Godzilla (1954)

I won’t beat around the bush here: Godzilla (especially in Japan) is one of the biggest characters in cinema. He’s the face of the kaiju genre, has the longest continuous movie franchise with 28 films released since the mid 50s, and is so well known Toho have opened legal battles to stop people thinking the character’s in the public domain. I haven’t watched many giant monster movies myself, with 2005’s King Kong and 2014’s Godzilla being the only ones I can think of, but even I know how big a deal he is. This has gotten me thinking about what his original movie was like.

The original script was notably different from the movie we ended up with. It featured much less destruction, changed the relationships between some of the human characters, and the reveal of the titular kaiju came later. On top of that, Godzilla was much closer to an octopus in the original outline than a dinosaur, and went through a gorilla phase early in production. Initially, it didn’t pay off. In spite of being the eighth highest attended film that year in Japan (and the second most attended Godzilla movie to date), reviews were mixed at best. It wasn’t even a decade after the two nuclear bombs were dropped at the end of World War Two, making it come off to some as exploitative. Hell, even the fact that it featured a giant monster was held against it, strange as that may sound today. According to the director, it was only once the film was released to better reception in America when opinions started to change. And that was after 2 years, so how has it changed after 64?

Godzilla

Godzilla is a 1954 Japanese giant monster movie released by Toho. A giant, ancient creature is woken from its slumber at the bottom of the sea near Odo Island after Japanese H-bomb tests. First destroying nearby ships, Godzilla expands his destruction to Odo Island and ultimately Tokyo, all the while the citizens of Japan argue over whether to study it or kill it before it destroys them all, if they even can.


Before I get started on anything else, I feel like I need to address the human cast of the movie. I thought that the people in kaiju movies being very stock (for lack of a better term) was just a stereotype, but unfortunately, in my opinion it rings true for this film. I can’t speak for their actual skill not speaking the language, though it seemed at least passable (though every time the female lead cried, it always seemed like she was smiling beforehand, which seems like a strange inflection). But at no point could I remember, or even really care, what their names were. Only one of the main characters, the man the female lead is supposed to marry, has a key role in the plot. The female lead and the man she wishes to marry only serve to get him to where he provides that role. Everyone else is just a talking head, relating information to the audience without much care for who they are. This person is here to tell us about the history of Godzilla, this person is a straw man for people who think the dangerous thing should be researched instead of instantly destroyed, this man will tell us about the island’s culture, and so on.

This is especially notable in the first act of the movie, where everything seems to be at a breakneck pace. Following the initial scene of a ship being destroyed, each scene contains just a few sentences expositing information about what has happened, what people are thinking, and how people (mainly the islanders of Odo) are reacting. Once the information is given, there’s a wipe transition to another scene, where even more information is dumped. It wasn’t painful to watch, though, more odd. I’m sure it was necessary at the time, needing to build up a type of monster that didn’t really exist at this point. But these days, with how people instantly know what to expect from Godzilla and even just the difference in how films are made, I feel like it could have been made considerably better. It could give us information without setting aside twenty minutes to exposite it non-stop, or even just exclude some of the more unnecessary info. I’d say my issue with the film’s pacing ends with the first reveal of Godzilla, but even that feels rushed. You’d expect the reveal for one of Japan’s biggest names to have a large build up, having parts of his body revealed first before slowly showing the full picture, almost like was done with the Xenomorph in Alien. But no, you’re shown Godzilla poking his head over a hill, giving more a feel of “Yep, that’s the monster for the next hour” instead of the much more desirable “Oh my god what is that thing”.

First impressions aside, Godzilla does feel like a genuine threat in this movie. This is what I was most worried about going in, all my exposure of early Godzilla being clips from later films when he started to slide on his tail to dropkick an enemy or propel himself through the air through his atomic breath, for example. No, this is a serious and somber warning message about nuclear weapons, and the film knows it. There may have been a couple of awkward moments (the aforementioned initial appearance, a later scene where it looked like Godzilla had googly eyes, and when Godzilla exits the water he looks like a kid playing in the bath), but for the most part I wasn’t watching a man in a suit, I was watching an unstoppable titan. Even if it was obviously models Godzilla was destroying, that didn’t take me out of the experience at all.

