Shin Godzilla (シン・ゴジラ, Shin Gojira) is a 2016 Japanese kaiju film directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, with a screenplay by Anno and special effects by Higuchi. Produced by Toho Pictures and Cine Bazar and distributed by Toho, it is the 31st installment in the Godzilla franchise, the 29th Godzilla film produced by Toho, Toho's third reboot of the franchise, and the first film in the franchise's Reiwa period.The film stars Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, and Satomi Ishihara. In the film, politicians struggle with bureaucratic red tape in order to deal with the sudden appearance of a giant monster that evolves whenever it is attacked.
When the Japan Coast Guard investigates an abandoned yacht in Tokyo Bay, their boat is destroyed and the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line is flooded. After seeing a viral video of the incident, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Rando Yaguchi theorizes that it was caused by a living creature. His theory is confirmed when news reports show a massive tail emerging from the ocean. Shortly thereafter, the creature moves inland and crawls through the Kamata district of Tokyo in the midst of inadequate evacuation. The creature leaves a path of destruction and numerous casualties, and evolves into a bipedal red-skinned form before it begins to overheat and returns to the sea. The government officials focus on military strategy and civilian safety, while Yaguchi is put in charge of a task force to research the creature. Due to high radiation readings, the group theorizes that it is energized by nuclear fission. The U.S. sends a special envoy, Kayoco Anne Patterson, who reveals that a disgraced, vehemently anti-nuclear zoology professor, Goro Maki, had been studying mutations caused by radioactive contamination and theorized the appearance of the creature, but he is disbelieved by both American and Japanese scientific circles. The U.S. then prevented him from making his conclusions public. The abandoned yacht discovered in Tokyo Bay was Maki's, and he left his research notes, jumbled into a code, in it before disappearing.
The creature, named Godzilla after Maki's research, reappears, now twice its original size, and makes landfall near Kamakura en route for Tokyo. The Japan Self-Defense Forces mobilize, but their attacks have no effect and they are forced to withdraw when Godzilla breaks through their defenses into the city.
In December 2014, Toho announced plans for a new domestic Godzilla film. Anno and Higuchi were announced as the directors in March 2015. Principal photography began in September 2015 and ended in October 2015. Inspiration for the film was drawn from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Shin Godzilla was theatrically released on July 29, 2016 to critical acclaim from Japanese critics and mixed reviews from Western critics. The film grossed US$78 million worldwide and was the highest-grossing live-action Japanese film of 2016 and became the highest-grossing Japanese-produced Godzilla film in the franchise. It received 11 Japan Academy Prize nominations and won seven, including Picture of the Year and Director of the Year.
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