A question has recently caught my attention which has many different sides to it and is quite a debatable one.
In giant monster movies, who is truly the “monster”? Is it humans or the giant creatures?
One the one hand, you have the behemoths that destroy everything in their path, are unstoppable, unsympathetic and impossible to plan around.
On the other hand, you have people who created these monsters. Who, through their own ignorance, greed or pride, brought life into the world. Now that life will end all other life.
If that is the case, then who is truly to blame?
The answer to me is definitely kaiju. There’s a reason they are called “monsters.”
Now, you could certainly say that, in some way, humans are responsible for the creation of many monsters. This would include Godzilla through constant use of atomic bombs, Hedorah (from “Godzilla vs. Hedorah”) from the large amount of pollution and smog in the world, and Frankenstein (from “Frankenstein Conquers The World”) combining the immortal heart of the beast with the atomic fallout of Hiroshima.
That if we didn’t overstep our boundaries or didn’t pursue power so much, then these monsters wouldn’t exist. It is because of man’s arrogance that these monsters were made, and now we must pay the price.
Here’s the thing: Any time that we create one of these monstrosities and it begins to destroy innocent lives, there are humans always there to help out in dangerous situations. People risking their lives to help those in need, whether through rescuing those who need it, finding a way to stop the monster conclusively or just the military trying to bring the monster down.
These attempts may not always be the best solution to the situation, but the important thing is that these people are being selfless and brave to go into the heart of a war zone to save those who deserve to live.
To me, the daikaiju films have always painted a very interesting yet honest picture of humanity: That we will pursue fits of power, greed, ignorance and whatnot, which always have the possibility of backfiring in our faces and hurting us more than they would help. At the same time they show we’re willing to give up our own lives so that others may live.
I find that it’s impossible for someone to go through life without being greedy, selfish or power-hungry at least once. Even if we idolize the lifestyles of religious figures like Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Allah, etc., we will never reach their standards. Everyone one of us has flaws, yet we also have our strengths. These flaws and strengths will vary from person to person of course, but it is all there.
We are a flawed species, but that doesn’t make us bad. For all the bad and terrible things that humanity has done, there have been just as many amazing and terrific things done as well, if not more. That’s what I feel daikaiju films as a whole are trying to say about humanity.