Godzilla Minus One

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Godzilla Minus One Movie Poster

I got the opportunity to go see Godzilla Minus One back in December and never really had the opportunity to post my thoughts. I was a bit unsure about the subtitling as, admittedly, I’ve become a lazier consume & tend to watch dubbed films more often. Luckily, it was absolutely not an issue. I personally think that this is one of the best entries in the Toho Godzilla franchise.

The film fairly quickly dives into some action as part of setting the backstory (1945 near the end of WWII) and introducing some important characters and motivations. On a small island, Godzilla emerges and destruction ensues. There are only two survivors: Koichi Shikishima (played by Ryunosuke Kamiki) is a kamikaze pilot and is saddled with guilt from his actions (or lack thereof at the end of the war) and the other man who knows of his shame and blames him for his actions, the lead mechanic, Sosaku Tachibana (played by Munetaka Aoki).

From there, it slows down and shows Japan after the war. Shikishima has returned home and found his parents died in the bombing of Japan. He finds work helping to clear mines from the sea aboard a small, wooden fishing boat while also supporting Noriko Oishi (played by Minami Hamabe) and her rescued, adopted child, Akiko.

While Godzilla supplies the action and underlying existential dread in this film, the real story here is the human story of guilt and redemption. I was a bit put off at first at having less of Godzilla than what I had been expecting, but as the story unfolds, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in it. So well written and acted.

The effects are great, but they’re definitely a different type from the current, modern Hollywood films. These are more chunky and rough, but I didn’t find them any less compelling. I guess I enjoy both approaches.

In my opinion, this is a must see and it really should be a subbed version if at all possible.