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.
Mothra appeared in the Simpson's episode "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", May 16, 1999.
Shōwa era (1954–1975)
Heisei era (1984–1995)
|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 Ghidorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah, The Dorats, Godzillasaurus|
|19||Godzilla vs. Mothra (Movie)||1992||Takao Okawara||Mothra, Battra|
|20||Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Movie)||1993||Takao Okawara||Mechagodzilla, Super Mechagodzilla, Rodan, Fire Rodan, Baby Godzilla|
|21||Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (Movie)||1994||Kensho Yamashita||SpaceGodzilla, Moguera, Fairy Mothra, Little Godzilla|
|22||Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Movie)||1995||Takao Okawara||Destoroyah, Godzilla Junior|
Millennium era (1999–2004)
|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), Mothra, Kamoebas|
|28||Godzilla: Final Wars (Movie)||2004||Ryuhei Kitamura||Monster X a.k.a. Keizer Ghidorah, Zilla, Rodan, Mothra, Gigan, King Caesar, Anguirus, Minilla, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Manda, Hedorah, Ebirah|
Reiwa era (2016–present)
|29||Shin Godzilla (Movie)||2016||Hideaki Anno||(none)|
|30||Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (Movie)||2017||Kōbun Shizuno||Servum, Dogora, Dagahra, Orga, Kamacuras, Anguirus, Rodan, Mechagodzilla|
|31||Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (Movie)||2018||Kōbun Shizuno||Mechagodzilla City, Servum, Vulture|
|32||Godzilla: The Planet Eater (Movie)||2018||Kōbun Shizuno||King Ghidorah, Mothra, Servum|
|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 Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan, King Kong (archival footage), female MUTO, Behemoth, Methuselah, Titanus Scylla|
|4||Godzilla vs. Kong (Movie)||2020||Adam Wingard||King Kong|