Godzilla (Godzilla Minus One)

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Godzilla incarnations
Godzilla (Chibi Godzilla Raids Again)
Godzilla (Godzilla Minus One)
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Godzilla®
Godzilla's model from Godzilla Minus One
Godzilla's pre-irradiated form in Godzilla Minus One
Alternate names Godzilla (2023)[1]
Fan names:
MaiGoji, MinusGoji, TakaGoji
Species Irradiated saurian creature
Height
Length Unknown[note 1]
Weight 20,000 tons (estimated)
Other stats Foot diameter: ~10 metersnovel[6]
Forms Initial form, irradiated form
Place(s) of emergence Odo Island
Enemies Humans
Written by Takashi Yamazaki
Designed by Takashi Yamazaki, Kosuke Taguchi
First appearance Godzilla Minus One
Roar(s)
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It was like a prehistoric dinosaur turned monster. The local inhabitants called it "Godzilla."
„ 

Koichi Shikishima (Godzilla Minus One)

Godzilla (ゴジラ,   Gojira) is a kaiju who appears in the 2023 Toho Godzilla film Godzilla Minus One.

A huge dinosaur-like creature known only by the people of Odo Island, Godzilla emerged from the ocean and attacked an Imperial Japanese airbase on the island during the closing days of World War II, killing all personnel save for Koichi Shikishima and Sosaku Tachibana. In July 1946, Godzilla was caught in the blast of a nuclear weapons test conducted by the U.S. military at Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads, causing him to grow substantially in size and power. Over the next year, Godzilla attacked American vessels in the Pacific as he made his way toward Japan. Withstanding all attempts to stop him, Godzilla landed in Ginza, Tokyo and leveled the surrounding area, killing countless civilians in the process. Dr. Kenji Noda formulated a plan to use Freon gas to rapidly submerge Godzilla in Sagami Bay and then draw him to the surface again with balloons, hoping for the explosive compression and decompression to destroy him. A civilian fleet carried out the strategy, named Operation Wada Tsumi, but it neared failure until Shikishima crashed an explosive-laden plane modified by Tachibana into Godzilla's mouth. The blast decapitated Godzilla, leaving his body to crumble. Though Japan broke into celebration, unbeknownst to everyone, a fragment of Godzilla survived and began to regenerate.

Name

See also: Godzilla#Name.

Godzilla's Japanese name, Gojira (ゴジラ), comes from a combination of the Japanese approximation of "gorilla" (ゴリラ,   gorira) and the Japanese word for "whale" (クジラ,   kujira). In Godzilla Minus One, Godzilla is identified as a creature from the folklore of Odo Island, with the film's theater program and novelization spelling its name in kanji characters (呉爾羅,   Gojira).[2][7] This same spelling was also used in the original 1954 film, Shin Godzilla, and the novel GODZILLA: Monster Apocalypse. The Bandai Movie Monster Series figure of Godzilla's original pre-irradiated form uses the kanji spelling of his name.

Development

Godzilla was designed by Kosuke Taguchi and director, writer, and VFX supervisor Takashi Yamazaki. Yamazaki noted that cats might have been an unintentional influence on Godzilla's depiction in the film, explaining, "Right before we went into production, [my wife and I] actually got a couple of cats. And I love my cats so much, so perhaps there was a subconscious tendency for me to sign off on [visual effects] shots that looked like them or just looked more cat-like."[8]

Design

The Godzilla designs featured in Godzilla the Ride (left) and Godzilla Minus One (right)

Godzilla's original form resembles theropod dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex with additional similarities to the 1998 Godzilla and the Godzillasaurus. He has a hunched-over, bipedal stance; digitigrade feet; a head larger relative to his body than after he is irradiated; and a tyrannosaurid snout. His dorsal fins are notably long, with the tallest being close to the base of his neck. Additionally, he possesses sharp scales that line the back edge of his jaws, and spiky scutes jutting from his elbows.

