Anguirus

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Godzilla film series character
Anguirus
Anguirus from a Godzilla Raids Again poster
Alias Angilas
First appearance Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
Latest appearance Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
Created By Motoyoshi Oda
Portrayed By Shōwa Series
Katsumi Tezuka
Hiroshi Sekita
Koetsu Omiya
Tadaaki Watanabe
Kin'ichi Kusumi
Millennium Series
Toshihiro Ogura

Anguirus (アンギラス Angirasu?) is the second Kaiju (Japanese giant monster) to appear in the Toho franchise. Anguirus appeared only a year after Godzilla in the 1955 Toho film Godzilla Raids Again. Though being the first monster Godzilla ever fought, he has allied himself with the King of Monsters on several instances against more dangerous threats, eventually becoming his most trusted ally.

Appearance[edit]

Anguirus is a quadrupedal giant or irradiated dinosaur that resembles an Ankylosaurus, but much larger.[1] His head resemble that of a Ceratosaurus and Styracosaurus. He has several horns on the top of his head and a single horn above his nose. His face is long and drawn out, like a crocodile and has rows of long, jagged teeth. His carapace is studded with long, sharp spikes. Anguirus' tail is covered with spikes (he also had a tail "club" in Godzilla: Final Wars). His tail makes up most of his body length. His hind limbs are longer than his forelimbs, and he can stand up on them to his full height, though he generally walks upon all fours. Anguirus has not one but five brains, one in his head which controls all of his organs, and one above each one of his limbs; each brain most likely controls the limb they are above. This gives Anguirus an advantage in battle, for he can react much quicker than most Kaiju. Anguirus first appears in the Showa continuity as brown with yellowish spines, these colors are later changed in the Millennium series to light gray, with orange spikes and horns.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Anguirus is armed with sharp teeth, claws, horns, spiky tail, and a spiky carapace. Although an aggressively tenacious fighter, Anguirus lacks ranged capability compared to some of Godzilla's other allies and opponents. Nevertheless, regardless of how much stronger his opponent might be, Anguirus never retreats from a fight without first taking substantial punishment. Also in most of the Godzilla video games Anguirus fires a sonic roar from his mouth, although he is never seen doing this in any of the Godzilla movies.

In his first appearance in Godzilla Raids Again, it is explained that Anguirus' is capable of moving incredibly fast in spite of his bulk due to his brain extending into his chest and abdominal areas, allowing him to react more quickly. He is able to lunge at his opponents with massive leaps and is also capable of burrowing substantial distances. Two of his more impressive attacks involve jumping backward to impale his opponents on his spiked carapace in Godzilla vs. Gigan and his vise-like bite; the most famous example of the latter being when he faced King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters where he latched onto one of King Ghidorah's necks, his grip holding firm even as his opponent took flight.

In Godzilla: Final Wars, Anguirus was redesigned with the ability to curl himself into a ball and propel himself forward with tremendous speed. The Final Wars version also possessed a spiked tail club like a real Ankylosaurus, though he was not witnessed using it in combat.

Origins[edit]

Showa series[edit]

According to the English subtitles of the 1955 Japanese language film Godzilla Raids Again, Anguirus (spelled "Angilas" in that film) was properly called an "angilosaurus," (which in Japanese is pronounced roughly the same as "ankylosaurus"), a dinosaur described as "one of the stronger dinosaurs that lived in the prehistoric era." It's described in a textbook by Polish world animal specialist Plateli Hondon as "one of the few creatures that had a thorough hatred for war-like predators," which explains Anguirus' eagerness to fight Godzilla. The dinosaur angilosaurus lived (according to the film) from 150-70 million years ago, and its remains were affected by the same hydrogen bombs that awoke Godzilla. In the English-dubbed version of Godzilla Raids Again, the name of the dinosaur is pronounced ""ANG-will-o-Saw-rus," and given the sub-moniker "Killer of the Living." They ruled the Earth at one time, according to the film, then disappeared suddenly. From an unnamed textbook in the movie (the same book that in the Japanese language version was written by Hondon), a scientist reads that these creatures (the angilasaurs) may return from hibernation due to radioactive fallout. Anguiras is said to have "brains in several parts of his body, including the head, abdomen, and the chest."

Anguirus was the first enemy that Godzilla ever faced. Godzilla and Anguirus battled in Osaka, and after a fierce struggle Godzilla won with a bite to the neck and incinerated Anguirus' body with his atomic breath.

