Godzilla Singular Point: Go Big and Go Confident

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Godzilla Singular Point (GSP) starts with a simple idea: What if we did a Ghostbusters/X-files take on Godzilla? That concise summary is the last simple thing about it, resulting in a complicated and glorious take on kaiju.

It’s 2030, and strange happenings are afoot in Japan. Members of the freelance techno-troubleshooters Otaki Factory investigate mysterious music in a mansion. Rising science genius Mei finds alarms going off in a science station. Monsterous birds suddenly appear out of nowhere. A strange, powerful agency skulks in the shadows.

That’s episode one. Before things get more complicated.

Over time other kaiju appear, but GSP brings its own twist on each one. Though you might find a favorite kaiju sidelined or radically re-interpreted, the creators put thought into each take. Rodan becomes a flock of creatures, but their numbers make them terrifying. Armored Angurius is smaller, but the writers have a unique take on the creature’s defensive abilities.

Dedicated Kaiju fans may question a choice or two, but you can’t question the creators’ love of the source material. Even monsters that don’t stomp down streets may get a side mention or appear as merchandise.

While monsters battle military forces and Otaki’s familiar mecha Jet Jaguar, other heroes and antiheroes race to discover the source of the kaiju. GSP soon introduces a loveable AI, extradimensional molecules, a computer displaced in time, and more. The strange technologies and spiraling conspiracies come as fast as a flock of re-interpreted kaiju.

Godzilla shows up eventually, with plenty of teases and slow build-up. When we finally see the Big Guy, the show goes out of its way to honor different takes on him. He’s also a pure force of nature, and we see him from the viewpoint of the people trying to escape him or stop him. He’s one big apocalypse in a multi-sided end-of-the-world meltdown.

When we get to the inevitable final battle, there’s a lot more than kaiju throwdown. Other timelines, more shout-outs, and a surprising-yet-not season 2 hint all come together. You have to watch through the credits to understand everything you just saw – and may still be confused as well as delighted. Not every show requires you to watch to the last few minutes.

If it sounds like GSP is too complex, crazy, and “re-interpretive,” that’s understandable. You’ll notice I shied away from describing much of the plot, which I did. I would need a series of flowcharts to explain what goes on between creatures and conspiracies.

In many ways GSP is “too much.” Too much science fiction craziness. Too many kaiju (often re-interpreted). Too many characters to keep track of. It should fall apart, yet instead, it’s intriguing and entertaining as you have to see what happens next.

What makes GSP work is that it proceeds with utter confidence in what it’s doing.

GSP’s creators have committed to their takes on famous kaiju and the genre. They embrace the twisting plots and strange technologies passionately and without apology. They’re ready to throw in silly humor, bloody horror, and whatever they think fits the story. GSP isn’t just a show – it’s a vision.

If you like kaiju stories, give it a try. Let yourself live inside a creative vision for awhile – it may inspire you to follow your own.

Steven Savage

Cross-Cultural Efforts and ‘Not Getting It’

Few discussions of business start with the words "So, I was watching Godzilla: Final Wars" but this is going to be one of them.

So, I was watching "Godzilla: Final Wars", which was a giant festival of Kaiju-on-film (plus a lot else) done before the Godzilla movies took a hiatus.  In it, among many, many other famous monsters, was a parody of the American Godzilla.  Let us say this "Zilla" was not well treated in the movie, and it made me think about how the American Godzilla film frankly didn't get what Godzilla is about – and what that means for adaption of foreign material and ideas.

The American Godzilla treated the monster as having no personality – it was essentially a natural disaster.  The Godzilla films (and most Kaiju films, really) have creatures with personality.  Yes they're highly destructive, but they're highly destructive characters. The American film didn't get that.

Adapting foreign films, shows, and ideas to American media – or indeed adapting media from one culture to another – has one large risk well-illustrated by this film.

The risk of Not Getting It.

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