From Genndy Tartakovsky, the animator behind “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Samurai Jack,” and “Primal,” comes a new show… one that struggles to hold up to its predecessors.
“Unicorn Warriors Eternal” premiered on Adult Swim May 5th, starting off strong with an 8/10 rating on imdb.com. The first episode was split into two, both titled “The Awakening.” Set in a steampunk version of 1800s London, the animated series follows Melinda, a bride-to-be, before she gets interrupted by her destiny calling.
The Unicorn Warriors are a group of four people whose souls continuously come back when the world needs them most. But, just like a certain Avatar Aang, they vanished. Melinda is one of them, with the powers of flight and black, gooey magic. Another is Edred, an elf-like person. Skilled in archery, not-so in rizz. Then we have Seng, a street orphan who’s the reincarnation of a monk who can see deep into the universe itself. Finally, we have the silent leader of the group. Copernicus, the quirky robot from the future.
The first episode really highlights the panic that Melinda feels at suddenly being “woken up” from her previously normal life. The version of her that was going to get married is happy and has a loving family around her. This new (or old) version of her is angry, with frightening powers she doesn’t understand.
That premise leaves high hopes for the three other episodes currently released on HBO Max. However, even though the setting is vibrant, the animation’s unique, and the premise is nothing short of interesting, Tartakovsky’s vision just doesn’t pan out. At least, so far.
The action scenes feel a lot like his last show, “Primal.” From zombie mammoths to armies of robots, it seems like there’s a recipe for a one-night binge. When watching, it felt like there was something missing, and ultimately, beyond the enticing first episode, I didn’t feel invested in the show.
That shouldn’t stop you from checking it out yourself, though! Maybe this is a new masterpiece in the making. New and bold animation deserves every chance it gets, and “Unicorn Warriors Eternal” is no exception. Let me know what you think!
By Inti Navia, Senior, ChiArts
All Platforms: @intinavia
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