Let's Talk: The Blame Game Continues


Left to right: Koubun Shizuno, Hiroyuki Seshita, Gen Urobuchi

When someone digs a hole, it usually tends to be deeper than how it really looks. Recently, a Japanese journal site called, Gigazine, released an article interviewing the Godzilla anime directors Shizuno and Seshita, and screen-writer, Gen Urobuchi. Last time, we learned from The Associated Press/Washington Post that Seshita and Shizuno are not fans and never had interest in Godzilla. Seshita even went on saying that he is prepared for the negative reviews from the "traditionalists" and Shizuno saying that the story is too complicated. Basically, they were blaming the fans for their movies not being successful. Now, we get to take a peak just how far this hole really goes.


Based on the translation of the article, the blame was mostly shifted toward TOHO Co. and Koubun Shizuno. Ever since the beginning stages, TOHO apparently declared that there would be no monster battles and that the demographic that TOHO was aiming to attract was the female audience. As for Mr. Shizuno, he prevented Seshita and Urobuchi from watching any Godzilla films and shot down most of the ideas that provided even the slightest of fan-service. The article even goes on saying that they had an idea for the Exif race to look a lot like the Xilliens (aka aliens from Planet X) from Godzilla vs Monster Zero and Godzilla: Final Wars by wearing black sunglasses. Most of the choices that were cut were to "prevent upsetting their target audience."


As disappointing as it is to read about this, I am not surprised anymore. One is that TOHO has done this before in trying to attract a wider audience beyond just the fans, but they were more successful back then than now. To attract a female audience isn't anything politically motivated. If this was Hollywood that made these movies, then that would be a different story. You can sort of see how they were trying to attract the female audience based on the designs of the main male characters that the design team did try to make them look attractive. Even the choices to use MechaGodzilla and King Ghidorah in the movies were done because apparently those were the most popular with women. Was their attempt successful? These people claimed that they were successful in attracting a new audience, but numbers in ticket sales says otherwise. Godzilla: City On The Edge Of Battle was number eight in the Japanese box office on the first weekend and if you compare that to the box office numbers for Shin Godzilla, you can clearly see which movie attracted more people. They made all of these choices with the animated Godzilla trilogy to attract a different audience and they didn't do anything with them ultimately leading to these movies' downfall. Which leads to my second topic, the blame game.


Because this trilogy is getting negative feedback the next step they went with was point the finger at somebody else instead of admitting that they were wrong. I can see why TOHO can be part of the blame since they had to approve these movies. Heck, they even approved on Roland Emmerich's GODZILLA design. The executives at TOHO even made it very clear to make these movies different, but not allowing the production team to do anything creative with them. However, that does not excuse Mr. Shizuno and Mr. Seshita either. It was clear that they had no interest in doing the movies and had no interest in the Godzilla character from the very beginning. Then because their movies failed, they went on to blame the fans and each other. As for Mr. Urobuchi, I'm not too entirely sure what his thoughts were when he was signed on to write the scripts. It is unknown if he had any interest in the franchise or not. Maybe he did have an interest and the restrictions that were placed prevented him from writing a better story. Or perhaps he really had no interest like Mr. Shizuno and Mr. Seshita.


Either way, the main problem is that TOHO Co. and the team that made these movies are starting to lose their credibility. I say "starting" since they have not lost all credibility yet, but it is very telling that nobody knows how to handle their own property and don't really care to even at least try to understand. I am disappointed that nobody learned from their mistakes and would rather point the finger at somebody else. After Godzilla Vs Kong is released in 2020, TOHO Co. starts up their next Godzilla series which will be a much bigger project as the currently running Monsterverse series. I am praying that by that time, TOHO Co. actually learns the mistakes made from this trilogy and corrects them in their next series of movies. That means getting a director and production team that can at least take the liberty to understand the Godzilla property. TOHO Co. and everyone involved no longer has any excuses at this point. They now have the time to plan for their next series and whatever they are planning for Godzilla has to make up for this animated trilogy.


What are your opinions on this blame game? Are any of them in the right or do you think this is all nonsense? Make sure to leave your comment in the comment section and make sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.

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