So here’s the obligatory part of any kaiju movies where a couple of famous landmarks bite the dust. As I already mentioned on Thursday, kaiju seem magically drawn to places of cultural and psychological significance.
When I used to watch kaiju movies as a kid, that aspect was rather lost on me, since I just didn’t recognize these landmarks. By now I’ve realized how those movies never just showed random destruction of generic urban landscape, but nearly always included buildings that would be instantly recognizable as important landmarks to a Japanese audience.
And the list kept evolving over the years…while the Tokyo Tower and the National Diet Building are classics that got victimized again and again over the course of kaiju movie history, newer architectonical pearls like the Fukuoka Tower and the new Fuji TV headquarters met their fictional fate in kaiju movies within a relatively short time after their real-world completion.
You could say the trend already started with King Kong and the Empire State Building… and the 1976 remake even went out of its way to provide Kong with some sort of reason for his attraction to a significant landmark, which Japanese kaiju movies usually don’t.
In this case, of course, the monster isn’t acting under its own free will, anyway – so there’s no big secret behind its laser-like accuracy in zeroing in on landmarks. Only a little secret, as demonstrated by Snuka: that relying on video games and books for your education can make you an even greater threat to the world at large than relying on just one or the other.
More on Thursday!