This is where the true strength of the movie lies. Once you’ve got past the brunt of the exposition and into the second act, the film becomes highly engrossing. They try and kill Godzilla through depth charges, they bring in experts from around the world, they build massive electrical wiring as tall as Godzilla around the coastline, they do everything they can to stop Godzilla in some form. And in each scenario, Godzilla no-sells whatever’s thrown at him, and continues to wreak havoc. This is probably at its height during the scene where the kaiju attacks Tokyo, with the character wanting to see Godzilla studied watching the ruins in horror, with the next day showing hospitals crowded out with people both bearing physical injuries and radiation poisoning. Granted, between this and the final lines of the movie (which warns of more Godzillas should humanity not stop nuclear weapon tests) the anti-nuclear sentiment can feel heavy handed, but with how Japan was only so recently affected by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even looking on the film now it’s excusable.

But for as good as the middle of the film is, the film’s ending feels extremely anticlimactic. While I feel that spoilers is not something I should really be worrying about on a blog where everything I review is 5 years old at a minimum, I’ll still refrain from explicit spoilers in case whoever reads these reviews wants to watch the subject matter themselves. Visually, it’s very unclear. We know what’s happening, thanks to a demonstration earlier in the movie, but what was then an instant effect now becomes really drawn out, all the while Godzilla is masked so it’s hard to tell what exactly is going on. If we weren’t explicitly told the fate of him, you’d be easily excused for thinking otherwise. Music-wise, an oddly somber tone is playing, sending off mixed messages. Granted, as aforementioned, the final lines are the promise of more Godzillas with no way to fend them off should nuclear armament continue, but it plays long before then. The entire movie you’re told ‘Godzilla is a menace, Godzilla will destroy everything, those who think Godzilla should be studied due to the invaluable information it could contain are sorely misguided’. But now, when they might have a genuine chance of killing the beast, the soundtrack suggests we should feel sorry for him. This isn’t an avenue Godzilla movies should never take, especially when looking at him in a more animalistic sense, something unaligned rather than an active force of good or evil, but it contradicts the tone set up in the preceding 90 minutes.

In Summary

Whether you’re looking for a giant monster movie or a nuclear allegory, Godzilla will provide what you want, and should be recognised for starting the kaiju genre. Its flaws can’t be ignored, however, with the great parts of the movie sandwiched between an exposition-filled start and a tonally confused anticlimax.

6/10


Do you remember watching this movie? Want to tell me how the ending is a work of cinematic brilliance, or anything else? Please leave a comment!

Pixar Shorts (1984-2000)

In 1974, Alexander Schure brought together a group of computer scientists, all of whom shared a desire to create the world’s first computer animated film. However, no matter how much money Schure poured into the project, they needed help. Six of them left the project and joined Lucasfilm, developed several technologies essential to computer generated animation, and became an independent hardware company to tide the time until they finished their project after Lucasfilms experienced a sudden drop in revenues. They were bought by Steve Jobs, who suggested they started selling to the public to increase revenue. As part of the pitching and advertisement, the newly independent company showed a short animated feature they created using their hardware: Luxo Jr., Pixar’s first short under their own name.

This week, I’m going to try something different from my usual reviews. Instead of looking at a single movie or cartoon, I’m going to be reviewing the first seven Pixar shorts. They’re only going to be short reviews due to being, well, shorts, but that’s why I’m making up with quantity. There’s not much else I can say here due to everything differing between shorts, so let’s get on with it.

Pixar Short 1 - Andre

While Luxo Jr. was the first short created by Pixar as Pixar, they first created The Adventures of André & Wally B. in 1984 as The Graphics Group under Lucasfilm. And this film was extremely important for medium, using motion blur, complex 3D backgrounds, manipulable shapes, all things that we take for granted today. However, there is a slight problem in that this short film isn’t exactly good. I will put aside how it looks, for practically the first of its kind I think it can be excused for the very basic character models even while looking back on it, but it really doesn’t feel like there’s a plot.

What happens is that André wakes up in a forest, and a bee flies up to him. He tricks the bee into looking the other way, wiggles his eyebrows at the camera, then runs away. The bee chases, they crash off-screen, and as the bee flies away he’s hit by André’s hat. All the while the sound makes it feel like they took an excerpt from a Donald Duck cartoon, with André’s ‘speaking’ being unrecognisable noises and a musical score plays in the background.

Really, I can’t say anything else. The maybe two jokes that are there fall flat and while things happen, there is no plot. That being said, I would say watch it. It’s only two minutes, and it gives you a sense of how far Pixar has come.

