The first video game devoted to Godzilla in a decade is nearing release, yet fans have taken note that it steers clear of referencing “radiation,” raising questions about the upcoming Toho film set to resurrect the Japanese incarnation of the character.
The game, simply titled Godzilla, is the first for the Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 to feature the character, a product of nuclear radiation first introduced in 1954 and widely understood as an allegory for the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The game will go on sale worldwide in mid-July, yet keen observers have already noted that Godzilla seems to deliberately avoid the topic of radiation, as Yahoo News reports.
— Alexander Yarde (@thatalexyarde) May 21, 2015
In the game, radiation is substituted with “energy,” which Godzilla absorbs in order to gain power. While Godzilla‘s producer, Shunsuke Fujita, expressed great excitement when discussing the game’s accuracy and authenticity, the topic of radiation was less enthusiastically received.
“We realize radiation is something that can never be disassociated with Godzilla,” Fujita noted.
The topic of atomic energy carries a special significance in Japan, as it is the only nation ever to be attacked with nuclear weapons. Issues surrounding the topic have also become more contentious in Japan since 2011, when the Fukushima nuclear disaster took place, unleashing radiation on the surrounding area and forcing local residents to flee. Many Fukushima survivors have faced latent prejudices in Japan, due to continuing fears regarding the effects of radiation.
— KaijuSquatch (@OfficeSquatch) May 22, 2015
Meanwhile, the character of Godzilla has recently faced a resurgence of interest in Japan, spurred in large part by Gareth Edward’s successful 2014 film. A hotel in downtown Tokyo features a life-sized Godzilla head perched atop it, while the “King of the Monsters” was recently granted official residency by Shinjuku ward, as Comicbook.com notes. Godzilla has also been declared an official tourism ambassador for Tokyo, with 3,000 copies of his residency papers being distributed by the country.
— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) May 29, 2015
As the growth of interest in Godzilla swells, Toho studios are currently preparing to bring the character back from a decade-long-retirement in Japan with a new film, as the Inquisitr previously reported. Man Izawa, a sales clerk and Godzilla fan, observed that Toho’s new film will need to address the sensitive topic of radiation in a post-Fukushima Japan.
“It will be the first Japanese Godzilla after 3.11,” he noted (3.11 is a widely used term for the Fukushima incident in Japan).
Whatever Toho’s decision on how to handle the topic of radiation in the wake of Fukushima, Izawa expressed his belief that fans of Godzilla would make both the game and the upcoming film a success, citing their love of the iconic character.
[Photo by Chris McGrath / Getty Images]