36 Responses to Continuity of the Godzilla series
The Heisei Era can get tricky due to the time travel introduced in Godzilla VS. King Ghidorah.
Has the stable time loop theory involving a second Godzilla ever been confirmed officially by Toho staff or ancillary products? Because if it has, it'd go a long way in simplifying the timeline. If not, THEN we have issues.
Nice. this is cool.
Although I'm annoyed to not see Godzilla: Awakening on the MonsterVerse continuity blurb, I understand why it wasn't included, even if I think that reasoning is entirely irrelevant and pointless.
I more annoyed at seeing 'Godzilla: Awakening' on the continuity timeline photo. If we're going to do that we need to find all the comic offshoots of the other series and connect them as well--Like the Terror of MechaGodzilla short story sequel that takes place decades after Destroy All Monsters. We shouldn't cherry pick if we're going to include something as irrelevant as 'Awakening'.
The full-resolution version of the timeline photo has a disclaimer under Awakening mentioning continuity discrepancies. It was only included in the image because it was one of the only pieces of official Godzilla 2014-related material available at the time outside the film itself, and one that a lot of people would have been familiar with. I was actually against including it in the image at all, as I never really put any stock into that comic.
The King of the Monsters,
I know we discussed this a lot last year for an abandoned article regarding continuity. Honestly, I should have just asked you to write the whole thing--Especially since you did this thread.
^ I actually wasn't sure if you were still working on that article, but this is something I wanted to go into depth about for a while so I decided to type up this blog post for the time being. It certainly could be refined into an actual professional article (complete with citations) at some point, so it's not intended at all to be a serious article like the one we discussed. It's just sort of a spur-of-the-moment blog post brought on by recent discussions.
^If you would like to head such an article with citations, I would love for you to do so. Lets chat about in private at some point.
^ Will do. Such an article will likely be a long endeavor, but I have most of the pieces already. Feel free to send me a direct message about it or find me in Wikizilla's chat room.
Anyway, some side notes for anyone reading this topic:
The place of Destroy All Monsters in the continuity is somewhat confusing. For years most English-speaking fans including myself have assumed it is set chronologically last in the Showa series, but many Japanese sources I've seen tend to treat it as being set between Son of Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Hedorah instead. If and when I get to making an actual article about this topic, I'll probably go into further detail.
For anyone wanting some clarification on how the time travel in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah affects things in the Heisei timeline and how I came to the conclusion regarding it that I did in this topic, I recommend reading this article by Keith Aiken from SciFi Japan.
You know, reflecting back on it, what ARE the continuity discrepancies with Awakening as of the MonsterVerse right now?
The 1954 "we awakened something" deal has been neatly addressed, Castle Bravo has been duly confirmed, MONARCH's origins have been solidified, and elements and characters have already been officially included such as General Douglas MacArthur.
The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is the Shinomura, and even then it's not much of a discrepancy considering that major characters and events are introduced as important to franchise continuities despite not being known earlier all the time nowadays. Plus, the current precedent set by the new Disney canon of Star Wars, Halo for video games, and others is that of an interconnected universe, unlike the past examples brought up in this thread.
Well the depiction of Castle Bravo is completely different in Awakening than in the film, there's nothing indicating that Hiroshima had anything to do with awakening Godzilla since Kong establishes he was active in 1943, there's no way Serizawa is 70 years old, and nothing specific to Awakening aside from Monarch's founding date and the involvement of certain individuals has been retained or acknowledged in any subsequent film. I don't see why people feel the need to make all these rationalizations just to keep the comic canon. Why? What's so great or important about it? I thought the comic was pretty forgettable and didn't add much of substance to the lore, and even ignoring my personal feelings I haven't gotten any indication that Legendary cares about the comic and intends to reference it in future films. The comic is really just irrelevant at this point. It was written independent of the finished version of the film and hasn't been acknowledged in any way since its release. If Legendary comes out and says "Awakening is still canon and important to the backstory of the MonsterVerse," then I'll eat my words, but until that point I think the comic is nothing more than a forgotten piece of tie-in media that has little bearing on future installments.
It's not that it's good, it's that the current precedent for multimedia franchises is to include all the media material in a franchise's continuity so as to formulate a single narrative canon. By explicitly not including some works, it muddies the waters as to what exactly should be considered or not, and thus makes the whole point of a singular canon moot. In the past, this wasn't an issue or even a consideration, but the times have changed on this matter.
As to some other points, age has never been the best determining factor. For example, Ishiro Serizawa looks exactly the same in 1999 as he did in 2014, a 15 year difference. As per Awakening, he'd be in his late 40s to early 50s in 1999, a plausible age. Not to mention that plenty of people look much younger than their age would suggest; there's a 70 year old grandmother who looks like she's in her late 20s. Thus, I can buy that an active MONARCH agent like Ishiro Serizawa could look the way he does.
The visual depiction is irrelevant because of medium differences and has already been retconned as per Kong: Skull Island, which has utilized the classic real-life footage instead of Operation: Lucky Dragon's CGI sequence, implying that the two are different now. As well, like the "1954 line" and the 1943 U.S.S. Lawton incident, Godzilla awakening thanks to Hiroshima isn't mutually exclusive with being active beforehand.
In my own personal opinion, quality or not, I see no outstanding and explicit reason to exclude Awakening in its entirety from the MonsterVerse continuity. Every potential discrepancy has an explanation, and minor inconsistencies are by no means deal-breaking. As well, we're left with a single narrative canon that has no picking and choosing, and follows in established modern precedent.
