Tag Archives: Commentary

The Endless Sea is at the Heart of Ninjago’s Latest…

3 May

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On Teletoon Canada
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST
Spoiler Alert

The search for “The Storm Amulet” is on in Ninjago, Seabound. Everyone knows where it is and whether the heroes will get it or Kalamarr will has an amusing twist! Clutch Powers is back, and whether we should hate him for everything he’s done, this greedy miscreant is just that. He doesn’t have my respect. I like Ronan a lot more than him; he has his own code of honour whereas Powers doesn’t.

This ninth chapter is at a halfway point for the series. It’s merely spacing out the moments where bits of Ninjago History can be inserted. As much as I’d love to see a Mothra type creature appear, it won’t happen. I suspect that’s saved for another season. The return of the jungle tribe from The Island, protecting the gem and transfer of guardianship are just brief moments to show Nya has responsibilities. Whether she’s ready for it won’t be revealed until the season’s end.

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On Ninjago’s Tale of Benthomaar & King Trimaar

25 Apr

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On Teletoon
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST
Spoiler Alert

“The Tale of Benthomaar” is a very tragic story about an aquatic kingdom at the edge of entering a civil war. It’s hard to tell if Merlopia is politically divided because there aren’t enough supporting characters taking sides. Kalmaar’s hatred for the surface world existed even as a child, and all this episode shows is (maybe) a legion of soldiers accepting his edict.

Benthomaar’s innocence is truly that, and he’s neither human nor a squid. He wasn’t a survivor of a nearby sunken ship as he can breathe underwater. As for whether he’ll become Aquaman of this world, more episodes are needed. If he’s to take over, he needs more than Lloyd, Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane and Nya at his side. He’s going to need the various aquatic species to help and he doesn’t know how to speak manatee.
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Creation Myths Are Abound in LEGO NInjago! Or is that Shakespeare?

19 Apr

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0On Teletoon
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST
Spoiler Alert

In LEGO NInjago, the latest episodes show the team are in rough waters in Seabound. The broadcast of this series has been quick, and hopefully there’ll be no lull while waiting for the next season. To pump out new stories requires drawing from various literary sources and this series is no stranger to adapting Arabian Knights or even Shakespere, to which I believe this latest version is taking inspiration from.

In last weekend’s episodes, “The Wrath of Kalmaar” gets the team blamed for the death of a beloved king as a coup destroys the peace in Merlopia. This aquatic world has lived in relative obscurity and not everyone agrees to King Trimaar’s decision to be a peaceful civilization. As long as the surface and underwater realms are blissfully unaware, the coexistence is only marred by Prince Kalmaar’s general hate for the other. 

This squid-man’s mention of the human realm polluting the oceans is almost missed. I caught the reference and think the writers are missing an opportunity to teach viewers an ecological lesson. This realm may have been a playground for the serpentine before the The First Spinjitzu Master arrived, and comparisons can be made–who has the right to reshape worlds in their own image? “The Tale of Benthomaar” may say more, and I hope one day, a spinoff series can further explore the details.

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Arr! The Masters of Spinjitzu are Seabound Ho!

13 Apr

Ninjago (TV Series 2019– ) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

On Teletoon Canada
Sundays 6:30am PST/ 9:30am EST

Spoiler Alert
Please check local listings for other regions.

Nya’s powers are going haywire in LEGO Ninjago. They’re the Masters of Spinjitzu after all, and this year’s set of episodes dropped this moniker in favour of streamlining the series. This latest chapter, titled Seabound, reimagines the team as proper Avengers level heroes. They’re always going after villains somewhere in this continent. They’ve all upped their game and when considering this chapter takes place after The Island, certain threats are bound to return, namely Wojira!

Sensei Wu reintroduces this creature in “A Big Splash.” This titan is of the serpentine class and they have been regular foes in this series. This newest member ranks right up there with The Great Devourer in terms of power, and I’m sure the list doesn’t end there. Fire Fang and the Anacondrai serpent proved to be tough adversaries for Lloyd and the gang. I would not be surprised if they’ve lived a long life, and helped shape this universe in one way or another. Wojira might even have more relatives. She’s blamed for affecting Nya’s ability to control the water element than the Vengestone–this universe’s version of Kryptonite–Miss Demeanor stole. I think it’s a combination of both. The others have been Ninjas longer and faced more threats which rarely affected their powers whereas Nya is still ‘new.’

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When LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu says, “Enter the Titans!”

14 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Teletoon First Broadcast
March 7 & 14, 9:30am-10am

Spoiler Alert
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.

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