The first season of Apple TV’s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters could be seen as a family drama where the distant members of the Randa family finally bridge their differences so that they can focus on their legacy, which is to spot Titans. It all began with Cate Randa arriving in Tokyo looking for her father, Hiroshi, who disappeared in 2013 after the first sighting of Godzilla in San Francisco. A visit to her father’s flat in the present revealed that the man had a secret family of his own. Cate had a younger brother named Kentaro, who didn’t exist for her until recently. She wanted to go back to San Francisco and forget everything that happened in Tokyo, but she couldn’t. Cate yearned for answers and closure from her missing father, which was the reason why she, along with her brother and his ex-girlfriend, May, began a search of their own to look into Monarch’s secret files in order to find Hiroshi.
Why did Hiroshi Hate Monarch?
When we met Hiroshi in 1982, after the return of Lee Shaw from the Hollow Earth, it seemed like Hiroshi didn’t quite like being a part of Monarch and was carrying the burden of his legacy. Over the years, Hiroshi had grown bitter about the organization that took away the only people he had in his life. First, it was his mother, Keiko Miura, who was presumed dead during a field mission in Kazakhstan in 1959. After his mother’s disappearance, the two father figures in his life gave him some hope. But both Shaw and Bill had their own obsession with the Titans, from which they couldn’t escape. Shaw and Bill initiated Project Hourglass in 1962, when Shaw himself decided to take the lead and go into the depths of the Earth to find out more about the world of Titans.
Unfortunately, Project Hourglass ended up being a total disaster, and Lee Shaw and the other passengers were presumed dead. It can be speculated that after Shaw’s disappearance, Bill Randa struggled day and night to keep Monarch alive, but in his hustle, he became a distant father. The last tape that Bill left for Hiroshi confirmed the fact that Bill certainly didn’t turn out to be a great father, and Hiroshi blamed Monarch for Bill’s absence. Ironically, Hiroshi followed in the footsteps of his father and repeated the same mistakes all over again.
Even though a teenage Hiroshi didn’t have his father by his side, he knew that his old man was still alive and was doing just fine. But then came the end of the Vietnam War in 1973, during which Bill made a decision to visit Skull Island so that he could protect the legacy of Monarch and give enough evidence to the government that they wouldn’t shut the body down. Bill sacrificed his own life to protect Monarch, and in the process, Hiroshi lost his entire family.
Back in 1982, when Lee Shaw resurfaced, he begged Hiroshi to help him explore the new world, also known as the Hollow Earth, but Hiroshi was done with theories and explorations. The madness had devoured his entire childhood, and he didn’t want to end up like his parents. Hiroshi not only refused to help Shaw but also took a dormant position in Monarch and laid low until he found the tape that his father had sent moments before dying on Skull Island.
Why did Hiroshi disappear?
Bill Randa’s final tape and the reappearance of Godzilla perhaps influenced Hiroshi’s decision to explore his father’s theories on Hollow Earth. His father’s tape had established the fact that there were several entry points throughout the globe that acted as portals between the two worlds. Hiroshi used Monarch data to locate these entry points and tried to convey the same to the heads of Monarch, but they just branded him crazy. They did the same thing with Bill Randa and Lee Shaw, which probably made Hiroshi realize that those senile minds would never understand the value of his discoveries. He didn’t waste any more time and walked out of Monarch to explore the mysteries of the Hollow Earth, just like his great uncle Lee Shaw wanted him to do.
I believe Hiroshi has been the most mysterious character throughout Season 1 of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. He had the potential to become one of the most interesting characters only if we knew more about what he was trying to achieve. He made some really amazing discoveries, but in the end, it didn’t make much sense because Lee Shaw overshadowed the character and took all the limelight. Hiroshi and Shaw had been hunting down the same thing, but while Hiroshi wanted to understand the functioning of these portals, Shaw wanted to nuke them so that no other Titan would ever haunt the human world.
Why Did Hiroshi Have a Secret Family?
Since the beginning of the affair, Hiroshi Randa was between two worlds, not literally. Born to a Japanese father, the boy relocated at quite a young age and came to America with his mother, who left him soon enough. He was raised by an American father in an alien country, where perhaps the boy struggled with his identity for quite a long time. As discussed earlier, Hiroshi had no one to call his own, and perhaps in dire need of an emotional connection, he started a relationship with Cate’s mother, Caroline, and became a family man. We don’t know whether Hiroshi really loved Caroline or not.
Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Season 1 didn’t shed much light on Hiroshi’s teenage years or his adult life, but we could speculate that he didn’t visit Tokyo again before Lee Shaw reappeared in 1982. He was already a married man when he met Emiko Matsumoto (Kentaro’s mother), who worked as a nurse at the secret Monarch facility. Perhaps Hiroshi fell in love for the first time ever in life, and even though he was engaged to Caroline, he decided to hide the truth so that he could come back to his Japanese roots and stay there for the rest of his life. But back in America, he had Cate to look after. So, the question here is, why didn’t Hiroshi tell the truth to Caroline or Emiko? The answer is perhaps simple. Hiroshi was afraid of losing “family,” which might be the only reason why he started living two lives to protect both. He could neither bear Cate’s hatred nor leave Emiko behind and, therefore, moved between the two worlds, just like Gojira. Hiroshi’s final decision to give a formal divorce to Caroline and spend the rest of his days with Emiko established his sense of responsibility for the latter. Unfortunately, for Emiko, Hiroshi was already dead, and she didn’t see a future with a liar.
What Will Happen to Hiroshi in Season 2?
At the end of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters Season 1, Hiroshi finally met with his mother once again, but it would take time for him to fill the gap left by her absence. Keiko, being the new head of the Randa family, would most likely reunite the family and help Cate, Kentaro, and Hiroshi to bridge their differences. Maybe after a short interval, the children will finally be able to accept their distant father and work together as a team to protect the world from the Titans.
Monarch never respected Hiroshi’s efforts or his discoveries, which perhaps might have fueled his hatred towards the organization. By the looks of it, Hiroshi would most likely join Apex Cybernetics and help them evolve as an independent body conducting research on Hollow Earth and the Titans living inside. However, soon enough, the man would realize their capitalist intentions and therefore desert the evil organization to return to Monarch so that he could redeem himself. Whatever happens next, we would love to see Cate, Kentaro, and Hiroshi working as a team to fulfill a common purpose, just like Bill, Keiko, and Shaw used to do back in the day.