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  • Toho has announced a new anime series for Godzilla, being produced by Toho while being created by anime studios bones and Orange. Set to debut worldwide in 2021, on Tokyo MX in Japan and on Netflix worldwide, the upcoming series is around the corner. The show won’t be Godzilla’s first foray into animation, although this is noted to be an all new and original series on the character. This article acts as a news roundup for the new series, titled Godzilla Singular Point. (more…)

    News // October 26, 2020
  • Author: Connor Clennell | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    The universe was an enormous place. In the 200,000 years that mankind had been around, they had yet to truly grasp the scope of the reality they lived in. Even far older and advanced civilisations struggled to answer such a boggling question. But every year, the knowledge of the universe grew as something new appeared from the infinite blackness of the cosmos, whether it be a new planet or satellite, foreign race, or type of interstellar fauna. In the case of the latter, knowledge was often accompanied by death.

    The galactic network had known for untold decades of beasts such as King Ghidorah and Legion, whose tales of terror had circulated far and wide across the Milky Way. But in recent times, new entities, both organic and artificial but deadly in their own right, had made their presence known. First, it was Bemular. Then Gigan, followed by Goliath, Mechagodzilla, and Orga in the years that came after. At the cusp of the next decade, alien invaders took focus as the major threat to national security over civil wars and terrorist attacks. With such lacking information on the world they lived in, none could anticipate when the next horror of the void would emerge and begin a new age of destruction.

    Crimson wings stretched wide across the empty vacuum, allowing the beast to sail with ease on the solar winds. It had been travelling for weeks now, leaving behind worlds stripped bare of life and resources in its wake. Billions had filled the drooling monstrosity’s belly, yet it still craved more. Its stomach growled soundlessly with unquenchable hunger, demanding sustenance, but there was none to be found so far. The newest solar system to suffer its presence was lacking in flora and fauna, leaving the foreigner more and more ill-tempered with each planet it visited. But the planet coming up looked promising, giving the scarlet intruder a glimmer of hope in finally sating the hunger that consumed it. Continents of green spread across its surface, divided by vast, blue oceans. To Bagorah, it was like an all-you-can-eat buffet. And it would eat everything.

    The alien’s wings folded inward, drawing close to the body as it began to descend through the atmosphere. A cone of heat engulfed the bat’s form as gravity began to take hold, dragging it down and increasing its velocity exponentially with every passing second, but it was no concern to the great beast. It knew that it would survive entry, and begin the feast shortly after.

    Even if the cosmic vampire had sought to make a stealthier arrival, its presence was instantly recognised. Other species of ancient titans dominated the blue planet, sharing a complex and fragile balance over resources and territory, and were none to accept disruption to their harmony from foreign rivals. Near the Kyushu Providence of Fukuoka, Bagorah’s arrival was taken note of for a different reason. Stone and earth that had remained undisturbed for centuries suddenly began to tremble and crack, falling into the depths of the planet as something under the surface stirred back to life. Tremors rocked the region, taking down freeways and office buildings as the quakes reached up to 8.0 on the Richter scale, but the source of them was uninterested in the consequences of its actions. It had hibernated for centuries, awaiting the return of its preferred prey. Although other giants had frequented the providence over the last decades, the forgotten beast had decided not to challenge them, as its once-great strength had faded with time. But the new arrival was promising, and while it was not among the list of creatures the ancient one once hunted, it was desperate enough to try.

    The earth visibly shifted and rose as the awakened titan moved under the crust, burrowing its way toward the most likely site of the invader’s landing. Genetically-wired instincts urged it on, regardless of its depleted resources, but the mission had to be completed. It was the last and only one of their kind left in the world, but soon, many more would be brought into it…

    The burning shape of Bagorah filled the skies over Nagasaki, casting a reddish-orange glow over the crowded, lawless streets. Millions abandoned respect for their fellow man in their desperation to stay alive, but the fact that the crimson xenoform was here proved it was already too late. Before it could make impact, the bat-like thing banked up, allowing the city to feel the ravages of its tail wind. Shards of glass fell like rain as thousands of windows shattered, only to be swept up along with anything loose and thrown across the landscape. As the screams of its prey filled its hypersensitive ears, Bagorah could only purr in delight. Its wings flapped in powerful strokes, bringing the interloper to an instant halt and blowing away the flames that coated it. The surrounding structures were immediately set ablaze, but it was of no concern to the great carnivore. All that mattered was the feast.

    Swooping just above the asphalt, it scooped up thousands into its open maw. So ravenous was its hunger that the chiropteran didn’t even wait to finish its mouthful before dipping its head again and filling its bloody gullet once more. As it went for a third helping, the foreigner stopped. It hovered in place and turned in the other direction, entranced by something in the distance. What it was, the bat had no idea, but it could hear clearly the sounds of the earth itself shifting and crumbling, growing in volume by the second. Its green eyes narrowed and searched for whatever had come. This was its bounty. It would not surrender it.

    Showers of soil erupted from cracks in the tarmac like geysers only yards away from Bagorah. The street started to sink into the ground, with debris erupting into the air just as quickly as it disappeared below the surface. Amongst the chorus of rumbling rock, the vampire caught a deeper sound. At first, it thought that the ground was rising up, but the black, jagged mass that emerged from the pit was most definitively alive. Huge, brawny forearms slammed into the pavement and pushed the colossus out, allowing the sunlight to wash over all of its bizarre form. Nothing else on Earth could compare to the newcomer in anatomy. Features of mammals, reptiles and insects were all present on its body, but there was no relation between any of those species and the ancient thing.

    The new arrival had many names given to its kind over the centuries. Some called it the Dragon Beetle, whose footsteps could shake the earth like thunder. Others cursed it as the Unclean Thing, for it corrupted the world with its essence. The oldest civilisation of all, lost from memory, knew the earthly demon as Jinshin-Mushi. All of these titles had been forgotten, but the modern age had given it a new one, upon discovering its connection to another lost species only recently documented.

    MUTO Prime.

    The hunchbacked creature let out a low shrill and stretched its tired, stiff limbs. It had slumbered for far too long, and now had to complete the cycle. Its elongated eyes were locked on its airborne target. It was not of this world, but the bat was the only choice it had to ensure successful reproduction.

    But Bagorah was not intimidated by the behemoth. Its nose, like its ears, was highly acute, and could sense the MUTO’s weakened state. A single whiff of its scent was all the bat needed to tell that the creature was not at full strength, yet had still come to challenge the scarlet invader. It couldn’t see a rival, but a greater meal that had delivered itself right to the starving predator. With a demonic shriek, the alien flapped toward the super parasite at great speed, spreading slobber into the wind as the urge to consume overpowered it. Its ferocity took MUTO Prime by surprise, leaving it slow to react as the flying fiend swooped overhead and raked its talons across its rocky back. A gigantic forelimb swung upward, but it was too late to strike the swifter killer. Dark blood flowed from the gashes left in its hide, dripping to the ground around the black titan as it struggled to turn in the confined street space. As it finally spun around, Jinshin-Mushi was assaulted by the chiropteran’s claws once more, slicing into its meaty flanks and retreating just as quickly. Once again, MUTO Prime lashed out with its massive arm, only finding hard granite and steel that shattered under its great strength. It grumbled slowly, becoming angered by its inability to land its claws on the red menace.

    Through the black smoke from the burning city, Bagorah screeched in an imitation of human laughter. Its prey couldn’t have picked a worse place to challenge it, in an environment that hindered it and gave the carnivorous xenoform plenty of cover to use. Even with the odds on its side, the invader should still have been cautious, but overconfidence and hunger clouded its logic and it dove down like a rocket. Its jaws opened wide, exposing fangs like needles and a green, flickering tongue, all stained with the blood of its human victims. Soaring over the parasite, it rolled to the side as one of its unusual forearms swung up, and swept over the behemoth’s back to lean its head down and sink its jaws into MUTO Prime’s shoulder.

    The beast from before Christ roared load and deeply, throwing its alien head back as pain surged through the assaulted shoulder like venom. The titan’s blood seeped into Bagorah’s mouth, which the galactic ravager lapped up with famished gusto. The taste was unusual to the great bat, but such a thing had never deterred it from a meal in the past. It jerked back to rip away a chunk of Jinshin-Mushi’s flesh, but the predator’s head didn’t budge from its spot. Confused, it tried again, only to meet the same lack of results. The hide of the ancient one was too taut and thick to be easily ripped away, and it was a miracle that Bagorah’s fangs had managed to pierce the surface in the first place. But as it tried to relinquish its bite, the chiropteran’s jaws remained locked to the site. Its attempts to main MUTO Prime has driven the crimson horror’s teeth deep into its tough flesh. It couldn’t pull free!

    Muffled screeches of distress left the flying evil’s stuffed maw as it struggled to pull free from the super titan. The invader’s wings and talons beat and scratched at the parasite’s form, informing it of the bat’s current position. It reached back with one colossal hand and clamped tightly around Bagorah’s mid-section, then pulled back, tearing the enormous creature from its shoulder. A reverberating groan escaped the maw of MUTO Prime as a chunk of its own flesh was ripped away as a result, and looked at the culprit squirming in its grip. Although its focus was to escape, the gluttonous foreigner could not resist gulping down the piece of the titan in its jaws before the chimaera’s own eyes. Gnashing fangs reduced the meat to paste, splattering Bagorah’s body with the blood of the Unclean Thing before swallowing and licking the remains from its drooling lips. It saw no need to hide its craving for the local’s flesh.

    This action drove an enraged cry from the black thing and the arm holding the invader swung out, throwing it into the side of the nearest skyscraper. The bat was instantly embedded in its structure, stunned from the impact and restrained by warped steel and broken concrete. With its enemy and target immobilised, MUTO Prime reared up, roaring into the darkened sky before slamming back down and charged at the helpless flyer. All Bagorah could do was widen its eyes as the herculean beast thrust its entire mass and godly strength against its crimson form, forcing the air from the demonic alien and robbing it of its voice. The imprisoning structure shattered under the unrelenting force of MUTO Prime, falling to the earth as a gigantic hail of rubble. Within the shower, Bagorah was thrown back, crashing to the uneven streets and skidding across the surface with wheezing breaths. When it finally stopped, the remains of its prison came down upon the foreigner, burying it under tons and tons of concrete debris.

    As the smoke and dust drifted away, MUTO Prime strode out from the haze. It grumbled silently as it caught sight of its pinned target, writhing and shrieking as it hastily started to loosen the concrete boulders restraining it. The killer of titans took heed and increased its pace, consumed by the drive to complete the seeding of the new generation. Bagorah’s efforts intensified as well once it noticed the behemoth’s approach, but its body was still held down under the hill of rubble. Its freed wings beat wildly, slapping the ground to try and lift the bat out of its prison as Jinshin-Mushi neared, finally casting the shadow of its impressive bulk over the struggling xenoform. Bagorah’s emerald eyes met the red, visor-like slits that were the parasite’s own and screeching loudly, trying to intimidate it into backing off, but the cries of the scarlet beast seemed to only aggravate the great one. Once more, it reared onto its hind legs, lifting its massive forelimbs in the air in preparation for the crushing blow.

    More debris slipped off the chiropteran’s chest, but it was still trapped and lacking time. The eater of ecosystems was not defenceless, however. Despite its alien origins and appearance, Bagorah was still a bat in nature, and possessed the same abilities as its earthly relatives, only greatly enhanced. The devourer’s jaws suddenly split open, emitting a long, piercing scream into the air. So powerful was the sound, the very space around the cosmic predator’s jaws warped and distorted from the high frequency. Windows across the block instantly shattered and buildings were shaken to their foundations, but MUTO Prime felt the full effects of the sonic blast as it took the brunt of it. The armoured titan lost its balance and stumbled, toppling over onto its back and roaring in agony in its disorientated condition.

    Now was the invader’s time to strike! With a final burst of power, Bagorah burst free of the restraining debris and flew toward its fallen adversary with a haunting shriek. Although pain coursed through the behemoth’s head, it recognised the incoming danger and tilted to catch sight of the incoming threat. Its inner pairs of arms lashed out, catching the ferocious carnivore inches away from its throat and held the starving thing back. Thick saliva splattered across MUTO Prime’s throat as sharp fangs snapped furiously, eager to taste of its flesh and blood. Bagorah’s wings flapped wildly and its taloned feet slashed at the tough belly of the colossus, scoring white lines across its surface. The great parasite pushed back with the strength it could muster, but its crimson nemesis was not so easily dispatched, holding vigour unfitting of its lithe form. But as the effects of the sonic attack faded, the hunchbacked goliath was able to refocus once more. Its whole body seemed to vibrate tremendously and its strange jaws opened, unleashing its own supersonic roar and returning the favour to the hellish alien. Bagorah’s hypersensitive ears took the blast in full and it screamed in agony, momentarily losing its hearing and balance. Unlike the chiropteran’s sound blast, the cry of Jinshin-Mushi was one of sound and force, which threw its attacker clear off and to the rubble-filled street.

    The predator of the stars hit the rough ground with a pained squeak and a veil of dust. It shrieked and thrashed as its ears ringed, trying to outlast the agony as MUTO Prime slowly climbed back onto all fours. It stepped toward its distressed target, pinning its wings to the ground with its forearms and leaning down to the bat’s level. From the sides of its face, four orange, luminous tendrils emerged from hidden sheathes, lazily twitching as their pointed tips slithered closer to Bagorah’s restrained form…

    The bat suddenly lunged forward, shocking the elder titan as its jaws flew past the tentacles and gripped its throat. Jinshin-Mushi howled and reared back, releasing its hold on the alien glutton and withdrawing the ovipositors.  As its attacker’s reaction pulled it up, Bagorah did not let go of the parasite’s neck, choosing instead to thrash its head back and forth to tear apart the behemoth’s flesh as its massive wings expertly kept it hovering in place. Its tongue darted out to taste the blood dripping into its maw at the source and it purred in delight. Like the vampire bat it so closely resembled, it lapped up the substance with drunken gusto, intoxicated by its exotic, earthly flavour. There was a sudden, powerful collision to its torso, and Bagorah found itself flying back, gasping for lost breath as MUTO Prime lowered its offending fist.

