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Film / Shin Godzilla

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"Godzilla. Truly a god incarnate."
Kayoco Anne Patterson

Shin Godzilla (シン・ゴジラ Shin-Gojira), also known as Godzilla Resurgence in some territories, is a 2016 kaiju tokusatsu film. It's the 31st entry in the Godzilla franchise, the 29th Godzilla film produced by Toho, the first Godzilla movie produced in Japan since Godzilla: Final Wars in 2004, and the first in the Reiwa series. Announced in December 2014 as a Continuity Reboot made in response to the 2014 American Godzilla movie, it was released on July 29, 2016. In March 2015, it was announced that Hideaki Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame and Shinji Higuchi of the Heisei Gamera trilogy would be co-directing, with Anno writing the script and Higuchi in charge of special effects. The music was directed by Shiro Sagisu, also of Evangelion fame. Visual effects duties are handed off to Shirogumi, the studio behind Stand by Me Doraemon.

When the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line mysteriously floods and collapses, Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Rando Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa), is convinced that the incident was caused by a living creature, but his claims are shrugged off by Prime Minister Seiji Okouchi (Ren Osugi), who assumes the accident was caused by a natural disaster. However, when an enormous tail surfaces from the Bay, the possibility of a giant monster becomes a reality.

The film's Japanese title is a multiple entendre that can be read as "New Godzilla", "Pure Godzilla", "True Godzilla", or "God Godzilla". The film also stars Yutaka Takenouchi as Hideki Akasaka and Satomi Ishihara as Kayoco Anne Patterson. The film's incarnation of Godzilla uses computer graphics with the ending scene portrayed with a practical tail piece, and takes design cues from the original 1954 film.

Unlike Toho's other Godzilla films, this one ignores the original 1954 film completely, with it being the first time Godzilla appears in Japan.

Following the film's release, it received a limited theatrical run in 100 territories worldwide in late 2016, and Funimation dubbed the film for North America. Funimation also released the film on DVD and Blu-ray on August 1st of 2017.

Promotional materials:

The film enjoyed immense success in Japan, dominating the box office and winning several awards including seven Japan Academy Prizes. However, despite that, it has been confirmed that there won't be a sequel, though a 4D ride crossing over with Neon Genesis Evangelion, Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The Real 4-D, was created as a temporary attraction at Universal Studios Japan; And Godzilla Intercept Operation, a zipline attraction in the form of a life-size model of Shin Godzilla's head and neck opened at Nijigen no Mori park on Awaji Island in October 2020.

See also Shin Ultraman and Shin Kamen Rider, similar film reboots of classic tokusatsu franchises by Anno and Higuchi — which, when combined with Shin Godzilla, form the Shin Japan Heroes Universe. Shin Ultraman is written by Anno and directed by Higuchi, while Shin Kamen Rider is written and directed by Anno.

Shin Godzilla contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: Zigzagged. After decades of being portrayed as more of an Anti-Hero, this film does a great job in reminding the audience that Godzilla is at its core a rampaging monster who kills millions of people and destroys cities. On the other hand, aside from the destruction its forms cause by their treks through Tokyo, all of its actual attacks on people are retaliatory, and its torching of central Tokyo with its Breath Weapon and killing the Prime Minister and Cabinet aren't targeted attacks.
  • Advertising by Association: The Funimation trailer for the film touts it as being "from the creator of Evangelion. "
  • An Aesop:
    • "'Doing what you will' doesn't come easy in this country."
    • The film's message is that people must come together in a time of crisis. Politicians won't do jack when said crisis is at their doorstep, and the Prime Minister had so much in his hands, he can't even control it. When Godzilla goes full-blast with his Atomic Breath, guess who dies and who lives? Ultimately, Rando was able to come up with a plan that has successfully stopped Godzilla, making him the second human being who was able to do so with his careful planning.
    • Another message overshadows the entire film, and that's the other side of the point: Tragedy begets consequences and consequences beget tragedy, an anvil that hasn't been used since the original Godzilla (1954). Goro Maki's tragedy hangs over the entire film and the movie doesn't hide this. By ignoring one's tragedy, you basically caused the events to happen as they were. By ignoring Maki and censoring his work, Japan and America are at fault for not helping a man whose wife is dying of radiation sickness. As a result, a giant behemoth you tried to keep secret is on the loose. That's the entire point of this film.
  • Agent Mulder: Rando is the only Cabinet member to dare believe that a monster caused the Aqua-Line collapse. At first, he gets ridiculed for it. Then, the creature's tail shows up on the news.
  • All There in the Manual: The Goro Maki Journal reveals details that are undisclosed in the movie itself, like what Shin Godzilla's first form looked like and that it was created by Goro Maki.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Invoked. The reason the word "shin" is left untranslated is because it has so many different meanings in Japanese, all of which are applicable.
  • America Saves the Day: More like "Japan Saves the Day", so it's downplayed from a Japanese perspective. Even as it becomes clear Godzilla poses a threat to the entire Earth, any attempts spearheaded by countries outside Japan fail and make things worse. The US (who accidentally created Godzilla and covered up its existence until it attacked) are the only one able to injure Godzilla, but this just makes it much more destructive. The UN then decide to resort to nuclear weapons, which would destroy more than Godzilla had and has the obvious potential to go very, very wrong, making the rest of the film a Race Against the Clock. Ultimately the best solution comes from the Japanese-led task force made to deal with Godzilla in the first place, but they end up needing a lot of support from outside countries.In total 
  • Antagonist Title: As a nod to the film that started it all, the title character is the sole Big Bad.
  • Anyone Can Die: The first half of the film shows that anyone can kick the bucket due to the carelessness of the government. Speaking of which, this is the first time in a Godzilla movie where the Prime Minister as a character dies in the film, along with the rest of the Cabinet. Rando, his aide, and his mentor are the only Cabinet members to survive.
  • Arc Words: "Do what you will", the Dying Message of Goro Maki found in the beginning of the film. Maki, hating the usage of nuclear technology, left behind the notes and data that, if properly interpreted and used, had the potential to neutralize Godzilla. Come the end of the film, humanity's only options left for stopping Godzilla were between Yaguchi's coagulant and nuking it, the latter option a prospect considered horrifying by many characters due to Japan's history with atomic weapons. Thus, Maki's words take on a whole new meaning.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The amount of genetic information an organism possesses has absolutely no bearing on how complex or advanced it is outside of single-celled microbes. Godzilla is stated to have eight times more genetic information than humans, making it the Ultimate Life Form; in real life, the animal with the largest known genome is the marbled lungfish, with approximately forty times more genetic material than humans, but of course no one ever argues the marbled lungfish is any sort of ultimate life form.
    • The English subtitles state that Godzilla is "evolving". Evolution is a multi-generational process, and what Godzilla is doing is technically mutating at that point in the movie. However, at the end of the movie, the humanoid growths on its tail do constitute a sort of "evolution" in rough terms, as they're Godzilla's progeny.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Operation Yashiori was a plan to pump Godzilla full of a coagulant in order to cool Godzilla down. It's also stated that Godzilla's blood is a cooling mechanism for his radioactive heart. If Godzilla is a walking nuclear reactor, and his blood is the cooling mechanism, then using a coagulant to stop Godzilla's blood from cooling Godzilla would result in Godzilla overheating, not freezing. Granted, that was the point: since they also knew that Godzilla could adapt to any situation that could bring it harm, they were counting on Godzilla's body to respond to his blood failing to cool his overheating reactor by shutting its body down in response.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Something that's actually tried, but ultimately to no effect. The JSDF's attempts of attacking Godzilla focus attacks on its head and legs, but nothing comes of it.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Toho made clear their intentions to one-up Legendary's incarnation of Godzilla, stating that their version will be even bigger (specifically, it will be 118.5 meters tall, 10 meters taller than Legendary's incarnation and 18.5 meters taller than Toho's previous biggest Godzilla).