3/10

Pixar short 2 - Luxo Jr.

From the one no one’s heard of to the one everyone has, 1986’s Luxo Jr. was given its cinematic release alongside Toy Story 2, while also appearing on the home release. It’s a very simple plot (something which is a trend with these shorts), but at least it has one unlike the previous short. A parent lamp watches their child play with a small ball before the child breaks it. The child sadly hops off, before returning excitedly with a much bigger ball, having the parent shake its head. That’s the only real joke here, and it falls flat in my opinion, but the humour isn’t the focus of the short. I feel it’s more about how these lamps act, how they move, how they manage to convey a lot of emotion in spite of literally just being lamps, even when looking at this as a form of entertainment as opposed to a tech demo. And really, it’s fine as that.

Going off of my sound comments in the last short, I feel like I have to be hypocritical here. Really, it’s the same as The Adventures of André & Wally B. in that the characters make nonsense sounds (though this time I don’t even know what to liken the lamps to) while a music score plays. But here, the score is a piano piece which suits itself much better to backing music and in my opinion sounds better, and there’s much more sound effects to direct your attention towards the characters as opposed to the music. And while the sound effects are nonsense, there’s just something unique about it. I want to say iconic, but that’s likely just because they’re the same sounds we hear over every Pixar logo in their movies.

All in all, it’s still a fun watch. But as iconic as it is, there’s nothing here that makes me think it’s necessary to see.

6/10

Pixar Short 3 - Red's Dream

A year after Luxo Jr., the only short under Pixar’s name that wouldn’t get released alongside any of their full movies was made: Red’s Dream. It’s all about a unicycle in the clearance section of a bike shop that dreams of being used by a clown, before juggling and performing for itself. Red then wakes up, and sadly wheels back to his clearance corner. And that’s it, nothing really happens here. Even in The Adventures of André & Wally B., there is a clear relation between characters, each action leads to another thing happening. Here, Red just dreams it’s in the circus, then is back in reality. The main point is probably to make us feel sorry for the unicycle, but I don’t feel there was nearly enough time spent setting up an emotional connection to Red compared with showing it perform.

Not only does the story lack what it’s hoping for, but the actual animation doesn’t look good. Red itself doesn’t look too bad, nor do the bikes in the shop, but everything else feels off. The buildings in the establishing shots feel fake, the puddles look more like mercury than water, and something about how the rain falls into them feels off. The worst of it all is the clown in the dream. It clearly shows that this is Pixar’s first short featuring a human. Granted, he is stylized to not making him look as bad as he could, but it’s still a very notable detraction from the already poor short. There’s not much to say about the music, either. In the first short it seemed to want to be the main focus, in the second it was good, here it’s stock and incidental. I won’t be saying anything about the music the following reviews since there isn’t much to be said, it does its job and not much more.

I wasn’t aware of Red’s Dream‘s existence until watching the Pixar’s shorts, and there’s a reason for that. It’s not painful to watch, but there’s certainly nothing here worth your time.

3/10

Pixar Short 4 - Tin Toy

Tin Toy was released alongside home copies of Toy Story, and is much more clearly its precursor than anything preceding it. The plot here is the most developed one so far. A one man band toy waits to be played with by a baby, but after seeing it treat its toys roughly runs away. The baby chases after it due to it playing while it moves, before the toy hides underneath a sofa, finding a bunch of other toys shaking in fear. The baby falls and starts crying, leading to the one man band going to it to cheer it up, then following it around as it proceeds to play with a bag instead of it. Admittedly, the best joke here comes at the end of the credits (“No portion of this movie, including its sound track, may be reproduced in any manner or we won’t be your friends anymore”), but I don’t think the ones in the short are as bad as the ones in the preceding ones. All in all, writing-wise it isn’t great, but it’s pretty decent.

With Red’s Dream, I said that stylizing the clown made it much more tolerable than what it could otherwise have been like. The reason I say that is because Tin Toy features a realistic baby, and it’s horrifying. Its movements are stiff, its nappy looks more like a cast that’s too big for it, its head is far too big, it’s pure nightmare fuel. The Tin Toy itself, on the other hand, looks pretty good with some decent detail. It and the other baby’s toys at the beginning do look like their real life counterparts, which is especially good for this early era of animation. But all the toys under the sofa look like they came straight out of The Adventures of André & Wally B., and all in all the short looks generally bad when inevitably compared with Toy Story.

