There’s been some outrage over the size of the newest incarnation of Godzilla (which seems silly, because shouldn’t we be complaining about pronouncing it wrong instead?), with Japanese fans of Gojira claiming the American version is too fat, like a schoolboy who’s had too many bags of potato chips.
You know what? They’re right. Godzilla is too fat. With America in the midst of an obesity epidemic, do we really want our children going to the movies and seeing super-sized kaiju laying waste to nations? Children look up to monsters like Godzilla and Mothra, but mostly Godzilla, because who cares about radioactive moths or whatever.
And they’re going to look at Godzilla and they’re going to say: “If Godzilla doesn’t have a thigh gap, why should I?” And their parents are going to say: “Because you’re not a radioactive mutant, sweetie,” and the kids will say: “Shut up, Parents, what do you know?” and then they’re going to eat another bowl of ice cream, because that’s what kids who want to grow up to be Godzilla do.
It’s time for American filmmakers to take responsibility for their actions, and give modern audiences a leaner, healthier Godzilla. One who aerobicizes, maybe, if that’s still a thing people do.
I know that this opinion might seem crazy, or maybe a bit out there, but, dammit, I love Japan and their radioactive monsters, and it’s time to give them the skinny monsters they deserve.
Sadly, pointing out that I’ve given up my social life for her isn’t having the desired effect.
A thing I enjoy doing lately is when someone mentions “Godzilla,” I correct them by shouting “Gojiraaaaaahhhh!” and pumping my arms in triumph.
Director Ronald Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, the crappy American version of Godzilla) definitely has a hard-on for destroying the earth. It all comes to fruition in his masterpiece movie earth-destroying-porntacular spectacle of destruction 2012.
I mean, seriously. The trailer devotes the last 30 or so seconds to a gimungous tidal wave flipping a big boat (yeah, I’m not good with the nautical terms, all right) onto what looks like the White House, but probably is something else (I’m also not good with geography and architecture). I mean 30 seconds in trailer time is nearly an enternity! And you can just tell that Emmerich watched that sequence over and over and over, wearing his right hand raw. Yeah, baby, that’s some good destruction.
2012 brings the return of Amanda Peet’s career, which is nice. (For her, not for us.)
And there’s John Cusack, doing stuff! And some adorable moppets and a bunch of extras who perish in the apocalypse. Teach you to get cast in an Emmerich movie. The storyline appears to be thus: Earth is destroyed as the Mayans prophesyed for some reason, the survivors try to survive and the government don’t want ’em to and then there’s that big tidal wave.
Now I have a few questions about 2012 being the date chosen for the earth’s destruction. 1) The Mayans said the world has already ended at least five times by now, so you’re all stupid. 2) Seriously, what, the earth’s batteries run out on Dec. 21, 2012? You’re stupid. 3) I thought Y2K was supposed to end the world and it didn’t, which made you look really stupid. 4) And also the beginning of the 21st century. By the way, boy! did you look stupid. 5) Turns out those were more like statements instead of questions.
What does that have to do with the movie? Probably about as much as plot does. This is clearly just one giant porntastic world-destroying … what’s a synonym for porn? … thing that Emmerich filmed for his own pleasure. Sure, it might be fun to watch, but in the end, you’ll go blind. Because God said so.
It was pointed out to me that perhaps, just perhaps, mind you, the previous matchup of Akira and his military training and Carrie and her telekinesis brought on by the travails of puberty was just a bit unfair.
Let the battle of destructive forces of nature begin!
Physicality: As mentioned previously, Akira is a cute little cutie who cutes (and destroys the world). Godzilla is a giant monster. Incidentally, Godzilla’s Japanese name, Gojira, is a combination of gorira and kujira (gorilla and whale, respectively). Also incidentally, Gojira sounds a lot like Godzilla to American ears, hence the bastardization of his name. The winner? Hey, Akira’s cute, but who isn’t impressed by a hideous giant monster? Godzilla.
Destroyed Tokyo? Akira destroyed the city once as a small child, then again thirty years later as a small child (still) and then again some indeterminate amount of time later. Admittedly, Tetsuo lent a helping hand the second and third times, but that’s hard work for a kid who looks about 6 or 7. On the other hand, Godzilla’s been in more movies than I can count (I have a learning disability) (Editor’s note: Lokifire’s learning disability is called “too lazy to do the work.”), and I can only assume (Editor’s note: see my last note) that he destroys Tokyo in all those movies. The winner by a landslide, possibly literally: Godzilla!
