Positive things about the Heisei Series

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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby eabaker » Mon May 28, 2018 12:43 pm

Shobijin wrote:I guess the community consensus changed over time. I remember online in the 1990s and early 2000s that fans were super high on Heisei and embarrassed of Showa. A similar trend occurred with Star Trek: The Next Generation being downgraded and the franchise going with The Original Series characters in 2009, after TOS had been deemed uncool in the 1990s.


My experience as an active member of the fandom in the 90s and early 2000s in almost no way corresponds to yours. While, yes, people were kinder to the Heisei flicks (except SpaceGodzilla, which was thoroughly derided by fans at the time), I never experienced an environment where the Showa era wasn't lionized.

Showa has around 2-4 great Godzilla movies depending on your tastes...out of 15.


Depending on your definition of "great" (and considering your next statement, I'm thinking it's not the most stringent), that's a very low estimate. To my tastes, I'd be tempted to call about 8 of the 15 "great" (unless I'm using my stricter standards, by which only one of them qualifies, but none of the Heisei flicks do). I certainly don't imagine you'd find very many fans of the series whose number would be as low as 2.

Of course, that era for Toho also produced some of the greatest films of the genre outside the Godzilla series, which really can't be said of any other era.

Heisei, depending on your tastes, has 3-4 great Godzilla movies out of 7.


I'd go with 3, and there are plenty of people who'd cap it at 1 or 2.

Heisei
- Better G costumes.


More consistent, anyway. I would put the best Heisei suits on the same tier as the best Showa suits, but the worst Heisei suits well above the worst Showa suits.

However, there's also an unfortunate lack of variety. From 1992-1994, the costume barely changes at all, and the '95 suit is just a modification of the existing standard.

- Excellent scores.


Yeah, but that's equally true of Showa, which also offered a lot more variety.

- Continuity.


Neither a positive nor negative trait per se.

- Better city rampage SFX.


Again, I'd say that the highlights of both eras are on about an equal tier, but Heisei's lows aren't as low as Showa's.

- Respected Showa.


Not sure what this means. But it does sound like a good thing!

- Longer battles + Godzilla screen time.


For me, this tends to be a negative far more often than a positive. That final battle in SpaceGodzilla is especially tedious.

- Less reliance on stock footage.


There were a few Showa movies that made very heavy use of stock footage, but it was hardly a defining trait of the whole era.

Here, as with a few of the other points, I think part of the issue is the way that something as expansive as the Showa era - which really represents about three or four different eras in the genre's history - is compared with the much more limited Heisei and Millennium eras.

- Spawned tons of popular comic books, fan faction, toys, etc based on the storyline.


Sure, that's absolutely a great thing for the people invested in it.

Sorry, I don't mean to argue with you, especially in a thread dedicated to talking positively about an era that I find underrated by a large chunk of the fandom. I'm totally on board with a lot of the things you highlight about the Heisei era, I just don't think the accompanying (explicit and implied) slams of the Showa era entirely hold water.
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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby Zarm » Mon May 28, 2018 12:54 pm

I would tend to say 6 and 2, or 8 and 4 with more relaxed standards, for me- which do pretty much maintain equal proportions of 1/3, or slightly over half, respectively.

I would personally say that I have learned to respect the showa series for its qualities more than I do the heisei, but I enjoy the heisei series as a viewing experience more than I do the showa.
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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby GojiDog » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:52 am

I like the Heisei films.

Here are the things I liked about the series as a whole.

1) I like the continuity between the films. To compare to the Showa films, there is a continuity there, but it is very loose. You get the big brushstrokes (Godzilla defeated Mechagodzilla in the previous film) but the finer details were not as important (the location of the Mechagodzilla remains are completely different from the previous film). I chalk this up to the lack of home video in that era. Back then, you saw a movie in the theater and then that was it. Maybe you'd see it on TV, but the idea of being able to watch a movie time and time again and memorize every little detail was close to impossible.

With the rise of home video, the Godzilla series adapted accordingly. Events of one film (Godzilla Vs. Biollante) would impact events 2, 3, or 4 entries down the road (Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla). For the first time in the Godzilla series, we had regular recurring characters, most notably Miki Segusa.

