Home of the Kaiju Fan Network.


SHIN-GOJIRA REVIEWS: What Does The Western World Make Of Toho’s Resurgence? *SPOILER FREE*

13631460_1058636257562418_4597644946006266303_nHey all, Jon D. B. here with some immediate reviews from western fans; i.e. friends of mine who have already seen the film. Each is either an expert in the field of tokusatsu or avid collector – so If these were the types of reviews you were waiting for, look no further. I’ll be updating this piece constantly as more reviews come in:

Mark Jaramillo is a renowned kaiju expert and tokusatsu historian (most well known for revitalizing the lost 80’s G-short-film, Godzilla vs Wolfman), not to mention a great guy. He’s posted his initial, spoiler-free review on Facebook, and had the following to say:

SHIN GOJIRA was an amazing film. The city rampage sequences are SPECTACULAR. This incarnation of Godzilla is the most terrifying version since the original. The story is heavy on dialogue between the various agencies and governments trying to deal with the threat, and I could not make out many key moments due to language limitations. There were many surprises, and it was not predictable by any means. There were aspects of the film that will be controversial, and it is definitely an entry in the series that will divide fans. I do like the film and what it adds to the overall mythos of Godzilla.

John Ruffin of My Kaiju Godzilla is another expert in tokusatsu, friend, and a resident of Japan. His brief synopsis is also high-praise for the film:

Shin Godzilla is genius, DIFFERENT, and Japan vs Godzilla in everyway. You must come to this from the truth of Godzilla. You must know what Japan is facing. Then you’ll see Godzilla.

Mike Ross, another friend and enthusiastic follower of the genre, is an avid G-Fan and long time pro-collector. His review is rather intriguing:

Ok, so Shin Godzilla… let’s just say this: Everything you’ve learned about Godzilla in the past 60+ years, whether it be classic Toho Godzilla and/or Legendary Godzilla… throw it all out the window. This is a VERY, and I mean, VERY different Godzilla, one that people may love, or may hate. I need another viewing of the movie, this time with subtitles. There are a lot of unanswered questions that left me confused. Just be prepared to expect the unexpected.

Update: Chris Oglio of Symphonic Fury:

After a few hours of sleep and thinking it over here is my spoiler free take on Shin Gojira…..this is a very unique spin on the character. It’s hard to make a full judgment on the film without seeing it subtitled and a chunk of the story I didn’t understand. It’s a film that is heavy on dialogue. There are some wonderful nods to the original film and fun Easter eggs. However I need another viewing of the film.
I can only say that I enjoyed the film. Was it my absolute favorite, not at all, but it isn’t a mess either. With that being said, this film will definitely be divided among fans much like G2014 and final wars was.
There is some wonderful tension in the movie and very unexpected elements. Visually; the cinematography is some of the best in be series in my opinion. The filmmakers get artistic with shots and camera movements and that was something great to see. It also helped engage the audience during the dialogue scenes. But expect things you never saw before for the franchise.
Overall the special effects are good and Godzilla is just this walking death machine. He is massive and you really feel his presence.
There are things about the film that drive me nuts especially with the way he moves but I won’t get into those due to spoiling the film. My major complaint is that the ending is anti climatic. Though the film ends on what is very symbolic shot but it is certainly creepy.
I could go more in depth on the film but I hate the trend nowadays on social media with spoiling films for the mass majority. Movies are meant to be experienced together and to surprise it’s audience. In a culture full of instant gratification we need to take a step back and relinquish that. Shin Gojia either you love it, hate it, or are middle of be road, you should view it for yourself as the filmmakers attended.
The experience of seeing this film is something I won’t ever forget.

Update – Good friend Jim Sullivan of the excellent Hard-Boiled Kaijuland:

In some ways the rumors spread about Shin Gojira are right. There ARE a lot of meetings, and in many ways (contrary to superficially wild changes), this is indeed quite a conventional film.

