Whenever I think of Japanese cinema, two names come to mind. The first is Akira Kurosawa, and the second is Godzilla. The work of Kurosawa has already been adapted to the world of anime Ė more or less. I refer to the series Seven Samurai and Yojimbo. Itís about time Godzilla had his chance.

Godzilla: Planet of Monsters is planned as the first in a trilogy. Mankind, despite the assistance of their alien allies the Exif and the Bilusadudo, have been forced to abandon Earth to an army of monsters lead by Godzilla. This would suggest Godzilla has some sort of intelligence. Maybe. But donít dwell on that one point. It will ruin the movie for you.

So after twenty fruitless years of searching for a new home, the remnants of mankind return to Earth. Only on Earth almost 20,000 years have passed. Itís a different planet, and Godzilla is still there. Led by the insubordinate young Capt. Haruo Sakaki, who is inspired to avenge the death of his parents, a landing force must take on Godzilla. Destroy Godzilla and the Earth belongs again to the humans. Yeah, right. There is a twist at the end, and a second twist right after the credits. So donít stop watching at the credits.

Godzilla: Planet of Monsters is co-directed by Hiroyuki Seshita and Kobun Shizono, who previously teamed up on the series Knights of Sidonia. You may be more impressed by Seshitaís other efforts, the film Blame! and the series Ajin: Demi-Human. So the animation and artwork should be familiar.

The screenplay is by Gen Urobuchi, whose credits include Puella Magi Madoka Magica, both the series and films, Fate/Zero, and Psycho-Pass. So you can guess Godzilla is full of angst and darkness.

The artwork looks like it was painstakingly created with no shortcuts. The animation also is first rate. The battle with Godzilla is well done and impressive.

Up to the final plot twist and beyond, Godzilla: Planet of Monsters will take hold of you. I highly recommend this one, as I wait for the next installment.