This show is based on a podcast
Animations for adults that aren’t comedy are a rare kind, especially those that seem primarily action-focused. The first television cartoon that was an action-based series, although not exactly a comedy, much to my knowledge, is the 90s animation Spawn. It was violent and sexual and contained all kinds of R-rated material — basically, it definitely wasn’t the kind of cartoon that kids would find funny. For a long time, there was no remarkable example for a non-comedy cartoon aimed at adults, until Invincible came out in 2021, rocking the critics with how spectacular it was — I thought to myself “how nice; yet another cartoon about a superhero that’s violent as hell”. At that time, I knew of two series that fell under the aforementioned category of adult cartoons, although I still didn’t think it was becoming a fad yet… until I saw The Legend of Vox Machina, which raised my hopes for more bloody cartoons in the future.
The Legend of Vox Machina is a tale that takes place in the mythos of Dungeons & Dragon, the ever-so-popular tabletop game that has been keeping nerds busy since the 70s. It chronicles the adventure of 7 mercenaries, who are collectively known as the eponymous Vox Machina, and their various quests to save humanity or whatever is happening in their world at that moment. It’s mostly what you’d expect from a show that takes place in D&D, with dragons and monsters and elves and all the other doohickeys. More so, the show is actually based on a podcast of people playing D&D, known as Critical Role. I personally don’t listen to it since my attention span can only tolerate vocals so much if there are no visual stimuli. Basically, at first glance, this show doesn’t seem too special, and the story isn’t that original either.
But it’s not so much the story of the show that attracts good scores on Rotten Tomatoes, but rather in whether the animation is executed splendidly throughout. With interesting characters, balanced pacing, and of course my favorite, some really nice choreography, it’s one big package that’s worth checking. Here’s my experience for the time being.
Dungeons & Dragons… what’s more to say?
The adventures of Vox Machina start with a podcast of people playing D&D, as I already stated, called Critical Role. I personally have no idea what it really is so we’re not gonna talk about it. It was just a starting point.
The Legend of Vox Machina, however, started in 2022 when Amazon was still trying to outperform Netflix with its streaming service, Prime Video or whatever they call it now (they keep changing the name). Though it’s still trying, they managed to add yet another hit to their catalogue. The pre-release critics were so good and Amazon apparently had such high hopes for the show that they ordered a second season before its debut. It turns out that the call was right since everybody liked it, including me.
There I was, sitting in front of the computer, because TV is virtually dead, and I watch the very first episode of The Legend of Vox Machina. A spectacular introduction to a group of misfits nobody has ever heard of, filled with explosions and gore. I’m only a minute in, and I already get the impression that I’m onto a gold standard of a TV show. But that was last year…
What happened this year was a continuation of what was happening last year. The start of the second season starts off with a bang, as the last season ended on a cliffhanger. Dragons come in from every direction, blasting every building in sight and burning all the people who are running away. Death and destruction — what a way to kick off a season. As people are fighting, I bear witness to some fine choreography as the heroes try to fend off the invading threat, although if I had to say the pacing was a bit slow, not something I was unfamiliar with from the last season. But that’s okay, because the fights were good enough. Humor was good as well as the show had some pretty good jokes to pass along, visual or otherwise, and some jokes I even remember fondly from the last season. Basically, the show is just improving, and Vox Machina has a lot more adventures to tell… if only they could’ve come faster because waiting a whole year for 12 episodes is just too much.
The characters were also charming, each in their own way. More so, their strengths and weaknesses complement each other in their demeanors, and their awkwardness, both individually and collectively, synergize to make them an unstoppable force that’s only limited by willpower.
So right now, I’m just waiting for season 3, cuz I really enjoyed season 2. More than season 1? I’m not sure, but if season 3 is better than both of them combined, then I won’t have to wonder anymore.
I probably shouldn’t be saying this at the end of the article, but I recently got a new job, so I’ll probably reduce the rate at which I write these articles. I’ll try to release as much as possible, but now that I got a second gig it’s gonna be kinda hard. Again, I’ll try… but no promises.
With that being said, I think that The Legend of Vox Machina is a really awesome show, and if you haven’t watched it yet then, you absolutely should. Because this show can be liked by both D&D enthusiasts and people who don’t know jack about D&D. It’s not so much the basis of the show but rather its delivery that makes it great.
If anything, The Legend of Vox Machina is an indication that Prime is on the right track with adding good shows to its collection, because it’s still overshadowed by Netflix. Hopefully, that won’t last long.