Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

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Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Chrispy_G » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:52 am

There are 15 Godzilla Showa films, but other relevant Kaiju Showa films exist beyond that. Do you see them as HAVING to be considered as one big franchise or do you see the Godzilla film existing within itself while also existing as something bigger?

Some would argue that films like Rodan and Mothra establish those characters, that films like War of the Gargantuas properly introduce the maser tanks...thus linking them a bit more directly to the Godzilla franchise than some of the other various Showa monster films.

Growing up, the Godzilla films alone always worked for me completely on their own without any additional films. I never needed to know that there were Rodan and Mothra films prior to Mothra vs Godzilla and Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Nothing in those films ever made me feel like I needed to see them prior. I think I went a long time without even knowing that those 'solo films' even existed for those characters.

I never got the feeling in Mothra vs Godzilla of "Ok, this Mothra character has been seen around and clearly has existed in this world prior to this, I've missed its introduction"

In the way I would argue that you probably should see Mothra vs Godzilla before seeing Ghidorah, since aspects of that film are directly referenced and they very much treat Mothra as a known commodity of the world....I would NOT argue

So do you consider the 15 film Godzilla Showa Era as existing perfectly well in a vacuum, or do you perceive some of the tangential films as NEEDING to be included, creating more of a Kaiju Cinematic Universe like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where practically every piece is required viewing and advances the overall narrative on some level?

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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby szmigiel » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:46 am

I honestly think some fans get to obsessive over classifying eras by continuity, instead of eras by filmmakers. They want to create timelines, and shared connections, when props and kaiju are reused between films. If a kaiju is reused that means that the events of the film they were in are all part of some huge interconnected puzzle. It just takes time to rearrange the films into an intertwined cinematic universe. DAM must be watched after TOMG because it took place in the future, and the film makers kept that in mind when they made more entries into the series in the 70s. Even though the concept of a Monster Island or Monster Land was introduced in DAM, and then reused though out the Champion Festival Films. I think the maser cannons were used in the Champion Festival Films, not to tie it to WOTG, but just because it was SPFX that could be reused to save money. You don’t need to include Gorath into some master timeline, since the Moon is destroyed and Earths orbit changed at the end of the film.

I look at eras by the people creating the films, the directors, the SPFX artists, the writers, and even actors used. I don’t need the films to be interconnected all part of some shard universe. Each film is its’ own story, if a kaiju is reused it doesn’t mean the events in a film they appeared in necessarily happened. They are just like the actors in the films, if they reappear they are not the same character they played before, or does their appearance automatically connect pervious films into some linked history.

I think Showa over all is a huge grouping of 20+ years of films and should be divided into at least 2 eras. The Showa golden era that starts with Gojira 1954 and ends with DAM 1968, this is when Honda, Fukuda, Tsuburaya, Arikawa, Sekizawa, Mabuchi, and many others were making films not just for the Japanese, but knowing that they were popular abroad. I included all the sci-fi films they created whether they featured a kaiju or not. The Champion Festival films of the 70’s were now being produced to appeal more towards kids, and with smaller budgets, separating them from the films that came before them.

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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Chrispy_G » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:14 am

szmigiel wrote:Each film is its’ own story, if a kaiju is reused it doesn’t mean the events in a film they appeared in necessarily happened. They are just like the actors in the films, if they reappear they are not the same character they played before, or does their appearance automatically connect pervious films into some linked history.


That's an excellent point, I never really thought about it like that, although it seems so obvious. Just as King Kong isn't in any way connected to or related to the 1933 King Kong.....Mothra and Rodan appearing in later Godzilla films does not mean that there is an overt carry over in terms of continuity from those solo films.

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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Terasawa » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:33 am

szmigiel wrote:I look at eras by the people creating the films, the directors, the SPFX artists, the writers, and even actors used. I don’t need the films to be interconnected all part of some shard universe. Each film is its’ own story, if a kaiju is reused it doesn’t mean the events in a film they appeared in necessarily happened. They are just like the actors in the films, if they reappear they are not the same character they played before, or does their appearance automatically connect pervious films into some linked history.

I think Showa over all is a huge grouping of 20+ years of films and should be divided into at least 2 eras. The Showa golden era that starts with Gojira 1954 and ends with DAM 1968, this is when Honda, Fukuda, Tsuburaya, Arikawa, Sekizawa, Mabuchi, and many others were making films not just for the Japanese, but knowing that they were popular abroad. I included all the sci-fi films they created whether they featured a kaiju or not. The Champion Festival films of the 70’s were now being produced to appeal more towards kids, and with smaller budgets, separating them from the films that came before them.


