Currently on Netflix, Love, Death + Robots is an anthology series in which each episode is a self-enclosed story which is under 20 minutes long. The series is a re-imagining of David Fincher and Tim Miller’s science fiction animated film Heavy Metal made in 1981.
Now unlike normal reviews I cannot give a synopsis of the plot because each episode is a story that features different characters in different situations. The animation style varies between stories and a numerous crews worked on each instalment with each episodes dealing with at least one of the themes (love, death or robots) without necessarily including all three.
This review is going to be considerably shorter than my previous ones simply because I thought this series was spectacular. There were so many episodes which I would love to see expanded into longer films or even their own series. Sonny’s Edge and my personal favourite Beyond the Aquila Rift, both of which deal with different sci-fi futures.
The series can and does feature nudity and sex scenes but the cast are animated with only Topher Grace and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, appearing in live-action roles, who don’t disrobe at any point.
The violence is graphic but at no point is it sickening or unnecessary. It can be visceral, and as an animated show the violence doesn’t devolve into bad CGI because pretty much everything in the series is a creation of CGI.
The effects are pretty incredible and there are times when it is difficult to see if you are watching a live-action show or something made with computers.
There are episodes which fall pretty flat and seem to just be weird for the sake of being weird such as Fish Night or Alternate Histories. Thing is because the episodes are so short, if there is one you find you are not interested in, then it is over pretty quickly. Most episodes leave you hungry for more, but not everything can be gold, if you are experimenting with different animation techniques and styles.
Thinking about it, the series is a bit like the 2003 film The Animatrix which featured different adventures set within the world of The Matrix Trilogy. Each episode featured different characters, with the connecting theme being the Matrix itself. An athlete was able to wake himself up in the real world due to how far he pushed his body within the Matrix. In another, a group of children found a “haunted” house in which they could float, and dust moved upwards, it was a glitch in the Matrix world but the children didn’t know that. Some of the characters like Neo and Trinity did appear (with both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles from the film trilogy) but the majority of the stories were separate from one another. They did have the consistent theme that they were based around the creation of the matrix itself and events from people within it, Love, Death + Robots does not have that feature as each world is different and unique.
All in all Love, Death + Robots is a fantastic series and I am very much looking forward to Season 2. I would also be more than happy to see some of the episodes turned into films or shows of their own. This is one of the strongest Thumbs Up I have every given, and I am only not giving it a 2 Thumbs Up because some episodes do drop the ball a bit.
9/10 – The occasional misstep, but by and large my advice is if you haven’t already...go and watch it, you will not be disappointed.