    Dark fluid flowed from the ancient one’s wounded throat and stained the demolished ground beneath it, but the damage was surprisingly minimal. It still hurt like hell, though, but MUTO Prime chose to ignore it and rushed its recovering adversary. The tactic was predictable, giving Bagorah enough time to ascend out of the angered beast’s path and hover above, looking down with its own snarling expression. Twinges of pain shot through its bruised chest with each wing beat, fuelling the fire of hate that the foreign killer had for its earthen opponent. The chiropteran’s jaws snapped, shooting a blast of high-frequency sound at the herculean monster that forced it to step back. The dark-coloured thing groaned and shook its head, dazed by the sudden attack but otherwise unharmed. Bagorah circled the confused titan, launching sonic bombs from its shrieking maw from all directions to surround it in a sphere of sound. The louder volume had a greater effect on the MUTO herald, disrupting its hearing and echolocation abilities. It swayed on its feet, struggling to find its balance as its head tracked the crimson stalker.

    While the tactic was sound, it was not what Bagorah desired. It craved the thrill of action, the rush of adrenaline from attacking its victims itself. It descended, triggering the xenoform’s foe to lash out with its forelimb. In its muddled state, the strike missed by yards, giving the bat the opportunity to sink its talons in-between the goliath’s shoulder blades. Flapping powerfully, it steered Jinshin-Mushi toward the surrounding buildings and slammed it through the wall of a smoking office building. Crushed debris slipped down its form before it was jerked back into the sunlight, roaring in fury at its alien offender. The great chiropteran pulled MUTO Prime across the desolate street once more, shifting its own body weight to send the bulky terran careening into another building with an ugly cracking sound.

    For the next minute, the action of smashing the dark behemoth into the surrounding structures continued, with the beast coming away from each impact more bruised and bloodied than before. Thick cracks ran across its exoskeleton and it swayed on its feet, still under the effects of the earlier sonic attack. However, it began to stabilise, lifting its head and spreading its limbs to gain better traction on the ground. It appeared that Bagorah’s attempt to bludgeon the bizarre giant had worked in Jinshin-Mushi’s favour. The sense had literally been knocked back into it by the blows.

    With a sound almost as alien as Bagorah’s, it charged, tearing down the roadway with the crimson predator clinging to its back. The foreigner screened in alarm as it was pulled along for the ride and flapped frantically to try and halt or change the colossus’ path, but its efforts could not halt its momentum. MUTO Prime’s limbs pumped faster and faster, increasing its speed by the second until it knew that it had enough. It bellowed long and loud as it drove the body of itself and Bagorah into a skyscraper, breaking the structure’s foundation upon collision. It fell apart, crashing down on the joined monsters and removing them from sight within a cloud of dust and falling rubble.

    As the remains of the building hit the ground and the rubble settled, silence fell across the cityscape for only the briefest moment. Although the impact and collapse were both impressive, it was not enough to keep the duo down. Crimson wings burst from the debris like a thing of nightmares, with Bagorah throwing aside rubble and standing tall seconds later. Its piercing, emerald orbs easily located the living mountain that was Jinshin-Mushi amongst the littered landscape and it let out a cry of upmost hate before taking to the air. It circled the ancient parasite as it pulled itself free from the concrete sea, moaning with fatigue.

    As it shook the dust from its head and neck, sharp talons assaulted its vision. The elder beast cried out as Bagorah’s claws slashed at its face, driving the confused giant back. MUTO Prime’s fists swung wildly, missing the gigantic extra-terrestrial’s form as it hovered above like a hummingbird, raking its bladed feet across the titan’s neck and shoulders and kicking at its hideous features. The aerial killer shrieked with glee and mocking laughter as it drove its prey down, growing more certain of its victory and the prize that would come with it. And oh, what a prize it would be.

    But like with all who grow overconfident, their pride will ultimately bring about their downfall. In its focus to take the great parasite down, the scarlet fiend’s senses dulled as it slipped into a blood-crazed trance. MUTO Prime’s arm lashed out again, connecting with and grasping the chiropteran’s tail with a surprised cry from the red invader. It slammed the predator down with a mighty crack as its body hit the pavement, stunning it for the briefest moment. Jinshin-Mushi lifted its arm again, heaving the heavy bat over its hand and smashing it back-first into the ground. Shrieking wildly, Bagorah flapped its wings in an attempt to break free of the goliath’s hold. Suddenly, it was flying across the city as it was tossed by its black nemesis. It shrieked wildly before it was cut short as it clipped the side of a building, knocking out a chunk and sending the aerial menace spiralling in another direction. As another building loomed, the bat’s wings extended, clasping onto the outside with its clawed tips to lessen the impact. It scuttled across its surface like some demonic gargoyle, seeking cover to re-focus and adjust its strategy.

    As it peeked its head around the corner, the chiropteran’s emerald eyes widened in shock at the chunk of debris hurtling toward its roost. Instantly, it fell back, releasing one wing from the building as the projectile struck, demolishing several floors only a kaiju-sized hair breadth away. Bagorah leaned out again, screeching with anger as it spotted MUTO Prime rip out another slab of concrete from the side of a skyscraper. As the forgotten creature hurled it, Bagorah ascended into the air, leaving the debris to shatter the xenoform’s perch. Its return to its element brought an enraged sound from the jaws of MUTO Prime, quite aware that it would nearly impossible to bring the colossal intruder back down. It would not give up, though. Its unfightable instinct to reproduce urged it on, and the progenitor of the MUTOs had no choice but to comply.

    The parasite’s arms reached out and dug into the ground, tearing up massive handfuls of metal and rock and rearing onto its hind limbs to lift both object. With a mighty throw from each arm, it sent both boulders flying one after the other at its alien target. The first chunk missed as Bagorah rolled out of the way, aligning itself with the trajectory of the second projectile with a cunning glint in its eyes. Reaching out, it grasped the boulder mid-flight and flipped in the air, throwing the projectile back at the armoured brute. For MUTO Prime, it was an easy feat to break the boulder with a swing of a forelimb, but a veil of dust was generated in the process, hindering the behemoth’s line of sight. Its arms waved clumsily to try and dispel the cloud, but they were too blocky for the task and the dust was too thick. From the other side, the top of a building was tossed, shattering against the ancient titan’s cranium and forcing it down with a pained cry. Bagorah’s haunting shriek echoed as the goliath lifted its head with a scowl on its features. Either the foreigner was adapting its strategy as they battled, or it was choosing to mock it with the black giant’s own stratagem.

    Bagorah’s claws reached out, embedding into the roof of a residential building and tearing away the top of the structure. Swinging its lower half forward, it tossed the building through the dust cloud with all the strength it could muster. The great carnivore’s rival had caught on to its scheme, however. Its throat rumbled as the structure’s dark silhouette appeared through the grey fog, and as it broke the corner and spiralled toward the elder beast, Jinshin-Mushi’s maw released its devastating sonic attack. The reverberating roar instantly shattered the flying building and dispelled the dust in the air, giving the parasite a clear look at its red enemy once again. But as the veil vanished, it found the bat bearing down toward it, screeching aloud and spraying spit into the wind. Raising its wings vertically, it slowed to a halt and hovered before the black colossus, ears twitching like tuning antennae. Its hypersonic scream erupted from the xenoform’s throat as MUTO Prime responded with its own high-frequency sound.

    As the two beasts quickly found out, unleashing two sound-based attacks at the same time was a poor play. Between the duelling waves, a sphere of literal sound began to form, fuelled more and more by both creatures in the span of seconds until it reached critical mass. The orb burst apart with a sonic boom, launching the warring titans across the landscape. The proud infrastructure of Nagasaki fell apart for miles, burying one of the region’s most important cities in the rubble of its own buildings.

    MUTO Prime skidded to a stop, drawing trenches in the already ruined tarmac as its claw stabbed the ground. Shaken by the explosion of sound, it was unsteady on its feet and struggling to hear properly. Its vision was clear, however, and it could make out the form of Bagorah, thrown much farther across the city due to its previous aerial position. The alien slowly crawled from the rubble, shaking its bruised body clean and flexing its wings, not sporting small rips across their membranes. The action brought something behind the beast to MUTO Prime’s attention, causing a new strategy to pop into its fuddled mind. Despite its fatigue, it reared up with upmost urgency, lifting its massive forearms up and slamming them down into the earth with all its weight and strength. The ground shook with the force of the greatest earthquakes, ripping down the buildings not completely demolished by the sonic boom. Colossal cracks raced away from the behemoth, creating deep ravines in their wake as the tremor rolled toward Bagorah. Although its senses were dulled, the bat’s hearing was still impeccable. The growing noise of the trembling earth sent a rush of adrenaline coursing through the foreigner, prompting it to take flight and evade the shockwave.

    As the tremor passed under the mammal-like xenoform, it cackled with mocking laughter and cast its green eyes on the panting Jinshin-Mushi. It failed to notice the cracks spreading behind it, but MUTO Prime’s tired features turned into its approximation of a grin, confusing the flying beast. What had it to be so proud of, so close to its end?

    By the time the ringing in its ears ceased and it could hear the crumbling granite, it was too late. All Bagorah could do was look over its shoulder and watch in horror as the skyscraper behind it, with its foundations weakened by the tremor, came crashing down. The scarlet thing shrieked and tried to fly away, but the falling tower slammed into its back and brought it to the ground, disappearing amidst exploding debris and thick smoke.

    Slowly and wearily, the Unclean Thing approached. It was tired and bruised, but now victory was at hand. With its forearms, it brushed away the remnants of steel and granite to expose the helpless form of its quarry. As sunlight washed over it, Bagorah hissed and tried to move its wings, only to receive a fierce punch to its face that made the ferocious invader cease its struggles. It chittered pathetically as blood drained from its broken nose and MUTO Prime leaned close. From the sockets of its face, the ovipositors emerged, squirming lazily as if to taste the air before homing to the bat’s form. A sense of pride flowed through Jinshin-Mushi as it relished its completed objective, its need to reproduce. The arrow-headed tentacles drifted closer, tapped the flesh of the immobile creature and…

    Nothing.

    MUTO Prime jerked back in a mix of confusion of rage. Nothing. Not a single rad of radiation, the element that its offspring needed to incubate and grow, emanated from the alien’s body. It had been there. It had sensed it, from the moment they met.

    Bagorah had been emitting radiation since its arrival, but it was stored from its travels across the cosmos. It had no means to harvest or store it, and so it began to dissipate into the atmosphere. At this point, there was hardly any left to register for a full rad. Without it, Jinshin-Mushi had no way of feeding its young. The parasite had wasted its time on an incompatible target.

    Which meant that the bat had no more use to it.

    With a roar of rage, it smashed its fist into Bagorah’s snout. A gurgled sound of pain came from the foreigner as it attempted to vocalise with its broken nose, but MUTO Prime didn’t care. A second strike dislocated the fiend’s jaw, and the third made it shatter like glass. It kept on punching, burning up the little energy it had to beat the chiropteran’s head in. Gore and bone flew in every direction as it reduced Bagorah’s skull to a bloody pulp, and still kept the beating going, spurred on by rage alone.

    Eventually, its rage shimmered and its stamina ran out. Gasping for breath, the giant slouched over the corpse of its former rival. Without its anger, all it felt was uncertainty. The reserves stored from its hibernation had been used up in the battle, leaving it with barely enough strength to stand. It was in no condition to seek out another host or defend itself should another predator come. It needed food.

    It looked down, studying the body of Bagorah intently. It wasn’t irradiated and lacked the specific energy required to refuel itself properly, but…

    Jinshin-Mushi leaned down and tore a chunk of flesh from the dead thing’s chest, throwing it into its maw and gulping it down with efficient speed. It cocked its head as it analysed the taste of the otherworldly meat, then grumbled in satisfaction and grabbed the corpse, dragging it back to the tunnel and its lair.

    In this universe, nothing can be certain. The most experienced beings can fall should they not be prepared for the dangers that they may face. For Bagorah, this was the end of its story of terror. After so much pillaging and slaughter, its hunger and pride had let it to its demise in the most ironic of ways.

    The tables had been turned. The predator had become the prey.

    Winner: MUTO Prime

    K.W.C. // October 20, 2020
  • Author: Anthony James Velez | Banner: Landon Soto

    Their plan had worked to a T. Godzilla was wiped out of the pages of history. In the place of the King of the Monsters was the three headed monster, King Ghidorah. No amount of opposition leveled at them by Japan was enough to fight it off. The Futurians were confident that the world would be theirs soon enough.

    As King Ghidorah shot lightning-shaped beams somehow made out of gravitation itself, their masters were preparing on how to implement their ideals on this world. There was no doubt there would be rebellion from the government and people of Japan, and the dictatorship would require a means to convince them that their takeover would be beneficial without reliance on King Ghidorah. Of course, word was already spreading via the news of their kaiju destroying their home, so the dragon could perhaps be used as an intimidation tactic until they had a long-term solution. Ghidorah, meanwhile, hadn’t the brains for such decisions. They didn’t have a mind for any actions not predetermined by their masters as it was.

    As such, they just focused on their mission on attacking Tokyo, destroying everything and slaughtering everybody in sight. As they continued their flight on their rampage, however, something in the nearby ocean caught their attention. The Futurians noticed Ghidorah stopping in their tracks and staring off into the waters in curiosity, turning toward the ocean themselves. What they saw had caught them by surprise. Familiar fins were coming toward the bay, cutting through the salt water like a swarm of ravenous sharks.