  • A-Team Firing: Averted throughout the movie, most notable in the first battle scene against Godzilla where everything, from machine gun fire to heavy artillery, manages to hit Godzilla with pin-point accuracy (not that it'd be that easy to miss), though this being a Godzilla film, it doesn't do much good.
  • April Fools' Day: Toho decided to use this to help promote the movie. How? By announcing a crossover movie between Godzilla and Neon Genesis Evangelion (which makes sense, as Hideaki Anno directed the latter). While it obviously turned out too good to be true, Toho is at least selling tickets with special artwork featuring both Godzilla and EVA Unit-01 and merchandising mashing up the two properties such as Godzilla versions of the NERV logo, Heisei Godzilla in Unit-01's colors, and action figures of the Millennium Mechagodzilla painted in the colors of EVA-01 and EVA-02.
    • For 2017, Toho announced a special Godzilla smartphone: A large figurine of Kamata-kun with a phone embedded in its belly.
    • 2018's was a Shin Godzilla roller coaster in downtown Tokyo built along the spine and tail of a gigantic statue of Godzilla.
  • Badass Bureaucrat:
    • Rando Yaguchi, the Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, is ultimately put in charge of finding a way to stop Godzilla, and he succeeds by pumping Godzilla full of a coagulant.
    • Kayoko Ann Patterson/Kayoco Anne Patterson, the American government's liaison, supports the research group Yaguchi leads from the get-go, and later severely jeopardizes her chances of becoming president by stalling the American/UN nuclear strike for as long as she can.
  • Beam Spam: When Godzilla senses that the bombers are attacking him again, he begins firing a spray of energy beams from his back, which take out all the bombs and one of the bombers. It deploys these beams again to take out the drones attacking it during Operation Yashiori, but when they're exhausted, it then begins shooting a beam of energy from the tip of its tail.
  • Behemoth Battle: Averted for the first time since the 1985 film, being more of a reboot, ignoring the events of all other films.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The movie ends with Godzilla being defeated by a chemical substance that greatly lowers his body temperature and completely freezes him solid. Unfortunately, it's left ambiguous whether he is truly dead or in suspended animation. If he does reawaken, the US government will have no option but to nuke Tokyo... and if that happens, it probably won't do a thing due to Godzilla feeding on radiation. Furthermore, even after being frozen, Godzilla is beginning to mutate yet again into another form, implying that he will soon become free. Regardless of Godzilla's fate, there is also the fact that the Prime Minister and his cabinet are dead, Tokyo is in ruins, and part of Japan has been rendered uninhabitable for months due to radiation.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction:
    • It is discovered that chunks of flesh blown off Godzilla retain the main body's ability to rapidly regenerate, leading to concerns that they can grow into new Godzillas. At the end of the film, several emaciated Godzilla-like creatures are shown petrified while in the process of fissioning from Godzilla's tail.
    • Early designs show Godzilla budding a second, nearly full-sized Godzilla from his back. Although this doesn't happen in the film itself, there's no sign that this would be impossible. In fact, he grows a second vestigial head on the end of his massive tail, possibly showing the process had begun but didn't finish.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This film is extremely graphic. While tame in Toho standards, Godzilla spills large amounts of blood in this film. This deleted scene shows after evolving, his radioactive blood can melt cars. Imagine someone getting caught in a pool of that.
  • Body Horror: This film uniquely depicts Godzilla as a horrifically deformed mutant. He has a very emaciated frame with patches of exposed blood-red flesh and tumors over his body; small, shriveled, vestigial-looking arms; and a second head growing out of his tail. The film ends on the image of several skeletal humanoid-looking Godzilla creatures petrified while emerging from the tip of the frozen Godzilla's tail, and a close examination of the prop for the final scene shows that the fragmenting tail contains a huge, disturbingly human-looking jaw and eye.
  • Boom, Headshot!: As Godzilla's fourth form approaches central Tokyo, it's confronted by multiple JSDF forces, who were given orders not to attack his body to avoid possibly causing a radiation leak. The helicopters barrage its head with machine guns and missiles, the tanks go for both its head and legs, and the planes drop bombs on its head. None of these attacks so much as scratch Godzilla.
  • Breather Episode:invoked Meta-example. Despite being the bleakest Godzilla film since the original, the film serves as a palette cleanser to both Hideaki Anno and Studio Khara after the former's Creator Breakdown while making the even darker EVANGELION:3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO..
  • Breath Weapon: Godzilla, of course, has its Atomic Breath, but it doesn't use it until it's injured by the MOP bombs, and it starts out very differently. At first, Godzilla bends over until it's facing the ground and jets out a thick cloud of dark grayish-purple smoke. The smoke then ignites, acting like a flamethrower and incinerating several square miles of Tokyo at once. Finally, Godzilla focuses the flame jet into a narrow, bright purple beam that's capable of slicing through anything in its path. After emitting this beam for a while, it returns to the flame jet and then shuts it off completely before going dormant. Later on, Godzilla goes straight to the purple beam, but it steadily loses the ability as his internal reactor starts shutting down. The different forms of the atomic breath are possibly a reference to the different presentations of it, with the older Showa films depicting it as a stream of fire while the later films, such as Godzilla: Final Wars, depict it as a long-range beam.
  • Burn Scars, Burning Powers: Godzilla is a gigantic monster who's basically a living nuclear reactor and is able to fire a plasma beam from his mouth and also from his tail and back as well. Despite his immense size and power, however, Godzilla has an extremely sickly and cancerous look, not unlike the burns of people exposed to fire or radiation. He appears to be in constant pain, dripping blood and body parts everywhere, his charred skin covered in open wounds and glowing red keloid scars.
  • But Not Too Evil: It's shown that the Americans are not too keen with the prospect of having to nuke Japan yet again, but the nuclear option remains even after Godzilla is frozen. It helps that it is also explained that the decision was taken along with the UN and the movie makes it clear that either America or the UN at one point stated that they would resort to the nuclear option even if the attack had happened in American soil, so its Nothing Personal.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Kayoco Anne Patterson (Satomi Ishihara), the American envoy to Japan, is half-Japanese. Her loyalty primarily lies to the American government, even if she's facilitating things like searching for Goro Maki's research or as a go-between for the Japanese and American governments, and is more blunt and casual than the other Japanese characters—even asking Yaguchi if they can talk without honorifics or politeness, as she's unused to the levels of politeness common with Japan—but reasserts she won't let the Americans nuke her grandparents' country again, and is one of the reasons why the United Nations stalls their nuclear strike.
  • The Cameo: The film features numerous cameos from a variety of Japanese actors, celebrities and even animators, with Mamoru Oshii and Hayao Miyazaki appearing as scientists. Hideaki Anno himself appears in a very quick cameo as a bus driver.
