Episode Reviews – Random Show: The New Legends of Monkey

Episode reviews are reviews of episodes of different television shows. The four categories (for the four weeks in the month) are Mystery, Reality, Random, and Anime. I will be watching one show until I complete it, so for a few of these it may seem like I am reviewing them for a long time. I am aiming to hopefully do about 5 episodes in each post, but this will largely be contingent on my viewing habits.


“The New Legends of Monkey”
Starring
Chai Hansen
Luciane Buchanan
Josh Thomson
Emilie Cocquerel


(Information marked in the “” is from Wikipedia, the rest are my own words)

“The new series follows a young monk, escorted by a group of gods, on a journey across an ancient and fantastical land now ruled by evil demons to collect lost scrolls of wisdom.” One of these “gods” is the Monkey King, which is an ancient Chinese character from the tale “Journey to the West.” This is where the “Monkey” part of the title comes into the story. This is revealed within the first episode and given the title it makes it kinda obvious, so not much of a spoiler.

 

Episode 1 – “Hope Must Never Die” – 

This is a solid first episode for an interesting premise and show. This episode really focuses on the “monk” character of the “Journey to the West” story. The episode revolves around trying to find the “Monkey King” and that someone else wants his crown. I loved this episode. It was nice not to immediately jump into the character that most people would want due to the title of the show. It felt like they allowed the monk character to become slightly more important this way. I am shocked how much I enjoyed this little romp and it really sets up the rest of the series, including the showcasing of what appears to be a major villain in the show. I am shocked that I enjoyed this episode so much because I usually find it hard to love first episodes of series because they spend too much time with backstory or other things, but this one was just enough of everything that it needed to be.

Episode 2 – “The Edge of Nowhere” –

I loved that they allowed the first episode to be all about the monk and in this one we really get to know the “Monkey King” character a bit more. We are also introduced and get some focus on another core cast member. This character is probably my favorite in the series because they are a bit quirky and quirky characters tend to be my favorite. The story is solid, as in the first episode. It is obvious that a lot of thought went into these episodes and how they are building on each other. We see a bit of a villain that we are unsure of who they are at this point. This sets up that this is going to be a series full of twists and turns that we are not too completely understand at this particular juncture.

Episode 3 – “The Journey Begins” –

This is probably my favorite episode of the series so far. We are further immersed into this world of Demons. We start to wonder what happened to the Gods of this earth, but it is only subtly that this question starts to form. It began forming slightly in the previous episode, but here it starts moving forward into the light a bit more. This episode allows the two side characters (not the monk and Monkey King) to start to be showed. It is like this was an anime series where they allow each of side main characters to have an episode that is about them. I loved the reveals about one of the characters in this and felt that they added a nice element to the four travelers that we will be going with on this “Journey to the West.” There is also a fight scene in this particular episode that I loved. My partner pointed out that they have done a great job of making the genders of the show even. Male and female main protagonists and even antagonists in this episode. When he pointed this out to me, my excitement actually increased a bit because he was right. They weren’t just making it about one type of villain or good guy. We have a diverse group of characters in this show. I also enjoyed one of the villains in the episode so much! I tried to explain though to my partner that they weren’t much of a villain if you really wanted to get down to it, but my partner disagreed with me. To me they were simply taking advantage of the current world climate. My partner started to agree with me at the end of the episode because it felt like this character was trying to warn them of something instead of being evil, even though they were locked up. I truly loved this episode!

Episode 4 – “The Monkey King Returns” – 

This would be my second favorite episode of the series so far. This episode sees the four main cast of adventurers going to find the first sacred scroll (which is the main premise of the show). They figure out where one of the sacred scrolls is supposed to be because Monkey King left it with a group to protect it. Flash forward to the present day and OMG this episode takes you on twists and turns. You find out that the people he entrusted with the scroll have been led by someone that says they are the monkey king, but the guy fully states he is just the protector for the Monkey King. This episode introduced two of the most goofbally type of characters that are part of the tribe and I loved it. I loved where those two characters ended up by the end of the episode as well. I don’t know if we will see them again in the other 6 episodes of the series, but I have to say they were fun for this episode. I would love to see them again if there is a second season made of the show. The plot of this episode is really strong. They want to find the sacred scroll and what happens at the end of the episode really engaged me as the watcher, but moved the plot and characters forward with new knowledge. I love shows that give characters new knowledge and that makes them realize that not everything is going to be cut and dry in terms of missions that they may have for themselves. I also love that we get a bit more of the mysterious villain, but he remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Hopefully, this builds to an exciting climax with the last episodes. I cannot praise this series enough so far. I hope this happiness for this show continues!

Turns out that this is a reboot of a 1978-1980 series that was based on the “Journey to the West” tale as well. Just for those that are interested in this type of information!


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