    It was pretty easy to tell that they were differences compared to the Godzilla they got rid of, though. The spines, though similar to the original Godzilla, resembled jagged stone and were smaller than the first. As more of him rose from the depths, his bipedal, bulky body with near stubby arms, giant legs, and a face resembling that of a komodo dragon marked the key differences of this new Godzilla.

    ****

    “So there’s more than one of the species left in the world…” Wilson mumbled to himself, drumming his fingers together.

    “We’ll just have to fix that. King Ghidorah, destroy it immediately,” Grenchiko commanded through a speaker in the MOTHER.

    ****

    King Ghidorah shook their heads, beginning to focus again and flew toward the new Godzilla. Godzilla let out a ferocious roar that shook the land itself as he charged toward his newest enemy. King Ghidorah brought their feet in front of them, closing in on Godzilla before slamming them into his chest. Godzilla grunted as he skidded across the ground, grabbing the legs of the golden atrocity and pulling them to the ground with a heave. As Ghidorah toppled atop the ancient predator, Godzilla bit down in-between their right and middle head.

    King Ghidorah wrapped their right neck around his left arm and began pulling him off, Godzilla raking its right set of nails across the golden scales in response. Godzilla wrestled his arm out of the grip of the head, only to get thwacked by that head in the chin and reel back. Quick to recover, Godzilla rammed his shoulder into King Ghidorah’s sternum, forcing the glimmering beast back as well. Ghidorah was quick to recover though and leapt into the air, their bat-like wings beating as their three heads spat gravity beams upon the elder Godzilla, staggering him.  The dragon spun in mid-air, swinging their twin tails into the face of its enemy, only to regret it when Godzilla bit down and slammed them back to the ground, smashing small buildings in the process.

    As Godzilla loomed over the Futurian creation, Ghidorah’s left foot slammed into the behemoth’s right knee. A howl of pain erupted from ancient jaws, allowing Ghidorah to arise without resistance and lunge at his foe with all three heads. The center neck wrapped around the titan’s throat while the others began pummeling him with gravity beams. Godzilla grit its teeth from the pain pressing into his chest with every shot as he grabbed the face of the middle head and tried to shove his nails into the dragon’s eyes. As Godzilla’s claws dug into his flesh, the dragon unwrapped themselves from his neck and aimed to shoot a bolt from their central mouth in retaliation, but it was cut off as their mouth was bit down on and shut. Godzilla put his impressive strength into practice as he lifted the body of the dragon with his grip on all three heads.

    The ancient creature slammed the dragon into the ground, pain shooting into their back. The dragon wrapped their tails around the new Godzilla’s legs and pulled, taking the fossil of a being down with them. Godzilla growled as a head shot toward him, only for it to be caught by a dragon’s head and slammed into pavement. The other two heads slipped free of Godzilla’s grip and bit into his hands, aiming to pull him off. The kaiju growled at each other, grappling desperately to gain a better hold over the other, but as Ghidorah flexed its mighty wings and found itself atop its foe, the three-headed beast flapped its mighty appendages.

    Harsh winds made Godzilla wince, but surely the dragon could not take flight. He was too-

    The nearly one-hundred thousand ton ancient leviathan found itself pried off the man-made city and taken into the air by its enemy. Ghidorah flew across the land, spectators yet to escape the devastation looking in awe at what they were seeing the dragon do. Awe transformed into panic when Ghidorah finally released Godzilla, screams filling the bay before a mighty crash overpowered the noises as water swept all on the coast away. Godzilla groaned in the shallow depths of the bay, but his gradually recovered proved short lived as. gravity beams descended from the heavens, keeping him pinned down.

    Godzilla kept himself from howling in pain, refusing to show weakness to the dragon as he prepared his own attack. The Futurians saw his spines glow and began to warn Ghidorah, but they were confident that they could keep him pinned and avoid the upcoming attack.

    The ancient behemoth proved them half right-

    As gravity beams rained down upon him, Godzilla alit the city in a azure tint. The concentrated atomic flames which raced up into the sky connected with King Ghidorah’s central head, burning its eyes with radioactive energy. The dragon descended to the city, wailing in agony while. Godzilla struggled to his feet and charged toward the dragon.

    King Ghidorah could barely see from their middle head, staggering about while shaking their head to try to shake away the blurriness. They were so focused on this, in fact, that when Godzilla had closed the distance, they didn’t have the time to react when the ancient king slammed his tail into the legs of the dragon, knocking them down through a row of structures. Godzilla bit down into the middle head and grabbed the right and left heads before slamming them into the ground repeatedly, the dragon kicking and flailing about. One last slam to the ground led Godzilla to throw the dragon across the air, Ghidorah screeching in alarm as they sailed across the land before slamming back into the city. The hydra screamed in pain from the throw, making it difficult to stand as Godzilla marched toward them.

    The city alit a familiar azure color. Flames danced with reptilian jaws, the building thrum of energy and illuminating dorsal spines giving the behemoth’s intentions away easily. Before the atomic ray could be unleashed, a plethora of  gravity beams collided into the leviathan’s knees, knocking Godzilla off his feet as the ray was unleashed. Buildings of varying size ignited, creating a wall of flame to the right of both monsters. Ghidorah vented breaths of relief while Godzilla’s eyes narrowed in rage, reflecting the light of the fires which burned beside them and lumbered toward Ghidorah.

    The distance between the pair vanished in an instant and Godzilla managed to grab the left head of the dragon before squeezing it like a soda can, but the other heads bit down on his right hand in retribution. Godzilla made do with what he had and closed his hand, squeezing the dragon’s left skull as Ghidorah shredded his right appendage. Blood spilled from both kaiju yet neither showed signs of relenting. Draconic wings flexed once more, indicating to Godzilla the dragon would soon fly, yet he persisted in his efforts to crush the Futurian mutant’s skull, not relenting for a moment as both he and Ghidorah ascended above the burning city.

    Higher and higher the pair flew into the smoke filled sky, sickening sounds indicated the pair’s flight would not last long. Sinew and flesh began to tear off from the middle neck as Godzilla continued his grip. Godzilla let go of the two other heads, grabbing the middle head with both clawed hands. Soon enough, three heads became two as the middle head was instantly torn off its original place, blood falling like rain as Godzilla descended upon Tokyo. A mocking roar boomed from Godzilla’s maw until the impact of the city silenced its cry. A shockwave ripped through the metropolis, putting out the flames while a tremor rattled all the residents within. As the smoke cleared, the mighty behemoth lay in a fresh crater, the severed head of Ghidorah in its clutches.

    *****

    “This cannot be,” Grenchiko gasped, watching the events of the battle unfold with disbelief. “Godzilla is defeating our King Ghidorah!”

    “You underestimate Ghidorah’s power, Gren,” Wilson said with confidence. “The loss of one head will not stop our monster from killing this ancient relic. Besides, we’ve already killed one Godzilla, history will repeat itself again.”

    *****

    The two remaining heads of King Ghidorah growled in fury as they watched Godzilla crush the severed head under its heel. A snort of air discharged from the leviathan’s nostrils while he bore his fangs, demonstrating the fate which awaited the two-headed beast. Ignoring the warning, King Ghidorah lunged toward the behemoth, gravity beams pelting the saurian’s frame. Eventually, King Ghidorah tackled Godzilla, the kaiju nearly getting knocked off his feet from the force. Launching its claws forward, the leviathan grabbed the left head by the muzzle and forced its jaws wide open while preparing another atomic ray.

    The right head tried to save the left by lunging for him, but was stopped by Godzilla’s forearm as he raised it in the head’s path. This action allowed the left muzzle to slip free, and it brought its jaws down on one of his fingers. Snarling in pain, Godzilla still fired, consuming the head with atomic flames. King Ghidorah’s head screeched in pain, its eyes and face melting under the intense heat and power spewed upon it. The right head added pressure upon the arm that had them trapped, aiming to break it. Godzilla felt his bones creaking and threw the left head away, allowing Ghidorah’s right head to wrap around his right arm.

    Godzilla growled as Ghidorah’s jaws pressed down further and further. The gleaming atrocity’s left head couldn’t aim without eyes, so when it tried to grasp the titan by the throat, it instead bit into his right shoulder. Suddenly, a loud snap resonated through the area, Godzilla’s pupils expanding from the intense pain. Ferocity flared inside him, urging pull the dragon’s right head apart. With a violent snap, the neck around his broken arm fell limp as Godzilla pulled it off. King Ghidorah’s remaining head tried to get back into the fight, but not being able to see and having limited hearing did not make this an easy task.

    Despite now having a broken arm, Godzilla pushed forward. Ghidorah began to try to take flight, but Godzilla bit down on his left wing before he could leave the earth. Godzilla’s body slammed the creature and dug his claws into the wing as he slashed it to shreds. Blood dripped off his claws as Ghidorah once again tried to bite Godzilla, but the saurian bit down on it first. Unable to tell where its jugular was, he grabbed the neck with his hands.

    The dragon kicked him in the back, toppling him on top of his neck. Godzilla slammed his tail against its legs, keeping it from attempting to do that again as he added his teeth and began to wring the neck. King Ghidorah began smacking Godzilla in the face with its untouched wing, each blow causing the predator’s grip to loosen. He was forced to let go, or else give Ghidorah a chance to attack after breaking free. With its freedom, the wounded dragon fired off  a single, continuous gravity beam at point blank range, scalding the leviathan in golden energy.

    With his remaining arm, Godzilla grasped the flailing head and directed it toward its intact wing as much as he could in his situation. The gravity beams tore through the wing, Ghidorah ceasing his flapping to prevent further damage and make an already horrible situation even worse. Godzilla began to twist the neck again, attempting every angle it only seemed to cause pain. His tail was beginning to tire from the constant blocking it needed to do from King Ghidorah’s feet, so he needed to think of something and fast. Soon enough, something came to mind as he bit down on the neck and pulled upward. His claws joined on either side of his jaws, digging into the neck and pulling in both directions.

    It seemed to be working as blood began to spill into his mouth. His tail did miss a kick and its foot slammed into his spine, breaking some spines from doing so. He changed position, his jaws keeping the head grounded while his hands pulled upward instead. Finally, the places where his hands were holding gave way as the neck had torn into three sections. The eyes of King Ghidorah were open and lifeless, staring into whatever remained of their battlefield.

    Letting the golden beast’s head slip from his grasp, Godzilla breathed heavily, exhausted from the battle against his natural enemy. This definitely wasn’t the Ghidorah he remembered, but having killed a Ghidorah was good enough for him in any case.

    *****

    The Futurians felt their dreams of a world under their rule disappear. Their greatest weapon had been dispatched by this new Godzilla and they needed to start the attack over again by scratch. This time, they needed to find what creature this thing originally was and kill it as well. That was assuming they could gather enough forces from the future to destroy it, seeing as its fully evolved form had killed a universal threat like their kaiju.

    As the MOTHER’s engines roared into life, preparing to return to their time, Wilson and Grenchiko gazed out of the window at the distant form of the elder Godzilla.

    “Damn you, Godzilla,” Wilson snarled. “Enjoy your victory over King Ghidorah. It will soon be rectified.”

    *****

    The MOTHER vanished in a flash of light, catching the momentary attention of the behemoth who stood within Tokyo Bay. Paying the lightshow little thought, Godzilla turned his attention to the corpse of King Ghidorah. He stepped on its chest, took a few breathes, and let out his victorious earth-shaking roar toward the heavens above.

    Now that whatever humans still around had heard the dominance of the new owner of this island, he began to pull the “king” away from his territory. Godzilla wished that he was still able to control his other arm, but he would have to be patient for the time being and wait for it to recover. He would have to live with this new handicap for a while.

    With the death of Godzillasaurus, and by extension, Godzilla, the world seemed to have been left without its most powerful creature, for better or for worse. This new Godzilla had made the news, revealing to the rest of the world that the name would be kept alive. The J.S.D.F. had to formulate a plan along with the United Nations on how to handle the creature that pretty much had the Japanese population under his thumb. The King of the Monsters was gone forever. In his place was a creature which proved itself above a king, a true Alpha.

    Winner: Godzilla (Legendary)

     

    K.W.C. // October 11, 2020
  • Author: KeSean Johnson | Banner: Landon Soto

    Energy… Power… Energy. It is what one needs to become faster, stronger, better.

    It was a peaceful day in Japan. No carnage, no wars, no Kaiju. A group of six American tourists and two scientists had come to the Land of the Rising Sun to learn and study about the most famous mountain in the Japanese mainland: Mt. Fuji. Fascination of the geological feature firmly grasped every member until their eyes gazed upon the wonder or in this case, the unexpected anomaly growing out of it like a tumor. The crystal pulsated a pinkish-white glow and concealed raw power. The tourists and scientists could not believe what they uncovered only two-hundred meters away from them. The thing stood near the huge mountain with a height they could only assume was near fifty meters.

    Dr. Christopher Kennen, professor at Harvard University, was more interested in the crystal spire than frightened by it. He knew there was something about it that was vital to some sort of organic being.

    “A wonder unlike any seen before,” the scientist pondered aloud with an amazed look on his face.

    Excluding the doctor, a nefarious vibe descended upon the group. The scientist’s daughter, Noelle Kennen, had just become an assistant teacher at a high school in Massachusetts. She went on this trip to learn about Mt. Fuji, not a pink, over-sized icicle. Unlike her father, worry over the mysterious feature influenced her actions. Her father’s arrogance would surely come into play when face-to-face with some unknown part of science like this. He had to study it. It was his addiction in life, a light of knowledge he couldn’t turn away from. A glow that would eventually-

    Noelle pushed through the group and moved next to her father. “Dad! Dad!”

    There was no answer. He wasn’t even attempting to learn about it. He was just gazing at it; his eyes reflecting the glow of the crystal.

    “Dr. Kennen!” With just those two words, he snapped out of it.

    “Yes, Ms. Kennen?” He said without even turning around.

