Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, the MonsterVerse even a woman can love

Anna Sawai in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters joins the MonsterVerse of creatures like Godzilla, King Kong, and the Titans. It has its share of gigantic CGI monsters, but is actually a story about family history, legacy, and the people who want to understand how to live with the giant creatures.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters brought the story to the individual human level as it jumped around in time through one extended family and the work they did within the Monarch organization.

Ren Watabe, Anna Sawai, and Kiersey Clemons in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
Kentaro, May, and Cate

The key characters in modern times were the series stars. Cate Randa (Anna Sawai) was a teacher living in San Francisco when monsters destroyed much of the city. May (Kiersey Clemons) lived in Tokyo and worked as a computer programmer. Kentaro Randa (Ren Watabe), also based in Tokyo, was an artist.

Cate and Kentaro didn’t know it, but they were half-siblings. Their father, Hiroshi Randa (Takehiro Hira) had two families. Since he was obsessed with proving the Titans were real and lived in a different realm of earth, it was amazing he had time to deal with two different lives.

Wyatt Russell, Anders Holm, and Mari Yamamoto in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
Lee, Keiko, and Bill

The key characters from the past were Lee Shaw (played as a young man by Wyatt Russell and as an older man by Kurt Russell), Dr. Keiko Miura (Mari Yamamoto), and Dr. Bill Randa (Anders Holm). A bit of trivial, Wyatt Russell is Kurt Russell’s son and they look a lot alike. More pertinent to the story is Keiko and Bill were the grandparents of the modern day protagonists Cate and Kentaro.

The hunt for Titans runs in the family. Cate and Kentaro weren’t looking for monsters, they were looking for their dad. May was unrelated but roped into every bit of the story. May had a romance with Kentaro in Tokyo when they first met. Later she and Cate seemed to be in love. I say seemed because there was lots of hand holding, hugging, and touching but no kissing between them. Even though the series is rated TV-14, they didn’t show them kissing. A gorgeous diverse cast, beautiful sets, expensive CGI, but no kissing. Sheesh!

These characters made the series for me. They operated on a human level, their relationships felt true and real, their obsessions with Titans were brave and compelling. Most of the series dealt with the people rather than the monsters and I completely enjoyed it. I know a lot of viewers thought the family business was a bore, but I loved that part of it and gave the series a very high rating because of it.

Poster for Monarch: Legacy of the Monsters shows a green monster roaring next to some humans who are tiny by comparison.

In charge of the Monarch organization in this film was Natalia Verdugo (Mirelly Taylor). She was a by the book, keep the money coming kind of leader. Listening to the fringe thinkers wasn’t her strong point. It was the outcast fringe thinkers who really saw and understood what was happening. Among the outcasts were Tim (Joe Tippett) who was relegated to the basement, and Barnes (Jess Salgueiro), who was relegated to a nowhere desert outpost. They got into the action in later episodes in a big way.

Mairzee Almas and Hiromi Kamata directed 4 of the 10 episodes. Chris Black and Matt Fraction developed the series. There were a few women in the writers room. The entire series is now available to binge on Apple TV+. If you’ve watched this one, I’d love to hear whether you thought it was a good series or not.

2 thoughts on “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, the MonsterVerse even a woman can love”

  1. I thought it was good. I thought bringing in both Russells was brilliant. It provided a lot of back story to the movies, filled in many of the gaps. I wasn’t quite as fond of the emphasis on the three younger people, but thought everything came together in the end.

    And you know in the next season, they’ll find Russell.

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