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Netflix really went all in when they released a show that was marketed as a hard NSFW collection of animated shorts. It's completely outrageous, over-the-top, sensual, gory, and profane. By all means, do not watch this show at work around your coworkers. You have been warned. Love, Death & Robots is an anthology series consisting of 18 different animated shorts where no one episode is related to another. Not only can you watch it in whatever order you'd like, but there are many different styles of animation used, which keeps it interesting and fresh. Also, each episode has a runtime of anywhere from six to 17 minutes, so it can all be consumed quickly and easily. The title of the show accurately (and obviously) describes which each episode is about. It could be about one, two, or all three of the nouns.
Instead of writing a broad review about the show, I've decided to rank them from worst to best instead:
18. Sucker of Souls - This one about excavators being hunted by Dracula & Co. almost put me to sleep.
17. The Dump - A man is being forced to move out of the dump, but he doesn't want to because of his pet. Just move out of the dump, dude!
16. Fish Night - This one made almost no sense to me, but the animation and colors were cool. It felt too short and I had so many questions.
15. Blindspot - Robber robots with a classic story involving a rookie doing a job with veterans. It definitely had Mad Max vibes, but provided some light laughs.
14. Suits - A group of farmers attempt to protect their land from an invasion of aliens in their custom Titanfall-esque robot suits. This one had a lot of heart, but only get exciting in the second half.
13. Lucky 13 - Fitting position, isn't it? This one could be a cut-scene in a video game and looked incredible, but it didn't exactly stand out. Including Samira Wiley was a nice touch.
12. Helping Hand - Being stuck in space is always terrifying, and Helping Hand is just that. What the astronaut had to do in order to get back to her spacecraft was gut-wrenching.
11. Ice Age - This one stood out, but not necessarily in a good way. It felt more live action than animated since it involved Topher Grace and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as live actors. Ice Age, about a colonization living in a freezer, should've been extended.
10. Alternate Histories - Imagine having an app that lets you simulate what changes in history would happen if Hitler died before the World Wars. Wouldn't you be curious to see what that'd look like? Alternate Histories does just that and it's hilarious.
9. Sonnie's Edge - This is the first of the bunch and it immediately held my attention. The animation is clean and the content is extremely graphic, which set the tone for the rest of the episodes.
8. When the Yogurt Took Over - The concept is dumb, but the execution is perfect. Yogurt (yes, the dairy product) takes over the United States and claims to have the solution to eradicate national debt. It's an amusing satire on American government and is flawlessly narrated.
7. The Secret War - If they made this one into a feature film or created a video game around it, I would watch/play it. The details and grand scale of The Secret War needs to be recognized. The Red Army versus hell-bent, murderous aliens in Siberia was exhilarating to watch.
6. Shape-Shifters - Two Marines in Afghanistan seem to be human on the surface, but they're much more than that and are discriminated against because of it. They use their "powers" to hunt enemies just like them. This is one of the longer episodes and wished it were longer, especially in the beginning.
5. Beyond the Aquila Rift - The best of the hyper-realistic 3D animated shorts, Beyond the Aquila Rift tells the story of a crew on a specific mission that goes awry. Thom, the captain, then has to determine what's real and what's not.
4. Zion Blue - Zion Blue you will either love or hate. For me, it was the former. It's the most artistic of the bunch, both literally and figuratively, and it kept me intrigued from beginning to end.
3. The Witness - High-octane from beginning to end, The Witness is a fast-paced cat-and-mouse chase that seems to never end. The artistic direction of this one is also one of the best overall.
2. Three Robots - The funniest episode is hands down Three Robots. I couldn't stop laughing or smiling. After the human race is depleted, three very different robots (and a cat) befriend each other and explore what human civilization used to be. Them trying to figure out why humans did what they did for leisure is entertaining.
1. Good Hunting - They had me at "steampunk, shape-shifting huli jings in 20th century Hong Kong" and is easily the best in the collection. Good Hunting, being one of the longest episodes, was not long enough. The story line and classic animation was astounding. This is one of the few episodes that has tremendous replay value.
Overall, Love, Death + Robot is great fun to watch with a handful of brilliant gems worth your time. You'll appreciate the diversity of animation, voice actors, story lines, and in the end, you can decide which one you enjoyed the most. In the age that we live in, with technology constantly evolving, my only hope is that none of these short films become a reality. ★★★★
★★★★★ Classic | ★★★★ Excellent | ★★★ Good | ★★ Fair | ★ Poor