"Godzilla: The Series" continues where the disappointing movie ended, living up the potential of a different, American, but still great Godzilla. The lone egg from the end of the movie hatches, only to be found by Nick Tatopoulos. Covered in egg yolk, Nick is imprinted on as the 'mother' to the young G. It escapes, and later makes contact with Nick. But the military still isn't too trusting. They attack the young Godzilla, who swims off. But when he helps Nick and his team of mutant hunters H.E.A.T. fight off a giant crustacean, the military decides to let him live. Now, H.E.A.T. and Godzilla travel the world, fighting mutations, monsters, aliens, and protecting humanity.
The main thing this show gets right is what the movie got wrong: Godzilla's personality. Not the cowardly, fire-less animal of the movie, Godzilla here breathes fire (albeit green), has a fighting spirit, and even though he's following around people, he is always regarded as being dangerous and a threat to humanity, and never just a giant "pet" on a leash like in the Hanna-Barbera series.
What is also does well is it has a series of likeable main characters. Nick is much cooler than in the movie, is joined on his monster hunting H.E.A.T. team by Dr. Mendel Craven and Dr. Elsie Chapman (two supporting characters from the movie, much more interesting and fleshed out here), his research assistant Randy Hernandez, and Monique Dupre, liason for Phillipe Roach (Jean Reno's film character) and the French Government. All the characters have great interaction. Nick and Monique are an expert duo when doing some of the more dangerous/espionage-like elements of their job. Randy is the joker of the group, but rarely feels forced, and his bantering with Craven, and tampering with robot N.I.G.E.L. are always enjoyable, as is his desperate pining for Monique. A sort of quadruple love square is formed with Nick, reporter Audrey Timmonds (from the movie, joined by cameraman Animal), Elsie who flirts with Nick and Craven who pines for Elsie. The level of interaction between the respective characters in this romantic entanglement is handled as well for a cartoon show, and is up to the pedrigee of relationships like those in the Batman and Justic League shows. Their voice work is excellent throughout, and several of the people returning from the movie have better parts and better lines in the series.
However, the well written humans are also somewhat of the negative double edge to the show. For something called "Godzilla: THe Series", Godzilla himself is often put in the background, used as a deus ex machina to defeat the mutation of the week or not able to defeat the monster at all. In that way, Godzilla here is more akin to Gamera in his showa series,always being injured only to return triumphant. Luckily, the human cast is interestng enough to keep my attention and entertain, and the episodes that do center on Godzilla re always great.
However, the quality of the animation of the show is often uneven, with monsters looking out of proportion and the animation being choppy. However, the monster action is often inventive enough to overlook this.
The mutations on the show also are too often just mutated bugs that all look the same. But some stand out as memorable, like the giant turtle, the giant crustacean, the giant snake (sensing a pattern?), and others as honorable allusions to Toho Kaiju, like the robot ape that resembles Mechani-Kong, the body of the first godzilla being revived and resembling Mechagodzilla, and the garbage eating life form that is like an anti-Hedora.
Still, for some of it's failings, the show is great, and those fans still reeling from the sting of mediocrity of the movie need not fear the same for the show. The King returns rightfully so in this series.