Some years ago, I purchased two kinds of Godzilla toilet paper, and I would like to introduce one of them this week—it’s called The Legend of Godzilla: Godzilla Toilet Paper (ゴジラ トイレットペーパー), and it provides some famous shots of Godzilla and a little bit of reading matter for the busy gentleman or lady on the john. I can’t help but grin at the mere fact that such a crazy thing as Godzilla TP exists in this world, though such a branded item is hardly the craziest sold in the Godzilla merchandising universe. Monster Island Buddies made a video in which this toilet paper was featured, among many other bathroom accoutrements, in his “An All Godzilla Bathroom?!”
In other words, MIB already stole my thunder on this topic (maybe not the best term to use given the context), and I wasn’t planning on reviewing this bottom-of-the-barrel (so to speak) item today, but I ran out of my normal brand, and so I had an excuse to use the stuff. So here we are.
The Legend of Godzilla: Godzilla Toilet Paper is a product sold by the roll, and each roll was sold separately for about three or four bucks (¥324 at the Godzilla Store). Now they are out of stock on PlayAsia, nor do they appear to be for sale on the Godzilla Store website (though I bought my roll at the Tokyo Godzilla Store back in 2018). This particular Godzilla toilet paper is the product of B-enjoy, which appears to have been a short-lived brand or imprint from Bandai; searching for it now turns up other companies with the same name, or a member of the K-pop idol group Red Velvet. I’m pretty sure the name is a pun, as “ben” can mean “excrement” in Japanese (so a “benki” can mean a toilet bowl). So “B-enjoy” basically means “enjoy your pooping”—with Godzilla.
Sometimes I think “Ben” is the worst name you can have in Asia, since “ben” can mean “poop” in Japan and it can mean “stupid” in China.
Let’s get on to the design of the toilet paper, so we can learn how folks can enjoy doing their business with Godzilla. The concept for this toilet paper roll is to include images of Godzilla from several of his movies (I think they are publicity shots mostly), and these shots are framed with faux film sprocket holes on each side. With each Godzilla we also get the day on which that movie appeared in theaters, as well as that Godzilla’s name, his height, weight, and area of emergence. The Godzillas that have the dubious honor of appearing on the toilet paper include the original 1954 Godzilla, then the 2016 Shin Godzilla, 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars, 1999’s Godzilla 2000: Millennium, 1995’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and 1984’s The Return of Godzilla.
Given the quality of the paper, it isn’t surprising that each image of Godzilla doesn’t come through so hot. In each rectangular shot, actually making out Godzilla from the blurry and shadowy background is something of a squinting challenge. Maybe this was an intended feature, though, so you don’t feel so bad when you go about using the paper for its intended purpose if you’re a fan of Godzilla. If Godzilla already metaphorically looks like $&*#, then the image fits the usage so to speak.
Why each image includes a caption identifying the image as “Godzilla” each time (with the only variation being Shin Godzilla’s “Godzilla fourth form”) left me scratching my head, wondering if they thought anyone would be confused. Did they include other monsters originally? The detail of that Godzilla’s point of emergence (such as off Odo Island for the original, or Antarctica area G for Godzilla: Final Wars) is kind of a nice touch.
One of the strangest aspects of the product is the Godzillas that ended up being featured. Sure, I get why the original gets a slot, and Shin, and 1984. Destroyah also seems like an obvious pick given the gravity of that film—Godzilla dies! But Godzilla 2000? Godzilla: Final Wars? Neither of those films are generally considered the best from the Millenium series. It also seems funny that the Heisei/VS. films and the Millenium films both get two representatives, but Showa and Reiwa each get only one.
What about the feel? For as bad as the TP quality functions in reproducing images, when I used the stuff, it held together well and felt sturdier than your average quality roll. While not as soft nor as scented as the more luxurious brands, I felt as if I was getting a higher-quality product than the usual flushable stuff with their floral prints and what-have-you. It’s two-ply, two, albeit this can be annoying as the two layers just split apart with no adhesion whatsoever.
Obviously it feels awkward to use toilet paper featuring a favorite fictional character, as it seems like an insult against the Big G just to use the stuff. Still, the concept is a funny one, and I previously got a pretty big kick out of a similar gimmick when the poop-themed kanji study books Unko Drill released a line in which you could learn kanji from your toilet paper with the usual funny example sentences that always feature the word “poop” in them. I remember buying a pack and being disappointed that you end up with the same five or so examples rather than an ongoing introduction of new vocabulary words with each new square. With “The Legend of Godzilla,” of course, many more Godzillas could also have been included, and Toho could have even taken the opportunity as a means to dig at American versions of the character (somehow I can imagine a 1998 Godzilla TP roll selling well to certain fans), but what we have is still fun and funny and may provide a means for some fans to enjoy Godzilla in a brand new way that you never wanted before.