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Anyone else watching this? Just finished catching up with Season 2. It's an animated show from most of the team who made AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER and THE LEGEND OF KORRA, but in an all-new world and setting.
The premise is that the continent of Xadia used to be inhabited by humans and elves, who lived in harmony. However, the humans became jealous of the elves' natural source of magic, primal sorcery. They created their own form of sorcery, but the elves considered this type of magic - dark magic - to be evil and exiled the human to the western half of the continent, cutting them off with a sea of lava. The elves allied with a race of powerful dragons to stop the humans from returning.
Just before the series opens, the king of the most powerful human nation, Katolis, has slain the Dragon King in combat. In response, the elves dispatch an elite band of assassins to kill him in turn. The king's two sons discover that the king also stole the Dragon King's last egg. They ally with one of the elven assassins to return the egg to Xadia to restore peace between the nations, but factions within both the human and elven nations oppose them.
It is a kids show, although with a lot of smart references for adult watchers. THe tone is similar to AVATAR, so if you were down with that, you'll probably enjoy this. It also shares a lot of the voice cast. The story is fairly generic (although there are some nice worldbuilding twists like LAVA ELVES!) but the characters are a lot of fun and there's also a lot of moral ambiguity, with the villains being given a lot of credible motivations for what they are doing. There's a lot of laughs, but also some moments of tragedy: a flashback in Season 2 to the events that wiped out the previous generation of characters is pretty harsh.
The main complaint would be that they don't have the budget of KORRA (or maybe even AVATAR for that matter), so they've adopted a clever way of using 3D animation with 2D post-processing over the top to render complex scenes very quickly. In Season 2 this looks fantastic, but in Season 1 they were still getting used to it, with several scenes with a weird framerate drop. It's not massively noticeable, but it is mildly irritating. Fortunately that seems to have bitten the dust for Season 2, which is much more technically accomplished.
One benefit of this system is the speed with which they can produce new episodes: each season is only 9 20-minute episodes, but they can release 2-3 seasons per year (similar to how they handled VOLTRON), which is pretty cool. Season 3, if greenlit, should air around July or August, for example.
Overall, a fine slice of animated fantasy.
Yep, watching it now (though I'm only at Episode 2 of the second season). So far, my take on the objection to the human's dark magic is that it's basically defiling magic from Dark Sun (unless the human is using a Primal Stone, he has to draw power from/snuff the life of a creature with Primal power within it to cast a spell). So I'm suspecting that we might also see an analogue to preserving magic or the Spirit Bomb (taking a little bit of power from lots of Primal creatures without killing them).
And now I have to avoid this thread until I finish season 2.