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The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Discuss items of general interests about all the Godzilla films--actors, favorite G suits. etc.

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The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby Geno » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:37 pm

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby mbozzo » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:55 pm

In his earlier films, Godzilla is a destroyer of Japan. He later became its protector in the 1960s. It continues until Godzilla 1985. He became a force of nature during the 1990s. He appeared in two American movies so far, (if you count the 1998 film) and there seem to be no stopping him for now. :wink:
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby TerranigmaFreak » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:46 am

I don't agree with the original Gojira being nationalistic. It was clearly an anti-war film.

Shin Godzilla is easily the biggest offender though. That movie was right wing propaganda.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby canofhumdingers » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:11 pm

I will never understand people who claim Shin Godzilla is right wing propaganda. The entrenched politicians and military FAIL. It’s the young radical upstarts, who aren’t interested in career politics, who defeat Godzilla by thinking outside the box and using cutting edge science.

How, I ask, is that right wing propoganda? And I ask that as a conservative who probably leans much further right than many here.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby tbeasley » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:52 pm

That video is horrible.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:19 pm

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:34 pm

^ I feel Shin Godzilla tries really hard to be patriotic but non-partisan, you know? Like (and this is a weird comparison) a National Treasure movie.

The actual Japanese military embraced the movie... but in Shin Godzilla the military are almost totally impotent and the actual heroes are basically the equivalent of Fukashima engineers. The Japanese right wing is notoriously sexist, but the breakout character of Shin Godzilla is an intelligent woman who isn't taken seriously because of her sex. The movie makes the argument that Japan should be stronger and able to take care of its own affairs, but also that it should be more transparent and argues for a more international, global perspective as opposed to a nativist one. I think an argument can be made that the film goes out of its way to be cagey about politics and a lot of the criticism comes less from what's in the movie and more from what the movie doesn't touch on. Guilt by omission?

It's kinda weird that Shusuke Kaneko escapes this criticism, because even with his oft-stated liberal bonafides Gamera 2 has the strongest, most heroic Japanese military ever depicted in a kaiju movie (with multiple visual illusions to them being modern Japanese samurai, no less!).
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby klen7 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:19 pm

i was watching Gamera the Brave for Father's Day (best Father's Day kaiju movie after SoG) and there is a news broadcast in the background where the gov't waives Article 9 in the case of kaiju attacks
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:08 pm

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:15 am

Gills.

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:10 am

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:11 pm

It is interesting that, despite the liberal humanist anti-nationalist bent of the key talent involved, all of the Showa films, the Godzilla entries as well as the other Honda/Tsuburaya genre films, seem to occur in an alternate universe where Article 9 does not exist.

As a kid who got pretty much all my info on 20th century Japan from kaiju movies it wasn't until seeing 1995's Gamera: Guardian of the Universe that the subject was even mentioned.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:06 pm

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:34 pm

^ You've articulated the argument far better than any other version I've heard or read... but I still have qualms. If the film was intended to have this clear cut, 1 to 1 nationalist message then I think it fails in certain respects. Perhaps if Anno intended the movie to carry this message his desire to also make it a cracking monster movie with all the required twists and turns sabotaged those intentions somewhat?

If the film wants to valorize the military and encourage military expansion why isn't military force capable of anything meaningful? The heroes are more like Joe Brody in Godzilla '14: bomb disposal instead of bomb throwing. There's also the heroism and out-of-nowhere wisdom of the elderly replacement prime minister, which puzzles me more than anything else in the film. The old German lady criticizing her young associates for, essentially, nationalist reservations and Rando responding in kind by sharing all the supposedly precious Godzilla information with the world. The entire character of Ogashira, who seems to exist only as a fairly simple condemnation of sexism and is made memorable by the actress. If Anno wants to end the movie with this statement about a new stronger Japan why does he pull the rug out at the end? The surprise last shot of the film gives us the impression that everything Yaguchi and the rest accomplished is all for naught and the world is still screwed. It reminds me of the end of one of John Carpenter's 'apocalypse' movies, or even the end of Friday the 13th with Jason springing from the lake. The movie ends giving you the impression that there's not going to be a Japan pretty soon, much less a new, stronger Japan. There isn't going to be an anywhere very soon.

I get the impression that Hideaki Anno... doesn't really care. I mean, he's more preoccupied with his pet themes of problem solving and self determination than he is with any moral stance or belief and is kind of clueless, and maybe too emotionally stunted to actually form a coherent political thought beyond that of a middle schooler. If he did turn out a cogent piece of nationalist propaganda he must've done so by accident, because I don't think it within his capabilities to do so intentionally.

... jeez, I got kinda mean about Anno there. I do like the film!
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:53 am

Gills.

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:38 am

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:00 am

Gills.

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby TerranigmaFreak » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:08 pm

Everything about the movie, even the soundtrack feels thrown together at the last minute. It is such a clusterf--- of incoherent BS.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby MouthForWar » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:06 pm

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:42 pm

^ Didn't know that!
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby klen7 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:31 pm

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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby klen7 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:53 pm

I can't find anything to back up the biker gang being either well known or nationalist. It appears to be a random bosozoku gang, which can be anywhere in the counter culture spectrum. Typically the nationalistic groups wear tokko fuku style uniforms. There is one guy that passes the truck on the left wearing a long open toko fuku jacket, but otherwise, there are no rising suns, no one seems to have the pants tucked into the boots, or the other halmarks of the tokko tai style that these bosozoku have appropriated. For the most part the gang seems styled after a delinquent or yakuza style group, so they are just a bunch of punks, not all that different from the gangs in Akira. Maybe someone that can read Japanese with a bluray copy can have better luck deciphering their flags (the scene is dark and in motion) - this should be relatively easy to prove or disprove.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:34 am

^ You actually went and looked up the features commonly associated with nativest Japanese biker gangs?

That's old school internet nerdery. Very nice.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby MouthForWar » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:17 pm

My source for the biker gang stuff is Norman England, who was on the GMK set every day, lives in Japan and still hangs out Kaneko on a regular basis. I did a whole GMK commentary with him for my podcast where we discuss it more in depth. Since he's so close to the source (literally and figuratively) and has never steered me wrong, I have no reason to doubt him.
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Re: The Imperial Ambitions of Godzilla

Postby klen7 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:23 am

^ that is why i asked "What is the name of the biker gang? Or which gang are they modeled after?" because the strong assertion that the biker gang is a well known Japanese nationalist group doesn't appear to be backed up by what is in the final version of the film.

If someone were to say James Cameron had an anti-nazi message because the terminator killed some punks, i'd ask for more info because they don't have any of the hallmarks of neo-nazi punks.
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