  • Captain Obvious: The three scientists the PM confers with regarding Godzilla, after a fashion. Of course, the paleontologist thinks it might be a dinosaur, the marine biologist thinks it might be a marine animal, and the more generic biologist refuses to offer any speculation at all for fear of risking his scientific credibility.
  • Cassandra Truth: Let's be honest: no one would believe that a monster caused the flood. Least of all the Prime Minister of Japan (or, you know, any world leader). The first person to seriously suggest it's a sea monster — even after Japanese social media has been abuzz with it — is curtly told to stop making jokes. In the aftermath, the Japanese government has no idea how to handle a rampaging sea monster because this sort of thing doesn't happen.
  • Central Theme: Tragedy and Consequences. One man's personal tragedy can affect the lives of others and not just himself. In fact, Goro Maki's tragedy started the entire plot of the film. The film does not sugarcoat how Maki was heavily affected by his wife's radiation sickness, but no one bothered to help him. To this end, his yacht was found empty, and it's heavily implied that he woke Godzilla. The consequence is a giant confused radioactive monstrosity that has no idea where it is.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Origami, the art of creating shapes through paper folding that is a common hobby in Japan. One of the team members in Rando's group had been studying the mapped lines compiled by Goro Maki's data, remembered the mention of a paper crane that had been left behind on Maki's yacht, and realizes that the lines could allow the paper to be folded in various ways to point towards a method of stopping Godzilla.
  • Continuity Reboot: This is an actual complete reboot that doesn't connect with the first film, as previous movies have.
  • Creator Thumbprint: The ultimate form of Godzilla's atomic breath being a laser-focused beam that can cut through entire city blocks like a lightsaber is one of Hideaki Anno's trademarks from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Particularly when it starts firing from dozens of different points on Godzilla's body at once.
  • Crusading Widow: Goro Maki's tragedy. He Took a Level in Cynic, seeing the only way to prove was point was to awaken or merge with Godzilla.
  • Creepily Long Arms: Inverted. This Godzilla has arms that are rather thin and short, even withered. This prevents Godzilla from being portrayed using a conventional suit.
  • Crossover:
    • As part of the marketing for the film, a crossover film with Neon Genesis Evangelion was teased as an April Fools joke. However, an image featuring Unit-01 and Shin-Godzilla standing back-to-back was featured on the official website (before being moved to its own website), alongside Godzilla-themed renditions of NERV's emblem. As part of the crossover promotion, S.H.MonsterArts produced models of Kiryu painted in Unit-01's and Unit-02's colors, Heisei Godzilla in Unit-01's colours, and a grotesque fusion of Godzilla and Unit-01, among other merchandise. Eventually an actual "Godzilla vs Evangelion" crossover would happen in the form of Godzilla vs. Evangelion: The Real 4-D for 2019's "Universal Cool Japan" event at Universal Studios Japan.
    • Besides the Godzilla/Evangelion merchandising, a crossover special between Shin Godzilla and Crayon Shin-chan aired in July, 2016.
  • Darker and Edgier: Shinji Higuchi has stated that the tone of the film is supposed to take cues from real world disasters, such as the 9/11 attacks and the 2011 tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan (along with the subsequent Fukushima nuclear plant disaster). In many ways, this film is one of the darkest installments in the Godzilla franchise since the original film.
  • Death of a Child: When Godzilla first makes landfall, he tries to stand up using an apartment building, but his weight ended up crushing the building with a family (including a child) inside.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: As befitting a Hideaki Anno work, Shin Godzilla deconstructs several aspects of Godzilla and Kaiju films in general:
    • The film takes an extensive look at how the Japanese government would actually struggle to deal with a Kaiju. Dealing with the sudden appearance of what could be a large, unidentified monster? That's nuts, it's probably just a chemical accident. Want to stop the monster before it can cause significant damage to the general area? Enjoy having to run through a series of Obstructive Bureaucrats before you can actually do anything. Think the JSDF can do anything about dealing with the monster? Careful, an evacuating citizen could get in the way and get killed while the creature is actually vulnerable. Want to call for the good ol' USA to save you? Sure, enjoy the substantial collateral damage that they'll bring. Think nukes are the solution to killing the monster when everything else has failed? Yeah, that'll really go over well with the people of Japan.
    • The film gives us a horrifically realistic depiction of a giant monster created by nuclear radiation. With various physical deformities (see Body Horror above) similar to those of a radiation burn victim and how he appears to be in a constant state of pain, this Godzilla is what an enormous creature that's been exposed to large amounts of radiation could actually look like.
    • Godzilla's atomic breath is deconstructed as well. In previous films Godzilla has used it repeatedly with no visible drawbacks. In this film though, using it (and his other beam attacks) drains him so much that he goes dormant and spends the next 15 days recharging his energy. And unlike previous films, it's shown irradiating the area, requiring decontamination efforts.
    • We also see Godzilla's regenerative abilities taken to their logical conclusion. Blown off pieces of Godzilla are shown to continue regenerating independent of Godzilla himself, and the scientists speculate that they will eventually regenerate into more Godzillas, making Godzilla an even bigger threat than he already was. This also addresses for the first time (in any of the Japanese films) how Godzilla reproduces, as whenever Godzilla had a "son" in the previous films, said "son" hatched from an egg that just sort of appeared with no explanation (and no indication that it even came from Godzilla).
    • Even Godzilla's name is deconstructed. Specifically the fact that it's different in Japan and America, something that's never been acknowledged in any of the Japanese films. The monster was first named in America, the English name "Godzilla" being given as a code name. The "God" part was inspired by the Japanese word "Gojira", meaning "God incarnate" (giving the name an in-universe meaning for the first time), referring to a violent god. It's from this that the Japanese start calling the monster "Gojira".
    • As mentioned under Adaptational Villainy, the film serves as a reminder that Godzilla is an inherently destructive creature and effectively a living nuclear weapon. Because of him cities are destroyed, people are killed, and those that survive are left homeless and exposed to residual radiation from his atomic breath. Conversely, between being in constant pain from radiation burns and being under near constant assault from humans that want to kill him, the film also makes a point that Godzilla's existence is one of constant torment. His Villain Song "Who Will Know" emphasizes this as it presents us with Godzilla's perspective, revealing that he is indeed a tortured creature that's just trying to survive.
    • The Return of Godzilla was the last film that showed us what the international response to Godzilla would be, which involved other countries wanting to use nuclear weapons to stop him and the Prime Minister being against it note . The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not mentioned and neither America or Russia are portrayed as particularly antagonistic. Shin Godzilla once again gives us an idea of what the international response to Godzilla would be today, only this time, America is depicted as a subtly antagonistic force, closer reflecting the actual sentiments of many Japanese people. And once again, the international powers (led by America) want to stop Godzilla by nuking him. Only this time, we get a more visceral depiction of how much the Japanese people are against it, and the underlying reasons why are directly acknowledged instead of left in the subtext.
    • It also needs to be said that Shin Godzilla seems to be a subtle Take That! to The Return of Godzilla, or at the very least wanting to be the more realistic of the two. While in Return the use of nuclear weapons is stopped by the Japanese Prime Minister making an Armor-Piercing Question to the acting leaders of both the US and Russia, asking them if they would've used nuclear weapons had Godzilla attacked their countries; Shin makes the whole argument moot as America eventually states that yes, yes they would. note 
  • Delegation Relay: Partly through bureaucratic buck-passing, but also because there are no laws to cover the situation, a lot of decisions keep being passed up to the Prime Minister because he's the only one who can make such extralegal decisions.
