Godzilla Singular Point roared onto Netflix in June of this year. This anime take on The King Of Monsters is filled with colorful animation and classic Kaiju reimagined by Studio Ghibli veteran, Eiji Yamamori. The series is also fit to burst with musings on science, mythology, and technology. It’s a strange combination of monster battle romp and pseudo science lecture that ranges from engaging to downright convoluted.
Set in Japan in the year 2030, Godzilla Singular Point follows an ensemble of characters and organizations that struggle to survive and make sense of a sudden wave of monster activity in Tokyo. The most entertaining thread that we follow involves two factory worker brothers and their eccentric boss who builds a robot that is none other than Jet Jaguar, the first of many obscure characters and references the series lifts from Godzillas back catalogue. Similarly Gabara, the forgotten villain from Godzilla’s Revenge (perhaps the most despised of Godzilla’s initial Toho movies) makes an appearance. Look forward to a ton of other Easter eggs like these waiting for die hard fans to find them and grin with recognition. (I grinned quite a bit.)
Our heroes are ultimately attacked by a flock of the pterodactyl-like Rodan creatures, and Jet Jaguar swiftly goes from side show curiosity to battle robot while the two brothers begin a quest to both survive and understand the conflict that has engulfed the world.
The other main plot thread is where problems arise for the series. It concerns graduate student Mei Kamino, who teams up with a talkative AI to investigate various phenomena surrounding the coming of the Kaiju. This is where, unfortunately, the majority of the series is spent. This means good chunks of episodes are taken up by scenes of Mei typing on a computer while her Pokemon-like AI friend explains things in a cute but ultimately grating voice that sounds like that know-it-all kid we all sat by in middle school.
Singular Point‘s insistence on taking up so much of its runtime with long-winded pseudo-scientific explanations for every insane thing that happens really begins to muddle the experience and take away precious monster screen time, which is ultimately why someone watches Godzilla in the first place. All that being said, this brainy approach is naturally preferable to some kind of boneheaded Michael Bay approach. Despite the chunkiness, it’s hard not to appreciate this much thought going into a piece of Godzilla lore, and who knows, maybe someday I will be smart enough to make sense of all the “science” these characters are chattering about.
Anyway. The Kaiju! They are the obvious high point here. The brightly-colored digital animation for the most part works well depending on the particular creature. While it does not always mesh perfectly with the more traditional animation, the digital approach gives these monsters a well-deserved otherworldly quality, especially when it comes to this particular version of Godzilla.
As a lifelong Godzilla fan, I was happy that a series of this sort came along. For all its faults I would not push away the idea of a follow-up. Godzilla is of course forever, but in the end, Singular Point may indeed be just that: a singular point in time. See what I did there? As for Godzilla himself, he always seems to find a way bubbling back up from the depths. I know I’m not alone when I say that I’ll be waiting for him when he does.
Godzilla Singular Point is streaming now on Netflix.
Author: Seth Troyer
Seth is a Columbus Ohio based writer, musician and filmmaker. He earned his BA for communications and creative writing at the University Of Akron. He has written for Dread Central, the Maddwolf film site, and has contributed to various writing anthologies such as Between The Lines, and Purpled Palm Press.
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