In celebration of my friend's first major comic success with "Godzilla Legends #1", I've decided to upload this fitting illustration, staring everyone's favorite underdog Anguirus, as well as an obscure, but unique character related to him, Gororin.
A gigantic member of the prehistoric Ankylosaurus family, Anguirus holds the distinction of both being Godzilla's very first monstrous opponent in "Godzilla Raids Again" (1955), AND (ironically enough) as his most loyal sidekick, later in the Showa-era Godzilla films (1954-1975).
Yes, Rodan and Mothra have joined Godzilla in battle, against the likes of King Ghidorah and the invading Kilaak Aliens, but those were mere temporary alliances between otherwise friendly rivals (to say the very least).
After being re-introduced in "Destroy All Monsters" (1968), and further more in "Godzilla vs. Gigan" (1972), the spiky dinosaur was firmly established as a true friend of Godzilla, both in and out of battle. This stated more so in Anguirus's last Showa appearance from "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla" (1974), where the human protagonists are suspicious as to why Anguirus would be fighting his friend Godzilla, of whom of course is the robotic imposter of the title.
I could go on-and-on about the fascinating history of Anguigus, but will save that for future entries in The Kaiju Portraits series ([link]). I will say that a main factor into the character's fan following (outside being one of the most awesome sidekicks in all of fiction), is that he's such an appealing monster due to his incredible, and admittedly admirable tenacity in combat. This 'never surrender' attitude is especially impressive, when considering that Anguirus lacks the atomic heat breath and similar abilities of most other Japanese fantasy monsters, beyond his nifty looking armored hide, teeth, and claws.
Yes, I know there's the ridiculously awesome armadillo-style roll that Anguirus also does, but that's a relatively recent addition from both the video games, and "Godzilla: Final Wars" (2004), so it doesn't really count in this matter.
Indeed, I'd even go on to admit that the proverbial prehistoric bulldog is among my Top Ten Favorite Giant Monsters of All Time, because of his tenacious stance in the face of bigger, more powerful foes and obstacles. Something that the first issue of "Godzilla Legend" exploits perfectly, by pitting our boy Anguirus against the title evil of "Godzilla vs. Destroyah" (1995); a virtual demon that had a hand in Godzilla's demise in the film.
Yes, the odds are heavily stacked against Anguirus, but we are still totally rooting for him to archive an impossible victory. Well, almost all of us...minus the diehard Destroyah fans of course.
Evil people, each and everyone one of you!
Now with that all said, your real question regarding this piece is most likely 'who in the freaking world is this Gororin creature?'
Gororin is among a handful of original creations from the very obscure television series "Godzilla Island". Now don't get too excited, for the series was actually two-to-three minute segments that aired between regular children's programing, and done with stiff puppets made from Bandai toy molds, instead of traditional monster suits and actors. The plot of the series took place (where else) on Monster Island, where Godzilla and his friends dealt with those pesky Planet X Aliens (originally from 1965's "Invasion of the Astro-Monsters"), and the villain monsters summoned against our heroes.
In one story arch, Anguirus screws up big time, thanks to his clumsy armored spikes, and forces him to go into a bout of depressive seclusion soon after. In a monumental example of bad timing however, a sphere-shaped cactus monster named Gororin comes to Monster Island to reek havoc. With its fast rolling speed, mixed with its own sharp spines / thorns, Gororin literally (and comically) bowls its way through Godzilla, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Baragon, Godzilla Junior, and King Ceasar with embarrassing ease.
Anguirus is the only monster who can go toe-to-toe with the cacti intruder, but again, the poor guy is suffering from a lack of confidence in his own worth, and is reluctant to do so.
By-the-way, did I forget to mention that this show was meant for the kiddie crowd? Thankfully, non of the monsters talk or anything as stupidly extreme as that, but the synopsis above sounds less like your standard Godzilla adventure (all things considering), and more like a 'Lost Episode' from "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic"!
*Anguirus dictating a letter to Spike, the baby dragon* - "Dear Princess Celestia, it's me, Anguirus, the Killer of the Living! Witting in to let you know that I've learned a very important lesson about friendship, and in turn, my own self confidence...which incidentally, also involved the victorious murder of an annoying cactus a**hole!" IT WAS PRETTY DAMN COOL!!!
