It was a fierce campaign, but TV Asahi’s Godzilla General Election was a roaring success, in which the most fearsome beasts in all the land stomped the competition and soared to the top, a trail of kaiju bodies roasting in atomic fire behind them. For those unaware, the first terrestrial broadcast of 2016’s monster flick Shin Godzilla debuted on Japanese television just days ago, and in celebration of this momentous occasion, the Godzilla General Election was held. Ten-thousand fans of the big G and his towering friends were asked to choose from a list of 50 monsters, who among them was their favorite. The films they starred in were also ranked, and the results are in. Some of which may come as a surprise. Whether that surprise is pleasant or otherwise, we leave up to you.
VintageHenshin offers this look at the charts, ranking the Top 20 Kaiju of the Godzilla franchise.
The top three are not exactly shockers. The three-headed, lightning-breathing King Ghidorah is the most infamous of Godzilla’s foes, while the prehistoric Rodan is a constant rival, and the reigning champ, the divine kaiju Mothra was so popular that it even garnered a movie trilogy all its own.
In the fourth spot is Minya. Love him or hate him, you can’t keep the little guy down, especially not while daddy’s around. In the fifth spot is the unstoppable robotic doppleganger MechaGodzilla. Next comes Anguiris, one of Godzilla’s first foes ever to grace the screen.
And we’ve got three mechs in a row here, as two different versions of MechaGodzilla take the twelfth and thirteenth spot, while the amazing Jet Jaguar holds it down at number fourteen. If you don’t know him, then you don’t know greatness. At number seventeen, we at Henshin Justice Unlimited have referenced this kaiju quite recently– it’s Destoroyah, one of few enemies who can boast of having played a part in ending a Godzilla. And just barely squeezing in to take the last spot at number twenty is none other than Mothra’s darker counterpart, Battra.
It being the most recent live-action film, and the excuse for this list to exist at all, it was to be expected that Shin Godzilla would lead this list of ranked films according to the fans polled, though it’s not a bad pick, all things considered. It brought the lethal lizard back to Japan’s shores in a big way, and ensured there would be plenty more monster mayhem to come in the years ahead.
1964’s whimsical Mothra vs Godzilla brings the man of the hour face-to-face with the biggest fan-favorite on our list of monsters for the first time. It surprisingly ranks one notch higher than the original 1954 masterpiece Godzilla, which jumpstarted a new era in special effects drama. In 1964’s Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, the Joker to Godzilla’s Batman was born, as the space-dragon descended upon him, Mothra, and Rodan at once. And Mothra faced his ancient nemesis Battra in 1992’s excellent Godzilla vs Mothra.
Not the list you were expecting? Who did the fans miss? I, for one, am pleased as punch to have Mothra and Jet Jaguar get as much shine as they have, while I would have definitely moved up the godfather of the kaiju genre, Gojira, up to the top spot. I also might have seen the well-balanced, fun outing of 2001’s Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack just barely peek its head through the side door of the list.
But if this list proves anything, it’s that the kaiju genre has a tremendous library waiting for fans old and new to dive into, and this is only including those connected to Godzilla himself. With the upcoming Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters about to drop, plus Pacific Rim: Uprising next year, along with both Godzilla: King of Monsters and Godzilla vs Kong on the way, the future of these cinematic terrors is truly monstrous.
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