The Godzilla series is generally broken into three eras reflecting a characteristic style and corresponding to the same eras used to classify all 'daikaiju eiga' (monster movies) in Japan. The first two eras refer to the Japanese emperor during production: the Shōwa era, and the Heisei era. The third is called the Millennium era as the emperor (Heisei) is the same but these films are considered to have a different style and storyline than the prior era.
Shōwa series (1954–1975) The initial series of movies is named for the Shōwa period in Japan (as all of these films were produced before Emperor Hirohito's death in 1989). This Shōwa timeline spanned from 1954, with Godzilla, to 1975, with Terror of Mechagodzilla. With the exceptions of Godzilla, Godzilla Raids Again, Mothra vs. Godzilla andTerror of Mechagodzilla, much of the Shōwa series is relatively light-hearted. Starting with Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla began evolving into a friendlier, more playful antihero (this transition was complete by Son of Godzilla, where it is shown as a good character), and as years went by, it evolved into ananthropomorphic superhero. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster was also significant for introducing Godzilla's archenemy and the main antagonist of the series,King Ghidorah. The films Son of Godzilla and All Monsters Attack were aimed at youthful audiences, featuring the appearance of Godzilla's son, Minilla. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was notable for introducing Godzilla's robotic arch foe and secondary villain of the movie series Mechagodzilla. The Shōwa period saw the addition of many monsters into the Godzilla continuity, two of which (Mothra and Rodan) originated in their own solo movies Haruo Nakajima mainly portrayed Godzilla since 1954 until his retirement in 1972 however, other stunt actors portrayed the character in his absence such asKatsumi Tezuka, Yū Sekida, Ryosaku Takasugi, Seiji Onaka, Shinji Takagi, Isao Zushi, and Toru Kawai Eiji Tsuburaya directed the special effects for the first six films of the series. His protege Sadamasa Arikawa took over the effects work for the next three films (with Tsuburaya supervising) while Teruyoshi Nakano directed the special effects for the last six films of the series. Heisei series (1984–1995) Toho rebooted the Godzilla film series in 1984 with The Return of Godzilla, starting the second era of Godzilla films, known as the "Heisei" series. The Return of Godzilla serves as a direct sequel to the original 1954 film and ignores the afterward events of the Showa era. The Heisei films are set in a single timeline, with each film providing continuity to another film, and brings Godzilla back as a destructive force of nature that is feared by humans. The biological nature and science behind Godzilla became a much more discussed issue in the films, showing the increased focus on the moral aspects of genetics. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorahgave the first concrete birth story for Godzilla, featuring a Godzillasaurus that was mutated by radiation into Godzilla. Godzilla was portrayed by Kenpachiro Satsuma for the Heisei films while the special effects were directed by Koichi Kawakita, with the exception of The Return of Godzilla, for which the effects were directed by Teruyoshi Nakano Millennium series (1999–2004) Toho rebooted the Godzilla film franchise for a second time, with the 1999 film Godzilla 2000, starting the third era of Godzilla films, known as the "Millennium series". The Millennium series is treated similarly to ananthology series where each film, with the exception of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, is set in its own timeline and follows-up the events of the original 1954 Godzilla but ignores the events of the Shōwa and Heisei era.Edit
After the release of 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars, marking the 50th anniversary of the Godzilla film franchise, Toho declared that it would not produce another Godzilla film for another 10 years. Toho also demolished the water stage on its lot used in numerous Godzilla, kaiju and tokusatsu films. Yoshimitsu Banno, who had directed 1971's Godzilla vs. Hedorah, secured the rights from Toho to make an IMAX 3D short film production, based on a story similar to his Hedorah film. This project eventually lead to the development of Legendary's Godzilla.
Tsutomu Kitagawa portrayed Godzilla for the majority of the Millennium films, with the exception of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, whom Godzilla was portrayed by Mizuho Yoshida. Unlike the Showa and later Heisei films, the special effects for the Millennium films were directed by multiple FX-directors such as Kenji Suzuki (Godzilla 2000, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus), Makoto Kamiya(Godzilla, Mothra, & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack), Yuichi Kikuchi (Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla), and Eiichi Asada (Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, Godzilla: Final Wars) Edit
Pages in category "Series history"
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