A few years ago I translated a few pages of Terebi Magazine that described an early take of Mecha-Ghidorah that came from the 1980s—long before Mecha-King Ghidorah became a part of the Heisei canon. I had seen images of this fully-mechanized version of the monster floating around the Internet for years, and so I was pretty happy when I finally got my hands on a reprinted copy that came as a bonus with one of the Godzilla All-Movie DVD Collectors’ Box volumes. Many of these sets come with interesting bonus materials, and while I usually picked them up only if they had rare manga reprints of things like the manga adaptation of Godzilla vs. Megalon or Kazumine Daiji’s adaptation of Godzilla vs. Hedorah, sometimes a particular article reprint also caught my eye—and such was the case with vol. 47, which included the movie Varan (1958), and a set of six short stories titled “Giant Monster of Justice Godzilla,” published as a serial in Terebi Magazine from October 1972 until March of 1973.
These short stories, like the aforementioned Mecha-Ghidorah article, feature tantalizing artwork that I had often seen appear on the Internet with very little accompanying explanatory information. But it was hard not to be curious, seeing crazy images of Gezora impaled on a building, or Godzilla fighting Manda on Easter Island with a pair of pandas somehow caught in the mix. Unlike with the Mecha-Ghidorah article, the “Giant Monster of Justice Godzilla” series also were full-blown short stories and not just a kind of pie-in-the-sky set of ideas thrown together for a magazine. The short stories, too, have a sort of loony charm, with some truly unexpected monsters appearing, monsters speaking to one another, a recurring Kenny, and even a case of a Gigan manifesting a power he had never used before.
But the highlight has to be the artwork by Yasuo Sakaigi. Sakaigi seems to be largely forgotten, as a Google search in English turned up next to nothing, and even a search in Japanese produced a paltry set of hits and not even a Wikipedia page. His name on the Japanese Amazon indicates he did work on some kind of illustrated biography of Babe Ruth and a text on world monsters and several other sports and science-fiction related titles. It’s a real shame he isn’t better known, as his illustrations of Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Gigan, Mothra and more are wonderfully detailed and often quite suit-accurate—and occasionally his monster scenes are shockingly violent! The art makes the stories worth reading. In fact, the stories themselves are mostly very disappointing.
Strangely, on the reprints, no author of these very simplistic stories is ever given. Perhaps Sakaigi himself wrote the tales, or someone else who was embarrassed to put his name to the text? Each of the six stories is very short—I was able to translate all of them in the space of a bit over two thousand words. They basically function as flash fiction, and are almost entirely composed of monsters fighting each other in quick bouts that end as quickly as they began. Sometimes important details seem to be thrown in hither and thither with little aforethought, such as the names of the two pandas coming in late in story four, or, in that same tale, the fact that Dogora is being manipulated by King Ghidorah only being mentioned in a caption on the images, never in the text itself!
The closest thing I can compare these short stories to is the series of simplified comics created by author Kazukuni Kobayashi and artist Fumio Hisamatsu and published at about the same time, albeit in the magazine Otomodachi instead of Terebi Magazine. Those stories, too, generally featured quick battles with child protagonists appearing in minor roles—and in that series, too, Gigan gets a new super-power! Also, for some bizarre reason, Gigan and Anguirus team up against Godzilla, despite the fact that Anguirus had been Godzilla’s ally against Gigan in the film in which they mutually appeared not long before the story was published.
Both series also include side columns and educational content. I would say the side columns which accompany the short stories below (I obligingly translated them as well) are a bit more substantial than what we got with the Otomodachi comics serial, but they are still quite short. Note that Godzilla: Blitz War was my translation of the title of the Champion Matsuri cut of Destroy All Monsters.