In spite of being the first computer animated work to win the best animated short film Oscar, this short is pretty so-so. On its own it’s alright, its only real failure being the baby’s looks, but it’s only hurt by the unavoidable comparisons with Toy Story.

4/10

Pixar Short 5 - Knick Knack

Knick Knack was the last short Pixar would create as a hardware company, and the last short they would make for 8 years. It goes back to being about a single concept as opposed to a developed story, that being of a snowman in a snow globe trying to escape said snow globe to join the more summery tourist trap souvenirs.

I can’t decide what I think of how this short looks. On one hand, compared with the titular Tin Toy of the previous year’s short, they look decidedly worse. In spite of being later on, none of the toys have the same level of detail as Tin Toy. Granted, given the nature of the souvenirs they’re likely to not look as great, but there’s nothing to compensate for it, nothing that makes me go “Hey, that looks great.” But on the other hand, it almost gives the short this stylized feel. I don’t know how intentional that is, hence by indecision, but it is a way of looking at the short that would make it more enjoyable.

But, for the first time out of the shorts, it has humour which works. Taking inspiration from Tom & Jerry and Chuck Jones, to make up for the simple concept most of the short is taken up with the snowman taking increasingly drastic measures to escape his snow globe, with each effort failing and the snowman suffering for it. It certainly isn’t the best example of animated slapstick, but it’s decent. Not only that, but while I said before that the music for most shorts aren’t worth mentioning, I think that the improvised a capella accompanying Knick Knack gives a unique and enjoyable feeling to it.

Not much to say here. Poor visuals, but enjoyable humour and music. Certainly one of Pixar’s better pre-Toy Story works.

6/10

Pixar Short 6- Geri's Game

While watching these shorts, Geri’s Game was the first one that really felt like Pixar to me, likely thanks in no small part to having finished Toy Story the previous year. Released alongside the following year’s A Bug’s Life, Geri’s Game looks at the titular Geri as he plays a game of chess against himself. As the short progresses, you stop seeing him move around the table and instead see the two sides instantly without one interrupting what he’s doing to get up and move, up until the point where Geri tricks Geri and wins the game. Against himself. A sad story of loneliness when you actually think about it, but a fun tale while simply experiencing it.

With the difference in times comes greatly improved animation. All of the props, from the chess pieces to the wooden table, look decent, if cartoony. And Geri himself, I am happy to say, does not look nightmarish in the slightest. The model isn’t perfect at all, you can see hard lines on the face and hands that haven’t been completely smoothed, for example, and the wrinkles on his forehead and around his eyes look like they were cut into a claymation figure as opposed to actually being part of a person. However, I feel that it’s just enough to make Geri look stylized, looking good in spite of his flaws (I want to say almost comic book like, but I’m not sure if that’s the right analogy). The better quality model also allows Geri to be much more emotive than previous Pixar short humans, and Pixar takes full advantage of that. Even with them being the same person, a clear personality difference is set between the calm and studious Geri playing white and the quick playing, arrogant Geri playing black. It gets to the point where you stop thinking about this being a man playing against himself, and instead start rooting for white Geri as he starts to get stomped.

As for humour, it’s present, but I’m not sure exactly how much counts as explicit jokes in my opinion. Everything comes from the situation he sets up, how Geri chooses to turn the tides upon losing, and what the stakes of the game were. It’s humorous, but I don’t think there’s any real punchlines. I do want to emphasize this isn’t a criticism. After watching an episode of Back Street Girls: Gokudolls, I know and fully appreciate how you can take a funny scenario and fail to make anything entertaining out of it. It’s just the style of the short, for lack of a better word.

As I said, this is the first Pixar short to really feel like a Pixar short, and is understandably good because of it. Give it a watch.

7/10

Pixar Short 7 - For the Birds

Geri’s Game is a very good short that sets up what Pixar shorts feel like. For The Birds is an excellent short that perfects that Pixar short feeling. It’s the reason why I decided to make this review 7 shorts long, but it’s also the one I’m having the most trouble in describing. The best I can describe it is that it’s about a flock of small birds who end up getting annoyed by a much bigger, much dumber bird while sitting on a power line. But as everything that I’d need to properly describe this short is a joke, I can’t really go into further detail.

