Godzilla Minus One (More than just Gojira)

Created by Tomoyuki Tanaka and brought to life by special effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya, Godzilla first appeared in the 1954 film “Godzilla,” directed by Ishirō Honda. The creature has since become one of the most recognizable symbols of popular culture not just in his native Japan but worldwide as well. 


Originally conceived as a metaphor for the destructive power of nuclear weapons, Godzilla is often depicted as a prehistoric reptilian creature awakened or mutated by atomic radiation. The monster typically resembles a gigantic, dinosaur-like reptile with rough, scaly skin, sharp teeth, and dorsal plates along its back. Godzilla’s appearance has evolved over the decades, with various films and interpretations offering different designs and abilities. 


Throughout the franchise’s extensive history, Godzilla has starred in numerous films produced by Toho Studios in Japan, as well as in various American adaptations and spin-offs. The character has battled other giant mutated reptilian or animalistic monsters similar to himself as well as aliens and even robots in epic city-destroying battles. Despite being initially portrayed as a destructive force, Godzilla has also been depicted as a protector of humanity in some films, defending Earth from other threats. 


I first got interested in Godzilla when I was 16 even though during my childhood I was briefly familiar with the character thanks to toys that were sold in KFC’s kid’s meals when an American version of the film released but it was not until I first learnt more about the character on television that I really began to broaden to understand the character. 


There are a few interests of mine I will say which go in and out of being in the void of my hobbies and Godzilla is one of those but be that as it may, I have seen a few of the movies he has starred in. My first theatrical Godzilla experience was in 2016 when the film ‘Shin Godzilla’ released and I was fortunate enough to later watch the 1954 film which was his debut as well as ‘Final Wars’ that was his 50th Anniversary, before he returned to the big screen a decade later in 2014 thanks to American film studios who also directed their adaptations of the character. 


My second time watching him on the big screen was Godzilla Minus One in 2023 which was a year away from his 70th Anniversary and this year which is just that caused me to realize that I was not watching just a Godzilla movie; I was watching a Godzilla movie which also made references to his other films as well as films and elements that had nothing to do with Godzilla at all. 

 – Vikram 




As mentioned earlier, the original Godzilla was inspired by the destructive power of nuclear weapons, particularly the atomic bomb dropped on Japan in 1945 (and it is co-incidence only that nine years later Godzilla was born) 

In Shin Godzilla, the real-life nuclear weapons test known as Operation Crossroads is actually responsible for Godzilla’s mutation even though he was already active before the weapon testing. The movie is also set during World War II which was around the time of the nuclear weapons testing incident. 



Aquatic monsters and prehistoric connections
While Godzilla seems to bear a resemblance to many notable carnivorous dinosaurs such as Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus, he is unlike one due to being able to breathe fire thanks to reliance on radiation. He also comes from the ocean which further expands beyond the subject of prehistory because many people believe certain animals which shared the dinosaur world are alive today and a popular example is taken to be the Loch Ness Monster of Loch Ness in Scotland which is thought to be a prehistoric reptile from the age of the dinosaurs known as the plesiosaur. Similar lake monsters are found worldwide such as in Lake Storsjön in Sweden, Lake Okanagan in Canada and even Lake Ikeda in Japan which is Godzilla’s birthplace.  

After the Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo seems the second more popular for a few people who study lake monsters. Many people from Japan have been heavily interested in the mystery of Ogopogo and based on the creature’s description, they think the animal is similar in appearance and shape to Manda, one of Godzilla’s enemies who is an aquatic snake and is horned and dragonlike like what Ogopogo is described although sightings of the creature may vary based on the eyewitnesses. 



YTV (Youth Television) is a Canadian English-language specialty channel aimed primarily at youth and teen audiences. It features a mix of animated and live-action programming, including cartoons, sitcoms, dramas, and game shows.  It also hosts original programming and events tailored to its target demographic. Two of these original shows that the channel produced were Mental Block that aired from September 2003 to May 2004 and Mystery Hunters that aired between the early and late 2000s as well. 






Mental Block
Loosely speculated to be the inspiration behind the Disney movie ‘Inside Out’ and its sequel, this series follows the life of thirteen-year-old Donovan Mackay. While Donovan navigates the challenges of adolescence, his parents seem to be stuck in their own teenage years. His closest friends, Ira and Shelley, do not quite fit the mold of the school’s ‘cool’ crowd. Adding to Donovan’s woes, his crush Chloe remains oblivious to his existence. Luckily, within Donovan’s mind dwell four teenagers: Sparks, RJ (potentially Sparks’ romantic partner or counterpart which is another word for best friend), Maynard, and their leader Skipper, who guide him through the turbulent journey of growing up at suburban Greenfield Park Junior High. 


