Godzilla: The Official Guide to the King of the Monsters
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Godzilla: The Official Guide to the King of the Monsters (ゴジラ 怪獣王公式ガイド is an English-language informational book about the Gojira: Kaijūō Kōshiki Gaido)Godzilla franchise written by Graham Skipper, the first such book authorized by Toho since Random House's The Official Godzilla Compendium in 1998. It was published in the United Kingdom by London-based company Welbeck Publishing on September 15, 2022. A United States release followed on November 8.
Discover the complete history of Godzilla in this definitive, official guide to the King of the Monsters.
Godzilla: The Official Guide to the King of the Monsters celebrates more than 60 years of movie mayhem in an exceptional, fully illustrated book. An official publication in partnership with Toho Co., this must-read guide brings together every incarnation of the world's most famous creature for the first time – including all the Japanese and Western movies, as well as Godzilla's most celebrated appearances in TV, comics and video games.Inside you'll find detailed reviews, spectacular stills and behind-the-scenes images from every Godzilla movie, from 1954's Gojira to 2021's Godzilla vs. Kong, along with countless insights into the making of one of cinema's most enduring, innovative and successful franchises. Packed with essential info, incredible trivia and stunning artwork, this is the ultimate illustrated reference to all things Godzilla.
- Introduction (p. 8)
- Part 1: The Showa Era (p. 18)
- Part 2: The Heisei Era (p. 128)
- Part 3: The Millennium Era (p. 178)
- Part 4: The Reiwa Era (p. 216)
- Part 5: The American Era (p. 228)
- Part 6: Godzilla in Other Media (p. 238)
- Closing (p. 252)
- Index (p. 253)
- Acknowledgments/Credits (p. 255)
Inaccuracies and inconsistencies
Godzilla: The Official Guide to the King of the Monsters contains various instances of inaccurate or inconsistent information and uses some names for films, characters, locations, or objects which differ from their typical official names.
- This book opts to refer to the original Godzilla by the romaji of its Japanese title, Gojira, instead of by its international English title. Classic Media had previously released the film to DVD and Blu-ray in North America under this title.
- The synopsis for Ebirah, Horror of the Deep refers to "Devil's Island" as a separate location from Letchi Island, whereas in the film it is an alternate name for Letchi Island used by the Shobijin.
- A publicity still of King Ghidorah from Zone Fighter is included among images in the entry for Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.
- The synopsis for Son of Godzilla uses the name "Solgell Island" rather than "Sollgel Island," which is the English spelling shown on a map in the film itself.
- The entry for Son of Godzilla indicates that Seiji Onaka portrayed Godzilla for the majority of scenes, overlooking the fact that Onaka injured his hand early on during filming and was replaced for the majority of scenes by Hiroshi Sekita.
- The synopsis for Destroy All Monsters places the film's events in the year 1999, corresponding to the date given in both English dubs rather than the unspecified date of "the end of the 20th century" given in the Japanese narration.
- The caption on an image in the entry for Destroy All Monsters refers to Anguirus' suit actor Hiroshi Sekita by the erroneous romanization "Yu Sekita."
- The synopsis for All Monsters Attack refers to Ichiro's bully Sanko as "Sanko Gabara," suggesting that is his full name rather than "Gabara" being his nickname.
- The chapter for Godzilla vs. Hedorah echoes a popular legend that monster suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma underwent emergency appendicitis surgery while still inside the Hedorah suit. Satsuma himself, however, gave a different account in a 1995 interview for G-FAN, explaining that the surgery had happened after filming. While he was wearing the suit as part of a publicity act when his symptoms worsened, the interview did not give any credence to the idea that he was still in it during the operation.
- The synopsis for Godzilla vs. Gigan alludes to the character Tomoko Tomoe as Gengo Odaka's wife, rather than his girlfriend.
- The synopsis for Godzilla vs. Gigan states that Anguirus was once Godzilla's foe and became his ally. This seemingly ignores the fact that the Anguirus which Godzilla battled in Godzilla Raids Again perished in the battle and was a separate individual from the one which later befriended Godzilla.
- The synopsis for Godzilla vs. Megalon refers to the M Space Hunter Nebula Aliens as "the Space Hunter Nebula M."
- The Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens are called the "Black Hole Aliens" in the synopsis for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. The synopsis for Terror of Mechagodzilla states that the aliens are now called the "Simeons" in the film rather than the Black Hole Aliens. This is inaccurate, as while "Simeons" is an alternate English name which has officially been used for the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens in other sources, it is never used in dialogue in any version of Terror of Mechagodzilla.
- The synopsis for Terror of Mechagodzilla inaccurately suggests that Shinzo Mafune himself experimented on Katsura when she was a child and had converted her into a cyborg in order to prevent these experiments from killing her. In the film itself, Katsura is seriously injured by a laboratory accident and it is the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens who turn her into a cyborg in order to revive her, which Mafune does not learn until later in the film, much to his horror.
- The synopsis for Godzilla vs. Biollante treats the mostly unseen state in which Biollante attacks SSS9 and the Bio-Major agents at Genichiro Shiragami's laboratory as her "first form," with the Flower Beast and Plant Beast Forms referred to as her second and third forms.