Following his irradiation in 1946, Godzilla's design maintains some traits from his initial form and is highly similar to the one created for Godzilla Minus One director Takashi Yamazaki's Godzilla the Ride: Giant Monsters Ultimate Battle, which itself appears to borrow elements from the Monsterverse and Heisei designs. The Minus One and Ride designs both incorporate a stance and general shape evocative of Godzilla's Heisei looks, while bearing skin and dorsal fins which closely resemble the Monsterverse Godzilla's in texture. In contrast to the Ride design, however, the Minus One Godzilla possesses larger and sharper thorn-like dorsal fins akin to the MireGoji and KiryuGoji designs and a more narrow snout, and his body bares lighter brown accent colors, flakier scales resembling radiation scars, and sharper teeth that are more tightly packed together. Following the explosion of a mine inside his mouth and his subsequent regeneration, the skin around his right cheek becomes a light brown. After suffering from rapid decompression during Operation Wada Tsumi, Godzilla's body is severely damaged, with pale white patches of frozen skin and deep cracks in his body that, like his back spines and mouth, glow blue with energy when he charges his heat ray. His eyes also have burst out of their sockets, and are frosted over.

Personality

Godzilla in Minus One is highly territorial and aggressive, attributes that further intensify during the course of the film. During his appearance on Odo Island in 1945, Godzilla immediately attacked the Japanese military personnel on the island after one of their members shined a spotlight on him and became further enraged when he was later shot at, resulting in him violently killing all but two. After being irradiated by the Operation Crossroads nuclear test a year later, Godzilla became incredibly hostile to any human presence and aggressively destroyed nearby vessels as he approached Japan. He relentlessly pursued the Shinsei Maru before being enraged by an attack from the Takao; after being forced into the water, Godzilla brutally annihilated the larger ship with his atomic breath. Upon landing in Ginza, Godzilla demonstrated vicious aggression to the structures and civilians around him, tearing apart buildings with his claws, stepping on fleeing people, and biting down on a nearby train and lifting it in his jaws. Upon being attacked by a detachment of Chi-To tanks, he immediately unleashed his heat ray and obliterated the surrounding area. He observed the resulting mushroom cloud and, moments after Koichi Shikishima recovered from the shockwave, let out a fierce roar at it. When acoustic minesweepers were sent to locate Godzilla by playing recordings of his roar, Godzilla responded with extreme violence, hurling one of the ships out of the water and through the air into a shipyard on the shore of Sagami Bay.

During Operation Wada Tsumi, Dr. Noda exploited Godzilla's aggression, with Shikishima attacking the monster after he made landfall and luring him into Sagami Bay. Godzilla was tricked into expending his heat ray on two unmanned destroyers. After suffering critical damage to his body from the compression and decompression he was subjected to, Godzilla surfaced from the water in an enraged state and attempted to fire his atomic breath at the ships carrying out the operation before Shikishima was able to stop him using the bombs loaded into the Shinden.

Origins

Though identified by characters as "dinosaur-like," Godzilla's exact origins are ambiguous. He was a figure of Odo Island folklore whose raids were often heralded by dead deep-sea fish floating up to the surface. In Novel Version: Godzilla Minus One, a mechanic notes that the fish rush to the surface in a panic when Godzilla stirs, killing themselves with the sudden change in pressure.[9]

Godzilla was irradiated in the summer of 1946 after exposure to American atomic testing in Bikini Atoll during Operation Crossroads, causing him to become far larger and exponentially more powerful. In Novel Version: Godzilla Minus One, the test is specified to be Baker,[10] the second of the two, and the shot of the test in the film is consistent with footage of the Baker test as well.

History

Reiwa era

Godzilla Minus One

During the closing days of World War II in 1945, Godzilla came ashore on Odo Island at night and entered a Japanese military airbase, attacking the military repairmen stationed there when one of their members shined a spotlight on him. Kamikaze pilot Koichi Shikishima entered his Zero on the airfield to try and attack the creature with its 20mm guns, but froze up as Godzilla stood in front of him. The panicked military repairmen nearby opened fire on Godzilla, enraging him and causing him to brutally dispatch them all with his jaws, legs, and tail. By morning, the only survivors were Shikishima and the lead mechanic, Sosaku Tachibana, who blamed Shikishima for failing to act and costing the others their lives. The incident was covered up by the Japanese government, with the official story being that the men on the island were wiped out by American forces. Shikishima would be haunted by his experience with the monster, having nightmares of his attack on Odo Island years after the war ended.

