Jaqua92 wrote:Got a question for you all.
So, I've been a fan of Godzilla since I was a kid. Casually, yet somewhat knowledgeable of the monsters. That said, I haven't followed it deeply and I can't identify all the different iterations, Hesei/Showa, etc. I dont know about different eras.
So with this said, I am just wondering...are all the Godzilla films part of the same canon?
And secondly, what is the deal with Shin Godzilla. Ive found him to be the least-Godzilla-like Godzilla out of them all, and found him to be quite offputting. So whats the deal with Shin? Is he cannon? Is he a reborn Godzilla from previous canons?
Technically, Canon is the list of official films; in that sense, all the Toho Godzilla films are canon. (Not sure about the two American series; they are authorized, but whether they are canon to Toho, someone more knowledgeable than I would have to answer).
However, there is more than one continuity.
The first continuity is Showa, which includes all the Godzilla films from the original 1954 up through Terror of MechaGodzilla (plus the TV show Zone Fighter, translation coming soon, shameless plug).
Some other films- such as Rodan, Mothra, Atragon, etc.- contian monsters that reappear in Godzilla films, but aren't technically a part of the same continuity; other films form the era, like War of the Gargantuans, Dogora, Space Ameoba, etc. (or non-kaiju sci-fis from Toho) are not in the continuity at all, to the best of my knowledge. (Of course, fan theories as to how they could all fit abound; but to the best of my knowledge, only the Godzilla films themselves and the Zone Fighter tv series make up the official continuity of the showa Godzilla series).
In 1984, the films were rebooted- but *kept the 1954 original.* So, Return of Godzilla (or Godzilla 1985, the American cut) was made as a new direct sequel to 1954's Gojira, and started the Heisei series. That continuity is Gojira (1954), Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs Mothra: Battle for Earth, Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, and Godzilla vs. Destroyah.
The 1998 American Godzilla is its own thing, and has an animated tv spinoff in continuity.
In 1999, the Millenium series started; here, each film was a one-off that was also (sort of) a sequel to the 1954 Gojira. (Some of them heavily retconned the events of that film, so weren't direct sequels, but more of standalone films whose backstory was coincidentally very similar, but not identical, to the 1954 film). So Godzilla 2000, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-out Attack, and Godzilla Final Wars are each their own stand-alone continuity, while Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla and Tokyo S.O.S. are a duology that share a continuity (which kinda-sorta includes a number of showa films in its continuity the way that all these films kinda-sorta include the 1954 in their continuity; i.e. some 'like' that happened in its backstory).
The Legendary Godzilla films (Godzilla 2014, and King of the Monsters in 2019) are their own continuity.
Shin was the first Japanese film to completely break with the original 1954 film entirely. It is a brand new stand-alone continuity that has no relationship to any other film; a complete reboot/alternate universe. The anime films are the same; they share a continuity with each-other, but have no relationship to any other films (though they have several novels explaining their complicated backstory).
So, there are about 11 different Godzilla continuities, if you count the American ones, too. (And some Toho films with close ties to Godzilla that aren't actuall part of any of those continuities, but still introduce monsters that later appeared in them, like Gorosaurus, Baragon, Mothra, Rodan, etc.) Plus one Mothra continuity for her trio of stand-alone films from the 90s, that isn't connected to any actual Godzilla films.
I hope that all makes sense.