Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

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Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Tamura » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:05 pm

I know the reader on this site sucks, but see the press release on page 57:
https://issuu.com/mipmarkets/docs/mipcom_2019_news_1

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Could be a mistake by a press release writer, but it also squares with Toho's relentless maltreatment of the US dubs. They now deny the existence of most Godzilla dubs, I guess.
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Re: A deranged Toho now denies the existence of Godzilla dubs

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:16 pm

Tamura wrote:I know the reader on this site sucks, but see the press release on page 57:
https://issuu.com/mipmarkets/docs/mipcom_2019_news_1

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Could be a mistake by a press release writer, but it also squares with Toho's relentless maltreatment of the US dubs.

Thread title is incredibly clickbaity, misleading and inflammatory.

Nothing says they want to deny the existence of older dubs.

The only thing that the article states is that Toho wants to essentially produce and have a firm grip on dubs going forward in the future. If anything, this is fantastic. A lot of dubs, such as Terror of MechaGodzilla, are heavily censored and altered, with their dialogue being greatly different in meaning. And lets face it, for every good dub that we are all nostalgic for, there's a plethora of bad dubs that make the series way more campy then people want to. They want to make Godzilla more global, and a great way to do that would be to re-dub the films to their standards. Imagine, finally, an accurate un-edited English cut of Godzilla 1984. We can get a dub of an un-edited Gojira, as opposed to being forced to watch the King of the Monsters version if you want to watch the film in English. This would be great for a lot of newer fans. And while memorable for cheese, don't pretend that the Hong Kong Heisei Dubs are something that needs to be treasured.

They have every legal right to do so, and it's not as though this will suddenly erase or jump into your house and smash your old VHSs or DVDs. It's not like people haven't been cataloging or preserving dubs to begin with for years. I'm all for preserving stuff, but this just gives people more options ultimately.

Also you're being crazy because it's not unique to the English market, they want to offer things worldwide to countries that previously lack any dubs or any languages. It's clearly a move to make the franchise more international.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of Godzilla dubs

Postby Tamura » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:47 pm

I made the title less clickbaity.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby G2000 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:50 pm

"Calculated erasure" sounds like a synonym for genocide, maybe just say something like "Toho Snubs Dubs"
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of Godzilla dubs

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:03 pm

Tamura wrote:I made the title less clickbaity.

Alright but it still misses the point.

Sorry for also being reactionary, but it would seem that they just want to provide new options for dubbing in every single region in the world. It's not American-centric. Think of all the countries that might only have four of the films dubbed in a language if any at all. Imagine the possibility that those dubs/cuts are heavily edited and inaccurate.

This is Toho as a company, trying to standardize their brand. It's also about looking towards the franchises's future.

Also, question I genuinely do not know the answer to, but Toho doesn't technically have complete legal rights over certain dubs right? Like, they can't release a cut of some of the former dubs, without going through the process of obtaining the rights from another company/group, correct?

To be clear again, all for preserving the dubs.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Terasawa » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:17 pm

Just to clear up some misinformation here... The only Godzilla movies that aren't presently completely dubbed in English are:

  • Godzilla (1954)
  • Godzilla Raids Again
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla (although AIP's version was pretty skreeonking close, to be fair)
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
  • Invasion of Astro-Monster (but that hasn't stopped Toho from using the U.S.-produced dub with some bits from the Japanese version as an unedited "international version")*

Toho has apparently abandoned the U.S.-produced version of "Godzilla's Revenge" but that was completely uncut. Actually, technically, it's a few seconds longer than the Japanese version because of the additional company logos at the front of the picture. There is no "international version" of that film so we may as well add that one to the list.

There's an international version of King Kong vs. Godzilla but current Toho International either isn't aware of its existence, doesn't have it anymore, or isn't interested in doing anything with it.

There are apparently no legal hurdles preventing Toho from using something like AIP's "Godzilla vs the Thing" or "Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster." This has been well-established in recent years by Ed G. and Keith Aiken among others.

