Godzilla is one of the longest running film franchises in history. Its core anti-nuclear message has stood the test of time, giving it continued relevance in the modern world, especially in its home country of Japan. However, after 69 years and 36 movies, it is safe to say that Godzilla, both as a movie franchise and as a character, has changed drastically since 1954. These changes, coupled with the globalization of the franchise and the creation of a new, US based Godzilla series, have created a complex and at times contradictory web of differing themes and adaptations. This project examines how the idea of Godzilla has changed over time, both in Japan and in the United States. After extensive research into both the original films as well as secondary material analyzing the franchise, it can be concluded that Godzilla, in both Japan and the United States, has evolved into multiple distinct, yet interconnected characters that serve to represent the different beliefs, hopes, and fears of the two nations. This scholarly analysis is synthesized into a creative piece that further explores the meaning of Godzilla, as well as how Fandom and Fanfiction inform our understandings of media.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Dominic Ashby
Mentor Department Affiliation
Open Access Thesis
History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
Dyer, JC, "“Go, go, Godzilla!” Defining and Creating Meaning in the Godzilla Franchise" (2023). Honors Theses. 986.