Inferno Rodan wrote:Origin
While the specifics of Godzilla's origin have varied throughout the years, he has always been some sort of reptilian creature that was either awakened or mutated by nuclear testing. Shin Godzilla's origin has none of those things. While it could certainly be argued that the nuclear waste angle is simply a more modern take on the nuclear aspect (and not one I would argue against), there's no defending the amalgamation of organisms aspect.
I believe this is a dumb rumor that originated on this very site.
Godzilla started out as an unseen prehistoric lifeform. Maybe not a dinosaur or marine reptile, but some sort of fish/amphibian/reptile-like creature. The film even shows a waste canister with a huge chunk bitten out of it. It's implied he fed on these and mutated over time, as Goro Maki studied and lured him to the surface. From there, Godzilla begins adapting to land and what humanity throws at him.
Related to the above, Shin Godzilla's self-evolving capability is a massive departure from the core character. Gaining new powers is something that Godzilla has done plenty, and it's not something fans generally have a problem with. But actually going through a multi-stage physical evolution like some sort of demented Pokemon is completely outside the realm of what fans would consider acceptable under any other circumstances.
Godzilla is theorized to be a transitional animal in the original film (a land reptile adapting to the sea), the Heisei Godzilla started out as a large theropod (for whatever reason the writer felt appropriate), Godzilla Junior goes through multiple stages (some awkward) before reaching adulthood, etc. What Shin does is not too removed from any of that. As some may have pointed out, it's essentially a film about Godzilla becoming Godzilla.
Godzilla's personality has varied hugely over the years, ranging from a force of evil to a protector of humanity. But they all have one thing in common: they actually have a personality. Shin Godzilla... doesn't.
There are plenty of films in the series where Godzilla and other monsters seemingly just wonder around causing chaos before lashing out to whatever humanity has in store for them. And some fans are quite guilty of projecting whatever personality they see fit onto them, some rather cringey. But you can't say to me Shin Godzilla has no more personality than in Return of G, the Kiryu films, etc.
Now granted, people do occasionally call Heisei Godzilla fat too. But he's not fat either. He's bulky. He has a shitton of body mass, but the way it's sculpted and proportioned makes it very clear that it's muscle.
Practically every Godzilla design looks wonky from certain angles, especially from the front, including the fan favorite Heisei...
Now Heisei might be a more 'standard' design overall, but the pinhead and fat rolls around the waist and legs are still there.
And, unlike Heisei Godzilla, Shin's mass has no aesthetic behind it. There's no underlying musculature or anything. His legs just look like fat rolls on top of fat rolls. And what's worse is that he's completely out of proportion to the point that he looks ridiculous. Everything above his hips looks like it's half the size it should be compared to his legs and tail.
Whether the design is aesthetically appealing depends on the person, but there is reason behind it - he's overheating over the course of the movie. The first form we see has the pale skin of a deep-sea creature, when he takes on his next form the skin begins heating up and takes on a red coloration. And the final design we see is crispy and charged with fissures of energy between the folds and cracks. It's meant to be unnerving and show power.
I think after argument after argument about this on 2014, people became numb to it. In a way it got them ready for a different Godzilla, which in a lot of ways was the point of Shin while Legendary tried to do a more traditional Godzilla. I feel fortunate we have two very different takes on the character going on right now, with an animated version on the way.
Not immune to conventional weaponry
This isn't an argument I personally agree with, but it's oft-cited by fans as something important to the character: Godzilla must be completely immune to conventional weaponry. Shin Godzilla was injured by conventional weapons. But most fans accepted it happening with minimal fuss, because it's Toho.
It comes down to how it's depicted in the film. Godzilla is hurt by the American military yes, but quickly recovers and lashes out in a way that is vastly more destructive. They make him WORSE by trying to destroy him.
I think this one might be the most shining example of the fandom's hypocrisy regarding Shin Godzilla. Apart from the design, the number one biggest problem most people had with G'98 was the fact that Godzilla reproduced asexually. Now Shin rolls along and has the exact same ability, and not a single person gives it a second thought. Because Toho. It's pretty hilarious, actually.
This is like the whole amalgamation misconception, and I'm sure it won't be going away anytime soon. It's not the same exact thing, Shin Godzilla isn't laying eggs all over the place and treated like a pest. It's more like abilities seen in past Toho monsters like the Gargantuas, applied to the regenerative power of modern Godzillas. It's there to stress the godlike strength of his genetic code, and how his survival is not compatible with humanity's.
If an American Godzilla had been made even remotely like Shin Godzilla, it would be utterly crucified by the fans. The only reason he hasn't been is because "Muh Toho." Anyone that believes otherwise is in denial.
Before Legendary Godzilla, you might be right. But as I said up above, after presenting a more or less traditional Godzilla in that film, it was up to Toho to prove that Japan still had something to say with Godzilla, and they came up with something new and different, which paid off. And as weird and different as the film can be, it's not all that removed from what's come before. It's not so much hypocrisy, some people are simply being reactionary.