As you can probably tell, this is another of the pure comedy shorts. But unlike the previous two shorts, where there’s a build up to a very specific kind of comedy and humour with no punchline respectively, For The Birds tells jokes from the beginning, cuts away before the joke gets old, and gives us a new one as soon as that cut is made. And while humour is subjective, I feel that every single one of these land. From the interactions between the small birds to the big bird cawing alongside the small ones without real regard as to what they’re cawing for, they work.

The animation is great. For their simple designs, the small birds are extremely expressive with whatever emotion they’re feeling at any given time, while the big bird always looks dopey but lovable. And they’re not smooth, you can clearly see the feathers on each bird. It’s not quite on the level of detail as Sully’s fur (given that this short did premiere alongside Monster’s Inc.), but it’s still good. And there’s fine details elsewhere, like the birds having different amount of scratches on their beaks.

For as hard as this short is to describe without just going “This is the joke, it’s funny”, this is a Pixar short in which everything works. An absolute must-watch.

10/10


Do you remember watching these shorts? Want to tell me how Red’s Dream is actually a hidden gem, or anything else? Please leave a comment!

SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (1993-1995)

A cartoon can be cancelled for a variety of reasons. It could naturally run to the end of its lifespan, and the studio in charge is fine with keeping the show on only as reruns. It could be because the studio thinks the show’s not popular enough with viewers (however accurate that perception can be). Or it could just vanish into the ether, never officially cancelled but simply have production run out without being renewed, with no official reason given. SWAT Kats is not one of these shows.

In fact, it performed really well. It was the top syndicated show of 1994, was full of potential for action figures and toy vehicles, and its popularity has stayed at such a level that in 2015 a Kickstarter campaign to revive the cartoon met its target in a day. And Hanna-Barbera fully planned on continuing it, having renewed a second season with plans for a third, improving the animation while allowing the writers to take a different tone in the second season, and authorising a SNES game that released in 1995. Instead, the problem lay with Ted Turner. His company was the one who was producing and airing SWAT Kats, and he wasn’t happy with the amount of violence in the show, believing it would have a strong adverse effect on kids unlike the non-violent Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones. As such, merchandise was delayed, the show got cancelled, and three episodes never moved past pre-production in favour of a clip show ‘special news report’ on the SWAT Kats. As such, I’m writing this review with two questions in mind. Did the show deserve to be cancelled? And is it still good enough to warrant so much support for a follow up?

SWAT Kats

SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is an action cartoon that aired between 1993 and 1995 for two seasons, one of thirteen episodes and another of ten and a clip show special. The show follows T-Bone and Razor, who were kicked out of the Enforcers (Megakat City’s paramilitary force) after an incident brought on by Commander Feral led to the destruction of the new Enforcer building. They were sent to work in a military junkyard until they’ve repaid what they’ve destroyed, where they use the scraps they’ve found to build a personal fighter jet. Taking on codenames, they become vigilantes, protecting the city from criminal masterminds, giant monsters, and other nefarious villains, all while causing copious amounts of property damage.


Starting off with the intro theme, it sets up the cartoon pretty well. It starts off with some giant monsters attacking the city alongside foreboding music as the Enforcers try and fail to stop them. Then the SWAT Kats get the alarm as an electric guitar kicks in, playing with all the radicalness the 90s could condense into 35 seconds, before coming in and quite handily saving the day. My main problem is that I believe it’s entirely recycled footage from the season, which is more a stylistic nitpick. This is partially fixed in season 2’s intro. While it does still use some recycled footage, it’s much less prominent with most of it being footage freshly created for the intro. It also does away with the foreboding intro and instead starts with the SWAT Kats getting the alarm, as well as gets rid of the cohesive story of our protagonists defeating the threat in favour of explicitly showing some of the recurring villains. I don’t think that’s bad, per say. I do prefer the original, but it is a matter of personal opinion. What is bad, though, is that while the intro music is great, I can never recall it or any particular melody from it. It’s all style with little substance, which is a good representation of the show overall.

For a show made for syndication, I feel that it has some decent slow burn at the beginning when it comes to revealing stuff about the main characters. This wasn’t fully intentional, with the first episode actually having been the third in production (it was brought forwards due to largely featuring dinosaur enemies and Jurassic Park being popular at this time), but it still works. The first episode has no backstory whatsoever. There’s a villain, the deputy mayor contacts the SWAT Kats to come help because she knows the Enforcers can’t do crap, they save the day with their jet and a variety of missiles. Pure SWAT Kats, nothing more, nothing less. The second episode has them reveal their secret identities as cats working in a junkyard without any respect, and simply leaves it at that until the third episode, where we’re actually told why they’re there, why they have their skills, why they’re doing what they do. But as good as I think the build up was, the way they handle exposition is very much in the same way all Saturday morning cartoons seem to. That is, with a clumsy segue, they say everything they want the viewer to know with little regard of how much sense it makes or how awkward it sounds.