I liked this because it rewarded fans that had a memory and showed a cause and effect dynamic between the films. Time travelers bring a giant cyborg to the past to fight Godzilla and it is destroyed in the process. That technology is then salvaged and adapted to build a more powerful weapon by the present government. The Anti-Godzilla force in 1989 is basically a few dudes in an office. By 1993, it is a mutli-national coalition. That type of stuff worked well for me and gave it a comic booky vibe with each new entry building off of what was already established.

2) Godzilla. I mean, yeah, he's the reason we're here right. When I think of Godzilla, the 90s version is the image that instantly pops into my head. While I will always praise Haruo Nakajima's work with the character in the Showa Era, there is just something about the 90s version that felt true to me. The design of the suit forced this version to be less mobile and doesn't do anything fancy, but that felt more believable. I mean he's just this massive forward moving hulking mass that can't be stopped, a tower of power that blows up and stomps everything in his path. That always worked for me. Granted, I love the gravity defying dropkick as much as the next guy, but the 90s version just felt the most appropriate.

3) The Reimagining of the Classic Monsters. This series features some great re-imaginings of Toho's greatest stars. King Ghidorah's origin was awesome in 1991 and delivered one of my favorite versions of that monster. Tying him in with Godzilla's origin pretty much cemented him as Godzilla's greatest foe in my eyes. While I prefer the harsher industrialized look of the 70s version, reimagining Mechagodzilla as a weapon to counteract Godzilla was a creative way to redo the rivalry without feeling like a rehash of the original series.

And I gotta say, the Heisei version is my favorite version of The Son of Godzilla. OK ok, Little Godzilla in 1994 was an overly and obnoxiously cute misstep, but the other two designs were great. Two of my biggest complaints about Minilla was that he never looked like Godzilla and he never aged throughout the series. Well, this version fixes both of those, starting him off as a Baby Godzillasauras that was cute, but also recognizable as Godzilla. And then we ended it with the Junior version, showing his growth towards becoming a fully realized Adult Godzilla, the greatest danger of a baby Godzilla running around. And hey, Junior held his own against the smaller Destroyahs and gave us one of the bigger heartbreakers of the series, as Godzilla mourns the loss of his son. That counts for something.

And screw it, I like this version of MOGUERA! He's a frigging transformer! What's not to love?! And he was not useless in the final battle against Spacegodzilla. He blew off those shoulder crystals like a champ!

Rodan was always a personal favorite of mine and while I am not overly fond of the design in GVMG93 when compared to the original, it was nice to see him get to play a role in the series and comeback. And hey, his fight with Godzilla at the start of the film is a highlight of the film and the series.

I guess the only one that didn't quite work for me as well was Mothra as basically everything about her was derivative from the Showa series. It wasn't bad...they just didn't do anything new. I guess all the new stuff came in the trilogy, but in GVM92, it just felt like a big retread, which was disappointing coming off the heels of a great reimagining of King Ghidorah.

It also would have been nice if Anguiras had made the cut, but I guess you can't get everything you want.

4) The New Monsters. In addition to redoing some of Godzilla's most classic co-stars, this series also gives us a new batch of kaiju to contend with and some of them are down right awesome. So much so, that I wish some of them would make a comeback in future films.

My number one favorite Heisei creation is Biollante, who is just a masterpiece to view on screen. When I praise practical special effects over CGI, this is the type of stuff I'm talking about. Biollante looked imposing, grotesque, and powerful. You had the tendrils moving all over the place, and I am still shocked that they were able to get that massive thing to move across the stage the way it did. I remember the first time I saw that film and I was blown away by how that thing was executed.

I also really loved the design for Destroyah, who looks like something born from hell. And Battra was a great doppleganger/twisted/Bizarro version of Mothra and had a great design in both forms. Mecha King Ghidorah was a huge highlight the film and looked cool. And hey, I even liked Spacegodzilla. Yeah its just a blue Godzilla with crystals all over him, but I always liked the personality of him. He was just so mean! lol. I guess for me he was to the Heisei films what Gigan was to the Showa. Cool monster, I just wish the movie that debuted him was better.

When it comes to Godzilla returns, we always get Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Mechagodzilla, with Rodan sprinkled in once in a while. But come on! Lets get some of those Heisei monsters back in the mix! Its time!

5) Humanity's Ingenuity: The Showa Series gave us some great weapons and strategies to take on the monsters on a more equal footing. The Oxygen Destroyer comes to mind, as well as weapons like the Attragon Super Sub, the Maser Tanks, and Moonlight SY-3. The Heisei series follows suit with some of the most creative ways to solve their monster problems.

