After the last episode let the Kaiju action off the hook, we find Episode 4 of Godzilla: Singular Point pumping the breaks once more as the threat of the Rodan invasion winds down. It’s not an unexpected reaction as a continuing story needs those peaks and troughs to make the journey resonate like a rollercoaster, but the only problem is that when Singular Point stops to suck in a breath, it’s usually to launch into a load of dense, complex science-speak that stops all momentum in its tracks.
Suffice to say, Gadabout is sadly no different, but while our heroes mull over theories and mysterious objects with strange, molecular properties, there’s still enough monster action brewing behind the scenes to keep us riveted until the next bout of beastie bashing occurs.
After the thousands of Rodans that swarmed Japan suddenly died under mysterious circumstances, the military have gathered up all the leathery carcasses in order to have them examined and it’s found that the monstrous pterodactyls were emitting a strange, red dust that coated the ground when they fell. Similarly, large patches of the ocean have been stained red also, but this might be from the large, strange ocean creatures that are spotted surging past a fishing vessel as the crew look on agog.
In an effort to get to the bottom of all this malarkey, Yun and Haberu are on a mission to try and figure out what exactly is going on and why is it happening at all. Their first stop is to question Satõ about the Misakioku building broadcasting of an old folk song that seemingly stirred up the Rodans in the first place and while he admits it was their fault, he maintains that it was merely an unfortunate accident. However, he also confirms to a wily Yun that Misakioku also has the skeleton of a massive, spined monster stashed away in their lower levels, which doesn’t make the people working there look overly blameless.
Meanwhile, Mei has just arrived in Dubai for her meeting with Professor Li, but gas spent virtually the entire trip trying to crack the absurdly complex code she had been given with the gift of a strange, small cube of indeterminate origin; however a lecture given by Li manages to clear a few things up – for Mei and Pelops II at least, if not quite for us.
However, the most intriguing turn up for the books is something that’s occuring in the military camp where they’ve stored scores of the Rodan corpses as Yun, Haberu and an investigative reporter named Kai Takehiro discover that something has dragged off one of the 3,700 Rodan carcasses. What they find is not only is one of the Godzilla series oldest supporting monsters, but something that could cause a whole heap of trouble.
Four episodes down and already Singular Point has revealed a pattern in its storytelling that’s fairly standard among genre shows that takes the familiar pattern of a set-up/pay-off/resolution format that spreads across three episodes or so. Nothing wrong with that, of course – but much like the ceaseless roaming of a great white shark, the show is only at it’s most entertaining when its moving. This is never more evident when sitting through the scenes of Mei and the increasingly irritating Pelops II as the script continues to get them to spew countless pages of gobbledygook that’s practically begging you to zone out. As their endless back and forth goes from an annoyingly long scene where the two brain boxes try at length (and fail) to crack an obscenely long number code to yet more jumbo jumbo concerning molecules from another dimension, you accept that this will all pay of later in the season – it’s just that you’ll be too bored to freakin’ care. I’m not adverse to smart characters spouting smart things that’s a might hard to follow, but when its trotted out in the form of rambling dialogue that’s seemingly goes nowhere (in both original language and dubbed versions), I tend to wonder when I’m going to get to some Kaiju in my Kaiju show.
However, while I’m rapidly getting to the point where I physically dread arriving at a Mei-heavy scene, thankfully the show is balanced out by the more practical plot thread of Otaki Factory’s investigations. While Yun and Haberu are still showing as many dimensions as a sheet of paper, their conspiracy theory fueled search for answers carries a slight, but welcome, tinge of the X-Files about it as they go hunting for clues. After getting information out of Satõ worryingly easily (he spills the beans faster than a one-armed lunch lady), our dynamic duo spy on the camp where the military are storing the dead Rodan and this leads to possibly the most striking image Singular Point has given us so far; that of countless Rodan husks all laid out in a line that’s weirdly reminiscent of the wounded soldier scene from Gone With The Wind. However while the guys – or should I say just Yun, as Haberu seems to be as useful as a packer on a Pope – continue their rather random, yet entertaining search, we’re teased of yet more, tantalising Kaiju encounters to come. Firstly we finally revisit the giant Misakioku skeleton against and the question remains: is this Godzilla himself or the bones of a distant ancestor? Elsewhere we have what looks to be a trio of aquatic, mystery creatures racing their way through the surf on their way to the shores of Japan – but most exciting of all is the appearance of a funkily redesigned Anguirus, a long-time denison of Toho’s monster line-up that first appeared in Godzilla’s second movie back in ’55, but who hasn’t scored a major role since 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars. While we don’t get a massively detailed look at this firm, fan favorite, the Kaiju’s updated look feature more spikes than a Buffy the Vampire Slayer themed costume party and I can’t wait to see the big lug in action once again.
So, once more Singular Point finds itself torn between mysterious adventure and impenetrable math-speak which annoyingly ends up cancelling each other out but hopefully, with the arrival of yet more of the Godzilla rogue’s gallery, we’ll get less theorizing and more pulverising.