In July 1946, Godzilla was caught in the American military's Operation Crossroads nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll, irradiating and mutating him. Now substantially larger and even more enraged, Godzilla began destroying American vessels in his path as he approached the Japanese archipelago. Due to ongoing tensions with the Soviet Union, the American military refused to take action against Godzilla in the Pacific and warned the Japanese to begin preparing for the worst. In 1947, the minesweeper Shinsei Maru was ordered to stall Godzilla until the Japanese cruiser Takao could arrive and attack him. Shikishima, now a crew member on the Shinsei Maru, saw a destroyed ship and deep-sea fish floating to the surface and immediately recognized that the culprit was the creature he saw on Odo Island. Godzilla soon burst out of the water and sank the Shinsei Maru's sister ship, the Kaishin Maru. He then gave chase to the Shinsei Maru, which dropped mines and detonated them in an attempt to stop him. One mine was dropped into Godzilla's mouth, with Shikishima using the ship's guns to detonate it. The blast destroyed a large part of Godzilla's cheek, which instantaneously regenerated before the crew's eyes. As Godzilla rose from the water, the Takao arrived and began firing at him. Godzilla turned his rage to the cruiser and pulled himself onto it, tearing it apart viciously with his claws. The ship's guns unloaded on Godzilla again, causing him to fall backward into the sea. However, the creature swam underneath the Takao and obliterated it in an instant with an explosive heat ray. Godzilla then surfaced amid the ashes and smoke and emitted a terrifying roar.

Godzilla's attack on Ginza

With Godzilla continuing to approach Japan and no viable countermeasures available to stop him, the Japanese government declined to reveal his existence to the public out of fear of inciting a panic. Eventually, Godzilla effortlessly passed through a mine blockade and entered Tokyo Bay before coming ashore in Ginza. He tore through the district in a frenzied rage, eventually grabbing a train in his mouth. Noriko Oishi, Shikishima's girlfriend, narrowly escaped the train before Godzilla dropped it into the water below. Shikishima arrived to rescue her as Godzilla approached, just before a group of tanks fired on him. Godzilla paused as his dorsal fins began to protrude from his back and emit a blue glow one-by-one. In a split second, his dorsal plates retracted and he thrust his head forward, firing a blue atomic heat ray from his mouth that struck the tanks and produced a nuclear explosion that flattened most of the surrounding area. Noriko was swept away in the shockwave after pushing Shikishima to safety, leaving him screaming in grief amidst the ruins of Ginza. The monster then returned to the sea, leaving an estimated 30,000 civilians killed or injured and 20,000 houses and other buildings destroyed.

Kenji Noda, a former naval weapons designer and current crewmate of Shikishima aboard the Shinsei Maru, drafted a plan to destroy Godzilla with a team of civilians and former naval personnel given the government's inability and unwillingness to respond directly. He proposed luring Godzilla above the deepest part of Sagami Bay and tying canisters of Freon gas to him which, when ruptured, would lower the water's buoyancy and forcibly sink Godzilla to a depth of 1,500 meters, crushing him with the sudden pressure change. Should that fail, balloons would be inflated under him to rapidly bring him to the surface and destroy him via explosive decompression. Skeptical that the plan would succeed, Shikishima believed that Godzilla was vulnerable from the inside and could be destroyed if a plane laden with explosives was flown into his mouth. He recruited the reluctant Tachibana to modify a prototype Shinden fighter for his plan.