Trapped: For Akira, the military locked him in a seven-layer chamber for about 30 years. It was kept at Absolute Zero. I just capitalized Absolute Zero for no particular reason. Godzilla was trapped under the sea, with all the singing sea creatures. The winner? Akira, because Absolute Zero is really, really cold, and it really, really should have killed him dead.
Hangs out with Kanedaaaaaa? I really like Kaneda. Akira wins again! (On a related note, I’ve read Akira over a dozen times, and I never really realized that Kaneda was his family name and that his name is Shotaro, which, no wonder they all call him Kaneda. Jeez.)
Name recognition with millions of Japanese and a few thousand geeky Americans? This? Is a tie. Ask the right person, and the words “Godzilla” and “Akira” are only synonymous with “destruction of Tokyo.”
A parable for their time? Godzilla was brought into being through nuclear radiation. Akira was the product of a crazed military, trying to create weapons (or something. They’re the military, I assume weapons, but maybe they were trying to create an army of psychic housekeepers). These fears are both rational and likely to affect our lives at any minute. In fact, we might have the most to fear from irradiated telekinetics. My. God.
Forced into a realllllly bad Hollywood remake? The winner (or loser, as the case may be): Godzilla. Although there are horrible, horrible rumors floating around that Akira may be made as a live-action film, and I’m sure Hollywood will find some way to shoehorn Keanu Reeves into the film. (Note: if he is cast as Kaneda, I intend to murder every Hollywood exec I can find, because isn’t it bad enough you bastards want to cast him as Spike Spiegel? Must you ruin every great Japanese anime/manga character? Must you??!!!)
The tiebreaker? Technically, Godzilla just won by winning that last category, but since it’s such a craptacular category to be the victor of, we shall have one final, tie-breaking face-off. Why I am stalling, you ask? Is it because I couldn’t think of a tiebreaker, you ask? Hey, I could put this post on hold for three days and you wouldn’t know I couldn’t … fine, I’m having trouble thinking of a tiebreaker….
OK, here’s the tiebreaker for reals: Ultimate, tragic death? Akira (*sniff*) dies when his powers collide with Tetsuo’s (I think? Seriously, things get a little weird toward the end of Akira, and I’m always like, man, that’s so cool, what just happened?), and he has a vision of all his little psychic friends and, awwwwww! Godzilla apparently died at some point of a nuclear meltdown (huh?), but his son (double huh?) quickly took over the reigns of horrible, mutant monster. Winner? Akira!
Overall winner: What can I say? I’ve got a deep-seated fondness for that little city-destroying sweetie-pie. Akira, you win again.
Two killer psychics/telekinetics walk into a room. Only one walks out. The other probably levitates or something, I don’t know.
On a more serious note (What? No! No serious notes! None!), Akira is the title character in the excellent manga Akira and the less-excellent movie Akira. Carrie is the title character in the Stephen King novel Carrie and the Sissy Spacek movie Carrie. (You already knew that, but I felt bad about introducing Akira and not introducing Carrie, you know?) Both are powerful telekinetics who rain down destruction on all those who would thwart them/have the misfortune of being in the nearby area.
Let the battle! Begin!!
Let’s just get physicality out of the way then, shall we? Akira’s a little boy and Carrie’s a teenage girl, so neither of them are really doing it for me. Although, when you compare cute little Akira to his prune-faced friends (seriously, click on the link; they look like hell), he really looks awesome. Winner? Well, Sissy Spacek’s kind of weird looking, so: Akira.
Locked in a? In Carrie’s case: closet. In Akira’s case: a chamber kept at absolute zero. Winner? Akira, because he got out of that thing.
Source of opposition? Akira had to face the military, other psychic-telekinetics and KANEDAAAA!! Carrie was victimized by her mother and some horrible teenagers. The winner? Hey, the military is evil and Kaneda is a god among perverted teenage Japanese boys, but teen girls are the real evil. Carrie, all the way.
Destroyed? In Carrie’s case, prom and most of her high school. Akira? Tokyo. Not just once. Not just twice. Three times. THREE TIMES did this kid destroy Tokyo. That’s more than Godzilla. (Editor’s note: It may not actually be more than Godzilla.) Winner? Akira, by a thrice-destroying-Tokyo margin.
Made Lokifire weep like a little girl at their fate? It’s a tie. I am a wimp when it comes to the underdog, even if the underdog basically has superpowers and could destroy me. O, Akira! You poor little cutie! If only they hadn’t forced you into that program! O, Carrie! You poor teenaged prom queen! If only your mom wasn’t such a nutjob!
Got to hang out with Kaneda? I really like Kaneda. Winner: Akira.
Overall winner: Akira. Kid’s got it going on.