*The existence of an alternate Toho-commissioned dub of IOAM is currently unconfirmed, but it's a possibility.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby _JNavs_ » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:28 pm

G2000 wrote:"Toho Snubs Dubs"

This.

Or might I suggest, "Toho Dubs Dubs"

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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Terasawa » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:33 pm

_JNavs_ wrote:
G2000 wrote:"Toho Snubs Dubs"

This.


But that's not accurate. That suggest they're snubbing English-dubbing altogether. In reality, they're keeping older U.S.-produced dubbed versions from seeing release. They're still allowing the use of the dubbed versions they commissioned themselves, which represents the majority of all English dubs of these films.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby UltramanGoji » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:34 pm

I'm a little upset at the original dubs possibly being lost, but I'm not exactly one to talk in this situation cause I only ever watch Godzilla 2000 dubbed and have no nostalgic attachment to anything beyond the International dubs from the Sony DVDs.

I think the greater concept of "supply different countries with options for dubbing the Godzilla series into their language" is a fantastic idea to get the series into more inaccessible markets.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Terasawa » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:37 pm

Every Godzilla film has already been dubbed into German. I think there are also Italian versions of most or possibly all of the films too.

But since those were mostly produced by European companies without Toho's direct involvement then they will probably be cast off just as our versions have been.

That is "calculated erasure."
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Tamura » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:05 pm

"Preserving classic national versions" and "supplying Turkey with music and effects tracks for dubbing purposes" are not mutually exclusive goals.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:18 pm

What do you think would be a reasonable way for Toho to preserve these dubs? What would make you happy?

Not trying to be inflammatory, I'm genuinely curious what you think the solution is.

Thinking about it, I completely agree these should be preserved, but I don't think Toho is obligated to release them, or really worry about an ancient dub. I just don't see it as something "evil" or wrong on their part.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Tamura » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:44 pm

For a start, they could at least dignify the classic foreign versions with an acknowledgement that they exist. It's hard to reach a goal like preserving them while pretending that they don't exist. A simple acknowledgment of existence is the absolute smallest measure of dignity that you could possibly bestow on any media. To cross the line between acknowledgement and denial means either the destruction or preservation of heritage... Toho has decided to doggedly stand like an ugly statue on the side of bald-faced denial.

A quiet utterance of the words "AIP released Destroy All Monsters in the US in 1969"... this is cultural preservation at its most basic level. Sure, this is basic, obvious information that you can easily find on Wikipedia... you could say we all preserve the memory of the dubs by talking about them and by restoring them ourselves.

But for those words to emerge from the corporation that can do more to preserve the dubs than any singular fan would be a monumental change. It would give me hope that eventually Toho may see a profit motive in seeking out the best elements of the worldwide versions, respectfully preserving them, and enabling access to these preserved versions in their countries of origin. In the course of seeking elements, it is very likely they could even find materials that could, in turn, help restore the Japanese versions in dire need of proper preservation. The goal of preserving foreign versions pays dividends.

The worldwide dubs of the classic Godzilla films form a massive, interconnected ecosystem. Each film is a case study of the fascinating course a film can take as it disseminates throughout the world. It is undeniable that the worldwide dissemination and feedback of the Godzilla films is an important aspect of the franchise's history. To bury that history is ghoulish.

Godzilla '54 wasn't just a Japanese film created in 1954... it was a film seen throughout the world in many dramatically different flavors over the course of 23 years. Media discourse always relates films as rigid, lucid texts belonging to their arbitrarily chosen creators... why can't they also be related as memories belonging to their spectators? One could say G'54 is a film of Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, Toho, whomever... you could also say a specific version of G'54 is an experience of mine.

Why can't the release of films be understood and described the way plays are released? As performative works that exist within a time range and adapt to local circumstances? A film has a fixed date and location that it premiered, but it also runs for a number of performances and is premiered or adapted in other regions, just like a play. Godzilla '54 is akin to a very long-running play adapted many times. When a play is adapted a million times, that is seen as a sign of success. But when a film gets adapted for another country, it seems like each adaptation is scrutinized and considered a bastardization unless proven otherwise.

