After Nya made the ultimate sacrifice to save the city from Wojira, much has changed. The latest series, subtitled Ninjago Crystalized, shows the team still grieving. A year has passed since that day, and what I’ve last expressed in The Calm Before the Storm with Ninjago: Seabound sums up my hopes and dreams for this newest season.
The episode, “Farewell the Sea” begins with a new team of ninjas dealing with crime around the city. Miss Demeanour is back, and she’s making another delivery of Vengestone. This differently coloured group doesn’t know what’s happening and are merely putting a stop to a petty crime. On the other hand, Lloyd, Cole, Kai, Jay, PIXAL and Zane aren’t doing much to investigate these days. Their desire to figure out who is receiving these goods is on hold. Plus, The Green Ninja doesn’t believe he’s the leader he once was.
However, Nya isn’t gone. She’s merely transformed, and what’s left of this person is composed of pure energy. Or rather, she’s an elemental in the truest sense of the word. Her merging with the sea suggests that her omnipresence is everywhere–as Jay suggested when the gang visits him mid-episode. Aside from some light comic moments and seeing how they are doing, this prologue is just that.
Not only do we see how has the team gone their separate ways (again) but also there’s some hope for those who’ve decided to stay together. Master Wu thinks there is a way to restore Nya, but none of the scrolls he’s looked at have helped. Instead of going off on a quest to find some other forbidden scroll, the team have to decide if they’ll remain a team or just disband.
There isn’t a lot of new material to appreciate with the first episode of Crystalized. It merely gets fans back up to speed with the latest events and gives fans a mystery to figure out. Who are the people behind the mask that makes up this new fighting team? My guess one of them is a paperboy, but all grown up. After Nelson and Antonia got a taste of being hero in “Papergirl,” I wouldn’t be surprised they formed the team!
However, the second episode, “The Call of Home,” differs from Wu’s idea. This entry has a lot more philosophy to offer, and I’m loving it!
At first, we discover this elemental version of Nya is very different in behaviour. Without her humanity, she’s a shadow of her former self. She can still be a hero, but just why she does it doesn’t have any rhyme or reason behind it. When she finds floating lanterns bearing messages of thanks, she remembers her past. Her reason for being has changed, and after she meets and sees how alien Nyad has become since her transition, she’s afraid of what she’s become.
This older entity recognises that everything in motion stays in motion. It moves with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Newton’s laws define more than just common physics, but also how life progresses and perhaps how this season will develop.
Nya’s journey differs from Lloyd’s when he died in March of the Oni. Instead of being offered a chance at a new way of living, her choice between life now or what was could affect the shape of things to come. It’s a wonderfully complex moment as she must decide if she wants to stay an elemental or turn human again.
Or, just maybe, to become Cystalized means that someone wants to make everything inert. If the master villain’s plan is to stop progress, then Ninjago’s next danger will be troublesome. However, those fans who’ve watched the series’ premature release know where the series will go, and with the release of the trailer for episodes thirteen to twenty-six, what’s revealed is the stuff of heroics ala Justice League (the 70s cartoon) getting lost in terrorism behemoth of the MCU.
The larger concern may show Wu and Garmadon to move this world forward. Also, I believe Lloyd’s heritage must mean something too. Perhaps he’ll be the great equaliser.