In G85, we see the Super X, the first of the Super Anti-Kaiju weapons that we'd see throughout the films. I also loved the strategy of using Godzilla's biology against him by luring away with bird calls. Godzilla is an animal after all and using that to their advantage makes a lot of sense to me.

Godzilla Vs. Biollante features some of the greatest creativity displayed by humanity against the big guy. We get the Super X-2 (my favorite of the Super Xs) which directs Godzilla's atomic ray back at him. We get the Anti Nuclear Energy Bacteria, which is brilliant, but his body temperature causes it not to work, so they have an artificial lightning field to help raise his body temp to get the bacteria to take effect. So they have to use the tanks and planes to direct him into that position, as well, as using the Super X to set him up to get the ANEB shot down his throat. Too many times, the military attack scenes can seem cliché in a movie like this, but when there is a clear strategy behind it and a motive behind everything they do, it is more interesting than just marching people off to their death in a useless fight.

And then we get the G-Force weapons of Mechagodzilla, Garuda (which for all intents and purposes of the film, is basically Mecha-Rodan), and MOGUERA. They used the tech from Mecha King Ghidorah to advance their chances against Godzilla and it made for some interesting material in the films. And then in Godzilla Vs. Destroyah, we get the freezer weapons. Okay, lasers that freeze about as scientifically impossible as me being able to fly to the moon with my farts, but still, its cool, haha. Also Super X-III. Isn't that great?

Like I said, sending out tanks and plans just to get stomped with no rhyme or reason can get old and stale, but with a little creativity and actually showing some kind of strategy for their actions, the military can appear quite competent or at least show that they can roll with the punches and change their plans if needed.

6) The Characters = I've often found that the Godzilla movies I tend to like the most feature at least one character aside from the monsters that I can latch onto and make the story more engaging. In the original film, it was Dr. Serasawa. In Mothra Vs. Godzilla, it was the villainous Kumayama. In Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero, it was Glenn. In Terror of Mechagodzilla, it was Katsura and Dr. Mafune.

But what about the Heisei films?

Well in Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah, I really felt for Mr. Shindo and his relationship to the dinosaur that became Godzilla. This resulted in what might be my favorite scene in all of Godzilla as he reunites with his old friend. Its funny that I connected with him so much over Emi Kano, who might be the worst Godzilla character of all time (seriously, how dumb is she?).

Miki Segusa being in six films in the row also gives us a chance to see her perspective on events as well as her evolution throughout the series. She starts out as someone trying to stop Godzilla, but then develops more of an understanding and connection to the creature, resulting in her tearful goodbye at the end of Godzilla Vs. Destroyah, as well as the loss of her psychic powers. She is not the most dynamic character in each movie, but she is just always there taking everything in and reacting to it and it feels like if there was a book to right about these events, it would come from her perspective. Also, she used her psychic powers to drive Godzilla away and (unwillingly) destroyed Godzilla's 2nd brain while onboard Mechagodzilla...that's pretty hardcore.

For all the faults the film has, I really like Yuki in Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla, giving us a Captain Ahab style character for Godzilla to deal with. Doing such a thing is very natural, and seeing it again in the animated Godzilla films with Haruo just feels right. And tying him into Col. Gondo from Godzilla Vs. Biollante as his motivation was cool too.

And while the main cast of G84 is kind of dull, I always really liked the Prime Minister in that film. His facial expressions and overall demeanor made it feel like he just had the weight of the world on his shoulders in this impossible crisis. And hey, we get Raymond Burr back in the US version and he's far and away the best thing about it.

And I always liked Dr. Shiragami, who I guess is kind of the closest thing to a Dr. Frankenstein in this series (creating monsters while trying to achieve immortality). And the assassin feels like a human equivalent to Godzilla, just a force of nature that deals out death almost immediately after showing up.

Not all the characters are winners (don't make me bring up Emi Kano again) but the ones that are good help make the movies stand out more.

7) Akira Ifukube's music = Nothing too big here, but the original and greatest Godzilla composer came back to do four of the seven Heisei films, so...YES! And some of those scores are personal favorites of mine as well. For example, Godzilla Vs. Destroyah benefitted from an awesome main theme, a fantastic opening title score, and the requiem for Godzilla itself, which was hauntingly beautiful and done to perfection.

