Frankenstein フランケンシュタイン

Frankenstein
Frankenstein

Height : 20 meters
Mass : 200 tons

Powers / Weapons

Super regenerative power; animated severed tissue

Appearances

Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)

Series // Showa


Description

During World War II, Frankenstein's heart is secured by the Nazi forces, despite protest from doctor Liesendorf who was studying it. Using a submarine, the heart is transported from Germany and handed over to Japan. The Japanese forces then take the living organ to a laboratory in Hiroshima. The hope is that the scientists there can unlock the secrets of the near immortal heart. Unfortunately, while the heart is under examination, Hiroshima is struck by an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945. The resulting conflagration burns the laboratory to the ground in seconds.

15 years later, in 1960, a boy is found roaming the streets, eating dogs, rabbits, and anything else the vagrant child can get its hands on. With word of the child spreading, it's not long before doctors Sueko Togami and James Bowen discover the boy for themselves, before the child quickly runs off. Next, reports come in of the vagrant child being cornered in a cave. The two doctors immediately enter the cave to try and locate the small boy they had seen the night before. The small child is found cowering in a corner, trying to scare away the onlookers. Sueko slowly approaches him and begins to befriend the child. Gaining his trust, the boy is taken back with the two doctors to their clinic for further study.

Once at the clinic, the vagrant child begins to grow at an alarming rate, as news of this miraculous discovery continues to spread. Kawai, a man aboard the sub that ferried Frankenstein's heart to Hiroshima in 1945, visits the clinic to see the doctors upon hearing of the remarkable child. Kawai tells the doctors of the incident, and how the heart was transported nearby before the atom bomb hit, leaving room for speculation that perhaps there is a connection.

FrankensteinTo follow up on Kawai's theory, doctors Yuzo Kawaji and Bowen both disembark for Germany. They seek out doctor Liesendorf, the man who had Frankenstein's heart before it was taken to Japan. Liesendorf explains that if the doctors want to find out if the child is a descendant of the Frankenstein's monster, then all they have to do is severe one of the child's limbs. If the boy is in fact related to Frankenstein's monster, Liesendorf assures them that it will regenerate its missing limb.

The two doctors return to Japan with the information. Doctor Sueko is mortified by the revelation and entirely opposed to harming the child. Kawaji, however, intends to find the answer by himself. He secretly goes to visit the child at night with the plan of removing one of the boy's limbs. The vagrant could hardly be called a boy anymore, though, as it was now much larger than a normal human being. The doctor is interrupted, though, when a group representing TTV barges down to where the child is being confined. The camera crew shines light at the overly large child as they prepare to film the creature. The vagrant goes berserk in response. It smashes out of his confinements and escapes from the clinic. The creature stops off at Sueko's house, to visit the young doctor one last time before it flees from Hiroshima. Shortly after the break out, a severed hand is found moving around the clinic, proving that in fact the monster is Frankenstein.

Following his departure from Hiroshima, Frankenstein ventures to Okayama, where it's discovered that the creature has grown to a height of four people. The monster continues its trek, next visiting Himeji, where the creature devours some of the local live stock before moving on. The monster is next sighted in Byoko, where it openly attacks a pleasure cruise ship. After pushing the craft, the monster sinks back into the water.

Back at the clinic, it's discovered that Frankenstein's hand has escaped. A short search is conducted, until the shriveled hand is found under a grid, dead from a lack of nutrients.

With word of the pleasure cruise incident spreading, combined with the local disasters caused by the monster Baragon who continues to leave no survivors to report his attacks, the Japanese Self Defense Force begins to mobilize to confront Frankenstein. It doesn't take long before the military is alerted to his position. Appearing in the mountains, Frankenstein inadvertently destroys a cabin while trying to throw a tree at a bird. In response, the defense force mobilizes troops and tanks to the area. Frankenstein hears the tanks, interrupting an attempt to capture a large boar. Avoiding their direct line of sight, the monster quickly flees before the tanks even have a chance to take aim. Unfortunately for the defense forces, a tank falls prey to the trap Frankenstein set for the boar. Driving over a collection of foliage, the vehicle falls into the hole Frankenstein dug. The complication gives Frankenstein ample time to escape to a safe distance.

