31 July 2001 | raptor_2
Second review: better than the movie and other cartoon, but lacks enough 'Zilla action
This is my second, more carefully constructed review for this series. As said, i won't cover the ground details as i did before, but offer a second opinion.
I still like this series, and I do think it's better than the movie, in that it has better, more believable characters, and Godzilla acts more like Godzilla than he did in the remake.
The main problem is that, in his own cartoon show, Godzilla is rarely seen, and often treated as a mere Deus Ex Machina!
Sure, there are some interesting monsters, and they get plenty of screen time, but most of them are just large insects, and any potential mystery about their appearance is ruined, since they usually are completely seen in the prologue before the opening credits.
And yes, the human characters are more than just cardboard cut outs, they earn our interest, and interact instead of just act towards each other. In other words, the almost exact opposite of the characters from the 70's Hanna-Barbara show (but even they had good intentions).
But, unfortunately, while the the humans and monsters are often interesting, the producers of the show forgot one thing: this is called "Godzilla: the Series", so why is it he only shows up twice an average episode?!? And when he does show up, its usually when he either makes his first appearance, gets injured, then comes back in at the end to kill the monster after the humans fail.
While the humans don't fail always, whatever plan they do have requires Godzilla uses him as a plot device, and without it, he probably wouldn't have shown up in the episode at all!
Its like in most of the Gamera (re: flying-turtle Godzilla knock-off) movies: Cool evil monster comes in, humans stare at it, Gamera comes in, get wounded, retreats, humans attempt to kill cool evil monster, fail, then either Gamera comes back and kills it himself or becomes integral to the human's attempts to kill it. (also, for fun, add in tiny short wearing children who are "friends of Gamera")
Basically, take this formula, replace the boring Japanese people with the interesting cartoon characters, take out the tiny-short wearing kids and put in NIck Tatopolous, and (this is the worst part) replace Gamera with Godzilla, and you have generally every episode of the series, though not as lame as the older gamera movies, but not as good as the recent ones.
also note: While Godzilla and Nick in the show have a relationship somewhat like Gamera had with whatever small kid he was saving, Godzilla is not under Nick's control. And while Godzilla does often protect Nick, it is often not his main reason for being in the story. Also, while Gamera mostly followed the kids, Godzilla and Nick often follow each other to wherever the story takes them.
However, the episodes where Godzilla is the center of attention are absolutely excellent! The episode where Godzilla is cloned, where he is being mind controlled, where Nick and Monique go inside him to stop a virus, are all great shows.
Especially great is the one where Godzilla meets up with another monster like him, and becomes a surrogate mate. That episode takes everything good about the series (character development and interaction, monster fights, and drama), and rolls it into a perfect episode. Heck, they even have a giant mutant turtle in that one! An obvious nod to Gamera, and a monster fight Kaiju fans would kill to see.
Overall, "Godzilla: the series" is good, a great improvement on the movie, and its worth seeing every episode, but it could have been great if only Godzilla himself were in it more.