Godzilla, now heavily damaged from the decompression, attempting to fire at the ships

With Godzilla approaching Tokyo once more, Noda's plan began. Shikishima flew his fighter perilously close to Godzilla, evading his jaws and then his tail while peppering him with machine gun fire. Godzilla turned around to chase him, with the Shinden luring him all the way to the trap point in Sagami Bay. Noda tricked Godzilla into firing his atomic breath at a pair of unmanned vessels, leaving him unable to use it again while he regenerated from his self-inflicted wounds. Ships encircled Godzilla and tied a cable attached to Freon canisters around him. As Godzilla prepared to fire his heat ray again, the canisters were ruptured, and he was forcibly pulled underwater. Upon surpassing the target depth, Godzilla immediately froze in place and stopped charging his ray. The attempt to kill Godzilla via compression having failed, Noda had the balloons inflated under him, rapidly drawing the monster to the surface. When Godzilla tore through the balloons, the plan seemed hopeless until a fleet of tugboats arrived to help the ships pull him the rest of the way. Upon surfacing, Godzilla's flesh began to freeze and rupture, but he did not sustain enough damage for the plan to succeed. Noda and the others accepted their inevitable demise as Godzilla coursed with power and prepared to unleash his atomic breath. However, Shikishima flew his plane into Godzilla's mouth, ejecting just before it crashed and exploded. After the smoke cleared, the top of Godzilla's head had been destroyed, after which the accumulated atomic energy overloaded and destroyed the rest of his body. With the operation an apparent success, the people of Japan celebrated and breathed a sigh of relief.

In the aftermath of the battle, Shikishima and his adopted daughter Akiko were reunited with Noriko at a hospital, having survived Godzilla's attack. However, she was left with an unknown form of radiation sickness, causing a vein-like pattern resembling Godzilla's dorsal fins to appear on her neck. Meanwhile, a surviving fragment of Godzilla's flesh left by Shikishima's attack began to regenerate as it sank into the depths.

Abilities

Atomic breath

Godzilla firing his atomic breath

Godzilla's most deadly weapon is his signature atomic breath (放射熱線,   hōsha nessen, lit. "radioactive heat ray") or heat ray (熱線,   nessen), a blue ray of superheated atomic energy fired from his mouth. Before using the attack, Godzilla's dorsal fins jut out from his body and emit a blue glow one-by-one, starting from the tip of his tail up his back. Glowing blue ionized radiation leaks from his mouth as his eyes and neck glow. The fins then all retract back into his body as he fires the heat ray from his mouth. According to director Takashi Yamazaki, the nature of Godzilla's atomic breath is similar to the implosion method of detonating an atomic bomb, whereby nuclear material condenses towards the center all at once and detonates once it reaches a point of critical mass.[11]

The beam generates an extremely powerful explosion upon striking its target, creating a mushroom cloud and crater and generating incredibly powerful shockwaves that level anything around the blast. The atomic breath is so powerful, in fact, that it inflicts injuries to his face and throat from the intense heat and radiation that it gives off, requiring him to regenerate the damaged tissue before using the ability again. Godzilla first used his atomic breath to destroy the cruiser Takao instantaneously from below it, then to destroy a group of tanks in Tokyo and level most of Ginza in the process. Yamazaki has described it as "the strongest weapon on Earth" at the time of the film's 1947 setting; taken literally, this would mean it has an explosive yield exceeding that of the nuclear bomb used in the Trinity test (100 terajoules).[12] In Novel Version: Godzilla Minus One, written by Yamazaki, Godzilla's atomic breath is stated to be so hot that it sublimated the iron in Takao,[13] as well as the National Diet Building and the buildings surrounding it.[14] The ensuing shockwave of the blast in Ginza "pulverized" everything within a six kilometer radius.[14]

Physical capabilities

Even before being irradiated, Godzilla demonstrated his lethal physical capabilities when he attacked the Japanese airbase on Odo Island. He easily destroyed a watchtower by ramming into it, and killed the soldiers by stomping on them, biting and throwing them with his jaws, or pulverizing them with his tail. These abilities are retained after he is irradiated and becomes much larger: his jaws are able to lift a train, he can crush multiple people with a single step, and he can knock over buildings with a swipe of his tail. Godzilla also demonstrates the ability to use his clawed hands to grab onto the cruiser Takao and punch into it, or to tear through buildings during his raid on Ginza. Godzilla's physical strength is so great that he effortlessly launches objects such as boats and trains through the air over incredibly long distances.

