Godzilla probably epitomizes how the west viewed Japanese pop culture, especially since this sometimes lovable, sometimes despicable reptile has evolved and developed as well as Japanese cinema has.
Over the years Godzilla has possessed many powers and abilities to use against his foes. Godzilla is generally considered to be one of the most powerful kaiju in the series — although Mothra, Biollante, Space Godzilla, and Monster X have also had this claim made about them as well.
Godzilla is able to emit powerful atomic rays from his mouth apparently at will. He has also been able to control the power and the size of the rays. It can be “weak” enough to merely shake a building and strong enough to propel an enemy or an object into space. For example, in Godzilla X Megaguirus the beam was shown to have incredible incendiary properties, while in GMK the beam detonated with the power of an atom bomb. In early films Godzilla has used the rays in various creative ways such as using it to lift himself off to ground in Godzilla vs Hedorah. A variation on this in the Heisei series was that Godzilla gained a terrifying golden beam as a result of absorbing the essence of Rodan. This beam was powerful enough that only one blast of it was sufficient to completely destroy Mechagodzilla 2 and Space Godzilla.
In addition to his deadly atomic breath, Godzilla can also manipulate his radioactive properties in a variety of ways, often as a result of his need to adapt to new conditions and foes. In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), the mutant dinosaur warped his radioactive energy into a magnetic power to overcome his metallic foe (an ability likely also gained through intense electrical conduction to his own body). In 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante, the leviathan was attacked by the plant-monster’s constricting tentacles. In order to free himself, Godzilla concentrated his energy to disperse itself across his body, burning the tendrils off of himself. This ability was later developed into the “Nuclear Pulse,” which is he used whenever a foe had him trapped or grappled him with extreme severity. Godzilla has used his radioactive manipulation in a number of ways throughout the years.
Godzilla has displayed an almost immortal ability to absorb punishment over the years. The only times he has visibly bled was when Gigan’s alien-made hammer claws cut open his skin, when Biollante’s tendrils pierced his shoulder and hand and from Mechagodzilla’s alien-made weapons in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla(1974). One common explanation for this is that Godzilla possesses a Wolverine-like regenerative ability that enables him to heal wounds almost as soon as they are inflicted (this ability was even a crucial plot point of Godzilla 2000). Combined with his incredibly tough hide and ultra-tough scales, this makes Godzilla practically indestructible.
Godzilla has shown to be unaffected by most psychic attacks and control. Mothra’s powerful psychic abilities often have had little to no effect on Godzilla forcing their battles to occur in the physical arena. Indeed, Mothra’s psychic seal was shown to have no effect against Godzilla. Because of it’s nature, being created from the same DNA as Godzilla, Space Godzilla is one of the only foes to be able to successfully use psychic attacks against Godzilla.
Godzilla has displayed varied levels of strength such as being able to toss opponents high into the air as in the shōwa series. In the versus and millennium series he has also been able to leap high into the air (as in Godzilla X Megaguirus) or moving very quickly in spite of his size. His tail is also a formidable weapon, having been shown as being able to move very quickly to hit even airborne objects, and even to be prehensile. In all his incarnations he has been shown to have powerful fangs and claws, although these are more prominent in some incarnations than in others. However, many of the films (including GMK and nearly all of the Heisei series) show Godzilla preferring to battle his opponents with his atomic breath rather than up-close.