:applause:

I would say the Showa era Godzilla movies are part of the Toho canon and not the other way around. There wasn't even really a Godzilla series until the mid-60s anyway, and even then Toho was still making tokusatsu films without the Godzilla character.

It surprises me when Godzilla fans show disinterest in the other Toho sci-fi and tokusatsu productions. Even when I was a kid I couldn't get enough of this stuff, so before I'd even seen every Godzilla movie I was trying to track down every other Japanese monster movie I could find. Rodan, Mothra, Frankenstein Conquers the World, etc. were just as important and entertaining to me as any Godzilla movie.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Chrispy_G » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:45 am

I have to say I'm one of those people on the opposite side. I've enjoyed Rodan, Mothra, and War of the Gargantuas, as well as the Gamera Trilogy of the 90s. But for WHATEVER reason, Godzilla specifically sort of has a "magic" and an appeal to me that the others just don't really have.

But I would be lying if I said Mill Creek's upcoming complete Ultraman slate wasn't very enticing. My dad love Ultraman growing up, and the idea of the whole thing getting proper treatment in the US is appealing, and I know its "up my alley"....but good Lord that is a HUGE apple to take a start taking bites out of.

But yeah, for me...the Godzilla Showa series has always felt like it stood on its own, in a way that "Every movie that has Iron Man" doesn't to me. With the MCU it all feels so interlocked and overlapping you pretty much have to include it all(although one or two could probably be skipped over without missing much)

But if someone asks me if they need to watch Rodan or Mothra before the 60s Godzilla films, I don't feel like I would be compelled to say "yes"

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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Terasawa » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:04 pm

I never sought out other Toho kaiju movies to get more of the storyline (because there isn’t one), but because I wanted to see “more of the same.”
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Stump Feet » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:07 pm

Terasawa wrote:I never sought out other Toho kaiju movies to get more of the storyline (because there isn’t one), but because I wanted to see “more of the same.”

Exactly this.

I use to go hog wild when I’d learn my local drive in was playing a new Japanese SciFi movie I hadn’t seen yet
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Crazy Jim Films » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:19 pm

Terasawa wrote:I never sought out other Toho kaiju movies to get more of the storyline (because there isn’t one), but because I wanted to see “more of the same.”


Same here. War of Gargantuans, for example, I don't ever recall seeing it as a kid and linking it to any of the Godzilla films in terms of storyline connection but stylistically, it fit a similar mold. It was a lot like how a Joel Silver-produced film (Commando, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Action Jackson) had an almost auteur-like approach to its casting or style or how Joe Dante's movies and many of his peers at New World Pictures utilize a lot of the same cast and environment without feeling connected in the same universe but appeal very directly to those who enjoy the films.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Stump Feet » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:20 pm

You can hardly link WOTG with Frankenstein, that’s the charm of the Showa era
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby mikelcho » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:43 pm

Crispy_G, as far as the title of this article is concerned, I believe that the word you're looking for in the title is "differentiate".

Just thought that you'd like to know.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Terasawa » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:03 pm

Crazy Jim Films wrote:
Terasawa wrote:I never sought out other Toho kaiju movies to get more of the storyline (because there isn’t one), but because I wanted to see “more of the same.”


Same here. War of Gargantuans, for example, I don't ever recall seeing it as a kid and linking it to any of the Godzilla films in terms of storyline connection but stylistically, it fit a similar mold. It was a lot like how a Joel Silver-produced film (Commando, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Action Jackson) had an almost auteur-like approach to its casting or style or how Joe Dante's movies and many of his peers at New World Pictures utilize a lot of the same cast and environment without feeling connected in the same universe but appeal very directly to those who enjoy the films.


I liken it to the Hammer Horror run, where there were a few ongoing series but you had the same creative personnel working on most of those movies for nearly 20 years with practically no story continuity.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Stump Feet » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:11 pm

The only films that seem connected in some way are-

Gojira/Godzilla Raids Again/King Kong vs. Godzilla

Rodan/Mothra vs. Godzilla/Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster/Monster Zero

Godzilla vs. Gigan/Godzilla vs. Megalon

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla/Terror Of Mechagodzilla
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Crazy Jim Films » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:54 pm

Stump Feet wrote:The only films that seem connected in some way are-

Gojira/Godzilla Raids Again/King Kong vs. Godzilla

Rodan/Mothra/Mothra vs. Godzilla/Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster/Monster Zero

Godzilla vs. Gigan/Godzilla vs. Megalon

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla/Terror Of Mechagodzilla


I never felt like Mothra was part of the canon. Mothra vs. Godzilla, to me, felt like a remake introducing Mothra into the Godzilla universe. And while the events of Rodan had to happen for Ghidorah to work, it generally felt like its own movie in the way that the introduction of a giant prehistoric monster seemed like a new thing where in a world that Godzilla existed, it wouldn't as much.

