Released worldwide last year to almost universal critical acclaim and record-setting box-office returns, Takashi Yamazaki’s “Godzilla Minus One” has become the first entry in the venerable 70-year-old Godzilla franchise to win an Academy Award.

On receiving the Oscar for best visual effects on Sunday in Los Angeles, Yamazaki said, “This is proof that everyone has a chance."

Few would have bet on that chance when Toho announced the film’s production in February 2022. Set in the chaotic aftermath of Japan’s defeat in World War II, “Godzilla Minus One” was made for a reported $15 million — a small fraction of the budgets used by its Hollywood competitors, including the $250 million Marvel movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which was also nominated for an Oscar in the best visual effects category. And Yamazaki’s team of 35 VFX artists was tiny compared to the corporate consortium assembled to make the visual effects for “Guardians.”