Varan バラン


Varan - Varan (2nd Generation)
Varan
Varan

Height : 50 meters
Mass : 15,000 tons

Powers / Weapons

Gliding flight at mach 1.5

Appearances

Varan (1958); Godzilla: Final Wars (stock footage)

Series // showa

Sound Effect

Description

A pair of red-trimmed off-white butterflies are found living in the land of Siberia. The insects are native to Japan, so scientists find it strange that they would be discovered so far away from their homeland. In response, an expedition is dispatched to their habitat, located along the Kitami River, to discover why the insects might be living in Siberia. Two members of the scientific community helm the expedition, but are mysteriously crushed by something that the police can only describe as "powerful." The nearby villagers of the Kitami River insist that the deaths were a result of the wraith of their mountain god: Varan.

Further intrigued, a larger expedition is then dispatched to the area. This time the investigation is funded by the film company "20th Century Mysteries Solved", an organization that seeks to uncover the truth behind the two deaths to report on it. Staff of the firm Yuriko and Horiguchi lead the expedition along with Kenji, a member of the scientific community.

VaranThe expedition travels inland and stumbles upon a village doing a ritualistic prayer to their mountain god. The priest of the village warns the travelers that their presence will make the monster angry. The warnings fall on deaf ears, though, and the problem escalates when Ken, a young local boy, runs out of the village after his dog. The villagers are warned not pursue, as the priest explains that such action would anger the mountain god. Kenji challenges the priest's warning, asking if their beliefs are worth endangering the life of a child. The three members of the expedition then decide to take matters into their own hands and rescue the boy. The trio is separated, however, in the thick fog. Kenji and Horiguchi return to the village to rally the locals to help them, telling them their beliefs are little more than superstition. The villagers, minus the priest, agree, and head toward the lake to rescue Ken. Once there, Ken, along with Yuriko, are discovered. Their reunion is cut short, though, by the monster Varan rising from the Kitami River. The villagers flee back to their homes, but Varan gives chase. The aquatic monster enters the village, killing the priest who was guarding the entrance. The beast then proceeds to tear apart the huts inside. After the destruction, the monster retreats to his underwater lair.

Reports of the creature's existence are sent back to Japan, and the defense force is mobilized near Kitami River to prepare for the beast's return. The nearby villages are evacuated, as tanks and ground artillery units move into position. Shortly after the evacuation, the military begins releasing toxins into the river to drive the monster out. The plan is a success, as Varan emerges from the water's surface. Phase two of the SDF's plan is put into operation, as tanks and artillery units began to unleash their destructive fury on the monster. The conventional weapons have no effect, though, and the military is forced to retreat. Amongst the confusion, Yuriko manages to get caught under a falling tree, placing her right in Varan's path. Kenji narrowly manages to save his colleague, though, and the two seek safety in a nearby cave. Varan pursues the two, reaching into the cavern with his claws. Luckily, the military intervenes, firing light bombs over the monster's head. Varan becomes attracted by the light, and climbs a nearby mountain in order to get a closer look. Once at the peak, though, Varan raises his arms to reveal hidden flaps of skins. The creature then leaps from the mountain and glides off into the sea.

As the next day breaks, Varan's reign of terror continues as he capsizes a fishing boat not far from Tokyo's shores. The defense force then remobilizes, sending a squadron of jets to intercept the creature. The aircrafts are met with little success, however, as Varan manages to sink one of them that ventures to close to the water's surface. Pleased with his success, the monster submerges and continues his descent toward Tokyo. The military moves into phase two of their counterattack, deploying battleships to the surrounding waters. Unfortunately, the battleship's artillery has no effect against the creature. Undiscouraged, the SDF quickly launches a third campaign to try and stop Varan's advancement, this time using mine sweepers to seal off Tokyo. The attack, like the rest, is met with failure, though.

Out of options, the defense force again remobilizes its forces to the area around Tokyo bay, lining the water with battleships and dispatching a battalion of tanks near Haneda airport. A large amount of Special Gunpowder, which they hope will have better success at destroying the monster, is also readied. Tokyo is then evacuated, as the military awaits the appearance of Varan.

