Godzilla Humans: Ranking the Top 5 Characters

Not Just Collateral Damage

Ota: ‘It’s been nearly fifty years now and I can still remember, clear as day, the first time I saw him. Memories fade, details fog. Dates and people, sounds and smells blur together. But not that day in the harbor…

Godzilla: The Half Century War

Godzilla is a fun series. Monsters from the ancient past, aliens from distant galaxies, and robots from top-secret labs battle for supremacy while reducing cities to rubble. And yet, the movies don’t spend the lion’s share of screen time on them. That privilege is reserved for humans.

Many viewers consider the Godzilla human characters an afterthought. Fans get pissed when anything below thirty stories tall is focused on, but the fights are just two toys crashing together without the little peoples’ stories framing the monsters as heroes and villains. So who are the five greatest Godzilla human characters? Let’s find out.

#5 Godzilla Human: Rando Yaguchi

Played By: Hiroki Hasegawa
Position: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary

Yaguchi: “Don’t give up. Don’t abandon this country.”

Shin Godzilla

Studios often overdo Godzilla human characters so that they can draw attention from their 30-story tall leading monster. That’s easy with robot pilots and soldiers, but much more impressive when done with a dweeby local politician.

A mysterious object approaches Japan. A politician named Yaguchi believes it to be an animal, which is confirmed when the object evolves into a rampaging monster called Godzilla. Yaguchi is put in charge of a response task force and discovers notes about Godzilla from a disgraced zoologist.

Godzilla destroys a chopper ferrying the Cabinet, forcing Yaguchi to lead. The task force struggles to find a weakness while Yaguchi and an American diplomat do everything possible to prevent the U.S. from nuking Japan to kill Godzilla. Yaguchi spearheads a plan that exhausts Godzilla and then freezes him with a coagulant.

Yaguchi is an unusual Godzilla human. He never directly fights the monster. Most of his time is spent struggling against red tape, international politics, and his own frustrations especially when innocent people die. Yaguchi also investigates a conspiracy related to the zoologist, American nuclear experiments, and Godzilla’s origins.

#4 Douglas Gordon

Played By: Don Frye
Position: Captain

Captain Gordon:Then that’s it. Godzilla can handle the monsters. I’m going to kick that Xillian kid’s ass.

Godzilla: Final Wars

Humble heroes are good, but sometimes you want a dyed-in-the-wool badass. Capt. Gordon comes across as a human Godzilla with a sword and trench coat.

Gordon commands the Gotengo, a drill-headed flying warship. He was suspended for endangering his crew and punching a superior officer. Soon after, Earth is invaded by alien fifth columnists. Their subversive plans are tossed out by their impatient second-in-command, who unleashes every monster and mutant super soldier on Earth

Gordon steals the Gotengo to rescue several members of the Japanese government. He also frees Godzilla from a cryogenic prison so that the king can defeat the rampaging monsters. Gordon then leads an assault on the alien mothership.

Capt. Gordon is the best fighter of Godzilla’s protagonists. The Gotengo can match enemy kaiju while Gordon cuts down aliens with impunity and gruff charm. Despite a flashy appearance, he uses quick, pragmatic strikes instead of the mutant army’s Matrix-esque martial arts.

#3 Godzilla Human: Akane Yashiro

Played By: Yumiko Shaku
Position: Technician, Archivist (formerly), Pilot

[MechaGodzilla activates]
Akane Yashiro:Kiryu, you understand what I say. You and I are buddies. Shall we go?”

Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla

Most Godzilla human are helpless against the Big G. They can slow him down, but they don’t stand a chance in a real fight. Give this woman one of our Top 5 Giant Robots, and that equation changes.

Akane was a technician driving advanced tanks. She accidentally crashed into a superior officer’s tank and knocked it into Godzilla’s path. Akane was demoted over the incident and suffered survivor’s guilt. She was later given another chance and chosen to remotely pilot a cybernetic weapon called MechaGodzilla.

MechaGodzilla trounces Godzilla under Akane’s control before going rogue from a glitching DNA-computer. The government writes off the robot, but Akane insists that it can work, viewing their dismissal of MechaGodzilla as an allegory for herself. Akane succeeds and pilots MechaGodzilla from its cockpit to fight Godzilla. They don’t kill him, but an exhausted Godzilla retreats.

Akane is a reserved and remorseful protagonist. She is haunted by her mistake and constantly reminded of it by her copilot, who lost his brother. Akane views MechaGodzilla and herself as flawed weapons wielded by others . She bonds with the sentient robot and names it Kiryu (Machine Dragon.) MechaGodzilla’s lead mechanic helps Akane cope with her guilt while reassuring her that she’s valued as a person instead of a weapon.

#2 Godzilla Protagonist: Daisuke Serizawa

Played By: Akihiko Hirata
Position: Scientist

Dr. Serizawa:If used as a weapon, it could lead humanity to extinction, just like the H-bomb. But I’m determined to find a use for the Oxygen Destroyer that will benefit society. Until then, I won’t reveal its existence.”

Godzilla (1954)

Some Godzilla protagonists are able to fight the kaiju king. They have robots, armies, and warships that can fend him off. But there’s only one character who has killed two Godzillas.

Dr. Serizawa is a World War II veteran who was horrified by war’s bloodshed. He becomes a scientist after retiring and studies chemistry. Serizawa discovers a compound that liquefies oxygen molecules in water, suffocating and disintegrating anything organic. He named this compound the Oxygen Destroyer.

Serizawa is terrified of Oxygen Destroyer becoming the next weapon of mass destruction and keeps its existence a secret. His fiancé, Emiko, eventually convinces him that only the Oxygen Destroyer can stop Godzilla. Serizawa destroys his notes and sets the OD off while he is in the water so he can’t be forced to recreate it.

Serizawa’s sacrifice killed the first Godzilla, but more of his kind survived. Even worse, the OD awakened ancient parasites that evolved into Godzilla’s deadliest enemy: Destoroyah. It takes everything Godzilla and his son have to kill that kaiju, and Godzilla Sr. dies in the battle. Serizawa’s life and unintended consequences haunted everyone involved in that fight.

#1 Miki Saegusa

Played By: Megumi Odaka
Position: Military Psychic

[Miki levitates a stretcher so her ally can shoot a yakuza]
Koji:What was that?!”
Koji: “Tele-what?”
Miki:I’d never tried it before.

Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla

Most Godzilla humans want to kill the kaiju. Perhaps it’s for vengeance or to protect people in his path. No one cares what happens to Godzilla. He’s a murderous monster, an unintelligent beast at best. Our number one Godzilla human is the closest thing he has to a friend.

Miki Saegusa discovered that she was a psychic after Godzilla’s rampage killed her parents. Her powers are primarily empathic and telepathic, providing her a connection to Godzilla’s mind. Miki sensed Godzilla’s emotions and empathized with him, dedicating her life to finding a way for humankind and Godzilla to coexist. 

Japan’s government recruits Miki to keep tabs on Godzilla and other kaiju. They also experiment with using her connection to ward off Godzilla or control him. The first plan fails when his will overwhelms her and the second has to be stopped when she is kidnapped.

Miki appears in every movie of the 90’s Godzilla series, giving her character time to develop. She becomes an advocate for Godzilla and his son, arguing for them to be left alone. Miki is devastated by Godzilla’s death and loses her psychic powers. She was last seen paying her respects to the fallen king.

Which Godzilla human do you think is the best? Tell us in the comments.

Image: Episode 1. “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,” premiering November 17, 2023 on Apple TV+.

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