Amphibia True Colors review

Before I start the review, I want to give my thoughts on season 2 as a whole. The whole road trip part helps build the world and adds a great change of pace. I really liked that Marcy played wonderfully by Kelly Hu isn’t just another Sasha. She’s very likable and I kind of relate to her. The idea of the three temples was really clever. Season 2 also made me realized how much I really like Anne. Brenda Song brings so much life into this role and her facial expressions are some of the bests in animation.    

Warning: this review contains huge SPOILERS. After being unexpectedly delayed and leaked the season 2 finale of Amphibia True Colors was finally premiered. Fun fact: this episode shares the same episode title from one of my favorite childhood shows Cyberchase. Just something funny to think about. I will be honest I kind of predicted what would happen. I knew Sasha and Grime would be defeated in the first half, King Andrias being the villain and Anne and her friends ending up on another world. While my predictions were on point that still didn’t stop this finale from being spectacular.

Marcy’s reason for stranding all three girls in Amphibia is understandable. King Andrias’s reveal may have been obvious but the crew really managed to make you hate this prick especially at the end. There are a lot of great moments such as the duel between Anne and Sasha, Polly getting her legs, Anne’s super saiyan form, but the scene that stood out to me and probably why this got delayed was Marcy getting stabbed. It’s not bloody but’s really gruesome and on camera, and we don’t even know if she’s going to be ok. It all ends with Anne and the Plantars stranded on earth. Such a great cliffhanger.

True Colors is the Disney equivalent of the season 2 finale of Nickelodeon’s Avatar the Last Airbender: The Crossroads of Destiny. This in my opinion is the best episode of Amphibia so far and I can’t wait to see what Matt Braly and the crew have in store for us in season 3. We may have returned to the real world but now it’s almost time leave again and return to the Boiling Isles.

Infinity Train Book 4 review

Good news is we got a 4th season of Infinity Train, the bad news is that it’s our last train ride. The review contains spoilers. Book 4 – Duet is about two best friends Min-Gi and Ryan. Ryan wants both of them to becomes musicians while Min-Gi wants to respect his parents’ wishes. This conflict gets them both on the Infinity Train. I always thought there should be a season where two people that know each other such as a kid and their parent, siblings, or a couple or in this case best friends both get on the train.

Min-Gi Park played by Johnny Young and Ryan Akagi both have a believable friendship. I like how their conflict isn’t just one sided both of them have moments where one of them is right but another time is wrong. The first episode cleverly uses split screen to show their lives. There dynamic (kind of) reminds me of my relationship with my brother (he’s more like Min-Gi and I’m more like Ryan). The character that I think stole the show was a floating service bell named Kez played by Minty Lewis who acts as Min-Gi and Ryan’s companion. She brings a lot of humor to the season but also a lot of threats due to her hurting a lot of the denizens.

The cars while I don’t think there were many as the previous seasons are still very creative such as a car that can change different eras, an old western town populated by bugs, and a giant kitchen home to a giant baby pig played by JK Simmons. This is probably the most standalone of the seasons and even the reveal of this season taking place before the first season doesn’t affect the story. I also kind of thought the ending was predictable but still a very heartwarming one to end on.

Book 4 Duet may not have had the most epic series finale to this epic show a good ending to a good final season to one of the best Cartoon Network shows ever. This may be my last review of Infinity Train but the ride isn’t over yet. My next post will be a ranking of the Infinity Train seasons in categories. Which was your favorite season of the show. Like and comment below.

WandaVision review

Oh, a newlywed couple just moved to town. A regular husband and wife. Who left the big city to find a quiet life. WandaVision! She’s a magical gal in a small-town locale He’s a hubby who’s part machine. How will this duo fit in and fulfill all? By sharing a love like you’ve never seen. WandaVision!

Me reviewing a live action show? That’s new. Warning there are spoilers. WandaVision is the first miniseries from the MCU. The premise is about Wanda and Vision living a sitcom-like life after Avengers: Endgame. Each episode takes place in a different decade and the cliches and sitcoms referenced reflect the decade the episode takes place in. There are many references to sitcoms such as I Love Lucy, Full House, Malcom in the Middle, and Modern Family.