Although unrelated to Godzilla, it is interesting to mention that Godzilla has made appearances in some commercials on YTV, albeit sometimes inaccurately portrayed. Returning to the subject, however, it is worth noting a tangential connection regarding the vehicle known as the Gotengo from the Godzilla franchise. Also referred to as the Atragon or Goten, the Gotengo is a formidable warship designed to combat kaiju (what giant monsters like Godzilla are known as). Armed with advanced weaponry such as heat rays and freeze cannons, it is renowned for its adaptability, capable of engaging in underwater, aerial, and even outer space combat in certain iterations of the franchise. Crewed by skilled pilots and military personnel dedicated to protecting humanity, the Gotengo typically requires several individuals to operate, including gun operators, security personnel, and a captain. 

This parallels how Skipper leads Sparks, RJ, and Maynard to guide Donovan, albeit in the case of Mental Block, there are only four individuals steering and crewing, whereas the Gotengo demands a larger team. Moreover, Donovan is human, not a machine like the Gotengo. 








Mystery Hunters
Hosted by teenagers Araya Mengesha and Christina Broccolini, this show explored various mysteries and urban legends from around the world, ranging from supernatural phenomena to historical enigmas. Each episode featured investigations, interviews with experts, and reenactments, aimed at uncovering the truth behind these mysteries. The series aimed to entertain and educate young audiences about science, history, and critical thinking while delving into the realm of the unexplained. The show had four seasons. Ogopogo was the subject of the third episode in Season 1 and the Monster of Loch Ness in the 15th. 

Cadborosaurus is also a mysterious aquatic monster not unlike Ogopogo and Nessie (as the Loch Ness Monster has come to be known) although this aquatic creature is reported in the waters of the Canadian northwest, especially near the Vancouver Islands instead of an inland lake. Given the nickname ‘Caddy’ many researchers on strange animals often theorise that this animal may be a relative of Ogopogo (which has also been given a nickname, Ogie). Cadborosaurus was featured in the 15th Episode of Season 2. Aliens have also appeared in the Godzilla franchise as enemies and a few episodes in each season also focused on aliens. 





The Manga and Anime Zoids is based on a toy line that began under the Japanese toy company Tomy. The word Zoid refers to any kind of animal robot that resembles any modern or prehistoric mammal, bird or reptile. Tomy later commissioned Manga to write a series of comics based on the toys and the popularity of the comics later led to the rights of both the toys and comics being acquired by Anime to be made into an Anime series. The first two series, Chaotic Century and Guardian Force (unlike the third known as New Century Zero) are directly related to each other and are set on the Planet Zi in the far reaches of the Milky Way, where many humans have settled making it a second home after earth.  

Throughout the series, Zoids are used as a part of daily life and moreover, weapons in an ongoing war between the heroic Helic Republic and villainous Guylos Empire. 

The setting of Chaotic Century is a few years after the most recent war between the Republic and the Empire and the two nations are currently observing a ceasefire, although ambushes and minor assaults are initiated by both sides, and tensions are high after it is revealed that one or both sides may have access to the ancient technology of the Ancient Zoidians, an advanced and mysterious ancient civilization, bearing highly advanced technology and possessing a deep understanding of Zoids and their capabilities. They are credited with creating some of the most powerful and enigmatic Zoids known in the series. 

The story follows a young boy named Van Flyheight who encounters a mysterious girl named Fiona who possesses a pendant containing valuable information about the ancient civilization of Zi and its connection to the Zoids. Together, they embark on a journey to uncover the secrets of Fiona’s past and the lost technology of the ancient Zoidians while acquiring his own Zoid, a Liger as well as an Organoid, a dinosaur-like Zoid named Zeke who can give a more powerful advantage to Van’s Zoid.  

Guardian Force takes place two years later and the conflict between the Helic Republic and Guylos Empire has resulted in the ceasing of the war and both sides coming together to form a joint task force known as the Guardian Force. Van and Fiona as well as their friends from the earlier series are now members of the military there but learn about the existence of the Death Saurer, a powerful and destructive Zoid. With the threat of the Death Saurer looming over Zi, Van and his allies must rally together to prevent its destructive power from falling into the wrong hands. 

The seeming similarity between Zoids and Godzilla is not related to the fact that both originated in Japan but in both which carry prehistoric themes, the military is a recurring theme and with the help of scientists as well as supreme politicians such as presidents, teamwork pays off in defeating the enemy at the end.  

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