I wasn’t sure how to go about presenting the stories this time. I felt… odd about actually straight translating them, which seems like it is probably illegal, but even if I just gave summaries, the stories are so simple that the summary would cover the exact same content with almost the exact same level of detail since the prose is so sparse. Thus I straight-up translated the stories, but I am more than willing to take them down if we have any particular complaints. I tried to keep the translations close to the original, but sometimes added a few words to improve the flow of the sentences or add clarity where in the original Japanese the text felt obscure or incomplete when translated directly into English. For the most part, I retained the paragraph breaks. I replaced the generic “gao” roar given to Godzilla with the now-classic “skreonk” that has become in favor ever since the advent of the Dark Horse comic series. I edited in the fact that King Ghidorah was manipulating Dogora, and the names of the pandas early in the text.
With all that said, I hope you enjoy my translations of “Giant Monster of Justice Godzilla”!
- Story 1: “Take Out King Ghidorah!”
- Story 2: “Ebirah, Rodan Big Attack!”
- Story 3: “Decisive Battle in New York”
- Story 4: “Save the Pandas!”
- Story 5: “Protect the Pyramids”
- Story 6: “Pacific Ocean Big Decisive Battle!”
Story 1: “Take Out King Ghidorah!”
Art: Yasuo Sakaigi
“SOS! We are being pulled down by something! We are in danger!”
The message from the jumbo jet flying over South America cut off at that point. Soon after the search party set out, deep in the Andes Mountains in an out-of-the-way valley, dozens of jumbo jets were found. All of the missing jumbo jets had gone down here.
Also, next to the jumbo jets was a giant monster!
“It’s Gorosaurus! So he is the one who brought down the jumbo jets!”
The search party was in trouble, as they could not disembark from their search plane to check the jets.
Godzilla appeared directly after Gorosaurus!
Gorosaurus, upon seeing Godzilla, grabbed one of the jumbo jets and smashed it into the kaiju king’s chest.
In a crazed fury, Gorosaurus attacked Godzilla.
“Do your best, Godzilla!”
Hearing the rising voices of the humans, Godzilla rushed Gorosaurus and, using his incredible strength, strangled his opponent. Finally, Gorosaurus helplessly fell to the ground.
Just at that moment—DODODODODO! BARIBARIBARI!
Suddenly, a boulder behind them broke apart, and a strange light emanated out.
Roar! Roar! Roar!
As the boulder shattered, the massive space monster King Ghidorah appeared! Moving his three heads, spitting gravity beams that can move the body of opponents, King Ghidorah attacked Godzilla.
“That guy is Gorosaurus’ boss! I wonder if Godzilla will be okay…”
Pouring out strange beams upon him, King Ghidorah drove Godzilla gradually into a corner. Then Gorosaurus chomped onto Godzilla’s leg.
“Fight, Godzilla! Don’t let them beat you!”
Gorosaurus, making fun of the exhausted Godzilla, began to kick and tickle the kaiju king.
Just then, Godzilla’s eyes sparkled.
Godzilla, with a sudden movement stood up and, grabbing Gorosaurus by his long tail, swung him wildly around and slammed him into King Ghidorah, who was coming to help.
Knowing he was done for, King Ghidorah flapped his wings and desperately flew away into the sky…
Godzilla’s triumphant cry echoed across the land!
“You’re so strong, Godzilla! Thank you!”
Story 2: “Ebirah, Rodan Big Attack!”
“What is that?!”
Suddenly, underneath Kitakyushu’s huge Wakato Suspension Bridge, the water began to boil and a tsunami burst forth, sinking one boat after another.
Then, out of the water came something gargantuan that looked like a pair of scissors, and with a clack, it snapped the suspension bridge in half! The bridge sprang into the air, and the cars that were trying to cross were thrown in every direction.
At that moment Godzilla appeared! Fight, Godzilla! When Ebirah realized Godzilla had come, he climbed out onto the land. Then, aiming at Godzilla’s eye, thrust his massive claws at the kaiju king.
