By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Teletoon First Broadcast
March 7 & 14, 9:30am-10am
Please check local listings for repeat schedule.
The Masters of Spinjitzu has an entirely new makeover with The Island. Not only do we see it in the costumes the team are wearing but there’s also a reintroduction to a few fond favourite characters (or should I say beast?) which defines this martial arts fantasy.
This season is the shortest since changing over to the 15 min air format. It helps for even tighter storytelling, but ultimately, it’s as Tommy Andreasen (co-creator of this universe) described–this chapter is “a 44 minute episode” broke up according to acts. Misako, Master Wu, and Clutch Powers are on a quest. The explorer’s club that Ms. Garmadon belongs to cancelled her membership since she never returned from trying to navigate the storm belt off the Southern Coast plate of the continent and it’s up to the gang to find and rescue that expedition.
Th second and third parts tell more about why this location is a threat than the others, and the fourth is the denouement to establish a greater threat. “Seabound” is the next unit of the grander story arc it will explore the origins of how the Water Spinjitzu Master, Nya, gained her powers. I surmise it’ll reintroduce the dragons and other mighty creatures to this world.
Ronin returns and is more of a piece of scum in this story. He’s being identified as a true bad guy this time, stealing for profit and greed; Mammatus (pictured) is new; he’s the guardian of a large crystal Lloyd and his team discover soon after landing on the island.
They make a new friend, a dinosaur they nickname as Zippy, and get captured by the local tribe. The Blue Ninja is selected to be sacrificed in “The Gift of Jay,” and this episode is very much a tribute to the movie, King Kong. The story is not as deep as previous seasons. The third episode is the climax and sees the obvious rescue of Misako, Master Wu, and Clutch Powers, which felt very uneventful. Andreasen is correct as it’s a set up for what’s still to come.
This short run of episodes is introducing titans to this universe. The serpentine Wojira is no doubt a nod to the kaiju Toho Studios made famous. This creature sleeps somewhere in the deepest oceans and the civilizations that know of him fear him awakening. His hunger can destroy the world!
This unknown world isn’t too unique. I enjoyed how the episodes unravels even more backstory on how this world was formed. The First Ninjitsu Master did not will its existence. Instead, he brought together certain cosmic forces and had them come together to build (true to the franchise) Ninjago, decide on who would be its protectors and let them rest. Everything points to a Lost Worlds style influence.
Marketing and the toys still to roll out won’t be until Summer 2021. No trailer drop is offered for the next unit, titled “Seabound.” The toy sets include Temple of Endless Sea and it’ll no doubt be at an uncharted chunk of land and perhaps see the return of one fan favourite stock villain to the LEGO set since its foray into fantasy fiction.