One thing I really like about Zarm's theory on the previous page is that it helps explain the line "Godzilla is gone; he's vanished from history."
In a story where time travel is presented as a stable time loop, one wouldn't expect the characters to know even the name "Godzilla" if he was truly erased from history. In fact, in such a story, that would likely be the first point where the characters realize something is amiss. (And to be fair maybe they would have realized this sooner if Japan wasn't immediately besieged by King Ghidorah upon their return.)
Instead, as in Zarm's theory, Godzilla exists up unto the moment of time travel back from
1944. (He also continues to exist afterwards as well, thanks to the proliferation of nuclear energy in the 20th century, but this isn't known to our characters until Miki senses Godzilla a little later in the film.) To them, at the moment they return to Japan, Godzilla's chronology ends
just as King Ghidorah's begins
. While the past remains the same, in that Godzilla existed and had attacked Japan on at least three occasions, the present has been significantly altered by the disappearance of Godzilla from his pre-time travel 1992 location (and subsequent relocation to the Bering Sea, where he had been transported as a dinosaur in 1944) and the appearance of King Ghidorah in Japan.
I don't know if this is a translation error that was popularized by the dubbed version or if it's spoken this way in Japanese dialogue, but in saying "he's vanished from history," I actually think the characters are speaking from the perspective of the future (!) and not the present. It makes sense in the context of the film since 1. Godzilla hasn't attacked Japan in more than two years and -despite the JSDF's surveillance of him- isn't poised to be a threat anytime soon, 2. the Futurians claim to come from a future in which Godzilla continually ravages Japan to the point that the nation is destroyed. So if one is to look at the time travel events from the perspective of a 22nd time traveler in 1992 Japan, then yes, Godzilla seemingly "vanished from (their) history."
One other piece of evidence for Zarm's interpretation that I don't think has been brought up is the paradox that two versions of the same being cannot exist at the same point in time without one subsequently disappearing. Glenchiko says this to excuse Shindo from traveling back to 1944 Lagos, but it's true for Godzilla in this film as well. Thanks to their teleportation of the Godzillasaurus to the Bering Sea, the Futurians unwittingly create a second Godzilla that continues to exist beyond the date of their initial time travel to 1944 (I think the "present day" in the film is July 1992). Prior to this, Godzilla existed elsewhere in the Pacific, and it's this Godzilla that disappears (as Glenchiko warned would happen to Shindo) the moment that the Futurian/Japanese party returns to 1992 Japan.
eabaker wrote:the apparent thematic intent (that Godzilla himself, being a reflection of and punishment for human hubris, is a historical inevitability which cannot be prevented)
This is one of my favorite aspects of Kazuki Omori's Godzilla scripts. Godzilla is inevitable
. In each of his four films he devises these wild plots to dispose of Godzilla but he somehow always returns. In Omori's works, Godzilla survives supposedly lethal doses of anti-radioactive bacteria, two volcanoes, being erased from time, being frozen solid, and a fatal nuclear meltdown. Some of these are technicalities (Jr. becomes a new Godzilla after his father's death), but still.