Love, Death & Robots: A Review of Episode 8
Love, Death & Robots is a Netflix anthology series that showcases animated shorts of various genres, styles and themes. Each episode is a standalone story that explores the possibilities of science fiction, fantasy and horror. In this article, we will review episode 8, titled “Good Hunting”.
“Good Hunting” is set in an alternate history where China is colonized by the British Empire and undergoes rapid industrialization. The story follows Liang, a young boy who befriends Yan, a shape-shifting huli jing (a fox spirit) who lives in the forest. Liang’s father is a demon hunter who kills Yan’s mother, but Liang and Yan remain friends and help each other survive in a changing world. As they grow up, Liang becomes an engineer who works on steam-powered machines, while Yan loses her ability to transform due to the loss of magic in the land. She moves to the city and becomes a courtesan who is abused by her clients. Liang decides to help Yan regain her freedom and identity by creating a mechanical body for her that can change shape.
“Good Hunting” is a visually stunning and emotionally engaging episode that explores themes of identity, colonialism, technology and friendship. The animation style is realistic and detailed, capturing the contrast between the natural and the artificial, the old and the new, the magical and the mundane. The voice acting is also superb, with Ken Leung and Elaine Tan delivering convincing performances as Liang and Yan respectively. The story is a mix of tragedy and hope, showing how Liang and Yan cope with their losses and find new ways to express themselves. The ending is both bittersweet and uplifting, as Yan embraces her new form and flies away with Liang’s blessing.
“Good Hunting” is one of the best episodes of Love, Death & Robots, and a must-watch for fans of animation and storytelling. It is a captivating tale that blends folklore, history and science fiction in a unique and memorable way.
Some of the themes and motifs that “Good Hunting” explores are:
- The loss of magic and nature due to industrialization and colonization. The episode shows how the British Empire exploits the resources and people of China, destroying the balance and harmony that existed before. Yan’s inability to transform is a symbol of how her culture and identity are erased by the foreign invaders. The episode also shows how the machines and factories pollute the air and water, creating a bleak and oppressive environment.
- The relationship between technology and magic. The episode suggests that technology can be a form of magic, as Liang uses his engineering skills to create a mechanical body for Yan that can mimic her natural abilities. The episode also implies that magic can be a form of technology, as Yan’s mother uses her shape-shifting powers to infiltrate and sabotage the British forces. The episode challenges the notion that technology and magic are mutually exclusive, and shows how they can coexist and complement each other.
- The bond between Liang and Yan. The episode portrays Liang and Yan as two outsiders who find solace and friendship in each other. They share a common interest in learning and exploring, as well as a common struggle in adapting to a changing world. They also respect and support each other’s choices and desires, even when they differ from their own. The episode shows how Liang and Yan’s friendship transcends their differences in race, species, gender and class.
“Good Hunting” is a powerful and poignant episode that deserves praise and recognition for its storytelling, animation and voice acting. It is a masterpiece of animation that will leave you breathless and moved.