Anne Learns Some New Skills
Amphibia Episode 18 Review/Recap
It’s nice to see a show take the time it needs to round out its secondary cast, but it shouldn’t lose focus on the main character. In this episode of Amphibia, we first see Anne show off some mad skills while learning valuable lessons about teamwork and effort.
The Big Bugball Game
After seeing Anne’s skill at throwing, Hop Pop recruits her to join Wartwood’s Bugball team for their annual Harvest Day game against Mayor Toadstool’s team. As good as Anne is, though, she’s used to playing solo. Toadstool’s side, the townies, uses that to crush her in practice. To get her into shape, the Wartwood team, the farmers, teach her the value of teamwork through a montage of trust-building exercises.
The night of the big game arrives sand with Anne’s newfound appreciation for teamwork, and the Farmers keep up with the Townies. Desperate, Toadstool resorts to cheating by blinding Anne. Thanks to a previous blind-folded exercise though, Anne manages to get past the townies, allowing Sprig to score the winning points. The townies have to spend a week in humiliating turkey costumes, and Anne gets a bug juice dunk for helping them win. Standard sports plot.
While Hop Pop goes to a Corn Convention for the weekend, he leaves Anne, Sprig, and Polly at a daycare run by a Zoro-esque man named Tritonio. Only it’s not a daycare; it’s a combat camp! For three days, the kids go through basic combat training, but while Sprig and Anne dive right in, Anne hates how Tritonio seems to be singling her out for her failures. It only reminds her of how her teachers back home treated her. Late at night, Tritonio reveals he’s only tough on her because he senses great potential in her, and inspires her to start acting on that.
On their final day of camp, Tritonio has the kids steal a priceless ruby from a train, claiming its not real. Except it is, and Tritonio’s just a thief. Working together, Anne and the Plantar siblings take him down and bring him to justice. While Tritonio may have used them, his teachings inspire Anne to give teachers another chance once she gets home.
I liked his episode, plain and simple. It brought the focus squarely back on Anne after several episodes where I felt she played a secondary role. There was the “Bizarre Bazaar,” but that focused on Anne and Sprig equally. This episode provided some character growth for Anne. With the first season on the verge of wrapping up, I can assume this will lead to a new direction for the show in Season 2. One more serialized and darker in tone.
With that in mind, I loved seeing just how much skill Anne has as a fighter. It’s almost as if she was brought to Amphibia for a reason. What her destiny may be is still unknown, but I think she’ll end up becoming a great hero for Amphibia. I can’t wait to find out.
Also, that tulip farmer was voiced by Matt Braly. Nice of him to play the descended creator, and I hope to see more of him.
I Give “The Big Bugball Game” and “Combat Camp” a 4/5
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