But what spoilers and script readers don’t tell you is that this film is beautifully shot and edited, dripping with Anno’s masterful touch from scene to scene. It’s fast-paced, frenetic, bitingly satirical, and tense. “Boring meetings” in Anno’s hands are whiplash exchanges of information and rebukes among government officials, and the camerawork adds to the excitement.

The characters are surprising colorful and, even just in meetings, they come alive through action and expressive (or cold, intentionally stiff) delivery depending on the person.

I need subtitles to fully appreciate the dialogue and story, though. This is a talky movie and mostly above my vocabulary level in Japanese. In essence, Japan finds itself a country incapable of handling its own defense and decision-making in an effective way. As things grow more dire, outside pressure mounts, and Japan’s existence is threatened.

The performances are largely quite good. I’m surprised the movie is being called realistic, though–the characters are all exaggerated and intense. This works for me. More another time.

The effects range from passable (some CGI fails to impress) to fantastic when properly mixing CG and practical effects (and presenting them in clever ways).

The music is a mix of old and new–even Evangelion music appears! And the classic Gojira sound effects and Showa tracks somehow work. They’re kind of out of place in a way, but it’s also chilling.

There will be controversy about a few things. Maybe you know what they are already. Purists will be bugged, but see the movie yourself before turning against this exciting, fresh film. It has plenty of old and plenty of new, but what sets it apart is the masterfully artful direction.

This article will only be updated with spoiler-free reviews. We’ve discussed several spoiler details on the site so far, but they’ll be discussed in a separate post for those wishing to remain spoiler-free. I’ll save my own opinions for until I’ve seen the film multiple times and can write a proper review.

Look out for more spoiler-free reviews to be posted here.

Jon D. B.



SHIN-SPOILERS! Images And Reports Shed Light On The Strangest Godzilla Yet! *MASSIVE SPOILERS*

Hey all, Jon D. B. again on the release day of Shin-Gojira with some confirmation of many past spoilers/plot details we’ve discussed here on the site, as well as never-before-seen images and details.

IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED ON THIS FILM, TURN BACK NOW. We have an entire post pinned to the top of the site with spoiler-free reviews!




Alright, buckle in. First up – if you’ve come here expecting to learn that all of the strange scoops we’ve posted are false – prepare for disappointment. We don’t post anything without it being from a trusted source, and now that the film has hit we’ve got some amazing confirmation for you. As of now this is all public knowledge. The film and this material has been released to the public in Japan. Please also keep in mind that all of these images, spoilers, and scoops are 100% out of context. These details should not inform or make anyone’s opinion on this film. Always wait to see something for yourself before making up your mind!

With that being said – Back in January, we posted a lengthy editorial touching on the possibility/scoop that Godzilla would have several forms in SHIN, followed by a post in July concerning his tadpole-esque starting form and Hedorah-like evolution. Ready to see what some of that looks like? A friend of ours who has seen the film and received the corresponding book/pamphlet has shared the following images:





Godzilla emerges as a thing  from the ocean and evolves in this film, much like recent disasters Japan has suffered (earthquakes leading to tsunamis, Fukushima, all of it emerging and evolving into increasing tragedy). All of this seems misplaced and arbitrary out of context, but should make sense to any audience who can relate to the film’s inspiration. We’ll save opinions on all of this for after we’ve seen the film several times and can discuss these spoilers within proper context.

From there it gets even more out-there. A recent spoiler editorial of ours also teased a certain tail-centric tidbit we’ve heard from sources. We’ve got image confirmation of this, too, with added bonus. Much like Godzilla’s nuclear pulse in the past, SHIN fires atomic rays from his body. This time, thought, they’re thinly focused like lasers, and protrude from his spines, back, and with the added bonus of his….(you guessed it) tail. See for yourself:



All of this be as it may – this film was made for Japan. The reality of history and nature’s relationship with the Japanese, their loss – their fear – their anger and terror – is all within the context of SHIN – and all of these outlandish elements tie into this with purpose. Again, we urge you to form your own opinion of the film – with your own memories and experiences – once it hits your country soon, and respect other fans by not spoiling them with details they don’t want to know outside of this article. You guys asked for spoilers, however, and we wanted to deliver to both sides of the fandom.

