Nationalist Entertainment At It’s Finest: Godzilla… No Not That One… Shin Godzilla

When I was an adolescent my sources of income were cruising parking lots for dropped change, returning pop bottles and occasionally cutting the teeth out of sharks that had drowned in the nets for the creepy guy who made necklaces out of them for tourists.

That was more than enough for an eight pack of Coke and a big bag of Fritos. Come three o’clock on Saturday afternoon and the Godzilla movie would start on UHF, let me tell you, I was SET!!!

In a pre-Star Wars universe, guys in silly rubber costumes tramping around cardboard sets were awesome.

I haven’t seen Godzilla King of the Monsters and I don’t plan to until it is both convenient and free for me to do so.

American Godzillas so far have sucked ass and there isn’t the slightest reason to think this trend has changed. Hollywood doesn’t get the King of the Kaijus, it just doesn’t. The only reason I gave the last one a chance was that I thought Bryan Cranston was going to be playing an American Doctor Serizawa. He wasn’t and he died in the first fifteen minutes, leaving a LOT of movie time to be filled without him.

Back to the topic at hand.

Shin Godzilla is rather interesting from a narrative standpoint. This is “a Godzilla film with no protagonist and almost no Godzilla.”

This flick is basically a fictional documentary. What would really happen if this monster suddenly appeared in today’s Japan out of the blue. Sort of like the very first movie Gojira (1954) . Think about that for a second. This first movie prominently featured a Tokyo that was in flames a mere nine years after Tokyo had literally been in flames. Gojira (1954) had had balls of titanium. Okay, it’s successors got silly pretty fast. Towards the end of the first era you could see bits of the costume flying off of Godzilla during his fight scenes. Regardless, the first film was a shocking to audiences that had had friends and family die in the Tokyo Firestorm.

This film tries to recapture that feeling to the extent that it can. It shows the frustration of the Japanese with it’s government by Old Men. When Godzilla first attacks the first thing the Prime Minister does is hold a meeting. Then he holds a second more serious meeting and then a third and even more serious meeting as this unprecedented situation spirals out of control. The most frantic concern of the bureaucrats isn’t saving Tokyo it’s trying to figure out whose department this thing falls under.

“Unprecedented” is the word that keeps getting used and it is clearly being used in contempt.

Contempt for Japan’s political inertia is as thick as a Korean Fake Mink Blanket, (if you have one you know what I mean) in this picture. “When will we stop being a Post-War Japan?” One of the young men asks in disgust.

There is no way to spoil a story you know by heart, so I’ll fill you on it the details. The SDF fails and in desperation the Japanese government calls in the Americans and even we fail to stop the monster so it’s up to the Otaku (Okay officially they were a study team but they were clearly all meant to be Otaku) to stop the monster. And they succeed.

Oh and speaking of Americans I HAVE to introduce you to Kyoko Patterson, the token American in this film. She is hilarious.

The funny part is that there really isn’t much in the way of Anti-Americanism present. We weren’t blamed overmuch for it’s creation. When asked in desperation we tried to stop it using our most advanced weapons. The attitude is the USA is big and it’s the most powerful country in history but it failed so we have to try and do this thing ourselves.

The end of the film shows a Japan that has defeated the undefeatable and is now ready to stand on it’s own.

Cataline Recommends with Confidence

4 thoughts on “Nationalist Entertainment At It’s Finest: Godzilla… No Not That One… Shin Godzilla

  1. Hai.

    I will get out a six-pack of good homebrew in the winter, on occasion, if there’s a Godzilla film festival broadcast or on cable. The original was big honkin’ titanium balls, and the follow-on sequence went from bad to camp, similar to “Batman” the original movie.

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  2. Watched it on your recommendation. Wow! A Godzilla movie for adults that isn’t stupid. Pretty good science, good military facts and attitude, several clever anti-Godzilla tactics (and one cool NEW Godzilla weapon, which is saying something after so many movies), and a very very good look into how government operates, or doesn’t … when you compare it with most of what we make, it’s not surprising they had to dumb it down for us.

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