Hollywood's Godzilla Is an 'American Fatty,' Say Japanese Fans

12:05 AM PST 05/02/2014 by Gavin J. Blair
Courtesy Everett Collection; Warner Bros. Pictures

While initial reaction to the Hollywood update has been mostly positive, some say the iconic Japanese monster has become too Americanized in one key respect: its waistline.

TOKYO -- Some Japanese film fans think Gareth Edwards' Godzilla character has put on too many pounds in all the wrong places, and they have been making their feelings known on the Internet.

The name "Godzilla" is a combination of "gorilla" and "kujira," the Japanese word for whale. For many Japanese lovers of their country's original monster, the upcoming Hollywood re-creation is not enough muscular primate and too much blubbery cetacean.

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"Whichever way you look at it, he's an American fatty," posted one fan after promo images and trailers went online in Japan.

"He got fat in America on cola and pizza," tweeted another fan.

A common Japanese image of Americans is one of expanded waistlines -- and not without some justification. Obesity levels in Japan are below 4 percent, versus around 36 percent in the U.S.

Comments have been rolling in all over social media, film fan sites and chat rooms this week.

"He's couch potato Godzilla"; "It's got no neck"; "He Supersized"; and "Marshmallow-Godzilla?" were just a few of the reactions from fans.

Some were less harsh about the new Godzilla but still unimpressed: "It's chubby and cute," wrote one.

"It looks like a seal," said another.

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Others were simply more forgiving: "I'm looking forward to this. Well, everyone gets middle-age spread."

There was positive reaction too: "It looks better than the last Hollywood Godzilla," said one fan, while another observed, "He looks stronger than the original."

Godzilla turns 60 this year, having appeared in Ishiro Honda's original film in 1954, the first of 28 movies made by Japanese studio Toho featuring the monster. 

The upcoming Legendary and Warner Bros.-backed Godzilla opens in the U.S. on May 16, but Japanese fans will have to wait until July 25 for the film to open in the land that birthed the beast. 

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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