Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Shin Godzilla

Go To

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Godzilla truly a malicious monster, or is he simply a lost animal that has no idea where he is? When he first shows up, he was trying to stand upright by using a building (with its residents trying to escape) rather than deliberately destroying it, and it collapses by his weight. By the time he appears again, after shifting into his fourth form, he's simply strolling around the city until the Japanese military attacked him. By the time the USA's army did damage to him, he was at his Rage Breaking Point, and he ends up destroying 2/3 of Tokyo. In a meta-fictional sense, this film pairs with the 2014 American film as two very divergent interpretations of Godzilla... with the American film focusing on the interpretation of Godzilla as an anti-hero who combats other, more dangerous Kaiju, while this film focuses on Godzilla as an unstoppable force of nature.
    • Advertisement:
    • Did Godzilla even want to ever fire that atomic breath? It's mentioned early on that his blood acts as coolant for the equivalent of his fission reactor, and it's only after the bunker buster bombs cause him to bleed (lose coolant) that he starts using it. This raises the possibility that his blood isn't coolant so much as a reactivity control fluid, and that the loss of blood directly causes an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction... which Godzilla then has to burn off in the form of increasingly destructive forms of atomic breath in order to not meltdown.
    • Do Japan's politicians really care about their country by trying to do something about it, or do they want to get rid of Godzilla for their own means? At the same time, and most crucially to the film's criticism of the culture of Japanese politics, are they hesitating out of concern for their citizens, or concern they might have to shoulder the blame? Or is it a little of both, wanting to make the best decisions possible both for the good of the nation and because whatever they do now will be scrutinized and dissected for generations to come? Did they want to do the right thing, or did they want to not do the wrong thing?
  • Advertisement:
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Downplayed, but there. The film is largely considered one of the best films in the entire franchise in Japan (to the point where it won best picture at the Japanese Academy Awards), whereas it got a less enthusiastic (though mostly positive) reaction in some Western countries.
  • Arc Fatigue: A common criticism of the movie is that spends too much time on its political angle between the action setpieces, which causes a bit of fatigue for audience members who want to see Godzilla destroy stuff. That's not to say that people didn't respond well to the more grounded take on the story, just that there were complaints over the film's pacing and how much time was spent showing how ill-equipped Japan would be to handle a Kaiju. Even then, the movie got praise for taking this route.
  • Advertisement:
  • Award Snub: Despite winning the 2016 Japan Academy Prize for "Picture of the Year", the film (sadly) wasn't submitted to the Oscars for consideration in the "Best Foreign Language Film" category. If it had, there's a decent chance that it could have been the first Godzilla movie to get an Oscar nomination.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Persecution of the Masses, a dark, foreboding piece that encapsulates Godzilla’s status as a God Incarnate.
    • Who Will Know, a tragic song which relays the horrible story on what it’s like to live as Godzilla.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point, Godzilla's second form spews some sort of steaming red fluid from its gills, but it's never brought up afterwards. A deleted scene would have had Godzilla's third form vomit a huge amount of the fluid, which would turn out to be radioactive blood being expelled to try and prevent from overheating, and would have also implicitly explained where Godzilla's atomic breath evolved from.
  • Broken Base: Given the lifespan of the franchise and the 12 year gap between this and the last Toho Godzilla movie, it's to be expected.
    • The split second the new look was revealed, it split the fan base right down the middle. Some loved it and praised the creepy design giving it the feel of a mutated abomination, while others either felt it was trying too hard to be scary or failed to be scary due to eye design and the jaws going so far back they compared it to the love child of the Critters and the Cookie Monster.
    • Godzilla's second form. Some praised it with its uncanny, awkward and ungainly design, visually representing Godzilla's evolution, while others are turned off by the bizarre appearance and unfavorably compare it to a moray eel. (Strangely, a third camp finds it to be Ugly Cute.)
    • That the movie is a standalone film with Godzilla as the movie's only threat. Some called it a good Call-Back to the original film and 1984 sequel, others contending that the monster fights in the other films is often what helped the entry stand out and be memorable.