    She never liked it when he called her that. “Please, don’t call me that… I’m not one of your students.” Noelle remarked with frustration.

    “But you’re one of mine,” her father said with a hint of humor in his voice.

    He always wanted her to grow up in his self-image; intelligent, good-looking, well-mannered, and to have a quest for new knowledge. The scientist with a PhD had a self-famous quote: “You learn something new every day. Acknowledge it. Make something of it. Put it to good use.” And he would not miss the pulsating opportunity before them both.

    Noelle’s father quit gazing at the crystal and turned back to the group merely for the ground to begin to shake. Everyone felt a faint rumble under the soles of their shoes and thought an earthquake might have just happened far away. After all, they were in Japan. Next thing they knew it happened again, this time with a little more force. Then again and again the earth quakes rattled the dirt beneath them. Save for the doctor, they had been too frightened to figure out what was going on. One of the tourists couldn’t handle the anxiety and ran away from the pack, unnoticed. Next thing the fleeing tourist knew, he was snatched right off the ground. The giant pushed the human upward to its chin until his entire body was impaled by some sort of crystal. He slid off organic entity and fell hundreds of feet, screaming in terror and in the process, alerting all those he traveled with of his killer.

    Everyone turned around and saw a huge, sleek, menacing creature walk into their valley. It stood eighty-four meters, with a half dazzling white, half diamond purple skin texture that shined quite beautifully. It had sharp claws, razor-sharp teeth, and crystals on certain parts its body. A crystal beard, multi-crystal tipped-tail, and longer, curved crystals lined its back. No one knew what this thing was, but it showed no sign of being friendly.

    “Part of me wants to study this diamond-like creature. The other part says to run for your goddamn life,” the doctor said aloud, his thoughts spilling out for all to hear.

    “Pick the latter, dad!” Noelle screamed.

    For once in his life, the doctor could not pick apart her assessment of the situation so with a hurried breath, he chased after her, looking back at the beast with a fascination that grew greater even as he ran farther away.

    * * * * *

    No one, not even the very monster knew what it was or where it even came from, but it had a name.

    Krystalak.

    Filled with malicious intent, it was clear as day what this thing was actually here for. Not to squash the pathetic, little insects in its new domain, but to win a trophy. A trophy of great magnitude and of awesome power. He needed it! It would be his.  Nothing was in his way and nothing was going to stop him now! Or at least, so he thought. The magnificent creature was mere inches away from unlocking his greatest achievement when the ground shook violently. Unlike his own footsteps, the tremors swayed even the mighty mutant.

    Krystalak stood his ground, not letting his trophy slip away from him that easily. The earth had stopped shaking after a full minute. Then out of nowhere, the ground exploded in a dramatic show of force, Something pushed its way out of the Earth and tossed Krystalak away with its monstrous strength. After Krystalak regained his equilibrium, he realized the crystalline tower was still intact and it made him chuckle with evil glee. Then he hissed, remembering something had thrown him up into the air and back down to the ground. He almost forgot, his mind so focused on his trophy, it took him moments to process the newest arrival. What stood in front of him was an ancient dinosaur with brown, wrinkly skin, a rock-like torso, long tail, crescent-shaped horns on either side of its head, and a small nasal horn.

    Gomora roared a cry of defiance. It sensed the crystal, the mutant born of its cosmic power and he would not let its actions go unanswered.

    The crystal-covered creature roared back, infuriated now. He thought it was his for the taking the second he laid his menacing eyes on it. Gomora had ruined his plans so now he was going to ruin his life!

    Krystalak decided to make the first move. He charged head first with his shoulders moving side-by-side and running at a remarkable speed for its size. The Crystal Terror was getting ready to scratch out Gomora’s life from existence when suddenly the Subterranean-monster side-stepped him. Krystalak just barely stopped himself from colliding into the glowing structure he desired before he turned ninety degrees to the left to look at his new enemy, only to receive a kick in the stomach which sent him toppling onto his back. Gomora marched toward the downed monster, ready to tear into its underbelly merely for the mutant’s tail to trip the nearing dinosaur. With his opponent within a plume of dust, Krystalak got back up in an instant and pounced onto Gomora. Krystalak showed no remorse, swinging his claws into Gomora’s face as if there was no tomorrow.

    Gradually Gomora raised his arms into a defensive-block, holding off the onslaught to the best of his ability. Rage coursed through every fiber in the dinosaur’s being until he could not contain it any longer. A swift uppercut smashed into Krystalak’s chin before Gomora followed up with a dual kick to the abdomen, launching the mutant away. After a climatic impact, both arose searching for the other.

    Hate-filled eyes glared at one another, their owners moving in a slow circle, waiting for the other to attack first. Krystalak’s patience quickly wore thin, sending the beast surging forth once again. The Crystal Beast swung at Gomora’s face who then ducked and shoulder blocked him in the gut. Krystalak retaliated with a karate kick to the leg which forced Gomora to one knee. Gomora hugged both of Krystalak’s legs and dropped him to the ground, smashing Krystalak’s head into a grouping of trees. Climbing atop the fallen mutant, Gomora imitated his opponent by swinging wildly. His hits proved stronger than any Krystalak unleashed as blows which glanced off Krystalak’s face splintered the broken trees around its head. As blood shot out of the fiend’s maw, Krystalak’s eyes widened in anguish and it lashed out, burying its fangs into the dinosaur’s left hand. Gomora wailed while fresh blood ran down its left hand, smashing his right into Krystalak’s head to try and release his foe’s grip, yet try as he might, Krystalak’s grip proved too firm. Deciding a new course of action, Gomora got back up and thrusted his knee into Krystalak’s chin, nearly dislocating it. The Crystal Terror head smashed into the ground, its painfilled grasp finally at an end, allowing Gomora to seize the opportunity and lift Krystalak. Stagnant above his horned head, the determined reptile slammed Krystalak him to the ground. The earth fractured violently, bending to form a shallow grave, but Gomora would not allow his foe to die so easily! Ripping Krystalak out of the ground once more, Gomora lifted him high into the air just as the mutant awakened.

    In a panic, Krystalak bent downward, reaching Gomora’s groin area and flipped his adversary through the air. Gomora unwillingly performed a front flip before crashing onto his back, eyes wide at the impossible move his opponent performed.

    * * * * *

    “Amazing!” Dr. Kennen shouted, “That monster was falling while being held by its will, yet it could change the velocity of which it was falling and curl up.”

    Gomora and Krystalak gradually entered a vicious close quarters brawl, each smashing their respective claws across the other, entrancing the doctor in thought. He walked toward the battle, completely focused on the crystalline creature.

    It was not a monster of mere brute strength like its adversary. It surely possessed intelligence. How extensive was its mind? Could communication be possible?

    Maybe… maybe I can reason with it.

    Noelle looked on in shock at her father. He’d surely gone too far. Lost in thought, in some type of foolish idea. Noelle tried to run after him but her group members held her back with all their strength. No matter how much she struggled, they refused to let go. They had her too tight in their grasp. She started to cry and scream at the top of her lungs to no avail, watching her father approach the rampaging beasts in a trance like state.

    The two monsters were still in battle. Krystalak gained the upper hand and mule kicked Gomora in the face. The saurian crashed into a nearby hillside, unconscious as the doctor neared Krystalak’s shadow. Just then, Krystalak heard the meager inquiries of the good doctor. Orange eyes glared downward and spotted the meager human looking at him. Did the pest shouting not understand what he was? The impudence of the meager being caused Krystalak’s claws to twitch, and with a swift slide of its heel, the pest vanished into a pool of blood.

    The Crystalline Beast roared into the air like he had conquered not just one, but two battles until his murderous eyes spotted the other humans in the distance. Deciding it best to strike fear into those that remained, Krystalak turned around and shot out a barrage of gigantic, purple crystals from his tail. Normally they’d explode on contact but this time they stuck into the ground, missing every human. Everyone quivered in fear, feebly trembling on the ground as if to appease the monster and be spared a quick death. At least all but Noelle. With eyes unleashing tears, but a vacant expression, the young woman remained unnervingly calm in the face of the beast. Her mind only focused on a single question.

    “Why?”

    * * * * *

    Gomora awakened. He knew where he was and definitely remembered what had KO’d him briefly. Rising to his feet, he spotted Krystalak giving him an evil glare, sparking rage Gomora never thought he could unleash. The dinosaur charged toward Krystalak and speared him to the ground. Quickly the dinosaur, stomping on Krystalak’s stomach repeatedly to make him cough up blood. Krystalak echoed cries of agony with every stomp Gomora delivered. Krystalak couldn’t take the physical blows any longer and made a counterattack with his tail. The elongated weapon shot up and hit Gomora in his side, reeling him back. His foe within reach, Krystalak leapt onto Gomora, knocking him flat on his back. Dagger like claws swiped repeatedly over the saurians face before Krystalak drove his right elbow into Gomora’s throat, forcing him to cough blood. Gomora wailed in agony, but his cries grew deaf as Krystalak crushed Gomora’s throat.

    Krystalak relished the carnage. Did the horned creature think he would show mercy? No it would die like the human. Like all that would dare to take away the power which surged within the crystal!

    The mutant arose and slammed his foot upon the dinosaur’s neck. Gomora’s struggle intensified as he felt his wind-pipe being punctured. Gomora tried using his strength to raise Krystalak’s foot, but he was unsuccessful from the lack of oxygen. Rage filled eyes began to grow dull, the life vanishing before Krystalak’s malevolent glare until a light began to illuminate the saurian’s nasal horn. Charging oranage energy from his crescent horns, Gomora fired off a Super Oscillatory Wave. The arrogance of the mutant vanished in an overwhelming orange light which launched him backward at high speed and plowed the earth with his body.

    Krystalak groggily got back up, surprised by the power the dinosaur possessed. The admiration proved short lived as the mutant realized Gomora was running full speed at him. Deciding surprise was needed, Krystalak awaited until the saurian was within striking distance and spun, kneeing him in the face. Gomora cried out in agonizing pain as his head bled a little bit before receiving a tail swipe to the stomach, sparks flying everywhere. Krystalak gave a devastating uppercut to Gomora, sending him falling on his back. Gomora rapidly spun over onto his stomach and got to his knees with his head still down. Krystalak ran toward him and punted him in the chin almost breaking it.

    Gomora was in pain. Deep pain. He has cuts, bruises, dizziness, and a monster sized headache, but he wouldn’t let himself give up like this. Not in this way. Not by this monster. Determination morphed into energy, energy poured into Gomora’s horn and from Gomora’s unwillingness to relent birthed a Super Oscillatory Wave. Krystalak, now furious, released a Prism Beam from his mouth. Each energized blast soared to the other until they collided in an energetic battle of will. Bolts of energy carved through the dirt, harsh winds blew down trees, but neither kaiju showed signs of relenting. Gomora noticed his beam advancing and realizing his beam held the advantage, the saurian dumped his reserves into a final surge.

    Krystalak couldn’t believe his eyes as the wave of orange energy neared. Even after sending more power into his own attack, his beam was losing! No, he couldn’t lose. If he lost he would lose his-

    An energized explosion of sparks and shockwaves tore across the mutant’s face, breaking open its grew skin and shattering multiple crystals across his body. Krystalak crashed upon the dirt, struggling to arise and giving Gomora an opportunity he could not pass up. The powerhouse ran toward Krystalak and impaled him with his nasal horn. Krystalak screamed in agony as his torso was punctured. Gomora relished the scream and answered his opponent’s cry by letting loose as much Super Oscillatory energy into Krystalak’s entire body as he could muster. Krystalak panicked, feeling his heart race in sheer panic, or so he thought…

    The fiend’s heart absorbed the foolish dinosaur’s energy like a sponge. Realizing something was amiss, Gomora retracted his horn merely to watch Krystalak mockingly arise, his body emitting an overwhelming aura of purple energy. The malevolent gaze of Krystalak peered into Gomora’s and found true fear. Satisfied with the discovery, Krystlak let loose a shockwave that vaporized all within his presence. A plume of dust and sparks enveloped all within the slopes of Mt. Fuji, but as it vacated, Krystalak found the saurian no longer in his presence. Instead, a new geological feature graced his sight.

    Krystalak bellowed into the huge gaping hole in the ground, letting Gomora know to never mess with him ever again. He then raised his head high into the sky and howled to the heavens; the world would now know he was not to be trifled with!

    * * * * *

    Meanwhile, back near Mt. Fuji, the group felt relief in their escape from a certain death. Dr. Kennen’s daughter, Noelle, was still stricken by her father’s death but she wasn’t crying anymore. Something that saddened her, but amazed her at the same time. Her expression remained rigid, eyes filled with a rage and a desire to carry through the impossible. She would see her father’s killer meet their end. A fate she would acknowledge, make something of, and surely put to good use. She merely needed the tools to enact her ambitions…

    * * * * *

    It was time! The Crystalline Terror had turned around and laid his undivided attention onto the crystalline tower he came to achieve from the start. Krystalak walked up to the glowed entity and smiled devilishly at it.

    Energy…Power…Energy. Krystalak could now posses it all and so much more.

    Winner: Krystalak

    K.W.C. // October 1, 2020
  • Back in April, when it seemed likely covid-19 would lead to the cancellation of G-FEST 2020, a discussion began among some friends of mine, which turned into the idea of creating an online Godzilla-themed convention. A few days later, we were in serious talks; and now, after much hard work, it is my sincere pleasure to announce Kaiju Masterclass — a free online event dedicated to informative discussions on kaiju eiga — is right around the corner!

    Kaiju Masterclass will be held on October 2-4, 2020 — starting that Friday and lasting through Sunday. (A schedule is coming soon.) As mentioned above, the event is free to attend, with all panels streaming to the convention’s YouTube channel. Panels include original interviews with people who’ve worked on the Godzilla series — among the special guests are directors Shusuke Kaneko and Shinji Higuchi, suit maker Shinichi Wakasa, and GODZILLA (1998) composer David Arnold!