  • Democracy Is Flawed: Explored. The Japanese government is utterly incapable of doing anything to halt Godzilla's rampage, with a significant focus being placed on harshly critiquing the bureaucratic process and Japan's dependency on the United States and United Nations. Worse, their evacuation procedures are not enough to prevent thousands of deaths by the rampaging beast. Some of this is blamed on too much democratic accountability (most of the leadership are terrified of the public backlash that might come from them doing, well, anything), but some of it is the result of too little democratic accountability (because the Liberal Democratic Party's decades-long stranglehold on the Japanese government has resulted in much of the country's leadership being an insular old boys' club with no respect for outside opinions, and because the US has more influence in decision making than the average Japanese citizen).
  • Department of Redundancy Department: One translation of the title is God Godzilla (the reason for which is listed under "Double Meaning Title"). Even more redundant with Godzilla's name i.e. "God God Incarnate". Looks like Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi took a page from Akira Toriyama...
  • Desolation Shot: Several scenes showing the devastation left by Godzilla's forms are shown. Yaguchi takes a moment to pray at one such location created by its second form, and one of the last scenes from the "atomic breath" sequence is a long shot showing how widespread and enormous the damage to Tokyo is as Godzilla vents the last of his fire before going dormant.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Whereas the original film was an allegory of the then-recent Lucky Dragon No. 5 incident (and obviously by extension, the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), this movie is an allegory for the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster that happened in 2011. The anti-nuclear weapons moral is still preserved in this film, however.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Shin" can be written using different kanji characters, and thus can mean literally anything from "progress", to "humility", "advance", "gentleman", "heart", or even "belief", to name a few. The three meanings emphasized by Anno are "new", "true", and "god".
  • Dissonant Serenity: During a scene where the government officials are forced to evacuate after a US airstrike is launched in the area, Hiromi can be seen in the background calmly walking out of the room.
  • Eagleland: Zigzagged.
    • Godzilla was ultimately created by American nuclear waste dumped off the shores of Japan, but the film makes it clear that the Japanese had a major hand in it.
    • The original scientist who had been studying Godzilla had his work censored by the American government to cover up the waste dumping, but Japanese academia laughed him out of scientific circles, and the government didn't give his wife adequate care for radiation sickness, leading to her death.
    • The American government begins its bombing run on Godzilla early, forcing evacuations to speed up and head underground instead of out of the city as originally planned, but it's clear the timetable was moved up due to the extreme threat Godzilla posed. American forces also destroy or take precious samples needed for the splinter group of researchers, but the former was at least justifiable, as the Japanese forces were also purging any leftover remains on sight, due to the biohazard and stench.
    • Finally, the United Nations—mostly led by the Americans—issue an ultimatum to nuke Godzilla with the highest-megaton bomb they have, obliterating Godzilla... and Tokyo and its environs, along with the possibility Godzilla might just reform and use the resulting fallout to get even angrier. It's stated that it's both a coverup to erase the mistake the Americans caused in the first place, and out of sheer desperation when UN estimations show a possibility of Godzilla going international (after Godzilla has already wiped half of Tokyo out). The American officials on-the-ground in Japan lament that the UN's timetable (two weeks) isn't enough to fully evacuate a massive city when the Japanese government is in shambles and resources are already tapped out, and when the research team successfully stalls the UN's timetable, the American military helps the operation by sending in a drone fleet to distract Godzilla and sending Marines and other ground forces to help the GSDF. It's also made clear that the Americans are being pressured into nuking the monster with the implied threat that if they don't do it themselves, Russia or China will.
  • Emergency Authority: After discovering that existing laws and procedures may not allow for deployment of the JSDF against Godzilla, among other gaps in the response, the Prime Minister is pushed to declare a state of emergency that would allow extraordinary measures to be taken. Even then, mention is made of special legislation being rushed through the Diet.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The final shot of the movie shows petrified humanoid creatures growing off of Godzilla's tail, indicating that this is only the beginning of the threat of Godzilla. The movie also makes it clear that the United Nations will deploy its plan to nuke Godzilla—and, by proxy, Tokyo and the surrounding cities—once he starts moving.
  • Energy Weapon: Godzilla's atomic breath can be focused into a purple laser beam that fires from his mouth. It also shoots beams of energy from its spinal plates when confronted with more aerial attacks, and fires a beam from the end of its tail when the spinal beams' power is exhausted.
  • Enfant Terrible: Even as an infant, Godzilla was a fatal nightmare for Japan even when all he could do was roam around densely populated areas, shake his neck around so that the blood will come out and stop irritating him, and basically grow.
  • Engrish: Kayoco Anne Patterson's dossier is full of typos and grammatical mistakes, such as calling her an "it" and not putting verbs in the past tense. Her first name is also a case of this, as translated from hiragana it should be "Kayoko" — and many articles reporting on the film spell it as such. In the Japanese language version, Kayoco's own English is quite obviously not her first language, making her character slightly difficult to take seriously (to an English-speaking audience, at least).
  • Exact Words: Characters attempt to invoke and exploit this early on by reading Japan's military conventions, to see if there's any specific wording that would allow for deployment against Godzilla. As part of the film's Deconstructor Fleet, it doesn't work.
  • Expy:
    • To a certain extent, Hiromi and Kayoco have similarities to Evangelion's Rei and Asuka.
    • Goro Maki's origins in this film is similar to another misanthropic scientist of the franchise: Shinji Mafune of Terror of Mechagodzilla. The only difference is that Maki was driven by despair after the death of his wife, and left significant information about Godzilla while Mafune hates humanity so much, he joined forces with the Black Hole aliens to destroy humanity. Their significant discovery, at the time, were ground-breaking, but were flatly ignored. Thus their cynicism.
  • Gilligan Cut: Yasuda initially scoffs at Hiromi's hypothesis that Godzilla may be running on some form of nuclear fission and asks if she's joking. In exactly the next scene, Yasuda can be heard screaming in confusion and terror, running from the opposite side of the research room to report his findings to Yaguchi who's already being briefed by Hiromi about this exact same conclusion. After a Beat, Yasuda briefly bows to Hiromi and apologizes.
  • One-Eyed Shot: The very first shot of Godzilla's second form is one of its eyes as its head plows through a building, just before the entire creature is shown.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: The US poster greatly darkens Godzilla, almost completely obscuring its eye and giving this effect.
  • First World Problems: Done intentionally after Godzilla kills the Prime Minister and most of the Cabinet members. The first shot of the new Prime Minister shows him grumbling about how his noodles are soggy, indicating how unsuited he actually is for the role.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: After Godzilla's first arrival in Tokyo, the Yaguchi team are reading Twitter posts about rising radiation levels. Look for the post from bakashinji, who uses Asuka as an avatar.
  • From Bad to Worse: Godzilla's first use of its Breath Weapon takes out one of the US bombers. It then destroys the other bombers with its spine beams, and then its next use of its mouth beam destroys several sections of the city that weren't already burning and the helicopter carrying the Prime Minister and most of the Cabinet members.
