Son of Godzilla (Movie) 1967 Jun Fukuda MinillaKumongaKamacuras
9 Destroy All Monsters (Movie) 1968 Ishirō Honda King Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus, Minilla, KumongaMandaGorosaurusBaragonVaran
10 All Monsters Attack (Movie) 1969 Ishirō Honda Gabara, Minilla
11 Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Movie) 1971 Yoshimitsu Banno Hedorah
12 Godzilla vs. Gigan (Movie) 1972 Jun Fukuda Gigan, King Ghidorah, Anguirus
13 Godzilla vs. Megalon (Movie) 1973 Jun Fukuda MegalonJet Jaguar, Gigan, Anguirus, Rodan
14 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (Movie) 1974 Jun Fukuda MechagodzillaKing Caesar, Anguirus
15 Terror of Mechagodzilla (Movie) 1975 Ishirō Honda Mechagodzilla 2Titanosaurus

Heisei era (1984–1995)[edit]

# Title Year Director(s) Monster co-star(s)
16 The Return of Godzilla (Movie) 1984 Koji Hashimoto Giant Sea Lice
17 Godzilla vs. Biollante (Movie) 1989 Kazuki Ōmori Biollante
18 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (Movie) 1991 Kazuki Ōmori King GhidorahMecha-King Ghidorah, The DoratsGodzillasaurus
19 Godzilla vs. Mothra (Movie) 1992 Takao Okawara MothraBattra
20 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Movie) 1993 Takao Okawara MechagodzillaSuper Mechagodzilla, RodanFire RodanBaby Godzilla
21 Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (Movie) 1994 Kensho Yamashita SpaceGodzillaMogueraFairy MothraLittle Godzilla
22 Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Movie) 1995 Takao Okawara DestoroyahGodzilla Junior

Millennium era (1999–2004)[edit]

# Title Year Director(s) Monster co-star(s)
23 Godzilla 2000: Millennium (Movie) 1999 Takao Okawara Orga, The Millennian
24 Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (Movie) 2000 Masaaki Tezuka Megaguirus, The Meganulons, The Meganulas
25 Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (Movie) 2001 Shusuke Kaneko King Ghidorah, Mothra, Baragon
26 Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (Movie) 2002 Masaaki Tezuka Mechagodzilla (Kiryu)
27 Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (Movie) 2003 Masaaki Tezuka Mechagodzilla (Kiryu), MothraKamoebas
28 Godzilla: Final Wars (Movie) 2004 Ryuhei Kitamura Monster X a.k.a. Keizer GhidorahZilla, Rodan, Mothra, Gigan, King Caesar, Anguirus, Minilla, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Manda, Hedorah, Ebirah

Reiwa era (2016–present)[edit]

# Title Year Director(s) Monster co-star(s)
29 Shin Godzilla (Movie) 2016 Hideaki Anno (none)
30 Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (Movie) 2017 Kōbun Shizuno ServumDogoraDagahra, Orga, Kamacuras, Anguirus, RodanMechagodzilla
31 Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (Movie) 2018 Kōbun Shizuno Mechagodzilla City, ServumVulture
32 Godzilla: The Planet Eater (Movie) 2018 Kōbun Shizuno King Ghidorah, Mothra, Servum

Hollywood productions[edit]

# Title Year Director(s) Monster co-star(s)
1 Godzilla US 1998 (Movie) 1998 Roland Emmerich Baby Godzilla
2 Godzilla US 2014 (Movie) 2014 Gareth Edwards MUTO (male and female)
3 Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Movie) 2019 Michael Dougherty King GhidorahMothraRodanKing Kong (archival footage), female MUTO, Behemoth, Methuselah, Titanus Scylla
4 Godzilla vs. Kong (Movie) 2020 Adam Wingard King Kong

Best Links[edit]