Monster Mania: 4 Kaiju You Need to Know
Without them, there'd be no Pacific Rim.
Gojira - Hail to the lizard king, baby. Nearly invincible and weighing in at 60,000 tons, Gojira has starred in over 25 films since 1954 (and one questionable Saturday morning cartoon), becoming synonymous with all things kaiju. What started as a post-war anti-nuclear parable has gone on to become one of the most important franchises of all time.
Gamera - In an attempt to cash in on Godzilla's overwhelming popularity, Daiei Film Co. tried to replicate the formula in the early '60s with Gamera, a flying turtle beast who destroyed much of Tokyo until enterprising Earthlings managed to shoot him into space. Widely recognized as the second most popular kaiju, Gamera proves that it's not slow and steady that wins the race; it's the ability to breathe fire.
Mechagodzilla - Created by a warlike alien race known as the Simians, Mechagodzilla is a steel monstrosity modeled after the world's most infamous monster, designed for the sole purpose of world domination. With an imposing arsenal and laser breath, Mechagodzilla would prove the perfect foil for Gojira, driving home the point that when it comes to kaiju, you should accept no substitutes.
Alien Empera - While clearly less heroic than Ultraman, series villain Alien Empera is no less impressive (or, frankly, badass). He led an army of kaiju across space and time and he dresses like a Ring-wraith. Combined with an insanely impressive array of powers and a gothy disposition, Alien Empera is one of the best bad guys to ever grace your TV screen.