Fighting kaiju with the power of (pseudo)science.
I had no idea what to expect from Godzilla S.P. I’ve never even seen a Godzilla movie, which also means any lore or references in the series were completely lost on me. But the first few episodes were quite good, and to my surprise focused mostly on the human (and AI) characters. I guess you can’t fill an entire 13 episode series with monsters beating each other up, but that’s good, because I wouldn’t have much interest in that anyway.
The best part of the series was easily the Jet Jaguar team, consisting of a genius AI programmer, his robot, and an old man eager to jump in and fight monsters. Oh, and another guy who didn’t have any real defining chracteristics. I liked those characters, and their fights against the kaiju were fun.
But I wish I could say the same about Kamino Mei’s scenes. Her task was to investigate a mysterious substance that’s somehow connected to the kaiju. The main problem with her storyline was just… I didn’t have a reason to care about it. The relation between the Archetype and the kaiju was so distant and abstract, and for the longest time her work didn’t have any impact on anything. Only at the very end of the show does it all come together in a weapon to defeat Godzilla.
Or at least that’s what I think is what happened. I can honestly say that I didn’t really get the plot. Sure I could follow most of the conversations Mei had with other characters about maths or physics (both real and made-up), but if you asked me to explain what exactly the Orthogonal Diagonalizer is and how it works, I have no idea. At least, not beyond “macguffin go boom”.
Godzilla SP probably had too many characters. There were multiple concurrent plotlines, and several of them had the same problem as Mei’s where I’m not interested in what they’re doing. Except with Mei I at least liked the character. Or knew who she was. Meanwhile someone I barely know is investigating something and I’ve completely lost track of what his goal is or what function he serves in the story. I feel like you could cut most of them from the show without losing anything. To add insult to injury, two characters apparently only existed to set up a post-credits sequel teaser.
Godzilla S.P. was certainly not a bad anime, and I liked the overall style of the show and its characters. But there were too many dull scenes to call it a success. Maybe it’s better on rewatch, or if you try to analyze it after each episode, but this wasn’t the kind of anime where I’d want to take notes.