Reflexes

Despite his size, Godzilla has incredible reflexes, as demonstrated when he attempted to strike down the Shinden, which was said to be able to go 400 knots, with his jaws and hands. He was also able to keep the Shinden in his line of sight almost constantly after Shikishima began the plan to lure him to Sagami Bay with it, easily tracking it with precise eye and head movements in spite of the plane's incredible speed.

Intelligence

Godzilla demonstrates moments of intelligence. After the American nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll, Godzilla somehow identified humankind as the ones responsible for his irradiation and thus took his anger out on any human vessel that he came across, before coming ashore in Japan. During his attack on Ginza, Godzilla picked up a train in his jaws and shook it around to eject its passengers, though he failed to notice that Noriko Oishi had stayed inside.

Amphibiousness

Godzilla is capable of movement on land or underwater and is equally dangerous in either element. His atomic breath is not substantially hindered even when fired underwater, as it destroys the Takao in a flash.

Durability

Godzilla is extremely durable, rendering him effectively immune to conventional weaponry. Before being irradiated, small arms fire by the Japanese military on Odo Island served only to annoy and enrage him rather than deal any substantial damage. Even in his original form, he was able to survive the nuclear weapons utilized in the American atomic testing at Bikini Atoll during Operation Crossroads going off in close proximity to him. After being irradiated, artillery fire from cruisers and tanks fail to injure him, though he still reacts to the impact. The firepower from the former was enough to force him off the Takao, and the latter merely prompted him to retaliate with his atomic breath. His body is able to withstand the incredible sudden pressure from being submerged 1,500 meters by Noda's plan, as well as the explosive decompression of being forced to surface immediately afterward, despite noticeable damage.

Regeneration

Godzilla also boasts enhanced cellular regeneration, which according to Yamazaki has allowed him to "survive from ancient times."[15] It is first clearly demonstrated when Shikishima detonates a mine inside Godzilla's mouth, blasting a massive hole in his face which heals near-instantaneously. This healing factor extends far beyond regenerating wounds quickly, as after the total destruction of Godzilla's body he begins to regenerate from a piece of flesh. This regeneration is not perfect, however, as Godzilla's face is left with a permanent scar after regenerating from Shikishima's mine and did not fully heal the injuries caused by the sudden water pressure changes during Operation Wada Tsumi. In Novel Version: Godzilla Minus One, his regeneration is stated to have allowed him to survive the Baker nuclear test. He then mutates as a result of his regeneration attempting to restore him to his original state, but going out of control due to the large amounts of radioactive material.[16]

Contamination

After Godzilla destroyed Ginza, authorities quarantined the area due to radioactive contamination he left behind, and to recover pieces of his flesh which are composed of unknown material. When reunited with Shikishima at the hospital, Noriko was shown to have developed a veiny pattern resembling Godzilla's dorsal fins on her neck, presumably a form of infection caused by exposure to Godzilla.

Weaknesses

While Godzilla's scales allow him to resist attacks externally, strikes to the inside of his body do wound him, as demonstrated when Koichi Shikishima was able to detonate an ocean mine inside his mouth, exploding part of his face and temporarily incapacitating him. Koichi exploited this weakness again when he flew the Shinden fighter jet filled with bombs into Godzilla’s mouth, decapitating him as he prepared an atomic breath and causing his body to crumble to bits after being weakened from Kenji Noda’s plan.

Godzilla is unable to fire his atomic breath in rapid succession due to the burns and physical injuries it inflicts upon him, which take time to heal. After being forced to the surface in the final stage of Kenji Noda's plan, he seemingly had trouble firing his atomic breath, likely due to the same reason.

