By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
On Teletoon Canada
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST
The latest pairing of Ninjago is a very welcome one. “Papergirl” shifts the tale to Antonia, a newspaper carrier. She doesn’t think she’s doing enough with her life, and her co-worker (and friend) Nelson tries to dissuade her from leaving. The Storm Crystal that the ninja team and Kalamarr wants lands in Antonia’s newspaper basket by accident and she’s told to flee with it instead of handing it over. She almost bests the Prince in an exciting chase around the city.
When he finally has time to question this ordinary girl, he wonders if she’s Serpentine, Oni, Elemental Masters or Vermillion. None of them have bested him, and he feels like he’s met his match. Amusingly, her response shows that an ordinary person can do extraordinary things when they put their mind to it. It’s a terrific message. This character appeared in “The News Never Sleeps!” and “Would You Like to Enter Prime Empire?” These alternate outings shows she often get the job done whenever the city goes into hell in a hand basket. In “Game Over,” see helps a child as everyone else is fleeing. As a symbol of courage, we can all learn from her.
This character’s origins are explained in a video posted on YouTube by Brent Miller (the voice of Zane), and it’s nice to see that this character isn’t simply a background one. For Ninjago city to survive, everyone must help, and she’s a shining example of taking on adversity.
“Master of the Sea” even shows how Nyad defeated Wojira. Nothing is said about how opening herself up to the sea has made her immortal. Water can’t be fully destroyed but can be altered. Its state can be changed to ice (inertia) or turned into vapour (momentum). I’m guessing she somehow moved on–maybe even reverted back to normal–since there can only be one Master at a time. Maya admitted having never progressed that far in her proficiency before the Serpentine invasion (season one) and being coerced (kidnapped) to serve Krux. These breezy hand drawn animated sequences in this flashback make the historical significance of this realm’s origin important to note.
Interestingly, the Islanders (from the previous arc) and the Merlopians were the only species to have existed in the chaotic world alongside Wojira. Just where the normals have come from is still a bit of a mystery, but I’m guessing they may have immigrated from another realm to this one after the First Ninjitsu Master created the land to where they can live upon. Sensei Wu gets to shine in this episode as his fire is back. He never had much to do since Master of the Mountain and The Island. Here, he lives up to his father’s legacy and attempts to keep Wojira in check. If it can’t be held back, then chaos will overtake the realm again.
Even the kids have closure with their parents. It’s about time this story thread ends. They can see how their progeny take their duties as protectors of the world seriously, and it’s going to be important as the next pairing of episodes serves as the final climax to the series. “The Calm Before the Storm” says it all and “Assault on Ninjago City” will see the beast finally attack!