Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again

Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again

Shigeru Kayama

Translated by Jeffrey Angles

The first English translations of the original novellas about the iconic kaijū Godzilla

256 Pages, 6 x 8 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781517915230
  • Published: October 3, 2023
  • eBook
  • 9781452969855
  • Published: October 3, 2023


Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again

Shigeru Kayama

Translated by Jeffrey Angles

ISBN: 9781517915230

Publication date: October 3rd, 2023

256 Pages

8 x 5

"At long last, the pathbreaking novellas by Shigeru Kayama that launched the Godzilla franchise are finally available in English. It was well worth the wait: Jeffrey Angles’s lively translation captures all the action, emotion, and political edge of the original Japanese texts. This engaging volume will be a revelation for Godzilla fans, a rich resource for students of Japan, and a rewarding read for anyone who enjoys classic tales of science fiction and adventure."—William M. Tsutsui, chancellor of Ottawa University and author of Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters


"The contributions of Japan’s speculative fiction writer Shigeru Kayama to the Godzilla film franchise have long been overlooked in the West. Jeffrey Angles’s translation of Kayama’s Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again novellas, along with Angles’s own afterword with a biographical sketch of the writer, correct this longstanding oversight. An invaluable addition to the history of Japanese science fiction cinema and literature."—Steve Ryfle, coauthor of Ishirō Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa

"Angles’s contributions will be immeasurably useful to those interested in Shigeru Kayama and the beginnings of a pop culture icon. In an age where the vast majority of fandom clamors aggressively for overpriced plastic, Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again is a treasure not to be missed."—Our Culture Magazine


"Fun novellas, a deeper understanding of the creature and the themes the original movie was trying to explore, and a glimpse into Japan of the 1950s."—The Irresponsible Reader


"Angles' Afterword, 'Translating an Icon', is useful and welcome supplementary material, both in giving a history of the different Godzilla-adaptations, as well as also offering some interesting observations about translating the novellas."—The Complete Review


"Translated by Jeffrey Angles, Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again is a truly fascinating and historic release."—FilmJuice 


"There's undoubtedly a mythological heft to Godzilla, and to Angles' new translation of Shigeru Kayama's text. It's a wonderful new book with an extremely insightful afterword filled with information that's been largely unavailable in the West."—Movieweb


"Angles’s translation does full justice to the original. It preserves the pace and tone of a novella for young adults, including innumerable examples of onomatopoeia."—Asian Review of Books


"The return of Kayama’s original giant monster, and its message, could not be better timed."—The Washington Post


"With an informative afterword by Angles, Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again finally allows English readers to better understand the important context behind the monster."—The Japan Times


"Shigeru Kayama intended these stories to send a strong message - and now, thanks to Jeffrey Angles, that message once more sounds clearer than ever. The novellas constitute a stark warning and appeal."—The Times Literary Supplement


"The novellas reveal valuable insights into Kayama’s vision for the Godzilla story, feature plots that differ from the films, and clearly display the author’s strong antinuclear, proenvironmental convictions."—Forces of Geek


"Angles’s translation of Kayama’s Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again will appeal to monster fans and scholars of film studies, Japanese studies, and popular culture seeking another aspect of the irradiated dinosaur’s origins."—H-Net Reviews


"Godzilla is that which we can’t resolve, at once divine and ridiculous. That’s why, for 70 years, we’ve needed to keep retelling its story."—Public Books


"These are exciting stories from the roots of the Godzilla mythos, before all the later additions."—Skjam! Reviews


"Angles’ translation brings out both the cartoony quality of Godzilla’s actions that would be explored and adored in following decades but also the devastating threat of nuclear violence lurking within its narrative. In so doing, it reveals something essential about the adaptive quality at the heart of Godzilla, across film and literature, from original to sequel, between English and Japanese."—Reading in Translation


The first English translations of the original novellas about the iconic kaijū Godzilla

Godzilla emerged from the sea to devastate Tokyo in the now-classic 1954 film, produced by Tōhō Studios and directed by Ishirō Honda, creating a global sensation and launching one of the world’s most successful movie and media franchises. Awakened and transformed by nuclear weapons testing, Godzilla serves as a terrifying metaphor for humanity’s shortsighted destructiveness: this was the intent of Shigeru Kayama, the science fiction writer who drafted the 1954 original film and its first sequel and, in 1955, published these novellas. 


Although the Godzilla films have been analyzed in detail by cultural historians, film scholars, and generations of fans, Kayama’s two Godzilla novellas—both classics of Japanese young-adult science fiction—have never been available in English. This book finally provides English-speaking fans and critics the original texts with these first-ever English-language translations of Godzilla and Godzilla Raids Again. The novellas reveal valuable insights into Kayama’s vision for the Godzilla story, feature plots that differ from the films, and clearly display the author’s strong antinuclear, proenvironmental convictions.


Kayama’s fiction depicts Godzilla as engaging in guerrilla-style warfare against humanity, which has allowed the destruction of the natural world through its irresponsible, immoral perversion of science. As human activity continues to cause mass extinctions and rapid climatic change, Godzilla provides a fable for the Anthropocene, powerfully reminding us that nature will fight back against humanity’s onslaught in unpredictable and devastating ways.



Retail e-book files for this title are screen-reader friendly.

Shigeru Kayama (1904–1975) was a science fiction writer and scenarist whose early stories about monsters and mutated sea creatures attracted the attention of Tōhō Studios, which asked him to draft the first two Godzilla films. The film Half Human by Tōhō Studios was also based on one of his stories, and he contributed to the screenplay for the Tōhō film The Mysterians


Jeffrey Angles is professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University. He is author of Writing the Love of Boys (Minnesota, 2011) and award-winning translator of Orikuchi Shinobu’s The Book of the Dead (Minnesota, 2017) and Hiromi Ito’s The Thorn Puller.


Note on Japanese Names

Godzilla: Godzilla in Tokyo

A Strange Bright Light from the Ocean Floor

The Kaiju of Ōdo Island

The Eerie Island of Ōdo

Godzilla Appears

The Mysterious Trilobite

The Underground Laboratory

We Mustn’t Kill

The Tokyo Godzilla Society

Godzilla Attacks the Metropolitan Center

The Oxygen Destroyer

Prayer for Peace

Godzilla Raids Again: Godzilla in Osaka

Flight over the Ocean

Two Kaiju

Professor Yamane

Godzilla Approaches

Crowds of Evacuees

The Escaped Prisoners

Godzilla Makes Landfall


The Hokkaido Branch

The Far North

Celebrating the Big Catch

Godzilla Appears in the Northern Seas

Kobayashi’s Plane Meets Its End

Nature’s Victory Song

Afterword: Translating an Icon

Jeffrey Angles

Glossary of Names, Places, and Ideas