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Kipo Ends Its Run as One of the Best Cartoons of 2020


Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts Season 3 Review

I know I’m beating a dead horse by saying that 2020 stinks, but it’s the truth. This year, for mankind as a whole, has stunk! One of the few silver linings (aside from new video games and consoles) is that this year’s been good to animation. And besides The Owl House, one new show I’ll fondly remember from 2020 has to be Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. Four months after the release of Season Two, Season Three of Kipo aired in its entirety on Netflix last week. Sadly, this third season is also the show’s final season, bring an end to the show after a run of…nine months?

No, seriously. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts premiered back in January, 2020, and now its ending. It may not seem like that long a time, but with how this year’s been, it feels like a lifetime. It’s a weird feeling, but it also helps with the pacing for the show as a whole.

Dr. Emillia and Human Supremacy

For those who don’t know, here’s the backstory: two hundred years ago, an unknown disaster forced humanity to live in underground burrows. Meanwhile, the surface became populated by sentient animals called Mutes that hold a grudge against humanity. Enter Kipo, a human girl who gets separated from her people and forced to travel across the surface to find her way home. Along the way, her friendly nature leads her to make friends with most of the humans and Mutes she comes across. While she doesn’t realize it at first, this begins to bridge the gap between humans and mutes alike.

As we learn in Season Two, this is what Kipo’s parents had wanted her to do. They dreamed of a world where humans and mutes could live in peace, so before Kipo was born, they altered her DNA to make her part-mute. The last season ended with Kipo mastering her mute-half and gaining the ability to become a giant, purple jaguar that she uses to protect everyone.

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts-Dr Emillia, Sociopath

Sadly, Season Two gave Kipo someone who stands in direct opposition to everything she stands for: Dr. Emillia. She’s a xenophobic, sociopathic scientist with the single-minded goal of wiping out mute-kind. And once she develops a “cure” that robs mutes of their sentience, she comes very close to doing so.

The sad thing is the fact that this kind of racist, xenophobic ideology continues to exist in the world. Looking at America in the last few years, it feels like this kind of hatred’s only gotten worse. As a result, Dr. Emillia’s very much a villain influenced by the times we live in.

There Will Always Be Jerks…

I’ve seen several reviews that compare Kipo to Steven Universe, and I can see the parallels. Both are teens with special powers that want everyone to get along and be friends and make peace. For the most part, they succeed, too: Kipo manages to get humans and mutes to give peace a chance. The one person she fails to reach, though, is Dr. Emillia herself. As the madwoman keeps hurting the people Kipo cares about, she brings the heroine close to breaking her pacifistic ideals. She backs down in the end and still offers Emillia a chance to change, which she rejects. A similar thing happened in Steven Universe: Future with Aquamarine and Eyeball Ruby.

Unlike Steven Universe, though, Kipo pushes this concept of people who refuse to change and sticks with it until the end. Thus, it manages to give us the lesson that Steven Universe: Future touched on, but failed to see through. That lesson being that, no matter how hard you try to make peace with others, there will be jerks who refuse to change their ways. People that will insist on trying to hurt others and can’t be reasoned with, and that’s when we have to bust out the fisticuffs to protect those we care about. While I won’t say what happens to Emillia, let’s say she gets her just desserts.

…But There’s Also a Chance To Change

In my review of Season Two of the show, I said that I enjoyed the reveal of Scarlemagne’s backstory. Years of being tortured by Emillia, couple with Kipo’s parents not being able to save him, drove him to become the tyrant we first see. But underneath that maniacal persona lies a troubled and lonely soul. And, Kipo being Kipo, she tried to reach out and help him. She failed in Season Two, but Season Three sees her try once again. But does that mean we should forgive Scarlemagne?

As horrible as Scarlemagne’s past was, it doesn’t change the fact that he hurt a lot of people during his reign of terror. And neither the mutes nor humans are able to forget that. They shouldn’t forget it, either. Scarlemagne has to make up for being such a jerk in the past. While he struggles with it, at first, he manages to succeed by the end of the show’s run.

I’m not telling you guys what happens to him, though. No spoilers!

Watch this Show

If you’re looking for some quality cartoons with important life lessons, then I recommend that you watch Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. The artwork’s amazing, the characters are great, the story’s awesome, and the soundtrack is lit.

I Give “Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, Season 3” a 4.9/5

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

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