  • Genre Deconstruction: The "giant monster" film genre (including the Godzilla series) is full of scientists that are renowned and know perfectly well what is going on (or at the very least they are renowned but because of the single crackpot theory — that, obviously, involves the monster — they were treated by the community as The Worm Guy up until they were needed). In this film the renowned scientists the Japanese government consults at the very first sign of Godzilla are as much of a case of Head-in-the-Sand Management as everybody else, and refuse to risk their reputations by making any kind of theories. The Prime Minister, in a very justifiable rage after such a snafu of a meeting, orders his subordinates to find anybody who can provide ideas to deal with the monster. Making this worse is that the one scientist with the most in-depth knowledge of Godzilla and his anatomy is long dead by the start of the movie from implied suicide, thanks to the ridicule and censorship of his work by the government, and the death of his wife from radiation poisoning nobody cared to deal with.
  • Ghost Ship: A derelict yacht in Tokyo Bay is a major location in the film. It belonged to Goro Maki, a zoologist who had been researching mutations as a result of nuclear waste being dumped into the ocean by the Americans. He had discovered Godzilla in its larval form decades ago, but was shunned and mocked by Japanese academia and had his work censured by the American government, and eventually committed suicide, leaving his research to be discovered by Yaguchi's team.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • After a large chunk of Tokyo is absolutely destroyed and irradiated, taking a majority of the Japanese government out with it, the United Nations — headed by the Americans — all resolve to nuke Godzilla with the largest megaton bomb they have. Obviously, the Japanese have a big issue with this. It's also portrayed neutrally — American personnel make it clear they wouldn't be considering such a destructive action if Godzilla hadn't, y'know, destroyed Greater Tokyo and didn't pose a potentially international threat.
    • Because the Japanese government has never anticipated something like Godzilla, there is no law to deal with the situation (e.g. by calling in the military when there's no foreign aggressor involved), requiring the Prime Minister to make extralegal decisions simply because the buck stops with him and It's the Only Way to deal with the crisis.
  • Government Procedural: The film primarily focuses on how the Japanese Cabinet responds to a sudden, unprecedented crisis. Most of the main characters are bureaucrats or politicians, and a lot of time is spent in meetings, press conferences, and consultations.
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: The Japanese government is more preoccupied with appearing to be in control of the situation, rather than actually being in control of the situation. As such, most of their actions before Godzilla vaporizes the PM's cabinet always come one step too late.
  • Healing Factor: A staple power of Godzilla's, but with a deadly twist. When the scientists discover Godzilla's cells continue to grow exponentially even detached from his body, it raises the possibility that Godzilla can reproduce asexually. This raises Godzilla from a city destroyer to a potential extinction level threat, with one scientist theorizing a horde of rapidly reproducing Godzillas could destroy the world within months. It's this apocalypse scenario that motivates other nations to press for the use of nuclear weaponry.
  • Hollywood Evolution: Godzilla's Adaptive Ability is often called "evolving", even though evolution only describes changes in a species as a whole and thus couldn't apply to a Single Specimen Species. If anything Godzilla's evolution is similar to a Pokémonnote . Bizarrely, one scientist points out that lifeforms normally evolve through generational change, but the term continues to be used regardless.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Averted with the military for the first time. In the previous films (including Godzilla (2014)), the military forces tend to be way too close to the monster they're facing, and they often get smashed or blasted within the monster's reach. In this film, they were a good distance away from Godzilla as he advances, shooting him from realistic ranges for the types of weapons being deployed. He still defeats them by kicking a bridge in the Tama River battle, but at least they have the sense to retreat when the odds were so against them.
  • Hope Spot: Hooray, the military actually got a good hit on Godzilla! Everything should start getting better, right? Wrong. Godzilla unleashes its atomic breath, incinerating a huge chunk of Tokyo in the process, and takes out the bombers and most of the Cabinet at once through its spine beams and the focused laser-like version of its atomic breath.
  • Huddle Shot: Happens a few times, with the task force crowding around one side of the table.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Ogashira's reaction upon hearing that the United States plans to use a thermonuclear bomb to destroy Godzilla (and all of Tokyo with it).
    Man is more frightening than Gojira.
  • Ignored Expert: One running theme is the danger of this trope. Goro Maki's initial findings were both laughed out of Japan and covered up in the United States. Both of these would lead to the world being unprepared for Gojira, but these same issues kept coming into play, because these tropes are still relevant in workplace culture, despite Yaguchi staffing his team specifically to counter this trope:
    • When Ogashira hypothesizes that Gojira is fueled by nuclear fission, Yasuda laughs and dismisses her idea as preposterous. When she quietly shows Yaguchi proof of her theory, which was also supported by on-site nuclear experts, Yasuda is in the background having a loud Freak Out as he comes to the same realization, before presenting it to his coworker. He then brings "his" finding to Yaguchi, who says to all of them that Ogashira was right. Yasuda at least gives her an apology.
    • When the suggestion is made to study tissue samples, the team is immediately told that the Americans have already confiscated them.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Right after the Minister makes an announcement to assure the public that Godzilla would not make landfall, reports come in that he has. The Minister even muses that Godzilla made a liar out of him. He was warned ahead of time that landfall could be a possibility, though.
  • Irony: Plenty:
    • While discussing about Godzilla and his name, he was called "Godzilla" by the Americans in this film before being called "Gojira". In the previous two non-Toho films, the monster was referred as "Gojira" first before being called "Godzilla".
    • The politicians convinced the Prime Minister and his cabinet to evacuate during Godzilla's climatic attack, saying he couldn't afford to die if Godzilla came to their location. Godzilla never went near the cabinet's headquarters, but instead, his Breath Weapon destroyed the Prime Minister's evacuation helicopter.
    • Toho made Godzilla 2000 due to negative response to the first American attempt. This film was made out of the positive response to Godzilla (2014), considering Toho, Kenpachiro Satsuna, and Haruo Nakajima greatly loved the film. As an added bonus, Satsuna despised the first American film as he stated the monster lacked the spirit.
      • Longtime Godzilla producer Shogo Tomiyama renamed the American character "Zilla", because the American film "Took the 'God' out of Godzilla". In contrast, this film not only has God in the character's American name, the Japanese name is derived from a (fictional) God, and one of the meanings of "Shin" in the title is God.
  • It Can Think: During his engagement with the JSDF, Godzilla pauses before turning away from its original path. The JSDF commanders and politicians think it's a sign the defense is working. Cue Godzilla walking over to the bridge the JSDF HQ is by and then kicking said bridge on top of the HQ. It promptly resumes its journey to Tokyo's heart.
  • It Only Works Once: One of Godzilla’s most terrifying abilities is his adaptive biology, from growing into new forms repeatedly, to developing new abilities to counter tactics used against it. Prior to the bombs the Americans dropped on it, Godzilla hardly reacts to anything the military throws at him. After the Americans bomb him, he utilizes his atomic beam, first through his mouth, then through his spines, while also developing a biological radar to detect incoming attacks. What’s more, after this development, even while Godzilla is hibernating, he becomes much more cautious, refusing to allow any airborne object to approach him, even if it’s something as harmless as a drone. When the military launches Operation Yashiori, Godzilla uses his spine beams to shoot down anything and everything coming at him, even though it's clear that nothing that’s being fired at him is on the level of the first bombs the Americans dropped. After being hurt once, Godzilla stops taking any chances.