The franchise has always been international. Ignoring the legacy of the foreign versions would be like ignoring the original production of the films themselves. The films, and their foreign versions, weren't created in a vacuum. Cultural interaction was constantly occurring. I don't see Toho's classic monster films as pure, local productions. The world was observing Toho's early foray into monster movies just as much as Toho was observing the world's response to their own films. In response to foreign countries dubbing and putting American actors in their films, by 1959 Toho started dubbing their own films and placing Americans or American-passing actors in important roles.

Feel however you want about any dubs. I don't claim to enjoy all of them. But their preservation is dire, and Toho is just accelerating their demise. This is an irresponsible abomination and they should be ashamed. And it's not about what would make me happy, it's about what needs to be done. This is history.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:15 am

Tamura wrote:For a start, they could at least dignify the classic foreign versions with an acknowledgement that they exist. It's hard to reach a goal like preserving them while pretending that they don't exist. A simple acknowledgment of existence is the absolute smallest measure of dignity that you could possibly bestow on any media. To cross the line between acknowledgement and denial means either the destruction or preservation of heritage... Toho has decided to doggedly stand like an ugly statue on the side of bald-faced denial.

While I agree with you in theory, think of Toho’s perspective on this. Godzilla is Toho’s baby. It’s not AIP or anyone else’s. The heritage belongs to them.

A quiet utterance of the words "AIP released Destroy All Monsters in the US in 1969"... this is cultural preservation at its most basic level. Sure, this is basic, obvious information that you can easily find on Wikipedia... you could say we all preserve the memory of the dubs by talking about them and by restoring them ourselves.

While I like AIP, and I like a lot of efforts put into these projects, it also makes sense why Toho, as a businesses decision, would not want to associate with them. Much of AIPs output was complete schlock and it’s partially why Godzilla first had a bad/schlocky reputation in America. You can argue that in the long term that paid off as it gave Godzilla an audience to begin with, but again, it would make sense why Toho, a Japanese company, would not want their stuff associated with them.

But for those words to emerge from the corporation that can do more to preserve the dubs than any singular fan would be a monumental change. It would give me hope that eventually Toho may see a profit motive in seeking out the best elements of the worldwide versions, respectfully preserving them, and enabling access to these preserved versions in their countries of origin. In the course of seeking elements, it is very likely they could even find materials that could, in turn, help restore the Japanese versions in dire need of proper preservation. The goal of preserving foreign versions pays dividends.

Independently of this issue, there are real concerns and things to be critical over Toho for. But again, it seems in this case, Toho thinks there might be more to gain by standardizing dubs moving forward. We’ll have to wait and see.

The worldwide dubs of the classic Godzilla films form a massive, interconnected ecosystem. Each film is a case study of the fascinating course a film can take as it disseminates throughout the world. It is undeniable that the worldwide dissemination and feedback of the Godzilla films is an important aspect of the franchise's history. To bury that history is ghoulish.

I agree, but I don’t think it’s an intentional effort to erase or bury it. The whole meeting and business expo is about the future. But to counter your point, Toho seems to have pride in exactly what you’re saying. The whole point of this endeavor is to allow more access to Godzilla.

Godzilla '54 wasn't just a Japanese film created in 1954... it was a film seen throughout the world in many dramatically different flavors over the course of 23 years. Media discourse always relates films as rigid, lucid texts belonging to their arbitrarily chosen creators... why can't they also be related as memories belonging to their spectators? One could say G'54 is a film of Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, Toho, whomever... you could also say a specific version of G'54 is an experience of mine.

I think your points towards the end, are valid, but Godzilla, historically, has more value and significance to Japan than a lot of other media. Godzilla is a Japanese cultural icon, and historically important to japan. It’s a symbol for the horrors of nuclear war, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and is an innately Japanese property. I’m all for different ways to experience the films, and the evolution of Godzilla, but at the same time I just don’t see or feel the that Godzilla’s original origins should be watered down or altered. I’m of course an American Godzilla fan, but I’m not going to deny that I really had no understanding for Godzilla as a nuclear symbol, until I saw the Japanese cut of Gojira.

