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Why Japanese fans are highly critical of new Godzilla’s lumbering girth

An image of Godzilla taken from the film’s promotional poster.

Kimberley Frenchin/Warner Bros

Japanese moviegoers think the new version of Godzilla needs to drop a few tons.

In advance of next week's rollout of the new 3-D summer blockbuster, fans in Japan – the country of Godzilla's origin – have spoken out on the latest incarnation of the massive movie creature.

And in their humble opinion, the new Godzilla has been "super-sized" by Hollywood.

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"When I finally saw it, I was a bit taken aback," said Fumihiko Abe, who claims to have seen every Godzilla movie ever made. "It's fat from the neck downwards and massive at the bottom."

Released in 1954, the original Godzilla introduced the world to the giant fire-breathing lizard with a penchant for leveling cities and crushing Japanese citizens.

Born of the nuclear age, Godzilla quickly became a symbol of a newly pacifist Japan and representative of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that prompted the end of the Second World War.

The fictional creature has since inspired nearly 30 more films, including the 1966 schlocker Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster and the 1998 Hollywood reboot Godzilla, widely considered one of the biggest flops in cinematic history.

Still, Abe says the 1998 version was "like a fast-moving dinosaur" compared to the lumbering big-butt beast in the new movie.

And Abe's critical take of the new version was echoed by attendees at a recent showing of Godzilla artwork at a Tokyo gallery.

"It's done a 'super-size me,' " quipped one Japanese man, making reference to the gargantuan meals served at many U.S. fast-food restaurants.

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"It's true that you gain weight in America," said another. "It's a calorie monster."

But one Japanese fan offered the most accurately succinct description of the new creature by dubbing it "Marshmallow Godzilla."

Can you imagine the box office potential for Godzilla vs. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?

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