Godzilla, Kong, Gamera & Co.: The Kaiju Mega-Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kai "the spy", Nov 3, 2021.

  1. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Legacy of Monsters trailer was pretty cool. I hadn't heard John Goodman was back, so him popping up in the trailer was a shock.
    I'll definitely be making sure I'm signed up for Apple TV+ when it starts.
     
  2. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Admiral Admiral

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    Two episodes into Gamera: Rebirth, and I'm enjoying it very much. The human characters, specifically the kids, are more in line with Gamera: The Brave than the Kennys of the Showa era, so they're actually enjoyable to watch. And while I still would have preferred classic 2D animation, it doesn't bother me much.

    What does bother me is a subplot of the Japanese military just waiting while the Diet is endlessly debating. In context of what is currently going on in Japanese politics, it does leave a bad aftertaste.
     
  3. Grendelsbayne

    Grendelsbayne Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Finishing Gamera Rebirth now and I'm largely disappointed.

    The animation is ugly and annoying, but not so bad i couldn't have overlooked it if the story was interesting but it just isn't. I never really got any sense of real personality of any kind from Gamera and the human characters just feel like they're constantly trying to ape the 80s kid adventure movie but not doing it well at all.

    None of the kids are very believable or memorable (especially not their relationship with Brody) and for a show that's so determined to force action to the forefront at every single possible moment, I still found myself looking at repetitive and unconvincing and just plain boring character moments in pretty much every episode.

    And to top it all off, between the ugly animation and the ridiculous breakneck speed of the kaiju plot with random new kaiju coming out of the woodwork all over the place and no apparent coherence to the whole thing, the action is just plain boring, too.
     
  4. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commodore Commodore

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    I just finished it and thought it was very good. Easily the best kaiju anime, and approaching the Heisei trilogy as the best Gamera stories. I got used to the animation pretty quickly, and the action was great (with the exception of the Zigra fight, which was too easy.)

    It's kind of hard to believe this is from the same director as the Godzilla Earth trilogy, which was so boring and nihilistic, while Gamera is so action packed and heartfelt.

    I really hope it gets a second season, and even a live-action series like Kadokawa has talked about wanting to do.
     
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  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm two episodes in, and I'm afraid I can't agree. I find the animation terrible. The frame rate is bizarrely low, even lower than the cheapest cel animation of the '80s, and the movements look terrible and glitchy as a result. Apparently the character animation is done by motion capture, and I don't see why they'd bother when they leave out so many frames that any realism is completely lost. And the kaiju designs are as bad-looking as they were in Godzilla Earth.

    I'm lukewarm on the story so far too. The rationale for the scientists bringing children in on all this is rather labored and weak, and it's strange how they're trying to combine a nostalgic focus on childhood like Gamera the Brave with extreme, gory kaiju violence like the Heisei trilogy, resulting in kind of a tonal mismatch. It's not terrible, but there are some weird choices and things that don't work well. The random cutaways to the JSDF tank guy just sitting there getting updates about how they're not being called up are presumably satirical in intent, but rather tedious in execution.

    Also, in the Japanese audio, they cast a bizarrely deep-voiced actor to play Joe (the same guy who voiced the ultimate antagonist in the just-ended Kamen Rider Geats). I gather Robbie Daymond plays him in the English dub, which makes more sense. There are several familiar voices to me in the Japanese cast -- the main character Boko is Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon Crystal, the American kid Brody is Vice from Kamen Rider Revice, and the scientist James is Ultraman Zero.
     
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  6. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commodore Commodore

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    Without giving too much away, the true reason they're there gets revealed later on.
    Pretty normal for Gamera then. The Brave had some dark and violent moments, and the Showa movies had tons of monster gore. Although kids are the main characters, it's not a kids show. It's more like Stranger Things.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, but this has fairly graphic violence against humans, which is quite different from rubber monsters spilling pastel-colored fake blood.