There’s a great sense of mystery in the first few episodes that makes you ask a lot of questions and gets you excited for the next episode. It’s kind of like watching Gravity Falls. It turns out to be an illusion created by Wanda as a way of coping with her grief and death of Vision. The reason for the sitcom is because Wanda used to watch these sitcoms with her family and it gave her happiness and comfort, at least until her parents died. It’s legit sad.  You know what Wanda doing isn’t right and it hurt everyone around but you understand where she’s coming from.

Both Wanda played by Elizabeth Olsen and Vision played by Paul Bettany are at their best here. Both work wonderfully off each other and the chemistry is really sweet. It makes it a lot sadder in the end when she has to let go of him. It was also nice to see characters from other Marvel movies such as Darcy (Thor 1-2), Jimmy Woo (Ant Man and the Wasp), and even Maria’s daughter (Captain Marvel). Kathryn Hahn was terrific as the main villain Agatha Hawkness, both being menacing and hilarious, sort of like a Disney villain.

It’s really great that the MCU is giving the spotlight to the minor heroes in the MCU. This show was just to start for many MCU shows to come such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. WandaVision showed that the MCU doesn’t only work in movie form and can shine on tv. WandaVision is a perfect swan song for the character of Vision while also being both mysterious, emotional and hilarious.

Kid Cosmic review

Craig McCracken is one of the most well-known creators in the animation industry. He’s created cartoons such as The Powerpuff Girls, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Wander Over Yonder, and his recent show on Netflix Kid Cosmic. Kid Cosmic is about a kid named Kid (that’s his actual name fyi) who dreams of becoming a superhero. He gets his chance when he comes 5 Cosmic Stones of Power and forms a superhero team. The idea of someone getting powers from a item from space isn’t anything new. Kid Cosmic is Craig McCracken’s first serialized series meaning each episode progresses the story and the characters. I also had no idea what direction this season was going especially in the 2nd half. There’s an interesting plot twist near the end where these five aliens invade trying to get the stones but each one only wants one that turns out to be the last of there destroyed planet.

A lot of the strengths of this show are its characters, setting, and animation. The characters are really charming and likable particularly the main character Kid. He’s kind of like an American version of Midoriya from My Hero Academia, someone who wants to help instead of wanting glory. Unlike most superhero stories which take place in a huge city, Kid Cosmic has a more unique setting in the form of a small desert town in New Mexico. The animation is really good. It reminds me a lot of Tintin. Something I’ve noticed from Craig’s shows is while most creators such as Butch Hartman or Seth Macfarlane who have two shows have characters that look like they could be in the same universe, Craig’s shows each have a different style to them yet have the same feel to them.

In my opinion Kid Cosmic is my favorite of Craig McCracken’s work. Maybe it’s because now that I’m older I’m more interested in serialized shows such as Gravity Falls or Steven Universe. I’m really glad that Kid Cosmic is getting more seasons. I don’t normally watch superhero shows except My Hero Academia and Harley Quinn but Kid Cosmic managed to win me over.    

Hilda Season 2 review

Christmas has come early this year. Hilda in case you don’t know is my favorite Netflix show and after two years season 2 has finally come. Every positive thing I said about the first season is still relevant here such as the animation, music, and characters. So, I’ll won’t waste time rehashing season 1’s review and instead talk about what stood out to me this season. Spoiler Warning! This season is darker than season 1 with more tense and emotional moments. I also liked how a lot of throwbacks from season 1 return this season such as the tide mice and ghosts and serve a purpose.

This season builds on the characters established in season 1 and gives them a lot more development such as Frida becoming a witch and David becoming brave and getting beheaded twice (it makes sense in context). Season 2 also introduced Erik Ahlberg who works well as a good antagonist for Hilda. Biggest development goes to the relationship between Hilda and her Mum which becomes a lot more confrontational this season (like in book 5). Johanna becomes more concerned about Hilda’s actions to the point where she grounds her for lying. Their relationship while tense still feels very genuine. Also, Andy Serkis was an amazing guest star.

Most of season 2’s episodes were great but my favorite episode this season and the entire series has to be Episode 9: The Deerfox where Twig runs away and Hilda goes looking for him. We see in flashbacks how Hilda and Twig met and we find out where Twig and the other deerfoxes came from. This episode had pretty much everything I love about the show. It was beautiful, emotional and even the ending made me cry. The only other show this year that made me cry was Primal’s Coven Of The Damned. I’d even say it’s the best cartoon episode of 2020.

