In my post on eight “unpopular” anime most fans weren’t watching this season, I mentioned Netflix’s new Godzilla Singular Point anime as an example of a show that didn’t seem to be living up to its expectations for the Spring 2021 anime season. Why I wondered, was such a well-done series failing to make a splash with fans? Then I realized the reason was that Godzilla S.P. was trapped in the “Netflix jail” — delayed for a season so that the company could prepare dubbed versions for a worldwide release — which is why its popularity was muted. Now that the show has been released to all markets, here’s my post covering this great kaiju show.
The Story of Godzilla Singular Point
In the year 2030, Yun Arikawa is a genius engineer working for a “do-it-all” shop called Otaki Factory investigating strange music that he’s traced to an old house with his partner. Meanwhile, Mei Kamino is a genius grad student who’s researching the origins of mythical “monsters” in folklore and art in a certain region of Japan. Imagine their surprise when a strange monster named Rodan suddenly appears and starts destroying the town. Yun must use his company’s robot Jet Jaguar and defeat the creature.
The story unfolds from here, with lots of information about the wave of monsters that have suddenly begun appearing. After hundreds of Rodan creatures arrive to terrorize humanity, other monsters come, Anguirus and Salunga, causing many more questions for the characters to try to answer. Eventually, the Big G himself shows up, causing lots of classic destruction.
Off to a Rocky Start
I’m going to admit something: I didn’t like Godzilla S.P. at first. I was turned off by the goofy design of the Jet Jaguar robot (who is a character from 1973’s Godzilla vs. Megalon, far from the greatest era of Godzilla films), and of the lack of the titular monster in the first few episodes. I slowly warmed to the character-based approach to the story and realized Godzilla Singular Point is the best animated Godzilla work ever.
Oddly, this wasn’t the first time I had had an initial negative reaction to a Godzilla anime by Netflix. In 2018 Netflix released the three-part Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, created by none other than J-List and JAST USA partner Nitroplus and Saya no Uta writer Urobuchi Gen. That series had the usual jaw-droppingly dramatic story you expect of the writer of Madoka Magica (humanity has returned to Earth 20,000 years after ceding the planet to the immortal Godzilla)…but the work was very hard to enjoy, using 100% CGI anime and having a convoluted story with characters I couldn’t empathize with.
Five Reasons to Watch Godzilla S.P.
It’s the Perfect Blending of Old and New Godzilla
All new Godzilla stories have to ask questions of themselves about whether they’re going to embrace the original Showa era (1954-1989) films or try to take a new tack, like the more modern Heisei era (1989-2019) Godzilla works did. While Godzilla Singular Point is very grounded in the Showa Godzilla world in lots of ways (especially the goofy Jet Jaguar robot scenes), it also strikes out in a new direction, which I appreciated. Its design language is a combination of cold and new, too.
Godzilla Singular Point is a Character-Driven Story
My first impression of Godzilla S.P. was basically “Scooby-Doo meets Godzilla.” Basically the story follows some smart young kids as they run around trying to solve the ultimate mystery, why giant kaiju have suddenly appearing to torment humanity? Despite being about famous giant monsters, the story’s focus is nearly always on the core characters and what they’re doing to stay alive and move the story forward. It’s refreshing that the characters seem more important than the monsters, although not all fans of monster movies will agree with me.
The Monster CGI Is Great
There’s exactly one animation studio I trust to do a good job with CGI in anime, and that’s Orange. They’re the folks behind the outstanding BEASTARs anime, as well as the well-regarded Land of the Lustrous. When I heard that Orange was handling the monster CGI animation for this show, I knew that fans would be in good hands. The traditional character animation for Godzilla S.P. has been handled by Bones.
(Spoiler warning from episode 10.) pic.twitter.com/9r84Mno0up
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) June 25, 2021
Conclusion: Should You Watch Godzilla Singularity Point?
Considering that Godzilla is responsible for me becoming an anime blogger, I’m happy to recommend the new Netflix Godzilla anime to all fans of the past films. It feels “different” because of the focus on the team of characters who have no connection to the military, but I think you’ll love the characters and enjoy the monster battle action.
Thanks for reading my overview of the new Godzilla Singularity Point anime from Netflix. What’s your take on the show? Did Netflix actually make a good anime for us this time, or is it another subpar effort from the streaming company? Tell us below, or reply to us on Twitter!
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