    • The portrayal of Americans in the film for some Western fans. Some are fine with it considering the franchise's history of the nation's portrayal and accept it as part of the package given the nation of origin; in fact, some would argue that Americans were portrayed more positively than they could have been. Others find it stereotypical and rude in light of both real life events note  and the fact it was an American Godzilla film that revived the franchise in a case of Misplaced Nationalism.note 
    • Godzilla's Giant Equals Invincible is questioned by fans. Many fans thought that due to his sheer 118 size and the traditional portrayal, Godzilla would be unanimously unstoppable, with no conventional weaponry that could possibly stop him, and the JSDF's assault is an example of that. Until he got dropped on by MOP bombs, which hurt him, and later "Unmanned Zairaisen Bombs" knock him off his feet. Several fans really disliked for a creature like him to be taken down by that, often comparing him to Zilla, while others think is a more realistic approach, since stronger bombs were not used against him before. Others already thought the previous (American) Godzilla is stronger of the two, since he is not inconvenienced by all forms of weaponry, including nuclear that was implied to make him stronger. Furthermore, prior incarnations of the Japanese Godzilla have been injured by specially-made weaponry, and no prior incarnation of Godzilla has been hit by conventional weapons as powerful as MOPs but were instead assaulted with scifi weapons of inconclusive power (maser cannons whose beams look like lightning bolts and penetrator missiles made from fictional metals) or exposed to extreme conditions (like being caught under the weight of a tectonic plate or being struck by extinction event causing asteriods). And even then the conventional weapons don't hit the nail, the specially-made coolants did. (And this Godzilla still wrecks havoc for a while even after taking in some coolants.)
    • The film using recycled music and sound effects (Godzilla's roar among them) from the Showa era is also a huge point of contention. One side believes the old tracks and sounds from the 60's-70's feel completely out of place in a 2016 movie and they should have re-recorded the music to fit the modern tone similar to what the Heisei series did. They also feel using old tracks in a film that has a brand new take on Godzilla gives the feel a slight identity issue. The other side is fine with it because they feel it's pleasant to hear classic Akira Ifukube music.
      • On the same subject, whether or not Shin Godzilla should have had a new roar? The side that wanted a new roar feel like the filmmakers were lazy for recycling the stock Showa roars, as every era of Godzilla (including the 2014 film) has its own unique and distinct roar. The other side is okay with hearing the actual classic roar. There is also a middle ground where which is fine with a recycled roar, but feel the 1954 roar would have better suited Shin Godzilla's fourth form.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Mikako Ichikawa's character Hiromi Ogashira is perhaps the most popular human character from the movie in Japan, earning a considerable amount of fan art (see the "Funny" tab).
    • Kamata-kun, Godzilla's initial form.note  A lot of people find it to be Ugly Cute, leading to the creation of adorable fan art.
    • Crane Team 1, one of the JSDF teams from Operation Yashiori, have gained a fandom on 4chan's "Mecha" board.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • One between fans of this film and Godzilla (2014) fans—or rather, the fans of Shin Godzilla that didn't like the American movie because Toho didn't make it, leading to the perception that this film is a "true" Godzilla movie while the 2014 film is not. Fans of the 2014 movie are quick to fire back with the fact that Shin was made after the 2014 movie revived the franchise—which they also note that Toho greatly enjoyed, in spite of claims to the contrary by the Shin side of the equation—and have also criticized this movie for its tonal and pacing issues, in part out of backlash toward the behavior of the Toho-purist crowd.
    • And then there's the people who just want to see Shin Godzilla and Legendary Godzilla duke it out, divided between those who think the larger, more destructive Shin Godzilla has the upper hand, and those who favor the tougher, and more experienced Legendary incarnation.
