Kaiju Profile: Gigan – By Jordan Garren

Gigan’s Stats:

Height: 65 Meters (213 feet)

Mass: 25,000 metric tons (27,500 tons)

Weapons/Abilities: Flight at Mach 3, buzzsaw in abdomen, and hammer-claw hands. (Gigan also has a small laser beam in its forehead but has yet to use this ability in a film.)

First Appearance: Godzilla vs. Gigan

Gigan’s Complete Filmography: Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and Zonefighter (Episode 11: In the Twinkling of an Eye – The Roar of Godzilla.)

Origin: Gigan is a monstrous cyborg created by the aliens of Nebula M Spacehunter to further their conquest of other worlds.

Out of all of Godzilla’s enemies, I’ve always thought that Gigan was one of the best, or rather, one of the best designed. Gigan is a fearsome creation: A bipedal creature with curved claws on it’s arms and feet, a single red visor-like eye, three rows of dorsal sails, and a very noticeable buzzsaw running down its chest and abdomen. This mechanical terror was first seen in 1972’s “Godzilla vs. Gigan.” Alien beings from Nebula M Spacehunter have invaded Japan and built a massive…. kaiju theme park, complete with a Godzilla Tower as its centerpiece. Wait huh?!

Don’t worry though, these guys aren’t on Earth to spread joy and a genuine love of giant monsters, they’re here to create the “perfect peace”. (i.e. Wipe the face of Japan clean of all human beings and man-made structures!) The Nebula M aliens use King Ghidorah and Gigan to attack Japan but their efforts are thwarted once Godzilla and Anguirus show up to stop the rampaging space monsters. During the bulk of the kaiju tag-team fights in the film, Gigan almost always goes after Anguirus and enjoys pummeling the much smaller monster. Despite the overwhelming odds though, Anguirus battles onward and holds out until the tide of the battle turns.

Thanks to some human aid, the invading aliens (who turn out to be giant cockroaches!) lose control of their monsters. Without their master’s guidance, Gigan and King Ghidorah are no match for the combined effort our Earth’s homegrown kaiju. Gigan proves to be quite cowardly and tries to flee several times, only to be knocked out of the sky repeatedly by a few well-aimed blasts of Godzilla’s radioactive fire. Eventually Gigan does escape, soon followed by King Ghidorah, and the Earth is temporarily safe. A year later, Gigan would return in “Godzilla vs. Megalon.” This time out, the cyborg menace teams up with a new kaiju: Megalon, the deity of the underwater kingdom of Seatopia.

Both monsters team up and duke it out with another newbie to the Godzilla universe, namely Jet Jaguar. Jet is a robot created by scientists Goro and Hiroshi that eventually takes on a life of his own. He grows to an enormous size, and then manages to hold off both Megalon and Gigan until Godzilla arrives. In the end, Gigan once again turns tail and flies off (after taking quite a beating) leaving Megalon to get double-teamed by Earth’s kaiju defenders. During its return to Nebula M Spacehunter, the now very weakened Gigan was captured by another alien race (the Gargoas) and sent back to Earth (via parachute) to do battle with Zonefighter! Episode #11 of Zonefighter (Twinkling of an Eye: The Roar of Godzilla) also features a cameo appearance by Godzilla who aids in the permanent defeat of Gigan.

The remainder of Gigan’s appearances have strictly been in video games and books. Gigan is one of Godzilla’s mightiest foes in the “Godzilla: Monster of Monsters” game for the classic NES console. Gigan emits a laser beam from the dot on his forehead and keeps his distance from you, at least he does until he turns on his abdominal buzzsaw and cuts you to ribbons! There’s no avoiding this devastating attack so defeat him quickly! If you’d rather fight as Gigan, he is a playable character in “Godzilla’s Greatest Battles” for the SNES console and “Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee” for the X-BOX and Gamecube. Gigan is also one of the featured kaiju in Marc Cerasini’s novel “Godzilla At World’s End.” In the story, Gigan burrows up from the ice in Antarctica and takes out a scientific installation in the process. Cerasini uses this moment in the book to supply an ingenious origin for Gigan’s name.

As one of the scientists at the research site radios for help, the very last part of his transmission is cut off. He tries saying that the monster is gigantic but the last syllable of the word is cut off. (“It’s gigan….”) Hence, the kaiju is known as Gigan for the remainder of the novel (wow, that is so damned clever)! Soon after his arrival, Gigan pays a visit to mother Russia which is apparently Anguirus’ territory. The two mighty kaiju exchange blows, but in the end, Anguirus brings down his alien foe and drags Gigan into the Caspian Sea. While that was pretty much the last appearance of Gigan in anything Godzilla related, this cowardly monster will be seen in the upcoming “Godzilla: Final Wars.” Gigan has been completely revamped and looks a thousand times cooler and more ferocious than ever before! Also, be on the look out for “Godzilla: Save the Earth” (for PS2 and X-BOX) as Gigan will most likely be one of the playable characters! Fans of Gigan rejoice, for at last he’s back with a vengeance!

Pictures courtesy of Toho Kingdom.