Godzilla Minus One

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Short takes

Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 14 (violence, themes, scary scenes, subtitles)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Godzilla Minus One
  • a review of Godzilla Minus One completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 7 December 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence, themes, scary scenes and subtitles.
Children aged 13–14 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and themes.
Children aged 15 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Godzilla Minus One
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes and science fiction violence
Length: 125 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Kamikaze pilot Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) lands at Odo Airfield during the last days of WWII. When the mechanics find nothing wrong with the plane, Shikishima realises they must know that rather than die in a last-ditch attempt to damage the enemy, he landed his plane, choosing to live instead. As evening approaches, Shikishima notices dead, deep-sea fish rising to the surface and washing up along the shore. Shortly thereafter, a gigantic monster the locals call ‘Godzilla’ rises from the deep and attacks the airbase. Shikishima goes to his plane to try to use the guns but is too terrified to shoot and freezes up instead. When his plane is destroyed by the monster, Shikishima is knocked unconscious. He awakens the next morning to discover that all the mechanics have been brutally killed by Godzilla, except for the head mechanic called Tachibana (Munetaka Aoki) who blames Shikishima for the death of his friends. Shikishima returns to the ruins of his home in war-ravaged Tokyo, only to find that his parents are dead, that most people he knows didn’t survive and that he is blamed for living because his job was to die for his country. When a young woman suddenly pushes a baby into his arms, everything changes. Her name is Noriko (Minami Hamabe) and she promised a dying mother that she would care for her baby daughter Akiko (Sae Nagatani). With nowhere to go and no one to help her, Noriko winds up staying with Shikishima and they work out a system that benefits them both. When, years later, Godzilla returns to threaten the mainland and attack Tokyo, he is much larger than before and far more deadly. Shikishima is still battling an internal war filled with nightmares and shame. He is just beginning to find a way to move forward when Godzilla attacks and Noriko is killed. Ultimately, it is the loss of a love he never knew he had that propels him forward and gives him the strength to do what he wished he could have done in the first place. Assisting in a large scale attack against a monster that can regenerate and deliver powerful and destructive blasts from its mouth, Shikishima is determined that they will not fail and that he will do whatever it takes to destroy Godzilla and save his homeland once and for all.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Suicide; War; Children losing parents and families being separated; Death; Monsters; Nightmares; Deep, psychological shame.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Godzilla explodes things near the airfield. There are screams as men run and hide.
  • Men shoot at Godzilla with bullets while he roars and stomps on them.
  • Godzilla bites the heads off some men, and he crushes others and throws them away.
  • Godzilla eats some men, flings some men and crushes others with his tail.
  • Godzilla bites a plane in half and Shikishima is knocked unconscious as the plane explodes. Godzilla rages and screams over everyone. In the morning, there are multiple dead bodies lying all over the ground. One man is injured, with a bone poking out of the side of his leg.
  • Shikishima is told that he was a kamikaze pilot and that if he had done his job a woman’s children would not have died.
  • Shikishima’s neighbourhood was firebombed and there were few survivors. People huddle in the ruins.
  • Shikishima’s parents were killed in an air raid.
  • Shikishima goes to work, shooting mines left out at sea.
  • Men freak out and begin shooting as they can see that (after Atomic bomb blasts in Bikini Atoll) Godzilla has returned, stronger than ever.
  • It is described how baby Akiko was orphaned in an air raid.
  • Photos emerge of the wreckage of boats being damaged and destroyed by a massive undersea organism.
  • Godzilla rises, grabs a boat and drags it down into the water. He then begins chasing another boat.
  • Men drop a mine and explode the mine against Godzilla.
  • Shikishima shoots at Godzilla with a machine gun.
  • Shikishima and some men manage to lodge a mine in Godzilla’s mouth. It doesn’t explode so they shoot the mine, causing a massive explosion that rips Godzilla’s face apart. Moments later, he is healing himself and his skin is repairing.
  • Godzilla is blasted by powerful weapons from a ship. He goes after the ship, tearing it apart, and men scream as they are crushed, fly through the air and fall overboard.
  • Naval officers shoot at Godzilla who shoots a white light from his mouth, incinerating everything in its path.
  • Shikishima is covered in blood and falls down unconscious after the attack.
  • Godzilla heads toward Tokyo Bay and men launch bombs at him but it makes no difference, and he heads straight for land. Buses are thrown, power lines are ripped down, and people are crushed beneath Godzilla’s feet as they try to escape.
  • Godzilla throws a train onto some tracks and bites another one in half. Noriko is hanging on as she dangles over the city, hanging onto a bar. She falls into the ocean when the train is cast aside, the carriage nearly crushing her as it falls into the water.
  • Godzilla’s tail destroys buildings and turns them to rubble. Reporters are killed as they fall off a building.
  • The army fires tanks at Godzilla but that only makes him angry.
  • Scientists explain how they plan to crush Godzilla by sending him quickly to the bottom of a deep-sea trench and then allowing him to rise back up just as fast.
  • Tachibana knocks Shikishima to the ground and punches him. They fight each other until Shikishima can explain why he has asked Tachibana to come.
  • Shikishima explains that he will be able to kill Godzilla if he flies a plane full of explosives into its mouth.
  • A boat is on fire as it flies through the air.
  • Godzilla approaches Tokyo Bay while explosions happen all around him.
  • Godzilla crushes houses and buildings as he makes his way inland.
  • Shikishima shoots at Godzilla with the guns on his plane, trying to lure him back to the deep water. Godzilla tries to bite the plane, jumping up from the water to grab it with his mouth. He misses but blasts his light ray at the boats.
  • A group of boats drag Godzilla to the sea and wrap canisters of gas around him while he gets ready to send forth another light ray. He is plunged into the water to be crushed by nature, only he rises again, battered but otherwise unscathed.
  • Godzilla is about to blast the boats with his powerful light ray when Shikishima flies his plane directly into the monster’s mouth. Godzilla’s head explodes as his body crumbles apart.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The spikey scales along Godzilla’s tail and spine seem to pop upwards as a bright light charges beneath them. This blast of light bursts from Godzilla’s mouth with a roaring fury that destroys everything in its path. This happens on multiple occasions and the destruction is devastating. At one point, Godzilla stands beneath what appears to be a mushroom cloud. No one is left alive but there is intense, deranged screaming while black rain falls, and the city looks like it has been razed to the ground.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • On one occasion, as Noriko and Shikishima are fleeing Godzilla, Noriko pushes Shikishima into an alleyway and takes the full blast herself. Shikishima is knocked unconscious and awakens to find that Noriko is gone. Little Akiko is devastated by the loss of her second mother and often cries for her. Some children are likely to be distressed by these scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • A character is told not to covet Noriko, to which she replies, “I am not a wife”.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Shikishima gets drunk after Noriko dies.
  • A group of mechanics smoke cigarettes.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Screwed
  • Hell
  • Damn it!
  • Fool
  • Damned
  • Bastards
  • You suck
  • Pissed.

In a nutshell

Godzilla Minus One is a Japanese adventure film with English subtitles. The story is set in the 1940’s and is the 37th film in the Godzilla franchise. This is a film that is best suited to older audiences and fans of Japanese cinema.

The main messages from this movie are that not all battles need to cost life; that courage can be found in the most unlikely places; and that love is the strongest force on earth.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Honour
  • Sacrifice
  • Ingenuity
  • Teamwork.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • The practice of kamikaze pilots or suicide bombers.
  • The fact that everyone loses in a war.
  • Trying to do everything yourself or hold on to burdens beyond your control.
  • Blaming yourself or others for things they are powerless to prevent or change.