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Godzilla (Japanese: Gojira) is a famous Japanese movie Icon. first introduced in 1954 in the Toho Pictures film Godzilla, the iconic creature has become a beloved movie monster with several films to its credit. The creature was and is an example of what can happen from nuclear weapons usage. Due to this, it has become a symbol of Doomsday.
With the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Daigo Fukuryū Maru incident still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a monster created by nuclear detonations and a metaphor for nuclear weapons in general. As the film series expanded, the stories took on less serious undertones portraying Godzilla in the role of a hero, while later movies returned to depicting the character as a destructive monster. The first movie was made in 1954, and entitled Gojira (English; Godzilla, King of the Monsters!), and soon skyrocketed to fame, with showings in both Japan and the United States. Due to the success of the original, Toho Pictures Ltd launched an entire series of Godzilla related films. The series concluded for the time being in 1975 after the poor performance of Terror of Mechgodzilla. In 1980 Toho began to write the script for a reboot of the series. However, horrific events would not only stop production of the film, but nearly wipe out humanity.
Toho's Headquarters in Tokyo was destroyed on Doomsday. With the destruction of Toho, the Godzilla film under production was lost. However, veteran creator Tomoyuki Tanaka managed to survive, and through him Godzilla would continue.
The first few years after Doomsday were hard for Japan, with mass deaths from the nuclear attacks. Film making took a back seat as survival outweighed everything else. Japan's isolation also limited the availability of new technologies for film making, and the market to sell movies. However, Tomoyuki Tanaka saw in the script he had wrote a chance for some comfort for the Japanese people. Godzilla in the late 70s had been the hero of Japanese school children everywhere, with him usually saving the earth from evil monsters or aliens. Tanaka saw Godzilla as a chance to bring some hope back to the people of Japan, while still showing the horrors of Nuclear Weapons can bring. Tanaka soon began rewriting the script in late 1987 (three years after it's planned release). He continued until 1992, finally finishing it after much work.
Although Japanese Authorities were initially unwilling to have such a movie take place, public demand for the return of the creature soon changed their minds. Production began in early 1993, with Tanaka consulting. Filming continued throughout 1993 and to mid 1994, with Tanaka finally having to leave the set in March 1994 when his health became a concern. However, before leaving set he convinced the Director to continue the work Tanaka started.
Production finally ended in August of '94, with the theater release in late October after some minor editing. On October 31st, the movie hit the box office in Osaka under the title of Return of Godzilla. Critical reception was great, with many saying it the best work of Tanaka due to the two pronged message of the good and the evils of Nuclear energy. The airings were completely free, with Tanaka paying the expenses out of his own pocket, which further made Tanaka beloved by the people. However, Tanaka's health complications continued to plague him, until he passed away by stroke on April 2, 1997.
It was a sad day for Japan, with several thousand people attending the funeral and graveside. However, Tanaka had made it clear in his will he wished for the Godzilla series to continue without him, as he considered it something Japan needed. He had even left an entire script for another movie, and made some brief notes about other ones, which he had made during the time he was bedridden. With this, the future of Godzilla was assured for future generations.
Soon after Tanaka's death, the Japanese government began a search for a capable filming crew to continue on the series. Amateur director Ryuhei Kitamura was brought on board in the late 2000s, as he had sufficient knowledge of both Godzilla and film making.
The film Tanaka had planned is still under production, as many new issues have arisen. With Japan's isolation starting to gradually end, new cinema technologies have started to trickle in, and even some offers to act in the film by South American and ANZC actors. A few hundred copies of Return of Godzilla have reached foreign nations, with great acclaim by critics who got to see the film, and demand by those that have not managed to get a copy. This had lead the current owners of the franchise to consider an attempt to sell copies of the upcoming film, and the older one abroad. However, the Japanese government's current position of isolation will more than likely be upheld on this case.