Mysticons Episode 9: “The Astromancer Job” Review
So with the last episode ending with Dreadbane in possession of one of the Codex’s, will this episode continue that or leave it for later in favor of filler content? That’s always a concern with cartoons these days (Looking at you, Tangled: The Series).
The episode opens with some much needed backstory on the villains, unexpectedly a story that dates back one thousand years! We are given a look at the previous Dragon Mage (I assume previous… though 1000 years is a long time to be without one.) as well as a look at Dreadbane while he was alive (or at least before his corruption, as it seems). Most importantly, we get our first true look at Necrafa, the leader behind all the villains in the series. She didn’t have much to work with, mind you, but her awesome design was in full view and we got to see a glimpse of her relationship with Dreadbane, who is currently the driving force in her return.The scene was very cool, though I would have preferred something much more epic, with all four previous Mysticons battling hordes of enemies, something akin to Sauron’s first defeat in The Lord of the Rings. Also, and this is a minor nitpick, but I would have liked to see a male Mysticon here. It is not necessary by any means, but it would have been a nice way to infuse gender neutrality into the heroes of the franchise.
After the flashback, we are taken to the Astromancer’s council, where the girls are scolded for their defeat in the last episode. As happens sometimes in this show, the expected grimness of the situation is coupled with some goofy and, quite frankly, ridiculous humor. I don’t want to sound like a snob here, but there are much better ways to break tension in a situation than having a character cover her ears and say “la la la la la.” That being said, the whole “don’t speak her name,” in regard to Necrafa, was a nice Harry Potter reference!
Next, the girls decide that the better option to reclaiming the Codex would be to create a new Dragon Disk, an artificial one. I think this is a pretty intriguing concept, since it sort of devalues the importance of the Dragon Disk. The montage where the girls go get the materials for the Codex is fine, especially when finished with a funny payoff joke, but the scenes themselves utilized settings from previous episodes and felt a little lazy to me, from an animation standpoint. I do think having the Dragon Disk made by a 3D printer was a cute idea.
What follows is a heist episode with a twist: the lead Astromancer, Nova Terron, arrives at the Mysticon homebase, declaring himself their new instructor.
First big positive: this is a heist episode! This is a great plot line that works for just about every medium, and Mysticons utilizes it pretty well. I thought it was a great idea to throw a wrench in their plans by keeping Arkayna away from the group for a while. I also found that Nova grew on me as the episode went on. He’s pretty goofy, but his fascination in the video game about the apocalypse was pretty funny.
Next big positive: new stone gargoyle villains for the girls to smack away at. This was a great change of pace from the typical skeletons and occasional orcs.
As far as negatives, repeating what I said earlier, the Astromancers should have been a lot more serious, rather than being as goofy as they were. I had just one more flaw, which I will mention in the spoiler discussion below my overall score.
In conclusion, this was another great episode. I loved the heist aspect and slowly started to enjoy the subplot with Nova Terron playing video games. I especially loved the flashback opening and the embellishment of the villain’s motives. I definitely enjoyed this episode a lot more than the last. I would also like to say that I love every second Tazma is on screen, and I desperately hope she becomes a more prominent presence soon.
Just a few spoilers I wanted to note. First, I really wish the girls did not get off so easily after opening such a catastrophic rift. Not only did they close it with a risky move, they also succeeded in creating a second Dragon Disk. I know the girls had to be successful here, but I wish it wasn’t based entirely on luck. They should have learned some kind of lesson.
Second, does anyone else think Tazma is going to take matters into her own hands soon? I am convinced from her face in certain scenes that she is going to sabotage Dreadbane’s plans at some point and become the main antagonist. Just my theory.