This is a question I saw over on DeviantArt regarding Shin Godzilla, and I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but a lack of phone has kept me from doing so, but here I go now!
The question “what gives Toho the right” is in regards to how supposedly different Shin is from other Godzillas, and how fans look at Zilla and how different he is and hate it. Hence, what allows Toho to make a perceived radically different Godzilla? There are two big answers to this. First is that HE’S THEIR CHARACTER NOT YOURS. They made him. They own him. They are the ones that kept him alive for 60+ years. Who are you to question what the creator wants to do with their own character? Not like it? Sure. That is entirely your right. But they are taking a character who already has a malleable story to tell and telling a different take on it. Unlike something like, Nazi Captain America, it is not spitting in the face of the character and it’s intent it is merely a different take. That is what “gives them the right.”
A second answer, especially when comparing Shin Godzilla to Godzilla 98 is that Shin Godzilla was made with RESPECT for the character, and not outright disdain. Anno loves Godzilla, and that is obvious when looking at the amount of nods to Godzilla’s history present in Shin Godzilla. On the contrary, Roland Emmerich hated Godzilla and his kin, so went out of his way to make something as different as he could from the source material, but not in any respectful manner. Shin may be different, though how much is up to interpretation, but the love and respect is THERE. The two most “different” takes on Godzilla are on the opposite ends of a spectrum when it comes to how one should and shouldn’t treat a character when trying to tell a different kind of story with an established character.
I find it kind of strange that almost all Godzilla fans hate the 1998 American movie, yet love the animated series that followed it.
It sure is! But there’s a perfectly good explanation for it.
The funny thing about Godzilla the Series is that it does a MUUUUCH better job at honoring the original Godzilla movies than the ‘98 film.
For starters, Zilla Jr. (as the fans have officially dubbed him) is a hero, rather than a villain. Each episode of the series, he battles various monsters, mutations, robots, aliens, and other varied daikaiju.
This fits perfectly in the whole “Godzilla vs. XXX” mentality of the Showa era Godzilla films (read: half of all the movies). Not to mention that the monster designs were pretty freaking cool.
They even did their own version of MechaGodzilla!
Secondly, and I don’t think I can stress this point enough, but they gave Godzilla his freaking atomic fire breath.
They even periodically make jokes and references to the movies from time to time, and it’s just great.
Beyond that, the show is actually just a lot of fun. The jokes are really well-written and delivered, the voice-acting is surprisingly good, and while the characters tend to be kind of two-dimensional, they’re all likeable and impressively diverse for its time.
And did I mention how deliciously '90s the show is? Like, there’s no question as to what era it came out in.
Also, it helps to remind yourself that this guy
Is supposed to be this guy
Finally, Zilla Jr. is like a giant fire-breathing, monster-stomping puppy
And if you don’t think that’s absolutely adorable, then get the hell off of my blog.
Is there a lot of nonsense that goes on in the Godzilla Fandom? I never participate in any fandom stuff for anything, really. I just enjoy the thing.
I mean, we certainly have a good thing going here on Tumblr, I think. For the most part, anyway. This is certainly the most welcoming and open-minded, non-cliquey faction of fandom I’ve ever participated in. But the Godzilla/kaiju fanbase is a lot older than a lot of others, and with that there are distinct generational gaps, with with that comes elitism. You’ll encounter older fans that think their own personal fandom is more legitimate than others because they first saw these films upon their original theatrical releases in the States, or during TV airings, or whatever. The older generation also seem a lot less interested in looking at the films on level beyond the surface, and seems keen to perpetuate the idea that they’re “just monster movies, just enjoy them”, which I actually really despise. Forums (the few that remain, that is) are a veritable breeding ground for this kind of thinking, which is why I remain mostly a lurker, and very rarely ever post.
Beyond that, though, a darker side does sometimes creep through, and that’s where you can start to notice the inherent homophobia, sexism, and general bigotry that can be found within this fandom. Being the majority template for Godzilla fans (white, straight males), I’ve never been the target of any of this, but I have seen it happen to others a lot. A lot of fans seem to struggle with the idea that women can be Godzilla fans too, and I’ve seen people so so far as to outright reject the notion, and declare that all female kaiju fans must be frauds, just by way of gender. About a year or so ago, a YouTube user uploaded a video talking about the inherent homophobia they’ve personally experienced in the Godzilla fanbase and at G-Fest - which I unfortunately did overhear a lot of when I was there, very casual, throwaway stuff, but a solid current nonetheless - and was met with nothing but a flurry of detriment and homophobic slurs, absolutely proving the individuals’ point.
Another really bad problem in this particular fanbase is its detriment towards younger/newer fans. Outside of the Tumblr crew - the vast majority of whom, as I’ve said, are an extremely open-minded and welcoming bunch - this is one of the worst fandoms I’ve ever experienced for treatment of young and/or new fans. Get ready for a volley of why you’re not a true fan for not knowing the actual name of the Giant Condor, or how you’ve got it too easy being a fan these days - “In our day, we had to bootleg tapes directly from Japan!” - as if that makes any one individual’s fandom any less valid. I’ve solidly been a hardcore fan for over fifteen years, which is quite a long time but is also paltry compared to some others, but I’m confident I could absolutely destroy a lot of older fans in terms of conversing about these films. Like I’ve said so many times before on this blog - it’s not about knowledge, passion is paramount. If you’re just in this to shout down younger/newer fans for a perceived lack of knowledge compared to your own, get out. Fandom is pointless without passion.
There are a SHIT ton more problems with this fanbase - detriment towards ANYTHING new, getting hung up on a Hollywood film released 17 years ago, and a fair amount of weird racism considering we’re here to celebrate Japanese productions - but this post could honestly go on forever, and I don’t want it to turn into a hate-fueled rant or anything.. I’ll conclude by saying I don’t outright hate the Godzilla fandom, I just think it could be so, so much better. And as with most things, a vocal minority ruin it for the majority.
I hate how Godzilla 2014 was faithful to the Godzilla series, because I’ve never actually seen any other Godzilla films besides the 1998 one. Human’s should not be the focus of a Kaiju film, except literally every other Godzilla film in history.
Pretty much every negative reviewer of Godzilla 2014.
Godzilla HATES shopping for groceries. Godzilla would rather be home playing DS than go grocery shopping but Mordecai ALWAYS makes him go grocery shopping even though HE KNOWS what Godzilla wants so there’s NO REASON to even make him go! It’s so stupid! All they have to do is use Amazon prime! They’re already paying for it so why not use it?