Kaiju Profile – Anguirus – By Jordan Garren

Height: 60 Meters (197 feet)

Length: 100 meters (328 feet)

Mass: 30,000 metric tons (33,000 tons)

Weapons/Abilities: Tusks, horns, teeth, and spiky carapace.

First Appearance: Godzilla Raids Again

Complete Filmography: Godzilla Raids Again, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla’s Revenge (cameo appearance), Godzilla vs. Megalon (cameo appearance), Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

Origin: Anguirus’ true origin remains a mystery but it is believed that he’s a larger cousin of the prehistoric Anklyosaurus, an armored herbivore from the Mesozoic Period.

Anguirus (aka Angilas) has become one of the most beloved of Godzilla’s kaiju co-stars over the last fifty years. Anguirus was first featured in 1955’s “Godzilla Raids Again” (aka “Gigantis, the Fire Monster”), in which he battled Godzilla through the streets of Osaka. By the end of the movie, Anguirus is left for dead and Godzilla is trapped in ice. However this was not the end of Anguirus’ illustrious movie career. He would return in 1968 to fight alongside Godzilla, Mothra, Manda, Baragon, Varan, Gorosaurus, and several other daikaiju in “Destroy All Monsters.” In this film, Anguirus proves that he is as tough as he looks by aiding in the defeat of King Ghidorah. During the height of the battle, Anguirus locks his jaws around one of Ghidorah’s three necks. However, Anguirus is soon carried high into the atmosphere and dropped to the Earth’s surface with painful results. In addition to this, King Ghidorah flies back down and stomps Anguirus into the dirt, seemingly killing the much smaller kaiju.

Luckily, Anguirus was only stunned by the attack and is soon back in action. This demonstration of courage and ferocious tenacity is reason enough for Anguirus’ appeal to kaiju fans. Though much smaller than most of his fellow daikaiju and devoid of any long range attacks or special powers, Anguirus more than makes up for it with his fierceness in battle. Unfortunately, this loveable kaiju doesn’t get to enjoy the limelight again until “Godzilla vs. Gigan.” This film marks the first tag-team kaiju battle in the Godzilla universe. Aliens from Nebula M Spacehunter plan on conquering the Earth by using Gigan and King Ghidorah. Things are going splendidly for said aliens until Godzilla and Anguirus arrive on the scene. The four mighty beasts pair off and once again Anguirus shows his bravery and warrior spirit as he goes one on one with Gigan.

From the start, Anguirus is at a major disadvantage against his cyborg nemesis. Gigan has curved metal claws and a buzz saw weapon in its chest, which make for great defensive weapons. In one particular scene, Anguirus charges blindly at Gigan and gets a bloody wound from his foe’s buzz saw weapon. Things look bleak for both Godzilla and Anguirus, until the aliens lose control of their two monsters (thanks to the film’s human protagonists). This quickly tips the scales in Godzilla and Anguirus’ favor and our two homegrown kaiju give the alien monsters a sound thrashing. One of the best scenes of this kaiju conflict involves Anguirus’ “iron maiden” move. Godzilla manages to put King Ghidorah in a triple headlock, exposing the golden kaiju’s chest. Anguirus then stands before King Ghidorah and leaps backwards, using his spiky carapace as a battering ram. After repeating this
devastating tactic several more times, Godzilla gets in his licks before King Ghidorah makes a hasty retreat to outer space.

I find it quite interesting to see how quickly Anguirus’ role changed in the Godzilla series, going from a vicious opponent to a stalwart ally in only three films. His ally status would continue into “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla” in which Anguirus confronts the ingeniously disguised Mechagodzilla. Though Anguirus fights with all his heart, he is no match for Godzilla’s mechanical doppelganger. Poor Anguirus ends up making a full retreat (for the first time ever) after having his jaw ripped apart and it’s up to Godzilla and a new kaiju named King Caesar to defeat Mechagodzilla. Sadly, this was the last time Anguirus appeared in a kaiju film. Anguirus almost made it to the big screen during production for “Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack.” Director Shusuke Kaneko intended to have Baragon, Varan, and Anguirus battle Godzilla but instead replaced both Varan and Anguirus with Mothra and King Ghidorah. This was done because the execs at Toho felt that Mothra and King Ghidorah were much more popular and profitable.

So does this mean that Anguirus is officially retired? Not anymore! The 50th Anniversary Godzilla film, “Godzilla: Final Wars” is set to star Anguirus and many other popular (and not-so-popular) Toho kaiju. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about the film thus far and am quite anxious to see it (though that may be a while). The details I’ve seen on the web so far are a bit sketchy (apparently this movie is borrowing plot points from a variety of Toho classics like “Atragon,” “Gorath,” and “Godzilla vs. Monster Zero.”) but I have high hopes for this film. One thing I can be certain of is that it’ll be great to see Anguirus on the big screen again. Wether he’s Godzilla’s friend or enemy in this film has yet to be seen. In either case, I know that Anguirus will fight valiantly and won’t give up until he dies or is victorious. Anguirus truly is the “samurai” of all daikaiju!