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Hapori Tohu

LEGO Ninjago: Day of the Departed Airs Tonight in the US

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The wait is nearly over for LEGO Ninjago fans in the United States: the one-hour TV special LEGO Ninjago: Day of the Departed airs tonight at 6pm Eastern time on Cartoon Network! If you miss it tonight, reruns will air at 2pm Eastern time tomorrow and 5:30pm Eastern time on Monday, according to Zap2It. If you live in the UK, Day of the Departed airs at 4pm, just a couple hours from now, and reruns will air at 10:30am and 3:30pm on Sunday, then again at 3pm and 7pm on Monday, according to TVGuide. After you tune in, tell us what you think in the Talkback topic — just be sure to tag your spoilers!

 

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Mini-Review Mild Spoilers Incoming 

 

Day of the Departed is one of those story ideas that looks good on paper, but the execution seems lacking.  I'm not giving away anything that isn't in the promos and commercials.  For one night only, enemies from seasons' past get one more chance to do in the ninja. A Villain All-stars edition of Ninjago. It seems good on paper. But it fails to work because none of these enemies were ever direct challenges to the Ninja.  They wanted something the Ninja had or the Ninja prevented them from getting something they wanted, but none ever proved a personal obstacle. 

 

For an example, in the CW series 'The Flash', Barry has a real challenge in the Reverse Flash in Season 1. This guy is not only a fast as Flash, but also challenges Barry on who to trust, on how to get faster and what can be done with his speed. In short, the villain is a real challenge to the hero. 

 

Back to Ninjago, most of the villains are comedic distractions. Plus the Ninja have grown in power and abilities with each season. Season 1 bad guy should have to work a lot harder to keep up with a Season 8 ninja with Airjitsu and everything.. 

 

The biggest complaint is once again Cole gets short-sheeted. Jay, Kai and Nya get a full season to be the focus of the story. Cole gets a two-part episode. Black Ninja deserves a little more in the character department. 


"Honor those the dragons heed, in thought and favor, word and deed"

"Worlds are lost and worlds are saved, from those dangers dragons brave"

 

qs3174.jpg

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Mini-Review Mild Spoilers Incoming

 

Day of the Departed is one of those story ideas that looks good on paper, but the execution seems lacking. I'm not giving away anything that isn't in the promos and commercials. For one night only, enemies from seasons' past get one more chance to do in the ninja. A Villain All-stars edition of Ninjago. It seems good on paper. But it fails to work because none of these enemies were ever direct challenges to the Ninja. They wanted something the Ninja had or the Ninja prevented them from getting something they wanted, but none ever proved a personal obstacle.

 

For an example, in the CW series 'The Flash', Barry has a real challenge in the Reverse Flash in Season 1. This guy is not only a fast as Flash, but also challenges Barry on who to trust, on how to get faster and what can be done with his speed. In short, the villain is a real challenge to the hero.

 

Back to Ninjago, most of the villains are comedic distractions. Plus the Ninja have grown in power and abilities with each season. Season 1 bad guy should have to work a lot harder to keep up with a Season 8 ninja with Airjitsu and everything..

 

The biggest complaint is once again Cole gets short-sheeted. Jay, Kai and Nya get a full season to be the focus of the story. Cole gets a two-part episode. Black Ninja deserves a little more in the character department.

It's true that the villain conflicts felt a bit weak, but I feel like this was more because of the story structure than the ninja's character development. Even though the ninja were stronger and smarter than the last time they'd defeated these villains, these were still top-tier villains they'd never had to face one-on-one. But the constant scene changes between six different ninja conflicts made the conflicts feel disjointed, without a meaningful amount of time or focus to get emotionally invested in the conflicts. And the varying tone of the fights added to this disjointed feeling — some of the fights were appropriately lighthearted and silly, but were somewhat awkwardly interlaced with more serious fights.

 

The LEGO Hero Factory Breakout special in 2012 had a similar structure (switching between six characters on solo missions), and struggled in a similar way to tell a coherent story.

 

I did enjoy seeing a lot of locations we haven't seen in a while, like the village of Ignacia, the Birchwood Forest, and the site of the Monastery of Spinjitzu. The non-fight scenes had a lot of emotional resonance, more than you typically expect of a Halloween special.

 

 

Yang's redemption was a particularly pleasant surprise. I was not expecting that going in, but it made sense in the context of the story. I love a good villain redemption, and the special did a good job making his motivations relatable. Fear of being forgotten is a pretty complex motivation for a kids' show, and putting Cole in a position where he feared the same thing allowed him and Yang to find common ground.

 

One disappointment I've seen others express that I can agree with is that the ninja vehicles felt a bit superfluous. Ultra Stealth Raider is an awesome set that really doesn't get any defining moments in either this or Dark Island Trilogy Part 2. It feels crammed in to promote the set in both stories, rather than effectively incorporated into the story. The other vehicles, Titanium Ninja Tumbler and Rock Roader, get even less meaningful exploration.

 

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To Aanchir Re: Yang

Yang's involvement comes out a bit a head, probably not as much as yours.  I did like that he was introduced a while ago, so its not like the Power Rangers were next season's big bad is worst than the worst but only now decided to stroll in. His motivations aren't much different from Morro's or Garmadon's.  I think would work if we saw more of their past and see how this lack pushed them down the dark side.  When we see this with Garmadon it added to his character. 


"Honor those the dragons heed, in thought and favor, word and deed"

"Worlds are lost and worlds are saved, from those dangers dragons brave"

 

qs3174.jpg

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To Aanchir Re: Yang

Yang's involvement comes out a bit a head, probably not as much as yours.  I did like that he was introduced a while ago, so its not like the Power Rangers were next season's big bad is worst than the worst but only now decided to stroll in. His motivations aren't much different from Morro's or Garmadon's.  I think would work if we saw more of their past and see how this lack pushed them down the dark side.  When we see this with Garmadon it added to his character.

I don't think Yang's motivations are all that similar to Morro's or Garmadon's. Morro was mostly just bitter because he felt the Green Ninja title was promised to him, then taken away and given to somebody else. And Garmadon's motivation was a pretty general evil ambition/hunger for power, fueled at least in part by some perceived parental favoritism.

 

 

But Yang didn't really have the jealousy angle that either of them had, and his ambition was less about power and more about posterity. He didn't want to rule the world, he just didn't want his achievements to be forgotten. Morro was a cocky adolescent who thought he was predestined for greatness (and put himself in mortal peril more than once just to prove it), and Garmadon was a corrupted soul who thought he deserved the world, but Yang was ultimately an old man afraid of his own mortality.

 

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