The Cultural History of Godzilla – Pt 38


「ゴジラの精神史」The Cultural History of Godzilla 1954 by Shuntaro Ono (2014)
「ゴジラの精神史」The Cultural History of Godzilla 1954 by Shuntaro Ono (2014)

P 96


The Oxygen Destroyer satisfies the desire of possessing an atomic bomb as a one-shot reversal weapon, which has existed since the war. Moreover, chemical weapons such as poison gas have been put into practical use since World War I, mainly in Germany. It is easier to imagine than the atomic bomb, and it is suitable for modern Japan, where not only is it behind the race to develop atomic and hydrogen bombs, but testing and possession are prohibited.

P 97


Not only Dr. Serizawa, but also Dr. Yamane, who in a sense prioritizes intellectual pursuits over disaster prevention, belongs to the lineage of “mad scientists.” This is the genealogy of Dr. Frankenstein, who created the monsters, and has cultivated loneliness with research in the dark room where they belong. Especially in Dr. Serizawa’s heart, the spirit of service that wants to be useful to the world, the desire to be widely recognized by society, and the guilt of what he has created are mixed. There is only one way to overcome his suffering. Demonstrate to the world by defeating Godzilla, release the secret you hold, and end your own life to protect the secret. Dr. Serizawa and Godzilla are deeply connected in their singularity. It’s like Dr. Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s monster. And death seems to make them both eternal afterwards.


But that’s not all. What the movie “Godzilla” deals with is also the problem of turning an “experiment” as a simulation into a “real thing.” The hydrogen bomb test that awakened Godzilla is also an experiment because it assumes a hydrogen bomb war as World War III to break the Cold War state. Emiko killing the fish in the tank she saw in the basement of Dr. Serizawa’s laboratory was also an experiment. Then, what kind of results will the actual production bring after repeated experiments? In that sense, the final scene where Godzilla and Dr. Serizawa both die is similar to Frankenstein’s monster killing the doctor. It shows not only the hero’s death as a price to bring peace to the community, but also the cruelty of the actual result of the experiment.