Sunday, June 28, 2015

RttE: Imperfect Harmony

Alright, next episode review. I know these are not long... nor particularly deep, but I am trying to make my way through the entire set of episodes. Once I'm done, I may be able to give some more thoughtful analysis on the new episodes as a whole. This next review will deal mostly with the Death Song, though of course I'll talk about other aspects of the episode as well.
Hiccup's easy frustration really is something we only ever see in the series, so I'm gonna say it usually feels OOC (out of character). Now, we do see him get very mad/frustrated in the second film, but the reason for his angst is much more serious than what went on in this episode. However, if you wait until the positive section, there were things I really liked about how Hiccup was portrayed.

Toothless getting taken down so easily by the Death Song just felt wrong. Maybe I'm biased (of course I am!). Plus, Night Furies are known for their lethal accuracy, and the Death Song was a big dragon... so why did Toothless miss? As usual, Toothless's blasts are weaker in the series than they are in the films.

Why didn't Hookfang catch on fire out of fear when he was first caught? Even if his body couldn't burst into flames (due to being sealed off from oxygen), his head and neck could have. I would think that the Death Song couldn't prey on Monstrous Nightmares or Thunder Drums. In fact, you'd think most dragons would breathe fire in an attempt to escape... especially dragons who are ok being in their own flames (like Zipplebacks). 

The Death Song is gorgeous! Probably gonna be my favorite dragon of the series. He's so terrifyingly dark... eating other dragons is an uncommon behavior, so it makes him very sinister. He was also pretty big... maybe Boneknapper size. I felt that his ability to lure the dragons in made a lot of sense. Think about queen control (and to a lesser extent the "Red Rage"). Dragons seem to have an internal instinct to react to certain sounds or visual stimuli. The queen (at least the Red Death) was able to slightly control and entire mountain full of dragons. The call of the Death Song, by my guess, is sort of like a fake version of that! It is a call that draws dragons in by their homing instincts towards queen dragons. Kind of like how one kind of lightning bug uses the flashes to attract mates, but then another species comes along and uses those flashes to trick flies to come to itself... and then it eats them. Overall, this dragon made tons of sense in the HTTYD universe, had a good looking and unique design, and was a great addition to the ever growing list of species Hiccup has met!

Hiccup's apology at the end showed a lot of maturity and humility, and that was something I really appreciated. His timidity while training the Thunder Drum also felt appropriate. His praise of Snotlout for carrying the Nightmare gel was also just a really good and in-character moment. They have made Hiccup a lot more positive and humble in this series than what we have seen before, so all in all I am pretty happy with his portrayal.

The short Hiccstrid moment where they are sitting on the beach is worth noting. That was a quiet, yet beautiful little moment.

In the end, the episode was good. Probably plot-wise it was not quite as good as the last two, but the new dragon makes up for that. Great design, sinister plot, very fun episode! Final score: 4/5

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