Is Love Death + Robots, the best-animated series of this year?
Update your watch lists because Love Death+ Robots is, and most probably will be the best-animated series of this year. This anthology animated series which consists of eighteen animated short films are just filled creativity and pure talent from start to finish. The series is full of action and has some brilliantly written episodes that you will not want to miss.
This series explores the entire genre spectrum, and since it’s an anthology series it constantly shifts tone. This is another part where the series succeeds. We don’t feel like the episodes were disconnected from each other. Even though every episode is different, when you complete the series and look back, you’ll see that it has a flow, without disruptions from tonal shifts. It is specifically designed to binge watch and it does a damn good job at that. The series starts with the first episode titled Sonny’s Edge. It is dark and hardcore and the animation is spot on. After this, the series moves forward with the amusing post-apocalyptic episode ‘Three Robots’. Who knew Cats can successfully survive the apocalypse? Just when I thought it’s a good change of tone, we are immediately given ‘The Witness’, which is a crime thriller with a twist at the end. Then we are taken into the action-packed world of badass farmers fighting aliens in “Suits”.
At this moment, we can observe the thematic changes the show is going through and it will seem like it’s going to deviate. We get “Sucker of souls” which I felt was a bit of a letdown, after my journey from the previous episodes. Even then the humor in this episode was nicely done. Next comes the social satire “When the Yogurt took over” which made me shake my head over the stupidity of humans and how we’re always messing things up even though we could make them better on our own. Now it’s time for two of the back to back episodes I liked so much. “Beyond the Aquila rift” and “Good Hunting”. The former deals with questions of existential crisis by brilliantly using the isolation of the space. Don’t assume that it’s entirely new but they tried to show the concept in a new way and they did a damn well good job of it. The animation in this episode is the best in the series and it really enhances the quality of the episode.
The latter is a mix of old and new, folklore and science fiction, magic and machine and the juxtaposition is crafted nicely. There is love in this episode, love which is shown differently from how it is usually shown and this is the core of this episode. Then comes “The Dump” maybe the weakest episode of the whole series. There’s nothing much to talk about as it has the least substance out of all the others. The CGI is utilized really well though. It is followed by “Shape Shifters” a futuristic story rooted in mythology about werewolves. This episode highlights Patriotism, the friendship and the bond between comrades
and takes a dig at the culture of war, racism and the fear of society when they are introduced to stronger beings than themselves. And just like that, we’re taken into outer space and what starts as a simple story about an astronaut quickly turns into a tense thriller with a woman who is alone in the vacuum of space. This feels a tribute to the film “Gravity” as we can clearly see it and a very well made homage at that. A woman who is scared and alone in the vast isolation rising up, in spite of all odds with grit and determination. What’s not there to love?
The next one up is “Fish Night” which might be the second weakest episode. It still makes a compelling watch as it makes up for the story with cool visuals and bright neon animation effects. There is an underlying moral about age, wisdom, and restraint. “Lucky 13” is the title of the 13th episode, as it should be. This action-packed episode brings back the required energy which is much needed at that point. Like I told you, this series is designed for binge watching. It showcases the relationship between a rookie pilot and a plane considered to be unlucky. The motion capture is nicely done showcasing the relationship of humans with machines. Now comes the surprise one out of all of them, “Zima Blue”. It deals with the themes of Art, Existence, the relation between them and how they fit into life. The animation is spot on, giving the entire episode a look, like that of contemporary painting. It is thought to provoke and aesthetically pleasing.
After a thought-provoking episode, the next three episodes are fine but could be better. “Blind Spot” is simply an action ride with good use of colors and lighting. It has no underlying theme except to serve as an adrenaline ride. “Ice Age” is about a young couple who finds an ancient civilization in an old refrigerator lying around in their new house.
Thematically this episode is done really well by cleverly using the passage of time in the freezer and outside of the freezer. It shows how our lives are nothing but a blink in the vast scale of the universe. “Alternate Histories” is a full-on comedy dealing with the question of going back in time to kill Hitler.
Its quirky art style complements the dark humor and it’s just the right length for making us feel bored. The last episode of the series is “Secret War” and it succeeds more than expected to end the series on a high note. It is set in the heart of Siberia with Russian comrades hunting Aliens. It brought back memories from the “Metro” game series. The visual design is great with the main theme being ‘the last stand’. This episode is action based too and could easily be made into a feature film.
“Secret War” succeeds in making the series end on a bang.