Godzilla’s New Show Brings Back The Device That Killed The Original Gojira
Godzilla Singular Point references and updates many elements of the classic Godzilla films, and includes a new version of the classic device that killed the original Godzilla back in 1954. The 13-episode anime series began airing in Japan in March of 2021 and hit Netflix worldwide in June. The science-heavy show brilliantly tackles concepts like quantum mechanics, theoretical physics, time travel, and alternate dimensions in a plot that pits humanity against an onslaught of monsters whose appearance heralds the beginning of a great Cataclysm.
While Godzilla Singular Point is a fresh new direction for the long-running franchise, the series also succeeds in reincorporating elements from past films in ways that are both subtle and obvious alike. Several monsters in Singular Point feature design elements culled from multiple classic Showa-era kaiju, and eagle-eyed viewers can spot Easter eggs and homages to Godzilla’s storied history in every episode. Even the show’s end credits are filled to bursting with references that hardcore Godzilla fans will surely recognize.
However, of all the references to the classic Godzilla films seen in Singular Point, one, in particular, stands out from the rest. In episode 7, audiences get their first glimpse of a device that will go on to play a massive role in the climax of the series: a cylindrical machine called the Orthogonal Diagonalizer. While its name might be new, longtime Godzilla enthusiasts will immediately recognize this device as one of the most significant artifacts in the entire Godzilla series: the Oxygen Destroyer, the device-turned-weapon that took Godzilla to his grave in the original 1954 film.
In the original Gojira, Japan finds itself under siege from a prehistoric beast awakened and enraged by nuclear testing. Japan’s Self-Defense Forces can do nothing as Godzilla lays waste to Tokyo, reducing the city to a sea of fire a mere nine years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The nation’s only hope for salvation lies in the hands of a young scientist named Daisuke Serizawa, who has created a device known as the Oxygen Destroyer. The unbelievable power of the chemical contained in the device horrifies Dr. Serizawa; fearing that its discovery could lead to a new and deadly global arms race, he attempts to keep the OD’s existence a secret until he can discover a practical use for it. However, when his secret is betrayed, he is compelled by his conscience to allow his device to be used to kill Godzilla. In the end, the Oxygen Destroyer succeeds in destroying the monster, and Dr. Serizawa sacrifices his life to the device in the hope that its terrible power will never be discovered.
The Oxygen Destroyer holds a powerful place within the history of the Godzilla series, and only a few subsequent films in the franchise — including 1995’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters — have used it since the earliest entries into the franchise back in 1954. However, Godzilla Singular Point managed to put a new and unique spin on the legendary device, and resurrect it in a way that updated the concept while still respecting the past. In addition to its near-identical appearance and sharing the same initials, the new Orthogonal Diagonalizer serves much the same narrative function as the Oxygen Destroyer. Both have the ability to kill monsters, with the new OD containing the power to crystalize the Archetype particle that’s entering the world through multiple cross-dimensional pathways. In Singular Point‘s dramatic ending, the device is used by a newly powered-up Jet Jaguar to finally rid the world of Godzilla, fulfilling the same purpose that the Oxygen Destroyer did back in 1954. The device’s presence in Godzilla Singular Point is just one example of how the show was able to bring back and intelligently re-contextualized pieces of Godzilla’s past in order to tell a new and exciting story.