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Godzilla and Post-War Japan Essay

“Godzilla and Postwar Japan” by William Tsutsui is informative and insightful but, admittedly, Tsutsui never really delivers on his thesis. The author argues, “that the Godzilla films provide us valuable insights into Japanese culture since World War Two” (2). He also says,“Which gives us a better understanding of postwar Japan, relations and modernization” (2). Although Tsutsui intends to talk about all the films, his hidden thesis only deals with the original. As much as he tries to give depth about all the films, he always comes back to the original. The author does a great job explaining how the original movie brings upon memories and insights but contradicts himself when saying all films do the same.

To begin, Tsutsui contradicts himself with a few statements he makes within the article, which do not support his thesis well. For example, the author says that after the original Godzilla film was created, the movie was never the same in meaning. The intended message of the nuclear bomb changed along with the target audience. Within the article, Tsutsui states that, “After the original film was made, the quality of the series rapidly declined. The serious anti-nuclear message of the first offering was speedily junked for more crowd pleasing fare and the age of the target audience declined steadily” (4). Tsutsui goes against his thesis in this statement because he says that the message within the movie is intended to provide the viewers with a distinct description of the nuclear bomb. However, Tsutsui contradicts himself saying that the message seems to drop in meaning from the original. Tsutsui explains himself well, though, when explaining that, throughout time, the moral message behind the movie changed along with visual content. This statement does not support his thesis well since the message is not consistent and decreased over re-edits of the film. But, this statement does do a great job supporting his undefined thesis…

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