Despite his amphibious lifestyle, Godzilla's body is vulnerable to barotrauma induced by rapid alterations in his depth when in the ocean. This weakness was utilized by Kenji Noda in his plan to stop Godzilla. Though Godzilla managed to survive the rapid compression and decompression of Operation Wada Tsumi, it left him in a severely mutilated state, with Shikishima using the bombs loaded inside the Shinden to deliver the finishing blow.

Video games

Books

Roar

In Godzilla Minus One, Godzilla reuses the roars of the first Godzilla from the opening titles of the 1954 film, but more amplified and with a reverberative quality. His initial form also uses this roar, with some additional snarls and screeches mixed in.

Godzilla's roars in Godzilla Minus One (camrip audio)

Gallery

Main article: Godzilla/Gallery.

Trivia

  • This is the third incarnation of Godzilla to be created by Takashi Yamazaki, after the Third Street Godzilla briefly featured in Always: Sunset on Third Street 2 (2007) and the Godzilla from Godzilla the Ride: Giant Monsters Ultimate Battle (2021).
  • At 50.1 meters tall, this Godzilla's primary form is the second-shortest primary form of a Godzilla incarnation on film, standing only 0.1 meters taller than the Showa Godzillas and Godzilla Filius.
  • Like the Heisei Godzilla, this Godzilla began life as a dinosaur-like creature who battled servicemen on a remote Pacific island in World War II and was later mutated by American nuclear testing in the Pacific (prior to the Futurians' altering of history).
  • Like the GMK Godzilla, this Godzilla intentionally destroys cities and tramples humans fleeing, his atomic breath creates a mushroom cloud in one scene, he is defeated by a single-pilot vehicle as he attempts to fire his atomic breath, and a small piece of him is revealed to have survived in the film's final scene. In addition, when this Godzilla suffers decompression damage, his damaged eyes turn pure white like the eyes of the GMK Godzilla.
  • Crossroads Baker, the nuclear test which irradiated Godzilla, previously appeared via stock footage in Gigantis, the Fire Monster (1959), GODZILLA (1998), and Godzilla (2014). In the latter two films, it was used to represent an unspecified test in French Polynesia and the 1954 Castle Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, respectively.

Notes

  1. This Godzilla incarnation has not yet been given an official length from Toho. However, in Novel Version: Godzilla Minus One, a sailor observes that "[i]ts huge body seemed to far exceed the total length of the Ikuno",[5] an Ukuru-class escort ship which in real life was 77.7 meters long.

References

This is a list of references for Godzilla (Godzilla Minus One). These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. F03 5mAaYAA-ouN.jpg
  2. 2.0 2.1 Toho Stella 2023, p. 3
  3. "『ゴジラ-1.0』はゴジラの身長50.1m→監督が語る「意味深な端数」の理由にネット爆笑". Magmix. 14 November 2023.
  4. Toho Stella 2023, p. 25.
  5. Yamazaki 2023, p. 98
  6. Yamazaki 2023, p. 102
  7. Yamazaki 2023, p. 18.
  8. "'Godzilla Minus One' Director Says His Pets Inspired the Big Monster: 'I Love My Cats So Much'". The Wrap. 22 February 2024.
  9. Yamazaki 2023, p. 17
  10. Yamazaki 2023, p. 57
  11. @GormaruIsland (19 December 2023). "GODZILLA MINUS ONE - Godzilla's Atomic Breath is designed to be an "Implosion Method" Heat Ray..." X.
  12. Wojnar, Zak (1 December 2023). "Godzilla Minus One Interview: Director Takashi Yamazaki & Star Ryunosuke Kamiki On Their Ambitious Monster Reboot". Screen Rant.
  13. Yamazaki 2023, p. 89
  14. 14.0 14.1 Yamazaki 2023, p. 115
  15. Hoichoi 2024, 5:27.
  16. Yamazaki 2023, p. 58
  17. "ゴジラ対蒼焔の艦隊 特設ページ". Fleet of Blue Flames. 6 December 2023.

Bibliography/videography

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