Friday Flotsam: Mostly Battra, Some Christmas

1. It’s almost Christmas already, and with that the end of the year. This year for Advent I did a hard fast: no meat or sweets (except protein shake) and no eating between meals. It was tough at first, but lately I’ve barely noticed it. I am very much looking forward to being able to enjoy meat again, though.

2. Been busy this past week, but with things that I’d rather keep to myself for now until I’ve got a better idea of how to deploy them. Put it that I have ideas and want to figure out how make them concrete.

3. Something I can talk about is that I’m continuing to work through updating my old kaiju appreciations with the one for Battra. It was probably the easiest such video to make so far; it only took me about two or three sessions. I’m fairly satisfied with the original, so I mostly just kept to the same footage, with one or two small changes. And Battra’s about the perfect character for a tribute like this, in that he’s in only one film, but he’s in that film quite a lot so there isn’t much difficulty in finding sufficient footage for him. I started it a few days ago and published it last night. Below is the video, with the original for comparison.

4. Battra’s a really cool character; one of the best original creations of the Heisei era (yes, I will do a series of reviews on those movies someday). The fundamental idea is that he is a dark counterpart to Mothra; also a giant moth-like creature, but bigger, uglier, and more powerful. Like Mothra, he’s concerned with protecting the Earth and nature, but where she aims at peace and coexistence, he sets out to violently destroy anything that seems to threaten the natural order. So, he’s the Magneto to her Professor X you could say.

This gives him some interesting dimensions. Since he has a clear and consistent motivation, he’s open to being reasoned with. He and Mothra start out as enemies, but when she convinces him that Godzilla is the greater threat to the Earth than humanity, he joins forces with her to defeat him (Godzilla’s still in full-on villain mode in this film). Even before that, his clashes with Godzilla make him come across as strangely admirable; yes, he’s a bad guy, but he’s also much more able to match the King of the Monsters than Mothra is, giving him a “Man, I wish he was on our side” feeling.

Then, in the end, he winds up sacrificing himself to defeat Godzilla, and on top of that we learn that he was supposed to fly into space to deflect an on-coming meteor (which, presumably, is one of the reasons he woke up when he did). This leaves Mothra responsible for doing the job instead, in effect taking up his mantel.

It’s really Battra’s death that gives him that extra edge and makes him such an interesting character: this zealous, uncompromising warrior who voluntarily takes the brunt of Godzilla’s fury for his former enemy and so perishes, unyielding and undefeated, leaving the said former enemy to take his place.

With that in mind, I picked Going Down in Flames by 3 Doors Down way back in the day, reflecting the fact that his whole story ultimately leads up to his inevitable death in battle, because he’s simply too fierce and uncompromising for any other outcome. Lyrics like “Don’t tell me what to think,” and “don’t tell me how life is” are also very fitting to his character.

5. By the way, my own head-canon is that the Rebirth of Mothra films are in continuity with the Heisei Godzilla movies, and thus this is the same Mothra who died in the first of those films. Which would mean, of course, that Battra is Mothra Leo’s father.

Yeah, probably doesn’t work story wise, but I like the idea anyway.

(That would mean their energy-based conversation also counts as ‘the deed’. That is how the Mothras do).

6. I really didn’t begin this list thinking I would end up talking about Mothra sex. Merry Christmas, everyone!

7. On a different note, I had some socio-political thoughts, but I’ll save them. On Christmas day, the Most Hight was born in a stable; any idea that earthly power, prestige, or wealth means anything significant dies right away before that fact. So let’s forget all that nonsense for now and rejoice that we live in such a world where God became Man.

One thought on “Friday Flotsam: Mostly Battra, Some Christmas

  1. So you’ll devote ten paragraphs to a one-shot adversary of Godzilla, but politics is too trivial to bother with. That’s what I like in an essayist: well-ordered priorities.

    Liked by 1 person

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