I think that Godzilla as a Japanese icon, is way more important to Japan, then other people’s interests in Godzilla as a fictional popular media character.

But in despite of what I’ve just said, Toho in the same article, also completely acknowledges the appeal Godzilla has world wide, and seemingly wants to cater to it. Toho is saying in the article,”we recognize how Godzilla is popular as a worldwide brand and we want to capitulate to it”. This hasn’t been done on the same level in a long time.
The franchise has always been international. Ignoring the legacy of the foreign versions would be like ignoring the original production of the films themselves. The films, and their foreign versions, weren't created in a vacuum. Cultural interaction was constantly occurring. I don't see Toho's classic monster films as pure, local productions. The world was observing Toho's early foray into monster movies just as much as Toho was observing the world's response to their own films. In response to foreign countries dubbing and putting American actors in their films, by 1959 Toho started dubbing their own films and placing Americans or American-passing actors in important roles.

Definitely, I mean most of the early films had Kong and Frankenstein in them. Films don’t exist in a bubble. But again I don’t think Toho is denying this.

Feel however you want about any dubs. I don't claim to enjoy all of them. But their preservation is dire, and Toho is just accelerating their demise. This is an irresponsible abomination and they should be ashamed. And it's not about what would make me happy, it's about what needs to be done. This is history.

Again, I just don’t think this response is really warranted. We have dozens of books reviewing and researching this.
We have online documentation and videos and stuff. Toho is a business, that is trying to get Godzilla to appeal to more people. You and I clearly care enough about Godzilla to know about this (clearly you know more about dubbing then me), but suffice to say the general public doesn’t. And that’s not an inherently bad thing, that’s just a fact of history. Not everything is remembered or kept. I get the impression I’m younger than you, but I still watched a bunch of Godzilla films on VHS’s. No one born now will ever earnestly see or use a VHS in action. That’s not a bad thing.
Last edited by LSD Jellyfish on Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
_JNavs_ wrote:The MV is like cheap imitation crabmeat, it tastes good, but it isn't real, while Shin is kino peak Japanese performance.

Rodan95 wrote:The Shobijin are sat on by a fatass explorer and killed. Mothra is pissed and destroys Japan.

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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Terasawa » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:32 am

Calculated erasure is Toho allowing localized versions of its films to disappear despite:

  • Owning those versions outright
  • Having, or having had, some sort of elements for several of these versions
  • Allowing their release as recently as the 2000s, even on video in Japan

Remember, if Criterion hadn’t been able to locate an IP of KOTM back in ~2010, we’d either be seeing re-releases of a video master created circa 1980 or not seeing that version of the film at all.

Keith Aiken has said Toho has or had a “16mm print” of AIP’s Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster that was “practically unwatchable.” Who knows what 35mm or 16mm elements may still exist somewhere? Certainly not Toho; they evidently have no interest in conducting that search. It’s a wonder why they even bothered holding onto a 16mm print in such dire shape.

The big song in Smog Monster was localized for U.S. audiences as “Save the Earth.” That, of course, has gone on to be the subtitle of arguably the most popular modern Godzilla video game. Toho has also referenced that title in releases of the original Japanese track. But without the version of the film it appeared in, the context is lost and “Save the Earth” means next to nothing to all but a small group of Godzilla fans.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Lecontinentperdu » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:45 am

Tamura wrote:For a start, they could at least dignify the classic foreign versions with an acknowledgement that they exist. It's hard to reach a goal like preserving them while pretending that they don't exist. A simple acknowledgment of existence is the absolute smallest measure of dignity that you could possibly bestow on any media. To cross the line between acknowledgement and denial means either the destruction or preservation of heritage... Toho has decided to doggedly stand like an ugly statue on the side of bald-faced denial.

A quiet utterance of the words "AIP released Destroy All Monsters in the US in 1969"... this is cultural preservation at its most basic level. Sure, this is basic, obvious information that you can easily find on Wikipedia... you could say we all preserve the memory of the dubs by talking about them and by restoring them ourselves.

