Ah Godzilla… The ultimate and iconic monster born of nuclear radiation. With its infamous roar and unparalleled strength, Godzilla was first introduced on the big screen in a series of classic Japanese films in the 1950’s. You may know the apex predator from the original films or from the manga Godzilla: King of the Monsters or maybe you first became familiar with this creature when one of its many Hollywood renditions was released in 2014.
Whether you are a diehard member of this monstrous fandom or not, Netflix’s recent release of the anime Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is a perfect portrayal of the classic monster with its own twist. Even if you don’t know anything of Godzilla as a franchise or the character’s history, that’s okay. The anime does not assume you have a vast collection of Godzilla knowledge, but instead reimagines the story in an entirely accessible manner, creating a new plotline for the classic Godzilla character.
The creators of this new Godzilla, Toho Animation, do a great job of providing context for the audience and placing their characters in the timeline. They introduce the monster through a series of TV news segments, with relation to other monsters that had slowly caused the destruction of Earth. Along with these monsters come the alien species the Exif and Belisulado that form a three way partnership with the humans in an attempt to save Earth but to no avail. This failure is the reason why we meet our main character Captain Haruo Sakaki on a large spacecraft, 22 years after abandoning Earth in search of a new home.
Though the warp speed ship may have only travelled space for 22 years, when the characters finally return we find out that nearly 20,000 years had passed on earth. We also learn that Godzilla had such an impact on the planet, while they were gone, that the environment seems to have adapted to him and not the other way around. Godzilla himself is so incredibly powerful in this rendition that 150 nuclear warheads had not been enough to destroy this impressive creature. This portrayal of an Earth that combines ancient ruins with futuristic technology is artfully done, with the newer smooth style of anime that elevates this classic monster to a whole new level.
If I had to think of the one problem I had with this Netflix film, it would be that they do not give a proper explanation of where Godzilla came from. Along with the other monsters, Godzilla kind of just shows up one day to destroy Earth. Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is only part one of this new rendition, though, so maybe we’ll learn more about where he came from then!
(Feature Image Source: https://news.newonnetflix.info/tag/godzilla/)