Hilda really is such a unique show that isn’t like anything you’d see on Nickelodeon, Disney, or Cartoon Network. Season 2 ends on a cliffhanger but it has been confirmed that Hilda will return as a movie (probably based on book 6). Hilda season 2 was worth the wait especially this year and I’ll be looking forward to seeing out favorite blue haired adventurer again.   

The Owl House season 1 review

The Owl House is another Disney cartoon where a girl goes into another dimension. The Owl House is about a girl named Luz who doesn’t fit in with reality but on her way to camp comes across a mysterious door that leads her to another dimension. She ends up becoming an apprentice to the witch Eda. This may seem similar to Amphibia but it is different enough to be its own thing. If I could describe this show it would be that this is gothic version of Little Witch Academia and Star vs the Forces of Evil mixed together with the writing and humor of Gravity Falls added to it.

The characters are really likable. Luz is funny, cute, and very relatable. You do feel for her since she doesn’t fit in with the real world but now she’s found a place where she can be herself. Eda is a great mentor character that isn’t ashamed about who she is and Wendie Malick gives so much life and charm to her. It also great to hear Alex Hirsh as King even if it does sound a lot like Bill Cipher. But my favorite character has to be Amity Blight played wonderfully by Mae Whitman (who ironically played my favorite Avatar character Katara). Even when she started out as a bully she was my favorite. I really like how much character development she’s given throughout the season. Every episode she’s in are my favorite episodes. I do wish she did more (or have a line) in the finale. FYI yes I do ship her and Luz.

This show has really interesting world building particularly with the covens. Each coven feels unique but the downside is that you’re only allowed to use that specific coven’s magic. This cleverly ties into the central theme of individuality. The show manages to blend overarching and standalone episodes very well. The writing, humor and atmosphere do seem similar to Gravity Falls which is not surprising since the creator Dana Terrace worked on that show.

The Owl House Season 1 managed to win me over and become one of the top tier Disney animated cartoons. I can’t decide whether I like Amphibia or this more, there both neck and neck. So far this is my favorite new cartoon of 2020 and I’m excited for season 2.

 

Infinity Train Book 3 review

Hang on to them hats and glasses, ’cause this here’s the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness!

Spoiler warning: Unlike Books 1 and 2 which focused on Tulip and her mirror version, Infinity Train Book 3 focuses on Grace, leader of the Apex who are basically a darker take on Peter Pan and the lost boys. I think it’s clever that each book introduces the main character of the proceeding book. This season is a lot darker and edgier than the previous seasons showing the dangers of cults and more graphic deaths. This book is also more unpredictable and I had no idea which direction it was going.

The cars in this season were weak compared to the previous seasons. Other than the color car the other cars like the forest car, jungle car, and snowy car feel very basic and not very memorable. Despite that however this season feels more focused on the characters this time. Grace’s redemption arc is well done and I like how she becomes a better person throughout the book while her friend Simon becomes far worse. Simon is one of those villains that makes you question whether you should feel sorry or hate him which I think makes for a compelling villain. His (surprisingly brutal) death is probably why this aired on HBO Max instead of Cartoon Network. Hazel is really cute and Isabella Abiera’s performance gives a lot of feels especially after Tuba’s death. It was also great to see Amelia again and I like how she’s the one to call out Grace and Simon’s beliefs.

Here’s how I would rank the seasons so far: Book 1>Book 3>Book 2. Book 2 had more memorable cars and environments while Book 3 was a stronger character study but Book 1 I think has the whole package. Still Book 3 is a great continuation of this ambitious and thrilling “therapy” train ride.

Steven Universe Future review

Steven Universe Future is a limited series that acts as an epilogue to Steven Universe. Each of the main characters get at least one more episode to shine and everything that wasn’t resolved from the original series such as the zoo, aquamarine, and pink pearl are resolved here. I remember being paranoid about some of the episodes especially Together Forever airing because the trailer showed Steven next to a ruined picnic and a leak showed Steven proposing to Connie (cookoo cookoo). So the implications that Steven would ruin his relationship with Connie (forever) were unnerving. Fortunately that didn’t happen. We did get a great song though.

