"Godzilla Minus One Minus Color" is a black-and-white re-release of the movie "Godzilla Minus One," adding new elements to the film.
The black-and-white format aims to evoke the tone and feel of the original 1954 Godzilla movie.
The movie explores the cultural essence of Japan in the aftermath of World War II, with Godzilla's attack being an aftershock of the nation's defeat.
Godzilla Minus One already made an epic impact in theatres over the 2023 holiday season, but the movie’s black-and-white re-release, titled Godzilla Minus One Minus Color, adds some new elements to the film. Godzilla Minus One tells a standalone tale of Godzilla rising from the seas to attack Japan just two years after the end of World War II. In the midst of his attack, guilt-written kamikaze pilot Kōichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) is determined to help defeat the beast as an act of personal redemption after failing to save a group of his fellow soldiers in an earlier attack by Godzilla in the movie’s opening. Godzilla Minus One is as visceral a Godzilla movie as there has ever been with state-of-the-art effects bringing the giant kaiju to life, Godzilla reigning a truly apocalyptic level of destruction upon Japan, and the movie’s human characters telling a captivating story of redemption and survivor’s guilt. And yet, the full Godzilla Minus One experience hasn’t been had without Minus Color.
By releasing a black-and-white version of Godzilla Minus One, the intent of Toho and director Takashi Yamazaki is, first and foremost, to evoke the tone and feel of the original 1954 Godzilla, which was released in black-and-white. Minus Color accomplishes that endeavor well, and even more convincingly embodies a direct remake of the original Godzilla because of it. More importantly, Minus Color’s black-and-white format enhances the tone and cultural spirit at the heart of Minus One in some key ways.
Like no other Godzilla movie, Minus One is centred on the cultural essence of Japan in the immediate aftermath of the nation’s defeat in World War II. The detonation of nuclear warheads in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in particular, is constantly in the backdrop of Minus One’s story, with Godzilla’s attack being an aftershock of the worst kind for the reeling nation. Godzilla, as a character, was born out of cultural ripple effects of Japan being on the receiving end of two nuclear strikes, a character trait that has consistently be inseparable from Godzilla from his creation all the way up to his Hollywood MonsterVerse adventures. Minus Color adds more emphasis to that side of Minus One with its black-and-white cinematography adding an undercurrent of despair to the story.
With Japan’s defeat in World War II as its foundation, Godzilla Minus One is arguably the bleakest Godzilla movie ever made. Kōichi himself is going through a personal crisis for freezing in terror instead of firing upon Godzilla to save his friends, and his personal despair and guilt feel all the more palpable in Minus Color’s black-and-white format. Minus One extrapolates that theme even further with Japan trying to rebuild after World War II only for Godzilla to obliterate any progress the nation has made in doing so. In Godzilla Minus One Minus Color, the black-and-white presentation of the film makes the collective trauma experienced throughout Japan of essentially being nuked a third time by Godzilla’s atomic breath all the more real and tangible for audiences.
To be sure, Godzilla Minus One is just as impactful in different ways in its color format. Godzilla’s design, in particular, is among the scariest he’s ever had, while the scene in which he destroys Tokyo’s Ginza district with his atomic breath is a genuine horror movie moment, all the more so for the humans on the ground subject to the most merciless version of Godzilla’s signature power ever put to film. Nonetheless, with a simple switch from colour to black-and-white, Godzilla Minus One Minus Color exemplifies just how layered and deep a kaiju movie Minus One really is. That is true testimony to the power of Godzilla Minus One’s story, showing that a both a man’s and a nation’s broken spirits can, in some respects, be even more vivid and real Minus Color.
Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color
Japan, devastated after the war, faces a new threat in the form of Godzilla. How will the country confront this impossible situation?
Brad Curran is a dedicated writer from the United States with a love of all things nerdy. Brad’s interests range from action and martial arts flicks to superhero movies from both the DC and Marvel universes, to horror movies and sci-fi epics, with all of his interests united by his innate love of adventure.
Since 2013, Brad has brought his deep love for and experience with martial arts to his work with Kung Fu Kingdom, where he has covered everything from movies and TV to training and interviews with stars likes Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan, Joe Taslim, and Shannon Lee, to name just a few. Brad also expanded his career in entertainment journalism in his work with as a features writer for Screen Rant, where Brad brought his skill as on a range of topics like superheroes, the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise, and the history making story of the Snyder Cut. Brad also utilized his skill as an interviewer to his work with Screen Rant, where his interview resume includes big stars like Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler, Dante Basco, Janet Varney, Annette O’Toole, Dolph Lundgren, and many others.
Most importantly of all, Brad also considers Raul Julia’s M. Bison to be the most quotable movie character of all time, bar none.