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Why Japan Couldn't Have Made the New Godzilla Film

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Next month, Hollywood's latest take on Godzilla will roll into theaters. Online in Japan, people are saying that this film couldn't have been made in Japan. And for good reason.

Due to the awful job Hollywood did with the last Godzilla film, there wasn't initially much confidence in this effort when it was originally announced.


The movie's new extended trailer, which was recently released, is making an even bigger impact*.

Japanese film critic Tomohiro Machiyama tweeted earlier today, "The new Godzilla begins with a nuclear disaster and a tsunami? Hollywood did what today's Japanese films can't."


On Twitter, many Japanese users agreed and pointed out that the first Godzilla was centered around an anti-nuclear theme. The movie summed up the uneasiness many in Japan had towards nuclear weapons in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the series progressed, and time, the weighty issues of the first film were moved further into the background.

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, there have been protests in Japan over nuclear power. Last month, for example, over 5,000 people took to the streets in Tokyo as the government looked set to restart two nuclear reactors.


With the earthquake and the nuclear disaster still being touchy issues, film critic Machiyama seems to think that Japanese directors might be uncomfortable turning both into a big budget film.


There are many people who survived the earthquake and the tsunami that are still living in temporary housing. Making a movie like this perhaps feels "too soon" for Japanese filmmakers.

"Even if it's something Japan can't do, I don't think that makes it great," wrote one commenter on popular game site Hachima. Others thought it the way the tsunami was portrayed was "reckless," with some of the movie's scenes allegedly seeming to copy actual tsunami footage.


However, some Japanese twitter users pointed out how timely the new Godzilla film seemed, while others stated they now wanted to see the movie. "This is a return to form," wrote one Hachima commenter. There were those who wondered if the movie will be edited when it's shown in Japan. And when it finally gets its Japanese release this summer, look for it to divide audiences, just like it's already dividing internet comment sections.

ハリウッド版新『ゴジラ』は原発事故のシーンから始まり、ゴジラは津波と共に襲来することが判明!日本では絶対に出来ねぇーな [はちま起稿]

*While the extended trailer does look exciting, it also features some incredibly shoddy attempts to reproduce Japanese homes as you can see in the lead photo.


To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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