However, Godzilla, with an incredibly quick motion, grasped hold of a train that was sitting at the station nearby and, seizing the chance, swung the cars right at the joint of the nearest claw. The claw was severed and chucked high into the air.
But at just that moment Rodan swooped down from the sky and attacked Godzilla!
Flapping his wings, Rodan created a typhoon, the shock waves striking Godzilla and reaching as far as Mt. Aso.
However, Rodan was caught in the smoke rising from Mt. Aso, and his attack weakened.
This was Godzilla’s chance! With all his strength, Godzilla grabbed hold of Rodan’s wing, spun him around and around, then chucked him down into Mt. Aso’s volcanic crater. Rodan let out a scream that disappeared as he fell into the crater.
You’re so strong, Godzilla!
Sidebar: “How Godzilla Was Born.”
Godzilla had been sleeping deep in the ocean depths for 200,000,000 years when he was awoken by a hydrogen bomb test. Then his body was filled with radiation from that same hydrogen bomb, and he appeared in the human world. That’s why he can spit radiation.
At first, Godzilla was an enemy to humankind, but now he is our ally and a giant monster of justice. Godzilla is 50 meters tall and weighs 20,000 tons.
Story 3: “Decisive Battle in New York”
“SOS! SOS! A giant iceberg has appeared and is coming this way on a direct collision course! Please help…!”
A cargo ship traveling across the arctic ocean released that final message before being sunk beneath the waves.
Up until that time, due to the same enormous and mysterious iceberg over one hundred meters tall floating on the ocean, many ships had been sunk.
The aforementioned enormous iceberg was being carried away by the ocean waves at incredible speed.
Then an American warship was deployed and shot off many missiles at the huge chunk of ice.
Shoom! Shoom! Shoom! Shoom!
An incredible noise arose as the giant iceberg split apart.
Then, from inside, two giant monsters appeared!
Gabara and Gezora!
Gabara and Gezora chased down the fleeing gunship and sank it, then attacked New York.
Having invaded the great city of New York, Gabara and Gezora trashed the place to their hearts’ content. Gabara shot waves of electricity from his claws and destroyed buildings while Gezora belched forth ink from his mouth and painted buildings black. In an instant, New York was laid to waste.
However, just then—
At the same time as his roar resounded, the monster of justice Godzilla appeared!
Godzilla lumbered closer and closer to the two monsters. Then, abruptly, just as Godzilla jumped, he threw both his legs forward into a powerful kick straight at Gabara’s chest.
It was the Godzilla Kick!
Gabara, in great pain, ran for his life.
However, after Gabara retreated, Gezora still remained and pressed his attack.
Godzilla and Gezora stared each other down for a time, and then Gezora, with his long limbs, swiftly reached out and tried to take hold of Godzilla’s leg.
But in that moment, Godzilla violently grasped Gezora’s appendage, whirled the monster through the air, then heaved him high into the sky.
Gewa! Gewa! Gewa!
Reaching the pinnacle of his ascent, Gezora then began to fall while crying out before getting impaled upon the spire of the Empire State Building and perishing.
The skyline of New York City rang out with Godzilla’s victory cry!
Sidebar: “The Godzilla Anything-At-All Question Box 1”
Which is taller, Godzilla or Tokyo Tower?
Answer: Godzilla is 50 meters tall, and Tokyo Tower is 333 meters tall, so Tokyo Tower is taller. However Godzilla is totally powerful enough to destroy Tokyo Tower.
Sidebar: “The Godzilla Anything-At-All Question Box 2”
Answer: If you were to measure Godzilla with elephants, how many elephants would equal Godzilla’s weight?
Godzilla weighs 20,000 tons, and so it would take about three thousand elephants to equal his weight. Godzilla is so heavy that, if he were to climb onto a building, it would get completely flattened.
Sidebar: “The Godzilla Anything-At-All Question Box 3”
What was Godzilla born from?
Answer: Long, long ago, just like the dinosaurs, Godzilla was born from an egg. Godzilla’s son, Minilla, was born from an egg that was thirteen meters across.
