Book: Good Friend Chibi Godzilla


Good Friend Chibi Godzilla

Japanese Book Title

なかよし ちびゴジラ
[Nakayoshi Chibi Godzilla]


Chiharu Sakazaki







By: Nicholas Driscoll

Earlier this year I wrote a review of the charming and kind of ridiculous Do Your Best, Chibi Godzilla—a children’s book featuring a crybaby Godzilla created by the famous children’s picture book author Chiharu Sakazaki. While I am not the biggest fan of her version of Godzilla and his sort of broccoli-shaped head and weird white muzzle, still I feel overall positive vibes towards the creation. And I’ve been enjoying the further appearances of Chibi Godzilla as well, such as the animated version that appears in footage at the beginning of movies played in Toho Theaters here, or the bizarre music video with a guy dancing in his bloomers that was released on Godzilla’s birthday this year.

So of course I was also quite happy to find out that a second book was released, and I quickly snapped up the Kindle version and read it right away earlier this year. And, while Sakazaki’s version of Anguirus to me looks very stupid, nevertheless I think this book is superior to the previous.

For those wanting to check out an English version of this book, the YouTube program Monster Island Buddies has already provided a really cool cleverly animated version on their channel, complete with English narration. The story goes like this: Chibi Godzilla is all alone, so he goes in search of friends. He meets Mothra and is impressed with how beautiful she is. He meets Anguirus and is impressed with how cool he is. He meets King Ghidorah and is impressed with how well the tri-headed terror can sing. He meets Rodan and is impressed that he can fly through the air. But what can Godzilla do? Oh, he can spit fire! However, by spitting fire, he accidentally scares the other monsters away. While continuing to spit fire, Chibi Godzilla chases after his newfound friends, and his flame touches a nearby tree (apparently the monsters are all human-sized or thereabouts in this series). He thus inadvertently roasts a bunch of tree nuts (they look like acorns), and by doing so, provides a snack that attracts the other monsters back, and they all become good buddies.

The first Chibi Godzilla book sort of bugged me with its ambiguous ending, which seemed to suggest that you can make friends by crying and putting up a fuss. The storyline here, though, does not seem to suggest that to me, even if the story beats are overall kind of similar insofar as Chibi Godzilla makes friends again by blasting fire out of his mouth. The lesson, though, seems to be more “be careful when you play with your friends” and maybe “everyone is special in their own way,” if you really want to try to interpret the story. This isn’t the first time Godzilla has been depicted as a good cook, either. I am looking at you, Gojirando. Godzilla can make a mean pancake!

Anyway, for little ones, the story is fun and goofy and has a socially nice message. What about the art? It’s the same as last time—simple and cute! Here we have two new monsters rendered in Sakazaki’s distinctive minimalist style: Mothra and Anguirus. For me, Mothra is the clear winner of the two. I love her giant blue wyes and wiggly arms and fluffy antennae. She is easily the most detailed of all the monsters when it comes to her design. Anguirus fairs much worse. While his body looks fine, his face… that ugly blunt nose… the way his mouth is sort of human-like underneath the elongated and upturned schnoz… Not a fan.

Nevertheless, who can rag too much on the unrelenting cuteness here? Who doesn’t like the idea of KG functioning as a one-man chorus? Who would object to Godzilla cooking tree nuts and making friends? Only heartless and overserious fans, I would suggest. This is another terribly fun and wonderfully silly version of Godzilla that open-minded and open-hearted Godzilla nuts with find especially heartwarming.