Blu-ray: Godzilla [1984] (Toho)


Godzilla [1984]

Japanese Blu-ray Title (Region A)



Japanese (2.0 Stereo), Japanese (5.1 Surround)

Aspect Ratio:

103 minutes
1.85:1 Anamorphic


The Return of Godzilla



  • Menus (Japanese)
  • Chapters (35)
  • Trailers: The Return of Godzilla (Teaser, Main Trailer), Godzilla 1983 Movie Festival
  • Making of The Return of Godzilla (43 minutes)
  • Godzilla Series Location Guide (49 minutes)
  • Audio Commentary by Teruyoshi Nakano



By: Anthony Romero

One of Toho's early forays on Blu-ray, the 1984 film makes it debut on the format with this release. Originally shipped back in 2009, it was reissued as a "budget" title in 2014. The disc and case are the same, but the 2014 version comes with a slip cover that promotes Godzilla (2014). In terms of the merits of this release, it boasts great audio quality and extras but is rather subpar in the video department for what the format can offer.

 Video: Star Rating

Being one of Toho's earliest releases on the format, they still seem to be getting the hang of things at this stage. The result is a video track which is compressed, lacking detail and a little on the dull side color wise.

In terms of compression, there is minor pixilation, which rears up when viewed on a big screen. This also plays against the overall details in the frame too, as the film does not look sharp and lacks the vivid details one would expect from a HD Blu-ray transfer.

The colors seen here are also very dull. The blacks could definitely be darker and the other colors aren't vibrant at all. On the bright side, there at least isn't color distortion, as was common on the company's earliest DVD releases which often had a yellow tint to them.

In terms of the condition of the print used, Toho had access to very good source for their original creation of the transfer and it has no overt signs of print damage outside of a single sequence around the 10 minute mark with a lot of visual nosie on it. On a side note, the disc uses the original Japanese version of the film. This means that they are burned in Japanese subtitles for the numerous scenes where the characters speak English or Russian.

The Return of Godzilla is presented in its original aspect ratios of 1.85:1.


 Audio: Star Rating

This disc contains two audio tracks. The first is the original 2.0 Stereo presentation of the film in Japanese. The audio quality on this is flawless, with great clarity and no discrepancies to speak of. The other audio track is a 5.1 surround mix of the Japanese track that was created back in 2002. The surround expansion is okay for this track, making use of the additional range, for example the helicopters sound like they are moving through the space, but it's nothing extraordinary.

In terms of why this didn't get a perfect score, it would have been nice to see one more track. While an English dub would be too much to ask, given Toho's staunch policy of not cutting sales from overseas licensing, it would have been nice to see the original Mono track. This was created as an alternate to the stereo track that was also distributed with the film. The largest difference between the two is the famous "death cry" which is heard as Godzilla falls into the volcano at the end and is found only in the mono track.

The Blu-ray contains one removable Japanese subtitle track.


 Extras: Star Rating

In terms of added content, this release has it in spades. First up is a series of three trailers. The first is a teaser for the film, which more or less showcases the sound effects from Godzilla (1954). This is followed by the main theatrical trailer, which if you have never seen before is interesting for its use of Akira Ifukube music and stock footage from films such as Magnitude 7.9 (1980). The final trailer is to a festival of films that occurred in 1983 called, as one might expect, Godzilla 1983. This showcases some footage from Mothra (1961), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) and other of the featured films.

The next feature is one that found its way on the original region 2 DVD which is the lengthy "Making of Feature". This clocks in at 43 minutes, with 12 chapter stops. It's, naturally, in Japanese as well as in standard definition only. The feature is exhaustive on the making of the film, going into detail on the suit, cybot and more that went into creating the film. It includes interviews with key principal players and also details how certain effects shots were created.

This is followed by a new bonus feature, and one in high definition: the Godzilla Location Guide. This showcases the real world places where certain Godzilla scenes took place. This particular edition focuses mostly on the locations for The Return of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989). That said, the original Godzilla (1954) and Godzilla Raids Again (1955) also get a lot of location reveals, and it will even do some entries outside of the direct franchise such as Rebirth of Mothra III (1998). While the concept behind it is interesting, and it's nice to see the changes certain locations have been under since their respective films, it does face one problem: the narrator. They got an overly excited actress who is grating to hear, over emphasizes everything and otherwise makes this nice feature hard to stomach. The entire feature, from on screen text to the dialogue, is in Japanese.

The final extra on this Blu-ray is an audio commentary track from special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano. This is the same commentary track that was found on the region 2 DVD release, offering an in-depth look into the production. The commentary is done in Japanese.


 Overview: Star Rating

This is the best home video release of the film available in any market right now. While it leaves some things to be desired, in particular from the weaker than it should video track, it does excel with the extras thanks to a lot of hold overs from the Region 2 DVD release and does include one lengthy new bonus feature as well.