Fans Fear ‘Godzilla Minus One’ Will Portray The US Military As The Real Villains
The more Toho reveals about the upcoming film, the more everyone is blown away, so it’s safe to say G-Fans are excited for Godzilla Minus One. Still, amidst the excitement, there are those who are nervous about the way the film might portray some aspects of the lore.
At the heart of a rumor going around – or a suspicion drawn from spoilers that leaked over the summer – is a concern that the real villain of the piece is not the usual giant monster or the G-Man himself. He might even be emphasized as a victim of war as much as the humans are.
Godzilla’s jagged scales, for instance, are scars and blisters created by the blast from a nuclear weapon, and we know US forces detonated that bomb. A quasi-remake of the original, Minus One looks like it will be true to the series’ roots, but a few things in that scenario (i.e. American influence) could be more pronounced than before.
The risk of this possibility has users on Reddit and other forums tugging their collars with cause because it might be taken to an extreme. The spoilers indicate that there is a hint – and fear – of the occupying American military being shown in a less flattering light than ever before. And that’s putting things mildly.
For starters, the Serizawa stand-in – whom we are now reasonably sure doesn’t go by that name – allegedly harbors animosity toward America for defeating and crippling Japan before Godzilla awakens. Once that happens, all bets cease and Japan enters “a negative state” (hence the title). Minus One’s Serizawa would become more enraged by this, but the issue wouldn’t end there.
Fans, such as our Redditors, worry the Japanese people in the story will play the victim in defeat and the horrors of World War 2 committed by Imperial Japan in the Far East will be downplayed if not ignored. Toho ran into this kind of trouble once before with its patriotic portrayal of Japanese soldiers in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.
Years later, however, they did a 180 in Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, a standalone reboot in which a more preternatural Godzilla was the manifestation of the innocent lives lost during the war. No matter which way they frame it, Godzilla comes across as Japan’s reckoning as he mindlessly rampages. Minus One looks more of the same in that respect.
But there are questions of tone and context. Director Takashi Yamazaki is viewed as a nationalist and his leanings might show in his work. His country being down for the count in the immediate post-war could be depicted as all America’s fault absent of consequence and causality. The odds are small but you have to wonder if Yamazaki will engage in revisionist history.
On the bright side, it’s more likely we can count on Godzilla Minus One being enjoyable and even-handed while also being thought-provoking. The series has a rich tradition of this even when Americans in the films appear aggressive, ambivalent, or self-seeking. The Return of Godzilla and Shin Godzilla can be accused of characterizing Westerners that way.
Toho released those films in American theaters and on home video internationally, and they, G vs. KG, and GMK are among the most celebrated entries. Minus One is sure to join them as it’s hard to foresee Toho putting out something that will insult its fan base. Things always change but the Japanese film industry typically proves they are nothing like Hollywood.