Sidebar: “The Godzilla Anything-At-All Question Box 4”
What super-powers does Godzilla have?
Answer: Godzilla can spit radiation from his mouth that can burn up anything. Also he has a really powerful Godzilla Punch, Godzilla Kick, and a Tail Slap, etc.
Story 4: “Save the Pandas!”
This is Ueno Zoo. The pandas Kankan and Ranran had recently moved to Ueno. In front of the panda cage this morning, as usual, the area is packed with people wanting to get a look at the pandas.
Slither, slither, slither!
Suddenly from out of the sky came a gigantic lifeform. Eerie tentacles reached down and, wrapping around the panda cage, ripped it out of the ground and carried it up and away.
“Oh! The cage was ripped out of the ground and is being carried into the sky!”
“The pandas are being stolen!”
Because he was standing near the cage, Kenji was also spirited away into the sky.
The monster in this case was the jelly fish-like space monster Dogora! He was being manipulated by King Ghidorah.
“Save the cute pandas! Godzilla, hurry and get over here!” screamed out everyone on the scene. “Find the pandas!”
The command went out around the word to find them!
Godzilla’s friend Mothra also dropped out of the sky to find the pandas.
“I found them! They are on that island!”
The island to which Mothra was referring was the mysterious South Pacific isle known as Easter Island. Beneath the giant bizarre stone faces lined up on the island, the panda cage was securely set down.
However, next to the cage was the giant deep sea snake monster Manda, who had wrapped his coils around one of the statues (as well as the pandas and Kenji), and was spitting strange beams of light so that no one could come close. Kankan and Ranran were terrified and shaking in their place.
“Please tell Godzilla what has happened!” shouted Kenji. “Manda, you jerk, give back the pandas!”
Finally Godzilla came rushing to Easter Island.
Godzilla yanked out the statue around which Manda had been wrapped, then aimed a barrage of punches at the light-spewing beast. Godzilla grasped the exhausted Manda and, with his monstrous strength, ripped his head off.
Manda’s body twitched and jerked as he died.
Godzilla took Kankan and Ranran tenderly upon his palm and returned them to their cage. Then Mothra, with her big feet, embraced the cage and lifted Kenji and the pandas into the air, then returned them to Japan.
“Thank you, Godzilla!”
Sidebar: “The Well-Informed Panda Encyclopedia”
1: One of the top three rarest animals in the world, pandas originally come from deep in the mountains of China, but now no more than thirty pandas live in zoos around the world. They are a very precious animal.
Sidebar: “The Well-Informed Panda Encyclopedia”
2: Pandas’ favorite food is the leaves of bamboo grass. They eat 20 kilograms of them every day. They also eat sugar cane after properly peeling them. Pandas like sweet things.
Sidebar: “Let’s Watch Godzilla Movies:
Godzilla’s big accomplishment film, Godzilla: Blitz War, is coming to Toho theaters from December 17th, and will be shown with Panda Go Panda.
Story 5: “Protect the Pyramids”
This is the Memphis of Egypt. Here and there the pyramids are lined up. Little Kenji, using his winter vacation, has come with his father to visit. He was riding upon a camel and viewing the pyramids at the time of the incident.
At the same time the shrill cry rang out, two giant monsters appeared from the shadows of the pyramids!
“Anguirus and Gigan!”
Kenji and the others panicked and ran away.
Space monster Gigan used an anti-gravity ray to move each of the pyramids into a pile. Then Anguirus and Gigan freely began to rampage.
“Godzilla, hurry up and get over here!” shouted Kenji.
Now knowing of Anguirus and Gigan’s plan to use their super-powers to destroy the pyramids, Godzilla appeared!
Anguirus, who up until that point had been rampaging atop the mountain of pyramids that Gigan had constructed, noticing Godzilla’s appearance, cried “Gao!” and charged down to attack him.