    Also giving talks will be genre historians Steve Ryfle (the head organizer of this event), Ed Godziszewski, and Stuart Galbraith IV; kaiju set veteran Norman England, whose science fiction film The iDol is now available on Blu-ray; staff members behind the unmade TriStar Godzilla films; the daughters of Nick Adams and Henry G. Saperstein; and many others! A list of confirmed guests can be found here.

    I myself will be involved in two panels. The first is a discussion with Akira Ifukube biographer Erik Homenick on Ifukube’s work in Children of Hiroshima (1952), Hiroshima (1953), and the original Godzilla (1954) — a nominal trilogy of post-occupation movies dealing with the subject of nuclear weapons and Japanese society. The second is a conversation with historians Steve Ryfle and Stuart Galbraith IV on the director Jun Fukuda.

    Be sure to check out Kaiju Masterclass’s website and follow the convention on social media for updates.

    News // September 21, 2020
  • Author: Jake McDaniel| Banner: Dao Zang Moua

    The waves around Okinawa Island danced and churned like a boiling pot, a paradox of calm and eeriness. As the waves lapped the rocky coast of the Japanese island, gulls and pelicans strayed from their nesting grounds to dive into the sea to capture the abundant fish that the sea was rich with. But only a few of the seabirds satisfied their bellies, as most returned home empty handed, unable to find food no matter how desperately they searched. For the seas surrounding Okinawa had mysteriously become silent in the past few days. The fish had simply ceased and the seas had become almost a dead zone, beautiful from above but lifeless when one breached the surface.

    This was first noticed by the local fishermen of Okinawa, hardened men and women whose lives depended on the supposedly bountiful seas. As more and more ships returned home with barely anything of note, panic began to set in across the island. Local villages appealed to government offices for answers, begging to know why the fish had vanished. Scientists of all flavors were called in and offered theories, most blaming the event on global warming or overfishing. But of course, no conclusive evidence was reached and as the top minds of Japan continued to argue, the villages began to suffer, deprived both of their relied upon, hard fought incomes and indeed, food altogether. If the fish continued to not come, then they would be out of work and all they had strived for would simply vanish, in the blink of an eye.

    So, they pressed on. Fishing vessels continued to go out, praying that the fish would return. One such ship lingered now, about six miles off the island, bouncing among the waves under the late afternoon sun.

    The ship was a small vessel, well cared for but nothing impressive. Slathered on its side was the name Dancing Tiger, drawn in paint that was old and faded. Upon the ship, nestled on the side, was an old fisherman. He looked the part of a stereotypical man of the sea, his bald head hidden by a baseball cap, while a wool vest covered his lanky, wrinkled frame. Callused hands gripped his fishing rod, as the old man grimly cast it into the choppy surf for what felt like the hundredth time. He knew it was futile but there was a spark of hope each time he threw it. That this time he would get a bite. But, of course, he knew deep down it was hopeless. Yet to admit defeat went against his nature and more importantly, would say that his work was pointless. So he cast the line in the sea and sat upon a chair on the deck, sighing as he stroked his face’s stubble and began to wait.

    “Beer, dad?” A younger man’s voice came from behind him. The old man looked up and saw a fresh faced man approaching him from the other side of the ship. His son was a tall man, with a healthy build that would be the envy of any athlete. He bore a chipper smile upon his handsome features as he approached his father, two glasses of cold beer in his grasp.

    The old man sighed and raised a hand before shaking his head. “No thank you, Higa. I just want to focus.”

    Higa frowned before he shrugged and said, “Alright, more for me I suppose…” The young man sat next to his father, uncorking one beer. He took a drink and smacked his lips. “Ah, that’s the stuff…”

    The old man just grunted in response, continuing to stare at the sea. His son was his constant companion on these trips, lending his hand to the work and learning the family trade at the same time. He was a fine fisherman but not an expert and so, the old man handled the actual fishing while Higa did everything else, from driving the ship to manual labor. He was a dutiful son but the old man still worried about him, wondering if when he was gone, the boy would be good enough to inherit control over his life’s work.

    “Anything biting?” Higa said, pulling the old man from his thoughts. The old man glowered and simply grunted:

    “No.”

    “When was the last time you saw a fish shortage this bad?”

    “Never.”

    “Oh.”

    There was another moment of awkward silence, which Higa filled by taking a long sip of his beer. The old man just continued to stare at the sea, watching his line bob amongst the sloshing waves. He felt grim, staring out into that blue majesty, wondering if the depths below were truly lifeless.

    “What do you think’s going to happen?” Higa spoke up again. The old man took a breath, beginning to be annoyed by his son’s chatter. He needed to think, to focus.

    “I don’t know,” The old man growled, trying to make his frustration known. “Now be quiet. I’m trying to focus.”

    “But Dad, you said there weren’t any fish. What’s to focus-”

    “Just be quiet!” The old man snapped. Higa recoiled as if bitten, looking surprised. The old man waved his hand across the deck. “Just go and man the ship, alright? Check your Facebook or Twitter for all I care. I just need to be alone.”

    Higa bit his lip. For a moment, father and son stared at each other. Then Higa sighed and nodded. He rose and left without a word, disappearing down the stairs into the bowels of the Dancing Tiger. The old man watched him go before turning back to the waves. He exhaled in relief and leaned back in his chair, letting the salty breeze caress his features.

    He hadn’t meant to be so harsh. But he wasn’t in any mood to talk and Higa could be naively thickheaded unless one got the point across and more often than not, the old man had to be tough on him. He’d always been tough on his family, pushing them to work hard and he stood by that. The fish shortage was only proof that the world was growing harsher and it needed men to stand up to it, not children.

    Grunting, the old man finally began to reel in his line. This was pointless. He’d been out here for hours and not a single bite. It was time to go back in.

    As he did, however, there was suddenly a loud noise. It resembled the crash of a violent wave against the shore, all too familiar to the seasoned fisherman. He raised his eye, shielding his eyes from the sun as he scanned the waves. As he searched, he heard his son called:

    “Whoa! Look at that, Dad! Is that a whale?”

    There. The old man’s eyes widened as he spotted something in the distance. A hulking, giant rising up from the sea, a black shadow against the afternoon sun. Waves crashed around the monstrous thing as it rose taller and taller, until its form blocked the sun altogether and cast a giant shadow over their ship.

    There was a crash. The old man turned. Higa had dropped his beer bottle. The young man’s eyes were as wide as saucers, his mouth agape as he stared up. The old man dropped his fishing line, as a violent wave smashed against his ship. The Dancing Tiger was tossed around like a toy amidst the waves, water spraying over the deck as it lolled sideways. The old man lost his footing, slipping on the slick deck and gave a cry of pain as he slammed hard against the floor. He tried to move forward but the ship rocked sideways and he felt his stomach drop as his beloved boat lolled, a great groan escaping it as the waves knocked it back and forth. His chair was cast off the deck, spinning off into the ocean, along with other stuff upon the deck. He lunged out, his nails scratching against the deck, desperately searching for his son.

    He saw him, Higa, his arms wrapped around the guard rail for dear life. He was soaked and looked utterly terrified, another wave slamming violently against the ship’s underside. The old man reached out, trying to call for Higa, trying to reach him. But he had nothing to grab onto and the last thing he heard was Higa’s scream before he was violently ripped from the ship and fell.

    The last thing he saw was the sun in the beautiful cloudless sky, Higa’s scream still ringing in his ears before he slammed into the sea. The water felt like concrete as the old man rammed into it at pitch black speed and something snapped with a wet crunch. Pain flooded the old man’s senses before a wave dragged him into the cold depths and he knew no more.

    *****

    As the Dancing Tiger was torn apart by the churning sea, the shape that had caused its destruction finished its emergence. Water spilled off the creature’s bumpy hide, its red form contrasting against the crystal clear surf. It raised its long neck to the sky, its mouth curling back as the beast emitted a warbling roar that sounded like the mixture of an elephant’s trumpet and the cackle of a hyena. Its reptilian eyes moved over the sea, barely even noticing the human vessel it had smote with its breach before settling on Okinawa Island in the distance. The monster waved its bipedal arms and roared again before it began to stride across the sea, its titanic footfalls echoing across the ocean floor, its huge tail swishing behind its bulky form and generating more giant waves.

    Titanic was an appropriate word for the creature. For that was its name, bestowed long ago upon it by humans. Titanosaurus. A relic of the age of dinosaurs, the creature had survived in the depths of the ocean for many years, feeding off other giants such as whales and squid. Content to be left alone, Titanosaurus’s peace was disturbed when a human scientist had found him.

    Titanosaurus emitted another warbling noise as its mind twisted over the memories it half-remembered under the scientist’s control. It had done things, things against its very nature. Forced out of its natural habitat, it had been pushed into the world of humans and made to destroy. It remembered fire, it remembered violence, and most of all, it remembered pain. Titanosaurus’s entire body shuddered as it pooled over the memories again, thankful it had survived its time under the madman’s control. When it had been released, it had escaped back to the sea and returned to its domain, falling in and out of a comatose state as its many wounds slowly healed.

    But although its wounds were reduced to old scars at this point, the dinosaurian kaiju true wounds, its mental ones, had ceased to fade. Despite its memories being a dark fog of nightmares, they still cut deep. And over time, as Titanosaurus tried in vain to return to its former life, the monster’s emotions had turned from fear to hatred. Hatred of the creatures that had tormented him, hurt him. Hatred toward humanity itself.

    So, now Titanosaurus had emerged from the depths of the sea to enact its vengeance. It had followed its instincts and returned to the land it had unwillingly attacked years ago. Its grim gaze locked on the island and the prehistoric beast raised its great neck to the heavens, letting out a roar of vengeance to its former tormentors. A cry of revenge against not just the people of Japan but all humans. They would all suffer for what they had done to him.

    The colossal dinosaur continued its solitary march toward Okinawa, enormous waves lapping at its bulky thighs. But as Titanosaurus trudged ever closer to its destination, it suddenly paused. Its lips curled as it stopped, the miniature tsunamis it had conjured in its wake calming. The ancient monster twisted about, its clawed fingers flexing, as it sensed something. Another presence…another presence like him.

    There! Titanosaurus’s keen eyes, used to prowling the dark abysses of the sea, spotted another shape moving several yards away. The sea churned as something equally massive moved around him, glimpses of a giant shadow moving beneath the surface. Titanosaurus slammed its fists together before letting loose a warbling challenge! The dinosaur was not used to fighting but when pressed, it could be a fierce opponent. And now, it was eager to vent its rage on something, human or not.

    The shape continued to circle for several minutes and Titanosaurus began to grow impatient. Emitting an annoyed screech, the dinosaur raised its arms in a challenge and dived forth! Chunks of the seabed were torn away by the beast’s toes as the mighty dinosaur crashed into the ocean, intending to tackle whatever circled him.

    But the kaiju’s effort was for naught, as the monster burst downward and his claws tore harmlessly through the water. Snarling in rage, Titanosaurus twisted about in the water, searching for his unseen enemy.

    Movement caught the dinosaur’s attention, behind him. Titanosaurus spun around, bubbles bursting from his nostrils as he let loose another roar, muffled now underwater. There, he saw his enemy, the creature that had dared interrupt his desire for vengeance.

    It was another monster but the opposite, in many ways, to the lumbering Titanosaurus. This creature resembled a serpent, long and sleek, its scaly hide matching the color of the blue sea. It looked almost regal, tufts of hair and horns emerged from its snake-like head, as it opened its maw and hissed at the dinosaur. Two, small vestigial arms emerged from the serpent’s underbelly, grasping at the ocean floor, its coils swishing.

    This was Manda, former deity of the underwater kingdom of Mu. Like Titanosaurus, Manda had suffered at the humans hands, when an expedition of humans had arrived and using their technology, had destroyed Mu. The great kingdom that had withstood the fall of countless civilizations had finally fallen at the hands of the savage surface dwellers and Manda, for the first time, had been unable to stop its destruction. It itself had barely survived and at first, had considered joining its city in the great beyond. But after what felt like eons lingering among Mu’s ruins, Manda had decided that it could not die, it could not rest, until the humans had paid for their hubris.

    So now it had journeyed to the surface world and began a one monster war against mankind. It had begun with this island, taking it upon itself to frighten the fish that lingered in the coastal waters away. Like laying siege to a castle, it intended to starve Okinawa of its natural resource, slowly terrifying the humans until they were ripe for conquest. Then Manda would strike the killing blow, destroying each puny human settlement until they were all little more than ash. Mankind would pay, every last man, woman, and child. Manda would have no mercy for any of them, as they had no mercy for Mu.

    But now, a challenger had arrived. Manda glowered at the disgusting Titanosaurus, hating the sight of the prehistoric relic. This thing dared to challenge its right of vengeance? To defile the memory of Mu further by taking Manda’s final act from it? No. It would not stand in his way. Manda would have its revenge and no mere dinosaur would oppose it. Mankind was Manda’s to destroy!

    The two titans, fueled by mutual hatred, stared each other down. Titanosaurus’s claws flexed. Manda’s coiled form tensed. Then, without warning, they lunged for each other.

    Titanosaurus’s powerful tail propelled it forward, the dinosaur slashing out. Manda was faster and almost glided past Titinosaurus’s blows. It sank its fangs into the saurian’s shoulder and ripped through a chunk of flesh. Titanosaurus bellowed in pain and swiped for Manda. But the guardian of Mu easily avoided the blow again, slithering backward.

    Titanosaurus pressed forward, swimming after his opponent. The two chased each other through the waters, Manda’s graceful, almost dance-like movements easily outpacing Titanosaurus’s wrathful blows. Soon, the two swam to a rocky underwater canyon, Titanosaurus’s frustration growing with each missed swipe.