  • Genius Bonus: The entire final battle against Godzilla is a huge Shout-Out to Japanese Mythology. The operation's name, Operation Yashiori (also known as Yaguchi Plan), refers to the sake which Susanoo gave Yamata no Orochi to drink before killing it; the vehicle squadron carrying the coolant is named "Ame no Habagiri", the sword Susanoo used to killed Orochi. In short: the cast referred to Godzilla as an in-universe Yamata no Orochi.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: More like gave it a mixed review than panned it. Jim and JR of CHO Japan who are well known Godzilla fans and helped promote this film gave it a mixed review. While they never said it was terrible nor bad, they felt the film had a lack of identity for trying to mix the new with the old. Many Shin fanboys criticize their review for "not making sense" or being "cringe worthy" (despite the review being unedited and they freshly saw the film). Their video review was met with more dislikes and hate from Shin fanboys, even though they didn't outright hate it and had fairly good things to say about it too.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Return of Godzilla was originally intended to feature a new shape-shifting monster called Bagan which Godzilla would have had to fight in several forms, finally culminating in the traditional Behemoth Battle, but was scrapped to keep the focus on Godzilla. Evidently the idea never really went away.
    • The full-grown Shin Godzilla stands at a height of 118 meters, making him a head taller than Legendary Godzilla, who in turn was slightly taller than the Godzilla of Final Wars. Looks like there was a bit of an arms race by the different films to make their Godzilla just that little bit bigger than the previous one.
    • Come Godzilla: Monster Planet, this arms race has reached new heights with Godzilla Earth, who is so massive that the fourth form of Shin Godzilla only comes up to his ankles!
    • Unintentional similarities to SCP--682: a massive reptilian entity that despises humanity and can alter its body in order to counter threats in an It Only Works Once manner. Can't be killed by nuclear weapons, and only temporarily stopped using a liquid chemical substance. Bits that come off have to be destroyed to avoid making more of them. Described as the ultimate life form.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Since Godzilla's reveal from the poster, fanart exploded with him horrifying his allies with his new design, and Shinji Nishikawa seemed to get on with the act, drawing the monster cast from Destroy All Monsters as if they were on meth.
    • After Anno was announced as director, fans began making Evangelion-related jokes, such as "Get in the Mechagodzilla, Shinji". It helps that the composer for Evangelion is also composing music for this film, with some of the tracks being very familiar to Evangelion fans, and the Millennium incarnation of Mechagodzilla is a cyborg made from a kaiju, just like the Evas.
    • Cabinet Resigning Beam, the Fan Nickname given to Godzilla's atomic breath and spine beams. It goes memetic in Japan, but it is actually part of the film's major Nightmare Fuel.
      • Similarly, the massive wave of trains crashing into Godzilla are memetically named as Unmanned Zairaisen Bombs.
      • Just the fact that there will be a porn parody...
  • Misplaced Accent: A common reaction from Western reviewers is to complain that American government liaison Kayoko Ann Patterson's heavy Japanese accent breaks the illusion that she's from the United States, though the accent is sometimes understandable due to Satomi Ishihara not being a native English speaker. She learned English before the film even began production, as she used the language for a series of commercials..
  • Narm:
    • The April 2016 trailer that shows off movie footage of Godzilla starts off with him roaring... with his high-pitched roar from the Showa era movies from 1962-1975. Considering how much this movie pays homage to the original 1954 movie, his lower-pitched bellows from that one, as well as The Return of Godzilla/Godzilla 1985 would've been more appropriate. While he does have the 1954 roar, it's only when he evolves into his 2nd form. The rest of the movie sticks with the Showa roar.
    • One promotional piece that veers into this is an S.H. Monster Arts figure of Heisei Godzilla... repainted in the color scheme of Eva Unit-01.
    • Godzilla's second form, despite spilling out gallons of blood from its neck, looks a little...silly, as it waddles around the cityscape and shifts his gaze with his comically large eyes.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Why yes, Godzilla's spine-beams do sound completely silly on paper. However, they only serve to make Godzilla all the more threatening. And terrifying.