    And The Brave was a rich, meaningful movie because it used the kaiju elements as an allegory for a soulful exploration of a boy dealing with death and loss. And the Heisei trilogy had its allegories for environmentalism and its subversive commentary on the government and military. So far, this doesn't feel like it's really about anything on a thematic level. It's trying to homage aspects of both Heisei incarnations, but it's a surface homage without the depth.


    I don't know... it feels like a kids' show, with the rather labored excuses to make sure everything centers on the kids, but that clashes with the level of violence. It just doesn't seem clear who its intended audience actually is.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Okay, I'm through episode 4, and there is some fairly good character work, at least. Although I'm not fond of how it's emulating the Showa movies' tendency to be incredibly sadistic to Gamera and basically just treat it as the poor guy's lot in life to be brutalized and tortured in service to human children. Gamera the Brave was a lot more empathetic toward Gamera's pain, so this seems like kind of a step backward.
     
  9. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commodore Commodore

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    The Brave literally starts with Gamera blowing himself up to save humans. It's kind of always been his thing. And this does come up in episode 6.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not about the sterile fact of whether Gamera does it, it's about the way the production treats it on an emotional level. The Showa movies piled on Gamera's torments and injuries to a grotesque degree that made them seem downright sadistic despite the stylized and fakey nature of the gore, and none of the characters seemed to care much about how deeply Gamera was suffering. The Brave inverted it by having the hero really, really not want Toto to endure suffering and strive to stop it. It's the same reason Digimon Tamers is my favorite season of that franchise -- because monsters fighting isn't treated as something cool and fun, but as a tragedy that the children who love the monsters wish to spare them from. It's a matter of empathy, and of the maturity with which violence is treated (and no, maturity does not mean being more graphic and gory, it means being more thoughtful about what violence means and how it's used in a story). This show just seems to be going back to exploiting Gamera's suffering as spectacle, and that's not something I want to see.

    So far, this series hasn't done much to give us reason to care about Gamera. He's just this entity that predictably, mechanically shows up to save the kids, destroys the other kaiju, and goes away. They've focused so much on making the fights intense and gruesome that it feels kind of empty otherwise. Maybe the remaining episodes will add something more, but it would've been better to do so sooner.
     
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  11. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    Well, thanks to Bandai, we have our first clear look at Godzilla Minus One appearance in the movie.

     
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  12. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Admiral Admiral

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    Promo images aswell. Spoilered for size

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Man, those dorsal spines are huge. I just realized the reason Godzilla's always so angry is that it's impossible for anyone to give him a back rub.
     
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  14. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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    Who you calling “thunder thighs?”
     
  15. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't Godzilla thinner for a while? It just seems like the last few versions have been very.... thick.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    While the size of kaiju is totally fanciful (they'd be crushed under their own weight like beached whales), it's logical that a larger creature would need thicker legs to support its weight (compare a mouse to an elephant).
     
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  17. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Admiral Admiral

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    Godzilla- It's been a rough few years alright?! My weight fluctuates! I can't be perfect like you!

    *Slams bedroom door*
     
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  18. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    The only times I think Godzilla was really thin were the last four Showa era films - Godzilla vs. Gigan through Terror of Mechagodzilla.

    According to the notes in my Godzilla Criterion Collection, the Godzilla suit used in Son of Godzilla was the biggest Showa era suit in terms of height and girth in order to give him a "paternal" look over the diminutive Minya.

    The King Kong vs Godzilla and the Mothra vs Godzilla were both pretty large as well.
     
  19. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Stop weight shaming Godzilla!
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Incidentally, it's weird that both of Netflix's recent animated kaiju series have been period pieces set around three decades ago. Skull Island is set (according to its producer) in 1992 or '93, about 20 years after Kong: Skull Island, and GAMERA -Rebirth- is set in an alternate 1989. Interesting that they both landed so close together, apparently independently.
     
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