With no plan B,C or even Z, Haruo must make a harrowing choice that will destroy Godzilla but may also end the planet in Godzilla: The Planet Eater.
The final part of Netflix’s polarizing but interesting Godzilla anime trilogy is out and for fans of the series will feel satisfied with its character driven conclusion.
Continuing on from where we left off in City on the Edge of Battle with Metphies of the Exif revealing the name of their god to be fan favourite King Ghidorah, The Planet Eater tackles more of a religious central plot that has been building over the past films in the trilogy and expands on strong themes of humanity and its bid to continually survive. As we rejoin our surviving humans led by Haruo, with their willpower (along with resources) at a critical low, a large portion of them begin to turn to the Exif and the belief that their almighty god can bestow peace upon them. However, when their god is summoned, the world and life itself is put into a whole new perspective for Haruo and the Houtua people.
The god, of course as mentioned earlier, is series icon King Ghidorah, although this time, unlike you have ever seen him before. As with my review of the previous installment, what the anime does best is bring a fresh take on the Godzilla world and everything within it – from the design and sheer magnitude of the size of the anime’s titular monster, to the setting in which it takes place – and that certainly continues with a long (still three headed) snake-like Ghidorah that engulfs Godzilla once he enters the earth from the stars above.
Although the fight between Godzilla and Ghidorah itself is nothing spectacular (there is plenty of time for bad ass smashing and crashing in Legendary’s Godzilla: King of the Monster for that), that took more of a backseat in this story in favour of bringing the real plot to the forefront and it honestly is all the better for it. If you managed to make it through the solid first part and the less than impressive second film, the payoff here is more than worth your time.
Characters that you have become invested in over the previous films really shine, especially Metphies (who until City on the Edge of Battle had very little impact) and of course Haruo who are the back bones of this story. Metphies allows Ghidorah’s influence to plague him and in turn begins to draw a darker side of Haruo out which could become catastrophic for not only his planet, but his species as well. Towards the final act of the movie, every piece of the puzzle falls neatly into place, presenting not only our hero but the audience with morale choices and deep philosophical meaning everything that has led to this moment.
Even though until this point, Haruo had been relatively uneasy to relate to, it most definitely seems to have been the design since the beginning in order to swing audiences views of him around to create the impactful ending which left a nice stamp on the end of this trilogy.
The animation continues to be incredibly unique (which understandable may not be to everyone’s taste) and the designs of our monsters are superb. As with the previous installments, there are plenty of Easter eggs hidden during its 90 minute runtime (a favourite of mine being a brief appearance from my favourite Kaiju) which will leave diehard Godzilla fans happy and fulfilled.
Ultimately, the entire journey to get to Godzilla: The Planet Eater was bumpy and uneven but was a highly unique and fresh take on the King of the Monsters and his lore. A character driven, metaphysical take on humanity’s will to survive made for, at times, compelling viewing. For viewers who have stuck with the story, the payoff was highly welcome and rewarding in the end.