Battle for the planet
It's sort of ironic that it has taken this long for the two biggest mediums in Japan, Godzilla and anime, to finally come together. It's not like we were asking for something like this to happen but given how the king of the monsters has managed to stay relevant after all these years and not to mention popular with fans and film aficionados even after 31 films, it was bound to happen. Godzilla: Monster Planet is the 32nd film in the franchise but the first one to be animated. Set during the end of the 20th century, giant kaiju monsters start emerging in different parts of the world bringing destruction wherever they appear. Humanity fights back against the kaijus but their hope for victory begins to look bleak when the massive Godzilla finally appears, destroying both monsters and humans alike. Amidst the chaos, two different alien species, the Exif and the Bilusaludo, arrive on Earth to provide aid for the dwindling human population. The Exif seek to convert the population to their religion (as a form of salvation) whereas the Bilusaludo seek to emigrate on Earth in exchange for helping bring down Godzilla. With the former unable to fulfill their promise, the aliens and humanity
abandon Earth and flee to the stars in hopes of finding another inhabitable planet. After years of searching, humanity realizes that finding another home is no longer feasible and that the only option that exists for them now is to return to Earth and fight the king of the monsters to take back their planet. Taking a page from the Warner Bros. produced Godzilla released back in 2014, Monster Planet deals with themes of humanity's attempt to subvert the course of nature and the importance of coexistence among different living beings. However, to an extent, the film doesn't beat you over the head with its' themes nor do they make them very preachy; in fact, the film doesn't place much importance on any exposition as to what provoked the kaijus to start emerging or why the two alien races arrived on Earth only after Godzilla appeared. I'm confident that these among
other questions will be addressed later (this is the first film of a planned trilogy) but the bigger question is does this film do justice to the representation of Godzilla? Absolutely. Here, the king of the monsters is portrayed as neither a mindless behemoth nor a hero but more as a manifestation of Earth's end or the evoking of humanity's exodus although this isn't completely accurate since we're not given much details as to what the state of Earth was before the emergence of the kaijus. Getting back to the point, Godzilla looks and feels like a living nightmare (as he should) and his look and presence is frightening but so damn cool. The human characters aren't really that memorable but I hope to see some more character growth going into the second film as the ending leaves things off in a very exciting yet decimating cliffhanger. Overall, Godzilla: Monster Planet is a solid entry in the franchise and it's fresh take on the G-man's mythos is an excellent change that longtime fans will enjoy and fans of anime will dig too.