You can read more about the whole Gororin debacle at Tarstarkus.com and Tohokingdom, respectively: [link] and [link]
Now although the Godzilla franchise extends far beyond the main films themselves, the general public, and even the majority of fans, often overlook the original creations in said spin-off material. With the very notable exceptions of Obsidius and Krystalak, who are the first non-movie based Godzilla foes to get some major recognition, despite their exclusiveness in the American video game "Godzilla Unleashed (2007).
And that's something of a minor shame, because despite some uninspired copy cats (Cybersaurus = Mechagodzilla), these spin-off monsters are quite unique, and succeeding where other tie-in originals often fail. Hence one of the main reasons I do such elaborate illustrations for otherwise obscure fare.
Gororin, despite the cactus sphere's own shortcomings (its from "Godzilla Island" for crying out loud), holds a unique niche for being the only true archenemies that Anguirus has ever garnered in his fictional career. True, Anguirus has tons of more famous opponents (including a persistent King Ghidorah), but its Gororin who challenges Anguirus on a more personal and direct level, as the two are nearly matched in powers and abilities.
So remember, if you're attending a Godzilla convention for a summer weekend, dressed as Anguirus, you might want to buy yourself a green beach ball, glue on some soft spines around it, and paint on some disgruntled eyes for a final effect, with a puppeteer friend doing random battles with you throughout the event.
True, no one will probably get the reference, but it will be very fitting for both monsters indeed.
Honestly, all television is stale these days, especially with repeat airings of the same base, low rent reality TV programing in the same day. When I was growing up, the late night movie programing was awesome, featuring a wide variety of obscure and quirky movies, along with beloved classics. And TBS and TNT, back in the old days of the early 1990's...OH MY GOD!
Message from Space, Thunderbirds 6, Thunderbirds Are Go, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Robot Carnival, Battle In Outer Space, The Green Slime, Heavy Metal, Tommy, ALL the Ray Harryhausen films, the Doug McClure / Amicus / Edgar Rice Burroughs trilogy, Escape From New York, The Warriors, Godzilla vs The Sea Monster, Captain Sinbad, The Tingler, The Twonky, The Ten Thousand Fingers of Doctor T, The Phantom Tollbooth, Barbarella, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Forbidden Planet, The Invisible Boy, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, The H-Man, Prophecy, The Beastmaster, Swamp Thing, Robin Creosol On Mars, Son of Godzilla, King Kong, The Last Dinosaur, The Lost Continuant, The Outer Limits, Frankenstein Created Woman, Motel Hell, They Came From Outer Space, Beach Blanket Bingo, The Reptile, Dinosaurus, Mothra, Swamp Thing, The Road Warrior, The Monster That Challenged The World, The Ice Pirates, Hercules, The Seven Faces Of Dr. Lao, Logan's Run, The Martian Chronicles, Ultra-7, G-Force, West World, The Banana Splits, Vampire Hunter D, Super Monster Gamera, Tentacles, Maximum Overdrive, The Manitou, Twilight of the Cockroaches, Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978, Hanna-Barbera's Godzilla, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jack the Giant Killer, Orca the Killer Whale, Village of the Giants, Night of the Lepus, Frogs, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Duel, Mad Monster Party, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, THEM!, Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Manster, SWAT Kats, The Heroic Trio, The Three Stooges In Orbit, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, AND The Wizard of Oz!!!
Do you know how much these movies and television shows above encompassed my entire childhood, between TBS and TNT alone?
Anyway, thanks so much for the comment, and bringing back TOO MANY found memories here!
I hear ya. I really owe it to my dad for introducing me to these monster movies we watched back in the 90's. I still remember when suncoast supplied all the godzilla videos. It was like a candystore for me. Good times. One of these days, tv will reform and raise the bar on standards. Tv today is full of garbage that should properly be disposed of.
away time is back
:D! This time I've
got 1500pts to give
away c:The last
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Ok! So there is the
photo report after
devMEET! I decided
that I won't be
writing much but
just let the
what was going on.
photography so much
and catching natural
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Most of photos were
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Even though summer
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Boo, thinking; "I'm
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OMG I'M CHILLY." .
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rely on the earth to
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More