|Filmmaking sure has come a long way.|
Godzilla (Gojira in Japanese) is a film franchise in the kaiju genre, about various giant monsters, most notably the title character. There have been several different versions of Godzilla, so the canon is rather confusing. Due to this problem, the OP should specify which version of Godzilla he or she is using in the thread. Godzilla is the undisputed King of Monsters and the stands proud amongst the strongest of the Kaiju.
Shōwa series (1954–1975)
The initial series of movies is named for the Shōwa period in Japan (as all of these films were produced before Emperor Hirohito's death in 1989). This Shōwa timeline spanned from 1954, with Gojira, to 1975, with Terror of Mechagodzilla. With the exceptions of Godzilla Raids Again, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and Mothra vs. Godzilla, much of the Showa series is relatively light-hearted. Starting with Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla began evolving into a more human and playful antihero (this transition was complete by Son of Godzilla, where he is shown as a good character), and as years went by, he evolved into an anthropomorphic superhero. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster was also significant for introducing Godzilla's archenemy and the main antagonist of the series, King Ghidorah. The films Son of Godzilla and All Monsters Attack were aimed at youthful audiences, featuring the appearance of Godzilla's son, Minilla. While Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was notable for introducing Godzilla's robotic arch foe and secondary villain of the movie series Mechagodzilla. The Shōwa period saw the addition of many monsters into the Godzilla continuity, two of which (Mothra and Rodan) had their own solo movies. This period featured a well documented continuity, although the 1968 film Destroy All Monsters takes place in 1999 (chronologically making it the final film in the series).
Heisei series (1984–1995)
The timeline was revamped in 1984 with The Return of Godzilla; this movie was created as a direct sequel to the 1954 film, and ignores the continuity of the Shōwa series. The continuity ended in 1995's Godzilla vs. Destroyah after a run of seven films. The "new" Godzilla was portrayed as much more of an animal than the latter Shōwa films, or as a destructive force as he began. The biological nature and science behind Godzilla became a much more discussed issue in the films, showing the increased focus of the moral focus on genetics. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah gave the first concrete birth story for Godzilla, featuring a Godzillasaurus that was mutated by radiation into Godzilla.
Millennium series (1999–2004)
The Millennium Series is the official term for the series of Godzilla movies, unofficially called the "Shinsei Series" (or even the "Alternate Reality Series") by American fans, made after the Heisei series ended. Two common themes to this era is that all movies in this series use Godzilla (1954) as the jumping-off point, and that they all exist in their own continuities. The exception to these themes is Godzilla 2000 Millennium (1999), which is a stand-alone entry of the series and the events of Godzilla (1954) did not happen in nor mentioned in the movie. Since the films are different, the sizes are different in some cases.
There is a film named Godzilla that came out in 1998, marketed for American audiences. At its release, the film was much criticized by Godzilla fans the world over and the name GINO (Godzilla In Name Only) was given to the monster in the film, however Toho has since officially called the monster Zilla (word has it that the reason was because he "took the "God" out of Godzilla). This movie is only considered canon to the Millennium series film Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack. It is worth mentioning that Zilla (a weaker and smaller version) appeared in Godzilla: Final Wars but it is non-canon to this one.
The most recent film was released in 2014, titled simply, Godzilla that stays on a closer path to the Japanese version.
Two American cartoon series have starred Godzilla. The first, Godzilla, was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and ran for two seasons, starting in 1978. The second production, Godzilla: The Series, was a cartoon sequel to the American film and starred the Zilla hatchling from that movie. Godzilla: The Series premiered on September 12, 1998 and ran for two seasons. In Japan, Godzilla appeared in several episodes of Toho's live-action Zone Fighter television program in 1973. Also in Japan, Godzilla (along with a plethora of other kaiju) appeared in a animated toy show called Godzilla Island that ran from 1997-1998.
Godzilla appeared in Marvel Comics from 1977 to 1979, and fought some of the prominent characters there. While it is apparently still canon, (as it was referenced recently in the Hercules/Hulk comic) due to obvious copyright issues it isn't outright stated as such. Godzilla also had 12 issues from during the late 1980s to 1990s. The most recent one is IDW's Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, which ran for 12 issues along with various mini series to go with it.
There are the many on various consoles that are based on the Godzilla films and related kaiju eiga. Several of the video games include special abilities not seen in the movies such as Gigan's teleportation and various pulses and energy attacks. They also include monsters who were scrapped or cancelled designs as well as kaiju unique to the video game series.
Other Films in the Godzillaverse
There are several other kaiju films produced by Toho that take place in the same universe as the Godzilla films. They are also represented on this page, they include: Rodan, The Mysterians, Varan, Mothra (series), Atragon, Dogora, Frankenstein Conquers the World, War of the Gargantuas, and Space Amoeba.
Standing in the Battledome:
Godzillaverse is considered to be incredibly powerful, with many monsters being easy planetary threats, and some being potential planetbusters (Burning/Meltdown Heisei Godzilla is a confirmed Planet-Buster at meltdown). While all the monsters are obvious physical powerhouses there are several broken abilities as well, such as Mother Leo and Mecha-King Ghidorah's time traveling, several of the Ghidorahs manipulate gravity, Destroyah being a walking oxygen destroyer, SpaceGodzilla in general. Godzilla himself has several impressive feats such as battling Thor and the God of Thunder comparing him to the great Serpent, destroying a black hole the moment its event horizon activated, reacting to and shooting a comet carrying Monster X/Kaiser Ghidorah while it was still in space, tanking an absolute zero blast, surviving as nothing but a beating heart, and moving the Earth's tectonic plates from the indirect force of Heisei Godzilla and Larva Battra's battle.
Godzilla used to be underestimated in the OBD, but now he is accurately known as the beast he is.
Godzilla fans in the OBD:
- Eldritch Sukima
- King Caesar
- Mothra Leo
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