Anime Movie Review: Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2018)
Director: Hiroyuki Seshita and Kobun Shizuno
Runtime: 88 minutes
Released: January 18, 2018
Availability: Streaming exclusively on Netflix
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is the first Japanese anime movie based on the Kaiju monster Godzilla. It’s a movie trilogy which is being exclusively streamed on Netflix.
In the late 20th century, Godzilla appears and destroys large chunks of the planet. And while humanity is dealing with Godzilla, aliens arrive. The aliens make a deal to help them get rid of Godzilla in exchange for staying on earth, it fails. 20 years later, humanity wanders space, searching for a new home, they decide to return home to fight Godzilla, only to discover it’s been 20,000 years on Earth since they left.
Now they decide to defeat Godzilla and take Earth back for themselves, but will they actually do it?
Godzilla: Planet Of The Monsters [English Dub Trailer]:
The Story Is An Interesting Take on Godzilla:
Now I don’t have a lot of experience watching the Godzilla films, I’ve only watched the Godzilla (2014) film and I enjoyed that one. I do think that this movie is an interesting take on Godzilla and how the stories are told.
I do enjoy the story, it’s an interesting idea. Gen Urobuchi wrote the story so he always keeps his plots interesting, but this wasn’t one of his best stories either.
While the plot is decent, Godzilla movies have always been creature feature movies, starring the King of Monsters, not the human characters at all. While the characters are decent, we all know we’re here for Godzilla.
The story is still enjoyable, but it lacks interesting characters to really get attached to.
It Does Have the Hallmarks of Gen Urobuchi’s Writing:
The film does have some of that waxing philosophical that Gen Urobuchi is prone to doing, but it’s not as interesting as it seems. It just seems like he wrote a character to be philosophical so he could put it in the film.
It also has the writer’s legendary reputation for killing off characters and last second unexpected deaths in the film.
He wrote a decent story, but his characters are lacking and that disappointed me because he usually writes his characters as interesting characters and that didn’t really happen in this film.
I am disappointed by the writing in this film, only because I’ve seen better writing for other projects he’s worked on. He has always been better at writing anime or live-action TV shows because of the long format, but he can write movies very well like Puella Magi: Madoka Magica: Rebellion (2013), so he isn’t hampered by a time limit, but this film could be better than it was when it comes to the writing.
The Animation is Really Nice:
The animation is by Polygon Pictures the anime studio primarily known for making anime using CGI. The movie looks pretty good, especially for 3D CGI animation in anime. Most of the time, CGI anime looks really bad, but this film looks pretty good, although it’s not the most amazing looking anime movie when it comes to CGI.
Most of the time in anime, CGI looks really bad because it’s clearly 3D animation being made to look like 2D animation, but this film looks pretty good and it’s not too weird looking. CGI in anime tends to look weird and goes into Uncanny Valley territory which makes it very odd to watch because it’s 3D trying to look like 2D animation.
All the backgrounds are pretty interesting; from the spaceships to planet earth and Godzilla himself look really good. I do like the aesthetics of this film and it looks really good, especially since I don’t really like CGI anime.
Still, there are some fans of anime and film that won’t like the CGI look of the film so if you have Netflix, you could give this movie a try, but don’t feel bad if you don’t like how the animation looks, because most anime fans aren’t big on CGI in anime anyway.
Audio and Subtitles:
Japanese (audio description)
The English dub is Good:
I won’t go into individual performances like I normally do in anime reviews, mainly because the English voice cast didn’t really have that many individual standout performances that made me think that this was a great English dub cast.
It’s a decent English dub, it’s just not outstanding to me. It’s not bad but it’s not great, it’s just decent.
It is disappointing because Netflix dubs for anime are usually really good, although this anime does have some famous English dub voice actors, it just wasn’t outstanding to me, and I was hoping the dub would be better than it was.
It wasn’t bad or anything, it just wasn’t great either. It was decent and if you like the original Japanese, this probably isn’t going to win you over to watching anime in the English dub.
The Music Is Good:
Takayuki Hattori’s soundtrack is okay, it’s not the best music I’ve ever heard, but this is a nice soundtrack. I like the movie’s score, but it’s not amazing or mind-blowing, but it is nice music.
The ending theme is "WHITE OUT" by Xai,
It’s just good, not really impressive, but a good score nonetheless.
Godzilla: Monster Planet OST: "GODZILLA" FULL Theme
The Human Characters Aren’t That Interesting:
The human characters aren’t very interesting. It is the bane of a lot of Godzilla films, but the humans aren’t very interesting characters. The characters in this film feel like generic amine characters.
It is disappointing that the character writing isn’t that good considering that the writer is Gen Urobuchi who has created very interesting characters for anime like Psycho-Pass (2012) and Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011), but he’s also written for existing anime franchises like Type-Moon’s Fate/Zero (2011), so it’s sad he wasn’t able to create interesting characters for a Godzilla movie.
There is nothing unique about the characters that really make them stand out to the audience. They’re just there to take up screen time so we can see humans try to fight Godzilla.-
Will you watch Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2018)
Overall, it’s A Decent Movie:
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is a decent movie; I’m not a diehard Godzilla fan so I can’t say if this stacks up against other movies in the Godzilla franchise.
It was worth my time to watch, but it didn’t really amaze me that much, but the scale of the movie when it comes to Godzilla’s size.
Uninteresting human characters
Great CGI Animation
Trying too hard to be philosophical
Decent English Dub
Writing could be better from Gen Urobuchi
My Grade: C+:
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is a decent Godzilla movie with an interesting setting that is hampered by generic characters which is very disappointing because Gen Urobuchi is the writer for this film and I’ve seen him write better characters for established franchises like Fate/Zero (2011) or even his own work like Psycho-Pass (2012).
It was a unique setting for Godzilla and that did make me interesting in watching the movie, but the film itself wasn’t as interesting as I hoped it would be.
It’s a decent watch with great CGI animation and a good soundtrack, but it’s just not amazing enough to recommend for your anime collection unless you’re a diehard Godzilla fan and you collect all the Godzilla films.
It was an enjoyable watch and I am looking forward to the next film. I can recommend streaming it if you have a Netflix account and you want to watch a Godzilla film.
It’s worth the time to stream it, but not quite worth putting into the collection. I am interested in seeing if the story will improve with the sequel film Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (2018). The sequel film is now available for streaming on Netflix.
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