The Weight Of The New Godzilla Is Scrutinized By Japanese Fans

By Shawn Perry

With a lack of anything serious to complain about in regards to the upcoming Godzilla reboot by Gareth Edwards, Japanese fans are knocking the new version of the beast for being a little on the chunky side for their taste in radioactive lizard king.

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As a lifelong fan of the lizard king, the one that didn’t front the Doors, I have been waiting with baited breath for the upcoming Godzilla reboot for what feels like an eternity. Godzilla has always been my favorite Japanese import, edging out both Gundam Wing and Asahi Super Dry, and ever since I became one of the millions of ten year olds to be extremely disappointed by Sony’s underwhelming stain on the franchise I have been hoping that Hollywood would redeem itself by giving the legendary monster the epic re-imagining he deserves.

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As the quality of CGI creatures developed over the years I thought a big budget remake was inevitable and, following the success of films like Cloverfield and Monsters, I knew it couldn’t be far off. Incidentally, if you have not seen Edwards’ Monsters yet I highly recommend getting on that train because it is a artfully-crafted love letter to fans of the genre. Plus it will make a brilliant appetizer before seeing Godzilla.

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Since it was announced that Edwards was going to direct Warner Bros. and Legendary’s upcoming remake, I have felt assured that the studio had concocted the right recipe for success. Personally, not since The Dark Knight has every piece of production and promotional material given me more confidence in a big-budget summer blockbuster. With the release just weeks away, reviews have already started to come in and so far they have been nothing but positive.

In the absence of anything huge to complain about, so to speak, a large contingency of Japanese fans have recently taken to body shaming the beasts’ new look in the upcoming film. According to reports released over the past week on such sites as THR.com, and EW.com, the kaiju icon and beloved Snickers brand advocate has had to endure a growing number of slights about his waistline on message boards and social media hubs. As if all the pressures of opening a movie weren’t enough! The trend gained significant traction over the weekend and has become a real phenomenon of fat jokes and poor taste.

Harsh, no wonder Godzilla always had it out for Japan.

Not that he would do the same for them, but in response, many American fans have come to the aid of Godzilla as he withstands this recent barrage of judgment. In his article on EW.com, Jeff Labrecques supported the beast during this trying ordeal.

I feel compelled to defend Godzilla, especially since the only criticism seems to be coming from the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s true that the Japanese are a healthier people than Americans, so making obese Godzilla jokes is more about us than the ‘Zil’s current fitness regimen. But since Godzilla is a Japanese national treasure and he’s once again being awakened by Hollywood rather than the Toho Company, isn’t it inevitable that they’re finding something to criticize?

There have also been some really good tweets on the subject in the past 48 hours. As a proud nation of American fatties I guess we can all understand that, unlike heat-seeking missiles and thousands upon thousands of bullets, body shaming can pierce even the thickest of skins.

Anyway, in my opinion, giving Godzilla a sort of unimaginably huge look was a great way of reestablishing some of the ‘shock and awe’ factor that may have worn off after sixty years of appearances in movies. That being said, despite the fairly revealing shots in recent trailers, I think fans should reserve judgment on the beasts’ look until we get to see how it looks on the big screen. Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait as Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla will be released on May 16th in the United States and on July 25th in Japan in 2D and 3D.

Shawn Perry is a comic book and film enthusiast striving to be here now. He currently resides in East Hartford, Connecticut. Tweet him @thesperry, follow his blog at http://shawnsthoughtsonstuff.blogspot.com/ and email him at Shawn.Perry88@gmail.com.