After watching the trailer for Netflix’s new original show, “Love, Death & Robots,” I was intrigued by a show whose animation varies between episodes and spans various themes. Whether it’s sci-fi, horror or comedy, the show is a “NSFW animated anthology” and has a little something for everyone, so long as you’re comfortable with its mature subject matter.
Created by Tim Miller (“Deadpool”) alongside executive producer David Fincher (“Fight Club”), the episode order of “Love, Death & Robots” is chosen at random for the viewer from four different combinations. There are 18 episodes in total, each ranging from being as short as six minutes to as long as 17 minutes. Although each storyline is unique in its own way, some are obviously more entertaining than others. My favorites had to be “Three Robots,” “Good Hunting” and “The Secret War.”
“Three Robots” takes the wreckage of a post-apocalyptic city and places a trio of robots who go sightseeing to try to understand how humans functioned in their day-to-day lives in this light-hearted comedy. While walking past rotting corpses, some of the best laughs stem from the juxtaposition of these naive and likeable robots in their harsh surroundings. The deadpan female robot likes taking photos of the wreckage and corpses lying around, like a typical tourist, while the other two tease each other. Funnily enough, the female robot has no voice actress accredited to it because the voice was actually synthesized with a computer. Of all the episodes in the show, this one is a must-watch.
“Good Hunting” is set in ancient China as a man uses his affinity with steampunk technology to help a fox spirit exact her revenge on English colonizers who have taken everything away from the two of them. Although the story itself is a bit convoluted and packs a bit too much into 16 minutes, the 2D animation is beautiful. Any amount of story that manages to fit into this episode creates a much deeper and more intriguing plot than any other episode that the show offers.
The story for “The Secret War” isn’t all that different from a few others in this anthology: A group of people fight some otherworldly creature, and it gets gruesome. In this case, it’s a group of Soviet soldiers hunting down and fighting a horde of demonic creatures deep in the forests of Siberia. This episode packs more than enough action, and its lead character is voiced by Stefan Kapicic, known for his work as Colossus in “Deadpool” (2016). The 3D animation is hyper-realistic and feels like one long video game cutscene, in a good way, and makes for a very entertaining 15 minutes.
The rest of the show does feature a couple gems. “Alternate Histories” shows Hitler dying in six comically different ways, the best of which may be being encased in gelatin and suffocating to death. “The Witness” features a woman on the run after witnessing a murder. Despite its unusual amount of nudity, the comic book-style visuals, radiant colors and brilliant camera angles make it a pleasing watch. One of the most chilling episodes, “Beyond the Aquila Rift,” has the crew of a spaceship awaken to find themselves far off course with a nice twist at the end.
Aside from the collection’s more light-hearted and funnier stories, the more serious episodes tend to have either gruesome violence, nudity or other mature themes which can be both interesting and uncomfortable for the viewer, depending on the episode.
For anyone with an interest in animation, or just looking for your next binge, this show is a must-watch since each episode is visually appealing from start to finish. With unique storylines and convincing characters, “Love, Death & Robots” is a nice binge for any night of the week.