With the exception of having lucked out with the opening episodes, this cartoon handles impactful plot elements very poorly. But, in my opinion, the cartoon knows this, and it doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. In every episode, they set up the threat for a good five minutes at least, they bring in the SWAT Kats, and they struggle but ultimately succeed in taking them down. While they have a general order of things, nothing ever has a lasting effect, with the only instance of such taking place in one of the unfinished episodes. It’s your standard affair for a syndicated show, and it had a short enough run that, thanks to some variety through the episodes, it doesn’t get stale to watch. This does, unfortunately, also come at the cost of many characters being pretty flat in terms of personalities, though the SWAT Kats and Commander Feral do get moments which show glimpses of a complex character. But what does strike me is that, as soon as the villain’s defeated, they very quickly cut to the end credits. Half the time, they barely have 10 seconds before this happens. Is this a bad thing? No, it actually suits a show like this to build up to the action, and as soon as that’s done to go away before kids get bored or some pesky plot comes in. But it does mean that, in today’s age where you have access to shows with both excellent action and plot, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, it’s hard to come up with a genuine reason as to why to pick up this show.

Concerning the action itself, I can say that it doesn’t get stale over the show’s run. This is largely due to the sheer amount of missiles the Turbokat flies around with, allowing them to fight the monster of the week with bolas, buzzsaws, blinding flashes of light, and if all those fails just plain old explosive missiles. And while they’re often fighting giant monsters, they do always require some different tactic, and sometimes it’s a different type of opponent such as someone in a jet or a floating air base which prevents people from being able to fly near it. Is it too violent, though? Well, that’s always subjective, but I can say that Ted Turner does seem to have a point. While weapons did shoot what look like lasers, at times they are called and can be seen as actual bullets, there’s no instance of seriously attempting to talk down an enemy, and if capturing is too difficult the SWAT Kats are completely ok with straight up killing their foe. One early episode opening has a character practically killed on-screen. Is it stuff that kids can’t handle? No. Is it stuff that would’ve “Encouraged kids to kill each other” as Ted claimed? No. But is it something that shouldn’t be on the channel of someone talking to the US congress about reducing violence in kids media? Yes.

Oddly enough, season 2 doesn’t have quite the body count of season 1, either civilian or villainous, and bullets are taken out for consistent lasers. However, it does take on a much darker tone to the first. Most of the episodes had darker concepts, such as being trapped in an alternate universe with evil SWAT Kats and one of the SWAT Kats’ missions resulting in civilian casualties. They got rid of some of the more kiddish sections, such as T-Bone constantly watching a ‘Scaredy Cat’ cartoon that doesn’t fit in with the show to begin with. And the animation isn’t just improved, but it also used a darker colour pallet to reflect the changes. However, along with the improved animation, it also became notably…anime. In some parts, this is minor, such as the villain splashes in the opening song feeling like something out of an anime opening from the period. In others, it’s notable but doesn’t affect much overall, such as the deputy mayor gaining larger eyes and having much more anime-y expressions and mannerisms. In others, though, it feels completely against the feel of the show. This is most prominent in Commander Feral’s introduced niece, Felina, and one of the season’s villains, Turmoil. In the first season, everyone was distinctly cat-like. This is most obvious with the SWAT Kats themselves, though practically any male from the cast will show you what characters look like. The deputy mayor and news reporter, the two recurring females from the first season, are more human but still notably cats. But then come these two, who look just like a catgirl from any given anime. They have a black nose and cat ears, but that’s practically it. They’re human in all other regards. It doesn’t matter much in the long run, it doesn’t affect the plot or really my enjoyment of the show, but it still goes completely against everything that was established in the first season.

In Summary

SWAT Kats is a fun show, and while there’s nothing exceptional about it, there’s certainly very little bad. But in today’s age where you can easily watch shows with as good if not better combat, usually alongside a better story with more in-depth characters if that’s your thing, I struggle to come up with a reason to watch this show in particular. I happily recommend it if you’re interested, but don’t feel obliged if it hasn’t already caught your interest.

6/10