Last time, we looked at the various kaiju Toho studios made from the 50’s – 70’s, what Godzilla fans call the Showa era of kaiju flicks. Now we’re going to look at the kaiju of the 80’s and 90’s, which fans called the Heisei era (despite the first movie included here technically being released during what was still the Showa era of Japan’s history, and despite the fact that all the Godzilla movies released after the “Heisei era” of Godzilla films so far have ALSO been released in the Heisei era of Japan’s history – look, I know it’s confusing, just roll with it).
There was a nine-year break between last Showa film and the start of the Heisei era (of Godzilla movies, not Japanese history), and during that time Toho decided some course correction was in order. The kid-friendly heroic Godzilla of the later Showa films was now deemed a “mistake,” and the rebooted franchise decided to go back to Godzilla’s villainous roots. There was also a firm rule about avoiding anthropomorphization – no longer would Godzilla dance, shake hands with friends, or do other friendly, human-like gestures. This was going to be a new, ferocious Godzilla, and animalistic Godzilla, a badass Godzilla.
That was the intent, anyway. What was the result? Well, read on after the cut.