  • Jitter Cam: While steady-cam footage is used predominantly throughout the movie, this format is also used throughout the movie—specifically, during sequences that show ordinary citizens fleeing from Godzilla.
  • Kill It with Fire: Careful study of Godzilla reveals that he's essentially a living atomic reactor, and one of the most feasible (and in the loosest sense of the term, safest) ways of neutralizing him is to overload his capacity to channel energy, burning him out. Unfortunately, given how ineffective conventional bombardments have been on him (a massive aerial raid just puts him into brief stasis to cool himself off), the only weapons capable of forcing him into critical mass are nuclear warheads. The Japanese government is repulsed and angered by this for obvious reasons, but the other countries of the world find this an attractive option because at the rate Godzilla is mutating, it may soon be capable of flight, making it an international menace.
  • Kill It with Ice: The other solution humanity comes up with to deal with Godzilla is to essentially freeze it, dousing its internal reactor and preventing it from evolving any further. This is an ideal alternative to the above with the caveat that due to Godzilla's size and the open conditions of its environment (read: the outside), a lot of the freezing agent is needed for this plan to work.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: This film is comparable with Godzilla (1954)'s Early-Installment Weirdness for their portrayal of Godzilla. The first film treats Godzilla as a radioactive burn victim as he was an atomic bomb. In this film, Godzilla is treated as if he was hit by an actual bomb, making him look like an ant-walking alligator person (in his case, monster) while being a living nuclear reactor. Unlike previous films — including the first and Legendary — being Godzilla is not a pretty sight to behold.
  • Leitmotif:
    • A theme heard during Godzilla's initial coming ashore in Shinagawa is later reprised as "Under a Burning Sky" during the Yashiori Strategy at the film's climax.
    • As mentioned prior, variations of the Evangelion franchise's "Decisive Battle" are used multiple times throughout the film as the Anti-Godzilla organization's theme.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Parodied repeatedly. One of the first is shot with the same pacing as an action movie, but instead features assistants setting up a workroom for Yaguchi's team, with shots of them setting up printers, tables, and computers framed in the same manner that would normally be used to cover soldiers picking up weapons and gearing up for battle in any regular action movie. Other scenes are similar to said montage, but instead feature the team scrambling around, reporting by cellphone on their progress on the different parts of the plan to pump Godzilla full of coagulant, all set to the exact kind of soundtrack you'd expect for the straight version of this trope.
  • Logo Joke: The Toho logo is the modern version, then turns to the 1950s color logo to homage Gojira (1954)'s era, seen here.
  • Made of Iron: Considering the third form Godzilla was never attacked by those first four choppers, it seems unnecessary for the fourth version it turned into later to bother adapting to resist the JSDF's arsenal, doesn't it? Prominently, not only are bullets and missiles shown harmlessly bouncing off and exploding against Godzilla, but state-of-the-badass-art JDAM bombs bounce off with a harmless chink sound before exploding. Only US Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs deal damage to Godzilla. . . and that just pisses him off.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Japanese government and Kayoco upon learning the U.S. government plans to nuke Godzilla.
  • Meaningful Name: For the first time ever, "Gojira" actually has a meaning; "God incarnate", according to Ohdo Island inhabitants.
  • Metamorphosis Monster: This iteration of Godzilla has four forms that he mutates into.
    • The first form, compared to a tadpole, is unseen in the film itself aside from its tail, but is important to the movie's backstory.
    • The second form is a yellow, lizard-like creature with pronounced gills and stumps where its arms should be.
    • The third form is a red lizard-like creature that stands upright and has greater mobility, its stumps developing into stunted hands.
    • The fourth form is pictured above, and it has the greatest amount of screentime out of any of these.
    • The fifth form (as explained in the concept art book) is composed of the numerous humanoid creatures emerging from the tail.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Godzilla has a massive mouth lined with needle-sharp fangs, evocative of deep-sea fish. Some of them actually grow from the skin outside of his mouth.
  • Multiple Head Case:
    • Close-up photos of the maquette reveal that Godzilla has a grotesquely malformed vestigial head on the tip of his tail. He can fire his Atomic Breath from it as well as his own mouth. Furthermore, the film ends on several skeletal humanoid Godzillas frozen in the midst of emerging from the tail's tip, suggesting that Godzilla reproduces through his tail.
    • Concept art reveals that several designs for Godzilla that were suggested had him with another smaller head (and arm) sprouting from his neck, implying he was some sort of grotesque mutant or undergoing the equivalent of mitosis.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • A promotional poster of Godzilla's footprint shows a trilobite in one of the toes, as a Call-Back to the original 1954 movie. Even the design of Godzilla's head is evocative of concept work for the 1954 film, which originally had a malformed-looking head and tiny eyes and went unused save for promotional shots.
    • The first thing the Prime Minister does is meet with three elderly paleontology and biology experts in suits and glasses. Unlike Drs. Yamane, Shigezawa, or Hayashida, they're absolutely useless, instead spouting off common-sense platitudes that waste the prime minister's time and anger him.
    • Godzilla's second and third forms, the "tadpole" and two-legged lizard-like form, have pronounced gills on each side of his neck, which may be a possible reference to the 2014 remake, whose Godzilla design had gills.
    • Speaking of the remake, this Godzilla also subsists on radiation, and the plan to try and obliterate him is detonate an extremely high-yield nuke on top of him that would cause severe destruction to a major city and its environs, but obliterate Godzilla (but also runs the risk of failing and only giving the target more sustenance), which is also called off in lieu of a suicide mission involving infantry.
    • The reveal of the atomic breath is also done at night, and is shot similarly to the 2014 version. Initially, Godzilla releases a massive firestorm, much like the original film, which then becomes his more iconic beam weapon. Additionally, the shots of Tokyo burning mimic and recreate scenes from the original film as well
    • Goro Maki has been the name of two characters in previous Godzilla continuities: a character in Son of Godzilla, and the main character of The Return of Godzilla. His function here seems like a Shadow Archetype to Dr. Serizawa of the original Gojira - horrified by the destructive potential of WMDs, but instead of using one against Godzilla, the research team speculates he helped awaken Godzilla both both as revenge against the Japanese government and academia for ruining his career and denying his wife aid for radiation sickness, and to test humanity.
    • As in the original film, Godzilla is named after Gojira, the malevolent sea-god of Odo Island, and is speculated to have been sighted around the island before.
    • The sound effects used by the JSDF's weapons and Godzilla's Atomic Breath, as well as many of the explosions and impacts, are taken straight out of the Showa films.
    • The bifurcated jaw Godzilla has harkens to Crustaceous Rex from Godzilla: The Series.
    • Godzilla's metamorphic, adaptational development draws influence from Hedorah and Destoroyah. His evolution from a simple dinosaur-like beast to a truly imposing mutated Kaiju also recalls his origin story shown in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, where he was shown to have evolved from a simple dinosaur known as "Godzillasaurus" after being exposed to nuclear fallout.
    • The probability of further Godzillas coming to life through displaced pieces of the original evokes The War of the Gargantuas.
    • The ending of the movie, in which the JSDF finally pacify Godzilla by trapping him under the rubble of collapsing buildings and using an experimental chemical to freeze his body solid, is a direct reference to the ending of Godzilla Raids Again, in which the military finally stops him by trapping him under an avalanche and freezing him in a block of ice. Notably, it ends with the clear implication that Godzilla will eventually unfreeze himself to wreak more havoc, as he did in Godzilla Raids Again's immediate sequel King Kong vs. Godzilla.
