Humanity's desperate battle to reclaim the Earth from Godzilla continues. The key to defeating the King of the Monsters may be Mechagodzilla, a robotic weapon thought to have been lost nearly 20,000 years ago.
Years into the future and the human race has been defeated several times by the new ruling force of the planet: "kaijus". And the ruler of that force is Godzilla, The King of the Monsters. ... See full summary »
In the distant future, humans are declared "illegal residents" and hunted to near extinction by murderous robots. One day, a group of human scavengers come across a strange man named Killy, who may be the key to humanity's survival.
Following their crushing defeat at the hands of Godzilla Earth, Haruo Sakaki and his allies encounter a mysterious aboriginal tribe descended from the humans left behind on Earth 20,000 years ago, and uncover a mechanized city-sized fortress formed from the long-lost anti-Godzilla weapon Mechagodzilla.Written by
Haruo's English voice actor Chris Niosi reportedly got so upset by the ending that he actually cried while recording his lines. See more »
The characters reason that the Hotua tribe must stem from the human race since they closely resemble humans. This logic is undermined by the fact that in this universe, both the Bilusaludo and the Exif aliens also look just like humans apart from a few very minor differences. The Hotua don't look any more human than they do. See more »
This second part of the Netflix GODZILLA anime trilogy improved on many aspects of the first film while still keeping the elements of that film which appealed to me. Haruo is given some great character growth particularly in his budding relationship with childhood friend Yuko. What started as a typical cold angry guy and wide eyed innocent girl gets some much needed development. We see new aspects to their personality, all shaped around the deconstruction of dedication.
GODZILLA CITY ON THE EDGE OF BATTLE is a more traditional "Moby Dick" story of how dedication to their mission slowly but surely turns the protagonists into something worse than the creature they are hunting. The callback is rather blatant, right down to the survivors wanting to use a sort of "harpoon" to take down Godzilla (it makes sense in context).
Like captain Ahab of the classic tale, we are presented with the fine line between dedication and obsession. When does one become another? Does one truly have to become a monster to kill a monster? How far will someone go to uphold their dedication to a fleeting ideal? In typical anime style, this theme is fleshed out in both a symbolic and literal level, with parallel thematic developments for our protagonist Haruo, Yuko, and humanity's allies from the stars, the Bilusaludo.
With all these great elements, the anime only suffers if the audience does not accept it's often deconstructive execution of the plot. Expectations are cleverly subverted, underlying themes switch between literal and symbolic, even the monsters are referred to in both an actual and a figurative sense. This might come across as a little confusing for those who do not take the time to think through the story and read between the lines.
Visuals-wise, GODZILLA: CITY ON THE EDGE OF BATTLE retains the cel shaded CGI look of the first film and many of Polygon Studio's work. The animation, which beautifully mimics that of traditional 2D animation right down to the reduced frame rate, is really an acquired taste that may not be for everyone. It is calling back to something old, using something new. Small improvements have been made particularly in the drab mono coloured creatures that populate far future earth. Godzilla himself gets a harsher shading and contrast in lighting which makes him distinct from the already dull grey background.
These little improvements make me hopeful for the upcoming finale to this trilogy. It is not perfect and the improvements may come too slowly for more cynical viewers. Like the animation style, the movies so far are truly an acquired taste that boils down to personal preference. Complex or confusing? Subverting expectations or failing to deliver on its publicity? Perhaps the greater battle is not within Haruo himself, or between monsters, or even between the various factions and Godzilla. Perhaps it is between the fans.
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