Starring Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, and Yuki Yamada
Distributed by Toho Co. Ltd.
Running Time: 125 minutes
Rated PG-13 for creature violence and action

Author's note: This review contains spoilers.

Toward the end of World War II, when it became clear that Japan was losing, the Imperial Japanese Navy formed kamikaze special attack units. The pilots selected for these units were expected to kill themselves by deliberately crashing their aircraft into American warships. The military culture of Imperial Japan regarded this as an honorable death—and as the pilots’ duty. For a kamikaze pilot to put his own life ahead of the Empire by abandoning this “duty” was considered a grievous dishonor.

Beginning close to the end of the war, Godzilla Minus One follows a fictional kamikaze pilot, Kōichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki), who deserts his mission and lands his plane at a repair base on a remote island. The mechanics find nothing wrong with the plane and accuse him of cowardice, but before anyone can act, Godzilla attacks the island. Shikishima is paralyzed by fear when he has a chance to shoot at the monster, and only he and one other man are left alive after Godzilla returns to the ocean. The war ends soon after, and Shikishima is left burdened with feelings of guilt and dishonor. For him, “the war is not over,” and he won’t let himself settle down with a girl he falls for until he has “redeemed himself” for abandoning his kamikaze assignment.

Although Godzilla Minus One is, on the surface, the story of Shikishima’s search for closure, its meaning is much deeper than that. It is a principled attack on the very idea that a man is duty-bound to sacrifice his life for his country. . . .

Godzilla Minus One is no run-of-the-mill monster movie. It is an outstanding story about the value of human life and the immorality of sacrificing it. Bravo @Godzilla_Toho.
Click To Tweet

1. Kennedy Unthank, “Godzilla Minus One,” Pluggedin, Line quoted from memory of the English subtitled version, with the assistance of this article.

Return to Top
You have loader more free article(s) this month   |   Already a subscriber? Log in

Thank you for reading
The Objective Standard

Enjoy unlimited access to The Objective Standard for less than $5 per month
See Options
  Already a subscriber? Log in

Pin It on Pinterest