Height: 65 Meters (213 Feet)
Mass: 25,000 Tons
Premiered in: Godzilla vs. Gigan
Much like how King Ghidorah is considered Godzilla’s greatest and most terrible of adversaries, Gigan is considered to be the most violent and brutal of them. True, King Ghidorah is a planet-killer, a creature of genocide on a near galactic scale, but Gigan accomplished something in his premiere film that no one, not even King Ghidorah, had managed to do up until that point.
Gigan made Godzilla bleed.
Not a little paper-cut either but a full on 80’s style spray of red. To be fair though, Godzilla had never truly faced a creature specifically geared towards combat as Gigan has been. For though his appearance might say otherwise, especially in this incarnation of the Showa era, Gigan is not a creature of flesh and blood but is in actuality a cyborg. Though his natural appearance has never been officially shown in any media, popular speculation is that his limbs, torso, and head were all altered.
Going from the most obvious first, Gigan’s feet and hands were removed and replaced by “hammer claws,” blades of sharpened materials that could easily cut through Godzilla’s hide. Though I’m unsure as to why the limbs are called hammer claws as both the hands and feet resemble curved blades more than hammers… Though, admittedly, in the television series Zone Fighter, Gigan did receive a bit of an upgrade in that his hammer claws could cause explosions upon impact with the tips so there’s that…
As to Gigan’s torso, there’s a bit of strangeness to be found there. While it can be debated whether or not the golden scales are a natural design or one purposefully placed for protection, the chief alteration to be found on the cyborg’s torso is the long series of blades running from the collar of his neck down to his crotch. A series of blades that can be activated and turned into a freaking buzzsaw that, in this incarnation, makes no sense as Gigan possesses no means of grappling foes nor is he agile enough, on air or land, to surprise his foes with this ability.
Gigan’s wings, while natural, only allow him to fly at speeds of Mach 3 in our atmosphere but in the depths of space he can further increase his speed upwards of Mach 400. There’s also a strange bit of optical illusion that occurs in that it looks as though Gigan emerges from some form of crystalized gem prior to entering the atmosphere of a planet. This has led a lot of fans to speculate that Gigan possesses a similar form of space travel like SpaceGodzilla.
Of course, this isn’t the most common misconception of Gigan’s abilities in the Showa era. As I said previously, his head was also modified to possess a singular optical unit that allows him to see in various visual ranges. However, this optical unit, or the gem located upon his brow, has been commonly been thought to possess the ability to fire laser beams.
The origins of where this speculation came about has a surprisingly large number of possible sources ranging from the 1990’s where Trendmasters (an American toy company that made a toys for such franchises as Mars Attacks!, Extreme Ghostbusters, and the 1998 Godzilla film) made a Gigan figure for their Godzilla Wars line of toys, which I’ll say right here and now was beyond epic in art and story. Another possible source of the misconception could also be from an American children’s picture book called Godzilla vs Gigan & the Smog Monster wherein Gigan displayed the optical laser beam ability.
Another, and more common source of the misconception, is from the Pipeworks’ trilogy of Godzilla games in the early 2000’s wherein Gigan not only sported this ability but also, rather inexplicably, had the ability to teleport as well. Of course, Gigan was given this ability to possess a form of “breath weapon” like a few other monsters in the games but that’s neither here nor there. Gigan would officially receive the ability to fire laser beams via a shotgun like burst in the film Godzilla: Final Wars whilst also receiving an amazing redesign.
Character wise, Gigan is definitely possessing a form of personality akin to that of King Ghidorah. He’s a different degree of sadistic from the golden monarch though, proving himself to be more vindictive with his chosen prey. He is also something of a coward, willing and gladly leaving behind allies if he has sustained enough damage or harm though he remembers those that did such unto him and will fiercely attack them at the next battle.
In his original incarnation, Gigan is quite a sight to behold but is he one that we as a species could fail to overcome? Honestly, it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, Gigan is a cyborg and if nothing else, human ingenuity has proven time and time again that it doesn’t take much to get past so-called advanced alien systems. We could likely reprogram Gigan to defend rather than attack or even initiate a self-destruct sequence hidden with his head.
That’s just for the Showa incarnation, but the “Final Wars” incarnation… the same does apply with the addition that we could likely trick Gigan into killing himself. That incarnation is, frankly, an idiot. The first time could be argued that he had no idea of Godzilla’s capabilities and thus did not know of the atomic breath until his head had already been blown off. The second time however, Gigan’s own freaking shuriken blades, which he only has in that incarnation, was the cause of his beheading all because he turned around to do a victory pose after he supposedly slain Mothra.
To this day, I’ve yet to see a more saddening sight than a kaiju killing itself via its own stupidity.
Still, props to rocking the Millennium look.