Anno Hideaki’s “Shin Godzilla”: A Masterpiece of Realism

I wrote this article in Japanese and translated it into English using ChatGPT. I also used ChatGPT to create the English article title. I did my best to correct any translation mistakes, but please let me know if you find any errors. By the way, I did not use ChatGPT when writing the Japanese article. The entire article was written from scratch by me, Saikawa Goto.



Movies and books covered in this article

(Click This Image to Go Directly to the Amazon Prime Video Movie “Shin Godzilla”: Image from

I will write an article about this movie/book

Three takeaways from this article

  1. I only had a vague knowledge of the setting of “Godzilla” and had never been involved in SFX in my life.
  2. The film realistically depicts “the dullness of the political world” and “a bureaucrat struggling in an irrational world.”
  3. Godzilla is depicted as a “natural disaster” that humankind cannot handle.

I was glued to the overwhelming and fast-paced story world.

Self-introduction article

Please refer to the self-introduction article above to learn about the person writing this article. Be sure to check out the Kindle book linked below as well.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

The quotes used in this article are based on notes taken at the movie theater from movies in Japanese and are not direct quotes from the foreign language original movies, even if they exist.

I had Never been Interested in Godzilla or SFX Movies, But “Shin Godzilla” was Super Interesting

I don’t think I have ever watched a “Godzilla works” properly in my life, either on TV or in movies. Of course, “Godzilla” has been featured on various occasions, and I have had many opportunities to see a scene from the TV series and movies, so I feel I somewhat feel like I know it. However, I have probably never watched one whole episode or a whole movie.

I think the reason I decided to watch “Shin Godzilla” is because the film director is Anno Hideaki. Although I had no knowledge of “Godzilla” and went to the theater out of curiosity for the film director, I found it to be a very interesting movie.

I don’t particularly enjoy watching SFX or SF films, including monster movies, but “Shin Godzilla” was stunning in how it realistically depicted everything except for Godzilla’s existence, which made it enjoyable for me.

It’s an incredibly entertaining work that portrays a “what-if” world where Godzilla appears in Tokyo with overwhelming realism.

First, an Introduction to the Content

Official Residence received a report of flooding in the Aqua Tunnel, which runs through Tokyo Bay. Although the cause was unknown, it was thought that it was either caused by a volcanic eruption on the seafloor or the emergence of a new thermal vent. On the other hand, Yaguchi, the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, repeatedly suggested that there might be a “possibility of a mysterious giant creature” regarding this phenomenon that cannot be explained by existing reasons, but his opinion was completely ignored. However, that is inevitable. This is because if that possibility is considered, they must consider the realistic response of evacuating Tokyo residents.

However, as Yaguchi advised, it turned out to be the work of a giant creature.This is because a huge tail was sighted.

However, there was too little information to take measures. According to a biology specialist, it was considered impossible for the giant creature to come ashore. This is bacause if such a huge marine creature came ashore, it would collapse and die due to its own weight. After receiving this opinion, the Prime Minister held a press conference, but immediately afterwards, the mysterious giant creature easily landed in the capital, Tokyo. While destroying the city, it caused great confusion everywhere.

The government has no way to deal with it.

The government decided to initiate the “Order to Use of Force,” the first since the end of the war, and requested the Self-Defense Forces’ Defense Operations, postponing approval by the Diet. However, they were forced to retreat without being able to deploy a proper strategy against the giant creature.

Afterwards, the giant creature returned to the sea. The chaos subsided temporarily, but Tokyo suffered destructive damage in just two hours. They don’t know when it will appear again, so they must take any action they can.

The government proceeded with the necessary preparations for dealing with the giant creature through proper procedures such as enacting special laws and coordinating with relevant agencies. At the same time, a special task force led by Yaguchi was also formed. This team, which brought together outliers and unorthodox experts from various departments, was instructed to consider all possibilities regardless of their position, eliminating the bureaucratic chain of command. The task force had to find a solution based on the minimal information available from the footage.