VaranDay turns to night as Varan finally emerges from the water, ready to attack the Japanese mainland. The creature is immediately shelled by the surrounding forces, but that doesn't deter his advancement on land. Kenji, once again taking matters into his own hands, drives a truck filled with Special Gunpowder to the runway of Haneda airport. Varan advances on the small vehicle, as Kenji escapes to a safe distance. With Varan directly over the truck, the detonate trigger is pulled, causing the aquatic monster to fall flat on his stomach. The SDF celebrates prematurely, though, as the beast rises from the attack seemingly unfazed.

As the battle wages on, light bombs are once again deployed to try and attract the monster. During this, the defense force witnesses Varan eating one of the flares. A new plan is then hatched, as they prepare light bombs filled with the Special Gun Powder. The bombs are unleashed, as the monster eats two of them out of the night sky. Shortly after, the first bomb detonates, causing the monster to retreat back to the sea. Varan is too late, though, as the second detonates just as the creature submerges. Time passes, and the ocean water is still as the self defense force declares the creature dead.


Powers / Weapons
Gliding Flight at Mach 1.5

Gliding Flight at Mach 1.5

A thin membrane is found between Varan's limbs, which can be extended when the creature stretches out its arms. Once unfolded, the creature can leap and then glide through the air using this membrane.

The beast used this ability after it climbed a mountain, to an elevated state. It then leapt and flew at mach 1.5, diving into the water far away to continue its journey to mainland Japan.


Background and Trivia
  • Varan was portrayed by suit actors Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka.
  • The head of the creature was modeled by Teizo Toshimitsu while the body was made by brothers Yasuei Yagi and Kanju Yagi.
  • In the 2000 publication Large Picture Book of Godzilla: Toho Special Effects Movie World (ISBN: 4873765587), Varan's weapons are mentioned as "Head and Back Horns" (頭部と背中の角 - Tobu to Senaka no Kado) and "Sharp Claws and Fangs" (鋭い ツメ と キバ - Surudoi Tsume to Kiba).
  • The first generation of Varan was 50 meters in height. However, it would often walk on all fours. In this stance, the creature was at a height of 30 meters, as noted in Godzilla Fierce Fighting Super Illustrated Encyclopedia (ISBN: T1001844121004).
  • For the scene at Haneda airport where the explosion from the truck strikes Varan in his stomach, suit actor Haruo Nakajima was badly burned during this sequence. This account of events can be found in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • VaranPosters, pamphlets and other material for the original 1958 movie depict the creature as either green or a grayish blue. However, like the second generation that appeared in Destroy All Monsters (1968), Varan was actually brown as seen in the image on the right. Oddly, despite this, the first generation continued to be represented with different colors into the 1980's. Examples include the 1987 laserdisc for the movie and the purple appearance of the beast in the video game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters.
  • Although not seen on screen, the creature was part of the continuity shared with Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003). The events in that timeline are very similar to those in the original 1958 film, although expanded in terms of the implications that they had for ongoing technology being developed to fight kaiju. The Godzilla X Mechagodzilla Completion (ISBN: 9784798613536) lists the following for the events in that timeline involving Varan:

    "There were still those concerned with monsters like Godzilla, who had been completely immune to everything the SDF had thrown at him before, and that existing military weapons wouldn't be enough to eliminate such threats. A movement began within the Defense Agency, and while they were taxed with reconstruction, a strong new bomb was developed using a small budget. Around this time, the giant monster Varan appeared within Japan's borders. Fighting with existing weapons from the land, sea and air had no effect on the monster. Because of this, the SDF decided to introduce its new bomb to the fight.

    However, even this new bomb was unable to stop Varan initially. Although it didn't seem effective at first, it was found out that Varan was attracted to shining objects. Using this to their advantage, flares with powerful bombs were deployed, and the strategy to kill Varan from the inside went underway. This strategy was a splendid success, and Varan was killed.

    Following this fight, the SDF and the government concluded that the development of weapons to combat the rising mega-creatures was indispensable. Finally, just four years after Godzilla's attack, development began on creating full-scale anti-monster weapons. Also at this time, the idea for the construction of specialized SDF institutions first came about. The idea was to have three branches made for monitoring the land, sea and skies."