    Manda hissed in glee, enjoying the dinosaur’s torment. The sea dragon then swam forward, the dragon’s serpentine body ramming headlong into Titanosaurus’s torso. Surprised, the dinosaur was knocked backward and crashed against the ocean floor, chunks of seabed exploding under its weight. Manda pressed the advantage, its long fangs sinking into Titanosaurus’s neck while its body began to coil around the dinosaur, ignoring the saurian’s flails.

    Titanosaurus howled, its warble echoing across the ocean. The dinosaur’s fists pounded on Manda’s skull, but the sea dragon only tightened its hold. Its coils squeezed tighter and its fangs sank deeper into Titanosaurus’s neck. Blood flowed freely, bathing the scene around the two struggling giants crimson.

    Titanosaurus began to feel its bones cracking under Manda’s tremendous weight. Snarling, it lunged up and grabbed Manda’s midsection. With tremendous effort, the dinosaur pulled Manda’s jaws off its throat, chunks of its own flesh being torn away. Manda screeched, flailing, before Titanosaurus swung it sideways and bashed Manda’s head to the sea floor.

    Manda shrieked in pain, its head exploding in agony, its coils weakening around the dinosaur. Titanosaurus slammed Manda’s head down again, stunning the sea dragon enough for the dinosaur to stand up once again. With a mighty shake, Titanosaurus dislodged his enemy’s coils and freed himself from the guardian’s grasp.

    Manda hissed in pain but was cut off as Titanosaurus rammed its head a third time against the rocky seafloor. Tasting blood, Manda thrashed violently, trying to escape but the dinosaur but Titanosaurus held tight.

    Titanosaurus yanked Manda up, its claws tightening around the serpent. Manda began to struggle harder as the dinosaur began to strangle it, bubbles escaping its maw. Its tail slapped against the saurian’s legs but the blows were ineffective, barely noticed by the prehistoric titan. The saurian’s hold grew tighter and Manda felt its air begin cut off, splotches of black dancing in its eyes.

    Enough, The guardian of Mu thought angrily. Its tail snaked upward and slammed against the back of Titanosaur’s head. The dinosaur gave a cry of surprise and for an instant, its grip weakened. Manda slithered free like an eel and swam upward, giving Titanosaurus another tail slap as it passed.

    Titanosaurus shook itself and bellowed angrily before looking up, spotting its opponent fleeing. The mighty dinosaur roared, enraged that this creature was causing him such trouble. Pounding its arms together, it swished its mighty tail and pursued the serpent.

    The two kaiju pursued each other for several moments, exchanging challenging hisses and bellows before they reached the surface. Manda breached first, its long form slamming free of the underwater world below. Titanosaurus followed not far behind, the mighty dinosaur bursting out of the violent surf yards away.

    The primal survivor of the Mesozoic Era and the last guardian of Mu faced off amidst the surf. Such a spectacle was incredible, two veritable colossuses standing against one another, like forces of nature clashing. Titanosaurus reared up, shrieking, before striding through the waters, lunging for Manda.

    The sea dragon dived, slipping between the dinosaur’s legs. Titanosaurus’s claws clapped together, striking naught but water. Manda then burst from behind the saurian, lunging upward and slamming itself into the dinosaur’s neck, teeth sinking into the wound it had already made. Titanosaurus shrieked, staggering, before Manda’s coils wrapped around its torso, binding the beast’s arms against its hide.

    Titanosaurus staggered back and forth, Manda biting down, drinking the dinosaur’s blood. The saurian’s tail slapped against the ocean, but Manda’s grip was like steel and Titanosaurus could not break it, restrained as it was. Its teeth snapped ineffectively, feeling its enemy’s teeth sink deeper with each passing moment.

    Titanosaurus screamed in rage. This creature dared to deny him his vengeance? It dared to stand against him? It dared to deny him what he sought for all that he suffered? Was all his pain to be for nothing at the hands of this snake?

    No! No it wouldn’t be!

    Titanosaurus swung his neck sideways, jerking Manda back and forth. The sea dragon held on but its teeth rocked about and came slightly loose. Titanosaurus then pushed off the ground and fell sideways, slamming Manda hard against the sea. Manda’s head was yanked free in a rush of blood and flesh, sending pain through Titanosaurus’s body but the dinosaur had suffered worse.

    Before Manda could press its attack, Titanosaurus lunged forward and sank his own into the serpent’s snout. He bit down hard, his serrated fangs making short work of Manda’s nostrils. The sea dragon snarled in defiance and responded by tightening its coiled grip around the saurian. Titanosaurus’s pinned arms began to go numb with pain, his bones cracking under the strain. Titanosaurus merely narrowed its eyes and sank its teeth deeper into Manda’s snout.

    The two monsters held onto each other, Manda squeezing, Titanosaurus biting, each increasing the pressure on the other. The sea raged around them as they struggled for dominance, each trying to make the other submit, each refusing to give in.

    Finally, there came a loud crunch as one of Titanosaurus’s arms popped and snapped. The limb went numb and the saurian gave a muffled, warbling cry of pain but only increased its bite against Manda. Manda continued to squeeze, glaring eye to eye with the dinosaur, lips curling, coils tightening to break the dinosaurs’ second arm.

    Then, suddenly, Titanosaurus let go. Surprised, Manda let out a squeal of pain as the sudden release caused it to fly backward. Its coils unwound, releasing their grip at the sudden shock and Titanosaurus’s remaining arm yanked itself free. The dinosaur’s arm swung and knocked Manda off, the sea dragon crashing back into the sea, mammoth waves splashing against Titanosaurus’s belly.

    Manda hissed in rage, shaking itself as it recovered. It burst out of the ocean again, ready to renew its attack and finish the troublesome saurian. But as soon as it broke through the surface, it paused, surprised by what it saw.

    Titanosaurus had turned around, tail aimed at Manda like a cannon. Manda’s momentary shock didn’t allow it to capitalize on this before Titanosaurus’s tail suddenly opened into a large, organic fan-like shape. With a powerful swing, the dinosaur swung its tail back and forth, the huge appendage sending enormous tufts of gale-force wind to assault Manda.

    Manda screeched as it found itself buffeted by a hurricane. Winds tore at the sea, churning the ocean like a cauldron as whirlpools and enormous waves slammed into the sea dragon all ocean. The creature tried to fight, tried to push forward but the riptide was tremendous, even more than it could withstand. After mere moments of fruitless fighting, the winds yanked Manda backward and a wave yanked the sea dragon underwater, sending it spinning end over end until it slammed face first into the seabed, crushing chunks of abandoned reef and rock.

    Manda tried to rise, its stubby limbs grasping at the rocks. But Titanosaurus’s enormous foot ploughed through the water, slamming down on Manda’s skull and pinning it down. Manda flailed, enraged, but it was trapped beneath Titanosaurus’s superior strength. Titanosaurus grinded his foot against Manda’s head before raising it and slamming it down. And again. And again. And again!

    Each foot slam conjured a miniature earthshake, shockwaves ploughing through the ocean floor and reducing whole swaths of the abandoned ecosystem to dust. Soon, the water was a mix of black and red, dust and blood mixing together in a great cloud. Manda’s writhing grew weaker and weaker with each blow until at last, the sea dragon stopped moving.

    Titanosaurus paused. The dinosaur’s nostrils flared, its broken arm dangling uselessly at its side, its neck oozing blood from its bite wounds. Slowly, the saurian removed its foot and reached down into the water with its remaining hand. It searched for a moment through the dust cloud before it founded Manda’s unmoving form. He pulled the serpent out of the ocean and examined it.

    Manda’s body lolled in Titanosaurus’s grasp, the great guardian of Mu’s head barely recognizable anymore. The once beautiful creature’s head had been stomped until now it was a pulpy, splintered mess of brains and bone. Titanosaurus sniffed it before raising its head and giving a triumphant cry to the heavens. He had won! Manda was dead!

    Titanosaurus carelessly dropped Manda’s corpse, sending it crashing to its watery grave. The dinosaur then looked at itself and grimaced. Its new wounds would take time to heal and although it had been victorious, it was angered to know that it could not attack Japan in this state. No, it must return to its home once again, to rest and recover.

    Titanosaurus bellowed in rage, fixing Okinawa with a final, merciless glare before turning around and beginning its long trudge back home. Soon, the dinosaur had waded into deep waters many miles offshore and dived beneath the surface, disappearing into darkness once more. Calm came over the sea again, the afternoon sun glittering off the surface.

    ******

    In the aftermath, a young man washed up on shore some hours later, barely alive but was recovered by some locals and sent to a hospital. It was Higa, who had been thrown from the ship but somehow had managed to survive, even as the two kaiju fought tooth and claw around him. He had been knocked unconscious at some point and could recall little of the encounter but he knew one thing: the monster that had come from the sea had killed his father. As he lay recovering in his bed, he stared out the window, which offered a perfect view of the sea. Most patients would be grateful for the view but Higa could only muster revulsion. He requested his curtains be shut. He would no longer bear to look at the sea, for it had taken his father from him. He knew what lay beneath now and it was something dark, something evil. The only emotions he could conjure now when he thought of the sea was hatred and a newfound desire…

    A desire for revenge.

    As for Manda’s corpse, it rotted in the depths, an undignified end for the proud deity. But it offered one final, ironic thing to the sea it had called home. Its massive body attracted thousands of fish from miles away and slowly, but surely, the seas around Okinawa began to return to life. Out of destruction was born new life, an optimistic future for Okinawa being renewed…

    Winner: Titanosaurus

    K.W.C. // September 20, 2020
  • Way back in 2018, Toho announced plans to make a stronger focus on film investment outside Japan. This announcement was made on the back of three movies that Toho was investing in at the time. These were: Detective Pikachu (2019), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and an undated remake of the 2016 movie Your Name. The first two projects were with Legendary, while the third was with Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Details are now starting to emerge on the Your Name live action remake. This article is a news roundup of information as it’s released on this project.

    As part of the agreement, Toho will provide financing and handle distribution of the movie in Japan. Meanwhile Paramount will handle releasing the film in all other territories. (more…)

    News // September 19, 2020
  • When pre-production began on 1984’s The Return of Godzilla, director Koji Hashimoto gathered a team of experts to lend a sense of authenticity to his film. Like Ishiro Honda, under whom he’d worked in the ‘60s, Hashimoto approached his task seriously, wanting to show modern-day Japan responding to an extraordinary situation, and to keep the science fiction elements—fantastic as they weresomewhat in the realm of plausibility. To achieve this, a military analyst was hired to calculate the orbit of satellites equipped to carry nuclear weapons; a journalist provided feedback regarding media reactions; and after science fiction writer Ryuichi Kodama1 suggested using magnetism to lure Godzilla, geophysicist Hitoshi Takeuchi proposed a few locations where the monster could be trapped. The staff considered finales set at Mount Fuji and the Fossa Magna before ultimately deciding on Mount Mihara, the infamous stratovolcano of Izu Oshima Island.2

    Exquisitely photographed and propelled by Reijiro Koroku’s outstanding score, the picture generates rightly earned sympathy when Godzilla—“that strangely innocent and tragic monster,” as so eloquently described in the film’s American re-edit—becomes trapped in the volcano and plunges into the molten rock below.3 At the time of the film’s release, director Hashimoto stated that a sequel was possible; though based on his exact verbiage, it would appear Toho had no concrete plans while the ‘84 film was in immediate circulation.4 This was the first Godzilla movie in nine years and the first to be marketed for general audiences since 1968’s Destroy All Monsters.5 Given that context, some speculated Godzilla would remain in Mount Mihara6: imprisoned on an island which, in centuries past, had been designated for banishing exiles. And inside a volcano with a long history related to death.

    (more…)

    General // September 17, 2020
  • Author: Joshua Strittmatter | Banner: Andrew Sudomerski

    Janjira, Japan. 6:20 A.M.

    The first hints of orange light began to peek above the mountainous landscape of Japan, slowly changing the light of the night sky from a blackish-brown to a dark blue. Morning was just on the horizon, and the very first bird call announced itself to the new dawn, singing the songs that welcomed a new day into existence. Minute by minute passed, and the slowly growing orange light peeking bit by bit over the mountains illuminated the silhouettes of tall, rectangle-shaped towers of steel, concrete and glass. An old city, long abandoned by its human creators, with the buildings now slowly being overtaken by moss and vines. Whereas fifteen years ago only one species dominated this concrete jungle, now countless different creatures called this place their home in their absence. As the sun’s light bathed the slowly brightening sky in a heavenly, almost otherworldly glow, more slumbering lifeforms began to awaken from their carefree rest and begin their usual activities. Birds of all different kinds began to crawl out of their nests and spread their wings as they took flight, soaring proudly to new perches to search for breakfast or gaze from the tallest buildings and scour their human-made habitat. Insects, arachnids, and millipedes alike began to emerge from their sleeping holes and crawl silently across their chosen territories, searching for whatever biological matter their species’ diet consisted of to sate their morning hunger. The sun was now halfway over the horizon, outlining Mt. Fuji like a shadow as its rays of light reflected off the clouds and turned them into an alien pink color. Morning was now here, and the entire abandoned city of Janjira came alive at its coming.

    However, birds, bugs and small mammals weren’t the only organisms that heeded the silent call of the new dawn.

    The water offshore began to bubble and foam in massive gouts, with a bright cerulean glow visible underneath. Something massive was about to show itself to the island country of Japan for the first time in over half a century, the ominous glow from the deep growing brighter and brighter as the entity got closer to the surface. Finally, the foaming gouts of seawater billowed high above the surface and burst apart, falling back into the sea as a reptilian monolith emerged from the froth with a long, deep growl that rattled the island for miles. All organisms with auditory receptors froze in terror as the bipedal dinosaur waded through the shallow water, shaking the earth with each footstep upon the underwater sandy coach, until finally the behemoth took a step onto dry land. Both his eyes and his rocky, maple leaf-shaped dorsal plates glowing with blue bioluminescence, Godzilla, King of the Monsters released a growling yawn as he flexed his claws and cracked his bones into place, taking a small moment to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and the warmth of the newborn glow of the morning sun. After a good thirty seconds, the 250 million-year-old Alpha Predator snorted before beginning to trudge along the shoreline, following it to where he needed to be. About half a mile up was his objective-the old power plant, formerly the man-made womb of a male of the MUTO species. Even after a few years, he could still barely smell the scent of his now dead nemesis.

