A New 'Godzilla' Anime Has Been Confirmed At Netflix. Let's Look Back At The Character's History In Animation
All hail the King of Monsters!
Fans of Japanese icon Godzilla have something to celebrate, with news of a brand new anime series, Godzilla: Singular Point, coming to Netflix in 2021. The series will be produced by Bones, the studio behind smash-hit anime series My Hero Academia, and will use a blend of hand-drawn animation and CGI. Little is known about the series plot at this stage, except that it will not be related to Netflix's earlier trilogy of Godzilla anime films.
Singular point won't be the first time that Godzilla has been brought to life in animated form. Here's a look back at the classic character's history in animation.
1. Godzilla (1978 series)
In the late 70s, Joseph Barbera, one half of the famous animation duo Hanna-Barbera, licensed Godzilla for an animated series. The resulting show followed a team of scientists aboard the Calico, a research ship travelling the world. Also aboard the ship are Pete Darien, the nephew of one of the scientists, and his best friend, the dinosaur-like creature Godzooky, Godzilla's adorable but rather useless nephew. Every episode, the crew of the Calico runs into some sort of trouble, usually an attack by another giant monster, at which point Godzooky will call upon Godzilla to save the day.
In this series, Godzilla's classic atomic breath is switched out for simple fire, and he gains the ability to shoot lasers from his eyes. There were some continuity issues, with Godzilla changing in size between episodes, even between scenes. Despite this, many fans have a nostalgic love for the show, it being the first version of Godzilla they saw, and it is probably still a better adaptation than the 1998 film starring Matthew Broderick.
2. Godzilla: The Series
Airing between 1998 and 2000, the American-Japanese co-production Godzilla: The Series acted as a loose sequel to the 1998 film. While the series used many of the same characters, the events of the film are only ever vaguely alluded to. The series begins when a team of scientists from the film stumble upon a single surviving egg, and the resulting hatchling imprints upon Dr. Nick Tatapoulous. Though the hatchling quickly grows to full size, it's attachment to Nick remains, and the two become fiercely protective of each other. Nick forms a new research team, the Humanitarian Environmental Analysis team, aka HEAT. With the new Godzilla as an ally, HEAT travels the world dealing with a dramatic rise in the appearance of giant mutant monsters.
Godzilla: The Series earned a far more positive reception from fans than the film on which it was based, seen as a much more faithful adaptation of the character, and even inspired two video games for the Game Boy colour. Unfortunately, the show sometimes suffered from inconsistent scheduling, making it difficult to follow ongoing storylines. This was because Godzilla: The Series aired during the late 90s, at the height of 'Pokemania'. The show's network, Fox Kids, heavily marketed their own series, Digimon, as a rival to Pokemon, meaning that Godzilla was often moved to make way for Digimon double episodes or marathons. The final two episodes of Godzilla: The Series were never aired on television, not making their U.S debut until the series was released on DVD.
3. Godzilla: Planet Of The Monsters, Godzilla: City On The Edge Of Battle, and Godzilla: The Planet Eater
Between 2017 and 2018, Toho partnered with Polygon Pictures and Netflix to produce a new trilogy of computer animated Godzilla films. The first, Godzilla: Planet Of The Monsters, was released in late 2017, while the following two films, City On The Edge Of Battle and The Planet Eater, were released in 2018.
The films are set 20,000 years in the future, with humanity, with help from two mysterious alien races, having fled Earth due to the destruction caused by Godzilla. After discovering that Godzilla may have a previously unknown weak point, Captain Haruo Sakaki leads a 600-strong force to Earth in the hope of defeating the monster. In the second film, Haruo discovers a tribe of surviving humans on Earth, and by the third, it begins to appear that the real enemy may have been humanity's 'helpful' alien benefactors.
The films received a limited theatrical release in Japan, with Netflix distributing them worldwide. All three films are considered as part of the Reiwa era by Toho.
While not actually Godzilla, Reptar of Rugrats fame is a very accurate parody of the character. For most of the series nine seasons, Reptar is the babies idol. Their favourite cereal is Reptar cereal, and they own toys, pyjamas, and nightlights featuring the character.
The special episode 'Runaway Reptar' is a surprisingly accurate parody of Godzilla Vs Mecha-Godzilla, and Rugrats in Paris includes a Godzilla-esque giant monster battle through the city. Unfortunately, Toho didn't see the funny side, threatening legal action, resulting in a heavily reduced presence for Reptar in the final season of Rugrats.
They seem to have come to some sort of agreement, however, as plenty of Reptar merchandise has been released in the last few years.
Despite being a parody, Reptar is possibly the best animated adaptation of Godzilla, with an iconic status of his own among kids who grew up in the 90s.
I'm sure Kaiju fans are looking forward to seeing what Godzilla: Singular Point brings to the table. The series is set to hit Netflix sometime in 2021.