He always was. The radiation, the unrestrainable destruction. For a country coming out of World War 2, the only country in the history of the world, thank God, to ever be the victim of atomic warfare, Japan knew about horror. And, as critics of the genre just can’t seem to comprehend, Horror as entertainment serves the vital and necessary function for the collective human psyche of making the horrors of the real world a little easier to process, alleviating the stresses they subject us to. Godzilla was the personification of those two bombs that got dropped on Japan. It’s fascinating from a psychological perspective how in time Godzilla made a face turn (wrestling jargon, meaning he switched from being a bad guy, or “heel”, to a “face” or good guy), how he went from being Japan’s destroyer to its protector.
Also fascinating and for the same reasons is the way Godzilla has changed over the years. In short—heh—he’s gotten bigger and, as a direct result thereof, scarier. “Godzilla’s extraordinary growth over time mirrors an increase in Anthropocene angst,” proclaims this article. (https://blogs.sciencemag.org/books/2019/05/28/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters/) In other words, he’s gotten bigger as our collective fears have gotten bigger. We can take some comfort, however, from the fact that, as they say at the conclusion of the new movie, “good thing he’s on our side.”