Saturday, December 3, 2016
The kaiju Manda in the 2004 movie Godzilla: Final Wars.
Manda made his first appearance in Atragon (1963). Because it was the Year of the Snake, Toho creative staff decided to create a snake-like dragon to appear in the film. The film was mostly a science fiction romp about the undersea kingdom of Mu, which for reasons that are never explained, has decided to rise to the surface and conquer the world. There's a lot of spy-thriller skullduggery in the film, not much happens until the final third of the picture. Mu destroys Tokyo, and the privately-built mega-powerful submarine Gotengo is sent to destroy Mu. Manda shows up and attempts to constrict the Gotengo and crush it. The Gotengo uses electricity to scare Manda off. It then blasts Manda with its Absolute Zero Cannon, freezing and killing it. End of story. (FYI, the title of the film, Atragon, is taken from the name used for Toho's foreign distribution arm, Ataragon. The name was shortened slightly for the American market. The American voice-dub uses the named Atragon for the submarine, but it is really the Gotengo.)
Manda reappears again in a slightly altered form in 1968's Destroy All Monsters, where he is briefly shown attacking London. Some additional footage at the end of the film shows Manda on Monster Island, watching as Godzilla battles King Ghidorah. This latter footage was used again in 1969's All Monsters Attack (aka Godzilla's Revenge)and 1975's Terror of Mechagodzilla.
Manda was brought back for Godzilla: Final Wars. This is the same battle seen at the end of Atragon, albeit with a little footage of Manda flying in the air. Manda was a prop, except for the flying bit (which was CGI).