We’ll be back with more, as always. Until then!


Jon D. B.


The First Japanese Reviews For SHIN-GOJIRA Are In: Hailed As A “Masterpiece”

Shin-Premiere2Hey all, Jon D. B. here with some fantastic first-buzz for SHIN-GOJIRA’s premiere.

Several Japanese press outlets have released spoiler-free reviews after yesterday’s screening, and the initial praise is overwhelmingly positive. Three have surfaced so far (in Japanese, of course), and each is translating into praise.

First up is well-known Japanese pop culture site RO65. Releasing a review tied in with their film media brand, CUT, RO65 has very high praise for the upcoming flic – something that should reassure many fans (especially those of us with friends/insiders who have already seen the film, and did not have nice things to say.) We’ve translated the bulk of the review for you below:

…It has become a major [conversation point that] Anno Hideaki is an accomplished director of today. I want to say one as a person who has seen the [fully] completed movie, this “Shin Godzilla” is purely a masterpiece of unprecedented [filmmaking].
[The films retains] a strong respect for the fundamental message within Godzilla, yearning for the old days of [his origin].
Expectations of people who are looking forward to the [newest Japanese incarnation] of “Godzilla” in 12 years – [Please be] content that [the film] does not betray [Godzilla], but at the same time, people who are new to “Godzilla” can [also enjoy a film of this type of content, who previously may not have].
The [film’s] appearance is that of the current [and true state of Japan], the film is critically painted [and capable of sarcasm] while at the same time, is the best of entertainment work in pursuit of pure fun of as a monster movie to the limits.
[Though previously] thoroughly opposed to earlier realistic [works of strong] fantasy, we [are looking forward with] “hope for the future”…

-Source: RO65


Satomi Ishihara at the SHIN premiere, courtesy of Modelpress photography.

The second review, penned by ORICON STYLE, is also very positive, and delves into their impression  of the film being “reality vs idealism”. The review goes on to vaguely describe a few scenes from the film, and continually praises the “realistic” work of Anno Hideaki and Shinji Higuchi. ORICON STYLE’s enthusiastic analysis of the film ends strongly, as they refer to SHIN-GOJIRA as the birth of a “World-Class” Japanese Godzilla Film.

Japan’s Cinema Today also released a brief review of the film, with similar praise to other media outlets. We see the word “masterpiece” used in reference to the movie yet again, hailing it as a “thrilling” experience and a true “Welcome Back!” for Godzilla in Japan. The review also likens the film to Dawn of the Dead (2004 zombie remake), referencing SHIN’s depiction of how Japan would deal with such a horrid crisis of this magnitude.


The cast and crew pose for a Goji-worthy photo at the premiere.

With such high praise coming out of Japan, the stakes are now higher than ever for Toho’s  latest entry in their own G-Series to succeed. Here’s to hoping SHIN-GOJIRA revitalizes the Big-G back home, and secures Godzilla’s fate with his parent studio for many sequels to come.

On a more personal note – From everything I’ve read, seen translated, and heard from westerners (insiders who also happen to be fans) who have seen the film, I’d say SHIN is very much a reflection of modern-day disasters for Japan, and how they deal with tragedy. That may seem obvious, but it should drive home the point that this film isn’t being made for us western fans, it’s being made for the modern Japanese public. So far, all signs point toward a film the Japanese will embrace, and western fans perhaps will scoff at as “boring” and “political”. As fans, we’ve got to try and remain grounded, though – I am still very cautiously optimistic for this film, and have very mixed-feelings going in. Perspective, however, is key.

We’ll keep you updated as the film hits theaters this Friday, the 29th. Until then!


Jon D. B.