Rodan

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This article is about the monster. For the 1956 film, see Rodan (film). For other uses, see Rodan (disambiguation).
Rodan
Godzilla film series character
Godzilla - PS4-PS3 - Ultimate mayhem (E3 Trailer) - Rodan.png
Rodan, as shown in Bandai Namco's 2014 video game Godzilla.
First appearance Rodan (1956)
Last appearance Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
Created by Ken Kuronuma
Portrayed by Shōwa series
Haruo Nakajima
Kōji Uruki
Masaki Shinohara
Teruo Aragaki
Millennium series
Naoko Kamio
Aliases Radon
Monster Zero-Two
Fire Rodan

Rodan (ラドン Radon?) is a daikaiju monster which first appeared as the title character in Toho's 1956 film Rodan. Though the character started off in its own stand-alone film, Rodan was later featured in the Godzilla franchise. IGN listed Rodan as #6 on their "Top 10 Japanese Movie Monsters" list,[1] while Complex listed the character as #15 on its "The 15 Most Badass Kaiju Monsters of All Time" list.[2]

Overview[edit]

Name[edit]

The Japanese name Radon is a contraction of "pteranodon".

It was changed to "Rodan" for English speaking markets in order to avoid confusion with the element, radon.[3] However, in Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II, the English version of the film used the original name "Radon" anyway.

Development[edit]

As with Godzilla, writer Ken Kuronuma turned to prehistoric animals for inspiration in developing the character, though unlike the former, whose species is largely left ambiguous, Rodan is explicitly stated to be a kind of Pteranodon.[3] Just as Godzilla was conceived as a symbol of an American nuclear threat, Rodan was seen as an embodiment of the same danger originating from the Soviet Union.[4]

Rodan's debut appearance was the first and only time the character was given a chestnut color, and its face was given a menacing face with a jagged fanged beak, which would disappear in later incarnations as the character became more heroic. Rodan was portrayed via a combination of suitmation and wire-operated puppets for flight sequences. During suitmation sequences, Rodan was portrayed by Haruo Nakajima, who almost drowned when the wires holding the 150 lb suit above a water tank snapped.[3] In Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, the Rodan suit was of visibly lesser quality than the previous one, having a more comical face, a thick neck which barely concealed the shape of the performer's head within, and triangular wings.[5] The modification of the character's face was deliberate, as Rodan was meant to be a slapstick character rather than the tragic villain seen in its film debut.[6] A new suit was constructed for Godzilla vs. Monster Zero which more closely resembled the first, having more rounded wings and a sleeker face. The sleek face was retained in Destroy All Monsters, though the wings and chest area were crudely designed.[5]

Rodan was revived in 1993's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, this time portrayed entirely via a wire-manipulated marionette[7] and hand puppets. Having received criticism for his emphasis on battle sequences relying heavily on beam weapons, special effects artist Koichi Kawakita sought to make the confrontation between Godzilla and Rodan as physical as possible.[8]

Roar[edit]

The character's shriek was created by sound technician Ichiro Minawa, who sought to replicate the "contrabass technique" composer Akira Ifukube used for Godzilla, though layering it with a sped up human voice.[9] The sound would be remixed and reused for several other Toho monsters, including the second incarnation of King Ghidorah[10] and Battra.[11]

Appearances[edit]

Films[edit]

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

Rodan fighting King Ghidorah, as shown in Bandai Namco's 2014 video game Godzilla.

Literature[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hawker, Tom (May 15, 2014). "Top 10 Japanese Movie Monsters". IGN. Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ Josh Robertson, "The 15 Most Badass Kaiju Monsters of All Time", Complex (May 18, 2014)
  3. ^ a b c Harry Edmundson-Cornell, Tsuburaya Does Colour: Rodan, Sequart Organization (March 24, 2015)
  4. ^ Jess-Cooke, C. (2009), Film Sequels: Theory and Practice from Hollywood to Bollywood, Edinburgh University Press, p. 38, ISBN 0748689478
  5. ^ a b Ryfle, S. (1998). Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G. Toronto: ECW Press. pp. 116 & 124. ISBN 1550223488. 
  6. ^ Kalat, David (2010). A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-7864-47-49-7. 
  7. ^ Ryfle, S. (1998). Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 288. ISBN 1550223488. 
  8. ^ Kalat, David (2010). A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-7864-47-49-7. 
  9. ^ Erik Homenick, "Biography: Part IX - Myths, Monsters and Laments", Akiraifukube.org (accessed May 30, 2016)
  10. ^ Ryfle, S. (1998). Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 272. ISBN 1550223488. 
  11. ^ Kalat, David (2010). A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7864-47-49-7. 
  12. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne (July 26, 2014). "Gareth Edwards returns to direct 'Godzilla 2' with Rodan and Mothra". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  13. ^ Sullivan, Kevin P. (2014-08-14). "'Godzilla 2′ Gets Release Date: 'Let Them Wait'". MTV. 
  14. ^ "Manga: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla". Tohokingdom.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  15. ^ "Book: Godzilla vs. Gigan and the Smog Monster". Tohokingdom.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  16. ^ "Book: Godzilla on Monster Island". Tohokingdom.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  17. ^ "Book: Godzilla Saves America: A Monster Showdown in 3-D!". Tohokingdom.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  18. ^ "Book: Godzilla Likes to Roar!". Tohokingdom.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  19. ^ "Book: Who's Afraid of Godzilla?". Tohokingdom.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
Notes
  • Miniatures by Stephen Dedman, Eidolon Magazine Summer 1996, Volume 5, Issue 3 (also known as whole number issue 20). Eidolon Publications, North Perth, Australia. ISSN 1038-5657.

External links[edit]