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Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity • Monster Zero x SciFi Japan

Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Discuss the original series of Godzilla films! From "Terror of Tokyo" to Puppy-faced Super-hero, the Showa Era had something for everyone!

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Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Pkmatrix » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:21 am

I recently read a few fan theories about Showa Godzilla's "continuity" and couldn't help but laugh. Why is it so many fans just assume there's a shared universe/continuity going on in the films prior to RoG? You've got to jump through so many flaming mental loops to make any sort of Showa Continuity make any sort of sense.

IMO, it's much easier to think of Showa Godzilla as an "era" of films, rather than a single "timeline". A timeline makes no sense, but as an era you can bunch all of them together as we've always done without issue. Within that era you've got three or four pretty distinctly separate continuities that have their own characters/plot points/settings/etc. and can be looked at individually.

(I've also developed a similar view toward Heisei Godzilla, which more and more I personally define as as everything from 1984 through 2004.)

Does anyone else agree, or am I talking nonsense?
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby jellydonut25 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:38 am

I don't think it takes too too many mental gymnastics to think of a continuity running from Gojira through Monster Zero, or even a loose continuity running up through DAM.

After that, it gets really dicey and isn't worth it.

As for WHY people try to force continuity, I really have no idea. Continuity doesn't make things better in and of itself (Heisei series, anyone? The continuity there is by and large meaningless)
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby MekaGojira3k » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:44 am

Working out timeline garbage for movies/books/tv shows has been something I've done since childhood. It's a weird mental exercise for me. I dunno it's fun, and it's harmless especially since I never try to enforce how I think something fits together on anyone else.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Pkmatrix » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:52 am

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Legion » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:56 am

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby lhb412 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:15 pm

I always felt that Showa continuity amounts to: "continuity doesn't matter unless we mention it specifically." Most cartoons follow the same rules, so it didn't bother me as a kid.

The behind the scenes continuity is what makes the Showa era, not any kind of story continuity.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby klen7 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:35 pm

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby walshiam » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:33 pm

I never considered continuity a necessity unless it disrupted understanding the flow of events in the current film.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby lhb412 » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:15 pm

^Exactly. I think a film only needs to be consistent in itself.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Jorzilla » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:17 pm

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Zack Metoyer » Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:48 pm

Personally, I never noticed any real continuity issues, except for the occassional loss of a Rodan or a Mothra. If you go by what the films say, it's easy to imagine the Showa series takes place in chronological order, with the exception of DAM as the final film, being set in 1999. I hear a lot of people complain because Monster Island exists in the 70's films, however, this is irrelevant because Monster Island and Monsterland are two different locations. In fact, Monster Island was introduced first in Son of Godzilla, although this is only explicit in the Japanese version (both in the film's title and spoken dialogue). It's not like the people writing the films were unaware of the films made before, nor were they deliberately resetting the timeline like in the Millennium series.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Hybrid Gojira » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:27 pm

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:06 pm

People DO act that way about the Heisei series though. I've seen the argument made MULTIPLE times. Is it a "popular" opinion? I don't know, but I've rubbed up against enough people thinking that way.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby MekaGojira3k » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:13 pm

I mean, I could get people enjoying something because it seems more connected. I mean, that was something I thought was neat about it when I was a kid, but I don't think it allows it to trump anything else. Especially when the continuity isn't even that big a part and everything else is so flawed.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:18 pm

a sizable number of people would argue your point that the continuity isn't a big part...I'm not one of them, but I've been taken to task when I've brought that up as well.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:45 pm

Ever since I was a kid, I've always viewed the Showa Godzilla series the same as Speed Racer, Batman, The Tick, or any other action-packed animated series, even Godzilla: The Series. All episodes take place in the same universe as each other, and in chronological order unless otherwise specified, but in general they feature standalone stories except when it's convenient to the plot for them to reference events of a prior episode. Every episode is just a tale of the happenings in the star character's world and that allows them to tell whatever kind of story they want.

The notion that the filmmakers in the Showa Era consciously wiped the slate clean with every movie is a peculiar bit of revisionist fan theory that I've seen mentioned a couple times before on this board. I don't buy into it at all. It just seems like a silly attempt to retroactively stretch the Millennium Series perspective back in time onto the Showa Series.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Pkmatrix » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:17 pm

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Benjamin Haines » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:23 pm

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby lhb412 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:15 am

^I think that's a different type of continuity. It expects the audience to remember popular characters and concepts, but not to actually follow a continuing plot-line through multiple films.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Legion » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:44 am

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby Benjamin Haines » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:24 pm

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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby lhb412 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:29 pm

Yup.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:49 pm

Too often I think we (myself included) forget about the lack of home video when 90% of the Showa era films were made. "continuity" wasn't really a tight thing with people pouring over its details in the 60s and 70s.

Many of the minor continuity gaffes in the Showa era probably went largely (or entirely) unnoticed.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:55 pm

It kind of reminds me of the Bond films (the first 20), in that there's a continuity but its really loose. The continuity is really in the MI-6 characters, and organizations.
I still don't see how trying to understand the chronology of these films is such an atrocious act.
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Re: Showa Godzilla's (Lack of) Continuity

Postby walshiam » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:50 pm

It's not atrocious, just pointless since each story is balanced on their own.
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