Godzilla roaring in Godzilla Minus One

Where Does ‘Godzilla Minus One’ Fit on the Franchise’s Timeline?

The 2023 Japanese epic kaiju release Godzilla Minus One is now available to stream on Netflix, and a wider audience will now get the opportunity to experience Takashi Yamazaki’s modern masterpiece, which received major acclaim last year.

Recommended Videos

Set in post-war Japan, the film follows the havoc created by Godzilla, and a former kamikaze pilot’s attempts to put down the monster after suffering a great personal loss. Godzilla Minus One‘s popularity has led people to speculate about its place among the Godzilla films, often confusing it for a prequel or a remake. To clarify, the film is neither a prequel nor a remake, and should be treated as a standalone film with no affiliation with any other film based on the fictional monster.

To be fair to audiences, the Toho Studios (the production house behind Godzilla Minus One and several other Godzilla films, including the 1954 OG movie) Godzilla films do have a confusing chronology, leading to the aforementioned speculation. Consider this: the Millennium Era had several films that each served as an individual sequel to the 1954 classic.

Director Takashi Yamazaki explained the meaning behind the title of the film in 2023, simultaneously giving an indication of the timeline that Godzilla Minus One is based on:

It is set even before the time of the original Godzilla, so in that sense it is also a ‘minus one.’ It is also a ‘minus one’ in the sense of a run-up — a pull-back [that allows you to] get back on your feet in the face of difficult times. It can also be a ‘minus one’ of losing something, and I hope that people will feel the various meanings in this film as they watch it.”


Toho’s last Godzilla film before Godzilla Minus One was Shin Godzilla (2016), the first in the franchise’s Reiwa era. The movie was a critical and commercial success in Japan and was met with mixed reviews from the west. However, the production house had to go on a four-year break from making another Godzilla film due to a contract with American film production company Legendary Entertainment.

Godzilla Minus One was primarily shot in the Japanese regions of Chūbu and Kantō, with Shirogumi’s studio working on the visual effects for eight months. In hindsight, it is safe to say that those eight months of hard work paid off for the studio, as the film won the Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 96th Academy Awards.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Evan Tiwari
Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.