- The plot synopsis for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah states that when the Futurians moved the Godzillasaurus from Lagos Island, it died at the bottom of the Bering Sea and erased Godzilla from history. Furthermore, it says that the Musashi-2 nuclear submarine successfully revived and mutated the Godzillasaurus into Godzilla. This is contradicted in the movie and contemporary sources such as its theater program, which establish that the Godzillasaurus had already been mutated into Godzilla in the altered timeline by a Russian nuclear submarine which crashed in its vicinity. Thus, the Musashi-2 encountered Godzilla himself rather than the dinosaur's carcass, after which he destroyed it and fed upon its energy.
- The book consistently treats Godzilla Junior as the Heisei incarnation of Minilla rather than a distinct character. His first two forms are addressed as "Baby Godzilla" and "Little Godzilla," respectively, rather than the official trademarked camelCase spellings "BabyGodzilla" and "LittleGodzilla."
- The synopses for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah refer to LittleGodzilla's island home as "Birth Island," a possible romanization of its Japanese name that differs from the name used in the films' international onscreen location supers and English dubs, "Baas Island."
- The synopsis for Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla states that the Godzilla cells which spawned SpaceGodzilla were carried into outer space by Mothra, whereas the film itself raises the possibility that the cells may have come from Biollante instead.
- MOGUERA's name is punctuated with periods (M.O.G.U.E.R.A.), while the majority of sources omit them.
- The synopsis for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah says that Destoroyah is entirely composed of Oxygen Destroyer particles which merged together into a single "Destroyer." The film, however, establishes that Destoroyah originated as a colony of dormant Precambrian microbes which were mutated by the detonation of the Oxygen Destroyer in 1954. Furthermore, "Destroyer" is the name by which Destoroyah is called in Omni Productions' English dub of the film and the English subtitles on Sony's Blu-ray release of the film.
- The synopsis for Godzilla 2000: Millennium states that after acquiring some of Godzilla's DNA, the Millennian UFO evolves into multiple increasingly larger forms before finally becoming Orga. In the film, the UFO itself does not evolve, but the Millennian occupying it exits after absorbing Godzilla's DNA before immediately and uncontrollably mutating into Orga.
- The synopsis for Godzilla vs. Megaguirus indicates that the Meganula which passed through the wormhole left by the test-firing of the Dimension Tide came from either somewhere else in the universe or a separate dimension, while the film states that it came from the Carboniferous Period to the present day through the space-time distortion. It goes on to say that the Meganula which survived the battle against Godzilla mutated into Megaguirus, whereas in the film they transfer the energy they drained from Godzilla into the Giant Meganulon, which proceeds to molt into Megaguirus.
- The synopsis for Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack treats the film's Godzilla as the same Godzilla from the original film, having come back to life through possession by the souls of the vengeful dead. This is a common misconception, as dialogue within the film distinguishes between both Godzillas, a distinction reflected in Japanese reference books such as Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works.
- The book uses the title Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., with periods punctuating "SOS," unlike in the film's official international title. The periods were also used in the title for the North American DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film.
- The synopsis for Godzilla: Tokyo SOS refers to Yoshito Chujo as a scientist rather than a mechanic, and says that he is Shinichi Chujo's son rather than his nephew.
- The book uses the title Godzilla: Final Wars, with a colon, which is absent in the film's official international English title.
- The synopsis for Godzilla Final Wars refers to Keizer Ghidorah as "King Ghidorah."
- The synopsis for TriStar Pictures' GODZILLA refers to the film's version of Godzilla as a female due to its ability to reproduce asexually, despite the creature being identified and consistently addressed as a male onscreen.
- A summary of Hanna-Barbera's Godzilla cartoon addresses Godzooky as Godzilla's "nephew," whereas in press materials for the show he is instead stated to be Godzilla's cousin.
- The book seemingly treats the television series Adventure! Godzilland and the Get Going! Godzilland OVAs as one single educational animated television series known as "Godzilland" that aired in 1992 in order to promote Godzilla vs. Mothra, later being revived "a few years later" to promote Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II. In reality, Adventure! Godzilland was a multi-segmented television show which aired in 1992 to promote Godzilla vs. Mothra, with brief intercuts of animated monsters being only one part of the program. It was followed by Adventure! Godzilland 2 in 1993, which promoted Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II. Get Going! Godzilland was a series of educational children's original video animations which began in 1994, and aside from using the same chibi designs for the monsters is unconnected to Adventure!.
- A gallery of artwork from IDW Publishing's Godzilla comics addresses its second ongoing series, originally published as simply Godzilla, by its collected title of Godzilla: History's Greatest Monster.
- Godzilla: Domination! is referred to as "Godzilla Domination," omitting the colon and exclamation point present in its official title.
- The book refers to Alfa System's Godzilla fighting game for the Super Famicom as "Godzilla: Monster War." While the game was never released in English, its Japanese title translates to Godzilla: Great Monster Battle.
- Despite its cover, some retailers such as Barnes & Noble and the American Amazon list the book under the title "Godzilla: The Ultimate Illustrated Guide." Amazon initially used this title for the book in the United Kingdom as well, but eventually revised it.
- The book's cover uses altered poster art from Shin Godzilla. Along with the addition of cracks on the image, Godzilla's eye has been completely removed.
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