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The Return of Godzilla

Jordan Navarro | Staff Writer

"Godzilla Minus One."/Toho Co./2023

Godzilla has been making a huge comeback the past few years. Two new films have been released, Toho’s Godzilla: Minus One, and the next installment of the Monsterverse, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. These two separate films take on the iconic monster in separate, yet exciting directions.

Godzilla: Minus One will reboot the whole franchise on Toho’s side, taking us back to where it all began in post-war Japan. After Japan had taken the loss and had two atomic bombs dropped on them, their situation could not get any worse than it already had. The society of Japan is brought down to zero, but when Godzilla emerges from the ocean and wreaks destruction on the remaining cities, it goes from zero to minus one. Godzilla is a vindictive monster out to avenge humanity for creating him, leaving everyone in despair of their fate.

In Warner Bros. and Legendary Studios, after Godzilla and Kong had their beast brawl in Hong Kong, Godzilla emerged as the victor to settle the score. And just as he won, a new foe appeared, the machine clone, Mechagodzilla, with the consciousness of the former usurper King Ghidorah taking control of the mech. Godzilla and Kong put their differences aside and defeated Mechagodzilla, establishing both of them as kings of the earth. With Kong ruling the Hollow Earth from below, and Godzilla on the surface. In this new film, the two Alpha Titans must work together again to ensure the balance and the safety of their worlds from a new foe. In the reveal trailer, we see a strange orangutan-like Titan sitting on a throne with the bones of other Titans, especially the skulls of Godzilla and Kong. This new Usurper is known only as Scar King, and we have yet to see any trailers of this elusive titan in action. But it is safe to assume that the motivation of Scar King is to take down the two kings of the monsters and become the new ruler.

Godzilla in the United States has been a complicated road, starting from the infamous 1998 Tristar adaptation in the form of a mutated Iguana, now known as Zilla, to redeeming himself in the 2014 debut of Godzilla, by making a trilogy with King of The Monsters as the sequel and featuring iconic Toho monsters like Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah. A stand-alone movie starring Kong in Kong: Skull Island, and the third installment being the most popular by far, Godzilla vs. Kong, a remake of the classic film that set the stage to settle who is truly worthy of being king.

Toho has also rebooted Godzilla multiple times already. In 2016, Shin Godzilla, directed by Hideaki Anno, the man who made the famous anime Neon Genisis Evangelion remade the monster into a horror of despair, leaving us in anticipation of a sequel that the fans never got. After that, Toho made three anime movies of Godzilla that aired on Netflix, though it was unsuccessful. They tried again with another anime, Godzilla: Singular Point, with decent success this time around. But Minus One is their latest live-action attempt in seven years, and according to reviews, it seems to have smashed the box office, even growing more in success in the United States.

The years to come are a promising future for the King Of The Monsters. With new fans being introduced with these new installments and old fans relishing in their icon. It seems to be a road going up for the icon of destruction. Long live the king.


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