    • The main cast "unleashing" Unmanned Zairaisen Bombs during the finale is also a downright silly sight to some, but you can't deny how visually awesome (and actually effective) they are on the screen.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The original Japanese poster for the movie got flak for Godzilla's perceived "googly eye" (though this was mostly due to the angle the poster was shown in, as in-movie the design doesn't look cartoonish). Funimation caught on with this line of criticism, and they photoshopped the international image to give off the effect of Face Framed in Shadow, hiding the eye while still retaining the nightmarishness of the rest of the image.
  • Signature Scene: Godzilla unleashing his atomic breath on Tokyo at night and then shooting said energy out out of his tail and spine.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • 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.
    • A very heavily one overshadows the entire film, and that's the other side of point: Tragedy begets consequences and consequences begets 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.
  • Special Effect Failure: While the movie is pretty good about avoiding this problem in spite of its relatively-small budget (presumed to be around $10 million or slightly more), the CGI looks a bit unconvincing at times. For instance, the rendering on Godzilla's atomic beams that shoot out of his spine look rather... off during his daytime assault on Tokyo, and they move around in a jerky fashion as opposed to animating fluidly. Even in the night raid scene, his spine beams and subsequent cooldown pose look a bit unnatural.
  • Squick:
    • There are leaked images that shows a close-up at the tip of his tail, a malformed face with a fish-eye, and a dislocated-looking jaw. You'd probably need a very strong stomach if you want to see the tip.
    • When Godzilla's second form appears, he spills gallons of blood upon first landing.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: A rare Godzilla film example. Many fans who are a fan of the narmtasic English dubs (especially Hong Kong and Omni Production dubs) aren't exactly a fan of the English dub by Funimation, since it's a direct translation from the Japanese script with unfitting voices, and a lack of "Godziller" that made the infamous HK/Omni dubs famous.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: At several points throughout the movie, a song with a similar drumline to one from Neon Genesis Evangelion plays. Justified, since Hideaki Anno co-directed this movie.
  • Tear Jerker: The lyrics to "Who Will Know" are about suffering, possessing a strong sense of longing, and self-resentment. It is sometimes suggested by fans to be interpreted from Godzilla's perspective, as it follows one of the few scenes of sympathy shown for the monster, after being injured by the U.S. airstrike.
  • 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 an return to base, as shown by the rest of this movie, following this trope in this instance backfires horribly.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: That ever divisive issue over Godzilla's design rears its ugly head once more, when the first trailer came out. A lot of fans either love the new zombie/decaying look, while others hate the tiny fragile arms, and goofy facial expression owing to the beady eyes and huge jaw.
  • Ugly Cute: For some reason, people actually see Godzilla's second form adorable, to the point of drawing him cute despite spilling gallons of blood from his gills.
    • Keep in mind, though, that the second form of Shin Godzilla can be compared to a bulldog... If said Bulldog were constantly overdrawing at their blood bank.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Many fans and non-fans agree that the the visual effects are amazing, which is more outstanding considering the fact that it has a substantially lower budget than the 2014 movie.
    • Despite using CGI, practical effects were used on the movie, and they look amazing.
    • When first rendering the final Godzilla CG model, the production team first tried to give it a texture similar to organic flesh, to make it look like a realistic, deformed creature. However they couldn't get it to look right, so they opted to instead give it the texture of a rubber suit, which ironically worked in its favor and made the shots look more convincing. Yes, you read that right: they intentionally made CGI look like a practical effect and it actually looked good.
    • Many have said the CGI looks better than the CGI used in this film looks more realistic than CGI used in modern Hollywood films (including the 2014 movie). This is rather telling of how dedicated the Japanese are to the craft of special effects, and using CGI as a tool rather than as a crutch to avoid having to build big sets or shoot on location, and save money.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Just like in the west, it won back critical acclaim for Japanese Godzilla movies, this won back the crowd so well, it eclipsed its previous movie in total box office sales within two weeks - and it also outgrossed the 2014 movie's Japanese run shortly after that.
  • Win the Crowd: For people that were not on board with Godzilla's look due to the initial side view of his head, they were won over by the scowling face from the front. It got even better with the reception of the film in Japan.

Alternative Title(s): Godzilla Resurgence


Example of: