Since 1954, after the first Godzilla movie was shown, the world’s most infamous giant lizard awakened and empowered by nuclear radiation remains a pop culture icon.
It was reincarnated yet again last year in “Godzilla: Planet Of The Monster,” a Japanese computer-animated science fiction kaiju film featuring Godzilla, produced by Toho Animation and animated by Polygon Pictures, in association with Netflix. That one is about an attempt of a group of refugees to recolonize Earth 20,000 years after Godzilla took over, but one young man wants revenge above all else. The movie showcases the battle of humankind versus the largest Godzilla ever.
This year, the sequel “Godzilla: City On The Edge Of Battle” is set on Earth where the refugees seek help from the indigenous Houtua tribe in order to defeat Godzilla.
In an interview of with Takashi Yoshizawa, a producer at Toho Studios, he said through an interpreter that this latest movie shows another side of the Godzilla story.
“Humans hate him (Godzilla) for taking away the planet and driving us away. But in terms of looking at the bigger picture, maybe from the universe side, it could be that humans are the bad guys and not the Godzilla,” he noted. “So he (Godzilla) might be a hero or we are the victims, etc.”
The latest installment sees Godzilla up against the Mechagodzilla. The idea to do this was based on results of a questionnaire given to people in their 20s, asking them for suggestions on the next chapter of the Godzilla story.
Although there’s this notion that Godzilla “cannot die” and that it only fights monster, Takashi veers from that.
And this time, Godzilla is anime.
“It’s a futuristic, dystopia kind of thing where the Earth is already destroyed and humans are not living in it. If you were to do a live action, that would require so much budget. Besides, anime is the way to go in the time of 3D.”
These days, the number of female fans of Godzilla keeps increasing, he said. But, really, Yoshizawa added, there are Godzilla lovers across demographics.
What’s the difference between the Japanese and Hollywood versions?
“In Japan, Godzilla is viewed as a complex character because of how he was born. Japanese people don’t see him as something to reflect on but Godzilla makes them think about how, we as humans should be living,” he said. “In the Hollywood version, Godzilla destroys everything and their main focus is family.”
The first and second installation of “Godzilla: City On The Edge Of Battle” is available on Netflix.