Toho Cinemas released the film “Godzilla Minus One” on Nov. 3, 2023, as part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary this year of the classic kaijū franchise. The film is a throwback in the vein of the 1954 original, garnering positive reviews and, on Jan. 23, the series’ first Academy Award nomination.

Perhaps Yomiuri Giants fans will take the success of this modern spin on an old classic as a good omen for the 2024 season. Japan’s most storied franchise is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and welcomed former star slugger Hideki Matsui, famously nicknamed “Godzilla” during his playing days, to spring camp as a temporary coach.

Matsui is the original. The modern twist — or Shin Godzilla, to reference another film in the classic franchise — is young slugger Yuto Akihiro, who currently wears the No. 55 uniform Matsui made famous.