But for those words to emerge from the corporation that can do more to preserve the dubs than any singular fan would be a monumental change. It would give me hope that eventually Toho may see a profit motive in seeking out the best elements of the worldwide versions, respectfully preserving them, and enabling access to these preserved versions in their countries of origin. In the course of seeking elements, it is very likely they could even find materials that could, in turn, help restore the Japanese versions in dire need of proper preservation. The goal of preserving foreign versions pays dividends.

The worldwide dubs of the classic Godzilla films form a massive, interconnected ecosystem. Each film is a case study of the fascinating course a film can take as it disseminates throughout the world. It is undeniable that the worldwide dissemination and feedback of the Godzilla films is an important aspect of the franchise's history. To bury that history is ghoulish.

Godzilla '54 wasn't just a Japanese film created in 1954... it was a film seen throughout the world in many dramatically different flavors over the course of 23 years. Media discourse always relates films as rigid, lucid texts belonging to their arbitrarily chosen creators... why can't they also be related as memories belonging to their spectators? One could say G'54 is a film of Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, Toho, whomever... you could also say a specific version of G'54 is an experience of mine.

Why can't the release of films be understood and described the way plays are released? As performative works that exist within a time range and adapt to local circumstances? A film has a fixed date and location that it premiered, but it also runs for a number of performances and is premiered or adapted in other regions, just like a play. Godzilla '54 is akin to a very long-running play adapted many times. When a play is adapted a million times, that is seen as a sign of success. But when a film gets adapted for another country, it seems like each adaptation is scrutinized and considered a bastardization unless proven otherwise.

The franchise has always been international. Ignoring the legacy of the foreign versions would be like ignoring the original production of the films themselves. The films, and their foreign versions, weren't created in a vacuum. Cultural interaction was constantly occurring. I don't see Toho's classic monster films as pure, local productions. The world was observing Toho's early foray into monster movies just as much as Toho was observing the world's response to their own films. In response to foreign countries dubbing and putting American actors in their films, by 1959 Toho started dubbing their own films and placing Americans or American-passing actors in important roles.

Feel however you want about any dubs. I don't claim to enjoy all of them. But their preservation is dire, and Toho is just accelerating their demise. This is an irresponsible abomination and they should be ashamed. And it's not about what would make me happy, it's about what needs to be done. This is history.


Great post! As much as I don't care, now, as a spectator, for the dubbed versions of these movies (life is short, japanese originals only for me), they ARE a huge part of the history of the franchise: 100% japanese in 54 (although from US inspiration), exported in '56, cut in half in '62 (to each its life), integrating the international aspect in the movies themselves from them on...

Younger, I wanted to write a thesis on this subject. 'coz it makes a point about post-war japan, its military (or lack of), the rise of a leftist youth and, at the same time, global economy... Would've loved to have access to all versions at that time, almost 15 years ago (gosh).

But as a plain spectator from 2019, not a scholar, i don't need to see them anymore.

I'd like to read a book summing all this up, tho!

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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Cookson » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:16 am

Is there an official thread for Godzilla Genesis? If not just retitle this that...

Anyway, Genesis sounds cool and all but I guess deals with Sony(millennium films), Universal(KKvsG) won’t matter? I guess maybe they could look for exclusive STREAMING rights for all films that won’t have anything to do with home video rights.

If it’s streaming I bet Netflix will get it. Already have worked with Toho and can do their own dubs... and can reach a huge amount of people around the world which Toho wants.
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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Malchik » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:07 pm

G2000 wrote:"Calculated erasure" sounds like a synonym for genocide"

Your mind went there not mine.

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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby Shhh! The Octopus » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:12 pm

I like the classic English dubs. I don't want new dubs.

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Re: Toho continues calculated erasure of classic Godzilla dubs

Postby MaxRebo320 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:08 pm

I guess Toho was proud of the Bang Zoom! dub for The Mysterians and now want more 60-year old films dubbed with modern anime voice actors.
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