Apparently while I was at work last week Siskoid of Siskoid’s Blog Of Geekery and Michael May of Michael May’s Adventureblog were talking about the world of Godzilla and friends and decided to make their own Top 10 Kaiju lists as a sort of blog collaboration project. Siskoid also decided to invite me, since my love of Godzilla can easily be found both at the Spotlight and to a lesser extent at Reviewers Unknown. Plus I’ve been known to live tweet Godzilla and Gamera movies recently. I also tried to bring in Mat Burkett, host of Monstrosities, and one of, if not the, biggest kaiju fans I know. Granted, May is the one to actually MAKE a kaiju comic, which I totally need to find time to read, but i don’t know him as well as Siskoid does. All i have is the “Team Godzilla” concept and maybe the crossover idea above.
But before I get to my MY list I thought I would set some ground rules for myself. I don’t know if the others are going with this but this is what I decided on.
- Godzilla is instantly #1 so we won’t include him on the list. This gives the others a moment to shine.
- Stick with the live-action stuff, because if I included animated versions this would be a whole different list. Say what you will about Hanna-Barbera, they picked up some darn good monster designers in their time.
- I don’t have to stick with Toho, or even Japan. While they will dominate the list, that’s because they dominate the giant monster genre. What have we done lately? That I’ve been able to see! They HAD to release Pacific Rim around convention time, didn’t they? But if I’m not going to treat anime and manga any different from animated programming and comics from other countries, why do the same with giant monster movies? Suffice to say, however, the giant bunnies from Night Of the Lepus aren’t on this list. That should surprise nobody.
So with those rules in mind here are my 10 giant monsters!
Probably the biggest underdog in Kaiju, Anguirus doesn’t have a high victory count. When we first met him he was fighting Godzilla. When the King of the Monsters starts fighting the evil monsters, Anguirus was right by his side as his best friend. Like Tonto to the Lone Ranger. (The good one, not that recent movie.) He may not have a high victory count, but he’s a loyal friend and can at least let his opponents know they’ve been in a fight.
The costume’s head was squishy as a Nerf ball, but Gudis was a serious threat during the first half of Ultraman: Towards The Future, but not in his natural form, which is why he’s so low on this list. Gudis had to die, with his spores infecting animals or re-animating Jack’s dead friend and still Ultraman kicked his…he doesn’t really have a butt, does he? Still, he’s my favorite Ultraman villain, if only because he was half the monsters in the show and it wasn’t as good when Ultraman finally defeated him and turned into Captain Planet. (You know I’m right, Matt.)
I gravitate towards the flying things because they’ve conquered my biggest fear: heights. While Rodan isn’t the highest ranked flyer on this list he’s probably the best. It’s just too bad Toho didn’t seem to know what to do with him. He and his mate (or sibling, it isn’t really made clear) dies in his movie but somehow he returns, fighting Godzilla until Mothra convinces them to team-up against Ghidorah. He pops up now and then fighting alongside Godzilla but he only makes two appearances in the next two eras. I kind of wish he had more to do since IDW has shown what potential lies in the old boy.
7. Little Godzilla
Even if the animated versions were up for grabs and as much as I defend Godzooki, he isn’t my favorite of the younger Godzillasauruses. I also like Minya (or Millia, whichever) and I’ll happily defend both as comic relief and to show Godzilla is more than rage and destruction. Plus a little comic relief is also nice. What sets the Hesei (second series) version above the rest that we see him evolve into the next Godzilla; we watch him grow up. He’s the cutest of the three and doesn’t bear as many of the traits as their detractors complain about. But I think LG is my favorite of the three forms. (Baby, LIttle, and Godzilla Junior.) He curious, knows when to get out of the way and he’s just so darn cute. But Minya’s the classic Babyzilla so he got to be in Final Wars, and he’s the one everybody remembers. I’m just showing this little guy some love.
(which I misspelled “Orga” until I was corrected in the comments)
And here’s the first of our non-Japanese entries. This one isn’t even American. Lost in every Kaiju conversation I’ve ever had or seen is Gorgo, a UK offering about a sea monster captured for a circus in London. Then we learn the big guy is actually a little guy and here comes momma! Ogra takes London down in a fit of destruction the Daleks would be jealous of all to save her baby boy. She doesn’t breathe fire that I remember but you won’t care as you’re busy running for your life. The movie makers even used the Japan-style rubber monster suits instead of stop-motion like most of the American monsters (nowadays CG). Every kaiju fan should at least see this movie to see that Japan isn’t the only one who not only CAN do man-in-a-suit but isn’t afraid to do so.
The top 5 are on the next page (scroll down to the page link). Go check them out!