Not too long ago, Japanese film content seemed to be falling behind its South Korean competition around the world: Awards and attention were going to Bong Joon-ho’s black comedy “Parasite” and the hit Netflix series “Squid Game,” not the manga— or bestseller-based Japanese commercial movies that were hits at home.

Then late last year Takashi Yamazaki’s “Godzilla Minus One” exploded onto screens — first in Japan and then in the United States — and the conversation around this venerable series (the first Godzilla film appeared in 1954) suddenly changed.

Instead of the one-time mockery about a guy in a Godzilla suit trampling a toy-sized Tokyo, critics and fans overseas extolled the emotional impact of the film’s drama, set in a ruined and demoralized Japan shortly after its defeat in World War II. On top of that, Yamazaki and his small VFX team were praised by their U.S. counterparts for creating scarily real monster action on a minuscule, by Hollywood standards, budget.