Hedorah Attacks


Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971) is unique among all Godzilla movies. This 70s Showa-classic did something its predecessors did not. Director Yoshimitsu Banno decided to use satirical animations to depict the evolution and danger of Smog Monster. Three short animations were created: 1) Hedorah drinks oil from a tanker in the sea where many fish have died; 2) Hedorah swoops down upon a factory whose apparition picks up plants and emits black smoke; and 3) People wearing Anti-Hedorah Oxygen Masks in the city. These were very strong memorable animations created for showing Hedorah’s characteristics but also for black humor.1

Godzilla vs Hedorah three animation shorts (11:45, 30:36, 42:21)

Director Banno wanted to use manga artist Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春) to produce the animations but he was turned down. So he turned to self-taught Hisashi Yasui (安井悦朗, やすい ひさし, 1937-1998). He was inspired and influenced by the work of American graphic designer Saul Bass known for his movie title design. He caught the eye of Toho and became the director of the synthesis department. His work has a graphical and modern touch. His animations for Hedorah were both grotesque and humorous, perfectly fitting for the film’s psychedelic aspects. In 1973, Mr Yasui became independent. The company he led produced a wide range of works using animation for movies, commercials, TV titles, and more.2

Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971) second animation

Hedorah has always been a favorite and my appreciation for it grows. Over the years I’ve added some exceptional collectibles made by CAST (formerly Iwakura). And then there was the CAST Kaiju Hedorah and Pollution Factory Animation Version (怪獣ヘドラと公害工場 劇中アニメ版) from their Godzilla Tokusatsu Encyclopedia EX series. After a five-year search, I finally got the small but holy grail. This wonderful figurine captures the second animation perfectly.

Cast Hedorah and Factory

CAST Kaiju Hedorah and Pollution Factory Animation Version (怪獣ヘドラと公害工場 劇中アニメ版)

Only a few months ago I snagged the sofubi Hedorah Animation Version and Pollution Factory by One up. (ソフビ ヘドラ 劇中アニメ版). At the time, I had no success finding the CAST figurine. And this would serve as a pacifier and substitute. But it is awesome, cute and desirable in its own right.

One up. Hedorah Animation Version and Pollution Factory

One up. Sofubi Hedorah Animation Version and Pollution Factory Learn More

CAST captures those Godzilla movie moments that we wish we had as a collectible. There are regular CAST events where new and older figurines are sold. Although they are tough to come by and are only sold in Japan, they can be found online but usually for much more than their original sale price. The figurines are small and fragile in general. Most are made of resin allowing for great detail at small sizes. They are worth collecting, especially for collectors who have limited space. I’ve assembled a growing CAST collection.


1 HEDORAH/公害怪獣の映像世界: 「ふ」風刺アニメ, p 60.

2 HEDORAH/公害怪獣の映像世界: 挿入された3本のアニメーション, p 22-23.