Godzilla Minus One ending explained

Leon Miller
Shikishima and Noriko in Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One, the 33rd entry in Toho Studios’ Godzilla canon, is in cinemas now. Here’s a breakdown of the critically acclaimed creature feature’s ending.

Godzilla Minus One’s closing scenes – like the rest of the movie – incorporate aspects from Toho’s original 1954 Godzilla film.

As such, some of what transpires will seem familiar to long-time fans, while other plot beats will catch newbies and veterans alike by surprise. There’s also a last-minute tease to unpack, which could have implications for the future of the franchise.

So read on for the lowdown on every major development during Godzilla Minus One’s final act. Warning: Major spoilers to follow for the ending of Godzilla Minus One.

Godzilla Minus One ending explained

Godzilla Minus One ends with protagonist Kōichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) killing Godzilla.

This comes after a plan formulated by Doc (Hidetaka Yoshioka) fails to take down the King of the Monsters. Doc’s plan involves defeating Godzilla through a combination of deep-sea pressure and explosive compression – a riff on the 1954 film’s “Oxygen Destroyer” weapon.

This two-pronged attack is enough to wound Godzilla, but not kill him outright. What’s more, the oversized lizard emerges from the ordeal furious with his human attackers. But as Godzilla attempts to exact revenge with his atomic breath, Shikishima crashes his plane into the beastie’s mouth.

Shikishima’s plane then explodes, obliterating Godzilla’s head along with it. The young pilot seemingly dies as well, however, we soon learn he bailed prior to the collision. Further details come via a flashback scene, which confirms mechanic Sōsaku (Munetaka Aoki) added an ejector seat to the aircraft.

With Godzilla down for the count, Minus One shifts into epilogue mode. This culminates in a heartfelt reunion between Shikishima and Noriko (Minami Hamabe), whose injuries during Godzilla’s mid-film rampage turn out to be non-fatal. The pair’s adopted daughter, Akiko (Sae Nagatani) is present as well.

However, this touching family moment is quickly undercut by Godzilla Minus One’s closing shot. Here, we see a hunk of Godzilla’s flesh sinking towards the ocean floor – regenerating as it goes. This strongly suggests that Godzilla will return, although Toho hasn’t announced plans for a direct sequel at this stage.

What are critics saying about Godzilla Minus One?

That said, it seems likely that studio executives have discussed a Godzilla Minus One follow-up film, given the film’s critical and commercial success. Aside from its strong ticket sales, Toho’s 33rd Godzilla outing has garnered rave reviews – here’s what critics are saying.

In our review, we awarded Godzilla Minus One 4/5 stars, describing it as “a lovingly crafted, thoughtful blockbuster that should appeal to purists and casual viewers alike.”

Variety‘s Richard Kuipers agreed, branding the film “a high point in the long-running series.”

IGN‘s Katie Rife praised Godzilla Minus One’s balance between heartfelt drama and blockbuster spectacle. “The story is character-driven, but the monster scenes are exciting and effective,” she wrote. Meanwhile, Inverse‘s Eric Francisco hailed Godzilla Minus One as “perhaps one of the finest movies of the kaiju genre ever put to screen.”

Godzilla Minus One is in cinemas now. You can check out our other coverage below:

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