    • While technically Godzilla was never shown growing in size before onscreen (although him becoming bigger was a minor plot point in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah), his height increase between the 3rd and 4th Forms (57m-118.5m) closely mirrors his growth between the Showa and Heisei eras (50m-100m).
  • The Needs of the Many: Completely averted in an early scene. The JDF are armed and ready to take down a much weaker and smaller Godzilla, and it seems that at this stage they might have a chance. Then one of the pilots spots a civilian carrying someone on his back still in the area, and the helicopters back off and return to base. As shown by the rest of this movie, following this trope in this instance backfires horribly.
  • Never Trust a Title: The international title (Godzilla: Resurgence) sounds like Revenge of the Sequel, but the film is a Continuity Reboot to before Godzilla had ever been seen before. Presumably, this is part of the reason Funimation changed the title to Shin Godzilla, at Toho's request, when distributing the film to international theaters.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • The Prime Minister calls off the helicopter gunship attack on hearing that civilians are still in the area. By the time the attack is launched, Godzilla has evolved into a form that is Nigh-Invulnerable.
    • The Americans dropping bunker-busters on Godzilla only gave him the ability to use his iconic Breath Weapon, which he used to decimate entire cities instantly.
    • Due to the politicians convincing the Prime Minister to evacuate during said attack, he and his cabinet end up getting killed when Godzilla's Atomic Breath blasts their helicopter.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Godzilla, as usual. All manners of shells and missiles do basically nothing to the big guy. It takes several Massive Ordnance Penetrators to wound him, and it should be noted just how specialized and good at their intended purpose they are. Those weapons can penetrate 50 meters of solid rock, yet only seem to sink themselves a few meters at most into Shin Godzilla's skin.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Brought up at the end of the film, when it's discovered that the radioactive isotopes in Godzilla only have a half-life of twenty days, meaning even the places irradiated the most in his rampage will be safe for habitation in a few short years.
  • No-Sell: Godzilla is completely unfazed by the barrage from tanks, launchers and helicopters. In other words, Godzilla is invincible to most human weaponry. It takes American GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs to injure him, and it's presumed (perhaps incorrectly) that a nuclear weapon could completely kill the creature.
  • Not So Stoic: Every character so far, save Hiromi Ogashira, loses their nerves when the US decides to use a nuclear bomb on Godzilla. If you know your history class, you know exactly whynote .
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The December 2015 teaser only showed people running from Godzilla without showing Godzilla himself.
  • Notice This: A paper crane was left on top of several notebooks on the abandoned yacht at the beginning. It's what gives one of Rando's teammembers the epiphany needed to figure out the coagulant that helps stop Godzilla—like a shape made using origami, the mapped-out data is meant to be folded in a way that gives the solution to the problem.
  • Nuclear Mutant: Godzilla was empowered by nuclear waste instead of nuclear weapons in this continuity.
  • Nuke 'em: The United Nations comes to the conclusion that the only way to get rid of Godzilla is to throw a nuke at it. Thankfully, Patterson delays their decision long enough to let the people of Japan find another way to stop the monster.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Invoked, though it's more of an obstructive bureaucracy as a whole. The film criticizes the way the Japanese government prioritizes "saving face" rather than admitting that there's problems to begin with. As such, the bureaucracy serves to hinder the effectiveness of both actions and policies by acting in a conservative and timid manner as a default. This only serves to both waste time and cost thousands of lives.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The vocal tracks in the movie are done in this way. In an unusual twist on this trope, the lyrics are actually in English.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Prime Minister during the initial press conference about Godzilla when he finds out that what he just told the press, that Godzilla couldn't come onto land and survive, was just proven false within seconds of him saying it. note 
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Godzilla's forms all generate massive amounts of blood. Its initial emergence ruptures the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, pouring in hundreds of gallons of blood. Its first form leaves an enormous trail of blood in Tokyo Bay before making landfall, and its second form spurts superheated blood from its gills every few steps. Later, after its fourth form is hit by the MOP bombs, it sprays out what seems to be a small tidal wave of blood from his back. Also, an unfinished deleted scene showed its third form vomiting up a torrent of blood that would have covered several city blocks.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Hiromi Ogashira (Mikako Ichikawa) from the Ministry of Environment, a "lone wolf" who Yaguchi brings on board as a consultant and first figures out that Godzilla is nuclear-powered, has a tired, downcast look for most of the film. This changes in the climax, when she breaks into a big smile.
  • Power Incontinence: Godzilla returns to the ocean several times to prevent his body from overheating.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: After Godzilla first unleashes his Atomic Breath, the effect is so draining that he goes comatose for fifteen days.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Godzilla's focused Atomic Breath is purple/violet rather than blue or red, and is powerful enough to slice through skyscrapers in seconds. As he begins to charge it up, his dorsal fins glow (as per usual) in purple, and the red glow under this version's skin changes to purple.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Yaguchi's task force is composed of an assortment of people who are highly skilled in their areas, but who generally lack an adherence to decorum and procedure that would allow them to get ahead in their respective departments. However, because of that, they're the people actually dedicated to getting stuff done.
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Subverted. This version of Godzilla, at least in its fourth form, is completely covered in red and black keloid scars, but while it looks malevolent and causes enormous damage and loss of life, it is mainly just a mutated monstrostity that could be mindlessly wandering around and reacts to things that harm it.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: An in-universe example. As in the original film, Godzilla is named after the malevolent sea-god worshipped by the inhabitants of Odo Island.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Like the 1954 film, this is a Disaster Movie with overtones of Horror.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The film does what the original film did: depict Godzilla as a horribly scarred and victimized mutant, not a choice of his own. His mutations are a result of a radioactive dumping, resulting in large keloid scars seen on the burn victims of the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And speaking of which, the Japanese are terrified at the prospect of the UN using a nuke to kill Godzilla, reopening the wounds of the past that plagued the country several decades ago.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Prime Minister's whole cabinet repeatedly changing meeting offices for no reason in particular, basically to simulate a notion of "taking action", which actually amounts to nothing but time wasting. Basically, especially near the beginning, they learn of a new development that makes the meeting they're currently having moot, so they adjourn that meeting to convene a new meeting about this new development, usually moving from the conference room to the PM's office or back.
    • Rando Yaguchi getting an increasingly-long list of titles as he takes on more responsibilities, since he's about the only cabinet member actively doing something.
  • Serial Escalation: The marketing gave quite a bit of focus to Godzilla's height. This Godzilla is the tallest yet, at 118 meters, scooping the title from the 2014 Godzilla, who was 108 meters. Given his similar build and proportions, this makes him roughly thirteen times larger by volume than the 50 meter tall Showa Godzilla.
  • Serkis Folk: For the first time in a Japanese Godzilla film, Godzilla is mostly portrayed through motion capture and CG animation, though a few scenes utilize a massive puppet.
  • Scenery Dissonance: Unlike the original Godzilla and The Return of Godzilla, the majority of Godzilla's attacks are during daylight hours. Only one scene is set at night, to highlight the intensity of its rays.
  • Scenery Gorn: Godzilla covers Tokyo entirely in flames by destroying everything with his Atomic Breath.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Godzilla is such an unprecedented situation that no existing protocols can be relied upon. The only government agents able to help are the ones willing to stick their necks out and risk doing something wrong for the sake of doing something right.
