English Title: Godzilla Singular Point
Japanese Title: ゴジラ S.P ＜シンギュラポイント＞
Director(s): Takahashi Atsushi
Studio: TOHO Animation
Runtime: 13 episodes, ~24m each.
Starring: Miyamoto Yume, Ishige Shouya, Kuno Misaki
My Verdict: Original take. Basically a sci-fi mystery, which is fine in itself except it drags. Serious lack of Godzilla action. Wasted opportunity.
● One cannot deny the attempt to be original with this version of Godzilla. I can appreciate the effort and will even say that the approach has a lot of potential, but its execution is lacking.
● The story is set in Chiba Prefecture, 2030. Arikawa Yun is a mechanic who runs a local do-it-all factory/shop. He is basically the “engineering genius” trope. Kamino Mei is a young postgraduate student, basically the “nerd chick” trope. They don’t know each other but both come to investigate a strange signal in the form of a song.
● Given the title, one can already guess that Godzilla and kaiju in general are somehow linked to some sort of multi-dimensional physics. The Rodans, which appear early in the series, are covered in red dust with its properties initially unknown. Consistent with the sci-fi premise, a robot and AI are also involved which is appreciated. I will refrain from mentioning more to avoid spoilers.
● In other words, the series is strongly sci-fi in its approach and most of it is essentially the main characters trying to solve this sci-fi mystery.
● Those who are not used to and/or do not like sci-fi technobabble will dislike this series.
● Even for those who are used to and/or like it, the series has pacing issues. This is meant to be a Godzilla anime and the sci-fi mystery simply keeps the big fella out of it for too long. The mystery—that is, the mechanisms behind what is going on—should be mostly solved and thus revealed halfway through the series. This would then allow for more conventional kaiju action and the mechanisms could still be utilized by the characters to fight kaiju. Instead, “solving the mystery” drags on for most of the series.
● Although the mystery is not uninteresting in itself, most viewers should be able to infer what is going on anyway so there is no need to drag it out.
● There is nothing special about the characters, they are not particularly memorable. They are presumably meant to be ordinary, other than perhaps having above-average intelligence and a certain open-mindedness to strange occurrences. This would be fine if the series doesn’t drag, except it does, so it takes away something from the characters too.
● The animation is conventional, thus avoiding the more overt CG style seen in recent productions. The outlines of the characters are deliberately gritty, presumably to convey the feel of an earlier era (of the franchise) despite the near-future setting. The production—visual, audio and voice-acting—is generally good. This is a shame because the story doesn’t make good use of it.
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