Godzilla caught the tail of the charging Angilas and swung him around and around above his head, then launched him at the mountain of pyramids! Anguirus, hitting his head against a rock, passed out.
However, now it was Gigan’s turn, and he attacked with a fury.
“Do your best, Godzilla!”
Watching from a safe distance, Kenji desperately cheered on Godzilla.
Gigan, spewing forth anti-gravity beams, carried out an attack against Godzilla. However, with lithe and quick movements, Godzilla managed to dodge the beams of light.
BOOM! CRASH! BAM!
The anti-gravity beams, having missed Godzilla, smashed into the pyramids, and the top half of one of them came tumbling down. Godzilla, again acting with incredible speed, grabbed hold of the falling top half and, using his monstrous strength, thrust it against Gigan’s chest. Gigan cried out and died. Everybody helped Godzilla put the pyramids back where they belonged.
“Thank you, Godzilla!”
Sidebar: “The Well-Informed Pyramid Encyclopedia 1”
The pyramids were graves for the kings of Egypt built five thousand years ago. Their bases were square and situated in such a way that one side faced east, one west, one south, and one north.
Sidebar: “The Well-Informed Pyramid Encyclopedia 2”
The biggest pyramid is in Giza, and was owned by King Khufu. It is 148 meters tall, and was constructed from 2,300,000 blocks over a period of twenty years.
Story 6: “Pacific Ocean Big Decisive Battle!”
One day, jet black fog covered the sky above Tokyo.
“What?! What on earth?! What has covered the entire sky?”
Even though it was the middle of the day, the sky had become deep black as the night. No matter who they turned to, nobody could understand what the black fog could be.
“It may be the work of a giant monster. Let’s call Godzilla to come over.”
Godzilla came over in a rush. Then, gradually the black fog thinned out, the light of the sun shot through, and the sky became brighter.
“Ah, there’s a monster on top of that building!”
On the apex of a tall building Varan and Kamacuras could be seen, with King Ghidorah flying in the sky!
“Godzilla, eat THIS!”
Varan, tearing a chunk off the building on which he was standing, aimed at Godzilla’s head and hit him with all his might! Godzilla, taken by surprise, collapsed on the spot. But Godzilla, for some reason, despite having shrugged off many attacks on his head before, fell with a thud, and lay there without getting up.
King Ghidorah, Varan, and Kamacuras took that very moment as an opportunity to attack together in unison.
“Godzilla, what’s wrong? Get it together! Finish those nasty monsters!”
Kenji, desperately crying out from the observation floor of Tokyo Tower, finally managed to get Godzilla to raise his head.
“Get them, Godzilla! Protect Tokyo from the monsters!”
Kenji and everyone else desperately cheered on Godzilla.
But Godzilla, apparently suffering badly, crawled into the sea of Tokyo Bay.
“There, now! Let’s finish Godzilla!”
The monsters, with a big celebratory mood, fell down upon and attacked Godzilla.
“What’s wrong, Godzilla? Do your best, Godzilla!”
Godzilla agonizingly swam away, escaping into the Pacific Ocean. King Ghidorah, Varan, and Kamacuras, feeling thoroughly relieved, hovered down inches from the ocean’s surface. Then they began their finishing blow upon the seemingly exhausted foe who was floating on the sea.
However, at that time—
Suddenly, Godzilla stood with an abrupt movement and grabbed hold of King Ghidorah’s heads, slamming them together! King Ghidorah, dizzy from the attack, sank down into the sea.
That taken care of, Godzilla then grabbed Varan’s tail with his left hand and spun him through the air, and with his right hand smashed Kamacuras’ claws! From the start the three monster foes were weak to the water, and so, writhing in agony, they sank away into the sea.
Godzilla, intentionally pretending to run away in order to protect Tokyo from destruction, had drawn the monsters out into the Pacific.
“Gosh you’re strong, Godzilla! Thank you!”