Afterwards, information was brought from America that a biologist had predicted the appearance of the giant creature. His name was Maki Goro, who is currently missing. The special response team managed to come up with a plan called the “Freeze Plan” based on what could be interpreted as his last will and testament.

Then, following in the footsteps of Maki Goro, a name is decided for the giant creature that torments them.


Regarding the Realism of “Bureaucrats”

I do not know much about the general evaluation of “Shin Godzilla”. There may be some old-school SFX fans who feel like “politicians and bureaucrats are doing nothing but incomprehensible things and it’s not at all interesting.”

However, I personally found that aspect to be extremely interesting.

Just to be clear, I’m not well-versed in the world of politics or Kasumigaseki (a place name that serves as the center of Japan’s politics, which can also mean “Japan’s politics” when referred to as “Kasumigaseki”). I only have a vague image from fragments depicted in news, novels, and movies. And in this movie, the world of bureaucrats that I vaguely imagine is depicted incredibly realistically.

After watching the movie, I thought, “If Godzilla really appeared in Japan, this is probably how the bureaucrats would handle the situation.” Even though it portrays a completely fictional being called “Godzilla,” the world in the movie is incredibly realistic. I think the gap between the two is what makes this work so brilliant.

The job of a bureaucrat is slow to progress. They can’t even hold a press conference without going through formal meetings that cannot fully understand the need. Even if they understand that new laws need to be established, they are completely stuck due to blaming each other for responsibility and turf war. The slowness of the work, which can be described as “obtuse,” is depicted as they interpret the rules of the Self-Defense Force’s Defense Operations and the frustratingly distant chain of command from the Prime Minister to the lowest-ranking Self-Defense Force member. One of the characters even mutters, “This isn’t the time to be doing this kind of thing.”

However, this movie doesn’t depict bureaucrats as “bad.” Rather, it portrays them as doing everything they can to deal with the situation under various constraints. And I, too, have a vague image of “bureaucrats” as people who do just that in their everyday lives.

I think “bureaucrats” tend to be seen in a bad light because the news generally focuses only on “bureaucrats who did bad things” and the names of those who actually contributed to any work rarely come to light as the minister takes credit for it. Sure, there would be some bad ones. But I imagine that most of them are doing hard work in an irrational environment.

I think perhaps it would be better if there were clear rules for bureaucrats to perform at their best. Of course, there would be much room for improvement, but I think that no matter how obtuse they are, they should be able to face situations that are normally unmanageable if the work is done according to the correct procedures, with the right intentions, and with a precise chain of command. The “obtuseness” would be noticeable, but I think that, taking all things into account, it would result in the fastest possible outcome.

The “obtuseness” depicted in the film would also make us realize that we are indeed living in a democracy. It would of course be easier to have things move all at once with decisions made at the top, but that, however, is no different from an authoritarian country. The relationship between duty and right, constraint and freedom is very difficult, but the existence of “more than a certain degree of freedom” must mean that “more than a certain degree of constraint” also exists. So I also feel that this “obtuseness” is a sign that we are living in a democratic country.

In addition, I read a book once that said something like, “Medicine and judiciary are pre-designed to be ‘slow to change,’ and that is what is important”. In means that the loss of “obtuseness” would cause other inconveniences. In that sense it is also not right to be all critical of the “obtuseness” of the system.

Aside from the current situation in Japan, the media essentially must has the function of “monitoring power”, which is why the “gaze towards those in power” becomes stricter. Therefore, there are few opportunities to see what bureaucrats are doing on a daily basis and how they support the country of Japan. In the reality we live, bureaucrats and people who work in public jobs such as the Self-Defense Forces are probably working behind the scenes every day to make various contributions.

I don’t need thanks. It’s my job.

A Self-Defense Force member says this in one scene. I think we can be reminded that our safe and peaceful daily lives are created by their struggles.

The Way the Countermeasure Team is Depicted is Very Realistic

In this movie, we see how bureaucrats deal with the situation and at the same time, we see the struggle of the countermeasure team. Both approaches are polar opposites. While bureaucrats move forward in a slow way that can only be described as “obtuseness” and “formal,” the countermeasure team, made up of only misfit, charges ahead with a “realistic stance” that has zero roundabout.

