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Love Death Robots

Love Death + Robots: Season Three

Love Death + Robots is back with season three! With a scifi/fantasy concept, the different episodes somehow play to the themes of love, death and robots (although not every episode has a robot per se) and are very adult in nature. In fact, a quote that they are for “mature, messed up adults” is right on the money. I feel seen by that description!

The animation styles differed wildly from episode to episode, with some being cartoony while others were photo-realistic. Some of the stories were funny, others heartbreaking, but all were good in their own way. Often in a collection of short stories, there will be some clunkers, but all of the episodes were strong.

Three Robots: Exit Strategies

The three wise-cracking robots from season one have yet another post-apocalyptic trip, surveying the wreckage of a planet whose people died, when greed and poor planning doomed them. Of course, there are uncomfortable parallels to our world today. It had a cutesy animation style.

Bad Travelling

A thanapod, an enormous man-eating crustacean, boards a ship and attacks the sailors. They are forced to sail it to an island so the giant crab can attack the inhabitants, but the captain wants to fool the creature by sailing to a farther away uninhabited island, putting the crew in danger for longer. When the crab has babies, the danger increases- who will prevail?

The Very Pulse of the Machine

An astronaut is exploring Jupiter’s moon Lo, when her partner dies in an accident. She begins to hallucinate as she tries dragging her partner’s body to the space shuttle. I was unclear what really happened at the end.

Night of the Mini Dead

The shortest episode features sped-up characters battling a zombie apocalypse. Two horny teens inadvertently cause the world to end, but it’s only a blip in the entire space cosmos.

Kill Team Kill

Animated to remind you of GI Joe, a team of Green Berets encounters a cybernetic bear. Don’t become too attached to any of the characters! This episode had some fun raunchy dialogue.

Swarm

A scientist travels to a planet to study its ecosystem and meets another researcher there. They are both amazed at how the animals co-exist within a caste system, and he hopes to utilize them to benefit Earth. Threatened, the swarm assimulates one of the scientists, but the other vows to fight against becoming a symbiote species to the intergalactic hive.

Mason’s Rats

In a futuristic Scotland, a farmer’s barn is overrun by rats. He calls in a pest company and hi-tech machines battle the rats until a truce is called. The animation was Pixar-ish and relied on sight gags.

In Vaulted Halls Entombed

A team of soldiers try to rescue a hostage and get lured into a mountain tunnel and are soon surrounded by Lovecraftian creatures. Their numbers are depleted until only two soldiers survive when they are confronted by a Cthulhu-type diety. One soldier is seen staggering away, but her eyes and ears are missing and she is muttering an alien language. What awaits her and anyone she encounters?

Jibaro

This was a perfect episode to conclude the season with- it was so amazingly unique with outstanding life-like animation. Based on a Puerto Rican folktale, a group of conquistadors and priests get seduced by a siren who lures them to their death in a lake. A deaf knight survives and two become entranced with one another. But when he leaves her for dead, and her blood restores his hearing, he too joins his comrades in a watery grave.

My favorite two episodes in this short season were Bad Travelling and Jibaro, but this series has something for anyone no matter what type of art style or storytelling they prefer. Here’s to hoping for a season four!

Love Death + Robots

I am late to the game in discovering this outstanding animated anthology series on Netflix. With a scifi/fantasy concept, the different episodes somehow play to the themes of love, death and robots (although not every episode has a robot per se) and are very adult in nature. In fact, a quote that they are for “mature, messed up adults” is right on the money. I feel seen by that description!

Season one (18 episodes) came out in 2019 and season two (8 episodes) recently came out in May, with a third season promised for next year. Another bonus is that the episodes are all short- the longest about twenty minutes, but several less than ten. Instead of summaries for all the episodes, here are my favs with some spoilers:

Suits:

A farming community is under attack by aliens and they use their advanced technology to combat them. The portal closes and they are safe once again, but as the episode concludes you realise this group are actually the invaders as they have created domed communities across the planet.

Beyond the Aquila Rift:

A spaceship captain awakens from suspended animation in a space station that he wasn’t piloting to and is confused when an ex-girlfriend greets him and tells him his ship and crew accidentally came thousands of light years to this station. He rekindles his relationship with her, and they have a very graphic sexual encounter, but afterward he keeps on questioning her on how his ship got so off course. Then the horrific truth is revealed, his ship is caught in a huge space web and the spider-like alien is giving him and others caught in the web dreams based on their memories.

Shape-Shifters:

Two soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are revealed to be werewolves who are assets to their teams, yet derided by many of their fellow soldiers. When one of the soldiers is killed by a local werewolf, the first soldier wants revenge. Dog tags take a new significance in this poignant episode.

The Secret War:

Red Army soldiers stationed in Siberia valiantly fight other-worldly creatures. A high-ranking government official is shown to have accidently unleashed demons when a ceremony goes awry, but his mistake is covered up, so as to avoid bringing blame upon the higer-ups. Instead hundreds of lives are lost, with the potential of more, just to save face.

Snow in the Desert:

Snow, an immortal man with regenerative abilities, lives alone in a desert hideaway. Hirald, a woman bounty hunter, helps him escape from some others, but tries to convince him to come with her so scientists can study him. When other bounty hunters come to ambush him, a secret of Hirald’s is revealed, but it ends on a hopeful note, as Snow and Hirald might have a chance at love. The world-building in this episode was superb, and I read in another review that the author Neal Asher has a science fiction series that this episode fits into.

All Through the House:

Two English children think they hear Santa and sneak down to see him, but instead see a grotesque alien creature creeping around. They are cornered by the monster but found to be good and given a slimy present. Later they muse what if the alien had found them bad. This was a fun tongue-in-cheek episode.

The animation styles differed wildly episode to episode, with some being cartoony while others were photo-realistic. Some of the stories were funny, others heartbreaking, but all were good in their own way. Often in a collection of short stories there will be some clunkers, but all of the episodes were strong. I highly recommend this series if you haven’t watched it yet. I look forward to season three!

-Nancy

Header picture is from Luckbox Magazine and grid picture from El-Shai.com

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