Meanwhile, Baragon is attacking a nearby village. The subterranean monster devours the small population and flattens the structures. The military arrives too late, and blame Baragon's attack on Frankenstein. Word then spreads that Frankenstein has trapped itself in an abandoned ammunition cave. The SDF quickly disembarks and confronts the trapped creature. The soldiers in charge quickly open fire on the beast, but their attacks appear to have no effect and Frankenstein quickly flees from the cave.

Doctor Kawaji, still insistent on furthering his study, goes after Frankenstein. He hopes to preserve just a part of his body that can be taken back to the clinic. Bringing with him explosives, the doctor planned to confront the monster head-on. His plan backfires, however, as the monster Baragon is awakened by a test explosion. Ready to descend on the defenseless physicians, Baragon is instead attacked as Frankenstein rushes to their aid.

The two titans clash in an epic battle, as Frankenstein uses a combination of agility and intelligence to outmaneuver Baragon. The giant humanoid eventually wins, as he chokes Baragon to death. The monster is victorious, but has no time to celebrate over the fallen Baragon as a fissure opens. The seismic event casts both of the monsters down into the depths of the Earth.


Powers / Weapons
Super Regenerative Power

Super Regenerative Power

Frankenstein demonstrated incredible regenerative feats. The most impressive of these was the ability to quickly grow back missing limbs.

When escaping the laboratory in Hiroshima, Frankenstein loses his left hand. A forming stump can be seen shortly afterwards, while almost moments later, when breaking through a wall, the stump takes on a more hand-like appearance. By the time he visits Sueko's apartment, his left hand is nearly completely healed.

Animated Severed Tissue

Animated Severed Tissue

After losing his hand when escaping, the severed appendage took on a life of its own.

For study, the hand was kept in a vat of protein culture solution that would sustain its need for nutrients. The doctors applied elctro-magnetic treatment as well, until they felt it had reached a stage where it could sustain itself off the solution. However, the hand continued to grow, consuming all of the solution. It then escaped in search of more food. Consequently, the animated appendage was killed due to a lack of nutrients, getting itself stuck below a grid.


Background and Trivia
  • Portrayed by actor Koji Furuhata and also actor Kenichiro Kawaji when seen as a child.
  • Very loosely based on the creature from Mary Shelley's original novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.
  • In a filmed alternate ending, instead of falling into the fissure, Frankenstein tosses the dead Baragon off a cliff after breaking its neck. The giant humanoid then roars victoriously until the Giant Octopus suddenly appears. The two monsters battle each other as the octopus drags the fight toward a lake. Battling near a cliff, the giant cephalopod makes one final pull until both fall into the water of the lake below. Frankenstein is then quickly dragged under water, and the onlooking characters assume him to be killed in the confrontation.
  • FrankensteinFrankenstein is most often listed with a mass of 200 tons, such as in the Toho Special Effects: All Kaiju Illustrated Encyclopedia. An exception is the 2005 publication Godzilla: Toho Monster Picture Book (ISBN: 4092800525) that lists the creature's mass as 1,100 tons. This mass would make the creature heavier than the larger Baragon or Gaira and is assumed to be a typo.
  • The creature is only ever referenced as "Frankenstein" in the 1965 film. Technically, in Mary Shelley's original novel, Victor Frankenstein is the name of the doctor and the monster is called a variety of terms such as "creature" or "fiend" but is never named. Consequently, it is often known as "Frankenstein's Monster". That said, it is quite popular in modern culture to use "Frankenstein" to refer to the monster, as Toho did in their film. That said, The Godzilla Chronicles series, such as with The Godzilla Chronicles Vol. 3, does refer to the creature in English as "Frankenstein's Monster".
  • The creature is cited in Japanese by its name spelled in Katakana as フランケンシュタイン, meaning Frankenstein. However, the monster does have a few subtitles that have been attached to it. This includes 改造巨人 (Kaizo Kyojin), which translates to "Artificial Giant", that is used in publications like the 2004 book Everything Godzilla: The Complete Super Encyclopedia. 不死身の魔人 (Fujimi no Majin), which roughly translates into the "Immortal Devil", is also used and can be seen in books like Godzilla: Toho Monster Picture Book (ISBN: 4092800525).
  • Although continuity between the films is loose at best, Sanda from The War of the Gargantuas (1966) is referenced in the movie as being a Frankenstein or the offspring of Frankenstein. The latter being quite possible given the creature's power of animated severed tissue, which in the 1966 film allowed for the birth of Gaira from Sanda's tissue.