REVIEW: ‘Godzilla: Singular Point’ is an Kaiju Adventure with Multi-Dimensional Math

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Godzilla: Singular Point

Godzilla: Singular Point is a Sci-fi kaiju anime co-produced by studio Bones and studio Orange on Netflix. When a mysterious song begins broadcasting from an abandoned mansion near Tokyo Yun and Habero are sent to check it out. What they don’t realize is this song is the herald of a series of terrifying events that may leave the earth in ruins. As I sit down to write this review, I find myself facing a quandary I’ve never before had to deal with in a review. How do I write about a series I truly enjoyed, but I’m not sure how wholeheartedly I can recommend it to die-hard Godzilla fans? Let me explain.

The first thing to know about this series is that it is 100% a human story. Every plot point and story beat revolves around the core human protagonists of the show, as well as their lovable A.I. helper. Neither Godzilla nor any other monster serves any purpose other than to be threats to be fought or fled from. And the amount of screen time the monsters fill will be notably less than many Kaiju fans will be looking for. This comes back to not only the human focus of Godzilla: Singular Point but also of its other big focus, that of hard sci-fi storytelling.

Instead of simply presenting a story where some form of atomic experiment has created/awakened monstrous creatures to savage the earth, this serious dives into much deeper realms of theoretical sciences for its narrative reasons for the appearance of these monsters, as well as strange red dust that follows along with them. Now, as I stopped my education at the high school diploma level, I cannot even begin to guess if any of the elaborate science that is spouted throughout Godzilla: Singular Point’s 13 episodes is real or not, but from a layman’s point of view, it sounded duly impressive. And while at its core it is the hypothetical, multi-dimensional theories that can make one’s head spin, the show does a great job of keeping the science jargon tame enough so I never felt like I didn’t grasp the broad strokes of what was being talked about.  And in case you are worried that all this science may dry the series out, this is never the case. Thankfully, the cast of characters that deliver all this techno-babble is fun enough to keep the energy up even during the exposition.

Godzilla: Singular Point’s narrative hinges primarily on two characters Mei and Yun.  Yun is an engineer with the Otaki Factory. His boss is obsessed with the possibility of alien invasions and is currently focusing his business on building a robot to protect the earth called Jet Jaeger. While Yun is brilliant, he comes across as a bit of a coaster. Allowing himself to drift along through his days. By contrast, Mei is nothing but focused.

Mei is a graduate student whose major is in the study of impossible creatures. As she tells someone early on in the show, “It is only through knowing what is impossible that we can know what is possible.” Despite the many doubting comments she gets from numerous individuals throughout the show, Mei is never swayed from her focus and her goals. Between her determination, and her utter brilliance Mei quickly shows herself to be humanity’s best hope for a solution. While Mei and Yun carry the bulk of the story with them, the real scene-stealer throughout Godzilla: Singular Point is their A.I. companion. Designed by Yun, this super smart, super adaptable A.I. seems to be capable of doing virtually anything a computer program could be asked to do. And it does it with all the chipper positivity and pure-hearted innocence of a Tachikoma.

With the positively energetic voice of the A.I. leading the way, the voice work of all the major characters is excellently delivered. Every voice fits the personality of the individual wonderfully, and every actor feels like they are giving their all to bring the characters to life. The only place where the voice work stumbles is with some of its minor characters. Particularly with its military personnel.

I’m about 99% certain that every army unit and naval vessel in Godzilla: Singular Point is voiced by the same guy. This gets incredibly distracting at times, especially later in the series as the show bounces from threat to threat, with that same voice sometimes appearing in drastically different situations on the opposite sides of the world.

Now let’s talk about the monsters that threaten our world. The first thing that will jump out at fans of the kaiju genre, in general, is that the vast majority of the monsters here will not meet the definition of what most people consider kaiju. Quite frankly, they are too small. In fact, it isn’t till the back half of the series that a monster that would fit most expectations of a kaiju is ever seen in Godzilla: Singular Point. But while the monsters are on the small side, for the most part, I did enjoy their various designs. Though I would recommend long-time fans to keep an open mind where some of their favorites are concerned. The show takes some liberties with some classic monsters, not the least of which is Godzilla himself.

The other thing to note about the monsters is the fact that they are 3D creatures while the rest of the show is done in traditional 2D animation. I imagine this choice was made to make the monsters stand out as aliens from our world, which is fitting given this series’s origin for them. Happily, whether 2D or 3D, the animation throughout Godzilla: Singular Point delivers the quality both studios are known for delivering.

And so, here we are. While I loved this original take on the King of the Monsters, its deep scientific themes and fun characters I can see where many fans of kaiju movies may be disappointed with what is presented here. However, if you can go into it with an open mind, and set the preconceived notions aside, I think Godzilla: Singular Point has enough quality storytelling and fun adventure to satisfy any monster fan.

Godzilla: Singular Point is streaming exclusively on Netflix.

 

Godzilla: Singular Point
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    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

While I loved this original take on the King of the Monsters, its deep scientific themes and fun characters I can see where many fans of kaiju movies may be disappointed with what is presented here. However, if you can go into it with an open mind, and set the preconceived notions aside, I think Godzilla: Singular Point has enough quality storytelling and fun adventure to satisfy any monster fan.