The GNP Presents:
Godzilla vs. Hedorah
From the original story by Yoshimitsu Banno
Screenplay by Yoshimitsu Banno and Kaoru Mabuchi
Novelization by Daniel DiManna
This novelization is dedicated to the memory of Yoshimitsu Banno, the mind and soul behind Godzilla vs. Hedorah. For his uncompromising vision, cinematic boldness, and desire to change the world for the better, he will forever be remembered, respected, and missed.
Rest well, Banno-san. かえせ！太陽を
“Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
-Native American Proverb
Mount Fuji had loomed larger than life itself over the towns and cities that had grown up around it for generation upon generation. A citizen, whether they hailed from old Edo or modern Tokyo, could always look up and expect to see it, standing ever present and unfailingly staggering in its size and beauty. Even as the decades had marched on, and the skylines of a rapidly modernizing Japan had grown, Fuji-san remained, forever silhouetted against the blue skies.
But no more.
Times had changed. As the sun stood still over the Tokyo of 1971, Fuji-san could no longer be seen. Little more than its faint outline could be perceived through a sky now thick with a man-made shroud of smog, belched unrelentingly into the air by an unending forest of smokestacks. Some bore colors – red and white stripes had become popular with many companies – while others were as bland and brown as the smoke they released, day after day, into the once blue skies.
Beneath the smokestacks, a sea of ugly factories seemed to dominate the land. From these many buildings came the products that fueled a growing nation. Japan’s modernization had accelerated at an astronomical rate during the previous decade, and as progress had marched forward, the people had reaped the benefits of a society on the upswing. They’d felt as though they were on top of the world, and as the 60s had come to an end, it seemed that a future awaited them wherein anything would soon be possible.
However, the new decade would meet them with a harsh reality: progress never arrives without a slew of less-desirable side effects. The country faced a full-blown ecological crisis as toxic waste soon blotted out the sun, choking the population and poisoning their lungs. Hundreds began to die from pollution-fueled asthma. Fish became inedible. Water was rendered undrinkable.
And all the while, the smoke from the factories continued to rise.
On the streets around these bland and colorless buildings, no citizens walked or drove. Where the streets gave way to dirt and earth, no plants grew. And in the once sparkling Pacific waters nearby, only death, decay, and the refuse of man could be seen.
Floating upon the surface of the still waters, a thick blanket of sludge and slime stretched for miles upon miles. Only the odd, isolated pool of blackened liquid betrayed the presence of the ocean beneath, but even below the surface, there was no escape from the advancing wall of waste that continued to creep onwards, leaving the factories that produced it far behind. Where the sheet of sludge traveled, death came along for the ride. Laying in their thousands upon the ever-moving layer of filth, fish of all shapes and colors filled the air with the scent of their rotting flesh. Between their bodies could be seen countless objects left to rot in the sea, many of which could surely have found their origins in the very factories that made their presence within the sludge possible. Beer bottles and food cans sat upon – and within – their slimy ride, surrounded by overflowing garbage bags and plastic containers of various sizes and forms. Upon a solitary patch of floating grime, a discarded human manikin rested, its cadaver-like body disintegrating as if the sludge itself had brutally attacked it. The figure’s neck, torso and left thigh had already rotted away, leaving the plastic corpse to bob and quiver upon the water in four distinct pieces.
The sheet of waste continued on its way, dragging with it more death and refuse with each passing minute. The bodies of dead sea life, discarded toys, a clock without hands half submerged in slime…
And within the percolating broth of ooze and waste… life.
Amongst the death and decay, something lived. Something moved, and moved with purpose. The thick shroud of filth that still advanced through the ocean parted before it, filled it with power. It was within this filth that it had gestated, from the slime that it had been birthed into the world. And now it moved upwards, its focus intensifying, its hunger growing…
Moments later, two burning red eyes finally pierced the surface of the bubbling ocean. And laid out before them, a city shrouded in smog.
Soon, the beast would hunger no more…