Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle is the second in a series of three movies from Polygon Pictures. I really liked the first one and looked forward to this one. I thought I was going to wait another year before this one came out. So I was very surprised when I opened the Netflix app on my phone during my lunch break at work and found the banner for the second movie. I was so shocked, that I googled the title to make sure (even though it had a big ass number two on the banner itself). I watched about half an hour of it before I had to go back to work.
Today I watched the rest of it. And, oh boy.
I felt that I didn’t need to rewatch the first movie to get a hold of the plot of the second one. That would’ve been alright if something didn’t happen before the hour was up. First, some character intro.
The cutie above is Haruo, voiced by Mamoru Miyano. Haruo the creator of a plan to take Earth back from Godzilla. In the first movie the commanding officer is killed and Haruo is given command of whatever is left of the troops. The next character is Yuko, voice by Kana Hanazawa. She’s a major sergeant in the armed forces. Perhaps due to her status, she’s around the people who make the decisions like Haruo. I don’t remember much about her. Maybe she didn’t stick out too much in that first part and I can’t really remember her much. I was a bit shocked when I heard her voice at the beginning of the second movie. Her character in this movie is, “Sempai, notice me.”
I’ll only stick with these two because they’re the focus of this post and why your favorite is problematic.
So the survivors plus Haruo and Yuko are on their way to the landing ship to signal the ship in space that brought them to Earth. They’re being guided by a couple of native girls. One of them rescued Haruo from being attacked in a shallow pit. At this point, we find out the girls’ names and Haruo’s native friend repeats his name back to him as Ha. Ru. Oi. which I find funny. And that’s when the only female survivor makes a face. It’s a face of annoyance. She turns away from the group and says, “What’s with them?” And what does she do? Walk into the same shallow pit that Haruo had walked into and getting attacked because she was alone.
Later on both Yuko and Haruo are talking and she tries to put her hand on his chest and Haruo recoils. He flinches in pain at the attempted contact. It is obvious that she has feelings for Haruo and wants to close the gap. She finally manages to kiss him while they’re on a walk. He doesn’t do a thing. No reaction. Seconds earlier he was telling her that all he wants to do is kill Godzilla so Earth can go back to the humans. He’s not thinking of her as a woman, but rather as a vital part of his plan and a comrade.
While all this jealousy and raging hormones were going on on Yuko’s part, I kept thinking to myself, What The Fresh Hell Is This?
She’s the token female in this movie and without her, it’d be a sausage fest. There were more women (I think) in the first movie, but they’re all dead now. She’s it and all she wants is to get in the male lead’s pants and follow his every word. Oh yeah, she’ll obey everything he says without question. Except dying.
It is no surprise that Godzilla survives Haruo’s new plan. The Bilusaludo make the most daring and sensical sacrifice to defeat Godzilla. That last ditch effort includes Haruo and Yuko becoming one with sentient metal. At the end that fails (you can’t kill Godzilla) and Haruo cradles a (I hope with every fiber of my being) dead Yuko in his arms while wailing. I don’t know if he’s distraught because his brilliant plan failed (again) or because Yuko is (quite possibly) dead.
This is why I see this movie as problematic. Yuko didn’t have to be attracted to Haruo. She didn’t have to be the only female survivor. She didn’t have to be a pawn to a race of humanoids who are too rational for their own good. But here we are. It’s not her fault that she was written that way. I wished her dead while she laid there on the ground and a strange-colored tear rolled out of her closed eye. I chanted with enough fervor that the universe may grant me that in a few months.
The more rational part of me wishes she survives and her character arc gets better now that her body has been changed. We’ll see what will happen now that both brute force and technology/science have failed to kill Godzilla. Maybe religion and feelings will.
P.S.: Haruo’s voice goes up and down in anger. It reminds me a lot of Eren Yeager’s angry voice when he wants to kill Titans. It grates on my nerves. It doesn’t help that Yuki Kaji voices another character in this movie.