Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters debuted in Japanese theaters this weekend, and although it seems to have some minor problems the film has received solid reviews from Japanese critics and audience. Western critics and fans largely agree. Below are links/quotes from several critics and fans who have seen the new film:
The Japan Times:
“Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters” directors Kobun Shizuno and Hiroyuki Seshita take a more workman-like approach, delivering a film that delivers solid action but isn’t nearly as thematically ambitious as its predecessor. Despite a script by respected anime screenwriter Gen Urobuchi, the film’s technobabble-heavy dialogue serves largely as a way to move from one action scene to the next. Compared to Anno’s masterpiece, “Planet of the Monsters” seems content to be a more conventional action film.
The anime version of Godzilla is surprisingly effective and frightening, and while the score vacillates between lacklustre and bombastic, the animation throughout is excellent, and the climatic action set pieces, filled with cool military hardware, are well executed ... It’s not a perfect picture, but it was a powerful proof of concept: Godzilla works as an anime. I didn’t even miss the man in the suit.
"My two favourite things in Japan are Godzilla and anime. It's great to see these two things coalescing into an animation with overwhelming visuals. We've never seen Godzilla like this before with breathtakingly wonderful animation visuals."
Brett Homenick, of Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker:
I actually like the Godzilla design, and I think the premise is a cool concept. I just wish it had a much better execution. A large chunk of the problem, I'm sure, is that this story will be stretched out over a trilogy, so all the filler comes with the territory. While it may not be good storytelling, I'm sure it's good business.
Matt Frank, artist for IDW's Godzilla: Rulers of Earth:
The first thing that some folks may want to know is that this doesn’t feel much like a complete story. It COULD be considered a stand-alone in certain respects, but I was actually surprised at how short it was. Only 89 minutes.
Since I still can’t speak Japanese, I can’t really give it a thorough analysis or proper review. But unlike Shin Godzilla, it’s not so high-level that I became lost at any point. I understood the basic jist of the action and drama through context clues. And it’s a pretty dramatic story.
The main issue seems to be that the film is thought of as too short--Some view it more as a feature length "episode" of an anime which makes sense. In an interview with DA VINCI magazine, the film's directors admitted it was initially conceived as a television series. However, after the massive success of Shin Godzilla, Toho demanded it be upgraded to a feature.
Are you one of the few western fans lucky enough to see it in Japanese theaters? What did you think? And if not are you still excited about it airing on Netflix in 2018? Sound off below.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters stars the voice talents of Mamoru Miyano (Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Ultraman Zero: The Movie), Takahiro Sakurai (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans), Kana Hanazawa (.hack//Quantum), Yuki Kaji (Attack on Titan), Tomokazu Sugita (Attack on Titan), Junichi Suwabe (Space Dandy), Kenta Miyake (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn), Kenyu Horiuchi (Bleach, One Piece), Kazuhiro Yamaji (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) and Kazuya Nakai (Dragon Ball Super). The film is directed by Kobun Shizuno (Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare) & Hiroyuki Seshita (Knights of Sidonia) from a screenplay by Gen Urobuchi (Kamen Rider Gaim).
The movie is currently playing in Japanese theaters and will hit Netflix worldwide sometime in 2018.
The sequel, currently translated as Godzilla: Decisive Battle, Mobile Breeder City, hits Japanese theaters May, 2018.
The Japan Times
Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker
DA VINCI Magazine
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
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