Anyway, the attitude is clear that if it is possible to create “countermeasures that can actually be implemented and have the potential for effectiveness”, anyone can be involved. Even in a situation with almost no clues, each person mobilizes their individual knowledge and pushes forward on a narrow path to make the impossible possible without giving up.

It is also very interesting to see the development of the bureaucrat and the countermeasure team, which are so different in the way they deal with the situation, and their extreme differences are going on at the same time.

Both the bureaucrat and the response team are driven to address threats other than Godzilla at a certain point. It is a situation with a clear time limit looming, a veritable “between a rock and a hard place”. The most significant power the bureaucrat can use is the “Self-Defense Forces,” but they were unable to handle the situation. Therefore, the only possibility of breaking through such an impossible situation lies with this motley crew of an unorthodox response team.

Truly, it can be said that Japan’s fate is entrusted to them.

They take the smallest clues and develop their reasoning, eventually devising outrageously and ridiculously wild plans. Of course, in order to execute those plans, every form of cooperation is essential, and coordination with the bureaucrats is also indispensable. Unlike in science fiction and fantasy, the background of “how to achieve an extremely reckless plan in the real world” is realistically depicted. Even though it is fiction, you may be led to think, “If Godzilla really appeared, would the story really unfold like this in the movie?”

In this way, the tremendous appeal of this work lies in its thorough depiction of everything except the existence of “Godzilla” in a completely realistic way.

“Godzilla” is Simply Portrayed as a “Creepy Presence”

In this movie where every depiction is realistic, the only thing that is not clearly depicted is “Godzilla”. Of course, I think the depiction of “what happens when Godzilla walks through the streets of Tokyo” is realistic, but the background part of “why it came to Tokyo” is mostly a mystery. There are scenes where speculations are made about where it was born and why it has such a mechanism, but overall there are few specific depictions of “Godzilla” itself.

Perhaps it’s intentional.

Of course, I think there is a practical issue of the length of the movie. However, I felt that there was an intention to depict “Godzilla” as a “natural disaster” more than anything else.

Living in Japan, we are constantly hit by various natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and in recent years, rainbands and heavy snow, which greatly impact our daily lives. While humans have created civilization and various technologies, we still haven’t been able to overcome natural disasters, and it’s unlikely that we will be able to do so in the future. We will continue to face “natural disasters” that come our way, whether we like it or not.

And I felt that there may be an intention to make us realize the “powerlessness of humanity against natural disasters” by depicting “Godzilla” as an “uncontrollable presence that even human wisdom cannot overcome.” Because it is a “natural disaster,” “Godzilla” has no intention and there is no clear solution.

We have no choice but to deal with “natural disasters” that occur, regardless of the reason they happen and the damage they bring. Similarly, we must also deal with “Godzilla,” which is just “creepy” and comes from somewhere for some reason we don’t know.

I’ve heard that Godzilla was created due to nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll. In an era where people around the world felt the tension that a nuclear war might happen, the background of “Godzilla” can be said to reflect the times, for better or for worse. Similarly, I feel that the “natural disaster” aspect of “Godzilla” depicted in “Shin Godzilla” is a reflection of the times, for better or for worse.

From now on, I think that “Godzilla” will continue to transform by incorporating changes in the times.


The movie was full of stimuli that appealed to the five senses, such as fast-talking actors, overwhelming tempo, and an unbelievable amount of on-screen text. It was a charming movie that made me feel like I wanted to take in all of that information without missing a single detail. I think even people like me who have no interest in Godzilla or SFX can enjoy this movie.

As expected of Anno Hideaki, he creates incredible works.

Published Kindle books(Free on Kindle Unlimited)

“The genius Einstein: An easy-to-understand book about interesting science advances that is not too simple based on his life and discoveries: Theory of Relativity, Cosmology and Quantum Theory”

“Why is “lack of imagination” called “communication skills”?: Japanese-specific”negative” communication”

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