|Godzilla film series character|
Anguirus from a Godzilla Raids Again poster
|First appearance||Godzilla Raids Again (1955)|
|Last appearance||Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)|
|Created by||Motoyoshi Oda|
Anguirus (アンギラス Angirasu?) is a monster who first appeared in Toho's 1955 kaiju film Godzilla Raids Again. It is the second monster to appear in Toho kaiju films. Anguirus appeared only a year after Godzilla. Though being the first monster Godzilla ever fought, it has been allied with the Godzilla in several other films against more dangerous threats.
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 its 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 by using its atomic breath.
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 it 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 its capacity as Godzilla's ally. It helped Godzilla repel the space monsters, Gigan and King Ghidorah, in 1972's Godzilla vs. Gigan. It 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 it fell through the ground in a massive split in the earth.
Anguirus tunneled its way to a snowy region, where it witnessed Mechagodzilla's first emergence in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. It followed Mechagodzilla underground to Japan where it revealed itself to call upon the real Godzilla, and engage Mechagodzilla in battle. However, Mechagodzilla was too powerful for Anguirus, and severely injured it, breaking its jaw in a bloody display. Anguirus was forced to retreat underground, although it managed to tip off humanity that its opponent was not the true Godzilla.
Showa Anguirus was 60 meters (196 feet) tall and weighed 30,000 metric tons.
After a 30-year absence, Anguirus made a return in the 2004 film, Godzilla: Final Wars as a controlled monster of the Xiliens. It appears in Shanghai, and tramples everything in its 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. It 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 its 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.
Final Wars Anguirus was 90 meters (295 feet) tall, 160 meters (524 feet) long, and weighed 60,000 metric tons.
Anguirus is a quadrupedal giant or irradiated dinosaur that resembles an Ankylosaurus, and a bearded dragon, but much larger. Its head resembles that of a Ceratosaurus and Styracosaurus. It has several horns on the top of its head and a single horn above its nose. Its face is long and drawn out, like a crocodile and has rows of long, jagged teeth. Its carapace is studded with long, sharp spikes. Anguirus' tail is covered with spikes (it also had a tail "club" in Godzilla: Final Wars). Its tail makes up most of its body length. Its hind limbs are longer than its forelimbs, and it can stand up on them to its full height, though it generally walks upon all fours. Anguirus has not one but five brains, one in its head which controls all of its organs, and one above each one of its limbs; each brain most likely controls the limb they are above. This gives Anguirus an advantage in battle, for it can react much quicker than most Kaiju monsters. 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
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 its 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 its mouth, although it is never seen doing this in any of the Godzilla movies.
In its first appearance in Godzilla Raids Again, it is explained that Anguirus' is capable of moving incredibly fast in spite of its bulk due to its brain extending into its chest and abdominal areas, allowing it to react more quickly. It is able to lunge at its opponents with massive leaps and is also capable of burrowing substantial distances. Two of its more impressive attacks involve jumping backward to impale its opponents on its spiked carapace in Godzilla vs. Gigan and its vise-like bite; the most famous example of the latter being when it faced King Ghidorah in Destroy All Monsters where it latched onto one of King Ghidorah's necks, its grip holding firm even as the opponent took flight.
In Godzilla: Final Wars, Anguirus was redesigned with the ability to curl itself into a ball and propel itself forward with tremendous speed. The Final Wars version also possessed a spiked tail club like a real Ankylosaurus, though it was not witnessed using it in combat.
Behind the scenes
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 went 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.
Anguirus has been played by multiple actors throughout the Godzilla movie series:
- Godzilla Raids Again (First Suit Version) - Katsumi Tezuka
- Destroy All Monsters (Second Version) - Hiroshi Sekita (actor)
- Godzilla Vs. Gigan (Second Version) - Yukietsu Omiya
- Godzilla Vs. Megalon (Second Version) - Yukietsu Omiya
- Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (Second Version) - Momoru Kusumi
- Godzilla Final Wars (Third Version) - Toshihiro Ogura
- Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- All Monsters Attack (1969, stock footage cameo)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
- Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
- Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
- Godzilla Island (1997-1998) - Anguirus was also on the show, Godzilla Island, where its spiked carapace helped save the day from the cactus monster Gorin.
- Godzilla / Godzilla-Kun: Kaijuu Daikessen (Game Boy - 1990)
- Battle Soccer: Field no Hasha (SNES - 1992)
- Kaijū-ō Godzilla / King of the Monsters, Godzilla (Game Boy - 1993)
- Godzilla: Battle Legends (Turbo Duo - 1993)
- Godzilla: Monster War / Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters (Super Famicom - 1994)
- Godzilla Giant Monster March (Game Gear - 1995)
- Godzilla Trading Battle (PlayStation - 1998)
- Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee (GCN, Xbox - 2002/2003)
- Godzilla: Domination! (GBA - 2002)
- Godzilla: Save the Earth (Xbox, PS2 - 2004)
- Godzilla: Unleashed (Wii, PS2 - 2007)
- Godzilla Unleashed: Double Smash (NDS - 2007)
- Godzilla at World's End - In Marc Cerasini's series of novels, Anguirus is first mentioned as a sea monster that had been recently reported to have been sighted in the Caspian Sea, later appearing and defeating Gigan.
- Godzilla vs. The Robot Monsters - In this book, Anguirus has been attacking oil platforms in the four years since its 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.
- Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters (2011) - In this comic, Anguirus has appeared only as a stray daikaiju with no allegiance to Godzilla.
- Godzilla Legends (2011) - It is stated in the comic that Anguirus has lost every daikaiju battle he has ever fought, but he is able to defeat Destoroyah with the help of human allies.
- Godzilla: Rulers of Earth (2013)
- Lees, J.D.; Cerasini, Marc (1998). The Official Godzilla Compendium. Random House. ISBN 0-679-88822-5.