"Every potential discrepancy has an explanation"
Lets not confuse 'explanation' with 'fan excuse'. I see no reason to include it either and nothing in the films indicates we should.
Well, the Stable Time Loop Theory is also just a fan excuse by any stretch of the imagination (unless I'm missing some official confirmation somewhere), yet plenty of people seem to agree on its implementation in the Heisei continuity.
And nothing I've said is really an excuse, just observations that put the arguments against the graphic novel's inclusion as part of the continuity under scrutiny, since the primary arguments presented thus far don't hold up under further examination based on real-world evidence.
All of what's been said thus far equally applies to many other media franchises. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most egregious example, as The Incredible Hulk (2008) has gotten the exact same treatment as Godzilla: Awakening has, referenced only in passing and/or by association. Personally speaking, if you had simply noted the comic in the text post alongside the Skull Island: Birth of Kong comic series, I wouldn't be going off on this mini-tirade.
However, I'll happily continue this in PM if this has gotten too out of hand in this thread.
Thanks to that article, I can enjoy Godzilla vs King Ghidorah a lot more now. It always confused me as to how this time travel plot point affected the 2 previous movies but now I know how through this examination.
"Well, the Stable Time Loop Theory is also just a fan excuse by any stretch of the imagination (unless I'm missing some official confirmation somewhere), yet plenty of people seem to agree on its implementation in the Heisei continuity."
And real world examples? You literally shot down Serizawa isn't 70 out of convenience. The comic has not made itself relevant to the movie series. It should not be included and I see no reason the films should be tied to it.
I'm honestly half-tempted to try and reach out to Dougherty on Twitter and get a response as to whether or not he and the filmmakers are treating Awakening is canon or if they don't even know what it is.
Okay, for that particular example, continuity time!
Ken Watanabe the actor was 55 years old as of the date of the first movie, 2014. In the movie itself, in 1999, he plays Ishiro Serizawa without noticeable make-up dressing to make himself look younger, so it's a fair presumption to make that the character was in his 50s in 1999. That would make the character close to 70 years old in 2014, and fit in line with Awakening's depiction of when he was born. CONTINUITY!
[Edit]: That's also a good idea, there. Since it's gonna be awhile until Godzilla: King of the Monsters, that might be our only avenue for answers until the film's release.
I always thought that "Awakening" gave fans a fun introduction with Monarch and the relationship with Godzilla. I felt as though we kind of see Serizawa's origins in contrast with the beginning of Monarch.
Another interesting side note: the recent book Shin Godzilla Walker, which covers a great deal of the franchise including Shin Godzilla, has some interesting details regarding the continuity. First of all, it provides years of construction for most of the JSDF weaponry, which often correspond to the films they are featured in. It says the weapons featured in Destroy All Monsters were all built in 1990, with the weapons of the 1970's films all built in the 1970's, further reinforcing Destroy All Monsters' being set chronologically last in the Showa series.
Most intriguingly, it actually gives a rundown of the continuity through a chart. It demonstrates that all the Showa films comprise a single continuity, while all the Heisei films plus Godzilla (1954) comprise their own continuity. It shows that each individual Millennium film is a sequel to Godzilla (1954), with the exception of Godzilla: Final Wars, which is shown to be standalone. It also places both American Godzilla films as standalone. You can take a look at this chart courtesy of this scan from Toho Kingdom.
its crazy when you watch something for years and think its all connected. For example, I believed that Godzilla 2000 through Megaguirus (SKIPPING GMK) and GAM and SOS were all connected. The same Godzilla. Since they all take place in similar years. Now I know other wise. Mind=Blown
It turns out the Godzilla X Type-3 Kiryu Completion book published last year further expands the continuity of the Kiryu Saga, detailing appearances by more monsters in that timeline. Apparently the JSDF successfully defeated Kumonga in 1967 and Gigan in 1972 using Maser tanks, while Mothra aided the JSDF in defeating King Ghidorah in 1999 prior to the second Godzilla's appearance.
Hmm... The 1999 thing feels a little too close for comfort based on how characters react in Tokyo SOS. Obviously the Kiryu Saga timeline included movies we've seen, some of which clearly had altered events-- But pulling from Godzilla movies, yet Godzilla was absent from the events? Okay Toho... When was the book published, The King of the Monsters?
Godzilla X Type-3 Kiryu Completion was published almost exactly a year ago, on December 21, 2016. The timeline in question was written by producer Kazunari Yamanaka. It's certainly an act of retroactive continuity, but continuity nonetheless.
Weren't many of the people in Tokyo S.O.S unsure if Mothra could be trusted?
Godzilla... Truly a God incarnate.
^If anything they had an uneasy relationship/stance with Mothra--Which is why this new piece of continuity doesn't really work. But here we are.
It could fit if Mothra just came in, fought Ghidorah, and left leaving the JSDF confused and unsure about what just happened.
Godzilla... Truly a God incarnate.
so rebirth of mothra series is in the same continuity with the kiryu saga?
No, Mothra herself just allegedly fought King Ghidorah in the year 1999.
oh, just making sure what is going on here. I always wondered if The Rebirth of Mothra trilogy is in the same continuity with the Heisei series at all. Hearing about her fight King Ghidorah in 1999 sounds like ROM3 to me.
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