Noob Reviews: Godzilla (Parts 01 - 03)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is this Godzilla series you are on about?
Between November 2017 and November 2018, Netflix has released three parts of a Netflix original anime series entitled Godzilla. Each of the three components to date ties together very nicely into one continuous tale that smoothly transitions from one into the next. And each part takes its name from the events that unfold within them (which we will detail below).
With a new Godzilla animated adventure (entitled Singular Point) been announced as in the works, I thought we would take a look at the first three parts of the current anime and see what has been happening in the Godzilla-verse to date.
What type of anime-style is Godzilla?
The Godzilla anime is just that, an animated series created in Japan. And has been created using the computer animation method. When looking into the creative origins of the Godzilla anime, it is also described as a ‘kaiju film’ which literally means film featuring giant monsters and is a trendy Japanese genre of cinema.
What are the various parts about?
Part 01, which is entitled Planet of the Monsters, is the first part in the Netflix anime series and comes to us as one feature-length film as opposed to the story been broken up into smaller episodes. Planet of the Monsters focuses primarily on laying the groundwork for the rest of the series in which Godzilla began to roam the Earth some 20,000 years ago and ran rampant. Annihilating the human defenders and forcing them to take to the stars and abandon their home. Luckily, the humans are aided by their alien allies the Exif and the Bilusaludo. Who have both experienced similar fates on their worlds.
Unfortunately, things begin to get desperate in present-day and after a failed coup attempt by Captain Haruo Sakaki that sees the death of many innocent non-combatants. A decision is made that the Aratrum (the ship the remaining humans inhabit) must either return home and retake the planet or keep searching aimlessly for a new home. With the support of the Exif and the Bilusaludo clans, the Aratrum returns home, and Haruo is drafted in to help advise the assault force as they set out to destroy Godzilla. As he (Haruo) has devoted his life to the destruction of the kaiju (Godzilla) that took their ancestral homeworld.
Little do the humans and their allies know though, that in the time they have been away, Earth has slowly begun to bow and adapt to its new ruler. And from the plant life to the wildlife, everything has seen a series of drastic evolutions.
You can find part 01’s entry on Netflix here.
Part 02, which is entitled City on the Edge of Battle carries on straight after the end of the events in part 01 and sees the surviving humans taken captive by native human descendants that have found a way to carefully forge a life between themselves, the environment around them and Godzilla.
After speaking to the tribe’s elders and laying out a plan to free Earth from Godzilla, the remaining humans, Exif and Bilusaludo that survived the initial fight with Godzilla set out to scavenge what they can from an abandoned Mechagodzilla factory. Although the Mechagodzilla itself was destroyed by Godzilla (or so they thought), there are hopes something may be left that can help the stranded soldiers.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, both on Earth and on the Aratrum, can the cure be worse than the disease?
You can find part 02’s entry on Netflix here.
Part 03, which is entitled The Planet Eater ties up the storyline to date and follows the continuing struggle of the humans and their allies. After the failed plan at the Mechagodzilla plant, the remaining Bilusaludo aboard the Aratrum begin a revolt to take the ship as their own and avenge their fallen kin. And the Exif reveal their true colours as they try to summon King Ghidorah to destroy Godzilla and the world, as is decreed by their secret (and sacred) death cult.
If you are a fan of the Godzilla-verse and of the older films and franchise, King Ghidorah in the anime takes on the form of the Millenium King Ghidorah. Who is formed by three colossal dragon heads on necks, rumoured to be over twenty kilometres long. His heads can travel via black hole type portals into other realms when summoned, to consume planets as a tribute, but his body remains in his own domain.
You can find part 03’s entry on Netflix here.
Do you have a trailer or trailers to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix Japan’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can find the Godzilla anime’s first part on Netflix here if you wanted to start watching from the beginning. I have also linked all three of the feature-length animes to their respective entries on Netflix above.
How long are each of the parts?
Part 01, entitled Planet of the Monsters, has a run time of eighty-eight minutes. Part 02 entitled City on the Edge of Battle has a run time of an hour and forty minutes. And the final part, part 03, which is entitled The Planet Eater, is ninety minutes long.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Godzilla (Parts 01 - 03)?
What starts out as an intriguing take on a beloved franchise really is let down time after time, whether it be the weak story, inconsistent pacing or over the top reactions that lack proper delivery. There are many things to fault with the series. For example, in the first and second part, the plan is for the humans and their allies to retake Earth. And yet the third part takes a considerable step away to where the Exif have secretly been running a death cult that wants their great destroyer to wipe out the world. This storyline is delivered too late, in my opinion. And just appears as if it is was slapped on at the last moment, as opposed to having been written in - in a meaningful way which really does ruin the ending.
In addition to the story, the computer-generated anime style used for Godzilla compared to the environment and the other characters looks daft. I can understand they have attempted to create a huge fearsome monster, but the colour palette, proportions and general sense of Godzilla all feel slightly skewed.
Although there are some pros to the series, such as the new direction in which Godzilla tried to head, a fantastic soundtrack and the beautifully rendered characters, wildlife and scenes (for the most part). At best they just about balance out the anime series as a whole. I genuinely believe if they had invested more into the story writing especially and tried to put more emotion and personality into some of the characters, that this could have been a solid four if not five-star review. And having seen the next incarnation (Singular Point) the trailer for which I will add in below. And read the initial scathing reviews Godzilla received at launch for the three parts of the anime, it is no surprise if it is just left as is and taken no further. Especially as the ending neatly wrapped up the aftermath of the Godzilla vs King Ghidorah fight.
- The official trailer linked from Netflix Asia’s YouTube channel -
If you are a fan of the Godzilla-verse, this is quite an easy laid back watch but don’t go into it with high hopes. Although parts 01 and 02 really begin to deliver and build the momentum and hyper, it soon takes a steep decline that only just manages to recover by the end of part 03.
What rating would you give Godzilla (Parts 01 - 03)?
I would rate Godzilla (Parts 01 - 03) as a mediocre 3 out of 5 bananas.
Having gone into each of the episodes with high hopes and a love of the Godzilla franchise, it fails to deliver a lot more often than it provides when it comes to entertainment. With disjointed storytelling, dull delivery and lacking structure at times, the anime could have been so much more. Although it is worth a watch for the odd few fun moments, epic battles and story arcs in the first two parts. Overall it is not something I can rave about.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in the Godzilla anime series and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can check the first out on Netflix here.