When it comes to Kaiju, especially Godzilla, it seems like we’ve seen everything. To be fair, though, after over 80 years of lore, it’s hard to strike a new path and add to the mythology, especially in film. But in anime, there is an unlimited way to produce a story that can take note of where the franchise has been and expand on it unrestricted by live-action limitations. We got the chance to see things in Netflix’s three-part CGI anime series a couple of years back. That said, Netflix’s newest Original Anime, Godzilla: Singular Point (Singular Point), succeeds in a way that that trilogy of movies didn’t – by telling a story expands kaiju mythology but also pushes the human component as well.
The setting is Nigashio City, Chiba Prefecture, in the year 2030. Engineer Yun Arikawa of the local “do-it-all” shop Otaki Factory investigates happenings in a Western-style house, long thought abandoned. Mei Kamino, a graduate student studying imaginary creatures, investigates mysterious signals received from Misakioku, the former Tsuguno district’s administrative building. These two strangers, visiting completely different places as part of completely different investigations, both hear the same song.
Mei and Yun carry Singular Point, and they do it beautifully. As a pair, their curiosity drives the show narratively and in different ways. While Yun would be a Ghostbuster in another franchise, Mei is all about science. Distinct from each other but pushing towards the same point (pun intended), Mei and Yun are the best examples I’ve seen of using two narratives to tell one story in a series. For Yun, he’s about being directly involved, chasing the kaiju, finding them, and embracing their majesty. While the two aren’t together in person, the way their paths intertwine is a masterclass in building chemistry and telling a dual narrative.
Mei is all about asking why, using science and mathematics to predict kaiju movements and solve the ultimate mystery of where they come from. In fact, Mei is one of the best examples of a woman in STEM. She’s tenacious, inquisitive, and brilliant. Additionally, over the course of the series, she develops from slightly mousy to relentlessly in control. For Yun’s part, he’s a programmer in robotics, a curmudgeon, and not really interested in anything else in the world beyond kaiju and connecting with them. Not to mention he’s the driving force behind bringing Jet Jaguar to life – yes, Jet Jaguar is in Singular Point.
When you bring the two together, you end up with a pair that is not only on the same level but also pushing each other to explore more and learn more. Two geniuses working together to protect and uncover the mysteries of kaiju? What more can you ask for? Throw in the fact their chemistry is palpable even in their text messages, which is something between two characters who aren’t on screen together – in fact, to connect two characters through text alone is a feat worth applauding.
A joint animated project between studio BONES (a 2D animation studio known for many projects, including My Hero Academia) and studio Orange (known for their CG animation like Beastars), Singular Point is visually stunning. The beauty in this series isn’t just because it looks great, but rather because BONES and Orange have seamlessly blended their artistic styles into a cohesive animation that embraces 2D and 3D.
BONES flexes their muscles when it comes to facial animation, character designs, and the linework that is distinct while also feeling hand-drawn. On the other hand, Orange’s focus is the kaiju and Jet Jaguar. The 3D elements that Orange brings to the table helps the kaiju feel epic in scale. They’re magical and out of place at the same time. This blending is what makes Singular Point’s animation unique and breathtaking. A true hybrid of the styles, it stands out against all anime offered on Netflix or the other platforms as well.
Singular Point is about its humans. That’s the truth. With a cast of characters that have amazing personalities, the story is about them. But, this isn’t a bad thing. Namely, the importance of Singular Point is how the humans expand on and uncover the mystery of kaiju and, in doing so, expand the lore that surrounds Godzilla and his pantheon. From adding Jet Jaguar – an icon we haven’t seen for decades – to expanding what Rodan is – from a singular giant beast to a flock – and even changing up how Godzilla himself looks, the monsters get new designs that work. That said, why they’re there and the science behind them is somehow both overwhelming and easy to understand.
The techno-babble is strong in this one but the way each of the ways that AI and scientific concepts come into play with the story is what makes them accessible for viewers. Concepts like the Archetypes, the Catastrophe, and the singular points all had narrative importance and are grounded by the characters. The world of Singular Point is vastly different than what we’ve seen in the mythology so far while also respecting some cornerstones of the genre.
Additionally, larger moments in the series are distilled down to be explained through poetry and religious metaphors. This lends to the ease of understanding for both characters and viewers. This is also propelled that the series is a global one. It has characters from across the globe and shows the scale of the series. It’s not just Godzilla in Tokyo but a global event that Mei and Yun have to stop.
But while we get to see more and more about where the kaiju come from, their impact on the world, and where the humans fit in it all, Godzilla himself is a looming threat. A force of nature akin to what we see in Shin Godzilla. With so much exposition and exploration, Godzilla in Singular Point still feels like magic, he still feels like a King, and ultimately he feels as big as he can be. To top it all off, the stinger attached to the last episode of the season shows that there is still more to tackle.
Overall, Godzilla: Singular Point is the latest Netflix Original Anime, and it also stands as one of the most visually stunning. Additionally, with strong character work, kaiju design, and story, it may actually be one of the best series that has come to the platform. So, jump into the 13-episode season and embrace the Singular Point, a series that goes hard with its science fiction and even harder with its characters.