‘Emotionally charged’ movie “Godzilla-1.0” wins over “Shin Godzilla” at first speed “for reasons other than VFX.” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

‘Emotionally charged’ movie “Godzilla-1.0” wins over “Shin Godzilla” at first speed “for reasons other than VFX.”

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This film is the talk of the town for its powerful visuals. The secret behind the blockbuster hit is unraveled (from the official Instagram @godzilla231103).

The “Domestic Movie Rankings” (provided by Kogyo Tsushinsha) for November 17-19 announced that “Godzilla-1.0 (Minus One),” a film commemorating the 70th anniversary of the “Godzilla” series, was the top film for the third consecutive weekend, drawing 267,600 people and grossing 421 million yen over the three-day period. Its cumulative total exceeded 1.84 million in attendance and 2.85 billion yen in box office revenue.

This film is directed, written, and VFX directed by Takashi Yamazaki (59), a hit maker who has created many popular films including “ALWAYS: Sunset on Third Street” series, “Eternal Zero” and “Parasite”. Set in postwar Japan, Godzilla suddenly appears, as if to strike back at a country that has been reduced to “nothing (zero)” by the scorched earth. Godzilla’s overwhelming power plunges postwar Japan into a “negative” state, and the nameless survivors of the war search for a way to resist Godzilla.

The Japanese version of “Godzilla” is the 30th film in the series. The previous film, “Shin Godzilla” (’16), was directed by Hideaki Anno, 63, known for his work on the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” series. The film became a blockbuster hit with box-office revenues of 8.25 billion yen and won all domestic film awards.

On October 27, Yamazaki and Anno held a talk show in Tokyo! I thought, ‘After “Shin Godzilla”! Anyone after Anno would feel the same way, and would be worried about whether the film would be a hit.

Anno thoroughly pursued his own original Godzilla image. For the first time in the series, he turned the palm of his hand upward, and scanned the movements of Mansai Nomura, 57, a Kyogen actor, using motion capture. The reason for the blockbuster success of this film was the innovative “Godzilla,” including the fast-talking and thorough cramming of the characters’ lines. Because the impact of the previous film was so strong, Yamazaki’s version was not expected to be that big a hit in the industry, even if it was not mocked” (movie writer).

Then, on the 3rd of this month, Yamazaki’s version of “Godzilla” was released and the fans of the series were asked to judge it. The result was, to their surprise, a rocket start, recording higher attendance and box-office revenue than the Anno version in comparison to the first three days of its release. The Anno version, which was released during the summer vacation season, increased its numbers after the first week and grossed more than 3.8 billion yen in its first 20 days of release. Yamazaki’s version may not be able to reach that level of growth, but it has met the expectations of its distributor, Toho, with solid results.

The Yamazaki version features Ryunosuke Kamiki (30) as the hero and Minami Hamabe (23) as the heroine. Since the two had also played a married couple in the NHK television series “Ranman,” which aired from April to September this year, there was much talk before the film’s release.

Anno’s version starred Hiroki Hasegawa (46), Yutaka Takenouchi (52), Satomi Ishihara (36), Kengo Kora (36), Issei Takahashi (42), and the late Ren Osugi, and featured a splendid cast, but the dialogue was just too fast, and in addition, there were many technical terms.

Yamazaki’s version featured a cast of acting talent, including Sakura Ando (37), Yuki Yamada (33), Kuranosuke Sasaki (55), and Hidetaka Yoshioka (53), who took their time to show the drama. In addition, although director Yamazaki made abundant use of VFX, which is his specialty, the film, including the music, was made in a manner similar to an orthodox Godzilla, which was probably well received by fans.

Anno’s version is set in modern-day Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese bureaucrats, who had just had their metropolitan area destroyed, put their prestige on the line and, with the help of the U.S. military, confronted Godzilla with a chemical weapon that combined the latest technology.

In the postwar period, Japan still had no Self-Defense Forces, and the U.S. military, which ruled Japan, did not cooperate. The surviving members of the former navy were the ones who had to confront Godzilla. Furthermore, the protagonist, a survivor of a suicide mission played by Kamiki, also decides to confront it for the sake of his country.

While Anno’s version had many viewers saying, “I didn’t know that was possible,” Yamazaki’s version made viewers think, “That’s not going to defeat Godzilla! Yamazaki’s version is full of points of contention, but it moves the viewer emotionally. The film concludes the story well and gives us hope for the future of the “Godzilla” series.

If you like the “Godzilla” series, please compare Anno’s version and Yamazaki’s version.

Since they played a married couple in the morning drama “Ranman,” people on the Internet said, “They look like a married couple” and “They should get married” (September ’23).
In fact, they were set to co-star in “Godzilla-1.0” before “Ranman”.
  • PHOTO Kazuhiko Nakamura (press conference)

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