Kaijū Menagerie

Rodan (ラドン Radon) Rodan

Rodan, 1956

– pteranodon exterior
– an impressive beak
– super slick back horns

– wings that can create destructive gales
– jet-like flying speed
– hanging out with Godzilla on a reasonably regular basis
– mothering Godzilla Jr.
– joining in on vicious one-sided gang-beatings of King Ghidorah


I’ve got quite the soft spot for Rodan. Invasion of the Astro MonsterAstro Monster, Rodan and Godzilla team up for the second time against Toho’s biggest asshole, King Ghidorah.

Rodan (Invasion of the Astro Monster)

Rodan is one of the Godzilla franchise’s most recognisable stars and makes four enjoyable appearances in the Shōwa era — the aforementioned Astro Monster, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), the incredible Destroy All Monsters (1968), and, of course, his first appearance and only stand alone effort, Rodan (1956).

Rodan (1956)

Rodan is quite an achievement. Released in 1956, it looks far ahead of its time and is an incredible step up from the previous year’s Godzilla Raids Again. Rodan is a far more bold in his design and Toho handle his difficult skills of flight brilliantly. It’s also a shockingly grim film at times, especially in its fiery ending.

Rodan (1956)

Rodan’s design and role in the Toho universe was updated dramatically for the Heisei series with Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993) — quite possibly my favourite of this era. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II pits Godzilla and Rodan against each other rather than allowing them to be the pals they were in the Shōwa era, which is a bit sad but also a welcome change.

Rodan (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II)

Rodan would make one more appearance in the lacklustre Godzilla: Final Wars where he is just another face in a bloated crowd of giant monsters. There have been rumours that Rodan might appear in the sequel to the recent American Godzilla remake. While I’m not much of a fan of the Americanised version, I’d be pleased to see Rodan back on the big screen.