I spent a good chunk of time last weekend watching Godzilla Singular Point, Netflix’s new Godzilla anime. While I would say that I was engaged throughout and enjoyed it, I must also confess that… I don’t think I have the hottest of clues as to what actually happened throughout the 13 episodes.
At it’s core, Godzilla SP is exactly what you might expect: a show about gigantic monsters invading and causing rampant destruction, and the people trying to figure out how to stop them. It’s what these monsters are made of and why they exist that gets me more than a little confused. And also all of the of time-travel shenanigans don’t help at all.
At the beginning of the series, the first monster onscreen is Rodan, who is a fairly large pterosaur-like creature, and in Godzilla SP, the first of a flock of thousands. When the first Rodan was killed, the characters started suggesting it was made of radio waves or something, but that never really panned out, and then it somehow got more complicated.
A large part of the series revolves around “Archetypes”, which are newly-discovered trans-dimensional particles. All human-created Archetypes are made from Red Dust, which is a type of matter that exists in singular points, rare places where the laws of physics don’t apply. Also all the monsters are fuelled by and possibly made of the Red Dust. Also it may or may not somehow allow supercomputers to process information across time.
I honestly didn’t pick up on how any of the pseudo-science in this show worked. Everything I typed above is my accumulated understanding after trying to Google my way to a decent explanation of any of it.
I suppose the throughline is similar to the original Godzilla: man meddles with something more powerful than he can handle, which wakes Godzilla and threatens life on Earth as we know it. Only this time, the plot macguffin is quantum mechanics instead of nuclear weaponry. Considering that type of stuff is still mostly within the realm of science fiction, it’s a little less relatable than a metaphor for very-real atomic bombs.
However! Even though I felt like the series left me with more questions than it resolved, I do think it did a really good job of pacing information and reveals throughout its run. There was always another mystery to solve, and the stakes were constantly going up and up and up. I very much liked most of the main cast, which is really important because even the biggest, most spectacular kaiju battles can’t counteract boring characters. I also thought that the blend of 2D and 3D animation looked really good. The 2D animation was excellent throughout, though sometimes the 3D monsters looked a little off (mostly Salunga).
If nothing else, Godzilla Singular Point was interesting and fun to watch. Much more so than the weird and kinda boring Godzilla anime trilogy from a few years ago. Would I recommend it? Eh… If you’re really into Godzilla or kajiu in general, yeah, I think you’d find something to enjoy here. If science fiction (with a hard emphasis on the science part) is your jam, then yeah, you’ll probably appreciate all the quantum mechanical malarkey that is the basis of Godzilla SP. As for anyone else? It would be a hard sell, given how dense and confusing it is. I liked it though, and if a second season happens (there’s a hard sequel hook in the post-credits scene), I’ll be more than happy to watch it.