Varan (2nd Generation)
Varan (2nd Generation)

Height : 10 meters
Mass : 60 tons

Powers / Weapons

Gliding flight at mach 1.5; poisonous spines

Appearances

Destroy All Monsters (1968)

Series // showa

Sound Effect

Description

Years after the incident at Haneda airport, a surviving member of the dinosaur species Varanus Pater, which had originally lived during the Mesozoic Era, was discovered. This beast, however, was a small, possibly infantile Varan. Like other monsters of its generation, the creature was eventually corralled and contained by humanity.

By 1999, this Varan was found living on the human monitored Monster Land. When the Kilaakian took control of the island and its inhabitants, though, Varan disappeared. Shortly after, the alien invaders' global assault was initiated, with Godzilla, Rodan, Gorosaurus and others laying siege to the planet.

After the control was broken, Varan joined the other Earth monsters in the fight against King Ghidorah at Mount Fuji, although he does not participate directly in the conflict itself. Once the space demon was defeated, the spiked creature returned to Monster Land to live out his days with the rest of the kaiju.


Powers / Weapons
Gliding Flight at Mach 1.5

Gliding Flight at Mach 1.5

Between Varan's limbs a thin membrane exists. This allows the creature to fly by gliding, able to reach speeds of up to mach 1.5 from this ability.

Oddly, after King Ghidorah is defeated and Varan is living back on Monster Land, the creature is seen flying straight upwards after pausing in midair. Through gliding, a maneuver like this would only be possible if the creature had experienced a sizeable updraft.

   
Unused

Poisonous Spines

Poison is stored inside the spines on Varan's back.

Any feat related to this is unknown, as the small Varan was never witnessed to have entered combat with another creature.


Background and Trivia
  • It is not uncommon for multi-generation kaiju to have misrepresented stats. Varan is particularly guilty of this, as many sources, such as the Large Picture Book of Godzilla: Toho Special Effects Movie World (ISBN: 4873765587), list the second generation as being the same size as the one that appeared in 1958. This is not the case, though. The second generation Varan is much smaller than the original. Publications like the 2016 book Perfect Godzilla Giant Monster Super Encyclopedia: Definitive Edition (ISBN: 9784063048476) cite this correctly, however this is something that was documented back in the late 1960's. In fact, the 1968 publication Ultra Books: Charge of the Monsters (ウルトラブックス怪獣総進撃) listed the correct stats: 10 meters in height and 60 tons in mass.
  • Varan (2nd Generation)In 1984, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka authored the book the Definitive Edition Godzilla Introduction (ISBN: 4092201427 for the 1994 re-release). Inside the publication the bios for the Showa series kaiju are contained, listing stats and weapons for the beasts. In the case of Varan, the monster's weapons are stated to be the ability to "pierce its opponent with the row of spines growing on its back, which hold deadly poison." (武器=背中に一列にはえているトゲに、猛毒を持っていて、相手を刺す。) The book does not clarify if this feat was exclusive to the second generation, although the description mentions the beast facing King Ghidorah, even though the stats are those of the 1958 creature.
  • In the 2000 publication Large Picture Book of Godzilla: Toho Special Effects Movie World (ISBN: 4873765587), Varan's weapons are mentioned as being more or less the same as the 1958 version, which are "Fangs and Claws" (キバとツメ - Kiba to Tsume) and "Head and Back Horns" (頭部と背中の角 - Atama to Senaka no Surudoi Kaku).
  • The second generation Varan only appears as a 90 centimeter prop, rather than a suit. The Kaiju Guide for Godzilla on the Playstation 3 notes this is because the full-body costume for the original Varan could not be used due to deterioration from aging.
  • The Kaiju Guide for Godzilla on the Playstation 3 cites the creature as a decedent of the dinosaur Varanus Pater that lived in the Mesozoic Era. The Definitive Edition Godzilla Introduction (ISBN: 4092201427) has a slightly different name for this as "Baranopoda" (バラノポーダ).
  • Was considered for the unmade movie The Return of King Ghidorah that would have released in 1972. It's unknown how the size of the monster would have factored into the movie, or if this would have been yet another generation of Varan that would have appeared.