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Godzilla Minus One Review (Now Streaming on Netflix)

Here’s my Godzilla Minus One review which is now streaming on Netflix. The film is directed and written by Takashi Yamazaki and stars Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Ando and Kuranosuke Sasaki.

June opens with a bang with the release of Godzilla Minus One which was a certified big hit from 2023 and the early part of 2024. In fact, it even won several awards in the West. Alas the problem was that it never got a cinematic release locally and in other parts of Southeast Asia.


But the like Godzilla himself, it’s time to rise up and destroy or would the film implode like how many people view the Hollywood Monsterverse?

Here are my thoughts for the film.


Godzilla Minus One is centered around Koichi Shikishima, a former Kamikaze pilot who lands in Edo Island where he also encounters a pre atomic Godzilla who murders and tramples the navy crew stationed in the island with Koichi and Tachibana being the only survivors.Koichi and Tachibana is picked up and returns to Japan just days after the horrific bombing of Tokyo. Koichi finds out his parents dying during the bombing and continues to live miserably until encountering Noriko and baby Akiko. Soon the trio develop into a proper family. Koichi gets work as part of a minesweeper team  and joins a motley crew.

Later the United States begins testing their nuclear weapons in the Bikini Atoll that mutates Godzilla further. This results in the creature making a beeline to Japan where it causes further death and destruction. Now Koichi takes it up to himself to make Godzilla pay for what he has done.

When the creature departs, a plan is enacted to take it down for the sake of Japan which Koichi finds himself as an integral part in.


Visuals and CGI

One of the weaker points of Godzilla Minus One for me would be the CG and visuals. Like we’re already at the point in time where we actually cheer as a giant monkey kaiju and a lizard kaiju team up to fight a mirror image of themselves. And yet Minus One seems to suffer from bad CGI from time to time. Still its something you can skip past and it won’t hamper your enjoyment of the film. They did a bunch of new filming techniques in Minus One that also makes it compelling like those tight shots of Noriko as she helplessly hangs around the train as Godzilla turns it into a chew toy. That level of closeness is totally terrifying.

Godzilla Minus One also gives us yet another version of Godzilla that’s very very faithful to the classic look; we even get two versions, one the smaller monster in Edo Island and the other one that’s become irradiated and the one that destroyed Ginza prefecture killing thousands.

Don’t forget it also gave us the now iconic scene where a partially emerged Godzilla chases the Koichi and his team in the middle of the ocean and the team try to speed away from it.

Also have to give props to the team for giving us fans another discussion-worthy Godzilla scene where the king of monsters unleashes his dreaded atomic breath for the first time in the middle of a city.

Moral Play

There’s a lot to take in in Minus One that hits on different levels. One is the story of loss and grief. Almost everybody here in Minus One is suffering from losing someone they love either through the war or through the death and destruction caused by Godzilla. And it gives us a compelling journey as they go through their own way of moving forward. Sadly not everybody can move on from such pain. Noriko was able to move forward through her new family and diverted her attention in raising Akiko. Meanwhile Koichi suffers silently inside. There’s also trauma in the case of Koichi who saw what Godzilla has done in Oda Island and further sends him spiraling when it levels Ginza.

There’s a play on resilience as seen through the former navy and army who work together to make the plan of sinking Godzilla and then actually pulling it off. It was such a feel-good moment and very reminiscent of what Hideaki Anno did in Shin Godzilla, another equally powerful Big G film if I can say so myself.

Redemption is also an important theme in the movie and we see that in Koichi’s entire arc and even in Tachibana (Munetaka Aoki aka Samanosuke Sagara in the Rurouni Kenshin films) who helps Koichi in building the plane that ultimately takes out Godzilla.


It was a poignant take and a nice soft remake of the original Godzilla movie with an updated core as well as a slight critique in WW2 era Japan. It’s full of deep topics including survivor’s guilt and trauma and offers up a nice resolution by the time it wraps up. The film is burdened a little bit with some VFX hiccups but it did give us A LOT of great moments.

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