    • Discussed: Kayako is talking to Cussley, presumably her father, that if she refuses to go along with America's efforts to nuke Godzilla, she would gravely hurt her chances of becoming President of the United States. Cussley also notes he's supposed to withdraw with the rest of the American personnel, but it's implied he decides to stay.
    • The American military was supposed to withdraw for the bombing of Godzilla, but they instead assist the JSDF with drones and Marines for the final operation.
  • Sequel Hook: The film ends with several frozen humanoid Godzillas emerging from Godzilla's tail, meaning as soon as Godzilla thaws, so will those things.
  • Spell My Name With An S:
    • The US Special Envoy's name is spelled as "Kayako Ann Patterson" in interviews and articles, but "Kayaco Anne Patterson" in the film itself.
    • Odo Island is spelled "Ohdo" Island in Funimation's subtitles.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Day of the Kaiju, both being serious looks at the political hurdles that would really be involved with dealing with Kaiju-like lifeforms, and both being sharp allegorical rebukes toward the Japanese government's handling of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
  • Square-Cube Law: The film overall takes a zig-zagging approach to it.
    • It's invoked when government officials believe the young Godzilla will be unable to support its weight on dry land, only for it to make landfall during a press conference where they insist it can only stay in the water. However, it does struggle a lot to just walk in the beginning, and topples several building simply because it was indeed becoming too tired to stand and needed to rest on something.
    • This Godzilla is even taller than previous incarnations, but most of its volume lies in its legs, which is the most logical configuration for a creature of this size. Likewise, its massive tail should completely throw it out of balance, should Godzilla lift it… except if one looks closely, one can see that the base of Godzilla's tail is always lying on the ground. The surprisingly agile movements of the rest of the tail are made possible because its heaviest part is already resting on the ground, further stabilising the beast.
    • The prodigious density needed for a creature of this size to just not collapse under its own weight is the reason it No Sells such heavy firepower. The other logical consequence is that it moves at a slow pace and cannot evade danger: no amount of reflexes can counterbalance the sheer inertia of its body.
    • There is no possible way this Godzilla could fly by sprouting wings like some officials and scientists ponder. A creature that needs practically supernatural density to just stand up is impossible to lift; a flight-capable creature this large would need to be extremely light and would not be so tough.
  • Tagline: "Japan vs. Godzilla", as seen in katatana in the original poster. An alternate poster uses this tagline as an Alternate Character Reading for kanji translating to "Reality vs. Fiction". Funimation's English-language release uses "A god incarnate. A city doomed.",
  • Stock Sound Effects: A non-public domain example. The sound effects used by the JSDF's weapons and Godzilla's Atomic Breath, as well as many of the explosions and impacts, are taken straight out of the Showa films.
  • Suit with Vested Interests: About 90% of the PM's cabinet function as this, as it's composed of stuffy bureaucrats and career-driven company men who are unjustifiably skeptical and out of their element when dealing with the mass disaster of Godzilla's presence.
  • Take That!:
    • Toho made a few playful ones toward Godzilla (2014) in advertising the film, noting that they needed to make a Godzilla movie free from the influence of foreign studio. It should still be noted that Toho were still big fans of the 2014 film, which would be the primary reason that they chose to revive the franchise.
    • The film makes a point of showing at the personal level how the Japanese government responds to the notion of being nuked again by the Americans, even when it's a non-hostile effort. Some officials are driven to the point of tears from the anguish, shame and helplessness surging from the very thought. Even seven decades after the fact, the horror of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still looms, ever present.
  • This Cannot Be!:
    • Yasuda initially scoffs at Ogashira's hypothesis of Godzilla running on nuclear fission, only to spook the research team office with a flabbergasted screaming fit when he reaches the same conclusion while she's trying to give information to Yaguchi.
    • The reaction of the American ambassador when told that Godzilla not only has a weapon, but that it can shoot down stealth bombers.
  • The Bus Came Back: One of the franchise's only recurring characters, Goro Maki, returns after a decades-long absence- though this time in a posthumous role as a scientist rather than a reporter. Still sticking his nose where he shouldn't though.
  • Toku: The film's special effects are a combination of tokusatsu puppetry and the best CGI Japan has to offer, similar to the 2015 Attack on Titan film.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Unlike previous Godzilla films (including American remakes), attacking Godzilla on-site required approval as long as civilians are not present. In previous films, the military has a bad case of Leeroy Jenkins-level of attacking while major cities are in the middle of evacuating. This is what screwed things over as far as the original film: Godzilla was actively destroying everything and the military was so busy attacking him, 2/3 of Tokyo's population were either dead or dying.
  • Truly Single Parent: Implied. Godzilla has a healing factor, and bits blown off of it continue to regenerate. They are thus destroyed for fear of regrowing into more Godzillas. A second method of reproduction-by-fission is later confirmed when numerous "Anthrozillas" are seen frozen in the process of prying themselves off of Godzilla's tail.
  • Ultimate Life Form: Godzilla is several times described as a perfect lifeform far beyond mankind, as the scientists studying him discover he has eight times more DNA information than human beings, and may continue evolving. Although, as noted under Artistic License – Biology, this isn't really all that impressive.
  • Vast Bureaucracy: The Japanese government is portrayed as extremely slow and inefficient, requiring a meeting to do absolutely anything, even having meetings that conclude with the decision to have another meeting. Notably, this isn't shown to be the fault of any particular Obstructive Bureaucrat, but a general tendency to do nothing as to save face. Several times, the government members get annoyed at the fact they'd have to go through legal channels, waste time on pointless meetings, or have zero experience with, well, a rampaging monster.
  • Villain Song: "Who Will Know", a One-Woman Wail/choir piece that accompanies the scene where Godzilla first unleashes his Atomic Breath and spine beams in response to the military getting a good hit in. The song being Godzilla's perspective becomes apparent with the verse "As long as breath comes out my mouth/I may yet stand the slightest chance/A shaft of light is all I need/to cease the darkness killing me."
  • Walking Spoiler: Godzilla's earlier forms were a mystery almost up until the theatrical release.
  • We Have Reserves: A rare heroic example. Most of the early distraction phase of Yaguchi's plan to kill Godzilla involves letting him destroy a vast number of unmanned vehicles, from drones to trains, signifying that the Japanese and American governments are done counting the economic cost of saving human lives.
  • We Need a Distraction: Done with explosive-laden bullet trains!
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In both fronts actually:
    • Godzilla once again is depicted as this: He was a simple creature that happened to become mutated into the monstrosity we see now, but his leitmotif "Who Will Know" heavily implies this further with its lyrics, indicating him being a gigantic monstrosity was not even his choice to begin with.
    • The film heavily implies Goro Maki as this. He's a simple scientist who found Godzilla in 1956. However circumstances heavily weighed on him, such as his discovery of Godzilla being mocked, shunned, and censored. The final straw was the death of his wife via radiation sickness. The fact that the Godzillalings emerging from Godzilla's tail indicates that he merged with the creature, since the tip of Godzilla's tail has a malformed face with a blue eye.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Godzilla Resurgence


Godzilla vs. the Military

The JSDF open fire on Godzilla with their heavy guns- with predictable results.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / GiantEqualsInvincible

Media sources: