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Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts finale is too soon, too quick

Spoilers for Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts Season 3

I can’t believe Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is over already. The show started this year — and it’s done. And while I know the show was always meant to be three seasons long, and I appreciate creators who stick to their guns on series length- I feel unsatisfied with the story and the ultimate resolution this season.

I wish I wasn’t though.

This season focused on Kipo and the gang convincing all the different Mute races to join together against Doctor Emilia, who is very close to finding a cure for the Mutes. It sounds simple — and it is. Almost too simple. Which means the season spends so much time on the Kipo’s adventures and shenanigans, it misses out on some of the more core, emotional beats of the story.

And the ending…is pretty much exactly what you would expect — not necessarily bad but not excellent either. It was conventional for the type of story it was telling – with no unexpected twists.

There just seemed something to be something missing this season; there were times when even the character designs seemed off…

Like the showrunners were so focused on getting to the ending that they ignored everything else. I mean… I’m not even sure how many days, the final season took place over – but it only felt like a week at most. I didn’t have a good sense of the urgency of everything.

The timing is so ambiguous – it negates a lot of the tension and it makes the character development –feels rushed and unearned or awkwardly shoved in.

I was just..disappointed. At least the soundtrack was good.

As always. It’s the most consistent part of the show.

HMUFA Takes Over

Look, I get the whole focus of this season, was to bring humans and Mutes together and that’s a process – but PACING IS IMPORTANT.

We didn’t need to see Kipo going around making alliances, planning a PRAHMposal which gets hijacked by a couple of forgetful squirrel mutes for nearly entire episodes when there’s still so much ground to cover like backstories, satisfying character arc conclusions, and things like that.

And it’s wonderful to see that Kipo never loses her spark – and these ideas are actually good ideas, and they work. Kipo isn’t a chosen one like Steven Universe is.

She’s just so bright and peppy and her ideas so ridiculous that they just go along – and it works. It’s not just because she has awesome powers.

Part of the reason her ideas work – is because all the different Mute kids get along (and Scarlamagne apparently is a good babysitter and has a soft spot for the rugrats) and that is part of what convinces the groups to band together.

Fine. Great motivation. And a fun group name. It’s all in character for Kipo.

But it still feels like there’s way too much of Kipo’s harebrained schemes that we really don’t get to see a lot of the other characters interacting . And not a lot of Kipo growing.

I mean…we barely get to see Jamack this season – we don’t get to see how Wolf decides Kipo’s are hers, we don’t see a lot of her interacting with Kipo’s dad, and we don’t get to see a whole lot of Kipo’s mom after she gets cured.

And I just wish the other characters got more screen time since we’re not likely to see them again. Unless more gets made somehow.

It just seems like this journey to gather all these Mutes together and convince them to work together – takes more time than it feels like it should

And the idea that the heroes decide that a party with everyone is the way to solve the issue isn’t the best. But I see why they did it. The issue is having them spend a whole episode making their way to the various groups of Mutes to invite them to the party after they already spend time earlier in the season trying to get them as allies (which broke apart, hence the party to bring them all together.)

I don’t like how it took up a whole episode that could have been spent building up tension, building on character relationships or backstories. We don’t need to attempt an alliance twice in a ten-episode season.

I know relationships are complicated in real life – but it feels kind of repetitive

And there’s less tension due to it. even though it is to fend off an incoming battle – it’s almost like they’re ignoring it. And since we’re not given a good sense of how much time has passed or how long things are taking – so it’s hard to build up the suspense and tension well.

Why Emilia?

Scarlamagne was a better villain than Emilia. He got far more characterization and a better arc. And while Emilia was fun as an evil person — the failure to give HER motivation more attention and nuance — just kind of made me uninterested in the end.

Emilia had a cool design and was a great foil to Scarlamagne. And at first, I understood her reasoning. The Surface was dangerous and so were Mutes – because, you know, that was true, but we knew some Mutes weren’t. It was something taught to all kids – but this season makes it clear hers are particularly extreme.

It’s shown her father was incredibly prejudiced against Mutes – but since we don’t spend a lot of time with other Burrow people, it’s difficult to know exactly what the standard is, especially with this being introduced so late in the series. What made Emilia’s dad more prejudiced against the Mutes than other humans?

How did he push his daughter to kill his son? Did he know Emilia killed him? I understand wanting to get rid of Mutes- most humans aren’t familiar enough with them and considering that Mutes include giant rabbits (who aren’t sapient) that will kill you for getting near their kids, and a lot of sentient beings that will kill and eat you…it’s actually understandable to a point.

It would have been better if she wasn’t given this whole backstory. Which isn’t very long at all.

It’s like how Zootopia and Beastars don’t work as one-to-one analogies on racism because the carnivores in both DO pose a legitimate danger to other beings in the world. There’s other prejudice, yes, but it’s not like it’s the systemic racial prejudice found in every Western country.

Yes, Emilia’s decision to go for a cure – to us – is insane. We know the Mutes can be good. But the other humans don’t – they never had a chance to learn otherwise. Obviously, they all know and love Kipo…but I don’t think they were wrong for believing Emilia – especially after the whole Scarlamagne enslaving humans thing.

She killed her brother – something that doesn’t get much focus and to be honest, I still don’t totally get exactly why she did it based on the other evidence. If we had just seen her killing him – I think we would have gotten the point. The scene just kind of comes out of nowhere and is never given more context. It just raises more questions in my mind.

Sometimes, you just gotta let a shitty person be shitty with no reason. At least she gets her comeuppance.

What a Waste of Wolf.

Wolf is my favorite character in the series.

I have a soft spot for tough, tiny characters. And her backstory is so unique and tragic – I really was hoping it would get explored more this season. But it didn’t.

I would have preferred they did nothing with her background at all – and focused more on her growing rather than the half-assed job they did trying to shove it all into the B-story of two non-consecutive episodes…which made it all seem rather rushed.

In an early episode, we get to meet Margot – the cub whom Wolf was closest to in her pack. Margot comes to her because Emilia had taken her brother hostage, and she needs Wolf’s help to get through Deathstalker territory. Benson and Dave tag along because they don’t want Wolf to get betrayed again.

Something that could have been and probably should have been the focus of an episode – gets shoved to the side in favor of… Kipo being Kipo in a plot that spans the whole season. At the end of the episode, Margot betrays them again – and then we never see her again.

Except when Margot gets “cured.”

We never hear about her or the rest of Wolf’s pack ever again. And in the last episode, Wolf finally gives up the wolf skin she’s been wearing and wears a new cloak. But Margot got completely ignored by the rest of the group for the remainder of the season.

Thanks to a comment by one of Emilia’s goons; she realizes she’s been wearing it to disguise herself as an animal.

I have no issue with Wolf getting rid of her cape – it’s a good way to show how her character has moved on. But it feels rushed, and the logic doesn’t work for me.

I mean – the girl killed and skinned her adoptive mother…her tossing it away should have been more about her accepting Mutes as friends and allies. Not her old pack. They don’t really deserve forgiveness.

If it were more prolonged and the comment was made at the beginning of the season and bothered Wolf throughout…fine.

Her giving her cloak up in a single scene feels wrong for her character. With a character like Wolf, there’s so much more there that could have been explored.

Why not have her and Margot try to work together? Or have her deal with the aftermath of knowing Emilia basically killed her sister, who she had been working towards repairing a relationship with. How would she react if Margot wasn’t sentient and just a normal wolf?

How does Margot feel about running into her sister…who survived on her own for 5 years and KILLED her mother and is wearing her skin as a trophy.

I’m sorry but that’s far more interesting than like the 6 episodes of Kipo bringing all the people together and planning a PRAHM.

I get that Kipo is the main character and a huge focus on the show is that these groups hate each other for no real reason after fighting for 200 years – but Wolf is part of the main cast. And her working through her issues and giving up what basically amounts to her safety blanket – deserved a lot more focus.

Since, otherwise, Kipo didn’t really change at all as a character – and Wolf…she changed a lot. When the show started out, she was a loner who trusted nobody and was only focused on survival. She’s grown to trust others and enjoy life.

This season even showed how much Wolf has missed out on due to her unique…childhood. She doesn’t know what cake is. And it also shows her considering Kipo’s parents her own.

When did this happen? Why didn’t we see it happen? This is huge for her. Why aren’t we shown more of this? Accepting friends is one thing. Accepting new parents is another. We never even see Wolf telling her full story to Kipo.

THESE ARE IMPORTANT. Why is it happening off-screen?! Why not show her bonding more with Scarlamagne? Seriously, they bond over both caring about Kipo. Why not something more.

Bittersweet Ending — Doesn’t Feel Right.

A bittersweet ending is what I was expecting for this series. But it didn’t feel that satisfying to me.

I was honestly expecting this season to end with Kipo giving up her Mute abilities to save everyone and end the war between humans and Mutes. Yes, there would still be casualties.

But the show made a huge point this season of how Kipo feels the need to protect everyone and how her Mega-Jaguar form is the only way to do it. It would have made thematic sense that ending the war – and keeping everyone safe would have involved a sacrifice. She can’t protect them constantly…no. But sacrifice is the only way. But nope.

Since the cure is made with Kipo’s DNA — it doesn’t work on her. Fine. I guess that makes sense from a scientific perspective. But thematically, at least to me, doesn’t work for the story. The bittersweet part of the ending comes from many of the Mutes we’ve gotten to know over the seasons either leaving (like Mulholland) or getting cured, reverting to their animal state.

It’s weird – since they were working on a vaccine throughout the first few episodes of the season so the Mutes could remain Mutes – but the plot was dropped and never brought up again. And somehow, in the time skip ending, after 5 years it doesn’t seem, there’s been any progress on that front.


Lio and Song were into it and passionate about finding a vaccine. I get it would have negated the sacrifices the other Mutes made – but it feels weird it just gets completely dropped. And not like even have a scene of all the mutes getting a vaccine but it is not working on those who have turned – or only partially working.

Lio and Song were into it and passionate about finding a vaccine. I get it would have negated the sacrifices the other Mutes made – but it feels weird it just gets completely dropped. And not like even have a scene of all the mutes getting a vaccine but it is not working on those who have turned – or only partially working.

Or they need the “cured” Mutes to produce a vaccine.

You know…something to acknowledge that they didn’t stop totally caring about this VERY important aspect – especially since this is a really big deal for the Mutes. Even with Emilia gone they should have some antidote – just in case.

Especially if other anti-Mute humans show up from elsewhere? There are K-Pop singing narwhals for Christsakes. There have to be other humans somewhere in the world. Right? Where else would they have learned K-Pop?!

It is clear that the whole show is supposed to revolve around the idea that war begets war and bigotry gets you absolutely nowhere. You need to find common ground. But…why doesn’t that mean they have to give up the fucking plot point of making an antidote so people don’t lose their humanity.

Certain aspects are under control – the mega-mute rabbits who aren’t sentient are used for transportation and Wolf has taken over as leader of the Mute Dog pack which is cool – nobody lives in burrows anymore

There is peace.

It’s only bittersweet because Hugo sacrificed himself – as a final part of his redemption and to protect his baby sister. And because the Mutes who got cured like poor Yumyan are stuck as mindless animals.

I wonder how long a cured Mute lives for….since Mutes definitely live a long time and age, probably similarly to humans. They’ll have to mourn his death far sooner than they likely expected – but at least they seem to recognize the Mutes of their own species to an extent. So at least there’s that.

But it’s interesting how they only speak human languages and can’t understand animals anymore. Maybe that’s just part of being a Mute.

I don’t know. There have been some posts online by series creator Radford Sechrist that have indicated he’s interested in making a movie focusing on an older Wolf meeting with her former adoptive father and having to deal with her past.

Which is a good idea – that’s a story that will take up time. But it’s also…something we can’t necessarily count on being made, so I don’t feel right, adding that into my review. Unless it’sguaranteed … I appreciate this was the way he wanted it – and he got his three seasons but still could have focused on other stuff.

Sure you can’t put every little detail you want into your show – but still you shouldn’t introduce certain concepts if you’re going to spend so little time on them – especially when it comes to character backstories. Sometimes – you don’t need anything.

But still – I really do like this series and I think it had some wonderful ideas and honestly I wish we could spend more time in this world. It’s such a unique series and I wanted more. It had a unique setting, an interesting cast of characters and was never afraid to be itself.

And what itself is something amazing.

I do want the movie. Not only because I want Wolf’s story but because… I just want to see this world again through a fresh perspective.


Score: 7/10


Year of release: 2020

Length: 10 episodes

Creator: Radford Sechrist

Executive producers: Bill Wolkoff, Radford Sechrist, Yoo Jae Myung

Producers: Park Sang Ah, Kim Han Byeo

Voice actors: Karen Fukuhara, Sydney Mikayla, Coy Stewart, Deon Cole, Dee Bradley Baker


If you liked this review read: Netflix finally does something (mostly) right with “Next Gen”

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