So, this weekend forced me to choose between doing one of two things for Saturday. My first option was to livestream some Pokemon Sword/Shield. My second option was to binge-watch the new season of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts on Netflix.
I think I made the right choice.
If you didn’t read my post on Season 1 all the way back in January, then I urge you to go read it now! If you have (or already watched it), then you know the first season ended with a bang. Kipo made it back to her people and dad, only for Scarlemagne to capture almost everyone. As a result, Kipo goes on a new quest to rescue her people and take down Scarlemagne.
As before, Kipo remains as colorful and vibrant as before, with the music as dope as humanly possible. What changes is the theme: whereas Season One was about Kipo learning about the surface world, Season Two focuses on learning who she is. The first episode confirms what we already knew: she’s part-mute, and can turn into a purple jaguar. It reminds me a little of how Naruto can turn into the Nine-Tailed Fox in Naruto. I’m not making that comparison because of appearances, though. I’m making it because, like Naruto, Kipo struggles with being able to control her wild side. Her trials whilst learning how to control her powers are the big drive for the season, and it pays off in a very emotional way. Long story short: love and friends are the keys to controlling it.
Scarlemagne Has One Sad Backstory
We had an entire season to see how cruel and insane Scarlemagne could be as a villain, and man was he a good one! But it turns out that there’s someone out that’s even worse than him. In fact, it’s someone who’s responsible for making Scarlemagne who he is now.
Enter Dr. Emillia, this scientist who worked with Kipo’s parents. She’s got this single-minded obsession with reversing the mutation of all animals on the surface so that humanity can reclaim it. Sounds noble, but then you remember that most of those mutes are sentient with their own societies. And she used Hugo, the future Scarlemagne, as a guinea pig to help learn how to reverse the mutation. The only people who cared about the mandrill were Kipo’s parents, and due to circumstances beyond their control, they couldn’t save Hugo.
I loved the reveal of Scarlemagne’s past. Firstly, it gives him a tangible connection to Kipo (they’re technically foster siblings!). Secondly, it makes him into a foil for Kipo. Kipo was able to make friends on the surface that helped her through what she went through, and she never gave up her positive outlook on life. However, Scarlemagne never had that comfort, and it broke him into what we see today.
Finally, the show sets up Dr. Emillia to be the big bad of Season three, as she’s determined to end all Mutes. Consider how this parallels the problems with racism that people are fighting right now, and one can appreciate how timely a hate sink like this woman is.
A Must Watch for the Summer
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts remains one of the best new shows on Netflix, and I enjoyed being able to binge the new season. And listen to the soundtrack. If you’re looking for a show that balances heart with story, humor, and topical themes about accepting people of all backgrounds, then go watch this show.
I Give Season Two of “Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts” a 4.9/5
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