Day 5: At the Movies


The big day finally arrived. Godzilla Minus One has been released in Japan! The hype and build up put me into an ecstatic state. I could barely sleep. I was up early and ready to go for the day’s first showing at Toho Cinemas Ueno. I got to the theater about an hour early and went up the elevator of the PARCO department store to the seventh floor. The first thing I did was head to the theater shop where Minus One merch was for sale. I loaded up on all the essentials such as the program booklet and Bandai figures.

Toho Cinemas Ueno at PARCO department store

The lobby was filling up quickly. Moviegoers are not allowed to enter the theater until 10 minutes before the start time. While waiting I made some posts on social media to share my joy in anticipation of the film. The theater filled up and we were all ready to go.

Godzilla Minus One delivered and lived up to all the hype. Great characters, drama, story, score, special effects and a great Godzilla. Minus One was so emotional. I almost burst into years several times. Crying and sniffing could be heard across the theater. No one was disappointed. Yamazaki’s Godzilla is ferocious and terrifying and close. Whenever he is present, only devastation and death will follow. The film centers around the characters who grapple with tremendous loss, pain and difficult choices in postwar Japan. There is no other Godzilla movie quite like Minus One. It is my favorite followed by Godzilla (1954) and Shin Godzilla (2016).

Godzilla -1.0 theatrical poster

Immediately after the movie ended I headed to Godzilla Fes celebrations at Hibiya Godzilla Square with my friend. As I made my way there I walked through Ginza, contemplating the postwar history of the Wako Building and the Toho Building where the Nichigeki Theater once stood.

When I arrived my friend and I were able to take a place behind the standing crowd before the stage where the new Megalon short was under discussion. New friends came up and introduced themselves and old friends checked in. After the first scheduled event, we took pictures together and discussed our plans for the day. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay for the remainder of the day. We had tickets for Minus One at the 109 Cinemas Premium beside Hotel Grocery in Shinjuku. So we had to hurry over there.

My impression of Minus One didn’t change. It only deepened. Again the crowd sobbed, me and my friend too like we did watching Shin Godzilla in 2016. After the movie it was too late to see the Jet Jaguar reveal back at the stage. So we headed over to the Godzilla Store before it closed. It was packed with people and the line to enter was long. Again, I left with a bag of goodies. This Godzilla Day will never be forgotten.