So yeah, there was plenty I enjoyed about the Heisei films, lol. It wasn't always peaches and cream, but there was plenty for me to like.

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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby JAGzilla » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:57 am

You know, this series really should get more credit simply for being the original Godzilla reboot. They're an easy thing to take for granted in this day and age, with a dozen or more distinct timelines and more on the way, but Heisei blazed that trail to begin with. Prior to 1984, only a single (admittedly loose and flexible) continuity had existed for thirty years. There was nothing whatsoever wrong with that, of course, but throwing out everything but the original and dramatically changing the general tone that had existed since the '60s was a bold move, and crucial in allowing the franchise to move forward and stay relevant.

And the era is often knocked for lazily falling back on established favorite monsters like Ghidorah and Mothra as opposed to committing to a fully new character lineup. But... well, if that hadn't been done, it's entirely possible that those monsters would never have left the Showa series, and we'd only have their original incarnations. Bringing them back cemented them as franchise regulars and led to the extensive legacies they have today. Do the modern movies overuse them? Absolutely, but Heisei can't fairly be blamed for what came later. The idea of reviving and reimagining kaiju is a central tentpole of the franchise now, and that's owed to Heisei.

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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby KaijuCanuck » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:19 pm

Despite the fact that they constantly and consistently fail, and presumably always suffer massive casualties in doing so - G-Force is just awesome. Without a doubt the best version of a ‘kaiju defence army’ in the whole franchise. They are cool in the same way the Federation in Star Trek is cool - logo, uniforms, tech, a cool training academy, all that fun stuff - where you actually kind of wish you could be a member.
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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby Rhedosaurus » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:50 pm

1. A far more solid continuality.

2. New Monsters. Biollante, Battra, the twin brother of Mothra, a New Mechagodzilla that's FAR more durable then not only the first one, but also Kiryu, Spacegodzilla (even if his movie was a boring piece of crap), and last, but not least of all, Destroyah.

3. Godzilla's basic design is changed far less then in the Showa series.

4. Godzilla's son looks more like a dinosaur.

5. Better suits.

6. Better SFX.

7. Nice re-imaging of old school monsters.

Added in 2 minutes 21 seconds:
Rhedosaurus wrote:1. A far more solid continuality.

2. New Monsters. Biollante, Battra, the twin brother of Mothra, a New Mechagodzilla that's FAR more durable then not only the first one, but also Kiryu, Spacegodzilla (even if his movie was a boring piece of crap), and last, but not least of all, Destroyah.

3. Godzilla's basic design is changed far less then in the Showa series.

4. Godzilla's son looks more like a dinosaur.

5. Better suits.

6. Better SFX.

7. Nice re-imaging of old school monsters.

8. It introduced new fans to Godzilla as a whole.

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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby Grievous » Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:55 am

The continuity...

The creativity...

The improving Godzilla suits...

The improving SFX...

The new kaiju introduced...

Megumi Odaka...
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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby Maritonic » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:07 am

Grievous wrote:The continuity...

The creativity...

The improving Godzilla suits...

The improving SFX...

The new kaiju introduced...

Megumi Odaka...


Image
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goji89 wrote:So.......are we gonna Kinkshame the skreeonking birds or what?

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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby Grievous » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:11 am

Maritonic wrote:
Grievous wrote:The continuity...

The creativity...

The improving Godzilla suits...

The improving SFX...

The new kaiju introduced...

Megumi Odaka...


Image

Thank you Billie Dee...I mean Maritonic...

:thumbsup:
Last edited by Grievous on Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby Maritonic » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:12 am

Grievous wrote:
Maritonic wrote:
Grievous wrote:The continuity...

The creativity...

The improving Godzilla suits...

The improving SFX...

The new kaiju introduced...

Megumi Odaka...


Image

Thank you Billie Dee...I mean Maritonic...

:thumbsup:


How do you know we aren't one and the same?
Resized Image

All Hope Is Gone.

goji89 wrote:So.......are we gonna Kinkshame the skreeonking birds or what?

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Re: Positive things about the Heisei Series

Postby Grievous » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:16 am

Maritonic wrote:
Grievous wrote:
Maritonic wrote:
Image

Thank you Billie Dee...I mean Maritonic...

:thumbsup:


How do you know we aren't one and the same?

I guess I don't really...

I mean if you were Billie Dee...wouldn't you be plugging
'Colt 45 in every post?
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