Netflix has brought something new and slightly unusual to its collection. Love, Death and Robots is an 18 episode animated anthology that explores the themes of its title. Each episode uses a different style of animation, has its own unique story and tells it with a different twist that always groups it into the category of science fiction.
While there is love, death and robots, there is also post-apocalyptic violence, warfare, horror, time loops and jokes about sex. The mature rating for this series is well deserved for its direct nudity, uncensored gore and oftentimes explicit dialogue. However, viewers should not shy away from this daring anthology, as there is not one episode that is longer than 17 minutes. Each one has an underlying lesson to be learned or “a-ha moment” even if its contents border the outrageous.
The series starts off with its first episode titled “Sonnie’s Edge”, giving viewers a taste of the type of violence and sexual situations the series possesses throughout most of its episodes. The first episode also depicts how some stories are usually set towards what viewers would consider a cinematic climax.
These episodes often jump straight into the action and continue with enough backstory for viewers to be interested. “Sonnie’s Edge” is set into a futuristic timeline where back alley fights are fought through two people uploading their consciousness to their own unique monster while concentrating in a place beyond the arena. Sonnie, the titular character, is a young woman with a grimy backstory, and although she wins her match, she is quickly seduced by a woman working for her enemy. Without delving in enough to spoil the episode, viewers quickly learn Sonnie’s secret, and her edge is revealed in a shocking plot twist.
Although majority of Love, Death and Robots’ episodes place its characters in situations that leave little to no survivors by the end of its running time, there are some hilariously light-hearted and bizarre ones that make up for the death and gloom. For instance, one episode named “Alternate Histories” takes viewers into Multiversity, where alternate and comical timelines of Hitler’s past are explored and exaggerated to say the least. There is even an episode titled “Ice Age” where a young newlywed couple finds a fast advancing miniature civilization in their freezer.
Love, Death and Robots is not all spaceships and futuristic gadgetry either. In one instance, viewers are led back in time to the British rule of China in the 1800s where shapeshifting is used to show a stance on feminism, and another, they go back to the 1900s where the Red Army finds itself fighting an unholy and seemingly unwinnable war. This is also in addition to an episode where viewers travel with a city inspector into a man’s junkyard home in modern times before he meets his grisly demise.
Netflix’s new animated anthology is not for children, but mature audiences will definitely find it unusually enjoyable with each episode enticing viewers to continue to the next. The short running times of the episodes also help bring each one to completion. Whether a person is looking for something new and easy to binge or just something interesting to watch, this series definitely does the job.