Here's Why Godzilla Minus One Is Called 'Minus One'

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Godzilla in Godzilla Minus One

With Godzilla Minus One available to stream on Netflix almost everywhere, fans both old and new may still be wondering exactly what the "Minus One" refers to.

Godzilla Minus One hit theaters in late 2023, first in Japan, then internationally. It quickly became a critical and financial hit, winning the Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 2024 ceremony.

Following an Amazon Prime Video streaming debut in Japan last month, the movie is now available to stream on Netflix in several other countries (including the United States).

[ Godzilla Minus One U.S. Netflix Streaming Release Date & Time Revealed ]

Why Is Godzilla Minus One Titled 'Minus One'?

Godzilla from Godzilla Minus One
Godzilla Minus One

The title Godzilla Minus One is not exactly self-explanatory, but once fans learn what it means, it makes perfect sense.

Both historically and within the fictional universe of Godzilla Minus One, World War II left Japan at what many would consider the country's absolute lowest point.

As Toho Internation President Koji Ueda told Forbes, the title's "Minus One" refers to how Godzilla's attack would somehow bring Japan even lower, and "into the ‘minus:'"

"Set in a post-war Japan, 'Godzilla Minus One' will once again show us a Godzilla that is a terrifying and overwhelming force ... The concept is that Japan, which had already been devastated by the war, faces a new threat with Godzilla, bringing the country into the 'minus.'"

Essentially, if WWII left Japan at point zero, Godzilla brings the nation into the negatives — hence, the "Minus One" being a reference to -1, the first integer lower than zero.

What About the Damage from Previous Godzilla Movies?

With the given explanation behind the Godzilla Minus One title, fans may still be wondering why the 37th movie (of 38 total) in the Godzilla franchise is the first to bring the state of Japan as a nation lower than that zero threshold.

However, Godzilla Minus One actually exists in its own continuity. Not every Godzilla movie takes place on the same timeline, and Godzilla Minus One is the first (and possibly only) story within its specific continuity.

As such, the damage from the other 37 Godzilla movies did not happen in Godzilla Minus One's universe, making the attacks that first bring Japan below zero only those featured or discussed in the 2023 movie.

With this in mind, the title makes perfect sense. This is the first time the monster attacks Japan, which was already at what many considered its lowest, pushing the nation into that negative range.

Godzilla Minus One is available to stream in various regions, including the United States, on Netflix.

- About The Author: Gillian Blum

Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.