So here we are. Finally. After teases, skeletons and the occasional blast of the Godzilla fanfare, we finally get to clock Singular Point’s take on the undisputed king of the monsters as he breaks loose from his crystallised cocoon and gives us an earful of that iconic roar. Not only that, but in a Kaiju-sized buy one get on free offer, we even get the Big G firing up those glowing blue back spines as he gathers up the red dust to use as a weapon against an understandably anxious military. After eight episodes, it’s been a long overdue moment, but eagle-eye viewers might spot that this Godzilla doesn’t quite match the version seen in trailers and promo, meaning that despite all the pomp and circumstance, we still have a more definitive version stomping it’s way soon. While this gradual reveal does lend itself to more modern, shape-shifting versions of the monster (take a malformed bow, Shin Godzilla), it does highlight a new problem affecting Toho’s anime. A real need to shit or get off the pot.
Godzilla has emerged from his brief period of petrified hibernation with a new, land-based form far more suited to whup Tokyo’s butt and immediately proves his dominance by first using his unique genetic structure to shug off a missile strike and then manipulating the red dust into an apocalyptic storm that coats the entire city.
Elsewhere, the Otaki Factory team cower as some docks while their overachiving robot, Jet Jaguar does it’s best to stave off an attack by a horde of giant, unkillable arachnids named Kumonga and if anyone is going to survive, they’re going to have to locate a set of boat keys from a dock worker strung up in one of their webs.
While all this carnage is raging, Mei and Professor Li are going through the journals of the missing Professor Ashihara, whose life work was dedicated in utilising and studying the connection between the red dust and architypes in order to create a super computer in order to see through time – or something. While in a confab with the big brains at the SHIVA facility in India, Mei is disturbed by the fact that BB, Tilda and Michael are far more interested in the time-warping tech Ashihara was chasing than the imminent, world scouring cataclysm dubbed the Catastrophe the eccentric scientist predicted.
Li secretly believes Mei, but their attempts to get to India to continue their argument is hampered when the arrival of a huge number of Rodan’s cause a personal tragedy and as Otaki Factory flee from an inferno that consumes the Kumonga nest, they gaze upon the cloud that Godzilla has caused. Has the Catastrophe already kicked off?
It seems that I must finally be getting used to the vast, exposition dumps that this show keeps insisting on hitting us with – it’s either that or the faster Singular Point moves, the better it becomes as the escalating destruction finally outweighs all the chatter. We’re on episode nine now and if I’m being honest, I’m no real closer to truly understanding a goddamn word of it – I mean, I get the gist, I think; but after watching every episode so far in both subtitled and dubbed form, I’ve finally given up on connecting the dots between red dust, archetypes, super computers and Singular Points and just let it all wash over me like white noise.
However, now that I’ve finally made the liberating choice to make peace with the fact that I have no idea what anyone is taking about, I’ve noticed another problem that’s been stealthily building for quite a while now. The show’s treatment of Godzilla.
Now, as I stated before, I’m not one of those overexcited fans that gets upset when a Godzilla property has decided to play “hide the Kaiju” with the King of the Monsters before, after all, giving Big G the Jaws treatment is great for building up suspense, but Singular Point seems to have a real issue matching the antics of its oversized star to the rest of the action. The last few episodes have contained Godzilla’s gradual emergence primarily in the pre-credits sequence which has succeeded in isolating the Kaiju from the rest of the show despite the fact that he’s blatantly the key to everything. Now, while I’d argue that while Singular Point will eventually have more Godzilla action that the entire Netflix anime trilogy combined, the fact that the show runners have kept the handbrake on full when delivering its star has now gotten frustrating.
Still, what we do get in this episode is yet more prime Kaiju stuff that sees a noticably snake-like Godzilla engage in some of his more iconic displays of power as he begins his reign of destruction and the image of his spines glowing blue against the choking redness of the dust is almost worth the nine episode wait alone. We are also teased some new abilities as his funky DNA pulls a T-1000/Wolverine and heals a wound while providing missile cover in a way that invite comparison to the Angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion. And then we cut away – again – and while it’s certainly frustrating to go back to another 10 minutes of scientific debate, at least its split with the climax of Jet Jaguar’s brawl with a nest of chittering Kumongas. It’s fast paced, brutal, edge of the seat stuff that radiates actual peril and may well be the most satisfying action sequence Singular Point has given us thus far. This may very well be my imagination, but some of the Kumongas have also seemed to evolved longer, scythe-like forearms that may or not be a nod to the mantis-like Kamacuras from Son Of Godzilla which adds to the numerous Showa era references the show has scattered upon us since the start. The sequence also ends with the survivors tearing-assing away from the blazing scene with a powered-down Jet Jaguar clinging to the back of their boat as they stare, open mouthed at the huge plume of cycloning red dust that’s emanating from Godzilla’s attack. It’s the first real time the threat from all these Kaiju attacks really hit home as the show rarely has the time to take a breath, step back and truly take a sobering look at how deep in shit mankind really is.
Also making a welcome debut is the death of a main(ish) character in the form of Professor Li, but while he exit is slightly fumbled by some awkward staging as she’s cut down off screen by dive bombing Rodans, it’s a welcome wrinkle to really up the stakes a bit – even if were no closer to these characters emotionally than we were nine episodes ago.
Erumpent (which, after a quick search, means to burst out of), keeps Singular Point’s momentum going to the point where I’m finally energised at how far this Kaiju conspiracy has reached, but the show is still frustratingly hobbled by the continuing choice to reduce Godzilla to cameo status.