This limited series is a lot darker than the original series. Pink Steven is both cool but also uncomfortable because you’re not sure what Steven’s going to do. I love how this season talks about PTSD and trauma and how all the events that happened in the show are looked back in a darker way. I also really like how Connie’s mother talks to Steven like a real doctor, she’s arguably one of the more grounded characters on the show. I will admit Steven’s stubbornness and constantly saying “everything’s fine” can get annoying at time.

SPOILERS: The finale while predictable (as in Steven turning into a corrupted monster, all his friends/family helping him and him leaving Beach City) was still epic and bittersweet. The whole show has had Steven helping everyone to the point where he hasn’t helped himself and having everyone help him feels poetic and the perfect to end to bookend the series. The last episode The Future was a great way to say goodbye to the characters that we’ve been with for five years. Steven leaving reminds me a lot of when my brother left for college.

I think a good comparison to Future is Toy Story 4. While Toy Story 3 was the conclusion to the Toy Story trilogy Toy Story 4 was an epilogue that concludes Woody’s story with him starting a new life like Steven. It is sad that one of my favorite shows of all time is over but I’m also happy that it had a conclusion unlike The Simpsons. To Rebecca Sugar and every member of the crewniverse, thank you for making such a wonderful show.

BoJack Horseman Season 6 review

Back in the 90s I was in a very famous TV show.

BoJack Horseman has released part 2 of season 6 aka the final season. Each of the main characters have great conclusions to their arcs and very funny, emotional, and memorable moments. The most complex character of course if BoJack. Every bad things that BoJack has done especially the death of Sarah Lynn comes together to drag BoJack to his lowest point in the entire series. It’s so bad that even Hollyhock cuts ties with him and he becomes a pariah in Hollywoo.

The penultimate episode is always the tensest of each season and this season’s penultimate episode “The View From Halfway Down” couldn’t be any more intense. BoJack finds himself in a house with all the characters that have died throughout the series such as Sarah Lynn and his mother. It’s disturbing because you’re not sure if BoJack is dead or not. I almost thought the last episode would just be the other characters reacting to his death. Good news is that he lived the bad news is that he’s sent to prison. The final episode’s title “Nice While It Lasted” pretty much sums up the finale. It’s not epic like Sozin’s Comet or Take Back the Falls, it’s just BoJack having one more conversation with the main characters and it’s a really great way to say goodbye to them. This is one of those shows where I wasn’t sure it would have happy or sad ending and while it’s never addressed what BoJack is going to do after he’s out of prison but there is a feeling of hope in there.

BoJack Horseman season 6 is the bittersweet ending to one of Netflix’s best shows that managed to bookend everything. Thank you Raphael Bob-Waksberg for creating such a smart, thought provoking and wonderful series and thank you Will Arnett for voicing a complex and funny character. Now to look forward to Hilda season 2.

Infinity Train season 2 review

Infinity Train is a show that once was supposed to be a miniseries turned into an anthology series due to the popularity of season 1. Book 2: Cracked Reflection focuses on Tulip’s reflection MT who was first introduced in season 1 episode 7 The Chrome Car. She wants to have her own identity but is constantly being chased by the reflection police. She meets up with a passenger named Jesse and a magical deer named Alan Dracula.

I said this in my season 1 review that Infinity Train is kind of like a video game with the different cars being like levels. The cars in this season are still fun like the map car, the lucky cat car (carnival themed) and the toad car which is nothing but an empty room where the only way to open the door is to kick a toad. It’s so stupidly simple yet creative. I think the video game theming also ties into MT’s arc. I might be reading too much into this but I think her arc is a deconstruction on the video game ally/NPC. You really feel for MT since all she wants is to have an identity and her emotional breakdown in tape car felt very genuine and when she finally got her number and went left with Jesse it felt so earned.

I think having MT as the main character was a clever way to keep Ashley Johnson who also voiced Tulip. Jesse was nice but I think Tulip and her dilemma was more compelling. I also think the conductor/Amelia was a more interesting villain than the reflection police.  My favorite character has to be Alan Dracula due to his random and bizarre powers. I also like how there’s no context to this deer but who cares he just exists.

Cracked Reflection is a great 2nd season to Infinity Train and is nothing like the Polar Express let me tell you that. I hope they’ll be a season 3 considering there are infinite cars (it’s not called the Infinity Train for nothing). It was a fun train ride and a fun way to begin 2020.