Love, Death & Robots: Beyond the Aquila Rift

Love, Death & Robots: Beyond the Aquila Rift ★★★


So, Love, Death & Robots is a Netflix animated anthology series, and it’s a 18+, violent, gory, sex-filled, f-word-packed animated series which I was pretty interested in, because I like supporting animated things that aren’t just for kids, and in this instance not for kids at all.
And the title of the show also makes us realize that this thing probably is gonna contain some heavy love, death and robots. And I guess it’s mostly a sci-fi series, for the most part. It’s kind of like Black Mirror, but more extreme and boundaryless and animated (obviously), but at the same time it doesn’t nearly have the same impact as something like Black Mirror.
While I did overall like the show, and found at least some enjoyment in every episode, most of the episodes just wind up having the exact same issues. Those issues being way too concentrated on being as 18+ as possible, even if that gets in the way of being enjoyable and cohesive. A handful of episodes felt like Call of Duty cutscenes rather than animated shorts, and some episodes left me wondering why it was even animated.
So, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna go through every episode, and rate them and talk about the good and bad elements. 

1: Sonnie’s Edge. Score: 5/10. This episode was a pretty weak one to start the show off with, because it was kinda cool, but I felt like it tried to force as much A W E S O M E  1 8 +  S H I T in there, and it just seemed really lame and

2: Three Robots. Score: 7/10. This episode was really simple and effective, and exactly what I’d want out of a show like this. It was funny and charming and it had a fun social commentary element. I did feel like the structure was literally repeating itself, but that kinda works for a short. Some jokes worked better than others, but it was fun.

3: The Witness. Score 8/10. This episode was actually my favorite to second favorite episode of the whole thing. It’s probably the most aesthetically pleasing episode. The design of the characters and the environment was very Jamie Hewlett, which I loved. Some of the animation seemed a bit Spider-Verse, which also fit very well. It did get a bit gratuitous in one scene, but overall it’s interesting plot wise, and especially animation wise.

4: Suits. Grade: 6/10. This one I was really split on in the beginning, because I was wondering why anything this stupid and clichéd would be here. But then the last frame made me understand the intent a lot more, so I ended up liking it.

5: Sucker of Souls: Grade: 4/10. This one was pretty fucking bad. The humor absolutely killed this thing. It would have worked as a purely horror themed thing, but the stupid dick jokes had to be there.

6: When the Yogurt Took Over: Grade: 6/10.
This one was a fun idea, and it was pretty funny, but didn’t leave any impact for me. But it worked.

7: Beyond the Aquila Rift: Grade: 4/10. Another one that got saved by the last frame. I didn’t understand why it was so gratuitous and I also didn’t get why it was animated if it just tried to look like real life. It felt like a nasty Call of Duty cutscene for most of it. The last frame is good, but it sucks overall

8: Good Hunting. Grade: 6/10. I really wanted to like this one, but the main character is terrible, and he reminded me of How Wang-Fo Was Saved, so I can’t say I loved it.

9: The Dump. Grade: 5/10. It lived up to its title. It was really not that enjoyable. Old hobo cock.

10: Shape-Shifters. Grade: 6/10. This one is the most Call of Duty out of any of the episodes, but the werewolves where cool, and it didn’t suck.
11: Helping Hand. Grade: 7/10. A pretty effective little space-horror scenario. It was pretty good and effective, but it doesn’t stick. One of the better episodes, though. 

12: Fish Night. Grade: 6/10. It was kind of pretentious and a bit of an empty idea, but it has some really cool animation, and I just love underwater dinosaurs. A neat idea, but the script wasn’t really that good.

13: Lucky 13 (har har). Grade: 6-7/10. Another very video-gamey episode, but it was very well done considering. The spaceship battles where really well done, but it reminded me a bit of the Clone Wars show, which I don’t know that’s a good thing or not.

14: Zima Blue. Grade: 9/10. This one is probably the best of the show. It’s interesting and thought provoking. The animation is gorgeous and purposeful. It’s very artistic, and it breaks the barriers of reality to its benefit to tell its story. It never devolved into stupid 18+ bullshit, because what it is, is basically perfect. I loved this episode a lot. I liked the kind of 60s-like animation style. It’s probably the most effective and well done episode. Even if you’re not gonna see the show, at least check this one out.

15: Blind Spot. Grade: 6/10. It’s weird following Zima Blue up with this one, because it’s all an action scene containing stupid 18+ bullshit. The animation was really charming, but it’s not really that good.

16: Ice Age. Grade: 4/10. This one was an interesting idea that I was kind of looking forward to, but the fact that it is a short ruined the pacing for me, because I didn’t feel any attachment to the characters and their emotions. And on top of that the acting from Topher Grace was really bad. And it didn’t really make much sense, considering the established rules. Probably the worst one. Sorry Mary.

17: Alternate Histories. Grade: 7/10. Pretty funny. Not much to say. It was good.

18: The Secret War. Grade: 7/10. This one was like some of the video-gamey episodes, but with enough of an animated feeling to make it feel more intentional. And it worked as a horror war story. It was kind of intense, and well done. 

So, overall it’s not too bad. A lot of good, and a lot of not so good. But the fact that it was pretty consistently fine, apart from two very positive and one or two pretty negative ones there isn’t a lot that felt very special. 
A lot of it is pretty corny or clichéd or formulated. I think it lacked a curtain focus on the whole. If you look at Black Mirror, it’s an anthology series, but it somehow remains consistent enough in tone or goal. This show is basically a bunch of random ideas, and some do work a lot, but it needs some damn glue.
And also a bit more precise planning of where to put each episode in the list.

Overall I’d recommend seeing this show. It’s a very inconsistent, but somehow consistent in the wrong ways, in my opinion. It felt like a gamble a lot of the time, and I was willing to take my risk all the way through, but that’s still not enough. Overall score is a solidified 6.