Love, Death, and Robots is an ambitious animated anthology series on Netflix. This dynamic series was created by Tim Miller and spans a range of genres and styles. Sonnies Edge is the first episode of Love, Death, and Robots, and they certainly chose to kick it off with a bang.
One thing that this first installment of Love, Death, and Robots makes perfectly clear, this series will be anything but shy. Right out of the gate the series drops you into a dark and dystopian world of evil and bloodshed. Sonnies Edge takes notes from cyber punk classics like Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and The Matrix and layers them over a stylized animation that would make titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Alita: Battle Angel drool with envy.
Based on a story by Peter F. Hamilton, this decidedly NOT safe for work entry is a grim tale of Sonnie, a gladiator of sorts, battling in a futuristic underground cage match that uses bizarre biotech “Beasties” as combatants. She is introduced as a woman, fighting in an industry of male fighters, with a traumatic backstory and an “[Expletive] the world” attitude to boot. She’s a fighter, one of the best in the business. She’s a winner, 17 and 0 record and counting. She never takes a dive, and she never loses. So, what exactly is her edge?
It would be easy to pass Sonnies Edge off as mere spectacle. At first glance the introduction to Love, Death, and Robots might seem to rely too heavily on angst, gore, and gratuitous sexuality. However, there is definitely more to see here. The first pleasant surprise is the efficiency of the world building. Within the first scene of dialogue you know all you need to know about the world where these characters live, nothing more, nothing less. The animation is another high point. Director Dave Wilson has brought us some grim, gritty, excessively tattooed, and beautifully detailed character designs, and Blur Studio has put forth some truly stunning ‘beastie battle’ animation that is fluid, kinetic, and brutal. The story may seem familiar, but it is told with a fast paced intensity that keeps you hooked. The short is capped off with an extremely satisfying ending. One criticism might be the decided lack of love and robots, but there is certainly more than enough death to go around.
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