Jump to content

Ninjago Review: Season 2

Recommended Posts

Even in the first few minutes of Season 2, I like how whimsical and carefree we get to see Sensei Wu (voiced by Paul Dobson, who was Nidhiki, Whenua and Sidorak in the second and third BIONICLE movies). He fully trusts the ninja to do things on their own, so he gets to lean more into the trope of a wacky and unpredictable eastern master. It’s rewarding to see how his relationship with the ninja has evolved so much. Seeing the ninja without their Golden Weapons and elemental powers reminds me of seeing the Toa Nuva without the Nuva Symbols or their powers, so even if it’s a totally arbitrary reason to, I like this chapter of Ninjago so far.

            (This is a really small nitpick, but when Garmadon is using all four weapons, where are the second Ice Shuriken and Lightning Nunchuk? I know they’re just someone not visible but accessible. It bothers me more than it should.)

            Once again, Skales is the best Serpentine. I can feel his frustration trying to keep the others from going with Garmadon so much. It is very well done.

            I like that they touch on why the ninja don’t use their hero status to at least get a place to live. Seeing them having normal jobs after helping defeat the Devourer is really funny and reminiscent of Peter Parker. After the Alpha Team, the Toa, the knights of Morcia, the Exo-Force and the Hero Factory heroes, I think the ninja are the first LEGO heroes to ever canonically have to pay rent. LEGO’s first Millennials.

            Honestly, realistically, Jay probably could have received a large settlement suing the pizza maker for failing to provide a safe working environment. Jay was physically assaulted and kidnapped on the job. If Jay had provided the other ninja as an emergency contact and the pizza maker contacted them when Jay did not return, they might have been able to stop the Serpentine in time.

            Dareth is a perfect character (and is the best comic relief character the show has had thus far), and it just makes me happy watching heroes with elemental powers again.

            Are Jeffy and Phil (Dareth’s students) supposed to look like Harry Potter and Ron Weasley? Because they do.

            I shouldn’t like Ninjaball Run. But I’m a sucker for Wacky Races-type episodes, ever since my Billy & Mandy days. It makes me realize just how many characters there are, and how well-written they are that you can cram so many of them in and still have them stand out.

            Child’s Play is a great, epic episode. I’m currently midway through Wrong Place, Wrong Time and as far as time travel stories go, this one’s not too bad. It’s interesting seeing the Skulkin animated with the noticeably better 2013 animation as opposed to 2011’s.

            The episode where they cross the sea to the Dark Island and meet Zane’s father is good. It establishes the sense of a great adventure well. My only issue is, when the Leviathan is looking into the tower, and they have to pretend no one except Zane’s father is there, how does the Leviathan not notice the Bounty on shore?

            On the whole, the recent episodes of Ninjago have been pretty epic. I have noticed that Ninjago villains exist on a spectrum from Silly to Serious: the Skulkin are almost exclusively Silly, while the Serpentine were a good balance. The Stone Army is consistently depicted as Serious. In fact, depicting the Skulkin kidnapping and forcing Zane’s father to build their technology makes them seem far crueler and more formidable than they were when they were actually the main antagonists. It’s interesting how, once they’ve been defeated, the Skeleton Army seems to have been more of a threat after the fact.

            Seeing the ninja at their lowest in “The Last Hope” was powerful. I’m glad Jay and Nya’s relationship is a real part of the show and not just comic relief. In the same episode, we also see the Stone Army begin to slide into Silly territory with the ninja making fun of the ancient language.

            I didn’t realize until this episode that Misako is voiced by Kathleen Barr (Gali/Roodaka). There is something cathartic about Nidhiki/Sidorak and Roodaka’s VAs finally in the same production as real friends.

            There’s something genuinely upsetting about seeing Garmadon with normal fingers when he transforms into the Overlord. That whole sequence is pretty scary and epic. I was just reflecting on how, as just a glowing orb until this point, the Overlord is the first Ninjago villain without a set form. It was a bold move on Lego’s part.

            As of General Kozu being beaten up by Dareth’s students, the Stone Army has officially entered Silly territory.

            The final episode was okay. It reminded me a lot of both the Web of Shadows and The Legend Reborn climaxes. The Lloyd vs. Overlord segment also reminded me of Takanuva vs. Makuta, but it’s not really to the show’s credit that this final battle has no identity of its own and just reminds me of other, better final battles. Kung Fu Panda 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also come to mind.

            I also think the action scenes showcase how ill-equipped the show is for LEGO animation. The Overlord’s tank and Nya’s gun platform look awesome. The Overlord himself, though, is too organic. I’m on the fence about how I feel about Lloyd’s mech. They use it to cross the ocean, but it gets scrapped in battle and forgotten almost immediately.

            It’s not bad per se, just forgettable. I find the most memorable Ninjago episodes to be the funny ones, like Jay’s first date with Nya and the Wacky Races-style episode. Those are what hold up, but I can’t really imagine being excited for this final battle even if I were in the target demographic.

            If anything, the very end most reminds me of the Takanuva/Makuta Kolhii match ending. It doesn’t do a good job of explaining things. I’m divided on Garmadon’s redemption. It is cathartic to watch, but it also feels poorly set up and a little unearned. It feels as though what was being built up to was a conscious choice on Garmadon’s part, not for him to be magically turned good again.

            Good Garmadon has a gray version of Anakin Skywalker’s hairpiece, though, which is neat.

            I’m left with a lot of questions: How did Lloyd beat the Overlord? I thought I paid attention, but it feels like Lloyd just turned gold and beat him. What happened to the Stone Army? I honestly thought Dareth finding the helmet was a pretty good twist, but where are they? Did they get destroyed by Nya’s turret and completely disappear? Even one shot of them rebuilding the city, like the reprogrammed Bohrok, would have helped wrap up that loose end.

            In my final analysis, I am a little disappointed. It feels like it was written to be the series finale if they needed one, but wanted to leave themselves open for more. I will be watching the next season, and time will tell how I find it.

  • Like 1

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
-- Turaga Nokama


Click here to visit my library!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...