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).
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
). 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
, respectively: [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
, who are the first non-movie based Godzilla foes to get some major recognition, despite their exclusiveness in the American video game "Godzilla Unleashed
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.
Major thanks to
for the Live-Trace assistance.