This review is spoiler-free.
As with the first volume, this second instalment of Love, Death & Robots explores a range of sci-fi and futuristic tales, ranging from the playfully humorous to the downright upsetting. But that is what makes this property so compelling, the full range of emotions you go through, the journey you undertake, it’s genuinely unique!
Once again, despite the varying styles and aesthetics, the animation is stunning throughout. Playful, artistic or realistic, whatever your preference, you’ll find something to enjoy here. I think in the first volume, a few of the episodes bled into each other a little, but I think in the second volume there is a very clear distinction in artistic styles.
I think this second volume does explore, consistently, much darker themes than before, and when I say that, I don’t mean it despairingly, nor am I saying that the first volume didn’t have this. But here it just feels like there was a clear tonal shift towards a more macabre approach in the storytelling. I wouldn’t even say that this is pinning its ‘shock moments’ on gore or overusing stylistic-violence. There is just more emphasis on telling really dark, but well executed, stories.
In terms of the cast, the most headline grabbing is, of course, Michael B. Jordan and his episode ‘Life Hutch’ felt like the perfect fit. As a personal highlight, I was delighted that Steven Pacey was involved in a minor role in ‘The Tall Grass’ and as the main character in ‘The Drowned Giant’. I love Pacey’s work and he is one of my favourite audiobook narrators. As for the newcomers, well, Zita Hanrot in ‘Snow in the Desert’ is the pick of the bunch, with a truly stunning and powerful performance.
While I’m not going to spoil anything in this review, I feel it is my dog-loving duty to say that the dog in the first episode does not die and is alive throughout! So do not worry yourself if, like me, that sort of thing bothers you. I had to fast-skip and preview the entire episode to ensure that it lived. Totally worth it.
Imaginative, thought-provoking and visually stunning, Volume 2 of Love, Death & Robots builds on the foundations of the first season and propels itself into a whole new realm of creative animation and powerful storytelling.
Love, Death & Robots is available to watch now on Netflix.