How are the first two episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina, the animated series on Amazon of the Critical Role group? Here are the first impressions without spoilers!
On Tuesday night we previewed the first two episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina, the animated series inspired by the campaign of D&D Group Critical role.
Without making spoilers, what an impression we got of these first two episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina? We see it quickly in this article, after giving some context on Critical Role and the series.
What is Critical Role?
For the uninitiated, that of Critical role is a role-playing group made up of professional American voice actors and voice actresses. Facilitated by game master Matthew Mercer, we have Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us, The Last of Us: Part II), Travis Willingham (Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order), Laura Bailey (Uncharted 4), Liam O'Brien (Star Wars Rebels, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor), Taliesin Jaffe (One Piece, Injustice 2), Marisha Ray (Far Cry New Dawn, Metal Gear Survive) and Sam Riegel (Star Wars: The Bad Batch, DuckTales).
Currently, the Critical Role team has completed two campaigns at D&D.
The first follows the group of adventurers Vox Machina; initially played with the system of Pathfinder, was later converted to D & D5e for streaming. The second campaign instead follows the group of adventurers The Mighty Nein, with 141 episodes and ended in June 2021. The third campaign began in October 2021 and is currently underway.
Since its YouTube debut, the Critical Role group has taken a very professional approach, creating their own distribution studio: Critical Role Productions. Subsequently, the group also expanded on Twitch, where it turned out to be one of the highest paid realities of the entire platform, following the leaks in October 2021.
Overall, the Critical Role team has gotten one in the past seven years huge popularity and has brought many newcomers to roleplaying. Nor is his influence on him to be underestimated D&D himself, for which an official guide to the setting of the second Critical Role campaign was created, Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.
How did The Legend of Vox Machina?
The animated series The Legend of Vox Machina is inspired by the first campaign of D&D streamed from the Critical Role group. The campaign began to be shared with the public starting from 2015, ending at the end of 2017 with ben 115 episodes.
This means that the campaign aired on YouTube starts once the story has already begun. The very first adventures of the Vox Machina party were told in a comic, Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins.
In 2019, the Critical Role group raised a Kickstarter fundraiser to fund an animated special dedicated to Vox Machina. Their crowfunding was so successful that it raised over $ 11 million, becoming one of the most successful Kickstarters in history. So, from a single animated special it passed to a real animated series: The Legend of Vox Machinain fact.
The Legend of Vox Machina he also tells the part of the campaign that was never broadcast on YouTube, and therefore he will also show us the origins of the Vox Machina group.
The rights to stream the series were then acquired by The Amazon, which commissioned a second season. The series has a rating 18+.
The Legend of Vox Machina is animated by Titmouse Inc. (Star Trek: Lower Decks, Big Mouth, Q Force) and sees the Critical Role team go back to voicing the characters they played during the campaign. Among the other voice actors, however, there is no shortage of big names, such as Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn nine nine), David Tennant (Good Omens, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, just to name a few), Gina Torres (Firefly, Serenity) and Indira Varma (Game of Thrones).
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How are the first two episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina?
First of all, bear that in mind the undersigned did not follow the Critical Role campaign. So, although I know what Critical Role is and although I am a role player as well, I approached The Legend of Vox Machina without knowing anything about the plot.
In short, everything is very new to me.
A series that is based on its protagonists
Without spoilers, for me the first two episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina were very enjoyable. These are episodes that serve above all to present the situation, the looming danger and, above all, the characters. However they are not slow at all and make a lot of things happen, with several problems finding a solution.
The series presents us with a rather classic fantasy medieval / renaissance setting, with dragons, flying ships and archaic guns. We still don't know much about the world and its lore, as these two episodes throw us right into the alive of the action and they don't have many moments of explanation.
However, at least for me, what happens turns out very clear to follow, as the plot is quite classic and without major twists.
What really sets it apart The Legend of Vox Machina are the characters. Very well voiced, they are all individuals with an interesting and distinctive personality, despite being a large party. Although I still don't remember their names well, I don't struggle to visualize their faces, their powers and their personalities well, which with other series is a bit difficult for me.
In general, we see the characters grappling with very quick needs (missing money), the desire for redemption and moral dilemmas. In a relatively climate goliardic, however, the series manages to insert some moments that are true punches in the stomach. These moments are made even more intense by the strong emotional involvement of the protagonists in what happens: although the characters are adventurers hired for a job, in reality they are not at all passive or indifferent to the world around them. On the contrary, through small tokens and strategies, we see how the party is increasingly involved in the story, and how some things affect them in a very personal way.
Quality storytelling and animation
In general, the narrative has a great pace, very agile and fast, but never pulled away. Indeed, the story takes its moments to linger on the feelings of the characters and to focus on objects and people who will then be important for the following scenes.
The animation is of quality, with a style rather similar to that of DOTA: Dragon's Blood. I wasn't expecting to see so many gore scenes, which are quite explicit, but nothing overly disturbing.
In short, I personally enjoyed the first two episodes a lot and I can't wait to see the next ones. I believe the series has good potential and I'm curious to see how it goes on.
We are not faced with masterpieces like Arcane, let's be clear, but I believe that The Legend of Vox Machina is a great product. Let's hope it keeps pace and sparkle in the next few episodes as well.