Again, as others have said, the continuity feels extremely loose as some films seem to acknowledge that they exist in a Monster Island-type universe where all of these monsters coexist and others feel like only specific ones are around.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Stump Feet » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:59 pm

^ You're absolutely right about Mothra 61', that was a mistake on my part, I edited my initial post and removed.

The only reason Rodan's on there is because Princess Salno states in GTTHM that Rodan would revive so that seemed to me like a clear reference to the 1956 film's ending.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Crazy Jim Films » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:14 pm

Stump Feet wrote:The only reason Rodan's on there is because Princess Salno states in GTTHM that Rodan would revive so that seemed to me like a clear reference to the 1956 film's ending.


Yes. That's where there is a bit of a retroactive continuity. Obviously, Rodan's intro in Ghidorah hints at him being a returning monster and his entrance winks at the way both Rodans met their demise in the '56 movie but you never get the sense that this was the plan in watching it. Ultimately, a lot of these movies seem to operate like "Simpsons" episodes when it comes to timelines, geography, and things of that nature. Connecting when it's convenient and ignoring when it is not.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Stump Feet » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:21 pm

Well of course, it's apart of the reason I like the era so much, it's very viewer friendly.

I didn't start putting these minimal connections together until after 3 decades plus of rewatching these films over and over really.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Chrispy_G » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:12 am

I suppose in a world where Godzilla exists in reality and in myth, Anguirus exists, King Kong exists in myth and reality, Mothra exists in myth and reality....the concept that Rodan was maybe another myth from an ancient time, the perception that he would be 'reviving' in the modern world could apply.

And some of that could even sync up with the alleged alien knowledge/prophetic powers of Princess Salno. She states it as Rodan "reviving" because SHE has ancient knowledge of his prior existence, and knows he is hibernating and waiting to revive. Any aspect of her wording things in a peculiar/inaccurate way could be chalked up to the whole alien/prophetess experience she is having.

And if a crazy "alien" prophet screamed that Rodan would "revive" and then a giant creature burst from the volcano, that would very quickly legitimize her claims...hence why someone like the Assassin/Thug might parrot that narrative..."Rodan revived" instead of saying "Rodan appeared". She said he would revive, then he appeared, so yeah, she says he revived, then he revived. The crazy lady is calling the shots at that point.

For what it is worth, when I had a marathon of the films with my girlfriend, who had never seen any of them...we watched them subtitled, and we did not watch Rodan or Mothra....and she didn't feel like she had missed anything regarding the introduction of either creature.

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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Terasawa » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:48 am

Japanese audiences in 1964 would have been familiar with the Rodan character from the 1956 film, even if it probably hadn't been seen since the conclusion of its theatrical run in early 1957. You don't need to see the prior film to understand Ghidrah, as I'm sure most of us saw the latter first.

But that also doesn't mean that Toho was retconning the events of the '56 film or "rebooting" :roll: the character. There's dialogue in the film that even says Rodan had appeared before and threatened humanity, and that he felt "bullied" by humans. It's hard to rationalize all of that as "he was a myth that appeared long before modern times."
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby eabaker » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:56 am

Terasawa wrote:Japanese audiences in 1964 would have been familiar with the Rodan character from the 1956 film, even if it probably hadn't been seen since the conclusion of its theatrical run in early 1957. You don't need to see the prior film to understand Ghidrah, as I'm sure most of us saw the latter first.

But that also doesn't mean that Toho was retconning the events of the '56 film or "rebooting" :roll: the character. There's dialogue in the film that even says Rodan had appeared before and threatened humanity, and that he felt "bullied" by humans. It's hard to rationalize all of that as "he was a myth that appeared long before modern times."


Yeah, while the movie is playing it loose with the continuity, there's literally nothing there to suggest that the public thinks of him as a myth.

Looking at most popular series from the days before home video (when it became possible for the majority of viewers to watch and re-watch works in a series in close proximity to each other), it seems that continuity was usually enforced just up to the point of what the average viewer could be expected to remember from a prior work that they'd seen once, however many years earlier it was released. Japanese viewers who had seen Rodan 7-8 years earlier would certainly remember the monster's name and general appearance, and likely that its defeat happened in/around Mt. Aso. And probably not much beyond that.
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Re: Do you delineate between the "Godzilla Showa Era" and the "Kaiju Showa Era"?

Postby Terasawa » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:10 am

Godzilla 1955: imprisoned in ice on a small island.
Godzilla 1962: appears from a small iceberg.
Same creature.

Rodan 1956: entombed at Mt. Aso.
Rodan 1964: reappears from Mt. Aso’s crater.
Different creature.

:?
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