Anguirus clings tenaciously to King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters

Anguirus was re-introduced (presumably as a different creature than the one in Godzilla Raids Again in a brand-new costume) in the 1968 film Destroy All Monsters as an ally of Godzilla living with him on Monsterland, a man made habitat for all of Earth's monsters in the Ogasawara Islands created at the end of the 20th century. This costume was re-used throughout the remainder of the Showa series, and Anguirus continued in his capacity as Godzilla's ally. He helped Godzilla repel the space monsters, Gigan and King Ghidorah, in 1972's Godzilla vs. Gigan. He and Godzilla then returned to Monster Island (presumably the same island featured in Son of Godzilla), which was later disturbed by nuclear bomb tests in 1973's Godzilla vs. Megalon. Rodan, perched on a mountain above, toppled down on top of Anguirus, who disappeared when he fell through the ground in a massive split in the earth.

Anguirus tunneled his way to a snowy region, where he witnessed Mechagodzilla's first emergence in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. He followed Mechagodzilla underground to Japan where he revealed himself to call upon the real Godzilla, and engage Mechagodzilla in battle. However, Mechagodzilla was too powerful for Anguirus, and severely injured him, breaking his jaw in a bloody display. Anguirus was forced to retreat underground, although he managed to tip off humanity that his opponent was not the true Godzilla.

Millennium series[edit]

After a 30 year absence, Anguirus made a return in the 2004 film, Godzilla: Final Wars as a controlled monster of the Xiliens. He appears in Shanghai, and tramples everything in his path, then engaged the flying UN battleship, Karyu. The Xiliens appeared suddenly and teleported Anguirus and the other monsters away. They told the humans that they eliminated the monsters to save Earth, but this was soon discovered to be a ruse, the Xiliens were controlling the monsters. In Shanghai, the Xiliens use their fighter ships to attack the Karyu. While the Karyu was distracted, Anguirus jumped and curled himself into a ball, crashing into the ship at its midpoint. Karyu went spinning in the air before colliding into the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Anguirus, King Caesar, and Rodan are pitted against Godzilla at Mt. Fuji. He successfully defeats all three monsters. King Caesar, Anguirus and Rodan are then left in a heap at the base of the mountain. Godzilla did not kill his fallen foes as a nod to their status as allies of Godzilla during the Showa era. This is in contrast to the remaining majority of the monsters seen in the film, all of whom, aside from Zilla, were enemies of Godzilla during the Showa era, and were slain either by Godzilla, the Gotengo, or the mutants who were part of an anti-monster task force near the beginning of the film.

Film appearances[edit]

Behind the scenes[edit]

During the existence of the character there have been three official Anguirus suits. The first and second were constructed under the supervision of Eiji Tsuburaya. After the release of Godzilla Raids Again Toho was looking to release the movie to western audiences but was having trouble finding a distributor. AB-PT pictures, an American distribution company was producing their own movie, The Volcano Monsters, shortly after the release of Godzilla Raids Again. AB-PT attempted to incorporate the monster footage of Toho's film into their own but had little success. They struck up a deal between the two companies, a Godzilla and the original Anguirus costume were shipped to Los Angeles to film some additional scenes. Due to financial problems with AB-PT studios the company collapsed and its assets were absorbed into other production companies. The original Anguirus suit remains missing. The second suit, created for color filming, was built in 1968. The design had no radical changes from the original aside from some modification on the thickness of the spines and arrangement of the teeth. For Godzilla Final Wars a third suit was built incorporating modern sculpting methods and animatronics. The final suit is darker in color and somewhat more streamlined and biologically realistic in design.[2][3]

Anguirus has been played by multiple actors throughout the Godzilla movie series.

Other media[edit]

  • In Marc Cerasini's series of novels, Anguirus is first mentioned in Godzilla at World's End as a sea monster that had been recently reported to have been sighted in the Caspian Sea, later appearing and defeating Gigan. In the next book, Godzilla vs. The Robot Monsters, Anguirus has been attacking oil platforms in the four years since his first appearance. Anguirus was eventually subdued by the Russian-built robot Moguera and airlifted to a containment pen outside of Moscow making him one of the few monsters to survive the series.
  • In Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, a red Anguirus is seen on Monster Island with other monsters. Along with his fellow monsters, he tried to roast any passerby with his fire breath (which he lacked in the film series).
  • Anguirus was also on the show, Godzilla Island, where his spiked carapace helped save the day from the cactus monster Gorin.
  • Anguirus appears in Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters a comic series by IDW. Thus far Anguirus has appeared only as a stray Kaiju with no allegiance to Godzilla.
  • Anguirus is the featured monster in the first issue of "Godzilla Legends" in which he battles Destoroyah. It is stated in the comic that Anguirus has lost every kaiju battle he has ever fought, but he is able to defeat Destoroyah with the help of human allies.

References[edit]

  • Lees, J.D.; Cerasini, Marc (1998). The Official Godzilla Compendium. Random House. ISBN 0-679-88822-5. 
Notes