It took a while, but I finally watched all of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. I watched the first two season a few months ago, meaning to watch the third and last one as well but it never came of it. Now I finally sat down to finish it and I am very glad I did.
Do you ever just want to feel really good, have a laugh and feel a good number of emotions as well? Well then this is just might be a great fit. Kipo blends all of the things mentioned just now incredibly well. There are 3 seasons of the show, all having 10 episodes. It’s not a long watch, and I really appreciated that even though every episode kind of has its own thing going for it, the overarching plot is still front and center. It’s really well-paced show, that manages very well to make you empathize with its many characters while at the same time not taking itself too seriously.
The premise of the series is as follows: Earth as we know it has been destroyed by an outbreak that mutated a bunch of animals. Ever since then these mutants have been dwelling on the surface, while humans have been living underground. Both of these groups see the other as monsters, and that if they will ever interact it would bring out total destruction. Que Kipo, a human from one of those burrows who through a series of circumstances ends up on the surface. She quickly sees a different, more fantastical side of the surface than what she was told before. While indeed it is quite dangerous, Kipo is one of few who starts to seek for unity between the two groups. Of course this isn’t without its hardships, since a lot of the different Mute’s have conflict with each other, and humans aren’t always the most open-minded creatures either.
Nevertheless, I was really rooting for Kipo to succeed in uniting all these different creatures. And not just her, because she’s accompanied by a number of great other characters, in both friends and foes. There’s Benson, Wolf and Dave (an immortal bug) for her closest friends, and of course the mutant pig Mandu (who is voiced by The Clone Wars master himself, Dee Bradley Baker). These characters have a lot of personality and backstory which you explore as the series progresses. But that’s not to say that the villains are under-developed either. Because they really are! You get a great sense of what their motivations and goals are, what brought them to that point and most importantly to me, how they react to everything that happens. Kipo is relentlessly kind and caring (which might not always seem like an appropriate response but oh well) never wanting to harm anyone and trying to make friends with everyone she meets, which brings for some great interactions with the antagonists. It’s also worth mentioning that I think this show does representation very well!
Aside from the great character work, the animation also looks really nice. It’s very colorful, and almost all of the areas have a very unique feel to them in terms of visuals. It’s really fun to see all these (to us) normal, human locations affected by a mutated world. Also, just because Kipo tries to make friends with everyone, there are definitely still some awesome action sequences. These are very well animated and engaging, partially due to the music that plays during most of them. While it’s not really something I would put up myself in my free time it works really well in the context of the show. Big plus for that!
I praised the pacing before, since the overarching goal never gets forgotten or pushed to the sidelines, but there were a few moments where I would’ve liked the show to take it’s time a little more. It stumbles only very little, and it always remains wildly entertaining, but when things start moving, they start moving fast. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it stood out to me so I figured I’d mention it. Also the show is genuinely funny. Of course it is not a straight up comedy but it still got a lot of chuckles out of me. The humor doesn’t take away from the darker and more sad moments but works very well in contrast to it.
Soooo, yeah. That’s really most of what I can say about this show without giving a lot of it away. It’s not a long watch, so I’d highly recommend you give it a shot. It’s charming, the characters are really fun and the animation is stellar. While there are a few minor hiccups I don’t think you can go wrong with this incredibly entertaining series.
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