    But there were no MUTOs here-at least, he didn’t think so. Something else was amiss here, and the old power plant was the perfect place to wait before he pinpointed the exact location of whatever it was that drew him to this island for the first time in many years.

    Finally taking a right and lumbering onto dry land, Godzilla trudged toward the old outpost, the smell of decaying radioactivity and MUTO flesh growing in his nostrils. But strangely, he couldn’t smell anything else. No peculiar scents of any other abnormal entities, just all the natural inhabitants of this old habitat. Now where could this unseen being be hiding?

    Rearing his head back, the nuclear reptile curled his lips in a snarl and began to suck in a great breath of air through his bared teeth, filling his throat with it. If the unseen entity was slumbering somewhere hidden, somewhere that he himself couldn’t get to, maybe a battle cry would wake it up and draw it out.

    His throat now filled with air, the Monster King snapped his head forward and let loose the godly roar that he had made famous, keeping it up for a good eight seconds before finally letting it fade to a low drone that for a moment seemed to echo on for an eternity.

    Other than the many flocks of birds that now took flight in terror, there was no response. Eventually, everything went quiet once again, as if he had never made a noise to begin with. Seconds passed slower than they should have to the ancient leviathan as he waited, his peeled ears not picking up a single response. The land was tranquil once again… … …

    The faint noise of rocks rolling, so faint they might not have even existed, somewhat startled Godzilla as his head snapped in the direction of the noise. More and more small rocks and chunks of dirt and earth began to roll down the slopes of Mount Fuji as the area began to rumble and quake. A toothy sneer crept across Godzilla’s lips. He knew it was not an ordinary earthquake. Something had heard his challenge and was about to answer it. Now THIS was what he had been waiting for!

    Suddenly, the ground 300 meters away from the end of the mountain’s slope imploded, caving in to birth a massive hole in the earth, revealing part of an underground cave.

    And within it, something began to force its way out of the subterranean realm.

    Two leathery wings snapped in a V-shape out of the hole, pointed and scaly. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a MUTO. A loud cackle that rivaled Godzilla’s own roar ripped from the crater as another prehistoric form rose from the depths of the earth. The wings flapped powerfully as they soon revealed themselves to be attached to a bipedal pterosaur with flaming red skin. A beak filled with pointed teeth swallowed the remains of a rhinoceros-sized insect before opening to release another cackle, the beast’s two yellow eyes glaring angrily at the one who dared challenge it. A crown of three horns sat behind its bird-like head, giving the beast a rightfully regal appearance. Godzilla growled at this newcomer, his eyes narrowed into slits as they focused, his muscles tensing and readying for combat. Now he understood the sounds he had heard that had drawn him here. It must have been the awakening of this beast, and its feeding of its meal.

    The giant Pteranodon cackled angrily, demanding this newcomer leave his territory immediately. Godzilla only roared in defiance, his pride eclipsed all other emotions in this moment. Regardless of whose territory it was, Godzilla was NEVER one to back off at the beckoning of another giant.

    The Monster King could smell the high levels of radioactivity reeking off this new beast. While it was true that creatures from his time naturally used to feed off radiation, this creature’s radiation levels were WAY too high for it to be natural. Not to mention, the beast’s scent was identical to a species he still remembered to this day, a species he thought long extinct. One that flourished in the final stages of the age of the dinosaurs. Apparently, not only had said species survived, but this member in the present day had been exposed to man-made nuclear weapons and radioactive material that mutated it into a colossal beast like him, like the creatures he used to fight for a living back in his prime.

    The fact that it was an unnatural mutant made it even more dangerous, so Godzilla knew that this fight might be even more challenging than he thought. Even the look in its eyes showed no fear whatsoever, and that made Godzilla slightly nervous. Back in his day when he announced his presence, a good deal of his foes would show the slightest hint of fear. And rightfully so. But this creature didn’t seem to care about his kingly status in the slightest. However dangerous this was going to be, this was a fight that needed to be done nonetheless. This mutation may very well be too strong in power for the planet to support, strong enough to offset the balance of life, and for that it had to be taken down.

    Answering the nuclear titan’s roar with another battle cry, the mutated Pteranodon known as Rodan spread his wings and kicked off the ground, flying fearlessly toward this new threat to his territory. He didn’t want a fight, but it was clear that this beast had no intention of backing off from his mountain home. So, if it was a fight that it wanted, it was a fight it shall get.

    With shocking speed that took the Permian king by surprise, Rodan flew straight at Godzilla. Before the Monster King could counter, the pterosaur slammed head-first into his chest, knocking the wind out of him and sending him toppling to the ground. A reptilian snarl escaped Godzilla’s jaws as he snapped at Rodan, but he easily passed overhead. Screeching like a godly bird, the giant monster of the skies circled around for another go, the air itself seeming to warp behind him as he flew. Godzilla growled as he began to climb to his feet-only for Rodan to slam into the back of his neck from behind, flooring him once again. For the first time ever, Godzilla was the first to fall during a fight. Genuinely, he was both shocked and a little impressed. This foe was not only incredibly fast-faster than anything he had fought before-but also it was very physically powerful. It wasn’t often he met a foe with a weaker stature than his own capable of sending him crashing to the earth with a mere body slam. Even the male MUTO from a few years ago had needed to fully yank him by the shoulders just to pull him across a city away from its mate.

    Godzilla decided to lay low this time, immediately picking up on his foe’s attack pattern. If he were to stand up, he would just get knocked down again. It was time to do the waiting game.

    Rodan screeched as he flew in again, slashing Godzilla across the nape with his spiked chest, drawing a shower of sparks and pieces of scaly skin. Godzilla kept still, his belly pressed firmly against the ground. Noticing his foe had stopped moving, Rodan stopped to hover a few meters away, flapping his wings lightly to keep airborne. The irradiated Pteranodon blinked in slight confusion. Had his foe admitted defeat already? It clearly seemed to be in a bowed position, its head and neck resting on the ground in a submissive pose. But still, there was a problem-it was still in his territory, and Rodan wasn’t bent on sharing. He wanted this intruder out of here now, or else it might become his next meal.

    Rodan screeched a warning to the radioactive dinosaur, and still it didn’t budge. It just lay there, frozen in place like a sleeping turtle, ignoring him. Now the pterosaur was pissed! Cackling a second time, Rodan began to fly toward the still behemoth-and suddenly screeched in surprise when Godzilla burst from the ground like a crocodile and tackled him to the ground, jaws crunching onto his left shoulder. A roar of outrage ripped from Rodan’s throat as Godzilla slammed him to the ground, kicking up large clouds of dust as he did so. The king of the skies tried to right himself, but Godzilla wouldn’t let him and stomped a foot down onto his stomach. Roaring in temporary victory at how the tables had turned, Godzilla began to kick and stomp onto the downed Rodan, eliciting cries of pain and frustration that echoed across the ghost city of Janjira, causing countless animals to hide in their homes in fear. The King of the Monsters roared in domination as he assailed the flying reptile, stomping and kicking him into the ground until he decided when it would be fatally wounded. But even despite the pterosaur’s smaller stature, his armored body held together without breaking once. To say Rodan felt no pain from being kicked in the stomach repeatedly would be false, but it was saying something that his body prevented Godzilla’s 90,000 metric-ton bulk from stomping a mud hole through his seemingly frail build.

    As Rodan continued to shriek in defiance, Godzilla lifted his left foot over his chest, a killer look in his eye. Rodan just glared right back into those eyes, fear nonexistent. Godzilla didn’t know whether the pterodactyloid was either incredibly brave or unbelievably stupid to show no fear in the face of his executioner, but it didn’t matter. He seemed to be accepting his death, so Godzilla would give it to him. The nuclear giant slammed his foot down with all his might…

    A sickening crack of flesh being pierced echoed in the air, and the King of the Monsters bellowed in agony and recoiled, blood flowing from the holes ripped into his foot. Rodan, his plan having worked, roared in fury as he flew to his feet and rushed his opponent, Godzilla’s blood now staining his chest spikes. The ancient saurian thrashed in confusion as Rodan latched himself to his shoulders, pecking and biting aggressively at his head and face. Blood flew into the air as his beak continuously stabbed into his flesh, and Godzilla fought to grab him-only for Rodan to surprise him by quickly letting go of his shoulders and flying around behind him, continuing to peck away at the back of his neck. The Monster King snapped ferociously behind him in a vain attempt to shake the pterosaur off, but Rodan hovered just out of reach before continuing his attack. Having regained the upper hand of the fight, Rodan released a dominating cackle and repeatedly slashed away at the rock-hard skin on Godzilla’s back with his talons.

    But Godzilla was neither down nor out.

    Rodan kept up his attack-then shrieked in surprise when something hard collided with his back, sending him flying forward and crashing to the ground. Flapping his wings, Rodan struggled to regain his footing, and as he looked behind him he realized that the cause of his current position had been the nuclear dinosaur’s long, segmented tail. Finally righting himself, Rodan stood up on two legs and turned as quickly as he could to face his opponent, and immediately was startled to see Godzilla charging him like a sumo wrestler. The King of the Monsters slammed head-on into the winged Kaiju, and this time he didn’t take any chances. Seizing Rodan by the throat with both hands, Godzilla began to throttle the mutated Pteranodon, who gagged and choked profusely in a helpless attempt to cry out from lack of air. Yellowish foam began to build in the flying reptile’s mouth as he began to run low on oxygen, but still the mighty Rodan refused to fall.

    Flapping his wings as hard and fast as he could, Rodan kicked up a burst of hurricane-force winds point-blank at his captor, who soon began struggling to breathe himself due to the high pressure of wind blowing in his face. Rodan flapped faster, and soon the Monster King’s grip loosened.

    And Rodan capitalized on the opportunity.

    Lunging forward with a burst of energy, Rodan collided with the dazed alpha predator and plunged his beak into the left set of Godzilla’s gills.

    His eyes suddenly widening with pain and shock, Godzilla bellowed in excruciating agony as he felt his own blood began to spill down his throat and into his lungs. Realizing the saurian was likely to retaliate heavily, Rodan kicked off the wounded predator and landed a good 300 meters away just as Godzilla attempted to lash out. His claws slashing nothing but empty air, Godzilla huffed and puffed as he took a moment to stare at his enemy.

    This creature was a powerful fighter, far stronger than Godzilla ever thought possible. For the first time in many thousands of years, Godzilla had met a beast that was, from what he had seen, every bit his equal. He had to turn the tide back in his favor with a new plan of attack if he were to win this fight, otherwise there was a high chance he could lose not only his title, but also his life to this winged monstrosity. It was high time to bring out the big guns.

    A deep crackle followed by repeated hums growing in volume rang in the air, as one by one Godzilla’s dorsal plates lit up like Christmas Trees, glowing with inner radiation. His formerly orange eyes lit up with neon blue light, signaling the coming of his signature attack, the one he had carried out the execution of so many foes with. Godzilla took in a breath of air, Rodan realizing the error of standing still in confusion too late before the Monster King opened his jaws and a concentrated blast of pure radiation flew into existence. The atomic beam struck Rodan’s upper torso, and the predatory pterosaur cackled in minor pain as the blast singed his armored flesh, digging his claws into the ground as the beam pushed him back a fair distance. The Permian predator kept his atomic breath going for a good eight seconds before temporarily ceasing fire, his spines still aglow.

    Godzilla did not like what he was seeing.

    Normally an opponent would reel in agony from an attack like that, but this creature’s armored skin was too thick for his breath to deal a serious injury that he needed right now. So far, a black splotch mark of charred skin on Rodan’s chest was all the attack had achieved: unless other body parts of the pterosaur were more vulnerable to such extremes, his most powerful weapon was more insult than injury. Rodan stared hard at Godzilla, pride and fury glinting in his yellow eyes. So, this beast had a ranged attack, did it?

    Okay. Two could play that game.

    His spines keeping their glow, Godzilla charged at Rodan. The Pteranodon took flight once again, beginning to fly in circles around the radioactive behemoth. Standing in the middle, Godzilla waited patiently, keeping his eyes fixed on the flying reptile like a bird of prey. His gaze never left Rodan, who continued to circle around him like a malevolent vulture.

    Then, when Rodan was least expecting it, Godzilla suddenly fired a second time.

    His aim was spot on and struck Rodan in the face. The force of the blast gave the monster of the skies a mild concussion, causing him to fall to the ground with a painful thud! Godzilla took the opportunity to unleash cerulean hell upon Rodan’s spiny back, and sure enough the pterosaur’s screeches of pain were a little more deafening this time. His skin must not have been as armored as it was on his torso.

    The glow finally fading from his spines, Godzilla ceased fire. It would be a bit before his energy levels recharged to full power. His back and left side of his face burnt, Rodan shook his head as he regained his focus. He began to cackle and flap his wings, seemingly attempting to regain flight. But Godzilla wouldn’t let him, and immediately got low and charged at him. Rodan only smirked at this, ceasing his act.

    His ploy had worked.

