I have to admit, my knowledge of Critical Role is… limited. Thanks to the Satanic Panic of the 1980’s, I was never really given the opportunity to get into Dungeons and Dragons and now that entire region of pop culture is pretty much lost to me. I do, however, appreciate a good fantasy and love beautiful animation and, in those departments, The Legend of Vox Machina is an undeniable win.
Set in the land of Exandria, The Legend of Vox Machina follows the misadventures of a group of mercenaries for hire who, though dumb luck and more than a little self-determination, become the official mercenaries for hire of the kingdom.
Thus far, I’ve only watched the first six episodes — because they are the only episodes that have been released as of this writing, but I’m already a fan. I love the setting, the animation, and the characters. You can definitely tell that this series has been years in the making and that the characters are firmly established as their personalities and even the subtle nuances of the performances give them a life one doesn’t often see in the first season of a television series.
The group consists of Vox and Vex, a pair of twin half-elves, Percy, a human gunslinger, Pike, a gnome cleric, Keyleth, a druid who can magically control plant life, Scanlan, a gnome bard, and Grog, a half-giant barbarian. Although the characters fight and quibble, you can tell that there is genuine affection between them. We’re joining the adventures of a family already in progress and to see that affection, warts and all, is rather refreshing and cuts through a lot of the first season establishments that we usually have to go through.
As I’ve stated before, the animation is lovely, the action is actually very well done, and the characters are wonderful. The humor of the show is very adult and obscene, but it is never done in a way that one would describe as overly mean or cutting. The Legend of Vox Machina isn’t trying to be annoyingly edgy for edge’s sake, it just knows what kind of show it is and who it’s about. It’s very genuine.
The thing I was not expecting is the show’s heart. The series has so many emotional beats and payoffs that it elevates it far above what a program like this would normally be.
So, yes… if you like fantasy, D&D, or just bawdy humor, do check out The Legend of Vox Machina on Amazon.