Godzilla: Gojira, Stripped

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Julie Y. Moon
ANTHR 2560
Paper 2: Godzilla vs. Gojira
Prof. Hirokazu Miyazaki

Godzilla: Gojira, stripped

The film Gojira, released in 1954 by Toho Studios, was a tremendous success to the Japanese public and the first postwar film to gain an international audience. Gojira is a science-fantasy film about a mutant creature from the Jurassic period with nuclear powers, brought to life as a result of the atomic explosion and nearby nuclear bomb testing. In 1956, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released in the U.S. as an American version of the original Japanese movie. This version was heavily edited with English dubbing and the deletion of various scenes, altered strategically in a political fashion for the American audience as a cheesy monster film. Whereas Gojira addresses Japan’s postwar trauma such as the atomic bombings, destruction, and defeat, the portrayal of such crucial messages are lost in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The original movie sends a strong anti-nuclear message and educates the audience of moral obligations behind scientific and technological advancements. Importantly, it serves as a reminder to the Japanese audience not to forget the atomic bombing and the aftermath of the bomb, not to forget that they are all survivors thus to act with courage and responsibility as individuals. It serves to remind the nation’s people to unite and work together as a nation for the security of Japan’s future.

The large discrepancy between the sequence of events that lead to Godzilla’s initial appearance in Gojira and Godzilla may account for the difference in the depiction of the creature. In Godzilla, the scenes are rearranged so that the movie begins by showing the hospital, crowded with injured people from Godzilla’s destruction in Tokyo. The narration starts with an ominous tone that build suspense and horror while suggesting that what had happened was a direct attack to the human population by an unknown force that is not only...
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