    The horns on the back of his head began to glow and crackle with energy, and before Godzilla knew what hit him a purple beam of atomic radiation equal in power to his own burst from Rodan’s beak and struck his chest, searing his scales and eliciting a bellow of pain from the Alpha Predator. Rodan didn’t let up and continued to fire, the heat ray burning the flesh on Godzilla’s chest to molten slag. The King of the Monsters shifted himself best he could and presented his more armored back to take the brunt of the fiery assault, but that didn’t stop the pain. Ceasing fire, Rodan cackled at the old reptile before taking flight straight at him. Godzilla dug his feet into the ground to prevent himself being floored as Rodan smacked into him, piercing the burnt flesh with his beak due to its weakened state. Godzilla took advantage of his current position and swung around a full 180 degrees, smacking Rodan with his tail and sending him crashing down very close to the old power plant.

    Godzilla rushed him, attempting to reach him before he took flight, but quickly Rodan turned around and flapped his wings together, creating a powerful sonic boom that forced the Monster King away in a shower of sparks. Spreading his wings once more, Rodan took to the skies above the ancient dinosaur, spewing a second Uranium Heat Beam that seared into Godzilla’s shoulder. The savior of San Francisco bellowed angrily at the mutant Pteranodon, and the only reply was another Uranium Beam striking the back of his neck. As Godzilla recoiled, Rodan preformed a dive bomb and struck him in the side, causing him to fall to one knee. Godzilla lashed with his tail, but Rodan veered away and back up into the air, spewing a fourth heat beam afterward. Fighting the pain, Godzilla let the potent radiation be absorbed into his system, giving him a much-needed boost of power. Rodan preformed another dive bomb, and Godzilla swung around with his tail-only to be met with a shock when, mere inches away from him, Rodan suddenly clapped his wings together and shot upward like a rocket, creating yet another sonic boom that ripped through Godzilla’s form.

    That included his gills.

    Godzilla now realized that this beast was toying with him, and with a loud roar of frustration he demanded the pterosaur come down and face him. The only response he got was Rodan diving downward before suddenly straightening himself and flying straight overhead the Monster King, slashing his skull with his chest spikes.

    As Rodan tried to take back off, Godzilla snapped out a hand and grabbed hold of the pterosaur’s ankle. A surprised cackle left Rodan’s throat as Godzilla yanked him back, grabbing hold of his wings in his claws. Rodan screamed in rage as Godzilla dug his claws into the thin membranes, shredding them at the lower parts while he also chomped down on his neck. While Rodan’s neck was armored, it wasn’t enough to fully stop Godzilla’s teeth from piercing his flesh and drawing spurts of blood. Crying out in pain, Rodan was angrier than ever. Flapping his wings madly, Rodan thrashed like an enraged bird of prey, so much that even Godzilla was having a hard time keeping a firm grip on him. Clouds of dust were kicked up by the gusts of wind given off by the Pteranodon’s struggling, obscuring both monsters’ vision, but nevertheless Godzilla bit down harder.

    In a mad act of fury and desperation, Rodan thrust his head back repeatedly with all the strength in his neck, jabbing his crown of horns into Godzilla’s neck. The Monster King groaned and released his grip at the attack, gagging a spurt of blood. But he was unprepared when Rodan thrust his head back once again, jabbing his horns into the saurian’s gills. A scream of pain echoed from the dinosaur’s jaws, and with a jerk of his head Rodan tore free and ripped himself out of Godzilla’s grasp afterward, flying a good distance away before landing, taking a moment to rest.

    The mutated Pteranodon watched as the Permian apex predator heaved in pain from the previous attack, struggling to breathe properly with his bloodied, torn gills. And in that moment, Rodan understood. He now knew this creature’s major weak point, and he sought to exploit it. His eyes narrowing as a new plan entered his mind, Rodan put his rest on hold as he cackled at the King of the Monsters, who responded with a roar of his own.

    Kicking off the earth, Rodan flew straight at Godzilla, who’s dorsal spines began to light up once more. Realizing what this meant, Rodan still continued to fly straight at the nuclear titan, who he guessed would be anticipating him to preform another type of surprise attack.

    Godzilla, who was expecting the pterosaur to veer away at the last second and pull yet another fancy trick, was instead met with surprise when Rodan didn’t stop his course and slammed head-on into his chest, knocking him to the ground. Struggling quickly to his feet, Godzilla saw out of the corner of his eye Rodan preform another dive bomb from the side. His nuclear power fully charged, the Monster King snapped around and let loose an atomic blast that scorched the Pteranodon’s face, knocking him back with a roar of pain. Flying backward, Rodan repositioned himself mid-air before ascending higher above the nuclear giant, who fired off a second blast that continued to scorch his armored torso. Ignoring the minor pain, Rodan hovered for a moment before diving away when Godzilla started to aim the blast at his wings. His left wing suffering only a small tannish mark, the irradiated pterosaur dove down at Godzilla once again. Godzilla fired off a third blast, but the flying reptile was too fast and dodged it with ease before clapping his wings together as he passed Godzilla by, creating a shockwave that rippled through his right set of gills. Bellowing in pain and frustration, Godzilla spun around and fired off a fourth atomic ray that managed to minorly graze the pterosaur’s side. Rodan cackled almost mockingly before spewing a Uranium Heat Beam that struck the dinosaur’s chest, before suddenly moving it up to his left set of gills.

    Reacting immediately, Godzilla brought his arms up to take the full, painful force of the assault-which left him open to attack when Rodan ceased fire and dove straight at him. This time, Godzilla smashed his tail into the ground and jumped at the pterodactyloid-only for him to preform a loop and smack his beak straight into his forehead, sending him falling back down to the earth with a thunderous boom!

    As Godzilla groaned in pain and exhaustion, Rodan fired off another Uranium beam that seared yet again into his gills. Godzilla was beginning to have trouble breathing from the burnt slits, reduced to all but wheezing profusely as he struggled to take gulps of air. He tried to push himself off the ground, but with another blast to his side he was sent back down.

    Even though a part of him knew there was no way to counter his enemy’s spamming, sheer determination and pride to not lose his crown kept the King of the Monsters going as he rose to his feet once again. Even if this was the day he met his match, he would still fight with every last breath until death finally overtook him. And, with 250 million years of life behind him, he roared in the face of death. He had lived this long, facing countless different horrors that plagued the planet. He would try whatever it took to see to it that this was not his last day on earth.

    Godzilla bellowed as he rose to his feet, and almost immediately was met with a Uranium Beam to his face. Blindsided, the Monster King could only reel back before something immensely strong slammed right past him from the left, slashing his gills once again and drawing yet more blood. Rodan roared, his chest spikes stained with fresh blood of the Permian alpha, before proceeding to fire yet another beam. Beam after beam, dive bomb after dive bomb, shockwave after shockwave, Godzilla was all but helpless as Rodan trolled him for several minutes. But even in spite of the brutal assault he was undergoing, in spite of the horrible exhaustion that bit at every inch of his form, the King of the Monsters fought with every fiber of his being to keep fighting and standing no matter how many times he was knocked down.

    Rodan fired off yet another beam that scorched Godzilla’s gills, and as Godzilla strained in unbearable agony he was caught off guard when the mutated Pteranodon swooped past him and sliced open his other set with his chest spines. As the king of the skies came back for another round, Godzilla kept his eyes trained on him every second in spite of his slowly draining strength, trying his best to keep a level head in his desperate state.

    Suddenly, Rodan looped around and changed course, beginning to fly away. Godzilla blinked in surprise. The creature looked to be fleeing…yet there was no reason to be. Immediately, something felt very off about what was happening, and Godzilla braced himself for whatever deed the irradiated pterosaur was planning to carry out next.

    It first started as a faint ringing sound, like a fighter jet flying at the speed of light. As the noise grew louder and louder, Godzilla’s eyes widened at what they saw. Rodan was coming at him from a distance, and he was coming in fast. Faster than he ever had before. From what it looked like, he was flying in a straight pattern, with no signs of slowing down. If that creature hit him with such a force, the results would be devastating. He braced himself, flexing his tail behind him as he prepared to swing it, remembering when the male MUTO had preformed a similar feat so long ago, and how he had slain him. How ironic it was, that here he was now, at his nemesis’ birthplace, now he himself in a more desperate state than ever as he prepared to let fate decide whether or not the tactic he used to kill his nemesis would work this time. Time seemed to slow as the Pteranodon neared. The nuclear giant had only one shot at this… … …

    Rodan cackled as he began to near the old relic, who stood firm with a slight hunch, baring his teeth and glaring fearlessly. His own eyes narrowing, Rodan propelled himself at the fastest he had ever flown as he rapidly closed the gap between himself and the ancient predator. Closer and closer he drew, until he was right on top of him.

    Godzilla’s nerves snapped, and he readied to swing-

    -and another Uranium Beam shot from Rodan’s beak, striking Godzilla’s nose and burning his sinuses. With a roar that would’ve made the deepest cavities in the earth tremble, the Alpha Predator was helpless as Rodan collided into his upper torso at full, furious force.’

    90,000 metric tons of monolithic flesh and prehistoric muscle were sent flying a full mile away before the King of the Monsters finally splashed down into the water, vanishing in a towering splash.

    Flapping his wings and propelling himself backward, Rodan lost velocity as he finally landed upon the beach with a thud, letting loose a booming cackle of victory for all the entire island of Japan to hear. As his beak closed and stopped expelling his powerful cry, he continued to stand at the edge of the beach, waiting for any possible signs that the ancient leviathan might still be alive.

    Ten minutes that seemed far too long, more akin to several hours, passed before a towering shape did slowly rise from the depths of the water.

    Blood dripping from his hideous wounds, Godzilla stood up with a head hung low. Sheets of red poured from his nostrils and gills, his once proud stature now reduced to a broken imitation of its former self. The nuclear giant could not believe he was actually alive after such a powerful strike, but he did not know whether or not that would be the case for much longer. Once again, fate was a cruel adversary, and he would have to leave it to decide what happened next from here on out. His vision was blurry, his chest cavity ached savagely, his gills were torn and burnt to hell, his hearing was messy, even his legs still struggled to keep standing. Yet stand, he still did. Through his dazed ears he could just barely hear Rodan cackling at him in the distance, somewhere off at the beach. Was it a victory cry? Was it mockery? Was it a challenge? A threat? A warning to stay away? The ancient dinosaur did not know, nor did he care anymore. In his current state he couldn’t defeat the merciless mutant, and with that fact a part of him deep inside ached like never before. He couldn’t remember how long it had been since he had lost a fight. More than likely not since his early youth days, back when giant beasts still stalked this land. When the world needed him, he had always answered its call, and he had always won.

    For the first time in millions of centuries, he had failed.

    Godzilla, his spirit dented by today’s battle, slowly began to turn away. He did not know har far he would make it before his strength faded, he did not know where he would end up, he did not know whether he would ever open his eyes and draw breath into his mighty form again after his eyes closed. Old age might just do him in this time, and if it did, Godzilla could only hope that another force in the world would take his place. All he could do now was journey as far as he could, and hope that fate would give him the strength to carry on like she had so many times over countless centuries of his existence. Only fate could decide.

    And as if on cruel, sadistic cue, she answered.

    Taking precise aim while standing at the beach, Rodan fired off a Uranium Heat Beam that didn’t miss its target-Godzilla’s left set of gills. As the beam continued to burn away, Godzilla, once the King of the Monsters, was too weak to block or move out of the way. With all the air left in his system, a loud roar 250 million years old vented from his gaping jaws, lasting a full eight seconds before, as all the control in his muscles numbed and his eyelids began to slide shut over the once proud orange orbs…

    The old Alpha Predator fell forward with a splash, his legendary spines slowly sinking beneath the surface until finally they submerged completely beneath the ocean blue.

    The King of the Monsters had disappeared.

    A deep rumble echoing from his beak, Rodan flapped his wings as he slowly lifted off the earth, turning back toward Mt. Fuji. The ghost city of Janjira was quiet once again, the animals slowly beginning to reemerge from their hiding places as the victorious Kaiju flew away, rising higher and higher until finally he perched atop the peak of Mt. Fuji, gazing proudly over the gorgeous landscape. The old power plant was miraculously undamaged during the battle, but Rodan paid it no heed. This land was now his new home, his new kingdom, his new territory. After the defeated predator had paid no heeds to his warnings to leave, he had felled it, and he would do so to any other trespasser that would dare to challenge him for his hard-earned home.

    Standing proudly over his dominion, Rodan released one last screech of triumph into the sky, letting the entire world know of his power and warning all who could hear it what would befall any others who challenged him for his new home. He would let the humans far away live out their lives on their side of the island, while he kept his. But if they decided to pay him a visit with the intention of toppling him, he wouldn’t hesitate in the slightest to put them in their place. Curling his wings forward, Rodan stepped into the center of the mountain as he nestled into an area soon to be his nesting ground. Today’s battle was a long and tiresome one, and he deserved a well-earned nap for its troubles. Laying his head down onto the cool snow and soft ashen earth, the Monster of the Skies slowly closed his eyes.

    This morning had been his right to earn his territory, but tomorrow, at first sunrise, he would see to another, very special objective.

    *****

    The defeat of Godzilla did not go unseen by the world. Citizens of Tokyo, Japan had glimpsed it far off in the distance, watching as his once godly form fell limply into the sea. Videos had been taken, satellite images and military video feeds captured, and thus the world reacted with shock and horror. Monarch was left astounded beyond belief. The occurrence was all over the news.

    No one knew for the fate of the nuclear titan. Did he live? Had he been slain? Until he was found, until he showed his face in the future, no one would ever know.

    Godzilla, King of the Monsters, had sunk below the vast depths of the very place of whence he came, vanished into the immeasurable abyss of the unknown.

    Possibly never, on the face of the earth, to be seen again.

    Winner: Rodan (Heisei)

    K.W.C. // September 10, 2020
  • Edits, additions and replacements. Toho’s large catalogue of films have sometimes been released untouched for the international markets, and other times have been hacked up almost beyond recognition. This article focuses on the rarely talked about musical component of this process, and looks to cite where music was inserted into a Toho film from an outside source when brought overseas. (more…)

    General // September 8, 2020