This retelling of the classic tokusatsu tale looks to be surprisingly fresh and nostalgic all at the same time.

When the original Godzilla was released in 1954 by Toho, it was a parable for that nuclear weapons that hit the country a decade earlier. Godzilla itself was a living manifestation of the nuclear bomb which could not be matched by conventional weapons and indiscriminately laid entire cities to waste.

A little over half a century later, Japan faced yet another nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant triggered by the Tohoku Earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Again, the feeling of helplessness and despair among residents of Japan was awakened by a random act of nature.

It seems that these themes are what Shin Godzilla (to be known as Godzilla Resurgence outside Japan) is returning to in the upcoming film directed by Hideaki Anno (Evangelion) and Shinji Higuchi (Attack on Titan live-action films). In true Anno style, the towering monster slowly makes its way through urban areas with an air of chilling indifference as humans scramble to stop it with all the firepower they have.

While there are plenty of unmistakably Anno moments to be glimpsed here, a bunch of tanks firing at Godzilla is hardly a new trick. However, the trailer is also spliced with scenes of politicians and military struggling to deal with this disaster. You can even see people in dressed blue outfits eerily reminiscent of those worn by the Tokyo Electric Power Company during the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

▼ Many scenes from the trailer look lifted straight out of 2011 news reports.

▼ An actual news report from April, 2011, about one of Tokyo Electric’s many apologies

This is where Shin Godzilla shows signs of being truly great just like the original 1954 version was: by capturing that very real sense of helplessness and fear the nation had felt at the hands of a massive force of nature, and by showing that reactions of rage and violence are about as effective as firing a gun at Godzilla.

At the moment, the million dollar question is whether the actual movie will live up to those epic themes hinted at in the trailer. The direction of Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi is certainly comforting to that effect. Even though Higuchi was at the helm of the disastrous Attack on Titan films, his tokusatsu track-record is pretty good and should keep the style in line with past Godzilla films.

▼ Refreshingly, this trailer doesn’t bother obscuring Godzilla’s appearance, hinting that the film may be about more than just a monster.

We’ve been misled by trailers before, however, so it’s still too early to tell whether this’ll be the smash we’re hoping for. We will just have to wait until 29 July, when Shin Godzilla is released, to see if it is truly the king of reboots.

Source: YouTube/Toho Movie Channel via Kotaku US