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Tag refers to images referencing this installment of the Godzilla_(series). Like Shin Godzilla, it's another reboot that ignores everything that came before, but is still a faithful homage to the original 1954 film's style with a similarly dark and somber tone. The film debuted on October 18, 2023 in Japan. This installment is unique for not being a contemporary story, but rather a period piece set in the aftermath of World War II, making this the Godzilla film with the earliest chronological setting although it was influenced by contemporary issues namely the global anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was written and directed by special effects artist/filmmaker Yamazaki Takashi who also supervised the film's effects. With this film, Yamazaki builds upon ideas he had explored in his earlier films. The film utilizes CGI effects, Yamazaki's specialty, as opposed to the rubber suit/minatures work the franchise popularized. He once again makes a story set during and after World War II in Japan, a time period he had previously explored in some of his previous films. This is also not the first time Yamazaki has been involved with Godzilla, he first used the character as a CG rendered cameo in his 2007 film Always: Sunset on Third Street 2, then was in charge of a theme park attraction called Godzilla the Ride: Giant Monsters Ultimate Battle, and was finally was able to make his first feature length Godzilla movie with this film, building off of his previous CG work with the character. Yamazaki penned the film's novelization which was released on November 8, 2023. The film stars Kamiki_Ryuunosuke and Hamabe_Minami who had previously been paired together in the Asadora drama Ranman. The film was scored by frequent Yamazaki collaborator Satou Naoki.

It is 1945, the second World War is drawing to a close and Japan is on its last legs with no hope of achieving victory. Shikishima Kouichi is a kamikaze pilot who has been sent to the battlefield to sacrifice himself for the glory of the nation, but balks at the last minute, flying to Odo Island and claiming that his plane suffered a malfunction forcing him to land. Unfortunately for him, his attempt to preserve his life doesn't go according to plan. Soon after he arrives at Odo Island, the Japanese troops stationed there are attacked dinosaur like monster named Godzilla, killing almost everyone except for Shikishima and the lead mechanic Tachibana. The latter is furious at Shikishima because he had frozen up during Godzilla's rampage and he blames the pilot for the deaths of his men. Things get even worse when Shikishima returns home, only to find he no longer has a home thanks it to being destroyed by the American forces. Wracked with guilt over all the deaths he believes he has caused, he begins to believe that he deserves to die as a result. In the ruins of Tokyo, Shikishima meets a young woman named Oishi Noriko who's carrying a baby Akiko. In spite of his initial assumption, the two of them are unrelated with Noriko rescuing the orphaned girl. The three of them, who all share the same pain of losing family, decide to start a makeshift family together as they try to survive in a ruined Tokyo.

Years later, Shikishima begins working as minesweeper removing mines from Japanese waters, a job that brings him into contact with Godzilla again, who has been mutated into his giant form thanks to nuclear testing conducted on Bikini Atoll. Godzilla becomes an increasingly large threat as it makes its way to the Japanese mainland. Shikishima and his fellow minesweepers are tasked with stopping Godzilla from reaching it. Shikishima must now defeat the literal monster and the personal demons said monster unleashed within him.

The film was a massive success upon release, receiving widespread critical praise from around the globe. Yamazaki also won Best Director at the 48th Hochu Film Awards. It was a box office smash in Japan, grossing ¥3.8 billion (US$26 million) by December 3, 2023, and a surprising success outside of Japan. In the United States, it debuted to a 11 million dollar opening weekend, the highest debut out of any Japanese live action film to date. It also received praise from previous Godzilla directors like Gareth Edwards (Godzilla 2014) and Anno Hideaki (Shin Godzilla).

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Last updated: 12/07/23 7:40 AM by jojosstand
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